Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A Gift to the First Presidency

Brigham Young believed that Sam Brannan should send the first presidency a gift of what?
a.                  Mentioning their good works in Sam’s California newspaper
b.                  By paying for the missionaries passages to the islands
c.                   By building a temple in what is now San Francisco
d.                  By sending $60,000 in gold
Yesterday’s answer:
(D)   To worship Joe Smith if he were God himself
The governor’s letter is published in extensor in the History of the Church, Period I, vol. ii, p. 84, et seq. It was published in the first instance, in the Missouri Enquirer, Liberty, Clay county, of June 25th, 1833. His letter is a complete confession of the justice of the Latter-day Saint side of the controversy, and a clear announcement of the duty of the state’s executive in the premises. This has already been pointed out by quotation from the letter. The governor said further: “Our state Constitution declares that the people’s right to bear arms, in defense of themselves, and of the state, cannot be questioned.’ Then it is their constitutional right to arm themselves. Indeed, our militia law makes it the duty of every man, not exempted by law, between the ages of 18 and 45, to arm himself with a musket, rifle, or some firelock, with a certain quantity of ammunition: And again, our Constitution says, ‘that all men have a natural an indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences.’ I am fully persuaded that the eccentricity of the religious opinions and practices of the Mormons is at the bottom of the outrages committed against them.
   “They have the right constitutionally guaranteed to them, and it is indefeasible, to believe and worship Joe Smith as a man, an angel, or even as the only true and living God, and to call their habitation “Zion,’ the ‘Holy Land,’ or even ‘heaven’ itself. Indeed there is nothing so absurd or ridiculous, that they have not a right to adopt as their religion, so that in its exercise, they do not interfere with the rights of others.”
   Then, after considering the several plans for composing the difficulties between the “old settlers” and the “Mormons” he adds: “If all these failed, then the simple question of legal right would have to settle it. It is this last that I am afraid I shall have to conform my action to in the end.”  

B.H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church (Brigham Young University Press: Provo, Utah, 1965), Vol. 1, 361.

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