Monday, December 4, 2017

Indifference to Spiritual Affairs

Who did Eliza R. Snow say was indifferent to spiritual affairs with her writing?
a.                  Her publisher
b.                  The President of the United States
c.                   Her kids
d.                  The youth of the church
Yesterday’s answer:      
(B)   Had his revolver on his gun ready to kill anyone that dare to attack
During the habeas corpus hearing before Clay County Judge Turnham, Alexander Doniphan recruited Peter Burnett, a local attorney, to assist him in representing Smith, Rigdon, and the other prisoners held at Liberty Jail. Burnett’s account of this hearing provides some additional details, as well as a flavor of the intensity of the persecution that the Mormons were experiencing. He recorded:
We had the prisoners out upon a writ of habeas corpus, before the Hon. Joel Turnham, the County Judge of Clay County. In conducting the proceedings before him there was imminent peril. . . . We apprehended that we should be mobbed, the prisoners forcibly seized, and most probably hung. Doniphan and myself argued the case before the County Judge. All of us were intensely opposed to mobs, as destructive of all legitimate government, and as the worst form of irresponsible tyranny. We therefore determined inflexibly to do our duty to our clients at all hazards, and to sell our lives as dearly as possible if necessary. We rose above all fear, and felt impressed with the idea that we had a sublime and perilous but sacred duty to perform. We armed ourselves, and had a circle of brave and faithful friends armed around us; and, it being cold weather, the proceedings were conducted in one of the smaller rooms in the second story of the Court-house in Liberty, so that only a limited number, say a hundred persons, could witness the proceedings.
Judge Turnham was not a lawyer, but had been in public life a good deal, and was a man of most excellent sense, very just, fearless, firm and unflinching in the discharge of his duties. We knew well his moral nerve, and that he would do whatever he determined to do in defiance of all opposition. While he was calm, cool, and courteous, his noble countenance exhibited the highest traits of a fearless and just judge.
I made the opening speech, and was replied to by the District Attorney; and Doniphan made the closing argument. Before he rose to speak, or just as he rose, I whispered to him: “Doniphan! Let yourself out, my good fellow; and I will kill the first man that attacks you.” And he did let himself out, in one of the most eloquent and withering speeches I ever heard. The maddened crowd foamed and gnashed their teeth, but only to make him more and more intrepid. He faced the terrible storm with the most noble courage. All the time I sat within six feet of him, with my hand upon my pistol, calmly determined to do as I had promised him.
The Judge decided to release Sidney Rigdon, against whom there was no sufficient proof in the record of the evidence taken before Judge King. The other prisoners were remanded to await the action of the grand jury of Davis County. Rigdon was released from the jail at night to avoid the mob.

Habeas Corpus in Early Nineteenth-Century Mormonism, Jeffrey N. Walker, BYU Studies Vol. 52, No. 1, 2013, 26.

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