Sunday, September 1, 2019

An Extinct 1839 Church Practice

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What was a practice in the Church in 1839 that is unheard of today?
a.                  Kissing when meeting, rather than handshakes
b.                  Member of the bishopric attending all Relief Society meetings
c.                   Tithing % based on income
d.                  Passing the collection plate at sacrament meetings
Yesterday’s answer:
C   A Conference at the Far West Temple site of the Quroum of the Twelve
In reference to the revelation Joseph Smith received that the Twelve were to leave on the second British mission on April 26, 1839 from Far West, Missouri: In Quincy, the Twelve held a council with other Church officials about returning to Missouri to fulfill the commandment to leave on their mission from Far West. Some present, believing that the Lord would take the will for the deed, did not expect the Twelve really to carry it through. “But I felt differently,” Brigham later reported, “and so did the Twelve who were with me.” He knew that anti-Mormons had boasted that the revelation could not be fulfilled, thus proving, they declared, that Joseph Smith was not a prophet. Brigham was determined never to let that happen. After each of the Twelve expressed his own feelings, Brigham announced that “the Lord God had spoke and it was our business to obey, and the Lord would take care of us.” All present agreed to go and fulfill the revelation. The next day Elders Young, Pratt, Taylor, Woodruff, and Smith [George A.], accompanied by Alpheus Cutler, set out for Missouri. En route they encountered John E. Page, just leaving Missouri, and turned him around. Heber C. Kimball, directing the last few of the faithful still in Missouri, awaited them near Far West.
Because some of the Twelve were wanted men in Missouri—men whose enemies had sworn to kill them—some Saints found it hard to believe that the Lord would require them to return to the spot from which they had recently been driven just to fulfill the letter of the revelation. Theodore Turley, who was on the Far West committee on removal, thought otherwise. On April 5 eight men, including John Whitmer and Captain Bogart, who had led the mob forces in the Battle of Crooked River, confronted Turley in his office. Bogart taunted him with a copy of the revelation, reminding him that the Twelve were “scattered all over creation.” They dare not come, he chided, for if they did they would be murdered, and since the revelation could not be fulfilled, Turley must give up his faith. “In the name of God that revelation will be fulfilled,” Turley responded with the unwavering conviction that later resulted in his selection as one of the missionaries to accompany the Twelve to England.
Despite the dangers, sometime before dawn on the morning of April 26, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, John E. Page, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith, and eighteen other Church members met at the designated spot. During a short service, Wilford Woodruff and George A. Smith were ordained to the apostleship. Other ordinations took place, several dissidents were excommunicated from the Church, the apostles each prayed, a song was sung, and a cornerstone was symbolically placed for the temple. Those present then quickly took leave of the place and made their way to Commerce, Illinois. On the way, however, Theodore Turley could not resist a quick stop at the home of Isaac Russell whom he awakened and presented with the astonishing news that the Twelve had just left the temple site. Russell had baptized Turley in 1836, but he had returned early from the 1837 mission to England, and he was among those who had just been excommunicated during the meeting of the Twelve.
Men With a Mission 1837-1841, James B. Allen et. al, (Deseret Book, Salt Lake City, Utah: 1992), 56-58.

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