576. The following journal entry of Lyman Omer Littlefield is a situation from Jared Carter’s third mission, to Michigan. It’s of interest that he mentions Brother Samuel Bent. Remember, Samuel was the Deacon in the Presbyterian church belonging to Mr. Ruggles. It was this Mr. Ruggles who came in contact with Lucy Mack Smith when she prophesied that the elders would convert a third of his congregation and take the Deacon away too.
“My parents were members of the Methodist Church and did not wish to exchange that faith for another; but they went to hear what these strangers had to say. Their little son Lyman was permitted to bear them company. It was winter and of course a sleigh was our mode of conveyance. Their place of holding meeting was in a log schoolhouse built in the edge of some timber and as we turned from the main road to drive near we knew that meeting had commenced, for we heard the speaker in a full and animated tone of voice enunciating his doctrines. It is said in the scriptures: ‘Blessed are they who know the joyful sound;’ so the writer must just then have been one of the favored, for at the very first sound of Jared Carter's voice--for it was he who was speaking--a strange, unaccountable feeling came over me, and before hearing one word pronounced by him, there was something connected with the tone of his voice that convinced me he was a man of God and was telling the truth. The writer went in that meeting prepared to believe all the speaker said, and your humble friend has been a believer in what many call Mormonism from that hour.
“After attending one or two more meetings and reading the Book of Mormon all she could, my mother was fully convinced of the truth of the gospel. My father did not believe so readily, but after a few weeks he, too, was convinced and my parents became members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--they being baptized by immersion for the remission of sins and having hands laid upon them for the reception of the Holy Ghost. Quite a number of people in that vicinity embraced the new faith and a branch of the Church was organized and presided over by Elder Samuel Bent.
577. Stephen Burnett and Eden Smith are called to serve a mission to where ever they desire. Stephen Burnett was 18 years of age and a High Priest at the time of this call; possibly the youngest High Priest in the early Church. Not much is known of the missionary labors of these two brethren, although Eden Smith does record this:
We traveled on north two miles and Cald with A presbyterian Priest and told him Concerning the Bok of mormon and Concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ and he Cald for proof of the Book of Mormon and we cited him to the bible and he said he did not Receive that and we told the Cituation he was in and what he must do left him and went on our way.
It may seem odd that the Lord left it up to the two missionaries where they desired to serve. But not really, as the fact below will attest.
At a special conference of the Church on April 10, 1843, many elders received their mission calls. There were a few noteworthy calls:
At a conference of the Church, September 17, 1837, in Kirtland, Ohio another unique situation plays out where 109 elders number themselves and then split into eight groups of 13 missionaries each. Each group is designated a destination based on a point of the compass. Elders 105-109 are assigned a group and then all present are instructed if their call does not suit them, then they can trade with another elder from another group that will be more agreeable to their liking.
578. For one who held such a high position in the Church, so little is known of Jesse Gause. There is no record of his baptism, although some speculate that Reynolds Cahoon may have been the individual that provided this ordinance for him in the later part of 1830. It’s also known that Joseph Smith called him to be a counselor on March 8, 1832 along with Sidney Rigdon. Records show that he traveled with the prophet to Missouri in April of 1832 and that he was called to serve a mission with Zebedee Coltrin later in 1832 when Jesse returned from his trip to Missouri. Approximately three weeks into the mission Zebedee experienced severe headaches, causing his return back to Kirtland. Prior to Zebedee returning to Kirtland, the two missionaries prayed for each other. Brother Gause continued his mission to the east “and walked right out of the history of the Church, never again to return. There appears to be no other record on the man either in or out of the Church.”
579. Again, pseudonyms were used in this section, but dropped with the 1981 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.
Just a week previous to Joseph Smith and his group leaving for Missouri he had been tarred and feathered along with Sidney Rigdon (March 24, 1832). Mob violence was at a fever pitch when the brethren left for Missouri on April 1, 1832. The following is recorded by Joseph Smith in his Annotated History. Pay attention to how far the mob follows them:
“April first, I started for Missouri, in company with Newel K. Whitney, Peter Whitmer, and Jesse Gause, to fulfil the revelation. Not wishing to go by Kirtland, as another mob existed in that neighborhood (and indeed, the spirit of mobocracy was very prevalent through that whole region of country at the time), brother George Pitkin took us in his wagon by the most expeditious route to Warren, where we arrived the same day, and were there joined by Elder Rigdon, who left Chardon in the morning; and proceeding onward, we arrived at Wellsville the next day, and the day following at Steubenville, where we left the wagon; and on Wednesday, the 4th of April, we took passage on board a steam packet for Wheeling, Virginia; where we purchased a lot of paper for the press in Zion, then in care of W. W. Phelps.
“After we left Hiram, fearing for the safety of my family, on account of the mob, I wrote to my wife (in connection with Bishop Whitney) suggesting that she go to Kirtland and tarry with Brother Whitney's family until our return. From Wheeling we took passage on board the steamer Trenton. While at the dock, during the night, the boat was twice on fire burning the whole width of the boat through into the cabin, but with so little damage that the boat went on in the morning; and when we arrived at Cincinnati, some of the mob which had followed us, left us, and we arrived at Louisville the same night. Captain Brittle offered us protection on board of his boat, and gave us supper and breakfast gratuitously.
“At Louisville we were joined by Elder Titus Billings, who was journeying with a company of Saints from Kirtland to Zion, and we took passage on the steamer Charleston for St. Louis, where we parted from Brother Billings and company, and by stage arrived at Independence, Missouri, on the twenty-fourth of April, having traveled a distance of about three hundred miles from St. Louis. We found the brethren in Zion, generally enjoying health and faith; and they were extremely glad to welcome us among them.”
580. The following from the Deseret News dated 2 May 1874 in response to the Twentieth Ward in Salt Lake City at the suggestion of the order:
“Even with this considerable concession only thirty of approximately six hundred raised their hands in support of the order. This “visibly chagrined Brigham but he used control rather than fury until there were fifty hands raised. He said that would be enough for a start.”
581. As you read this next story from the autobiography of Mosiah Hancock, understand that he was born April 9, 1834:
“After the death of the Prophet, the mob spent their fury on the Twelve and a few others. The Brethren pushed the work on the Temple; and the Gospel was preached; and every Saint was busy doing all he could to help the work along. Although I was very young, I was on guard many a night, and gladly did I hail with many of the Saints, the completion of the temple. On about January 10, 1846, I was privileged to go in the temple and receive my washings and anointings. I was sealed to a lovely young girl named Mary [Dunn], who was about my age, but it was with the understanding that we were not to live together as man and wife until we were 16 years of age. The reason that some were sealed so young was because we knew that we would have to go West and wait many a long time for another temple.
“We left the Indian Mills on May 14, 1848, and we left Winter Quarters on May 18th. While we were camped at Winter Quarters, Mary Dunn came to our camp and wanted to go with us, but mother said we could not take her because we had no room. Mary's mother had died and her father had gotten a stepmother for his children. She came with her bundle of clothes to our wagon, and with what joy I hailed my noble, beautiful wife! But Mary had to go, and oh what sorrow as I saw her depart. We were separated for life.
582. Surprisingly, prior to 1854, boys were not usually ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood. However, in 1854 Wilford Woodruff recorded, “We are now beginning to ordain our young sons to the lesser priesthood here in Zion.”
“Now will it cause some of you to marvel that I was not ordained a high priest before I was ordained an apostle? Brother [Heber C.] Kimball and myself were never ordained high priests. How wonderful! I was going to say how little some of the brethren understood the priesthood, after the Twelve were called. In our early career in this Church, on one occasion, in one of our councils, we were telling about some of the Twelve wanting to ordain us high priests, and what I said to Brother Patten when he wanted to ordain me in York State: said I, “Brother Patten, wait until I can lift my hand to heaven and say. ‘I have magnified the office of an elder.’ After that our conversation was over in the council, some of the brethren began to query, and said we ought to be ordained high priests; at the same time I did not consider that an apostle needed to be ordained a high priest and elder, or a teacher. I did not express my views on the subject, at that time, but thought I would hear what brother Joseph would say about it. It was William E. McLellin who told Joseph that I and Heber were not ordained high priests, and wanted to know if it should not be done. Said Joseph, ‘Will you insult the Priesthood? Is that all the knowledge you have of the office of an apostle? Do you not know that the man who receives the apostleship receives all the keys that ever were, or that can be conferred upon mortal man? What are you talking about? I am astonished!’ Nothing more was said about it.”
Discourses of Brigham Young, compiled by John A. Widtsoe (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1954), 1:136.
584. Brigham Young elaborates, as only he could, on why the law of consecration failed among the Missouri Saints:
“When the revelation . . . was given in 1838, I was present, and recollect the feelings of the brethren. . . . The brethren wished me to go among the Churches, and find out what surplus property the people had, with which to forward the building of the Temple we were commencing at Far West. I accordingly went from place to place through the country. Before I started, I asked brother Joseph, ‘Who shall be the judge of what is surplus property?’ Said he, ‘Let them be the judges themselves. . . .’
“Then I replied, ‘I will go and ask them for their surplus property;’ and I did so; I found the people said they were willing to do about as they were counselled, but, upon asking them about their surplus property, most of the men who owned land and cattle would say, ‘I have got so many hundred acres of land, and I have got so many boys, and I want each one of them to have eighty acres, therefore this is not surplus property.’ Again, ‘I have got so many girls, and I do not believe I shall be able to give them more than forty acres each.’ ‘Well, you have got two or three hundred acres left.’ ‘Yes, but I have a brother-in-law coming on, and he will depend on me for a living; my wife’s nephew is also coming on, he is poor, and I shall have to furnish him a farm after he arrives here.’ I would go on to the next one, and he would have more land and cattle than he could make use of to advantage. It is a laughable idea, but is nevertheless true, men would tell me they were young and beginning [in] the world, and would say, ‘We have no children, but our prospects are good, and we think we shall have a family of children, and if we do, we want to give them eighty acres of land each; we have no surplus property.’ ‘How many cattle have you?’ ‘So many.’ ‘How many horses, &c?’ ‘So many, but I have made provisions for all these, and I have use for every thing I have got.’
“Some were disposed to do right with their surplus property, and once in a while you would find a man who had a cow which he considered surplus, but generally she was of the class that would kick a person’s hat off, or eyes out. . . . You would once in a while find a man who had a horse that he considered surplus, but at the same time he had the ringbone, was broken-winded, spavined in both legs, and had the pole evil at one end of the neck and a fistula at the other, and both knees sprung.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Journal of Discourses (Liverpool, England: Latter-day Saint Book Depot, 1874), 2:306–7.
In the year 1831 a rumor was in circulation that a gold Bible had been dug out of the earth; and hearing the preachers of the day rail out against it, I believed the words of the Savior were about to be fulfilled in regard to false prophets and teachers arising in the last days, who, if it were possible would deceive the very elect. In the fall of this same year a man by the name of William Jolly and family moved into the neighborhood; who I was informed, were believers in the gold Bible. I felt in my heart to pity them, and told my wife we would go and make them a visit; accordingly as soon as they commenced conversation on the subject of religion, quoting the words of the Savior in regard to false prophets and teachers in the last days; on hearing this, Mrs. Jolly went and placed a stand in the middle of the floor and put a candle and a large family Bible upon it and said, "Now to the law and testimony." When she immediately turned to the passages of scripture I had quoted and read them, and applied them to the sects long extinct upon the earth, which I could not refute. I immediately commenced searching the Bible and found that in the last days God would set His hand the second time to gather Israel from all the earth.
About this time Mrs. Jolly presented the Book of Mormon to me and asked me if I would read it; I told her I would, and took it and carried it home and placing the book against my forehead asked secretly the Lord if that work was His, He would make it manifest to me. I then opened the book and commenced reading aloud that my wife might also hear it. We read it through and I commenced reading it the second time and the Lord poured out His spirit upon me and the scriptures were opened to our understanding, and we were convinced that the Book of Mormon was a true record of the Aborigines of America containing the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ which was to come forth at the time of the restitution of the house of Israel.
Accordingly I and my wife were baptized in the town of Parkman by Parley P. Pratt and were confirmed in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, under his hands and Hyrum Smith's hands, the day I am unable to state, but think it was between the first and fifth of June 1832. Between this time and January following I went to Kirtland and was ordained a priest under the hands of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and Sidney Rigdon.
586. Accordingly to the revelation, as the Lord instructed in Section 88, the School of the Prophets first meeting was held January 23, 1833. The following is the observations of Zebedee Coltrin:
“The salutation as written in the Doctrine and Covenants [D&C 88:136-141] was carried out at that time, and at every meeting, and the washing of feet was attended to, the sacrament was also administered at times when Joseph appointed, after the ancient order; that is, warm bread to break easy was provided and broken into pieces as large as my fist and each person had a glass of wine and sat and ate the bread and drank the wine; and Joseph said that was the way that Jesus and his disciples partook of the bread and wine. And this was the order of the church anciently and until the church went into darkness. Every time we were called together to attend to any business, we came together in the morning about sunrise, fasting and partook of the sacrament each time, and before going to school we washed ourselves and put on clean linen.
“At one of these meetings after the organization of the school, (the school being organized on the 23rd of January, 1833, when we were all together, Joseph having given instructions, and while engaged in silent prayer, kneeling, with our hands uplifted each one praying in silence, no one whispered above his breath, a personage walked through the room from east to west, and Joseph asked if we saw him. I saw him and suppose the others did and Joseph answered that is Jesus, the Son of God, our elder brother. Afterward Joseph told us to resume our former position in prayer, which we did. Another person came through; he was surrounded as with a flame of fire. He (Brother Coltrin) experienced a sensation that it might destroy the tabernacle as it was of consuming fire of great brightness. The Prophet Joseph said this was the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. I saw Him.”
587. George A. Smith writes: [May 26, 1833] … we arrived at Kirtland, Ohio, having travelled 500 miles … on the next day we hired a house
in the City of
Brother Joseph Coe & moved into it. Brother Cousin Joseph took
Brother Brown's family home with him—his Wife asked Sister Brown if she would
like a cup of tea or coffee after her long journey—in a few days they
settled in company with Elder Jos. H Wakefield they purchased a large wagon … & settled [in Chagrin] contrary to the council of the Prophet & they all
afterward apostatized, assigning as a reason that the Prophet's Wife had
offered them tea & coffee <w[hi]ch was> contrary to the word of
wisdom, & that they had actually seen Joseph the Prophet <come down out
of> the translating room & go to play with t his children.
588. At a meeting on February 7, 1837 in Far West, Missouri, the elders in attendance voted to boycott ships or stores that sell “spirituous liquors, tea, coffee or tobacco.”
Patriarch John Smith spoke on the Word of Wisdom during the September General Conference in 1851. While he was at the pulpit, Brigham Young approached the stand and made a motion that from this point on all members abstain from alcohol, coffee, tea, and tobacco. The motion was unanimous and became a binding commandment for all members.
Some of the early Brethren explained what was meant by this phrase. Hyrum Smith, brother of the Prophet, wrote: “And again, ‘hot drinks are not for the body, or belly;’ there are many who wonder what this can mean; whether it refers to tea, or coffee, or not. I say it does refer to tea, and coffee.”
The Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I understand that some of the people are excusing themselves in using tea and coffee, because the Lord only said ‘hot drinks’ in the revelation of the Word of Wisdom. . . .
In Joel H. Johnson, Voice from the Mountains [Salt Lake City: Juvenile Instructor Office, 1881], p. 12.
The Doctrine and Covenants does not specifically mention heroin, cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, other illegal drugs, or the abuse of prescription drugs. President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “Such revelation is unnecessary. The Word of Wisdom is a basic law. It points the way and gives us ample instruction in regard to both food and drink, good for the body and also detrimental. If we sincerely follow what is written with the aid of the Spirit of the Lord, we need no further counsel. . . .
“Thus by keeping the commandments we are promised inspiration and the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord through which we will know what is good and what is bad for the body, without the Lord presenting us with a detailed list separating the good things from the bad that we may be protected. We will learn by this faithful observance that the promises of the Lord are fulfilled.”
589. From the life of Vienna Jacques: She was many things to the Church including serving as a witness at the first baptism for the dead in Nauvoo:
It is not known precisely when the first proxy baptism or baptisms were performed, however, the first documented baptism for the dead was performed on 12 September 1840. On that occasion Jane Neyman requested that Harvey Olmstead baptize her in behalf of her deceased son Cyrus Livingston Neyman. Vienna Jacques witnessed the proxy baptism by riding into the Mississippi River on horseback to hear and observe the ceremony.
A short while later, upon learning the words Olmstead used in performing the baptism, Joseph Smith gave his approval of the ordinance.
590. It was in 1830 that Parley P. Pratt, Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmer Jr., and Ziba Peterson arrive in the Kirtland area. It didn’t take long for the very influential Williams’ family to attend the meetings of these missionaries. As interested as Fredrick was in the gospel message, it was necessary for him to ponder it over in his mind for some time. In fact, his wife and children made the move to be baptized before Brother Williams did. Nevertheless, once he was baptized, he immediately felt a desire to share the gospel message with others. At the invitation of the four missionaries, Fredrick agreed to accompany them on their journey to Missouri. It was agreed that he would travel to the Lamanites and after three weeks of teaching he was to come home to his family and medical practice. He became so engrossed in his missionary labors that he didn’t return home for ten months, having shared the gospel message first to his unresponsive parents, the Lamanites, and the people in the Independence, Missouri area.
“Brother Frederick G. Williams is one of those men in whom I place the greatest confidence and trust, for I have found him ever full of love and brotherly kindness. He is not a man of many words, but is ever winning, because of his constant mind. He shall ever have place in my heart, and is ever entitled to my confidence. He is perfectly honest and upright, and seeks with
all his heart to magnify his Presidency in the Church of Christ, but fails in many instances, in consequence of a want of confidence in himself. Blessed be Brother Frederick, for he shall never want a friend, and his generation after him shall flourish. The Lord hath appointed him an inheritance upon the land of Zion: yea, and his head shall blossom, and he shall be as an olive branch that is bowed down with fruit.”
591. Newell [K. Whitney] began his career during the War of 1812. As a nineteen-year old he became an army sutler, following the American troops and Native Americans by selling alcohol, food, and day to day necessities. On one occasion a customer approached Newell interested in buying alcohol. Brother Whitney realized this man was drunk and had a dependency on alcohol and refused to sell. Newell placed the best interest of those he sold to regardless of the loss of financial gain. It was during his refusal that an altercation broke out. This man was intent on killing Newell and if it wasn’t for the actions of a young Native American girl grabbing the attacker and holding him, giving Newell the necessary time to leave the situation, it’s possible he could have been injured or killed by the attacker. It’s because of this that Brother and Sister Whitney named one of their daughters Moudalina after this brave Native girl.
592. As part of the building committee, Hyrum Smith also understood the necessity of having a man on the temple site that could organize and bring the temple to fruition. It was determined that this man was to be Artemus Millet from Canada. Some speculation surrounds this story and has evolved into what can be referred to as “Mormon Myth” (it could be true, but there’s not enough fact to support the story). The story goes that Joseph Smith sent Brigham Young on a mission to Canada to baptize Artemus and have him come to Kirtland to supervise the building of the temple.
It is true that Brigham and Lorenzo Young were called on missions to Canada, arriving in December of 1832. It’s also correct that Brigham records Brother Millets baptism as January of 1833, nevertheless there is no record indicating if Brigham performed the baptism, and definitely nothing indicating that Brigham Young extended an invite from Joseph Smith to move to Kirtland and assist in the construction of the temple. What did occur though is that Hyrum Smith sent a letter to Artemus early in the summer of 1833 extending this invitation. Artemus arrived in the fall of that year and contracted the exterior work on the temple for which he and Lorenzo Young received $1000.
593. The perfect example of building a temple and the Lord giving “power to build it” is the Freiberg Temple in what was then East Germany at the time of its constructed. Thomas S. Monson shares the following:
“The announcement of the temple continued a series of miracles: for example, private ownership of property is not permitted in that country and yet we have been granted private ownership. The building of a temple has never before been permitted in a communist nation. In this case, the government itself suggested the building of the temple as an alternative to considering our request that members be permitted to visit the temple in Zollikofen, Switzerland. A third miracle is that land was purchased with German Democratic Republic marks rather than with currency from the western nations. All in all, the event had been miraculous.”
594. The Church purchased the Peter French farm and, by so doing, acquired the Peter French Tavern and a brick kiln, both of which were located on the farm. The members originally thought with the purchase of the brick kiln that they could construct the temple of bricks. This probably would have been the plan except that a stone quarry was discovered just two miles south of town providing the Saints with all the stone necessary to erect the temple. After the stone walls were completed, they were plastered and marked to give the appearance of brick.
595. Karl R. Anderson, a recognized Kirtland area historian, states that little is known of the cornerstone laying ceremony on July 23, 1833 [Kirtland Temple] where 24 priesthood holders assembled. Brother Anderson shares the following story:
Joseph Kingsbury, 21, was one of the priesthood holders who participated in laying the cornerstones. His biographer, Lyndon W. Cook, wrote: “The Prophet had designated Kingsbury one of the 24 men to participate in the service, but at the last minute it was learned that [Kingsbury] was not a Melchizedek Priesthood holder. Instead of giving the honor to another with proper authority, Joseph Smith took young Kingsbury aside and ordained him an elder. . . and [Kingsbury] fondly remembered the occasion for the rest of his life.”
“. . . in the latter part of summer and in the autumn , I devoted almost my entire time in ministering among the churches; holding meetings; visiting the sick; comforting the afflicted, and giving counsel. A school of Elders was also organized, over which I was called to preside. This class, to the number of about sixty, met for instruction once a week. The place of meeting was in the open air, under some tall trees, in a retired place in the wilderness, where we prayed, preached and prophesied, and exercised ourselves in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Here great blessings were poured out, and many great and marvelous things were manifested and taught. The Lord gave me great wisdom, and enabled me to teach and edify the Elders, and comfort and encourage them in their preparations for the great work which lay before us. I was also much edified and strengthened. To attend this school I had to travel on foot, and sometimes with bare feet at that, about six miles. This I did once a week, besides visiting and preaching in five or six branches a week.”
Parley P. Pratt Jr. ed., Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1985), 93–94.
597. It was during July of 1833 that Edward Partridge and Charles Allen were tarred and feathered. Emily Partridge, daughter of Bishop Partridge, tells the story:
“In the summer of 1833, my youngest brother was born. When he was about three weeks old, mother sent me with Harriet to the spring for water, when I looked back and saw the house surrounded by an armed mob. We remained at the spring until they had gone. Then we got our water and went up to the house. They had taken father (George Simpson was their leader) up to Independence. We did not know what they were going to do with him; it might be kill him, as they had threatened. He had been put in prison once or twice before. After he had been gone awhile I was standing by the window looking the way the mob had gone, thinking of father, when I saw two men coming towards the house. One I knew. It was Albert Jackson, a young man. He was carrying a hat, coat, and vest. The other I thought was an Indian, and as they were coming right to the house, I was so frightened that I ran upstairs. When they came in, it was our dear father who had been tarred and feathered, giving him the appearance of an Indian. (Charles Allen was also tarred and feathered the same day.) They had done their work well for they had covered him with tar from head to foot except his face and the inside of his hands. I suppose hundreds witnessed the outrage. I have heard one woman affirm that she saw a bright light encircle his head while the mob was tarring him. I very well remember the clothes he had on when he went away. They were dark blue. I remember blankets were hung up around the fireplace to screen him while the tar was being scraped from him.”
598. The persecutions in Jackson County started in 1833. It would have begun a year earlier in 1832, except that a non-Mormon Indian agent put a stop to it. The agents name was William Clark from Lewis and Clark fame:
As the Church increased the hostile spirit of the people increased also—The enemies circulated from time to time, all manner of false stories against the saints, hoping thereby to stir up the indignation of others. In the spring of 1832 they began to brick-bat or stone the houses of the saints, breaking in window, &c., not only disturbing, but endangering the lives of the inmates. In the course of that season a county meeting was called at Independence, to adopt measures to drive our people from the county; but the meeting broke up, without coming to any agreement about them; having had too much confusion among themselves, to do more than to have a few knock-downs, after taking a plentiful supply of whiskey. The result of this meeting may be attributed in part, to the influence of certain patriotic individuals; among whom General Clark, a sub-Indian agent, may be considered as principal. He hearing of the meeting, came from his agency, or from home, some thirty or forty miles distant, a day or two before the meeting.
He appeared quite indignant, at the idea of having the constitution and laws set at defiance, and trodden under foot, by the many trampling upon the rights of the few. He went to certain influential mob characters, and offered to decide the case with them in single combat: he said that it would be better for one to two individuals to die, then for hundreds to be put to death.
599. Joseph Smith has now had open communication with Heavenly Father for ten years. In this ten year period, Joseph receives enough revelation to produce 100 Sections in the Doctrine and Covenants. On average, the prophet is receiving 10 revelations per year. It may not sound like much; just realize of course that the majority of these revelations were given since the organization of the Church three-and-a-half years earlier, primarily in 1831. A quick comparison with other scripture and their first 100 chapters might amaze you.
The Book of Mormon- The first 100 chapters (in chronological order beginning with the Jaredites) cover 20 centuries.
As you can see, the frequency of revelation in this dispensation was significant enough to establish the Lord’s Church again to man.
600. The situation in Missouri had turned ugly. Fueled by prejudice and hatred, those responsible for their protection (the state government) turned their backs on the Saints. Even those who preached Christ-like love to their congregations on the Sabbath, spread falsehoods throughout the community during the week. The Reverend Finnis Ewing indicated that, “The ‘Mormons’ are the common enemy of mankind and ought to be destroyed.” Other ministers went “from house to house seeking to destroy the Church by spreading slanderous falsehoods, to incite the people to acts of violence against the Saints.” But not all opposed the Saints, a sympathetic newspaper in Fayette, Missouri, the Western Monitor suggested that the Saints seek redress through political avenues in a series of articles published repressing the mob and its actions, but seeking of government aid also led to frustration on the part of the Missouri Saints.
601. “In June, 1833… the Bishop's Council, and a Council of twelve High Priests, was organized… It was at the same Council that Daniel Copley, a timid young man, who had been ordained a Priest, and required to go and preach the Gospel, was called to an account for not going on his mission. The young man said he was too weak to attempt to preach, and the Council cut him off the Church. I wonder what our missionaries now would think of so rigid a discipline as was given at that time thirty one years ago, under the immediate supervision of the Prophet.”
602. In an earlier revelation, the Lord stated that he would fight the battles for the Saints. This promise was literally fulfilled at the encampment of Zion’s Camp at Fishing River, Missouri on June 19, 1834 as illustrated in this next story:
“On June 19, the group had reached Daviess County and began to set up camp between the Little and Big Fishing Rivers. Five armed men rode into camp and told them that a group of Missourians were amassing with the intent of killing "Joe Smith and his army." A tremendous storm soon arose in which rain, hail, thunder and lighting came down upon the mob and prevented them from attacking the members of the camp. Joseph and the others took refuge for the night in a small Church not far away.
“When Colonel Sconce met Joseph Smith on June 21, he acknowledged "there is an Almighty power that protects this people, for I started from Richmond, Ray county, with a company of armed men, having a fixed determination to destroy you, but was kept back by the storm, and was not able to reach you."
“My first recollection of seeing the Prophet Joseph Smith was at a place about sixty or seventy miles from Kirtland, where two companies of Zion's Camp met. My impression on beholding the Prophet and shaking hands with him was, that I stood face to face with the greatest man on earth. I testify he was a Prophet of God.
“Zion's Camp, in passing through the state of Indiana, had to cross very bad swamps, consequently we had to attach ropes to the wagons to help them through, and the Prophet was the first man at the rope in his bare feet. This was characteristic of him in all times of difficulty.
“We continued our journey until we reached the Wakandaw River, having traveled twenty-five miles without resting or eating. We were compelled to ferry this stream; and we found on the opposite side of it a most desirable place to camp, which was a source of satisfaction to the now weary and hungry men. On reaching this place the Prophet announced to the camp that he felt impressed to travel on; and taking the lead, he invited the brethren to follow him.
“This caused a split in the camp. Lyman Wight and others at first refused to follow the Prophet, but finally came up. The sequel showed that the Prophet was inspired to move on a distance of some seven miles. It was reported to us afterwards that about eight miles below where we crossed the river a body of men was organized to come upon us that night.”
604. Joseph was continually plagued by bad press. For whatever reason, newspapers had a way of embellishing the facts, and never in favor of the Church or its leaders. The next story is an example of Joseph vs. the press. On 17 May 1834, the 205 members of Zion’s Camp passed through Richmond, Wayne County, Indiana—twenty-five miles south of Winchester—on their trek from Ohio to Missouri. The Richmond Palladium carried the story of their arrival in the Saturday, 24 May 1834 edition:
“Mormonites, On Monday morning last, a caravan of about 200 Mormonites with a long train of wagons, passed through this place on their way to the ‘Far West.’ There were but few women among them, and the men were generally (if not all) supplied with firearms. A stout, hardy looking set of fellows they were too, and many of them quite intelligent. From their equipment it had been suspected that they intend joining the defending of their brethren in Jackson County, Missouri.”
The Prophet Joseph Smith was with the group, and when Zion’s Camp again passed through Richmond on 27 July 1834 on their return trek to Ohio, the Prophet visited Winchester after a short stay in Richmond. Seventeen-year-old George A. Smith recorded in his journal the events that took place when Zion’s Camp arrived in Richmond:
“We all arrived at Richmond, Ind. The Richmond newspaper published that day had announced to the world the astounding news that Joe Smith, the Mormon leader, had had a battle with the mob in Jackson County and had been wounded in the leg. The limb had to be amputated, and three days later he died of mortification. Joseph and Hyrum visited the editor, but had difficulty to convince him he was not really dead. Here our party separated, making different routes.” (Journal of George A. Smith, Historical Department, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City.)
605. Before the Book of Mormon was even bound, while pages were lifted from the press and hung to dry, there were those individuals who copied from these pages with the desire to teach others. David Whitmer said, “The Book of Mormon was still in the hands of the printer, but my brother, Christian Whitmer, had copied from the manuscript the teachings and the doctrine of Christ, being the things which we were commanded to preach.”
Thomas B. Marsh is another who accepted the gospel as he saw the proof sheets in the Grandin Print Shop pulled from the press. However, what’s amazing is the story of Solomon Chamberlain. Solomon resided in Lyons, New York. In 1829, while traveling on the Erie Canal, he felt the Spirit convince him to leave the boat and venture into the town of Palmyra. He walked three miles south of the canal and stayed the night in a farm house. In the morning his host asked him if he was familiar or had heard of the “Gold Bible.” Solomon records, “There was a power like electricity went from the top of my head to the end of my toes.” Why would the mere mention of a book that he had never heard of before stir him to the core? Because, in 1816 he received a visitation from an angel declaring, “there would be a book come forth, like unto the Bible and the people would be guided by it, as well as the Bible.” The angel also taught him that the true gospel was not on the earth, but that it would soon be restored. For a few years Solomon had kept a constant watch for this book and now realized he was less than a mile from the Smith home. After receiving directions, Solomon eagerly made his way “across lots” to the Smith home. Arriving at the residence, Solomon found Joseph Smith Sr., Hyrum Smith, and Christian Whitmer. For two days Solomon received instructions from these men who also shared teachings from the Book of Mormon. Hyrum took him to the E. B. Grandin Printing Office where he was given 64 pages from the ancient record. He immediately recognized the pages in his hands as the book he had been searching for for a number of years. Hyrum Smith and Oliver Cowdery permitted him to take the pages to Canada and there began teaching the gospel truths that he had learned from an angel, the men at the Smith home, and the loose Book of Mormon transcript pages. Even though unordained, Solomon writes the following about his mission to Canada:
“I took [the pages] with their leave and pursued my journey to Canada, and I preached all that I knew concerning Mormonism, to all both high and low, rich and poor. …I did not see any one in traveling for 800 miles, that had ever heard of the Gold Bible (so called) I exhorted all people to prepare for the great work of God that was now about to come forth, and it would never be brought down nor confounded.”
606. It’s interesting that Warren Cowdery joined the Church, as a result of not seeing a bound copy of the Book of Mormon, but rather he too accepted the gospel by reading the proof sheets. Warren Cowdery would share these proof sheets with others in the town of Freedom, New York. William Hyde shares the following:
“In the year 1830 or 31, we began to hear something concerning the Book of Mormon, and the setting up of the Kingdom of God on earth in the last days. The little information that we gained upon this subject, until the Elders came preaching, was through Warren A. Cowdery, whose farm joined with ours. Warren A. obtained from his brother Oliver, at an early date, some of the proof sheets to the book of Mormon some of which we had the privilege of perusing, and we did not peruse any faster than we believed.”
607. Of the ninety-seven men who have served in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in this dispensation, one would fail to find the name of Lyman Sherman, the man noted for being called, but not actually ordained to the holy apostleship. What may be even more peculiar is the fact that Lyman was never notified of his call.
While Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, and Sidney Rigdon were confined to Liberty Jail, they sent a letter to Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball on January 16, 1839, instruction them to call George A. Smith and Lyman Sherman to the apostleship. The letter instructed both Brigham and Heber to “get the Twelve together, [and] ordain such as have not been ordained.” George A. Smith was chosen to replace the fallen Thomas B. Marsh, and Sherman was to replace the momentarily side-tracked Orson Hyde.
Don Carlos Smith, Joseph’s younger brother, informed George A. Smith late in January of 1839 of his call. Nevertheless, Lyman was never notified. At this time Lyman was suffering his last illness. Other than his sickness, it is not entirely uncertain why Brigham and Heber did not pass the news of his appointment on to Brother Sherman.
Lyndon W. Cook, “Lyman Sherman—Man of God, Would-be Apostle,” BYU Studies Vol. 19, (Fall 1978), 121-24.
“. . .a mighty angel riding upon a horse of fire, with a flaming sword in his hand, followed by five others, encircling the house, and protecting the Saints. . .from the power of Satan and a host of evil spirits, which were striving to disturb the Saints.”
“As I entered the door, I saw, seated on a raised platform, the most glorious Being my eyes have ever beheld or that I ever conceived existed in all the eternal worlds. As I approached to be introduced, he arose and stepped towards me with extended arms, and he smiled as he softly spoke my name. If I shall live to be a million years old, I shall never forget that smile. He took me into his arms and kissed me, pressed me to his bosom, and blessed me, until the marrow of my bones seemed to melt! When he had finished, I fell at his feet, and, as I bathed them with my tears and kisses, I saw the prints of the nails in the feet of the Redeemer of the world. The feeling that I had in the presence of him who hath all things in his hands, to have his love, his affection, and his blessing was such that if I ever can receive that of which I had but a foretaste, I would give all that I am, all that I ever hope to be, to feel what I then felt!”
Melvin J. Ballard, Melvin J. Ballard—Crusader for Righteousness (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966), 65-66.
Upon learning of the death of President Wilford Woodruff, President Snow dressed in his holy temple robes, retired to the sacred altar in the Salt Lake Temple, and poured out his heart to the Lord. He reminded the Lord how he had pleaded that President Woodruff outlive him, that he might not be called to bear the heavy burdens and responsibilities of Church leadership. “Nevertheless,” he prayed, “Thy will be done. I have not sought this responsibility, but if it be Thy will I will present myself before thee for Thy guidance and instruction. I ask that Thou show me what Thou wouldst have me do.”
After finishing the prayer, he expected a reply, some special manifestation from the Lord. He waited—and waited—and waited. There was no reply, no voice, no manifestation. He left the room in deep disappointment, passed through the celestial room and out into the large corridor leading to his own room, where a most glorious manifestation was given him. One of the most beautiful accounts of this experience is given by his granddaughter, Allie Young Pond: One day she and President Snow were walking in the Salt Lake Temple, and she tells of the following conversation:
After we left his room and while we were still in the large corridor, leading into the Celestial room, I was walking several steps ahead of Grandpa when he stopped me, saying, “Wait a moment, Allie, I want to tell you something. It was right here that the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to me at the time of the death of President Woodruff. …”
“Then grandpa came a step nearer and held out his left hand and said, ‘He stood right here, about three feet above the floor. It looked as though He stood on a plate of solid gold.’
“Grandpa told me what a glorious personage the Savior is and described His hands, feet, countenance and beautiful white robes, all of which were of such a glory of whiteness and brightness that he could hardly gaze upon Him.
“Then grandpa came another step nearer me and put his right hand on my head and said: ‘Now, granddaughter, I want you to remember that this is the testimony of your grandfather, that he told you with his own lips that he actually saw the Savior here in the Temple, and talked with Him face to face.’ ”
The revelation (D&C 111) put the best face on a misbegotten venture. Long after the event, Ebenezer Robinson, a printer in Nauvoo, remembered that a convert named Burgess had persuaded Church leaders that a large sum of money was hidden in the cellar of a Salem house. Perhaps Joseph believed he could identify the site… Less than encouraging, the Salem revelation opened with the words “I the Lord your God am not displeased with your coming this journey, notwithstanding your follies,” and tried to deflect the men to missionary work. “There are more treasures than one for you in this city.” The “wealth pertaining to gold and silver” could be obtained “in due time,” implying that meanwhile they should concentrate on people. For two weeks, the men taught from house to house, taking time out to visit the famous east India marine Society museum like ordinary tourists. On August 20, Rigdon lecture on “Christianity” at the lyceum. All the while they looked for the treasure-house. On August 19, Joseph wrote Emma that “we have found the house since Bro. Burgess left us, very luckily and providentially, as we had one spell been most discouraged.” They were plotting how to get possession. “The house is occupied, and it will require much care and patience to rent or buy it.” Joseph said they were willing to wait months if necessary, but by September, the party was back in Kirtland with no treasure for their pains.
Doctrine and Covenants 111:2 reads, “I have much treasure in this city for you, for the benefit of Zion, and many people in this city, whom I will gather out in due time for the benefit of Zion, through your instrumentality.” Joseph Smith and those with him may not have seen the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise on this trip, nevertheless other elders would reap the benefits as the following story indicates:
This promise was at least partially fulfilled in 1841, when Erastus Snow and Benjamin Winchester were called to preach the gospel in Salem. They were given a copy of this revelation along with a charge to fulfill the prophecy to gather out many people for the benefit of Zion. ‘Snow and Winchester arrived in Salem in September of 1841. They preached at public meetings, published a pamphlet addressed to the citizens of Salem, and challenged the notorious Mormon apostate John C. Bennett to debate. Their efforts bore fruit. By March 1842 they had organized the Salem Branch with 53 members. By the end of that summer, the branch had 90 members.’ In his private journal, Erastus Snow indicated that he baptized more than one hundred people in Salem from September 1841 until he returned to Nauvoo on 11 April 1843.
Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 2001), 4:75
612. The Lord mentions David Patten by name in this short two-verse section , stating, “. . .that he perform a mission unto me next spring. . .” David had performed a number of missions up to this point and seemed to have been blessed with the gift of healing as he was able to relieve much sickness and suffering. During his mission to Pennsylvania in the fall and winter of 1832-1833, he records the following in his autobiography:
“When we arrived at the Springfield (Pa.) Branch we met with brothers Hyrum and William Smith. We held a meeting and had a joyful time together, brother Hyrum baptized six at the close of the meeting: next day two were baptized. When we found any sick I preached to them faith in the ordinances of the Gospel, and where the truth found place in their hearts, I commanded them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to arise from their beds of sickness and be made whole; in many instances the people came after me to lay hands on their sick, because of this gift which the Lord had bestowed upon me, and almost daily, the sick were healed under my hands: a woman who had an infirmity for nearly twenty years was instantly healed. I arrived home in Kirtland, Feb. 25, 1833.
March 25. The Elders were sent out from Kirtland to preach the Gospel, and counsel the Saints to gather to Kirtland. I started with brother Cahoon east, and on reaching Avon I preached at father Bosley's, where there was a man present who had disturbed several of our meetings, and would not be civil or quiet; he had defied any man to put him out of the house or make him be still. I felt stirred up in spirit, and told him to be quiet, or I certainly would put him out; he said I could not do it; I replied, "In the name of the Lord I will do it," whereupon I walked up to him, and seizing him by the neck with one hand and by the seat of the breeches with my other hand, I carried him to the door, and threw him about ten feet on to a pile of wood, which quieted him for the time being. From this circumstance the saying went out that David Patten had cast out one Devil, soul and body.
613. Names of the Church through history: “Richard Lloyd Anderson, professor of religion and history, Brigham Young University A concise answer to this question is found by comparing the name of the Church on the title pages of the first three printings of the revelations: ‘The Church of Christ’ (Book of Commandments, 1833), ‘The Church of the Latter Day Saints’ (Doctrine and Covenants, 1835), and ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ (Doctrine and Covenants, 1844).
“The Savior told the Nephites that his church should be called in his name. (See 3 Ne. 27:8.) As a result, the restored Church’s official title from 1830 to 1834 was ‘The Church of Christ.’ That title is found in the revelation on the organization and government of the Church (D&C 20:1) and in early minute books. During this period, however, members of the Church regularly called themselves ‘saints’; the word saint is used approximately three dozen times in the D&C before 1834.
“On 3 May 1834, official action modified the name of the Church. In a priesthood conference presided over by Joseph Smith, a motion passed ‘by unanimous voice’ that the Church be known as ‘The Church of the Latter Day Saints.’ (See The Evening and the Morning Star, May 1834, 2:160.) This alteration was not seen as a de-emphasis of Christ; on the contrary, it was done in hopes that the name of the Church would more clearly reflect the fact that Christ was at its head.
“In the same issue of the Kirtland newspaper in which the announcement appeared, an editorial explained that the change stemmed from a misleading nickname: the ‘Mormonite’ church. The new name also had these advantages: (1) Since American Christians, including Congregationalists and reformers, frequently designated themselves as ‘The Church of Christ,’ that title did not distinguish the restored gospel from a host of Protestant sects. (2) Since Paul and Peter used the Greek word saint (‘a holy person’) to refer to believers in Christ, the term Latter-day Saints implied that Church members were modern followers of Christ. Thus it also asserted the claim of restoration.
“Just as the term saint flourished when the official name was ‘The Church of Christ,’ the name of Christ regularly supplemented the official name of ‘The Church of the Latter Day Saints.’ For example, in 1835, the church was referred to as ‘the church of Christ’ and the Twelve apostles were commissioned as ‘special witnesses of the name of Christ.’ (D&C 107:59, 23) The Saints certainly did not feel that the Church was leaving out the name of Christ.
“Sometimes during this period the first and second titles would be combined—‘the church of Christ of Latter Day saints’—as they were in priesthood minutes (Messenger and Advocate, Feb. 1836, 2:266) and in the publication of the first high council minutes (see headnote, D&C 5, 1835 edition).
“A vivid illustration of the way members then understood the official name of the Church is found in a letter from John Smith, the Prophet’s uncle, to his son Elias before the latter was converted. Writing 19 Oct. 1834, Uncle John answers the question of why the name could be changed:
‘The Church of Christ is the Church of Saints and always was. This is the reason why the apostle directed letters sometimes to the Church of God, others to the Church, and again to the Brethren, sometimes to the Saints, always meaning the Church of Christ.’ (Archives, University of Utah)
“Thus, the final version of the Church’s name was no radical shift from the previous practice of using both ‘Christ’ and ‘Saints’ in designating the restored Church and its members. Revealed on 26 April 1838 (D&C 115:4), the full title, ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,’ is striking by comparison to the names of the scores of churches that obscure their Christianity under the label of their founders or of some characteristic belief or aspect of church organization. It is a highly effective name, for while it is distinctive, it indicates that Jesus is at its head. It is also descriptive of divine restoration. And it is more than a name—it is a public commitment to a holy life through the Savior’s power.”
614. In Section 115 verses 7 and 8 the Lord commands, “Let the city, Far West, be a holy and consecrated land unto me; and it shall be called most holy, for the ground upon which thou standest is holy. Therefore, I command you to build a house unto me, for the gathering together of my saints, that they may worship me.” The Saints wasted little time. On July 3, 1838, 500 men excavated the trench for the foundation (80 x 120 feet) in half a day.
It was on July 4, 1838, during the cornerstone laying ceremony, that Sidney Rigdon gave his famous Independence Day speech which incited the mob and eventually led to the Saints expulsion from the state. It was also from the temple site, just after midnight on the early morning of April 26, 1839 that five of the Twelve Apostles and other members met, in spite of the risk of personal danger (the Saints were now pushed out of the state and any member caught faced imprisonment and even the fear of death) to fulfill prophecy that the mission to England would depart from the temple site. A meeting was held and part of the foundation laid.
615. City of Seth: On Saturday, September 1, 1838, the First Presidency made its way from Far West toward Littlefield's halfway house—about halfway between Adam-ondi-Aham and Far West—for the purpose of appointing a city of Zion. It was named the City of Seth in honor of Adam's son. The center of this city, which could have been the site of a public square and future temple, was never established due to the expulsion of the Saints from Missouri shortly after the city was appointed.
616. In Section 118 of the Doctrine and Covenants, we are introduced to John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, John E. Page and Willard Richards as they are to, “be appointed to fill the places of those who have fallen, and be officially notified of their appointment.”
At the time of the call, John E. Page was on route to Missouri with a group of Canadian Saints. He had served in Canada on a mission for two years, traveling over 5,000 miles and baptizing over 600 converts.
617. The mission to England was inspired as it infused the Church with many new members at a time when a number of people had apostatized in America. Wilford Woodruff labored successfully throughout the cities of Britain converting many. The following are two missionary experiences of Elder Woodruff.
Wilford Woodruff just seemed to have a way with ministers. Whether preaching from their pulpits or at baptisms, he just seemed to have the knack to get them a little wet (baptized). On one occasion, while baptizing new converts into the Church, he had two ministers ride up and also request baptism. These ministers went away rejoicing.
As the Church was growing in the Hawcross area of England, so was the opposition. A number of the residents requested baptism. Wilford told them that if they had the faith to be baptized that he had the faith to administer the ordinance. Surrounded by a mob, and threatened with physical violence, the small group headed off for the pond. Wilford Woodruff reported, “I walked into the water with my mind stayed on God and baptized five persons while they were pelting my body with stones, one of which hit me on the head and came very near knocking me down.”
618. When the Lord spelled out the Law of Tithing it was different from what we are expected to pay as “members in good standing.” The Lord taught the Prophet Joseph in verses 4 and 5 that not only are they to tithe “one-tenth of all their interest annually” but that they were to also “be tithed of their surplus properties.”
By the time the Saints entered the Salt Lake Valley the expectations were increased as explained by Parley P. Pratt:
Once they had become established in their Great Basin communities, LDS pioneers were expected to pay three types of tithes: property, increase, and labor. Apostle Parley P. Pratt, on October 7, 1849, gave perhaps the first Utah discourse that details the triple tithe. First, he said, “To fulfill the law of tithing a man should make out and lay before the [Presiding] Bishop [then Newell K. Whitney] a schedule of all his property, and pay him the tenth of it.” That is, he should pay a one-time initiatory tithe on all property he possessed. “when he has tithed his principal once,” Pratt continued, “he has no occasion to tithe again” on that property. But the next year he must pay one-tenth of his increase of “cattle, money, goods and trade.” A member also owed “the tenth of his time”—a labor tithe of each tenth day of man, young man, and work animals and wagons for the days not devoted to producing income or increase.
Journal History, 7 October 1849, Archives, Historical Department, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City.
619. Internal difficulties were brewing as the Saints poured into Caldwell County, where they constructed log houses and prepared the soil for spring planting. Thomas Marsh and Elisha Groves returned early in 1837 from their fund-raising mission in Kentucky and Tennessee and turned $1450 over to W. W. Phelps and John Whitmer, counselors in the stake presidency, since President David Whitmer was in Ohio. The counselors used the money to buy more land, but they purchased it in their own names and then sold it to the Saints at a small profit, which they retained. Several members of the Church immediately protested, and some of the high council complained that the counselors were also making decisions regarding Far West without consulting them. At a series of meetings in Far West in April, these brethren acknowledged their wrongs, and reconciliation was achieved. It was decided that Edward Partridge, acting with the counsel of the stake presidency, the high council, and two Apostles who were in Missouri—Thomas B. Marsh and David Patten—would distribute the lands.
A month later, however, Phelps and Whitmer again offended the high council and the Apostles with further attempts to profit from land deals… Early in February 1838 the high council tried John Whitmer and W. W. Phelps for misusing Church funds…Therefore, on 10 February the high council, with the assistance of two Apostles, excommunicated W. W. Phelps and John Whitmer.
Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1981), 183-184.
“You undoubtedly remember the visit which I, in company with Elder Groves, made to the churches in Kentucky and Tennessee in the summer of 1836. You may also recollect the nature and result of our visit. We came to solicit assistance for poor bleeding Zion. And we obtained through the goodness of the children of God in those regions, the sum of fourteen hundred and fifty dollars, which we delivered unto William W. Phelps and John Whitmer on our arrival at this place. But these men, instead of laying out the money for the benefit of poor bleeding Zion, purchased land for their own emolument. They generally did their business independently of the aid or counsel of either the bishop or high council. This gave some uneasiness to the two authorities of Zion, not only because they purchased land with church funds in their own name for their own aggrandizement, but because they selected the place for the city Far West and appointed the spot for the house of the Lord to be built on, drew the plan of said house, and appointed and ordained a committee to build the same, without asking or seeking counsel at the hand of either bishop, high council, or first presidency, when it was well understood that these authorities were appointed for the purpose of counseling on all important matters pertaining to the Saints of God.
Elders' Journal of the Church of Latter Day Saints, vol. 1 (October 1837-August 1838), Volume 1, Number 3, Far West, Missouri, July 1838 (whole No. 3) 37.
620. While the prisoners were at Independence, Missouri, they were given the free hand to walk throughout town as they pleased with “a certain keeper being appointed merely to look to us.” In fact, after only a few days in Independence they were moved from the house that they were being kept in to a more comfortable hotel which Parley P. Pratt refers to as “in the best style of which the place was capable.” At one point Pratt “walked out of town and visited the desolate lands” which used to be inhabited by the Latter-day Saints and also the place dedicated seven years previously for the building of a temple, “it being a beautiful rise of ground, about half a mile west of Independence. When we saw it last it was a wilderness, but now our enemies had robbed it of every stick of timber, and it presented a beautiful rolling field of pasture, being covered with grass.” Parley also mentioned the attitudes of General Wilson and those who were assigned to guard them as “politeness and attention on their part, and much cheerfulness and good feeling on our own.”
Parley P. Pratt, History of the Late Persecution Inflicted by the State of Missouri upon the Mormons (Detroit: Dawson and Bates, Printers, 1839), 46-47.
When interviewed by Andrew Jenson and Joseph S. Black in September 1888 during a visit to Church history sites in Missouri, James H. Ford, the Clay County deputy sheriff in charge at the Jail when the Mormon prisoners were there, said he had, “On many occasions,” taken the men out one at a time for walks around the town, in order to give them an opportunity “to enjoy the fresh air and get better meals then the jail fare allowed.” He said he never looked upon Joseph Smith and his friends as “real criminals” but ascribed their incarceration mainly to “the excitement and bigotry of the times.” Ford added that he took the best care of the prisoners he could, and “it was a lie that they had been fed on human flesh.”
621. The following is from Josiah Quincy, mayor of Boston, who, while traveling was convinced by another traveler to stop in Nauvoo, Illinios and seek out Joseph Smith:
It is by no means improbable that some future textbook, for the use of generations yet unborn, will contain a question something like this: What historical American of the nineteenth century has exerted the most powerful influence upon the destinies of his countrymen? And it is by no means impossible that the answer to that interrogatory may be thus written: Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet. And the reply, absurd as it doubtless seems to most men now living, may be an obvious commonplace to their descendants. History deals in surprises and paradoxes quite as startling as this. The man who established a religion in this age of free debate, who was and is today accepted by hundreds of thousands as a direct emissary from the Most High,--such a rare human being is not to be disposed of by pelting his memory with unsavory epithets. Fanatic, imposter, charlatan, he may have been; but these hard names furnish no solution to the problem he presents to us. Fanatics and impostors are living and dying every day, and their memory is buried with them; but the wonderful influence which this founder of a religion exerted and still exerts throws him into relief before us, not as a rogue to be criminated, but as a phenomenon to be explained. The most vital questions Americans are asking each other today have to do with this man and what he has left us. Is there any remedy heroic enough to meet the case, yet in accordance with our national doctrines of liberty and toleration, which can be applied to the demoralizing doctrines now advanced by the sect which he created? The possibilities of the Mormon system are unfathomable. Polygamy may be followed by still darker "revelations." Here is a society resting upon foundations which may at any moment be made subversive of every duty which we claim from the citizen. Must it be reached by that last argument which quenched the evil fanaticisms of Mulhausen and Munster? A generation other than mine must deal with these questions. Burning questions they are, which must give a prominent place in the history of the country to that sturdy self-asserter whom I visited at Nauvoo.
“I had previously preached in Washington, and one of my sermons I find reported in synopsis, by a member of Congress; which I will insert entire.”
Matthew L. Davis writes the following to his wife (I only give the first paragraph of his letter. In a sense, the second sentence is partial fulfillment of the promise in verse 1):
Washington 6th February 1840 My Dear Mary- I went last evening to hear Joe Smith, the celebrated Mormon, expound his doctrine. I with several others, had a desire to understand his tenets as explained by himself. He is not an educated man: but he is a plain, sensible strong minded man. Everything he says, is said in a manner to leave an impression that he is sincere. There is no levity, no fanaticism, no want of dignity in his deportment. He is apparently from forty to forty five years of age, rather above the middle stature, and what you ladies would call a very good looking man. ln his garb there are no peculiarities, his dress being that of a plain unpretending citizen. He is by profession a Farmer; but is evidently well read.
623. First, the Mormons suffered severe property losses for which their attempts to receive compensation failed. Their losses were not just in Caldwell County but were compounded losses incurred during eight years of living in and being forced from several counties. Their petitions for redress, filed between 1839 and 1845, included a thousand claims. Losses in Caldwell alone, as listed in these petitions, included ten thousand acres of land and big losses of crops, livestock, tools, plows, wagons, bridles, harnesses, saws, axes, rifles, pistols, swords, fence rails, beds, blankets, quilts, tin plates, chairs, and tents. Affidavits said that the army under Clark destroyed large amounts of timber, lumber, cattle, and hogs—even the shooting of some animals for sport. The flip side of Mormon losses was that Missouri dodged having to compensate the victims, which saved the state hundreds of thousands of dollars.
624. Although the Saints had incurred heavy losses previous to 1838, the final attempt at any recourse was significantly dimmed with Lilburn W. Boggs infamous Executive Order 44, otherwise known as the Extermination order. Alvah Boggs, the great grandson to Lilburn W. Boggs, and convert to the Church in 1956, has this to say about his great-grandfather:
My Brothers and Sisters, I indeed feel humble. I am just a recent convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to be exact, just one week. . . My great-grandfather should have done everything in his power to protect any group of people or persons who wanted to worship God in any manner that they cared to worship him. This he certainly denied The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I feel very remorseful for my parental linage for that particular thing. . . .I joined the Church because I believe in my heart this is the Church of God.
625. Joseph Smith was commanded by the Lord to make a proclamation to the leaders of the world. W. W. Phelps worked on this project, but with everything else happening in Nauvoo it was placed on the back burner. It wasn’t until 1845 that the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, mostly as a result of Parley P. Pratt, that the proclamation was eventually sent. It begins:
President Ezra Taft Benson felt it essential to issue a similar proclamation to the leaders of nations in 1975. It reads as follows:
Today I shall speak doctrine, by way of warning and of testimony, and shall do so as one holding the holy apostleship, whose responsibility it is to proclaim the Lord’s message in all the world and to all people. Each of my brethren of the Council of the Twelve has the same responsibility I have to declare these things to the world and to bear record of them before all men.
“‘Make a solemn proclamation of my gospel . . . to all the kings of the world, to the four corners thereof . . . and to all nations of the earth.’ ( D&C 124:2–3 .) He was to invite them to come to the light of truth, and use their means to build up the kingdom of God on earth.
“In the spirit of this divine direction, on the sixth day of April 1845, and shortly after the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum had mingled their blood with that of the other martyrs of true religion, the Council of the Twelve made such a proclamation. . . .
“It seems fitting and proper to me that we should reaffirm the great truths pronounced in this declaration and that we should proclaim them anew to the world.
“To the rulers and peoples of all nations, we solemnly declare again that the God of heaven has established his latter-day kingdom upon the earth in fulfillment of prophecies. Holy angels have again communed with men on the earth. God has again revealed himself from heaven and restored to the earth his holy priesthood with power to administer in all the sacred ordinances necessary for the exaltation of his children. His church has been reestablished among men with all the spiritual gifts enjoyed anciently. All this is done in preparation for Christ’s second coming. The great and dreadful day of the Lord is near at hand. In preparation for this great event and as a means of escaping the impending judgments, inspired messengers have gone, and are now going, forth to the nations of the earth carrying this testimony and warning.
“The nations of the earth continue in their sinful and unrighteous ways. Much of the unbounded knowledge with which men have been blessed has been used to destroy mankind instead of to bless the children of men as the Lord intended. Two great world wars, with fruitless efforts at lasting peace, are solemn evidence that peace has been taken from the earth because of the wickedness of the people. Nations cannot endure in sin. They will be broken up, but the kingdom of God will endure forever.
“Therefore, as humble servants of the Lord, we call upon the leaders of nations to humble themselves before God, to seek his inspiration and guidance. We call upon rulers and people alike to repent of their evil ways. Turn unto the Lord, seek his forgiveness, and unite yourselves in humility with his kingdom. There is no other way. If you will do this, your sins will be blotted out, peace will come and remain, and you will become a part of the kingdom of God in preparation for Christ’s second coming. But if you refuse to repent or to accept the testimony of his inspired messengers and unite yourselves with God’s kingdom, then the terrible judgments and calamities promised the wicked will be yours. . . .
“When the voice of warning goes forth it is always attended by testimony. In the great declaration issued by the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ in 1845, this is the testimony which was borne, and we who are the apostles today renew it as our witness:
“‘We say, then, in life or in death, in bonds or free, that the great God has spoken in this age.— And we know it .
“‘He has given us the Holy Priesthood and Apostleship, and the keys of the kingdom of God, to bring about the restoration of all things as promised by the holy prophets of old.— And we know it .
“‘He has revealed the origin and the Records of the aboriginal tribes of America, and their future destiny.— And we know it .
“‘He has revealed the fulness of the gospel, with its gifts, blessings, and ordinances.— And we know it .
“‘He has commanded us to bear witness of it, first to the Gentiles, and then to the remnants of Israel and the Jews.— And we know it .
“‘He has also said that, if they do not repent, and come to the knowledge of the truth, . . . and also put away all murder, lying, pride, priestcraft, whoredom, and secret abomination, they shall soon perish from the earth, and be cast down to hell.— And we know it .
“‘He has said, that when . . . the gospel in all its fulness [is] preached to all nations for a witness and testimony, He will come, and all Saints with him, to reign on the earth one thousand years.— And we know it .
“‘He has said that he will not come in his glory and destroy the wicked, till these warnings were given and these preparations were made for his reception.— And we know it .
“‘Heaven and earth shall pass away, but not one jot or tittle of his revealed word shall fail to be fulfilled.
“‘Therefore, again we say to all people, Repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, for remission of sins; and you shall receive the Holy Spirit, and shall know the truth, and be numbered with the house of Israel.
In the early 1840s, Nauvoo had four landing sites—the Upper Stone House Landing, the Kimball Wharf, the Lower Stone House Landing, and the Main Street Dock near Joseph Smith’s Homestead and later the Nauvoo House. Each of these locations likely would have provided a suitable place for baptisms to be performed, although the ordinance was conducted at any number of locations near the riverbank. Traditionally, the Main Street Landing has been the site generally believed to be where baptism, both for the living and the dead, was performed most frequently. There is a good possibility that Alvin Smith, Joseph Smith’s older brother who died in November 1823, was one of the first deceased persons to have his baptismal work performed. Lucy Mack Smith recalled that just prior to her husband’s death, Joseph told his father, “that it was . . . the privilege of the Saints to be baptized for the dead,” whereupon Joseph Sr., requested
that, “Joseph be baptized for Alvin immediately.” Significantly, Joseph Sr., died on 14 September 1840, less than a month after the Prophet first taught the doctrine of baptism for the dead and only two days after Jane Neyman was baptized in behalf of her deceased son. If Joseph and the Smith family were true to their father’s request that Alvin’s baptism be done “immediately,” the likelihood exists that it was performed sometime around mid-
September. The record containing the early proxy ordinance information indicates that Hyrum acted as proxy (not Joseph, as Father Smith requested), but does not give any other date than the year 1840.The ordinance was performed for Alvin a second time, again by Hyrum in 1841, and was probably done after the font was completed and dedicated in the basement of the Temple. A friend and contemporary of the Prophet, Arocet Hale, stated that Joseph Smith instructed the Saints, “to have the work done over as quick as the temple was finished, when it could be done more perfect.”
627. It’s obvious that there were some irregularities with the ordinance pertaining to baptisms for the dead in the early church. It’s understandable that there would be a developmental period with this practice from the Nauvoo years to the way we perform the ordinance today. For instance, at the first baptism for the dead in September of 1840, a female, Jane Neyman was baptized for her son, a male. Second, the witness, again a female, Vienna Jacques, was not a priesthood holder. Third, history is silent whether there was a confirmation coupled with the baptism. Finally, fourth, records were not always kept. In 1873 Brigham Young taught the following:
“When Joseph received the revelation that we have in our possession concerning the dead, the subject was opened to him, not in full but in part, and he kept on receiving. When he had first received the knowledge by the spirit of revelation how the dead could be officiated for, there are brethren and sisters here, I can see quite a number here who were in Nauvoo, and you recollect that when this doctrine was first revealed and in hurrying in the administration of baptism for the dead, that sisters were baptized for their male friends, were baptized for their fathers, their grandfathers, their mothers and their grandmothers, &c. I just mention this so that you will come to understanding, that as we knew nothing about this matter at first, the old Saints recollect, there was little by little given, and the subject was made plain, but little was given at once. Consequently, in the first place people were baptized for their friends and no record was kept. Joseph afterwards kept a record, &c. Then women were baptized for men and men for women.”
“I saw Elders baptizing for the dead in the Mississippi River. This was something new to me and the beauty of this great principle dawned upon me. I had never heard of such a doctrine then. Orson Pratt was baptizing. Brother Joseph stood on the banks.”
“I remembered Joseph Smith performing more than two hundred baptisms in the Mississippi River. “Then the apostles and other elders went into the river and continued the same ordinance. Hundreds were baptized there.”
“. . . that Joseph Smith ‘went into the Mississippi River, and so did I, as well as others, and we each baptized a hundred for the dead.’”
-Even though Joseph Smith performed many baptisms for the dead, there is no record indicating that he was a proxy at a baptism.
Although the Saints were instructed not to perform proxy baptisms outside the temple after the October 1841 conference, a few recorded instances were found showing that there were exceptions to the policy. Charlotte Haven, a non-Latter-day Saint who lived in Nauvoo in 1842-43, wrote a letter to her family in the east describing a baptismal service she observed being
“Last Sunday morning . . . was a balmy spring day, so we took a bee-line for the river, down the street north of our house. Arriving there we rested a while on a log, watching the thin sheets of ice as they slowly came down and floated by. Then we followed the bank toward town, and rounding a little point covered with willows and cottonwoods, we spied quite a crowd of people, and soon perceived there was a baptism. Two elders stood knee- deep in the ice cold water, and immersed one another as fast as they could come down the bank. We soon observed that some of
them went in and were plunged several times. We were told that they were baptized for the dead who had not had an opportunity of adopting the doctrines of the Latter Day Saints. So these poor mortals in ice-cold water were releasing their ancestors and relatives from purgatory! We drew a little nearer and heard several names repeated by the elders as the victims were douched, and you can imagine our surprise when the name George Washington was called. So after these fifty years he is out of purgatory and on his way to the ‘celestial’ heaven! It was enough and we continued our walk homeward.”
A man came to me in Kirtland, and told me he had seen an angel, and described his dress. I told him he had seen no angel, and that there was no such dress in heaven. He grew mad, and went into the street and commanded fire to come down out of heaven to consume me. I laughed at him, and said, You are one of Baal’s prophets; your God does not hear you; jump up and cut yourself: and he commanded fire from heaven to consume my house.
Why could Joseph state that the man had not seen an angel? It’s because he had received numerous visitations of personalities from all dispensations.
“About this time we began to hear more about the "Golden Bible" that had been found by "Joe Smith" the "money digger," etc., etc. My elder brother, David, having gone to visit Joel H. in Amherst, Ohio, had remained there until the next season, in the spring of which the first elders, going from Kirtland to Missouri, stopped and raised up a large branch of the Church into which both of my brothers were baptized. Previous to this, rumors had come from Ohio of the spread of what was called "Campbellism," a new sect, of which Sidney Rigdon was then the chief apostle, and through fear that my brothers would become deluded by the new doctrines, my mother had written a letter of caution to them, which was soon answered to say that they had both joined the "Mormonites" (then so called), believers in the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon or "Golden Bible." This news came upon us almost as a horror and a disgrace. The first news was soon followed by the Book of Mormon, accompanied by a lengthy explanation, on the receipt of which my mother, brother Seth, sister Nancy, and Lyman R. Sherman, with some of the neighbors, all devoted to religion, would meet together secretly to read the Book of Mormon and accompanying letter, or perhaps to deplore the delusion into which my brothers had fallen. But their reading soon led to marveling at the simplicity and purity of what they read, and at the spirit which accompanied it, bearing witness to its truth. After a few days of secrecy I was permitted to meet with them, to hear it read, being then 13 years of age; and in listening, a feeling of the most intense anxiety came over me to learn more. It seemed as if I must hear it all before I could be satisfied; and the principle of faith began to spring up in my heart to believe it. This was in the early fall of 1831. Now a bright hope began to arise in my heart that there really was a living prophet on the earth, and my greatest fear was that it would not prove true.
“Later in the fall my brothers came from Ohio to see us and bear their testimony, and were accompanied by Almon W. Babbitt, then not seventeen years of age. They bore a faithful testimony, but neither of them seemed capable of teaching in a public capacity. As a family we were being converted to the truth, when unexpectedly there came to us Elders James Brackinbury and Jabez Durfee. Elder Brackinbury was a capable man and a great reasoner, and the Spirit of the Lord rested mightily upon him, confirming the words we had already received. My mother, and Lyman R. Sherman, my brother-in-law, were soon baptized, shortly followed by the baptism of all my brothers and sisters who had attained their majority. At this time my father was employed upon job work as a canter in Fredonia and not being inclined to accept the gospel, would not permit us minor children to receive our baptism. My mother, brothers, sisters, brother-in-law and neighbors who were now in the church had always been esteemed among the most eminent in religious society, and the news spreading around, the priests began to howl about Faith, Prophets, and Delusions, and to do all possible to turn us away from the truth, calling publicly for "signs," etc., asking why my sister Nancy, who then walked upon crutches, was not healed? But upon the subject of her being healed I have written more full in "Faith Promoting Series."
631. Benjamin Johnson relates when he was first taught the principle of plural marriage. The following from his autobiography:
“As I have alluded to the law of plural marriage [D&C 132] I will relate the time and manner in which it was taught to me.
“About the first of April, 1843, the Prophet with some of the Twelve and others came to Macedonia to hold a meeting, which was to convene in a large cabinet shop owned by Brother Joseph E. and myself, and as usual he put up at my house. Early on Sunday morning he said, "Come Brother Bennie, let us have a walk." I took his arm and he led the way into a by-place in the edge of the woods surrounded by tall brush and trees. Here, as we sat down upon a log he began to tell me that the Lord had revealed to him that plural or patriarchal marriage was according to His law; and that the Lord had not only revealed it to him but had commanded him to obey it; that he was required to take other wives; and that he wanted my Sister Almira for one of them, and wished me to see and talk to her upon the subject. If a thunderbolt had fallen at my feet I could hardly have been more shocked or amazed. He saw the struggle in my mind and went on to explain. But the shock was too great for me to comprehend anything, and in almost an agony of feeling I looked him squarely in the eye, and said, while my heart gushed up before him, "Brother Joseph, this is all new to me; it may all be true--you know, but I do not. To my education it is all wrong, but I am going, with the help of the Lord to do just what you say, with this promise to you--that if ever I know you do this to degrade my sister I will kill you, as the Lord lives." He looked at me, oh, so calmly, and said, "Brother Benjamin, you will never see that day, but you shall see the day you will know it is true, and you will fulfill the law and greatly rejoice in it." And he said, "At this morning's meeting, I will preach you a sermon that no one but you will understand. And furthermore, I will promise you that when you open your mouth to your sister, it shall be filled."
Section 132 contains the doctrinal basis of the practice of plural marriage. Although some were distressed by it, others found plural marriage "the most holy and important doctrine ever revealed" (W. Clayton, in A. Jensen, Historical Record 6:226). This revelation was recorded on July 12, 1843, in the brick store in Nauvoo. At the urging of Hyrum Smith so that Emma Smith might be convinced of its truth, the Prophet Joseph Smith dictated it sentence by sentence. Clayton reported that "after the whole was written Joseph asked me to read it through, slowly and carefully, which I did, and he pronounced it correct" (CHC 2:106-7). That evening, Bishop Newel K. Whitney received permission to copy the revelation. The next day, his clerk, Joseph C. Kingsbury, copied the document, which Whitney and Kingsbury proofread against the original. This copy was given to Brigham Young in March 1847; it was officially adopted as revelation at a general conference in Salt Lake City in August 1852, and was first published for public review in the Deseret News in September 1852.
632. The date in the heading of the Revelation on the Eternity of the Marriage Covenant, Including the Plurality of Wives, notes the time at which the revelation was committed to writing, not the time at which the principles set forth in the revelation were first made known to the Prophet… There is indisputable evidence that the revelation making known this marriage law was given to the Prophet as early as 1831. In that year, and thence intermittently up to 1833, the Prophet was engaged in a revision of the English Bible text under the inspiration of God, Sidney Rigdon in the main acting as his scribe. As he began his revision with the Old Testament, he would be dealing with the age of the Patriarchs in 1831. He was doubtless struck with the favor in which the Lord held the several Bible Patriarchs of that period, notwithstanding they had a plurality of wives. What more natural than that he should inquire of the Lord at that time, when his mind must have been impressed with the fact—Why, O Lord, didst Thou justify Thy servants, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; as also Moses, David, and Solomon, in the matter of their having many wives and concubines (see opening paragraph of the Revelation)? In answer to that inquiry came the revelation, though not then committed to writing.
Corroborative evidences of the fact of the revelation having been given thus early in the Prophet's career are to be found in the early charges against the Church about its belief in "polygamy." For example: When the Book of Doctrine and Covenants was presented to the several quorums of the priesthood of the Church for acceptance in the general assembly of that body, the 17th of August, 1835, an article on "Marriage" was presented by W. W. Phelps, which for many years was published in the Doctrine and Covenants. It was not a revelation, nor was it presented as such to the general assembly of the priesthood. It was an article, however, that represented the views of the assembly on the subject of marriage at that time, unenlightened as they were by the revelation already given to the Prophet on the subject. What the Prophet Joseph's connection was with this article cannot be learned. Whether he approved it or not is uncertain, since he was absent from Kirtland at the time of the general assembly of the priesthood which accepted it, on a visit to the Saints in Michigan (see History of the Church, Vol. I, pp. 243-53).
"Inasmuch as this Church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife, and one woman but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again."
From this it is evident that as early at least as 1835 a charge of polygamy was made against the Church. Why was that the case unless the subject of "polygamy" had been mooted within the Church? Is it not evident that some one to whom the Prophet had confided the knowledge of the revelation he had received concerning the rightfulness of plural marriage—under certain circumstances—had unwisely made some statement concerning the matter?
Again, in May, 1836, in Missouri, in a series of questions asked and answered through the Elder's Journal, the following occurs:
This again represents the belief of the Saints at that time, unenlightened as they then were by the revelation received by their Prophet. But again, why this question unless there had been some agitation of the subject? Had some one before the time had come for making known this doctrine to the Church, again unwisely referred to the knowledge which had been revealed to the Prophet some seven years earlier?
All these incidents blend together and make it clearly evident that the revelation on marriage was given long before the 12th of July, 1843. Doubtless as early as 1831.
In addition to these indirect evidences is the direct testimony of the late Elder Orson Pratt, of the council of the Twelve Apostles. In 1878, in company with President Joseph F. Smith, Elder Pratt visited several states east of the Mississippi in the capacity of a missionary; and at Plano, Illinois, at a meeting of the so-called Reorganized Church of the Latter-day Saints, he was invited by the presiding officer, a Mr. Dille, and the meeting, to occupy the time, which he did. In his remarks, according to his own and his companion's report of the meeting—
"Elder Pratt gave a plain, simple narration of his early experience in the Church, relating many interesting incidents connected with its rise; explained the circumstances under which several revelations were received by Joseph, the Prophet, and the manner in which he received them, he being present on several occasions of the kind. Declared [that] at such times Joseph used the Seer-stone when inquiring of the Lord, and receiving revelation, but that he was so thoroughly endowed with the inspiration of the Almighty and the spirit of revelation that he often received them without any instrument, or other means than the operation of the spirit upon his mind. Referred to the testimony which he received of the truth of the great latter-day work while yet a boy. Testified that these things were not matters of belief only with him, but of actual knowledge. He explained the circumstances connected with the coming forth of the revelation on plural marriage. Refuted the statement and belief of those present that Brigham Young was the author of that revelation; showed that Joseph Smith the Prophet had not only commenced the practice himself, and taught it to others, before President Young and the Twelve had returned from their mission in Europe, in 1841, but that Joseph actually received revelations upon that principle as early as 1831. Said 'Lyman Johnson, who was very familiar with Joseph at this early date, Joseph living at his father's house, and who was also very intimate with me, we having traveled on several missions together, told me himself that Joseph had made known to him as early as 1831, that plural marriage was a correct principle. Joseph declared to Lyman that God had revealed it to him, but that the time had not come to teach or practice it in the Church, but that the time would come.' To this statement Elder Pratt bore his testimony. He cited several instances of Joseph having had wives sealed to him, one at least as early as April 5th, 1841, which was some time prior to the return of the Twelve from England. Referred to his own trial in regard to this matter in Nauvoo, and said it was because he got his information from a wicked source, from those disaffected, but as soon as he learned the truth, he was satisfied.
(History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols., introduction and notes by B. H. Roberts [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1932-1951], 5: xxix-xxxii.)
633. As mentioned earlier, the revelations were taken to Independence to be printed into the Book of Commandments. This we know never happened as the press was destroyed. If it wasn’t for Mary and Caroline Rollins, the revelations would also have been destroyed by the mob. What some people may not realize, was it wasn’t only the two girls that helped to save the revelations, but also a young man by the name of John Taylor (Not the same John Taylor as the future president of the Church). It is said that he risked his life reaching between the logs of the print shop and retrieving some of the revelations. He was fortunate to escape as the mob noticed him and attempted to stone him.
“[The mob] frequently searched my father’s house, and were very insulting in their deportment. They also searched other houses of the Saints, including that of President Joseph Smith, who at the time was confined in Liberty Jail. Joseph’s confinement in jail, coupled with the ruthless invasions of the mob, caused his scribe, Elder James Mulholland, to seek a place of safety for important church papers in his possession. Among the papers in Mulholland’s keeping was the manuscript of the Inspired Translation of the Bible, the revelation on the rebellion, etc., etc. Brother Mulholland requested me to take charge of the papers, as he thought they would be more secure with me, because I was a woman, and the mob would not be likely to search my person. Immediately on taking possession of the papers, I made two cotton bags of sufficient size to contain them, sewing a band around the top ends of sufficient length to button around my waist; and I carried those papers on my person in the daytime, when the mob was around, and slept with them under my pillow at night. I cannot remember the exact length of time I had those papers in my possession; but I gave them to sister Emma Smith, the prophet’s wife, on the evening of her departure for Commerce.
“Emma Smith left Far West, en route to Commerce, Illinois, on February 15, 1839, and according to the report, she “wore the bags just as Ann Scott had done.”
Robert J. Matthews, Plainer Translation: Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible, a History and Commentary (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1975), 99-100.
August 23, 1879. Terrible hot and dry; the sky is a wonderful blue. No prospect of rain. In looking over the newspapers, I find the U.S. government is doing their best to stop the Saints from emigrating to Utah. They accuse all foreign Mormon emigrants of being criminals whose object in coming to the United States is to break her laws. The corruptions of the U.S Government will soon come to an end. The sword of justice will soon drop. The government cannot bear to have one saint left in the United States. . . . . .
Johnson, Joel Hills, 1802-1882 Autobiography Source: Selections from Joel H. Johnson, Voice From the Mountains, Being A Testimony of the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as Revealed by the Lord to Joseph Smith, Jr. (Salt Lake City: Juvenile Instructor, 1881), pp. 3-4, 12-16.
635. President Jesse N. Smith, of Snowflake, Apache County, Arizona, was born in Stockholm, St. Lawrence County, New York, December 2, 1834, and was baptized into the Church between his eighth and ninth year, August 13, 1843. His parents had previously embraced the gospel and had joined the Saints in their first gathering place--Kirtland--in May, 1836. He first saw the Prophet in Kirtland, though he was then but a child. Afterwards he met him at Nauvoo. Of his estimate of the Prophet's character he says: he was "Incomparably the most Godlike man I ever saw." And this is his testimony of him:
I know that by nature he was incapable of lying and deceitfulness, possessing the greatest kindness and nobility of character. I felt when in his presence that he could read me through and through. I know he was all that he claimed to be.
In 1843, for a short time, I attended a school kept by a Miss Mitchell in Hyrum Smith's brick office. Passing the Prophet's house one morning, he called me to him and asked what book I read in at my school. I replied, "The Book of Mormon." He seemed pleased, and taking me into the house he gave me a copy of the Book of Mormon to read in at school, a gift greatly prized by me.
636. Sister Louisa Y. Littlefield, was born in the town of Hector, Tompkins County, New York, May 1st, 1822, and was baptized into the Church at Kirtland, Ohio, in 1834. Here she first met the Prophet, of which she says, "I felt an assurance when I first beheld Joseph Smith that he was a Prophet of God." Her testimony of him is:
I can and do herein bear testimony that I knew, in 1834, when a mere child, and that now, in 1891, I still know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, called and chosen to stand at the head, under Christ, of the dispensation of the fullness of times.
I will speak of a prominent trait of his character which was perhaps more marked in his early career than was the case after public cares and responsibilities multiplied upon him from so many sources. I mean his natural fondness for children. In Kirtland, when wagon loads of grown people and children came in from the country to meeting, Joseph would make his way to as many of the wagons as he well could and cordially shake the hand of each person. Every child and young babe in the company were especially noticed by him and tenderly taken by the hand, with his kind words and blessings. He loved innocence and purity, and he seemed to find it in the greatest perfection with the prattling child.
637. Elder James Worthington Phippen, whose home is in Salt Lake City, was born October 12th, 1819, in Springfield, Clark County, Ohio. He was baptized into the Church on the 3rd of February, 1839, in Fredonia, Chautauqua County, New York. Moving to Commerce, (afterwards Nauvoo) Hancock County, Illinois, with his parents he first met Joseph Smith in company with Brigham Young on the banks of the Mississippi River. Concerning the Prophet's appearance and character he says:
I was favorably impressed with his noble mien, his stately form and his pleasant, smiling face and cheerful conversation.
Before I ever saw Joseph Smith I was satisfied that he was a man inspired of God, and when I beheld him if anything further could have increased my knowledge of him being a Prophet of the Lord, I was confirmed. During my acquaintance with him from 1839 until 1844, his teachings and examples were strong proof to me of his divine calling, without the inspiration of the Lord. I was an attentive listener and observer of the teachings, sayings and example of the Prophet Joseph Smith from the first time I saw him till the month of May, 1844, at which time I left Nauvoo for the state of New York on a mission. And being quite familiar with the history of his life as written, I remember many sayings recorded that I heard him utter. In common with those who were acquainted with his public life and doings in the midst of the Saints in Nauvoo, I had great joy and satisfaction in listening to his teachings.
638. Elder Lyman O. Littlefield, who resides at Smithfield, Cache County, Utah, joined the Church in Clay County, Missouri, being baptized by Peter Whitmer, in 1834. He first saw the Prophet Joseph in Zion's Camp, in Missouri, that same year. Concerning his appearance he says:
I was a mere boy, between thirteen and fourteen years old, when I first met the Prophet. His appearance as a man won my reverence for him; but his conversation and public teaching--all attended by a power truly Godlike-- established me in the faith and knowledge of his prophetic mission which strengthened with the lapse of years until he sealed his testimony with his blood in the jail at Carthage, in 1844.
The Spirit of the Lord had previously testified to me, in the state of Michigan, that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, and when I beheld him at Salt River, where Zion's Camp was resting near Brother Burget's house, the spirit of truth furnished me with an additional evidence of his divine mission. I bear my testimony that he was a Prophet of God.
639. Elder Thomas Cottam, whose home is in St. George, Washington County, Utah, first met the Prophet Joseph Smith, in April 1842, in Nauvoo, having emigrated there from England, his native country, where he received the gospel February 2nd, 1840. Brother Cottam states that the Prophet's appearance when he first saw him was just what he had previously conceived it to be-- that of a noble, fine-looking man.
My testimony of him is that he was a true Prophet of God, raised up in this last dispensation of the fullness of times, and that his sayings and teachings are true and faithful, and that he sealed his testimony with his blood.
There are some things that are, as it were, engraved on my memory. One is particularly so. In Nauvoo I lived near Brother Caspar's on the creek, about a mile and a half from the temple. Accidentally going into the city on that fatal day, the 27th of June, I met Brothers Joseph and Hyrum with others of the brethren and a posse of men on their leaving Nauvoo for Carthage for the last time. His appearance and demeanor conveyed plainly to my mind that he realized he was going as a lamb to the slaughter. I should judge his feelings to be similar to that of the Savior when he uttered these memorable words: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!"
As I was on guard in and around Nauvoo I did not see the bodies of our honored dead after they were brought home, but I recollect the feeling that came upon me when I just heard of their death. "Can it be possible! can it be possible!" I repeated in my mind; "well, I shall have to go back to England." But it was only temporary, for I soon realized that there would be a leader for the people. Even some of the disciples of Jesus thought momentarily that they would have to return again to their fishing.
640. Elder William Fawcett, now residing in St. George, Washington County, Utah, and whose native town is Malton, Yorkshire, England, where he was born December 13th, 1814, embraced the gospel on January 1st, 1840. He saw the Prophet Joseph for the first time on the 12th of April, 1843, at the steamboat landing in Nauvoo. Speaking of the Prophet's appearance and character, he says:
His appearance was that of a fine, portly gentleman, six feet high, weighing about two hundred pounds. He was pleasant and kind. His character was unimpeachable among the Saints. They loved him and he loved them.
My testimony of Joseph Smith is that he was a Prophet of the living God, and held the keys of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, and of the everlasting gospel to this generation; and that he saw God and His Son Jesus Christ, and talked with them, and also holy angels who ordained him to this priesthood, and talked with and called him to establish God's Church upon the earth again in our day. I know these things are true by the testimony of the Spirit given unto me.
My heart has been made glad by the sayings of the Prophet many times, in fact whenever I heard him. When Joseph was kidnapped in Dixon, his brother Hyrum called for volunteers, and I volunteered to go to rescue Joseph. I felt willing to lay down my life for him. I loved him, and have ever believed that that offering of mine was acceptable to the Lord. I recollect Joseph was preaching one day outdoors to a large congregation. When he said, "I understand that a man in the meeting has offered a thousand dollars for my head. I wonder if he will get it!" and then he kept on preaching.
641. Elder James Leech, who lives in Salt Lake City, relates the following incident in his experience on first meeting with the Prophet Joseph:
I was born on the 2nd of May, 1815, at Pilling Lane, Lancashire, England. About the year 1827, my parents, with their family, moved to Preston. In the year 1835 I remember waking in the night and hearing my mother, who was a very religious and good woman, relating a dream or vision she had just had to my father. In this dream it had been shown to her that the gospel was going to come to the earth again as it was in the days of our Savior.
In 1837 the gospel of Jesus Christ, as it was taught anciently, came to old England, and was first heralded in Preston by President Heber C. Kimball, Brothers Joseph Fielding, Orson Hyde and Willard Richards. My mother's dream was fulfilled to her satisfaction, and she was one of the first to embrace the gospel. My three sisters joined soon after, but my father did not do so for some time.
In the year 1841 Henry Nightingale, my sister's husband, began to prepare to gather with the Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois. My sister asked me if I would like to go with them. I said I would, but did not think I was worthy to be baptized, as I was up to the time of my hearing the gospel what people called an infidel. As my parents were willing, I came to America with them. We sailed in the early part of May, 1841.
After arriving in Nauvoo we were five or six weeks looking for employment, but failed to get any. One morning I said to my brother- in-law, "Let us go and see the Prophet. I feel that he will give us something to do." He considered a short time, then consented to go. On arriving at his house we inquired for the Prophet. We were told he was over the road. So we went over, and found him in a little store selling a lady some goods. This was the first time I had had an opportunity to be near him and get a good look at him. I felt there was a superior spirit in him. He was different to anyone I had ever met before; and I said in my heart, he is truly a Prophet of the most high God.
As I was not a member of the Church I wanted Henry to ask him for work, but he did not do so, so I had to. I said, "Mr. Smith, if you please, have you any employment you could give us both, so we can get some provisions?"
He viewed us with a cheerful countenance, and with such a feeling of kindness said, "Well, boys, what can you do?"
He took us a few rods from the store, gave me the ring to hold, and stretched all the tape from the reel and marked a line for us to work by.
"Now, boys," said he, "can you make a ditch three feet wide and two and a half feet deep along this line?"
We said we would do our best, and he left us. We went to work, and when it was finished I went and told him it was done.
He came and looked at it and said, "Boys, if I had done it myself it could not have been done better. Now come with me."
He led the way back to his store, and told us to pick the best ham or piece of pork for ourselves. Being rather bashful, I said we would rather he would give us some. So he picked two of the largest and best pieces of meat and a sack of flour for each of us, and asked us if that would do. We told him we would be willing to do more work for it, but he said, "If you are satisfied, boys, I am."
We thanked him kindly, and went on our way home rejoicing in the kindheartedness of the Prophet of our God.
In November of the same year I was baptized into the Church, and from that time until the martyrdom of our Prophet, I often had the privilege of seeing his noble face lit up by the Spirit and power of God, as he taught the Saints the principles of eternal life.
642. As Saints, we’re familiar with such locations as Council Bluffs and Winter Quarters, yet, surprisingly, the Church settled in Iowa longer than it did in Nauvoo establishing many communities on or near the Missouri River. For instance, one such community, Cutler’s Park, shares this brief history. On August 7th or 8th, 1846, the Mormons created Nebraska's first and shortest lived planned community, complete with a governing council, and even a police force. The settlement was three to four miles to the west of present day Florence along what is now known as the Mormon Bridge Road, both east and west sides, and just south of Young Street.
Approximately twenty days later (Aug 25th), about 150 Indian chiefs and braves of the Omaha/Ottawa/Chippewa and Oto/Missouri natives came to collect rent for staying on their land. Brigham Young, the leader of the Mormons (though not President of the Mormon Church at the time) met with the Indians. A war nearly broke out when the Omaha/Ottawa/Chippewa natives were offered the same rent as the Oto/Missouri natives. The Omaha/Ottawa/Chippewa natives had only been in the area since 1843 (three years earlier) but the Oto/Missouri had been in the area since the 1700s. At that point, the Church leaders made an agreement with Big Elk, chief of the Omaha nation, to live on land closer to the Missouri River. Immediately, camp was moved back to the area known now as Florence. By September 11th, 1846 Cutler's Park had been completely vacated
643. Two weeks after the general conference Elder Joseph Fielding Smith wrote down the vision as his father [Joseph F. Smith] dictated it to him (see Smith and Stewart, Life of Joseph Fielding Smith, p. 201). After it was endorsed by the counselors in the First Presidency and by the Quorum of the Twelve, it was published in the Improvement Era (Dec. 1918, pp. 166–70).
During April conference of 1976 it was accepted as scripture and approved for publication in the Pearl of Great Price. In June 1979 the First Presidency announced that it would become section 138 of the Doctrine and Covenants
644. The Church grew from 9 (Many believe this number was six, nevertheless History of the Church Vol. 1:77 sets this number at 9) members in 1829, prior to the organization of the Church in 1830, to 280 members at the close of 1830. This is a 3111% change. For the last 11 years the percent growth has been between 2.22% to 2.94%, which corresponds to over 300,000 new members each year.
645. When most of the Saints moved onto Missouri, to Nauvoo, and to the West--Martin Harris remained in Kirtland. There he was rebaptized by a visiting missionary in 1842. In 1856 Caroline and their four children took the long journey to Utah, but Martin, then 73 years of age, remained on his property in Kirtland. In 1860 he told a census taker that he was a "Mormon preacher," evidence of his continuing loyalty to the restored gospel. Later he would tell a visitor, "I never did leave the Church; the Church left me" (quoted in William H. Homer Jr., "'Publish It Upon the Mountains': The Story of Martin Harris," Improvement Era, July 1955, 505), meaning of course that Brigham Young led the Church west and the aging Martin remained in Kirtland.
646. On Oliver Cowdery being chosen as a school teacher in the Manchester, New York area: About this time, the elder Joseph and Lucy met Oliver Cowdery for the first time. His brother Lyman had applied to teach school in the Manchester district and had spoken first with twenty-eight-year-old Hyrum, a trustee of the district, who called a meeting of the other trustees. They agreed to employ Lyman and settled on the terms. But, as Lucy later recalled, “the next day [Lyman} brought his brother Oliver and requested them to receive him in the place of himself.” Whether because of coincidence or providence, Lyman Cowdery was unable to fulfill his obligation; Lucy remembered that business “had arisen” that would oblige him to disappoint them. Whatever this unnamed business was it set Oliver Cowdery’s life on a startling new course.
647. Attended meeting a discourse from W. W. Phelps. He related a story told him by Hyrum Smith which was as follows: Joseph, Hyrum, Cowdery & Whitmer went to the hill Cumorah. As they were walking up the hill, a door opened and they walked into a room about 16 ft square. In that room was an angel and a trunk. On that trunk lay a book of Mormon & gold plates, Laban's sword, Aaron's breastplate.
648. In 1921, B. H. Roberts and the committee responsible for publication of the 1921 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants recognized that section 10 had been misdated in previous editions, and reckoned the actual date to have been sometime in the summer of 1828, a conclusion based on History of the Church. The numerical order of the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants, however, was not changed at that time. Thus, section 10 is presently out of its proper chronological order, which would place it immediately after section 3. The reader is encouraged for the sake of continuity and perspective to read the sections in that order: 3, 10, 4.
649. The Prophet [Joseph Smith] and Oliver Cowdery arrived first [at the Peter Whitmer Sr. home in Fayette, New York], then Emma [Smith]. The severe alteration of household patterns burdened Mary [Whitmer] with more work, but David [Whitmer] told Orson Pratt and Joseph F. Smith of a special confirmation that she received. Mary, on her way to milk the cows, met a special messenger, who said: “You have been very faithful and diligent in your labors, but you are tried because of the increase of your toil; it is proper therefore that you should receive a witness that your faith may be strengthened.”
He showed her the plates and, David related, she never felt to complain at her increased labors after that. John C. Whitmer, Jacob’s son, was twenty-one when his grandmother died, and heard Mary’s story first-hand on “several occasions.” He gave many more details; the “kind, friendly tone” of the messenger’s address; her “inexpressible joy and satisfaction” on hearing his explanations; her view of the engravings as the leaves of the plates were turned one by one before her eyes. He added: “I knew my grandmother to be a good, noble and truthful woman, and I have not the least doubt of her statement in regard to seeing the plates being strictly true. She was a strong believer in the Book of Mormon until the day of her death.”
Richard Lloyd Anderson, “The Whitmers: A Family That Nourished the Church,” Ensign, August 1979, 35.
650. [Early 1830] A revelation came to Joseph commanding him to see that Oliver transcribed the whole work [Book of Mormon] a second time and never take both transcripts to the office . . . so that in case one was destroyed the other would be left furthermore Peter Whitmer was commanded to remain at our house to assist in guarding the writings and also to accompany Oliver to the Office and back when no other person could be spared . . .
651. Oliver Cowdery returned to the Church in 1848 after having been absent from membership for ten years. He visited the Saints in Kanesville, where he was rebaptized. He hoped to travel west with the Saints, but his health failed him and he died in 1850 in Richmond, Missouri. The monument is located over his gravesite. The monument was erected in 1911 under the direction of Junius F. Wells. A metal casket within a concrete base was placed under the monument which contained copies of the History of the Church, Volume 1, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine & Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, the Cowdery Family Genealogy, the Contributor, Volume 5 containing George Reynolds’ “History of the Book of Mormon,” and engraved portraits of Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, & David Whitmer. The dedication of the monument occurred on November 22, 1911 and was performed by Elder Heber J. Grant.
652. During the War of 1812, [Martin] Harris enlisted and was eventually promoted to First Sergeant in the Thirty-ninth New York Militia. He was known as an honored veteran when he returned to his home.
653. However, there are isolated examples of later communities finding healing through baptism; for example, Native Americans in the Great Lakes region viewed baptism by Jesuit missionaries as a healing ritual.
654. The record for the most people attending a baptism could very well be Sunday July 23, 1837, when Elder Heber C. Kimball baptized nine individuals in the River Ribble in Preston, England, in the presence of 8,000 curious bystanders.
Dan Barker, Mormon History 101 (Springville, Utah: Cedar Fort Inc., 20110, 34.; Truth Will Prevail: The Rise of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the British Isles, 1837-1987, V. Ben Bloxham, James R. Moss, and Larry C. Porter, eds. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987).
655. [Joseph Smith] said that at Colesville, New York, in 1829, he and Oliver were under arrest on a charge of deceiving the people. When they were at the justice's house for trial in the evening, all were waiting for Mr. Reid, Joseph's lawyer. While waiting, the justice asked Joseph some questions, among which was this: “What was the first miracle Jesus performed?”
Mr. Reid came in and said he wanted to speak to his clients in private and that the law allowed him that privilege, he believed. The judge pointed to a door to a room in the back part of the house and told them to step in there. As soon as they got into the room, the lawyer said there was a mob outside in front of the house. “If they get hold of you they will perhaps do you bodily injury; and I think the best way for you to get out of this is to get right out there,” pointing to the window and hoisting it.
They got into the woods in going a few rods from the house. It was night and they traveled through brush and water and mud, fell over logs, etc., until Oliver was exhausted. Then Joseph helped him along through the mud and water, almost carrying him.
They traveled all night, and just at the break of day Oliver gave out entirely and exclaimed, “Oh, Lord! Brother Joseph, how long have we got to endure this thing?”
They sat down on a log to rest, and Joseph said that at that very time Peter, James and John came to them and ordained them to the apostleship.
They had sixteen or seventeen miles to go to get back to Mr. Hale's, his father-in-law's, but Oliver did not complain any more of fatigue.
Hyrum L. Andrus and Helen Mae Andrus, comps., They Knew the Prophet (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1974), 15.
656. From the life of Thomas B. Marsh: I remained in Boston several years engaged in the type foundry. During this period I became acquainted with several friends whose opinions concerning religion were like my own. We kept aloof from sectarians, and were called by them Quietists, because we resembled so much a sect in France known by that name professing to be led by the Spirit.
657. I think the first church attempted to be established in opposition to “Mormonism” was that established by Wycam Clark, in Kirtland. He was baptized about the same time as Sidney Rigdon, and, in company with Northrop Sweet and four others, seceded from this Church, and said they could carry the whole world with them by preaching "Mormon" principles. They had two or three meetings; but the society would never have been known in the world, had not a few of us remembered the circumstance and told of it.
658. Before continuing their mission to the West, Oliver Cowdery and his companions sent word to Joseph Smith, “desiring him to send an elder to preside over the branch which they had raised up” in Kirtland. The Prophet sent John Whitmer, who arrived in mid-January 1831. Upon his arrival, he found a congregation of about three hundred, more than double that previously reported. Reacting to this growth, John Whitmer wrote a letter to Joseph, “desiring his immediate assistance in Kirtland in regulating the affairs of the Church there.”
659. Fortunately, the specific threat concerning Joseph Smith Sr. and Hyrum Smith never materialized. However, members leaving New York encountered opposition, especially in Buffalo. When a group of Saints led by Lucy Mack Smith arrived in the town, the Colesville Saints who had preceded them warned them not to mention that they were Mormons, “for if you do, you will not get a boat nor a house.” Specifically, Thomas Marsh warned her, “Now, Mother Smith, if you do sing and have prayers and acknowledge that you are Mormons here in this place, as you have done all along, you will be mobbed before morning.” Nothing materialized with the mobs, in spite of Lucy’s determination to “sing and attend to prayers before sunset, mob or no mob;” however, one wonders if these perceived threats in Buffalo were not based, at least in some part, on fact. The Prophet himself certainly felt that some danger lay in wait for him and his family there.
660. After the dedication of the Kirtland Temple, the shout [Hosanna] was given formally on only five occasions during the lifetime of Joseph Smith. The first was the 6 April 1837 solemn assembly at Kirtland. The second came when the cornerstones of the Far West Temple were laid on 4 July 1838, following Sidney Rigdon's fiery and politically imprudent "Salt Sermon." Elder Parley P. Pratt
said: "This declaration was received with shouts of hosannah to God and the Lamb with many long cheers by the assembled thousands, who were determined to yield their rights no more, unless compelled by superior power."
The next two occurrences of the shout came in connection with the mission of the Twelve to England. Joseph Smith was not present on either occasion. The first was the anointing of John Taylor in November 1839, and the second came when Brigham Young "landed on the shore [and] gave a loud shout of hosannah." He had been confined to his berth with seasickness for the entire trip but had promised such a shout before leaving Illinois.
The last time Joseph Smith participated in a hosanna shout was 11 April 1844, two days after his last and perhaps greatest general conference where he delivered his famous King Follet sermon. Meeting with the recently organized Council of Fifty, Joseph Smith said: "had a very interesting time. The Spirit of the Lord was with us, and we closed the council with loud shouts of Hosanna!"
During the 150 years of Mormon hosanna shouts, some differences in its performance have been recorded. In the Kirtland Temple, participants gave the shout with uplifted hands, most likely with upward gestures on each word or phrase (HC 2:386-87; Woodruff 1:132-33). At the reorganization of the First Presidency in 1847, according to Norton Jacob's journal, participants
struck the right fist into the palm of the left hand on each word or phrase. At the 1862 general conference, participants clapped their hands together (Deseret News, 15 Oct. 1862). Beginning
in 1892, with the capstone laying at the Salt Lake Temple, participants waved handkerchiefs with each word or phrase (Millennial Star [11 July 1892]: 435; Salt Lake Tribune, 7 April 1892). The tradition of waving handkerchiefs has continued to the present.
661. It appears that many of the Saints in 1831 thought that the command to move to Ohio was an indication that the New Jerusalem would be there. John Whitmer spoke of this feeling when he wrote: “The time drew near for the brethren from the state of New York to arrive at Kirtland, Ohio. And some had supposed that it was the place of gathering, even the place of the New Jerusalem spoken of in the Book of Mormon, according to the visions and revelations received in the last days.” (“Church History,” Journal of History, Jan. 1908, p. 53.)
662. Ownership of the [Columbus Ohio] temple site has ties to Julia Clapp Murdock, a devoted member who lived at the time of Joseph Smith in Kirtland. On April 30, 1831, the day that Emma's twins were born and died, Julia passed away after giving birth to twins herself. Julia's husband asked the Prophet and Emma to care for the twins feeling he was unable, which somewhat softened Emma's sorrow. Julia's father, Orris, was a member of Sidney Rigdon's congregation, who eventually became embittered toward the Church and left New York for Ohio accompanied by his brother, Abner Clapp. Upon their arrival, Abner purchased the land where the temple now stands[the Columbus Temple]. Records indicate he was the land's first owner, and as far as can be ascertained, he did not share his brother's animosity toward the Church.
663. We usually hear of the United Order at work in Orderville, Utah, nevertheless it might surprise you when you read that there were actually over two hundred united orders established in Latter-day Saint settlements, including settlements in Idaho, Nevada, and Arizona. In the larger communities of Ogden, Provo and Logan, more than one order was set up, with each one specializing in different production projects. Salt Lake City had a separate order for each of its twenty wards.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Church History In The Fulness of Times (Salt Lake City: Published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), 404.
664. Through careful study, Joseph Smith Papers Project scholars have determined that the “Book of Commandments and Revelations” served as the principal source for the 1833 publication of A Book of Commandments and that both the “Book of Commandments and Revelations” and the “Kirtland Revelation Book” became the basis for the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants in 1835.
665. On the sad character Cain, an interesting story comes to us from Lycurgus A. Wilson's book on the life of David W. Patten. From the book I quote an extract from a letter by Abraham O. Smoot giving his recollection of David Patten's account of meeting "a very remarkable person who had represented himself as being Cain."
As I was riding along the road on my mule I suddenly noticed a very strange personage walking beside me…. His head was about even with my shoulders as I sat in my saddle. He wore no clothing, but was covered with hair. His skin was very dark. I asked him where he dwelt and he replied that he had no home, that he was a wanderer in the earth and traveled to and fro. He said he was a very miserable creature, that he had earnestly sought death during his sojourn upon the earth, but that he could not die, and his mission was to destroy the souls of men. About the time he expressed himself thus, I rebuked him in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by virtue of the Holy Priesthood, and commanded him to go hence, and he immediately departed out of my sight….
Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969), 127-128.
666. Considering the dangers facing these relatively small ships as they crossed the oceans, it is a remarkable thing to note that between 1840 and 1890, not a single vessel carrying Mormon emigrants across the Atlantic Ocean was lost at sea—not one went down in 550 voyages. This is in sharp contrast to the fact that at least 59 non-Latter-day Saint immigrant ships were lost at sea while crossing the Atlantic just between the years of 1847-53, alone.
666. Considering the dangers facing these relatively small ships as they crossed the oceans, it is a remarkable thing to note that between 1840 and 1890, not a single vessel carrying Mormon emigrants across the Atlantic Ocean was lost at sea—not one went down in 550 voyages. This is in sharp contrast to the fact that at least 59 non-Latter-day Saint immigrant ships were lost at sea while crossing the Atlantic just between the years of 1847-53, alone.
667. One of the best-known pioneer Blacks in the early Church was Green Flake, a slave of James and Agnes Flake who joined the Church in North Carolina in the winter of 1843-44. After migrating to Nauvoo, the Flakes joined the exodus west. Their servant, (the Flake slaves had been offered their freedom but three chose to stay with the family) Green Flake, was selected to accompany the Pioneer Party to the valley in 1847. When his owner died in 1850, his wife joined a group of settlers to San Bernadino. Before leaving Utah, however, she wanted to settle her tithing account and offered Green as tithing. Brigham and Heber Kimball made brief use of his labor before he moved to Union as a free man and loyal Saint.
668. At the time when Luke Johnson was no longer a member of the Church, but a constable in the Kirtland area, he arrested Joseph Smith Sr. for what he felt was an illegal marriage. The Prophets father appeared before a court and ordered to pay $3000 dollars or go to the penitentiary. Luke Johnson took Joseph Smith Sr. and Hyrum Smith to a back room in the building where the court session was being held and told Hyrum to get him and his dad out the window and to freedom.
Scot Facer Proctor and Maurine Jensen Proctor, ed., The Reviese and Enhanced History of Joseph Smith By His Mother (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996), 350-52.
Again President Young said Joseph the Prophet told me that the garden of Eden was in Jackson Co., Missouri, & when Adam was driven out of the garden of Eden He went about 40 miles to the Place which we Named Adam Ondi Ahman, & there built an Altar of Stone & offered Sacrifice. That Altar remains to this day. I saw it as Adam left it as did many others, & through all the revolutions of the world that Altar has not been disturbed.
Joseph also said that when the City of Enoch fled & was translated it was whare the gulf of Mexico now is. It left that gulf a body of water. Joseph Young,
670. Henry Bigler heard the Prophet Joseph Smith teach the following: I heard him say to some elders going on missions, “Make short prayers and short sermons, and let mysteries alone. Preach nothing but repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, for that was all John the Baptist preached.”
671. Elder Richards and I attended the deacon’s meeting. The deacons have become very efficient looking after the welfare of the Saints; every part of the city is watched with the strictest care, and whatever time of night the streets are traveled, at the corner of every block a deacon is found attending to his duty.
672. Elder B. H. Roberts published a reported prophecy of Joseph Smith to Alexander Doniphan, his lawyer in Missouri. According to Doniphan’s brother-in-law, writing the incident over seventy years after it occurred, Joseph Smith warned Doniphan that “ ‘God’s wrath hangs over Jackson County … and you will live to see the day when it will be visited by fire and sword. The fields and farms and houses will be destroyed, and only the chimneys will be left to mark the desolation.’
“General Doniphan said to me,” his brother-in-law continued, “that the devastation of Jackson county [during the Civil War] forcibly reminded him of this remarkable prediction.” Elder Roberts cites additional descriptions of Jackson County’s role during the Civil War as fulfillment of this prophecy.
B. H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Press, 1930), 1:538–59.
673. The Prophet Joseph Smith started up the School of the Prophets in Kirtland, Ohio, which was the first organized school for adult education in America.
Leonard J. Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic Hisoty of the Latter-day Saints, 1830-1900 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press), 245-51.
674. As a boy, he [James Garfield] became acquainted with prominent Mormon leaders Sidney Rigdon and Parley P. Pratt, had Mormon neighbors, and had LDS relatives, including Cousin John F. Boynton, who was one of the original Twelve Apostles. Later, Garfield attended functions at the Western Reserve Teachers Seminary and Kirtland Institute, which was housed in the Kirtland Temple. . .
Dan Barker, Unique Stories and Facts From LDS History (Springville, Utah: Cedar Fort Inc., 2010), 160.
675. One day in October, 1833, a wagonload of people stopped at the door of Freeman Nickerson's home. They had with them two strange men—Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon. Although so remote from the States, rumors of a new prophet and a "golden bible" had reached Mount Pleasant, Brunt County, Ontario, Canada, and had been wondered over and commented upon.
Freeman had been told that his parents had joined the new church, and he was rather disgusted with the news. His father was indeed full of the gospel he had embraced, and was so anxious for the eternal welfare of his sons in Canada that he had hitched up his carriage, gone on a visit to Kirtland, Ohio, and prevailed upon the Prophet Joseph Smith and Elder Sidney Rigdon to accompany him on a visit to his sons, Moses and Freeman, in Mount Pleasant.
"Well, Father," said Freeman, when told who the two strangers were, "I will welcome them for your sake. But I would just about as soon you had brought a nest of vipers and turned them loose upon us."
Moses and Freeman were wealthy merchants and men of influence in Mount Pleasant. On the evening of the arrival, after the bustle of welcome and a warm supper were over, everyone was too tired to talk, so all retired to rest.
Next morning many were the curious glances that I cast at this strange man who dared to call himself a prophet. I saw a tall, well-built form, with the carriage of an Apollo; brown hair, handsome blue eyes, which seemed to dive down to the innermost thoughts with their sharp, penetrating gaze; a striking countenance, and with manners at once majestic yet gentle, dignified yet exceedingly pleasant.
Elder Rigdon was a middle-aged man of medium height, stout and quite good-looking, but without the noble grandeur that was so distinguishing a mark of the Prophet.
The Elders were very wise. They said nothing about their views or doctrines, but waited patiently until some one should express an interest.
"Oh," said he to his wife, "just let him talk; I'll silence him, if he undertakes to talk about the Bible. I guess I know as much about the scriptures as he does."
As soon as supper was over, he invited his visitors and family to go upstairs to the parlor, where he said they would have some talk. "Now Mr. Smith," he said, "I wish you and Mr. Rigdon to speak freely. Say what you wish and tell us what you believe. We will listen."
The Prophet commenced by relating the scenes of his early life. He told how the angel visited him, of his finding the plates and the translation of them, and gave a short account of the matter contained in the Book of Mormon.
As the speaker continued his wonderful narrative, I was listening and watching him intently. I saw his face become white and a shining glow seemed to beam from every feature.
As his story progressed, he would often allude to passages of scripture. Then Mr. Nickerson would speak up and endeavor to confound him. But the attempt was soon acknowledged even by himself to be futile.
The Prophet bore a faithful testimony that the priesthood was again restored to the earth, and that God and His Son had conferred upon him the keys of the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods. He stated that the last dispensation had come, and the words of Jesus were now in force: "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
Elder Rigdon spoke after the Prophet ceased. He related some of his early experiences, and told those present that he had received a testimony for himself of the truth of what Joseph had said. "God," said Elder Rigdon, "is no respecter of persons, but will give to all that ask of Him a knowledge of the things Joseph Smith has declared unto you, whether they are true or false, of God or of man."
After both men were through speaking, many questions were asked by all present, for information. The listeners were honest-hearted people, and when truth is told to such they are constrained to accept and believe.
"And is this, then," said Mr. Nickerson, "the curious religion the newspapers tell so much about? Why, if what you have said is not good sound sense, then I don't know what sense is."
A feeling of agreeable disappointment was felt by Mr. Nickerson and family, that these strange men were so different from the various representations of them.
Next day, notice was sent out that there would be public preaching in the Nickerson Brothers' new store-house. A large and attentive audience was present. Elder Sidney Rigdon spoke to the people with great clarity on the first principles of the gospel, and closed with a strong testimony to the truth of so-called "Mormonism."
The Prophet then arose and poured forth a golden stream of words, many of which were verily pearls without price, setting forth the restoration of the gospel and the great work that had commenced on the earth. With power he exhorted everyone who was present to seek for the truth of his and his companion's words from the source of all light, all truth, and all religion, and a knowledge of the truth of the same should surely follow.
The day following, a meeting was again held, and after it was over the Prophet baptized twelve persons, including myself, Mr. Nickerson and all of his household.
676. Willard Young, son of Brigham Young, attended West Point Academy at the age of seventeen, became a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army, and, with time, fought in the Spanish-American War.
Douglas F. Tobler and Nelson B. Wadsworth, The History of the Mormons in Photographs and Text: 1830 to the Present (New York: St. Martins Press, 1987), 31.
677. The church helped make a house-by-house survey of unemployment in the Salt Lake district and then contributed over $12,000 in cash plus some 420,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables to be delivered to the needy in Salt Lake City during the winter of 1930.
Bruce D. Blumell, “ ‘Remember the Poor’: A History of welfare in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-1980,” 88, typescript, Library of the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute of Church History, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; New Views of Mormon History, Edited by Davis Bitton and Maureen Ursenbach Beecher (Salt Lake City, University of Utah Press, 1987), 249.
678. After the prophet’s flight to Missouri in early 1838, dissenters in Kirtland sought to use the printing office and materials to “bolster up a church organization opposed to the Prophet.” In an attempt to curtail such action, the printing office was set on fire and destroyed. While Church leaders in Missouri presumed this act of arson to have been perpetrated by the “Parrish party,” it was Lyman Sherman who started the fire to thwart Joseph’s enemies.
679. The early Saints referred to the Kirtland Temple as simply the "Lord's House," as the term temple was not in general use at the time.
680. On February 14, 1835, [David W.] Patten was chosen as one of the Twelve Apostles and was ordained the following day by Oliver Cowdery. On May 2, 1835, the Prophet Joseph Smith directed that the seniority of the Twelve be determined according to the members' ages. Patten was uncertain of his exact birth date, and Thomas B. Marsh (born 1800) was mistakenly adjudged to be the older of the two, and thus was made the President of the Quorum. [Who ever made the decision to place David 2nd in seniority, rather than first, made the correct call. Thomas B. Marsh was born Nov. 1, 1799 whereas David Patten was born Nov. 14, 1799]
681. During 1910 to 1914, the Church was severely persecuted in Great Britain, and of course received bad press. Many people in England believed that the Church was still practicing polygamy and that the Mormon elders were in their country to recruit young girls to send to Utah. It was at this time that England was on the verge of expelling all Latter-day Saints from English soil. Young Winston Churchill, displaying great courage, helped the Church’s cause by invoking the right to religious freedom. No expulsions took place.
Church History in the Fulness of Times (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1993), 471-72.
682. One example of this is the case of Martin Harris, one of the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon. On 29 August 1870, Harris arrived in Utah. During the first week of September he
met with several Church leaders who instructed him concerning some of the doctrines that had been revealed since his disaffection from the Church in late 1837, including the principle of baptism for the dead. Following his own rebaptism by Edward Stevenson and reconfirmation by Orson Pratt, “he returned into the font and was baptized for several of his dead friends—fathers, grandfathers, etc. . . . [and] his sister also was baptized for the female relatives, and they were confirmed for and in behalf of those whom they were baptized for, by . . . Jos. F. Smith being mouth.
683. An odometer called the roadometer was invented in 1847 by the Mormon pioneers crossing the plains from Missouri to Utah. The roadometer attached to a wagon wheel and counted the revolutions of the wheel as the wagon traveled. It was designed by William Clayton and Orson Pratt, and built by carpenter Appleton Milo Harmon.
Clayton had determined that 360 revolutions of a wagon wheel made a mile, he then tied a red rag to the wheel and counted the revolutions to keep an accurate record of the mileage travelled. After seven days, this method became tiresome and Clayton went on to invent the roadometer, first used on the morning of May 12, 1847. William Clayton is also known for his writing of the pioneer hymn "Come, Come, Ye Saints."
"I walked some this afternoon in company with Orson Pratt and suggested to him the idea of fixing a set of wooden cog wheels to the hub of a wagon wheel, in such order as to tell the exact number of miles we travel each day. He seemed to agree with me that it could be easily done at a trifling expense."
"Brother Appleton Harmon is working at the machinery for the wagon to tell the distance we travel and expects to have it in operation tomorrow, which will save me the trouble of counting, as I have done, during the last four days."
"About noon today Brother Appleton Harmon completed the machinery on the wagon called a 'roadometer' by adding a wheel to revolve once in ten miles, showing each mile and also each quarter mile we travel, and then casing the whole over so as to secure it from the weather." ~ From William Clayton's Journal
684. Those to whom the Prophet Joseph Smith revealed this doctrine [plural marriage] were morally obligated to live the law. The Twelve understood this all too well—hence Brigham Young’s response to the doctrine, “it was the first time in my life that I had desired the grave, and I could hardly get over it for a long time.”
685. The Church has also published the Doctrine and Covenants in many languages other than English. Beginning in 1851 with the Welsh edition, the Doctrine and Covenants has been translated and published in its entirety in a score or more languages and selections from it in many others.
686. The Ohio newspapers of the early 1830’s painted the “Mormonite” sect as a misdirected gaggle of idiots, lacking any reason or common sense. The fantastic religious claims of angels, revelation, and golden plates were regularly ridiculed. By 1835, however, the Mormon settlement in Kirtland had become a large well-established force at the polls. This made many nervous. If these people could believe in angels, what could be expected from them politically?
“These religious impostors’… object is to acquire political power as fast as they can, without any regard to the means they made use of. They are ready to harness in with any party that is willing to degrade themselves by asking their assistance. They now carry nearly a majority of this township, and every man votes as directed by the prophet and his elders. Previous to the recent township elections here, it was generally understood that the Mormons and Jacksonians had agreed to share the ‘spoils’ equally, in consequence of which the other citizens thought it useless to attend the polls. This brought out an entire Mormon ticket which they calculated to smuggle in, independent of the ‘democrats’ not under the orders of the prophet. This caused the citizens to rally and make an effort, which, by a small majority, saved the township from being governed by revelation for the year to come.” (Ohio, Painesville Telegraph, Friday, April 17, 1835 from http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/OH/paintel4.htm)
687. Four young missionaries were giving a street meeting in Oklahoma. They had just finished singing “Come, Come, Ye Saints,” and couldn’t help but noticed they had piqued the attention of the old Indian Chief. The Chief watched in wonder as the missionaries sang their song. At the conclusion, the old chief invited the missionaries to come to his Hogan.
As the missionaries sat in the Hogan the chief shared with them an incredible story. He told them how he remembered many years earlier when the Mormons were a persecuted people and had fled to the west to find religious freedom. He spoke of Brigham Young taking his people to the Salt Lake Valley, and also spoke of many other white men coming to the west to start new lives. The old chief said how his people were angered by the white man trespassing on their land and how they killed all that they could so that others would not come. He told of one night, when a group of pioneers had camped for the evening in a small valley. He said that after their dinner they sang and danced and then just before bed sang, “Come, Come Ye Saints.” The old chief mentioned he had 1,000 Indian braves with him that evening hiding behind rocks and trees, waiting for his command to strike down every pioneer with their bows and arrows. The chief stated a miraculous event happened that night when he gave the command.
“I gave the signal.” He said, “but our fingers were like stone. Not one arrow was shot. We mounted our horses and rode away because we knew the Great Spirit was watching over the pale faces.”
The old chief took a violin from behind the door and started to play “Come, Come, Ye Saints.” Then he stopped, looked intently at the missionaries, and finished his story. “This is your song, but it is my song too. I play it every night before I go to bed. It brings the Great Spirit here to me and makes me and my people calm and happy.”
688. The following incident related by Isaac Haight:
“The spirit bore testimony to me of the truth and after close investigation I became convinced that God had set up his kingdom on the earth again and on the third day of March 1839 I and my wife were buried in the waters of baptism for the remission of sins, much to the mortification of our friends. Although the cold was severe--so much that our clothes froze stiff the moment we came out of the water -- yet our hearts were warm with the spirit of God.
“Many reviled against the truth and tried to discourage us and turn us back from the truth to the weak and beggarly elements of the world. We had to go about a quarter of a mile to change our clothes, which when we had done we were confirmed as members of the Church of Latter-day Saints, and then Elder Brown ordained me an elder by the spirit of revelation.”
Autobiography and Journal of Isaac Haight, Typescript, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University; htpp://www.boap.org/
689. Levi Hancock shares the following experience:
“This was in the year of 1830 in the month of November. I preached from place to place where the folks were well acquainted with me. Not long after I came to Rome, lies began to circulate through the land concerning the church. This caused the people to be more cold. However, some believed that there was something on the doctrine worthy of notice.
“In December I went about three miles west to work on a house laying the floors. It was white top plank, I had to match. I hired a Mr. Baldwin to help me. He was a good man and after we had laid the floor we concluded to make a fire and lie down until morning.
“As I was praying a personage stood before me with a small yoke in his hands, said he, ‘this is the yoke of Christ.’ There were many lamps placed on the top of this small yoke. I thought it was the Lord talking to me and I felt willing to obey him and put forth my hand and laid it on one lamp and saw a smoke rise from it. I then touched two more and saw a blue blaze, then some more and some smoked and others burned blue. Three shone as bright as any lamp I ever saw in my life. He stood and held them a short time and then said, ‘These I will take into heaven and give you a sign that you may know that you are my servant.’ He then drew in his breath and blew in my face and said, ‘You will tarry till I come again.’ As he breathed on me, faith came, the heavens sent forth a shower of spirit, it took me in the face and filled me until I ran over with it. No person could feel better than I did. My spirit took its flight and left my body on the floor. I thought I was dead. All my senses were perfect and I realized many things that I am not able to write nor express with my tongue, I was told by the spirit to come back and bear testimony to the world of the truth of the work. I then entered into my body and told the vision to Mr. Baldwin. I told him how the lamps all went out but the three that burned so bright, and how smart and what a gentleman the personage was who came without anything on his head, with ruffles shirt to me, even Satan and how modest and innocent the man was who called himself the Lord. I saw tears run down from his eyes. I saw the unfortunate son who fell, when he tried to approach me the wave of my hand would cause him to go from me.”
Autobiography of Levi Hancock, Typescript, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University; http://www.boap.org/
690. The following is in reference to the persecution during the Missouri years of the Church as told by Mosiah Hancock:
“I can hold it no longer-----and I tell the truth when I say.....I saw a thing in the shape of a man grab an infant from its mother's arms and bash it's brains out against a tree! Two men got hold of me and had it their own way for awhile; but before they commenced, they told me I could pray. I rehearsed a part of a piece spoken by a young Indian, ‘the sun sets at night and the stars shun the day; but glory remains when twilight fades away. Begin ye tormentors, your threats are in vain; for the son of Alnasmak will never complain.’ They showed me no mercy! . . I could look upon my body, and I was far above them and was glad; for behold, I saw a personage draped in perfect white who said to me, ‘Mosiah, you have got to go back to the earth, for you have a work to do!’ How I ever came back I can never say!
Autobiography of Mosiah Hancock, Typescript, BYU-S; http://www.boap.org/
691. Stakes were large in the early 1900’s. The Utah Stake had forty-nine Sunday Schools organized with a total enrollment of eleven thousand Saints.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Church History In The Fulness Of Time (Salt Lake City: Published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1993), 459.
692. The forerunner to the Doctrine and Covenants was the Book of Commandments which was never published by the Church although The Church of Christ (Hedrickites) has published it. This church is a break-off from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is centered in Independence, Missouri.
Berrett, William Edwin, The Restored Church (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1973), 102.
693. During construction of the Manti Temple, master mason Edward L. Parry had a dream in which he saw a workman fall off of some scaffolding. Bothered by the dream, Brother Parry immediately arose and went to the temple site and noticed a very important support rope that had broken free of the scaffolding. Because of his obedience to this warning no one was hurt.
The Manti Temple (Manti, Utah: Manti Temple Centennial Committee, 1988), 25.
694. The following from James Little:
“In the spring of 1850 I felt like making an effort to gather with the Saints in the mountains. This at first appeared impossible, as my animals had all strayed off, and I could not learn of their whereabouts.
“I had concluded to remain another year, when I dreamed, for three nights in succession, where my oxen were, and went and got them. I found my other lost animals in the same manner.”
James A. Little, Jacob Hamblin in Three Mormon Classics, Preston Nibley, comp. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988), 217-218.
695. The predecessor to the Institute of Religions was the Deseret Clubs operated by the Department of Education in the Church. These clubs were discontinued in 1970.
Berrett, William Edwin, The Restored Church (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1973), 307.
696. When there was some uncertainty as to where the Saints would eventually settle, Brigham Young and the Quorum of the Twelve sent a letter of inquiry to the Governor of Arkansas seeking permission to reside in that state. Being familiar with the situation in Missouri and Illinois, the Governor refused this request.
Golder, Frank Alfred, The Mormon Battalion (New York: Century Press, 1928), 41, 46.
697. The first Latter-day Saint Boy Scout Troop to be organized was in 1911 in the Waterloo Ward, Granite Stake by T. George Woods. This organization took place two years before the Church officially adopted the Boy Scouts of America.
The Church News, Feb. 3, 1968.
698. The following is William Cahoons first visit as a home teacher to the Prophet Joseph Smith and his family:
“Before I close my testimony concerning this good man (Joseph Smith), I wish to mention one circumstance which I shall never forget. I was called and ordained to act as a ward teacher to visit the families of the Saints. I got along very well until I was obliged to pay a visit to the Prophet. Being young, only 17 years of age, I felt my weakness in the capacity of a teacher. I almost felt like shrinking from my duty.
“Finally, I went to the door and knocked and in a minute the Prophet came to the door. I stood there trembling and said to him; ‘Brother Joseph, I have come to visit you in the capacity of a ward teacher, if it is convenient for you.’ He said, ‘Brother William, come right in. I am glad to see you. Sit down in the chair there and I will go and call my family in.’ They soon came in and took seats. The Prophet said, ‘Brother William, I submit myself and family into your hands,’ and took his seat. ‘Now, Brother William,’ said he, ‘Ask all the questions you feel like.’
“By this time my fears and trembling had ceased and I said, ‘Brother Joseph, are you trying to live your religion?’ He answered, ‘Yes.’ I then said, ‘Do you pray in your family?’ He answered ‘Yes.’ ‘Do you teach your family the principles of the gospel?’ He replied, ‘Yes, I am trying to do it.’ ‘Do you ask a blessing on your food?’ He said he did. ‘Are you trying to live in peace and harmony with all your family?’ He said he was.
“I turned to Sister Emma, his wife, and said, ‘Sister Emma, are you trying to live your religion? Do you teach your children to obey their parents? Do you try to teach them to pray?’ To all these questions she answered, ‘Yes, I am trying to do so.’ I then turned to Joseph and said, ‘I am now through with my questions as a teacher and now if you have any instructions to give, I shall be happy to receive them.’ He said, ‘God bless you Brother William, and if you are humble and faithful you shall have power to settle all difficulties that may come before you in the capacity of a teacher.’ I then left my parting blessing upon him and his family, as a teacher, and departed.
Autobiography (1813-1878) in Stella Shurtleff and Brent Farrington Cahoon eds., Reynolds Cahoon and His Stalwart Sons (Salt Lake City: Paragon Press, 1960)
699. On June 6, 1846, a movement started at Warsaw to drive out the remaining Mormons at the point of the sword. The mob militia assembled at Golden Point for this purpose, but at this time it was rumored that Stephen Markham had returned to Nauvoo with several hundred armed men. As Markham’s name was a terror among his enemies, the mob hastily disbanded. Markham had returned to Nauvoo to remove some Church property but had brought no more than a few teamsters and wagons for that purpose.
Berrett, William Edwin, The Restored Church (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1973), 226.
700. The following from the journal of Warren Foote dated July 13, 1838 on his journey to join the Saints in Missouri:
“13th. Today we traveled 13 miles and stopped to noon. While nooning they heard of a man, who wanted to hire hands to cut his wheat. The company concluded to stop and work awhile, as they were nearly out of money. The fact is we have been living on mush, and milk for a long time past: It has been mush and milk for breakfast, milk and mush for dinner, and for a change mush and milk for supper. When we commenced eating mush and milk for breakfast, I began to think that they would starve me out, as I could not eat enough to last me one hour, but before we got to this place, I could fill up, so as to stand it first rate.”
Autobiography of Warren Foote, Typescript, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University; http://www.boap.org/
701. Within a few years all the men who took part in that raid [the tarring and feathering of Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon at the John Johnson farm] had suffered a painful death. Miles Norton who poisoned the Johnson watch dog was killed by a ram in the barnyard, its spiral horn being thrust through Norton’s body. Warren Waste and Carnot Mason boasted of having bent the Prophet’s legs over his back, holding them in that position as he lay on the ground face downward. Waste was later killed by a falling log while he was building a house. Mason died from a spinal affliction that was “more painful than a Boston Crab.” The man who tried to pour the poison into the prophet’s mouth was buried alive while digging a well.
N.B. Lundwall, The Fate of the Persecutors of the Prophet Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1952.), 72.
702. “It was the disposition of the Prophet Joseph when he saw little children in the mud to take them up in his arms and wash the mud from their bare feet with his handkerchief. And oh how kind he was to the old folks as well as to little children. He always had a smile for his friends and was always cheerful.”
Autobiography of Mosiah Hancock, Typescript, BYU-S; http://www.boap.org/
703. John Corrill on Joseph Smith: “Thus I reasoned, and became satisfied, that it was just as consistent to look for prophets in this age as in any other. As to the person of Joseph Smith, Jr., he might as well be a prophet as anyone else, but it was said of him that he was a money hunter, and a bad man before he was called to be a prophet. So it was said of Moses, that he murdered a man, hid him in the sand, and ran away from justice, and while in this state God called him to be a prophet.”
John Corrill, A Brief History of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints (Commonly Called Mormons, Including an Account of their Doctrine and Discipline, with the Reasons of the Author for Leaving the Church) (St. Louis, n.p., 1839)
704. In Nauvoo Joseph Smith was a confident and powerful speaker; in Fayette he was not. As with all men he had to grow up into the office that was his. Oliver Cowdery was called on to deliver the first public discourse in this dispensation. That took place five days later, on Sunday, at the home of Peter Whitmer Sr., where this revelation was received on the day the Church was organized.
Joseph Fielding McConkie and Craig J. Ostler, Revelations of the Restoration (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 2000), 178.
705. “I shall never forget the deep feeling of sympathy and regard manifested in the countenance of Brother Joseph as he drew nigh to Hyrum, and, leaning over him, exclaimed, ‘Oh! My poor, dear brother Hyrum!’ He, however, instantly arose, and with a firm, quick step, and a determined expression of countenance, approached the door, and pulling the six-shooter left by Brother Wheelock from his pocket, opened the door slightly, and snapped the pistol six successive times; only three of the barrels, however, were discharged. I after wards understood that two or three were wounded by these discharges, two of whom, I am informed, died.”
Joseph Smith Jr., History of the Church (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1950), 7:102.
706. “I travelled westward about 100 miles to the Mississippi River, where I took passage on a steamer to Nauvoo. I landed in the night. In the morning, I asked a young man where the Prophet lived. He pointed out the way to the residence of Joseph Smith, Jr., and said, ‘If you are going to see the Prophet, do not take any money with you. If you do, he will get it.’
“I asked the youth if he was a ‘Mormon.’ He replied that he was, and that his father was a High Priest. I thought it strange that he should talk as he did.
“As I passed along one of the streets of the town, I saw a tall, noble-looking man talking with another. An impression came over me that he was the person I was looking for. Inquiring of a bystander, I learned that my impression was correct.
“One of the company asked the Prophet for some money he had loaned him. He replied that he would try and get it during the day. I offered him the money, but he said: ‘Keep your money. I will not borrow until I try to get what is owing me. If you have just come in and wish to pay your tithing, you can pay it to Brother Hyrum; he sees to that.’
“I soon learned to discriminate between the different kinds of people who had gathered to Nauvoo. Some were living the lives of Saints; others were full of deceit and were stumbling-blocks in the way of those who were striving to do right.”
James A. Little, Jacob Hamblin in Three Mormon Classics, Preston Nibley, comp. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988), 207-208.
707. The following is in relation to the desertion of Carthage, Ill., after the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.
“As soon as this was done the whole country was deserted; men, women and children fled for their lives, not taking time to shut their doors after them. Stores were left standing open and there was gloom cast over the country, so much that strangers passing through the country spoke of it. As I was out looking, I met a stranger. He ask me what was the matter. That everything looks so gloomy and lonesome. I told him that last evening (27th of June, 1844) Joseph Smith the Prophet and his brother Hyrum were murdered at Carthage Illinois, and the people here all fled and left the country and when the blood of a prophet is shed it has a tendency to cast a gloom over the country.”
Autobiography of Lewis Barney, http://www.boap.org/
708. “It seems that a party of the mob had come to Golding's Point [located between Nauvoo and Carthage] on their way to Nauvoo, and that messengers were sent to them to order them to disperse. At this, their leader, Colonel [Levi] Williams ordered all who were not willing to go to Carthage and kill the Smiths to lay down their arms, and the rest to step out together, saying now is the time or never. This was soon done, and the murderers disguised themselves by blacking their faces and started on their way to shed blood, and came to the place about 5 o'clock in the evening of the 27th [June, 1844].
A young man named [William M.] Daniels, who had given up his gun, went with them, as he said to see what they would do, and was an eye witness to all that passed. He heard Wills say he had shot Hyrum. This Wills was one of the company of Saints (an Irish man) who came with me from England with his wife and two children. He was an elder in the Church. It is understood that he received a wound in the arm from a bullet by Brother Joseph. It took his wrist and ran up by the bone, of which wound he soon after died.”
Joseph Fielding, Diary (1843-1846), Church Archives in "They Might Have Known That He Was Not a Fallen Prophet"--The Nauvoo Journal of Joseph Fielding," transcribed and edited by Andrew F. Ehat, BYU Studies 19 (Winter 1979).
709. Read how Gilbert Belnap describes the Kirtland Temple:
“After listening to a long conversation between Abner [?] Cleveland and a man by the name of Colesburg about the locality of the town of Kirtland, and the beauty and construction of the Mormon Temple, prompted by curiosity and being of a roving disposition, I longed to form an acquaintance with that people and to behold their temple of worship. Accordingly, the third day after the conversation, I found myself on my way to see the wonders of the world constructed by the Latter-day Saints, commonly called Mormons.”
Autobiography of Gilbert Belnap, Typescript, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, http://www.boap.org/
710. “These abuses, with many others of a very aggravated nature, so stirred up the indignant feelings of our people, that a party of them, say about 30, met a company of the mob of about double their number, when a battle took place in which some two or three of the mob and one of our people were killed. This raised as it were the whole county in arms, and nothing would satisfy them but an immediate surrender of the arms of our people, and they forthwith to leave the county--Fifty-one guns were given up, which have never been returned or paid for to this day.
“It is here to be particularly noted, that Lilburn W. Boggs, then Lieutenant Governor, was acting in concert with the militia officer, who headed this attack upon the Mormons, and assisted in making the treaty by which they pledged themselves to give up their guns and leave the county, on condition that they should be protected from all wrong and insult while so doing.”
“Facts Relative to the Expulsion of the Mormon’s or Latter-day Saints, From the State of Missouri, Under the ‘Exterminating Order,’” John P. Greene (Cincinnati: R.P. Brooks, 1839).
711. “Joseph and Hyrum were Master Masons, yet they were massacred through the instrumentality of some of the leading men of that fraternity, and not one soul of them has ever stepped forth to administer help to me or my brethren belonging to the Masonic Institution, or to render us assistance, although bound under the strongest obligations to be true and faithful to each other in every case and under every circumstance, the commission of crime excepted.
“Yes, Masons, it is said, were even among the mob that murdered Joseph and Hyrum in Carthage Jail. Joseph, leaping the fatal window, gave the Masonic signal of distress. The answer was the roar of his murderers’ muskets and the deadly balls that pierced his heart. . . .
“. . . .When the enemy surrounded the jail, rushed up the stairway, and killed Hyrum Smith, Joseph stood at the open window, his martyr-cry being these words, “O Lord My God!” This was not the beginning of a prayer, because Joseph Smith did not pray in that manner. This brave, young man who knew that death was near, started to repeat the distress signal of the Masons, expecting thereby to gain the protection its members are pledged to give a brother in distress.”
E. Cecil McGavin, Mormonism and Masonry, (), 16-17.
712. “Our meetings were held in the printing office [Kirtland], or rather in a room under it. The room was not large enough to contain the people who came. It was quite a curiosity to see them coming so early almost as soon as light in order to get a seat. And finally they decided on taking their turns in staying away, as the weather was so cold, and it was unpleasant for those who stood outside. The females usually had seats. My husband worked for three months on the temple before it was dedicated, which was nearly the first he had ever done at the business.”
Kenneth W. and Audrey M. Godfrey, Jill Mulvay Derr, Women's Voices (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1982), 46-57.
713. In an effort to explain to non-Church members the true story of the Latter-day Saints people and to combat adverse publicity, the Church established the Temple Square Mission. As early as 1875, Charles J. Thomas, custodian of the Salt Lake Temple, then under construction, was assigned to meet tourists, show them around Temple Square, and answer their questions. He kept a book in which visitors to Temple Square could sign their names. In subsequent years, many famous people, including two presidents of the United States signed Brother Thomas’s register.
“Charles J. Thomas: Early Guide on Temple Square, Improvement Era, March 1963, pp. 167, 202-6.
714. The Twelve Apostles were promised that “in whatsoever place ye shall proclaim my name an effectual door shall be opened unto you, that they may receive my word” (D&C 112:19). This promise was fulfilled the very day it was revealed, 23 July 1837, when Elder Heber C. Kimball and his companions were invited to preach in the Vauxhall Chapel in Preston, England, an invitation resulting in the first baptisms in the British Isles.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Church History In The Fulness Of Times (Salt Lake City: Published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1993), 225.
715. Sidney Rigdon converted Parley P. Pratt to the Reformed Baptist Church. A few years later, Parley P. Pratt returned the favor and converted Sidney Rigdon to the Church in 1830 during Parley P. Pratt’s first mission.
William W. Slaughter, Life in Zion (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1995), 6.
716. The following story is told about the Joseph Glanvil family:
Joseph was sent on a mission leaving a wife and a large family in Salt Lake City. Sister Glanvil did all she could to help with expenses, including baking bread to sell. One day as this mother had the bread cooling under a kitchen towel; she discovered someone had stolen from the window sill one loaf of the bread and the kitchen towel.
A letter soon came from Elder Glanvil that described how he had found himself without funds and without food, exhausted and ill. He crawled under a bush for protection from the wind and rain, and in a prayer of desperation asked for not only food, but also assurance that he was truly on the Lord’s errand. As he finished his prayer, a loaf of warm bread wrapped in a kitchen towel that he recognized appeared beside him.
When the letter was received by his faithful wife and family telling of this experience, they were assured that the Lord loved them and that their husband and father was on a mission that was the will of the Lord. From then on, it mattered not what hardship followed; they knew the Lord would be there to help them through it.
The red and white kitchen towel accompanied this father for the rest of his mission, and today it has a sacred place among the posterity of the Glanvil family.
Joseph Glanvil wrote, “What is impossible to all humanity may be possible to the metaphysics and physiology of angels.”
Lucille Johnson, Enjoy the Journey (American Fork, Utah: Covenant Communications, Inc., 1996), 173-74.
717. The following is an event that Wilford Woodruff experienced on a mission in the Tennessee area:
“The landlord wanted a little fun, so he said he would keep me if I would preach. He wanted to see if I could preach.
“I must confess that by this time I became a little mischievous, and pleaded with him not to set me preaching.
“The more I plead to be excused, the more determined Mr. Jackson was that I should preach. He took my valise, and the landlady got me a good supper.
“I sat down in a large hall to eat supper. Before I got through, the room began to be filled with some of the rich and fashionable of Memphis, dressed in their broadcloth and silk, while my appearance was such as you can imagine, after traveling through the mud as I had been.
“When I had finished eating, the table was carried out of the room over the heads of the people, I was placed in the corner of the room, with a stand having a Bible, hymn book and candle on it, hemmed in by a dozen men, with the landlord in the center.
“There were present some five hundred persons who had come together, not to hear a good sermon, but to have some fun.
“Now boys, how would you like this position? On your first mission, without a companion or friend, and to be called upon to preach to such a congregation? With me it was one of the most pleasing hours of my life, although I felt as though I should like company.
“I read a hymn, and asked them to sing. Not a soul would sing a word.
“I told them I had not the gift of singing; but with the help of the Lord I would both pray and preach. I knelt down to pray and the men around me dropped on their knees. I prayed to the Lord to give me His spirit and to show me the hearts of the people. I promised the Lord in my prayer I would deliver to that congregation whatever He would give to me. I arose and spoke one hour and a half and it was one of the best sermons of my life.
The lives of the congregation were opened to the vision of my mind, and I told them of their wicked deeds and the reward they would obtain. The men who surrounded me dropped their heads. Three minutes after I closed I was the only person in the room.
“Soon I was shown to a bed, in a room adjoining a large one in which were assembled many of the men whom I had been preaching to. I could hear their conversation.
“One man said, he would like to know how that “Mormon” boy knew of their past lives.
“In a little while they got to disputing about some doctrinal point. One suggested calling me to decide the point. The landlord said ‘No, we have had enough for once.’
“In the morning I had a good breakfast. The landlord said if I came that way again to stop at his house, and stay as long as I might choose.
Leaves of My Journal, compiled by Preston Nibley (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988), 23-24.
718. Samuel Brannan, an energetic Elder of the Church in the New York branch, was appointed to take charge of the Saints who should go to California by water. The ship “Brooklyn” was finally chartered at a cost of $1,200 a month for the journey. Over three hundred Saints asked for places. Two hundred and thirty-eight were finally taken at a total cost for passage of $50 each.
Berrett, William Edwin, The Restored Church (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1973), 230.
719. The following is one of the agreements that the Government entered into with the Saints at the formation of the Mormon Battalion:
On July 1, Captain Allen had been assured by Brigham Young that the Battalion would be raised. On the following day ten Indian chiefs, then near Council Bluffs, were brought before Captain Allen and induced to put their marks as signatures to a treaty guaranteeing to the Mormons the right to stop upon the Indian lands, to cultivate the soil, and to pass to and from through it without molestation.
Journal History of the Church, M.S., July 18, 1846, p. 91-100.
720. A further benefit was soon realized. The Battalion men were allowed to wear their regular clothing rather than uniforms, and were paid in advance for this clothing when the companies reached Fort Leavenworth. A years’ pay in advance for their clothing, at the rate of $3.50 per month, would mean $42.00 each, or $21,000 for the entire Battalion. The greater part of this was sent back to their families, together with their first month’s pay. Secret agents were also sent by the Saints to Santa Fe through which the Battalion would pass to bring back to the Camps of Israel the pay checks which would then have accrued. In a letter to the Battalion, Brigham Young said:
“We consider the money you have received, as compensation for your clothing, a peculiar manifestation of the kind providence of our Heavenly Father at this particular time, which is just the time for the purchasing of provisions and goods for the winter supply of the camp.”
The pay of the Battalion men ranged from $7.00 a month for privates to $50 a month for captains. At the end of one year’s service their equipment was to become the personal property of the men, on their discharge in California.
History of Mormon Church, American, March, 1912, p. 310.
721. When the Mormon Battalion entered Santa Fe they received a one-hundred gun salute.
Berrett, William Edwin, The Restored Church (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1973), 241.
722. Captain Allen allowed the enlisted men to choose their officers with his approval. The enlisted men voted unanimously that Brigham Young nominate the officers for the men.
Golder, Frank, The March of the Mormon Battalion (New York: The Century Company, 1928), 123-124.
723. It’s interesting that Brigham Young addressed his battalion correspondence to Captain Jefferson Hunt and not Levi W. Hancock, one of the General Authorities who was one of the Seven Presidents of the Seventies at the time.
Authority Conflicts in the Mormon Battalion, Eugene E. Campbell, BYU Studies, Winter 68, p. 129.
724. The first group of Saints carried a leather boat across the plains with them which they named the “Revenue Cutter.” This boat was capable of handling loads of 1500-1800 pounds and was instrumental in ferrying the Saints across rivers, in addition to serving non-members on the Oregon Trail who would pay the Saints in flour.
Berrett, William Edwin, The Restored Church (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1973), 256.
Between June 18 to July 1, 1847, what is the traffic that the ferry handled?
500 wagons with 1,553 of the Saints left the Elkhorn River to follow the trail the Pioneers had blazed. These companies had 2,213 oxen, 124 horses, 887 cows, 358 sheep, 716 chickens, and number of pigs.
Berrett, William Edwin, The Restored Church (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1973), 256.
725. Death frequently visited the Saints as they slowly made their way west. On 23 June 1850 the Crandall family numbered fifteen. By the week’s end seven had died of the dreaded plague of cholera. In the next few days five more family members died. Then on 30 June Sister Crandall died in childbirth along with her newborn baby.
Our Heritage, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1996), 76.
726. Shortly after the Mormon troops came from Davies [Daviess], they received news that a company was gathered on Crooked River, and that some of them had been to some houses on Log Creek, in Caldwell, and ordered off the families, with severe threats if they were not off by sunrise the next morning. They took away their arms, and it was said, also burnt a wagon and a house, and took three men prisoners. On receiving this news, a company was fitted out to disperse them. Captain Fear-not (David W. Patten) commanded them.
John Corrill, A Brief History of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints (Commonly Called Mormons, Including an Account of their Doctrine and Discipline, with the Reasons of the Author for Leaving the Church) (St. Louis, n.p., 1839)
727. 9 September 1845: Daniel Spencer has returned a few days ago from the West. He reported in substance as follows:-“Their mission was to the Seneca Indians. They proceeded to about 500 miles up the Missouri River. They there met brother Denay and from him learned that Dunham was dead. They tarried five weeks with the Stockbridge tribe. This tribe manifested great kindness towards them and the Mormon people. They have considerable knowledge of the Mormons and of what is going on; their interest seems to be identified with ours. From Denay they learned what the Cherokees had given permission for many number of our people to settle nearby them and were willing to lend us an assistance they could, or to go west with us to explore the country. George Herring has been with several tribes and says they are all friendly and seem to understand what is going on and are ready to render us any assistance they can. Many of the Stockbridge tribe are joined in with the Baptists but are dissatisfied. Their chief expects to be here about the 6th of October. They preached to them and they seem satisfied with our doctrine. From what brother Denay said they concluded it unnecessary to go to the Seneca tribe, they learned that Denay had accomplished what they were sent for.
William Clayton Nauvoo Diaries and Personal Writings; http://www.boap.org/
728. The Battle of Nauvoo: There were only about 50 of the Mormon men against 2,000 of the mob, ten of them had to be on guard, two on top of the Temple with spy glasses. They went into Law's cornfield and there they had their battle, they were seen to fill two wagons with the wounded and killed. The next morning a woman stood in the second story house and saw the mob put 76 bodies in Calico slips with a draw string around the top before they left home. The Mormon women rolled the cannon balls up in their aprons, took them to our boys and they put them in the cannon and shoot them back again when they were hot. But there were a great many more missing, it was a fearful time. I could have crossed the river but I would not leave my husband. In about two days we had to surrender, lay down their arms. I saw the mob all dressed in black ride two by two on horseback. It looked frightful, they said there were 2,000 of them rode around the Temple in Nauvoo.
Autobiography of Tamma Durfee, Typescript, HBLL; htpp://www.boap.org/
729. For the Ohio Observer.
Dear Sir:- Having been for the last four years located in Kirtland, on the Western Reserve, I have thought proper to make some communication to the public in relation to the Mormons, a sect of Religious Fanatics, who are collected in this town. This service I have considered as due to the cause of humanity, as well as to the cause of truth and righteousness. What I have to communicate shall be said in the spirit of candor and christian charity.
Mormonism, it is well known, originated with Joseph Smith in the town of Manchester, adjoining Palmyra, in the state of New York. Smith had previously been noted among his acquaintances as a kind of Juggler, and had been employed in digging after money. He was believed by the ignorant to possess the power of second sight, by looking through a certain stone in his possession. He relates that when he was 17 years of age, while seeking after the Lord he had a nocturnal vision, and a wonderful display of celestial glory. An angel descended and warned him that God was about to make an astonishing revelation to the world, and then directed him to go to such a place, and after prying up a stone he should find a number of plates of the color of gold inscribed with hieroglyphics, and under them a breastplate, and under that a transparent stone or stones which was the Urim and Thummim mentioned by Moses. The vision and the command were repeated four times that night and once on the following day. He went as directed by the angel, and pried up the stone under which he discovered the plates shining like gold, and when he saw them his cupidity was excited, and he hoped to make himself rich by the discovery, although thus highly favored by the Lord. But for his sordid and unworthy motive, when he attempted to seize hold of the plates, they eluded his grasp and vanished, and he was obliged to go home without them. It was not till four years had elapsed, till he had humbled himself and prayed and cast away his selfishness that he obtained a new revelation and went and obtained the plates.
The manner of translation was as wonderful as the discovery. By putting his finger on one of the characters and imploring divine aid, then looking through the Urim and Thummim, he would see the import written in plain English on a screen placed before him. After delivering this to his amanuensis, he would again proceed in the same manner and obtain the meaning of the next character, and so on till he came to a part of the plates which were sealed up, and there was commanded to desist: and he says he has a promise from God that in due time he will enable him to translate the remainder. This is the relation as given by Smith. A man by the name of [Martin] Harris, of a visionary turn of mind, assisted in the translation, and afterwards Oliver Cowdery. By the aid of Harris's property, the book was printed; and it is affirmed by the people of that neighborhood, that at first his motives were entirely mercenary,--a mere money speculation. The book thus produced, is called by them The Book of Mormon; and is pretended to be of the same Divine Inspiration and authority as the Bible. The Mormons came in Kirtland about six years ago; being taught by their leaders that this was one of the stakes of Zion--the eastern borders of the promised land. Not long after their arrival in Kirtland, a revelation was obtained that the seat and center of Zion was in Jackson county, in the western part of Missouri; and thither a multitude of them repaired, with Smith at their head. Soon after they were routed and expelled from the county by the infidels, and many of them returned to Kirtland. There they have been gathering their converts from various parts of the United States, until their present number probably amounts to upwards of one thousand: besides the transient companies of pilgrims who come here from the east to inquire the way to Zion, and then pass on to Missouri.
They have built a huge stone [Kirtland] temple in this town, fifty feet high, and 60 by 80 on the ground, at an expense of $40,000. On the front is this inscription, "The House of the Lord, built by the Latter-day Saints." The lower story is the place of worship, the middle for the school of the prophets, and the upper for an academical school; a distinguished professor of Hebrew is their teacher. He is now giving his second course, with about one hundred in each class.
While I am exposing these palpable impositions of the apostles of Mormonism, candor obliges me to say, that many of the common people are industrious, good neighbors, very sincerely deceived, and possibly very sincere Christians. They seem to delight in the duty of prayer, and the services of devotion, and their zeal goes far beyond anything seen among sober Christ-Christians. Some are enterprising and intelligent, conversant with the bible, and fond of reading: and here, I apprehend, many who have heard of them only by common report, are mistaken; supposing them all to be ignorant and degraded, and beneath the notice of all respectable people. The prevalence of religious delusion is not to be attributed so much to mere ignorance, as to the structure and prejudices and pernicious habits of the mind, a predisposition to be captivated with anything that is new or wonderful.
It is furthermore proper to notice that this religious sect have been slandered, and belied, and persecuted beyond measure. We entirely disapprove of those violent measures which have been taken with them in Missouri and some other places; 1st, because it is an outrage upon inalienable rights--all men justly claiming to be protected in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and 2d, because it is unwise; persecution being the most effectual way to build up fanatics in error and delusion. But since there is a certain class in every community who are predisposed to embrace any wild delusion which chances to meet them, and since many such have already been deceived and lured away to Kirtland and to Zion and have been disappointed and distressed, and reduced to poverty and want; and, moreover, since there are now many converts abroad who are looking to this place with longing eyes, as to a land flowing with milk and honey, and expecting, when they find the means of getting here, to bid farewell to all earthly sorrow, we think the world have a right to know the state of things among them. Many of them live in extreme indigence. They suffer accumulated evils by crowding a multitude of poor people together, when, by a wider distribution, they might have better means of supplying their wants. Some of them are wealthy, and they have purchased 3 or 4000 acres of land in different parts of this town. A grotesque assemblage of hovels and shanties and small houses have been thrown up wherever they could find a footing; but very few of all these cabins would be accounted fit for human habitations.
Truman Coe "Mormonism," The Ohio Observer (Hudson), 11 August 1836
Reprinted in The Cincinnati Journal and Western Luminary, 25 August 1835 (p. 4)
730. President Young responded with the following to a New York newspaper editor’s inquiry:
“The result of my labors for the past 26 years, briefly summed up, are: The peopling of this Territory by the Latter-day Saints of about 100,000 souls; the founding of over 200 cities, towns and villages inhabited by our people, . . . and the establishment of schools, factories, mills and other institutions calculated to improve and benefit our communities. . . .
Our Heritage, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1996), 91.
731. The following is a letter that George Foote sent to Warren Foote. George, the non-member father to Warren, quotes a newspaper article and Warren (who is a member of the Church) responds in his journal to the article. The article has reference to the Missouri/Mormon problems.
Ypsilanti bank has broke, with hundreds and thousands of dollars of its paper palmed on the public; while the stockholders make themselves, and friends rich by it. I will give you a short sketch published in the Advocate that I received yesterday.
"It is hard to tell which party were the aggressors. It is the prevailing sentiment, so far as I can learn, that the Mormons committed the first depredations, in the character of a mob, and such was the excitement, that the militia were twice called out to suppress the gathering. After the troops were called home the last time, the Mormons commenced burning, plundering, taking prisoners, and threatening to murder every thing in Daviess County. The apprehensions of the citizens, of Ray County were so fearful, that they thought their safety required a guard to be placed on the line between Caldwell and Ray Counties. This guard consisted of about 45 soldiers, legally ordered out. [Battle of Crooked River] They were attacked in the night, by about 100 Mormons, and some were killed, and wounded on both sides. This defiance of the laws kindled a flame in the bosom of every patriot. The country was soon in arms, and things began to wear a gloomy and awful aspect. Vengeance seemed determined on both sides.
The Mormons rallied to their strong hold, men, women and children, to witness the fulfillment of prophecy viz. that God would send angels to fight their battles. Never did there seem to be more depending on an action; the truth, or falsehood of prophecy, was to be tested by it, the fate of hundreds were depending on the issue. Both parties seemed certain of victory.
The day, the hour, at last came. 3000 citizens were encamped within half a mile of the village of Far West. They were marched to the town, and a line of battle formed. An engagement was expected, but prevented (blessed be God) by a truce, until an unconditional surrender was made. Their leaders were given up prisoners of war, and there grounded at the feet of their enemies.
About 50 Mormons have been killed during the war. Since their surrender, a company of Mormons, calling themselves Danites, that had entered into a conspiracy against the government have been detected and about 50 are now in Richmond jail. There is no doubt but both parties are to blame, and I rejoice to say, that it is the determination of the officers to punish all who have acted as a mob on both sides. The state of Missouri will have to pay dear for such acts. Two hundred thousand dollars would not pay the expense, it is thought. What I have stated I have done on the veracity of men, who were in the war. I have had no share in it; more than to stay home and defend my family. Their condition is truly deplorable. Their lands are taken to pay their debts; they are without homes, without money, and without friends. Let the followers of the humane Jesus, as far as they can, relieve their distress, by feeding the hungry and clothing the naked." Signed H. L. Dodds. Independence Mo. (Nov. 22nd 1838)
I want you to write as soon as you get this--do not delay. As I have run ashore of paper I am obliged to close. George Foote.
The following is Warren’s reply to his father’s letter:
The foregoing letters were all written on one double sheet of paper. I answered all of George’s queries and corrected the statements made by H. L. Dodds. The Mormons were not the first aggressors, neither did they threaten to murder every thing in Daviess County. The mobbers commenced plundering, and threatened to drive all the Mormons from that county, and when they found that the Mormons were to much for them, they set fire to their own houses, and fled into the adjoining counties, and spread the report that the Mormons had burned their houses, and drove them from their homes. Previous to this, the mobbers took some of the Mormons prisoners, and treated them most illy. One person they beat over the head with a gun barrel until his brains oozed out, and left him for dead, but he afterward recovered. I saw him in Illinois and examined his head. I could have lain my finger in the wound after it was healed. The Mormons did not feel justified, to tamely submit to such brutal treatment to have their brethren murdered in cold blood, their women ravished, and their property destroyed by these devils in human shape. After appealing in vain to the authorities of the state, they found that they would have to protect themselves or be destroyed, therefore they arose en masse, and put a stop to mobbing in Daviess County. But when they found that the Governor had ordered the militia of the state to march to Far West, and take them prisoners, they threw down their arms, and submitted to banishment, trusting in the God of Israel for that protection, which the governor had refused them, who instead of protecting them in their rights, as American Citizens, had ordered his Generals to exterminate them.
Autobiography of Warren Foote, Typescript, HBLL; http://www.boap.org/
732. Many people feared that the Nauvoo Legion, due to its size and training, would most likely attack the local citizenry at the preference of its leaders. Newspapers were largely responsible for these claims as it was said that the Legion will attack such places as Missouri, Texas, Mexico, and even the United States.
Chillicothe Intelligencer, July 1, 1843; The Freeman, July 23, 1842; Lee County Democrat, May 14, 1842
733. Not everything written about the Church was negative. Read the following:
FACTS RELATIVE TO THE EXPULSION OF THE MORMONS
FROM THE STATE OF MISSOURI
From the Quincy (Illinois) Argus, March 16, 1839
THE MORMONS, OR LATTER DAY SAINTS
We give in today's paper the details of the recent bloody tragedy acted in Missouri--the details of a scene of terror and blood unparalleled in the annals of modern, and under the circumstances of the case, in ancient history--a tragedy of so deep, and fearful, and absorbing interest, that the very life-blood of the heart is chilled at the simple contemplation. We are prompted to ask ourselves if it be really true, that we are living in an enlightened, a humane and civilized age--in an age and quarter of the world boasting of its progress in every thing good, and great, and honorable, and virtuous, and high-minded--in a country of which, as American citizens, we could be proud--whether we are living under a constitution and laws, or have not rather returned to the ruthless times of the stern Atilla--to the times of the fiery Hun, when the sword and flame ravaged the fair fields of Italy and Europe, and the darkest passions held full revel in all the revolting scenes of unchecked brutality, and unbridled desire?
We have no language sufficiently strong for the expression of our indignation and shame at the recent transaction in a sister state--and that state Missouri--a state of which we had long been proud, alike for her men and history, but now so fallen, that we could wish her star stricken out from the bright constellation of the Union. We say we know of no language sufficiently strong for the expression of our shame and abhorrence of her recent conduct. She has written her own character in letters of blood--and stained it by acts of merciless cruelty and brutality that the waters of ages cannot efface. It will be observed that an organized mob aided by many of the civil and military officers of Missouri, with Governor Boggs at their head, have been the prominent actors in this business, incited too, it appears, against the Mormons by political hatred, and by the additional motives of plunder and revenge. They have but too well put in execution their threats of extermination and expulsion, and fully wreaked their vengeance on a body of industrious and enterprising men, who had never wronged, nor wished to wrong them, but on the contrary had ever comported themselves as good and honest citizens, living under the same laws and having the same right with themselves to the sacred immunities of life, liberty, and property.
The following advertisement was placed by Joseph Smith Sr. in the Wayne Sentinel, which was printed in Palmyra, on six successive Wednesdays from September to November of 1824. This ad was placed to those who had started a rumor that Alvin Smith’s body had been dug up from its grave and mutilated.
To the Public
Whereas reports have been industriously put in circulation, that my son Alvin had been removed from the place of his interment and dissected, which reports, every person possessed of human sensibility must know, are peculiarly calculated to harrow up the mind of apparent and deeply wound the feelings of relation—therefore, for the purpose, I, with some of my neighbors, this morning repaired to the grave, and removing the earth, found the body which had not been disturbed.
This method is taken for the purpose of satisfying the minds of those who may have heard the report, and of informing those who have put it in circulation, that it is earnestly requested they would desist therefrom; and that it is believed by some, that they have been stimulated more by a desire to injure the reputation of certain persons than a philanthropy for the peace and welfare of myself and friends. Joseph Smith.
Palmyra, Sept. 25th, 1824.
734. The following is in reference to the Book of Mormon. Remember 5,000 copies were printed in that first edition.
Now came the great task of publishing the manuscript as a book. For perspective, consider that large print jobs of that day were 2,000 copies of a two-to three-page pamphlet or 1,000 copies of a book.
Joseph and Oliver searched for a printer who would take on the mammoth order they had in mind-5,000 copies of a 590-page book.
Scot Facer Proctor, Witness of the Light (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1991), 77.
735. Looking back at that era, current mayor of Quincy, Illinois, Charles W. Scholz, suggests, “In 1839 there were about 1,500 people here in Quincy. And those settlers welcomed 5,000 Mormons, that had been forcibly driven from the state of Missouri under harsh winter conditions, had walked across the frozen Mississippi. And, they were offered food and clothing and shelter. Now to put that in perspective, that would be like the 42,000 residents of Quincy today taking care of 150,000 refugees. . . . That is one of the most incredible acts of humanity, I think, in the history of this country.”
Heidi S. Swinton, Sacred Stone (American Fork, Utah: Covenant Communications, Inc., 2002), 24.
736. The following is a listing of what Henry Bigler, his father, and John Chase took with them on the Mormon Trail:
Outfit of five wagons, nine horses, six of which are good serviceable horses, two yoke of oxen, one thousand pounds of flour, twelve bushels of cornmeal, two bushels of parch cornmeal, three hundred and fifty pounds of biscuit or sea bread, one hundred and fifty pounds meat, two bushels of seed buck wheat and one hundred pounds of fall wheat, and a variety of garden seeds. Two set of plows, one shovel plow, two spades, two hoes, two froes, one iron wedge, five angers, thirty pounds of iron, 20 extra horseshoes, thirty pounds cutnails, one extra king bolt, two three quartered bots, two light draft chains, fifty pounds of soap, one hundred papers of smoking tobacco, three rifle guns, three muskets, one brace of belt pistols, two kegs of powder, 100 lbs. of lead. . . .
Autobiography of Henry William Bigler, Typescript HBLL, htpp://www.boap.org/
737. Mr. Cowdery was an able lawyer and a great advocate. His manners were easy and gentlemanly; he was polite, dignified, yet courteous. He had an open countenance, high forehead, dark brown eyes, Roman nose, clenched lips and prominent lower jaw. He shaved smooth and was neat and cleanly in his person. He was of light stature, about five feet, five inches high, and had a loose, easy walk. With all his kind and friendly disposition, there was a certain degree of sadness that seemed to pervade his whole being. His association with others was marked by the great amount of information his conversation conveyed and the beauty of his musical voice. His addresses to the court and jury were characterized by a high order of oratory, with brilliant and forensic force. He was modest and reserved, never spoke ill of anyone, never complained.
William Lang to Thomas Gregg, 5 Nov 1881, cit. Charles A. Shook, The True Origin of The Book of Mormon (Cincinnati: Standard Publishing Co., 1914), 56-57.
738. As the result of a severe cold, contracted sometime during 1849, he [Oliver Cowdery] became infected with the dreaded disease known then as "consumption," which brought about his death on March 3, 1850. Oliver Cowdery, at the time, was a few months past his 43rd birthday. Of his death, David Whitmer, who was present, relates:
"Oliver died the happiest man I ever saw. After shaking hands with the family and kissing his wife and daughter, he said: `Now I lay me down for the last time: I am going to my Savior'; and he died immediately with a smile on his face."
739. The following experience is related by Wilford Woodruff:
When Father Joseph Smith gave me my patriarchal blessing, among the many wonderful things of my life, he promised me that I should bring my father’s household into the kingdom of God, and I felt that if I ever obtained the blessing, the time had come for me to perform it.
By the help of God, I preached the gospel faithfully to my father’s household and to all that were with him, as well as to my other relatives, and I had appointed a meeting on Sunday, the 1st of July, at my father’s home.
My Father was believing my testimony, as were all in his household, but upon this occasion the devil was determined to hinder the fulfillment of the promise of the patriarch unto me.
It seemed as though Lucifer, the son of the morning, had gathered together the hosts of hell and exerted his powers upon us all. Distress overwhelmed the whole household, and all were tempted to reject the work. And it seemed as though the same power would devour me. I had to take to my bed for an hour before the time of meeting. I there prayed unto the Lord with my whole soul for deliverance, for I knew the power of the devil was exercised to hinder me from accomplishing what God had promised me.
The Lord heard my prayer and answered my petition, and when the hour of meeting had come I arose from my bed, and could sing and shout for joy to think I had been delivered from the power of the evil one.
Filled with the power of God, I stood up in the midst of the congregation and preached the gospel of Jesus Christ unto the people in great plainness.
At the close of the meeting we assembled on the banks of the Farmington River, “because there was much water there,” and I led six of my friends into the river and baptized them for the remission of their sins.
All of my father’s household were included in this number, according to the promise of the Patriarch. They were all relatives except Dwight Webster, who was a Methodist class-leader and was boarding with my father’s family.
I organized the small number of nine persons, eight of whom were my relatives, into a branch of the Church, and ordained Dwight Webster to the office of a Priest and administered the sacrament unto them.
It was truly a day of joy to my soul. My father, step-mother and sister were among the number baptized. I afterwards added a number of relatives. I felt that this days’ work alone amply repaid me for all my labor in the ministry.
Who can comprehend the joy, the glory, the happiness and consolation that an Elder of Israel feels in being an instrument in the hands of God of bringing his father, mother, sister, brother, or any of the posterity of Adam through the door that enters into life and salvation? No man can, unless he has experienced these things, and possesses the testimony of Jesus Christ and the inspiration of Almighty God.
Leaves of My Journal, Preston Nibley comp., (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988), 59-61.
740. Kirtland, Ohio, December 22, 1835 [Letter from Michael H. Chandler]
Dear Brother in the Lord [William Frye]:
. . . Upon the subject of the Egyptian records, or rather the writings of Abraham and Joseph, and may I say a few words. This record is beautifully written in papyrus with black, and a small part, red ink or paint, in perfect preservation. The characters are such as you find upon the coffins of mummies, hieroglyphics and etc., with many characters or letters exactly like the present, though perhaps not quite so square form of the Hebrew without points.
These records were obtained from one of the catacombs in Egypt, near the place where once stood the renowned city of Thebes, by the celebrated French traveller Antonio Sebolo [Lebolo], in the year 1831. He procured license from Mohemet Ali, then Viceroy of Egypt under the protection of Chevralier [Chevalier] Drovetti, the French Consul, in the year 1828; employed 433 men four months and two days, (if I understood correctly, Egyptian or Turkish soldiers), at from four to six cents per diem, each man; entered the catacomb June 7, 1831, and obtained eleven mummies. There were several hundred mummies in the same catacomb. About one hundred embalmed after the first order and deposited and placed in niches and two or three hundred after the second and third order, and laid upon the floor or bottom of the grand cavity, the two last orders of embalmed were so decayed that they could not be removed and only eleven out of the first, found in the niches.
On his way from Alexandria to Paris he put in at Trieste, and after ten days illness, expired. This was in the year 1832. Previous to his decease, he made a will of the whole to Mr. Michael H. Chandler, then in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, his nephew, whom he supposed to have been in Ireland.
Accordingly the whole were sent to Dublin, addressed according, and Mr. Chandler's friends ordered them sent to New York where they were received at the customhouse in the winter or spring of 1833. In April of the same year Mr. Chandler paid the duties upon his mummies and took possession of the same. Up to this time they had not been taken out of the coffins nor the coffins opened.
On opening the coffins he discovered that in connection with two of the bodies were something rolled up with the same kind of linen, saturated with the same bitumen, which when examined proved to be two rolls of papyrus, previously mentioned. I may add that two or three other small pieces of papyrus, with astronomical calculations, epitaphs, etc., were found with others of the mummies.
When Mr. Chandler discovered that there was something with the mummies, he supposed or hoped it might be some diamonds or other valuable metal, and was no little chagrined when he saw his disappointment. He was immediately told while yet in the customhouse, that there was no man in that city, who could translate his rolls; but was referred by the same gentleman, (a stranger) to Mr. Joseph Smith, Jr., who continued [that] he possess some kind of power or gift by which he had previously translated similar characters. Brother Smith was then unknown to Mr. Chandler. Neither did he know that such a book or work as the record of the Nephites had been brought before the public. From New York he took his collection to Philadelphia, [Pennsylvania], where he exhibited them for a compensation. The following is a certificate put into my hands by Mr. Chandler, which he obtained while in Philadelphia and will show the opinion of the scientific of that city:
"Having examined with considerable attention and deep interest, a number of mummies from the catacombs, near Thebes, in Egypt and now exhibiting in the Arcade, we beg leave to recommend them to the observation of the curious inquirer on subjects of a period so long elapsed; probably not less than three thousand years ago.
"The features of some of the mummies are in perfect expression. The papyrus covered with black or red ink, or paint, in excellent preservation, are very interesting. The undersigned, unsolicited by any person connected by interest with this exhibition, have voluntarily set their names hereunto, for the simple purpose of calling the attention of the public to an interesting collection, not sufficiently known in this city." signed
John Redman Cone, M.D., E. H. Rivinius, M.D., Richard Harlan, M.D., J. Pencoat, M.D., Wm. P. C. Barton, M.D., Samuel G. Morgan, M.D."
While Mr. Chandler was in Philadelphia he used every exertion to find someone who would give him the translation of his papyrus, but could not satisfactorily, though from some few men of the `first eminence' he obtained in a small degree the translation of a few characters.
Here he was referred to Brother Smith. From Philadelphia he visited Harrisburg, [Pennsylvania] and other places east of the mountains, and was frequently referred to Brother Smith for the translation of his Egyptian relic.
It would be beyond my purpose to follow this gentleman in his different circuits to the time he visited this place, the last of June or first of July, at which time he presented Brother Smith with his papyrus. Till then neither myself nor Brother Smith knew of such relics being in America. Mr. Chandler was told that his writings could be deciphered, and very politely gave me privileges of copying some four or five different sentences or separate pieces, stating at the same time, that unless he found someone who "could give him a translation soon he would carry them to London."
I am a little in advance of my narrative. The morning Mr. Chandler first presented his papyrus to Brother Smith, he was shown by the latter, a number of characters like those upon the writings of Mr. C. [Chandler] which were previously copied from the plates containing the history of the Nephites, or Book of Mormon.
Being solicited by Mr. Chandler to give an opinion concerning his antiquities, or a translation of some of the characters, Brother J. [Joseph] gave him the interpretation of some few for his satisfaction. For your gratification I will here annex a certificate which I hold, from under the hand of Mr. Chandler, unsolicited however, by any person in this place, which will show how far he believed Brother Smith able to unfold from these long obscure rolls, the wonders obtained thereon:
"Kirtland July 6th, 1835
This is to make known to all who may be desirous, concerning the knowledge of Mr. Joseph Smith, Jr., in deciphering the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic characters, in my possession, which I have, in many eminent cities, shown to the most learned; and from the information that I could ever learn, or meet with, I find that Mr. Joseph Smith, Jr., to correspond in the most minute matters.
Signed Michael H. Chandler
Traveling with and proprietor of Egyptian Mummies."
The foregoing is verbatim as given by Mr. Chandler excepting the addition of punctuation, and speaks sufficiently plain without requiring comment from me and it was given previous to the purchase of the antiquities, by any person here.
The language in which this record is written is very comprehensive, and many of the hieroglyphics exceedingly striking.
Oliver Cowdery Letters, Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, California (hereafter cited as Huntington), letters of Oliver Cowdery cited in Stanley R. Gunn, Oliver Cowdery: Second Elder and Scribe (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1962) and LDS Church Archives. With the exception of two letters, the letters in this collection have been printed in Gunn's work and were located at the time of the publication of that work in the Huntington Library or Church Archives.
741. The following from the journal of Warren Foote dated May 13, 1837:
13th. The rest of our company being somewhat anxious to see the Prophet Joseph, and the Temple, concluded to accompany Father, and myself to Kirtland. We hired a man to take us to that place for $5.00-distant 12 miles. We arrived there about noon. In the afternoon we went into the [Kirtland] Temple, and saw the mummies and the records which were found with them (we went to the prophet's house to see him. This is the first I saw him, and shook hands with him). Joseph Smith Sen. explained them to us, and said the records were the writings of Abraham & Joseph, Jacob's son. Some of the writing was in black, and some in red. He said that the writing in red, was pertaining to the Priesthood.
Autobiography of Warren Foote, Typescript, HBLL; htpp://www.boap.org/
742. What was the purchasing price that Joseph Smith paid for the Egyptian mummies?
Prolegomena to Any Study of the Book of Abraham, Hugh Nibley, BYU Studies, Winter 68, p. 181.
743. The following is an incident that happened as a result of a member trying to get Saints in Iowa to sell their property and move to Nauvoo.
There was an elder by the name of James Carl. He had formerly been a Methodist preacher and very enthusiastic. He got the whole branch excited in relation to the judgments of God that was to precede the coming of the Messiah. He made the members of the branch believe that these instructions were to take place almost immediately, and that our land would be of no benefit to us. But I still opposed selling. This same James Carl had visited a small branch about 30 miles up the river and raised an excitement in the settlement. The inhabitants being very much enraged in consequence of his preaching false doctrine. So Alva Tippits was appointed to that mission. He invited me and Benjamin Leyland to accompany him up there. James Carl also went along, intruding himself on the company.
On arriving at the place, we found the citizens very much exasperated and forbid the branch holding any more meetings. Alva Tippits called a council of the elders to decide what to do. And it was agreed to appoint a meeting the next day at 12 o’clock. The appointed time arrived and the house filled up for the meeting.
The opening services being concluded Brother Leyland arose to speak to the people, when announcement was given that the mob was coming. There were about 40 of them armed with clubs and bowie knives and pistols. They marched upon the door full of rage, cursing and swearing and damning old Joe Smith and the Mormons, brandishing their clubs and knives in the air. At this the congregation became frightened, the women and children were crying screaming, and then all rushed out the back door as the mob were coming in the front door. Leyland stopped preaching. James Carl crouched up in the corner under the desk and Leyland followed suit. This left Brother Tippits and myself to face the music. The house being filled with an infuriated mob. I sprang upon one of the benches and said,
“Gentlemen don’t be excited. I am an American citizen and I presume you are also Americans. We enjoy the liberty, the rights and privileges that our fathers fought for in the Revolutionary war and many of them laid down their lives to secure us the privilege we now enjoy, or living on our farms and pleasant houses unmolested. I was a volunteer in the Blackhawk war and ventured my life to reach this country, the Iowa Territory, from the hands of the Indians, even this land on which you have your homes. My father also was a volunteer in the War of 1812 and ventured his life for the protection of our liberties. My grandfather was a commander on the seas and commanded a large fleet and fought one of the most decisive battles in the Revolutionary War. We as American citizens are enjoying the fruits of their sufferings and labors. We wish you to enjoy the privileges of living on your farms unmolested. We have not come here out of any evil motives. We believe in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. We came here to have a visit with the folks up here and to have a little meeting. Now I ask you kindly if you have any objections to our having a little prayer meeting this evening? And as far as the Mormons are concerned you will never be disturbed in the enjoyment of your homes and your rights and privileges. And after our meeting we will return to our homes.”
They listened to my remarks with marked attention. The captain of the mob stepped upon a bench and said,
“That does not agree with the ideas we have heard about the Mormons. We believe them to be the most wicked, corrupt, scoundrels that live upon the earth. And as to your believing the Bible, you are as far from it as the East to the West. We want no more Mormon meetings in our settlement. Yet, I don’t know that I have any objections to your having a meeting this evening.”
He then asked his company if they were willing that we should have a meeting to which they agreed. So they went to their homes. And then Leyland and Carl crawled out from under the desk. Appointment was given out for a meeting that evening.
The time came, the house was crowed, and among the audience was the mob. The meeting opened, the privilege was given for anyone to speak that wished to. Several of the brethren bore testimony to the truth of Mormonism. Some of the sisters spoke in tongues. Also some of the brethren spoke in tongues and prophesied. We had a splendid meeting. I was moved upon to speak in a language unknown to me. At this the Captain of the mob got up and said no one could deny but that was a pure language, but how do we know but that they have learned that language. There was the most strict attention paid to everything that was said. The meeting was dismissed and the best to feelings enjoyed by all, both Saints and mob.
Autobiography of Lewis Barney, http://www.boap.org/
744. Letter of Alfred Cordon to Joseph Smith:
Some of the tools of Satan are doing more in spreading the truth than we are able to do; one in particular, a Mr. Brindley, is publishing a periodical showing the “errors and blasphemies” of “Mormonism;” and in order to do this, he publishes many of the revelations of God given to us, and through this means, the testimony is visiting the mansions of the high and mighty ones-the “reverends, high reverends” and all the noble champions of sectarians receive them as a precious morsel; and they are read with much interest; whereas, if we had sent them, they would have been spurned from their dwellings, and would not have been considered worth reading.
Joseph Smith Jr., History of the Church (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1950), 4:515.
745. The following is from John Corrill. He wrote this after he had left the church. Brother Corrill has an interesting perspective on what it is people should have done if they wanted to rid the world of Mormonism:
The high priests, elders and priests, have from the commencement of the Church, labored indefatigably to proclaim the gospel and gain disciples, and they have generally been successful, though strongly opposed. On the sixth day of April, 1830, there were but six members in the Church, but now their members are differently estimated from ten to forty thousand, though, in my opinion, there are from twelve to twenty thousand. Much exertion has been used to confute and put down their doctrine and belief, but as foolish as it is, their elders have generally been able to compete with and baffle their opponents. Several publications have appeared against them, as well as newspaper prints, but the misfortune generally has been, that they contained so much misrepresentation, that it has destroyed the confidence of the public in the truth they did contain. Men of influence in the Church have, at different times, turned against it, become its violent enemies, and tried to destroy it, but generally without success. If Smith, Rigden [Rigdon] and others, of the leaders, had managed wisely and prudently, in all things, and manifested truly a Christian spirit, it would have been very difficult to put them down. But their imprudence and miscalculations, and manifest desire for power and property, have opened the eyes of many, and did more to destroy them than could possibly have been done otherwise. My opinion is, that if the Church had been let alone by the citizens, they would have divided and subdivided so as to have completely destroyed themselves and their power, as a people, in a short time.
John Corrill, A Brief History of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints (Commonly Called Mormons, Including an Account of their Doctrine and Discipline, with the Reasons of the Author for Leaving the Church) (St. Louis, n.p., 1839).
746. The following is a letter from Oliver Cowdery.
Kirtland, January 21, 1834
Dear Brothers Wm. [William W. Phelps] and John [Whitmer]:
I am yet alive and anxiously wait till the Lord grants us the privilege of meeting again.
Our office is yet in the brick building, though we expect in the spring to move on the hill near the Methodist meeting house. Our enemies have threatened us but thank the Lord we are yet on earth. They came out on the 8th about 12 o'clock at night, a little west and fired cannon. We suppose to alarm us, but no one was frightened, but all prepared to defend ourselves if they made a sally upon our houses.
My love to Elizabeth,
Write again that I may publish it.
Oliver Cowdery Letters, Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, California (hereafter cited as Huntington), letters of Oliver Cowdery cited in Stanley R. Gunn, Oliver Cowdery: Second Elder and Scribe (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1962) and LDS Church Archives. With the exception of two letters, the letters in this collection have been printed in Gunn's work and were located at the time of the publication of that work in the Huntington Library or Church Archives.
747. But about the setting in of winter mobocracy, which had been gradually increasing after the settling of the Mormons in that part of the country, gained a fearful climax, in so much that it was really unsafe to be known as such. In Farmington, a place five miles from Bonepart, they would take a man if they knew he was a Mormon and hang him up to a tree or anything that would answer their purpose in the street in open daylight. They would hang him until nearly dead before taking him down. One old man by the name of McBride, an old revolutionary soldier, died in consequence of the hanging. They would also cut holes in the ice in the river and hold them in the water until nearly dead. These outrages were perpetrated without preferring any charge. But these outrages, although of frequent occurrence, did not satisfy their diabolical thirst for malice and unprovoked spite. The spirit which raged with violence and savage cruelty in Illinois and Missouri was exhibited in Farmington in the vindictive spirit in which they sought to harass and persecute the Saints.
Autobiography of Eliza Dana Gibbs, Typescript, UHI; http://www.boap.org/
748. The following event takes place at Jackson County, Missouri.
On Tuesday , when the mob again assembled, they went to the houses of several of the leading Mormons; and, taking Isaac Morley, David Whitmer, and others, they told them to bid their families farewell, for they would never see them again. Then driving them at the point of the bayonet to the public square, they stripped and tarred and feathered them, amidst menaces and insults. The commanding officer then called twelve of his men, and ordering them to cock their guns and present them at the prisoner's breasts, and to be ready to fire when he gave the word,--he addressed the prisoners, threatening them with instant death, unless they denied the book of Mormon and confessed it to be a fraud; at the same time adding, that if they did so, they might enjoy the privileges of citizens. David Whitmer, hereupon, lifted up his hands and bore witness that the Book of Mormon was the Word of God. The mob then let them go.
“Facts Relative to the Expulsion of the Mormon’s or Latter-day Saints, From the State of Missouri, Under the ‘Exterminating Order,’” John P. Greene (Cincinnati: R.P. Brooks, 1839).
749. The following is in reference to the Missouri persecutions:
In order that it may be fully understood what were the relative states of mind of the Mormons and the people of Daviess County, at this time, reference may be made to a letter from Major George Woodward to his wife, which was seen and read by me, John P. Greene, to whom Mrs. Woodward showed it. It was dated headquarters, Daviess County. He says, that after having been patrolling Daviess County for the last two days, for the purpose of ascertaining where the fault lay, and who were under arms, he had found many of the people of Daviess and other counties armed and apparently hostile to the Mormons; and that having visited the city of Adam-ondi-Ahman, to his great astonishment, instead of block-houses and entrenchments and cannon, as had been reported by the citizens of Daviess County, he had found a poor but industrious people, living in pole houses, and no men under arms, but each engaged about his own business. He continues he is surprised to see such violence of feeling existing against a people who seem so inoffensive.
“Facts Relative to the Expulsion of the Mormons or Latter-day Saints, From the State of Missouri, Under the Exterminating Order,’” John P. Greene (Cincinnati: R. P. Brooks, 1839).
750. We have often heard how Alexander Doniphan disobeyed General Moses Wilsons command to have Joseph Smith and other Church leaders executed the next morning at Far West. Apparently, according to the Alanson Ripley, Joseph Smith had others on his side.
There were seventeen officers who composed this court martial and twelve out of seventeen consented to the death of these men, but thank God there was virtue enough in the minority to overrule the infamy of the majority, therefore their lives were spared.
Times and Seasons, Vol. 1. No. 3., Commerce, Illinois, January, 1840.