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THE year 1834 opened with activity upon the part of the church in Kirtland. The leading officers humbled themselves in special and earnest prayer for certain purposes. Of this and other items of history the writings of Joseph Smith are the best authority. He states:-
"On the evening of the eleventh of January, Joseph Smith, Jr., Frederick G. Williams, Newel E. Whitney, John Johnson, Oliver Cowdery, and Orson Hyde united in prayer, and asked the Lord to grant the following petitions:-
"That the Lord would grant that our lives might be precious in his sight, that he would watch over our persons, and give his angels charge concerning us and our families, that no evil nor unseen hand might be permitted to harm us. . .
"That the Lord would grant that Brother Joseph might prevail over his enemy, even Doctor Hurlbut, who has threatened his life, whom Joseph has caused to be taken with a precept; that the Lord would fill the heart of the court with a spirit to do justice, and cause that the law of the land may be magnified in bringing him to justice.
"That the Lord would provide in the order of his providence the bishop of this church with means sufficient to discharge every debt that the order owes, in due season, that the church may not be brought into disrepute and the saints be afflicted by the hands of their enemies.
"That the Lord would protect our printing press from the
hands of evil men. and give us means to send forth his record, even his gospel, that the ears of all may hear it, and also that we may print his Scriptures; and also that he would give those who were appointed to conduct the press wisdom sufficient that the cause may not be hindered, but that men's eyes may thereby be opened to see the truth.
"That the Lord would deliver Zion, and gather in his scattered people to possess it in peace; and also, while in their dispersion, that he would provide for them that they perish not by hunger or cold; and finally, that God, in the name of Jesus, would gather his elect speedily, and unveil his face, that his saints might behold his glory, and dwell with him. Amen.. . .
"On the 22d, the Presidency of the High Priesthood wrote from Kirtland to the brethren in Christ Jesus, scattered from Zion, scattered abroad from the land of their inheritance; Greeting:-We your companions in tribulation embrace the present opportunity of sending you this token of our love and good will, assuring you that our bowels are filled with compassion, and that our prayers are daily ascending to God in the name of Jesus Christ in your behalf.
"We have just received intelligence from you through the medium of Brother Elliott, of Chagrin, making inquiries concerning the course which you are to pursue. In addition to the knowledge contained in the above on this subject, we say if it is not the duty of the Governor to call out and keep a standing force in Jackson County to protect you on your lands, (which it appears, must be done, as we understand the mob are determined to massacre you if the Governor takes you back upon your lands and leaves you unprotected,) it will become your duty to petition the Governor to petition the President to send a force there to protect you when you are reinstated.
"The Governor proposes to take you back to your lands whenever you are ready to go, (if we understand correctly,) but cannot keep up any army to guard you; and while the hostile feelings of the people of Jackson County remain unabated, probably you dare not go back to be left unguarded. Therefore, in your petition to the Governor, set
all these things forth in their proper light, and pray him to notify the President of your situation, and also petition the President yourselves, according to the direction of the Lord. We have petitioned Governor Dunklin in your behalf, and inclosed [enclosed] it in a printed revelation, the same as this, which we now send to you. The petition was signed by something like sixty brethren, and mailed for Jefferson City, one week ago, and he will probably receive it two weeks before you receive this.
"We also calculate to send a petition and this revelation to the President forthwith, in your behalf, and then we will act the part of the poor widow to perfection, if possible, and let our rulers read their destiny if they do not lend a helping hand. We exhort you to prosecute and try every lawful means to bring the mob to justice, as fast as circumstances will permit. With regard to your tarrying in Clay County, we cannot say; you must be governed by circumstances; perhaps you will have to hire out, and take farms to cultivate, to obtain bread until the Lord delivers.
"We sent you a fifty dollar United States note some time ago. If you have received it, please acknowledge the receipt of it, to us, that we may be satisfied you received it. We shall do all that is in our power to assist you in every way we can. We know your situation is a trying one, but be patient and not murmur against the Lord, and you shall see that all these things shall turn to your greatest good.
"Inquire of Elder Marsh and find out the entire secret of mixing and compounding lead and antimony, so as to make type metal, and write us concerning it. Joseph has sent you another fifty dollar note, making in all one hundred dollars; write us concerning it. There is a prospect of the eastern churches doing something pretty handsome towards the deliverance of Zion, in the course of a year, if Zion is not delivered otherwise.
"Though the Lord said this affliction came upon you because of your sins, polluting your inheritances, etc., yet there is an exception of some; namely, the heads of Zion, for the Lord said your brethren in Zion begin to repent, and the angels rejoice over them, etc. You will also see an exception
at the top of the second column of this revelation: therefore this affliction came upon the church to chasten those in transgression, and prepare the hearts of those who had repented, for an endowment from the Lord.
"We shall not be able to send you any more money at present, unless the Lord puts it into our hands unexpectedly. There is not quite so much danger of a mob upon us as there has been. The hand of the Lord has thus far been stretched out to protect us. Doctor P. Hurlbut, an apostate elder from this church, has been to the State of New York, and gathered up all the ridiculous stories that could be invented, and some affidavits respecting the character of Joseph, and the Smith family, and exhibited them to numerous congregations in Chagrin, Kirtland, Mentor, and Painesville, and fired the minds of the people with much indignation against Joseph and the church.
"Hurlbut also made many harsh threats, etc., that he would take the life of Joseph, if he could not destroy Mormonism without. Bro. Joseph took him with a peace warrant and after three days trial, and investigating the merits of our religion, in the town of Painesville, by able attorneys on both sides, he was bound over to the county court. Thus his influence was pretty much destroyed, and since the trial the spirit of hostility seems to be broken down in a good degree, but how long it will continue so we cannot say.
"You purchased your inheritances with money; therefore, behold, you are blessed; you have not purchased your lands by the shedding of blood, consequently you do not come under the censure of this commandment, which says, 'If by blood, lo your enemies are upon you, and ye shall be driven from city to city.' Give yourselves no uneasiness on this account.
Farewell in the bonds of the new covenant, and partakers in tribulation.
"(Signed) Orson Hyde,
"Clerk of the Presidency of the Church.
-Times and Seasons, vol. 6, pp. 963, 976, 977.
A council of high priests was held at the house of President Joseph Smith, in Kirtland, Ohio, on February 12, 1834, of which Joseph states:-
"At a council of the high priests and elders, at my house, In Kirtland, on the evening of the 12th of February, I remarked that I should endeavor to set before the council the dignity of the office which had been conferred on me by the ministering of the angel of God, by his own voice, and by the voice of this church; that I had never set before any council in all the order of it, which it ought to be conducted, which, perhaps, has deprived the councils of some, or many blessings.
"And I continued and said, No man is capable of judging a matter, in council, unless his own heart is pure; and that we frequently are so filled with prejudice, or have a beam in our own eye, that we are not capable of passing right decisions, etc.
"But to return to the subject of order: In ancient days councils were conducted with such strict propriety that no one was allowed to whisper, be weary, leave the room, or get uneasy in the least; until the voice of the Lord, by revelation, or by the voice of the council by the Spirit, was obtained; which has not been observed in this church to the present. It was understood in ancient days, that if one man could stay in council, another could; and if the President could spend his time, the members could also; but in our councils, generally, one will be uneasy, another asleep; one praying, another not; one's mind on the business of the council, and another thinking on something else, etc.
"Our acts are rendered, and at a future day they will be laid before us, and if we should fail to judge right and injure our fellow beings, they maybe there, perhaps, condemn us; there they are of great consequence, and to me the consequence appears to be of force, beyond anything which I am able to express, etc. Ask yourselves, brethren, how much you have exercised yourselves in prayer since you heard of this council; and if you are now prepared to sit in council upon the soul of your brother?
"I then gave a relation of my situation at the time I obtained the record, the persecutions I met with, etc., and prophesied that I would stand and shine like the sun in the firmament, when my enemies and the gainsayers of my testimony
shall be put down and cut off, and their names blotted out from among men."
-Times and Seasons, vol. 6, p. 992.
On February 17, 1834, the standing High Council of the church was organized at the house of President Joseph Smith, in Kirtland, Ohio. For an account of this organization and other matters connected with it, we cite the history of Joseph Smith:-
"Minutes of the organization of the High Council of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, Kirtland, February 17, 1834.
"This day a general council of twenty-four high priests assembled at the house of Joseph Smith, Jr., by revelation, and proceeded to organize the high council of the Church of Christ, which was to consist of twelve high priests, and one or three presidents, as the case might require. This high council was appointed by revelation for the purpose of settling important difficulties, which might arise in the church, which could not be settled by the church, or the bishop's council, to the satisfaction of the parties.
"Joseph Smith, Jr., Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams, were acknowledged presidents by the voice of the council; and Joseph Smith, Sr., John Smith, Joseph Coe, John Johnson, Martin Harris, John S. Carter, Jared Carter, Oliver Cowdery, Samuel H. Smith, Orson Hyde, Sylvester Smith, and Luke Johnson, high priests, were chosen to be a standing council for the church, by the unanimous voice of the council. The above-named councilors were then asked whether they accepted their appointments, and whether they would act in that office according to the law of heaven; to which they all answered, that they accepted their appointments, and would fill their offices according to the grace of God bestowed upon them.
"The number composing the council, who voted in the name and for the church in appointing the above-named councilors, were forty-three, as follows: nine high priests, seventeen elders, four priests, and thirteen members.
"Voted: that the high council cannot have power to act without seven of the above-named councilors, or their regularly appointed successors, are present. These seven shall
have power to appoint other high priests, whom they may consider worthy and capable, to act in the place of absent councilors.
"Voted: that whenever any vacancy shall occur by the death, removal from office for transgression, or removal from the bounds of this church government, of any one of the above-named councilors, it shall be filled by the nomination of the president or presidents, and sanctioned by the voice of the general council of high priests, convened for that purpose, to act in the name of the church.
"The president of the church, who is also the president of the council, is appointed by revelation, and acknowledged, in his administration, by the voice of the church; and it is according to the dignity of his office, that he should preside over the high council of the church; and it is his privilege to be assisted by two other presidents, appointed after the same manner that he himself was appointed; and in case of the absence of one or both of those who are appointed to assist him, he has power to preside over the council without an assistant; and in case that he himself is absent, the other presidents have power to preside in his stead, both or either of them.
"Whenever a high council of the Church of Christ is regularly organized, according to the foregoing pattern, it shall be the duty of the twelve councilors to cast lots by numbers, and thereby ascertain who, of the twelve, shall speak first, commencing with number 1; and so in succession to number 12.
"Whenever this council convenes to act upon any case, the twelve councilors shall consider whether it is a difficult one or not; if it is not, two only of the councilors shall speak upon it, according to the form above written. But if it is thought to be difficult, four shall be appointed; and if more difficult, six: but in no case shall more than six be appointed to speak. The accused, in all cases, has a right to one half of the council, to prevent insult or injustice; and the councilors appointed to speak before the council, are to present the case, after the evidence is examined, in its true light, before the council; and every man is to speak according to equity and justice. Those councilors who draw even numbers
that is, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12, are the individuals who are to stand up in the behalf of the accused, and prevent insult or injustice.
"In all cases the accuser and the accused shall have a privilege of speaking for themselves, before the council, after the evidences are heard, and the councilors who are appointed to speak on the case, have finished their remarks. After the evidences are heard, the councilors, accuser, and accused have spoken, the president shall give a decision according to the understanding which he shall have of the case, and call upon the twelve councilors to sanction the same by their vote. But should the remaining councilors, who have not spoken, or any one of them, after hearing the evidences and pleadings impartially, discover an error in the decision of the president, they can manifest it, and the case shall have a rehearing; and if, after a careful rehearing, any additional light is shown upon the case, the decision shall be altered accordingly; but in case no additional light is given, the first decision shall stand, the majority of the council having power to determine the same.
"In cases of difficulty respecting doctrine, or principle (if there is not a sufficiency written to make the case clear to the minds of the council), the president may inquire and obtain the mind of the Lord by revelation.
"The high priests, when abroad, have power to call and organize a council after the manner of the foregoing, to settle difficulties when the parties, or either of them, shall request it; and the said council of high priests shall have power to appoint one of their own number, to preside over such council for the time being. It shall be the duty of said council to transmit, immediately, a copy of their proceedings, with a full statement of the testimony accompanying their decision, to the high council of the seat of the first presidency of the church. Should the parties, or either of them, be dissatisfied with the decision of said council, they may appeal to the high council of the seat of the first presidency of the church, and have a rehearing, which case shall there be conducted, according to the former pattern written, as though no such decision had been made.
"This council of high priests abroad, is only to be called on the most difficult cases of church matters; and no common or ordinary case is to be sufficient to call such council. The traveling or located high priests abroad, have power to say whether it is necessary to call such a council or not.
"There is a distinction between the high council of traveling high priests abroad, and the traveling high council composed of the twelve apostles, in their decisions: from the decision of the former there can be an appeal, but from the decision of the latter there cannot. The latter can only be called in question by the general authorities of the church in case of transgression.
"Resolved, that the president, or presidents of the seat of the first presidency of the church, shall have power to determine whether any such case, as may be appealed, is justly entitled to a rehearing, after examining the appeal and the evidences and statements accompanying it.
"The twelve councilors then proceeded to cast lots, or ballot, to ascertain who should speak first, and the following was the result, namely:-
OLIVER COWDERY, No. 1 JOHN JOHNSON, No. 7
JOSEPH COE, " 2 ORSON HYDE, " 8
SAMUEL H. SMITH, " 3 JARED CARTER, " 9
LUKE JOHNSON, " 4 JOSEPH SMITH, Sr., " 10
JOHN S. CARTER, " 5 JOHN SMITH, " 11
SYLVESTER SMITH, " 6 MARTIN HARRIS, " 12
After prayer the conference adjourned.
OLIVER COWDERY,} Clerks
"On the 18th I reviewed and corrected the minutes of the organization of the high council; and on the l9th of February the council assembled, according to adjournment from the 17th, when the revised minutes were presented and read to the council. I urged the necessity of prayer, that the Spirit might be given, that the things of the Spirit might be judged thereby, because the carnal mind cannot discern the things of God, etc. The minutes were read three times, and unanimously adopted and received for a form and constitution of the high council of the Church of Christ hereafter; with this provision, that if the president should hereafter discover any lack in the same he should be privileged to fill it up.
"The number present, who received the above named documents was twenty six high priests, eighteen elders, three priests, one teacher, and fourteen private members, making in all sixty-two.
"After giving such instruction as the Spirit dictated, I laid my hands severally upon the heads of the two assistant presidents and blessed them, that they might have wisdom to magnify their offices, and power over all the power of the adversary.
"I also laid my hands upon the twelve councilors, and commanded a blessing to rest upon them, that they might have wisdom and power to counsel in righteousness upon all subjects that might be laid before them. I also prayed that they might be delivered from those evils to which they were most exposed, and that their lives might be prolonged on the earth.
"My father Joseph then laid his hands upon my head and said, 'Joseph, I lay my hands upon thy head and pronounce the blessings of thy progenitors upon thee, that thou mayest hold the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, until the coming of the Lord; Amen.'
"He also laid hands upon the head of his son Samuel and said, 'Samuel, I lay my hands upon thy head, and pronounce the blessing of thy progenitors upon thee, that thou mayest remain a priest of the Most High God, and like Samuel of old, hear his voice, saying, "Samuel, Samuel;" Amen.'
"John Johnson, also, laid his hand upon the head of his son Luke and said, 'My Father in heaven, I ask thee to bless this my son, according to the blessings of his forefathers, that he may be strengthened in his ministry, according to his holy calling; Amen.'
"I then gave the assistant presidents a solemn charge, to do their duty in righteousness, and in the fear of God; I also charged the twelve councilors in a similar manner, all in the name of Jesus Christ.
"We all raised our hands to heaven in token of the everlasting covenant, and the Lord blessed us with his Spirit. I then declared the council organized according to the ancient order, and also according to the mind of the Lord."-Times and Seasons, vol. 6, pp. 993-995.
A conference met at Kirtland on February 19, and on the next day-the 20th-the High Council was called to decide a question concerning the worthiness of a man to officiate who disregarded the "Word of Wisdom." But we will quote the words of Joseph Smith on this meeting and decision:-
"KIRTLAND, February 20, 1834.
"The high council met this evening to determine concerning the elders going out to preach, etc. The president opened the council by prayer.
"At a church meeting held in Pennsylvania, Erie County, and Springfield Township, by Orson Pratt and Lyman Johnson, high priests, some of the members of that church refused to partake of the sacrament, because the elder administering it did not observe the Words of Wisdom to obey them. Elder Johnson argued that they were justified in so doing, because the elder was in transgression. Elder Pratt argued that the church was bound to receive the supper under the administration of an elder, so long as he retained his office or license. Voted that six councilors should speak upon the subject.
"The council then proceeded to try the question, whether disobedience to the Word of Wisdom was a transgression sufficient to deprive an official member from holding an office in the church, after having it sufficiently taught him.
"Councilors Samuel H. Smith, Luke Johnson, John S. Carter, Sylvester Smith, John Johnson, and Orson Hyde, were called to speak upon the case then before the council. After the councilors had spoken, the president proceeded to give a decision:-
"That no official member in this church is worthy to hold an office, after having the Words of Wisdom properly taught to him, and he the official member neglecting to comply with or obey them; which decision the council confirmed by vote.
"The president then asked if there were any elders present who would go to Canada and preach the gospel to that people; for they have written a number of letters for help. And the whole council felt as though the Spirit required the
elders to go there. It was therefore decided by the council that Lyman Johnson and Milton Holmes should travel together into Canada. And also that Zebedee Coltrin and Henry Harriman travel together into Canada. It was also decided that Jared Carter and Phineas Young travel together, if they can arrange their affairs at home so as to be liberated.
"It was also decided that Elder Oliver Granger should travel eastward as soon as his circumstances will permit, and that he should travel alone on account of his age; it was also decided that Elder Martin Harris should travel alone whenever he travels; that Elder John S. Carter and Jesse Smith travel east together as soon as they can. The council also decided that Elder Brigham Young should travel alone it being his own choice, decided also that James Durfee and Edward Marvin should travel together eastward; also that Sidney Rigdon and John P. Green go to Strongsville; also that Orson Pratt and Harrison Sagers travel together for the time being; and that there should be a general conference held in Saco, in the State of Maine, on the 13th day of June use, 1834.
"It was furthermore voted that Elder Orson Hyde, accompanied by Elder Orson Pratt, go east to obtain donations for Zion, and means to redeem the farm on which the house of the Lord stands.
"The church and council then prayed with uplifted hands that they might be prospered in their mission.
"OLIVER COWDERY, Clerks."
-Times and Seasons, vol. 6, pp. 1022, 1023.
On February 22 Parley P. Pratt and Lyman Wight, messengers from Missouri, arrived in Kirtland, and on Sunday, the 23d, they addressed the people at the Methodist church.
On the 24th a revelation concerning Zion was received. 1
11. Verily I say unto you, my friends, Behold, I will give unto you a revelation and commandment, that you may know how to act in the discharge of your duties concerning the salvation and redemption of your brethren, who have been scattered on the land of Zion, being driven and smitten by the hands of mine enemies; on whom I will pour out my
In the February number of the Evening and Morning Star are letters from M. C. Nickerson, from Canada,, and John Boynton,
wrath without measure in mine own time; for I have suffered them thus far, that they might fill up the measure of their iniquities, that their cup might be full, and that those who call themselves after my name might be chastened for a little season, with a sore and grievous chastisement, because they did not hearken altogether unto the precepts and commandments which I gave unto them.
2. But verily I say unto you, that I have decreed a decree which my people shall realize, inasmuch as they hearken from this very hour, unto the counsel which I, the Lord, their God, shall give unto them. Behold, they shall, for I have decreed it, begin to prevail against mine enemies from this very hour, and by hearkening to observe all the words which I, the Lord their God, shall speak unto them, they shall never cease to prevail until the kingdoms of the world are subdued under my feet; and the earth is given unto the saints, to possess it forever and ever. But inasmuch as they keep not my commandments, and hearken not to observe all my words, the kingdoms of the world shall prevail against them, for they were set to be a light unto the world, and to be the saviors of men; and inasmuch as they are not the saviors of men, they are as salt that has lost its savor, and is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.
3. But verily I say unto you, I have decreed that your brethren, which have been scattered, shall return to the land of their inheritances and build up the waste places of Zion; for after much tribulation, as I have said unto you in a former commandment, cometh the blessing. Behold, this is the blessing which I have promised after your tribulations, and the tribulations of your brethren; your redemption, and the redemption of your brethren; even their restoration to the land of Zion, to be established, no more to be thrown down; nevertheless, if they pollute their inheritances, they shall be thrown down; for I will not spare them if they pollute their inheritances. Behold, I say unto you, The redemption of Zion must needs come by power; therefore I will raise up unto my people a man, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel, for ye are the children of Israel and of the seed of Abraham; and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched out arm; and as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be. Therefore, let not your hearts faint, for I say not unto you as I said unto your fathers, Mine angel shall go up before you, but not my presence; but I say unto you, Mine angels shall go before you, and also my presence, and in time ye shall possess the goodly land.
4. Verily, verily I say unto you, that my servant Baurak Ale is the man to whom I likened the servant to whom the Lord of the vineyard spoke in the parable which I have given unto you.
5. Therefore, let my servant Baurak Ale say unto the strength of my house, my young men and the middle aged, Gather yourselves together unto the land of Zion, upon the land which I have bought with moneys that have been consecrated unto me; and let all the churches send up wise men, with their moneys, and purchase lands even as I have commanded them; and inasmuch as mine enemies come against you to drive you from my goodly land, which I have consecrated to be the land of Zion; even from your own lands after these testimonies, which ye have brought before me, against them, ye shall curse them; and whomsoever ye curse, I will curse; and ye shall avenge me of mine enemies; and my presence shall be with you, even in avenging me of mine enemies, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.
dated at Saco, Maine, from which, we make extracts to show the progress of the work in these places:-
"WENDHAM, December 20, 1833.
"Dear Brother:- I have long been expecting to receive a letter from you, but as yet have received none. I received one from Brother Joseph, a short time since, which informed me that you had returned safe to your friends and families, which I was happy to hear. Your labors while in Canada have been the beginning of a good work: there are thirty-four members attached to the church at Mount Pleasant, all of whom appear to live up to their profession, five of whom have spoken in tongues, and three sing in tongues: and we live at the top of the mountain! For my part, I feel that I cannot be thankful enough for what I have received: the Scriptures have been opened to my view beyond account, and the Revelation of John is become quite
6. Let no man be afraid to lay down his life for my sake; for whoso layeth down his life for my sake, shall find it again. And whoso is not willing to lay down his life for my sake, is not my disciple. It is my will that my servant Sidney Rigdon shall lift up his voice in the congregations, in the eastern countries, in preparing the churches to keep the commandments which I have given unto them, concerning the restoration and redemption of Zion. It is my will that my servant Parley P. Pratt, and my servant Lyman Wight should not return to the land of their brethren, until they have obtained companies to go up unto the land of Zion, by tens, or by twenties, or by fifties, or by an hundred, until they have obtained to the number of five hundred of the strength of my house. Behold, this is my will; ask and you shall receive, but men do not always do my will; therefore, if you cannot obtain five hundred, seek diligently that peradventure you may obtain three hundred; and if ye cannot obtain three hundred seek diligently that peradventure ye may obtain one hundred. But verily I say unto you, A commandment I give unto you, that ye shall not go up unto the land of Zion, until you have obtained one hundred of the strength of my house, to go up with you unto the land of Zion. Therefore, as I said unto you, Ask and ye shall receive; pray earnestly that peradventure my servant Baurak Ale may go with you and preside in the midst of my people, and organize my kingdom upon the consecrated land; and establish the children of Zion, upon the laws and commandments which have been, and which shall be given, unto you.
7. All victory and glory is brought to pass unto you through your diligence faithfulness, and prayers of faith. Let my servant Parley P. Pratt journey with my servant Joseph Smith Jr. Let my servant Lyman Wight, journey with my servant Sidney Rigdon. Let my servant Hyrum Smith, journey with my servant Frederick G. Williams. Let my servant Orson Hyde, journey with my servant Orson Pratt; withersoever my servant Joseph Smith, Jr., shall counsel them in obtaining the fulfillment of these commandments, which I have given unto you, and leave the residue in my hands Even so. Amen.
plain; I discover the monster there described in his true colors and by his right name.
"Your friends in Canada often speak of you and brother Joseph. Mr. and Mrs. Beamer are seriously inquiring after the truth: they often speak of Brothers Sidney and Joseph; and all the people with whom I am acquainted, or have talked with upon the subject of religion, appear to be much engaged, some for, and the remainder against; but I find those blessed promises to be verified, that God's grace shall be sufficient for our day and time of need. I find that those places where I thought the cross was going to be the hardest, is often the lightest, and then I often obtain the greatest blessings.
"If you can send a couple of preachers out here, as soon as you receive this, you would do us a kindness; for Brother Freeman is often called from home, and it is necessary that some one should be there. Send those that you have confidence in or none; the work requires competent workmen, for the harvest is truly great. I feel thankful that I have been spared to see this time. I shall be up to see you in the spring, if the Lord will.
"From your brother in the bonds of the gospel,
"M. C. Nickerson."
"Saco, Maine, January 20, 1834.
"Brethren in the Lord:-I improve a few moments to inform you that I am well, that the Lord is present with me; his Spirit warms my heart, gives life to my soul, is my friend among enemies, my joy among friends, my comforter when alone, my companion in trouble; brings a hope like an anchor, makes the crown look near, and insures us the victory by an endurance of faith unto the end.
"The fifteenth number of the Star arrived here a few days since, which was gladly received; but it caused some painful emotions to read of the dreadful persecution at the West; yet there is a secret joy, for we can lift up our heads and rejoice, knowing that our redemption draweth nigh; for Jesus said, 'In the world ye shall have tribulation, but in me ye shall have peace.'
"Agreeably to your request I would inform you that I
have been laboring in this part of the vineyard for sometime to lay before the people the new and everlasting covenant, and the glorious things of the kingdom that God has been pleased to reveal in these last days.
"I have baptized about forty in this section, and there are more convinced of the truth, but are still lingering on the threshold of the church, and I think the Lord will gather some of them into his kingdom.
"Brother E. M. Green labored with me from the 16th of January, 1833, till the October following. While we were together we baptized about one hundred and thirty, then at a council at Rowley, Massachusetts, it was decided that he should travel with Brother H. Cowen to Kirtland. Accordingly they started on their mission, and I went to Boston and visited the church in that place and baptized one. I then returned to this place and organized this branch of the church.
I am yours in Christ,
"JOHN F. BOYNTON."
-Evening and Morning Star, pp. 269, 270.
In compliance with the revelation given on the 24th Joseph Smith and P. P. Pratt started east on February 26, and Sidney Rigdon and Lyman Wight, on the 28th. We are not in possession of the dates when others started, but it was soon after the command was given, showing prompt and decisive action when a duty was enjoined.
We give Joseph's account of this mission and the work done by himself and companion, which will indicate the nature of the work done by all for the redemption of Zion and the restoration of their brethren to their inheritance. We think it necessary to give this as fully as possible, because the doings and intentions of "'Zion's Camp," which soon after went to Missouri, under arms, has been the subject of much comment and adverse criticism.
A careful examination of what is written on the subject will convince the investigator that they had no thought of aggressive war on Missouri, but that they were armed for defense, while they carried clothing and other supplies to their destitute brethren, and were prepared to defend their homes when reinstated by the Governor, as was then contemplated.
To arm themselves was declared by the Governor to be not only their right but their duty, and in so doing they were acting under advice from officers of State.
"Wednesday, February 26, I started from home to obtain volunteers for Zion, in compliance with the foregoing revelation, and the 27th staid [stayed] at Brother Roundy's."
"We continued our journey and on the 28th February staid [stayed] at a stranger's, who entertained us very kindly; and on the first of March arrived at Brother Lewis'; and on the 2d which was the Sabbath, Brother Parley preached, and I preached in the evening; we had a good meeting. There is a small church in this place, which seems strong in the faith. O may God keep them in the faith, and save them and lead them to Zion.
"March 3 we intended to start on our journey east, but concluded to tarry another day. O may God bless us with the gift of utterance to accomplish the journey and the errand on which we are sent, and return safe to the land of Kirtland, and find my family all well. O Lord bless my little children with health and long life, to do good in their generation for Christ's sake, Amen.
"After leaving Kirtland we had passed through Thompson, Springfield, Elk Creek, Erie, Westfield, Livonia, Silver Creek, Perrysburg, Collins, China, Warsaw, Geneseo, Centerville, Catlin, and Spafford, before we arrived at Westfield. On the 4th inst. we continued our journey from Westfield, accompanied by Elder Gould, and after a ride of thirty-three miles at Villanova and tarried all night with a Brother McBride. The next morning, March 5, we went to Brother Nickerson's, and found him and his household full of faith and of the Holy Spirit.
"We called the church together, and related unto them what had happened to our brethren in Zion, and opened to them the prophecies and revelations concerning the order of the gathering to Zion, and the means of her redemption; and I prophesied to them, and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon them, and with all readiness the young and
middle aged volunteered for Zion. The same evening we held two meetings, three or four miles distant from each other.
"March 6. We held another meeting at Bro. Nickerson's. The few unbelievers that attended were outrageous, and the meeting ended in complete confusion.
"March 7. We proceeded on our journey accompanied by Bro. Nickerson, leaving Brothers Gould and Matthews to prepare and gather up the companies, in the churches in that region, and meet us in Ohio, ready for Zion on the first of May. We arrived after dark, at Elliotville, the county seat of Cattaraugus, and tried for lodgings at every tavern in the place. It being court time we found no room, but were obliged to ride on in the dark, through mud and rain, and found shelter, after traveling about one mile, for which we paid more than tavern fare.
"On the 8th we arrived at Palmersville, at the house of Elder McGown's, where we were invited to go to Esquire Walker's to spend the evening. We found them very friendly and somewhat believing, and tarried all night.
"Sunday 9th, we preached in a schoolhouse, and had great attention. We found a few disciples who were firm in the faith; and, after meeting, found many believing and could hardly get away from them, and appointed a meeting in Freedom for Monday, the 10th, and staid [stayed] at Mr. Cowdery's, where we were blessed with a fullness of temporal and spiritual blessings, even all we needed or were worthy to receive.
"Monday. Met our appointment, and preached to a great congregation; and at evening, preached again to a crowded assembly, an overflowing house. After meeting I proposed if any wished to obey, and would make it manifest, we would stay and administer at another meeting, the next day.
"Tuesday 11th. Fulfilled our appointment, and baptized Heman Hyde, after which we rode nine miles and put up at Stuart's tavern.
"Wednesday 12th. We arrived at Father Bosley's, after a ride of thirty-six miles.
"Thursday 13th. I preached.
"Friday 14th. At Father Beman's.
"March 15th. While at Father Beman's, Elders Rigdon
and Wight arrived, much to the joy of their souls, and the saints in Livonia.
"Sunday 16th. Elder Rigdon preached to a very large congregation in Geneseo. Elder Pratt preached in the afternoon of Monday the 17th.
"There was also the same day, March 17, a conference of elders, at Avon, Livingston County, New York, at the house of Alvah Beman, which I attended. There were present also Sidney Rigdon, Parley Pratt, Lyman Wight, John Murdock, Orson Pratt, and Orson Hyde, high priests, and six elders. I stated that the object of the conference was to obtain young men and middle aged to go and assist in the redemption of Zion, according to the commandment; and for the church to gather up their riches, and send them to purchase lands according to the commandment of the Lord; also to devise means, or obtain money for the relief of the brethren in Kirtland, say two thousand dollars, which sum would deliver the church in Kirtland from debt; and also determine the course which the several companies shall pursue, or the manner they shall journey when they shall leave this place.
"It was voted by the council that Fathers Bosley and Nickerson, Elder McWithey, and Bro. R. Orton, should exert themselves to obtain two thousand dollars, for the present relief in Kirtland. They all agreed to do what they could to obtain it, firmly believing it could be accomplished by the first of April. It was also decided that Elder Orson Hyde should tarry and preach in the regions round about, till the money should be obtained and carry it with him to Kirtland. It was also voted that I should return to Kirtland accompanied by Elders Rigdon and Wight. Elders John Murdock and Orson Pratt were appointed to journey to Kirtland, preaching by the way; and Elders Parley P. Pratt and Henry Brown to visit the churches in Black River country, and obtain all the means they could to help Zion.
"Tuesday, March 18. Tarried at Father Bosley's through the day.
"On the l9th commenced my journey for Kirtland, and staid [stayed] this night at Bro. Withey's tavern.
"20th; continued our journey, dined at Bro. Joseph Holbrook's,
and at night tried three times to procure lodgings in the name of disciples, but could not succeed. After night had commenced we found a man, in China, named Reuben Wilson, who would keep us for money; thus we learn there is more places for money than for the disciples of Jesus. . . .
"March 21. We came to a man named Starks, six miles east of Springville, and on the 22d arrived at Bro. Vinson Knight's, in Perrysburgh, Cattaraugus County. On the 23d we arrived at Father Nickerson's, in Perrysburgh, where we held a meeting, etc. On the 24th I was not able to start, but felt determined to go the next morning. Twenty-fifth; journeyed from Father Nickerson's to Father Lewis' in Westfield, accompanied by Father Nickerson. On the 26th continued our journey to Elk Creek, and staid [stayed] with Elder Hunt. The 27th I came to Springfield, where I found Elder Rigdon, who had come on by a different route, and we arrived that night within sixteen miles of Painesville, and arrived home at Kirtland, on the 28th of March, finding my family all well, and the Lord be praised for this blessing. The 29th, remained at home and had great joy with my family. Sunday the 30th, was at home, except going to hear Elder Rigdon preach."-Times and Seasons, vol. 6, pp. 1026, 1027.
In connection with the above an item from the journal of Elder Wight will serve to show the spirit of the times and the purpose of this special mission. Under date of April 13 he writes:-
"Preached to a large congregation (in Kirtland) upon the subject of having been driven from Jackson County, of our extreme sufferings, and of the great necessity of being obedient to the commandments; and also the necessity of those of like faith sympathizing with their brothers and sisters. This discourse appeared to have a good effect; about seventy volunteered to fly to their relief even if death should be the consequence thereof. Many donated largely of their substance to supply the wants of the needy. I spent the night with Bro. Joseph. and had much conversation with him concerning our peculiar circumstances."
Joseph gives the following account of the trial of Dr. Hurlbut,
which shows that Joseph was vindicated by courts of civil law as well as by church courts, and that Hurlbut was condemned by both. He states:-
"Monday, March 31. I went to Chardon to attend the court, in the case against Dr. P. Hurlbut."
He continues the account as follows:-
"April 1,1834. This day at Brother Rider's, in Chardon. The court has not brought forward Hurlbut's trial yet, and we were engaged in issuing subpnas for witnesses. My soul delighteth in the law of the Lord, for he forgiveth my sins, and will confound mine enemies.
"Wednesday the 2d and Thursday the 3d, attended the court. Hurlbut was on trial for threatening my life. Friday morning I returned home.
"Saturday, March 6. I went to Chardon, as a witness for Father Johnson, and returned in the evening. Mr. Russell, the State's Attorney, for Portage County, called on me. He appeared in a gentlemanly manner, and treated me with great respect.
"April 7. Bishop Whitney, Elders Frederick G. Williams, Oliver Cowdery, Heber C. Kimball, and myself met in the council room, and bowed down before the Lord, and prayed that he would furnish the means to deliver the Firm from debt, that they might be set at liberty; also that I might prevail against the wicked man, Hurlbut, and that he might be put to shame.
"April 9. After an impartial trial the court decided that Doctor P. Hurlbut be bound over under two hundred dollar bonds, to keep the peace for six months, and pay the cost, which amounted to near three hundred dollars, all of which was in answer to our prayers, for which I thank my heavenly Father."-Times and Seasons, vol 6, pp. 1040, 1041.
The court record of the case agrees with this. 2
2 Pleas before the Court of Common Pleas within and for the County of Geauga in the State of Ohio at a term of said Court begun and held at Chardon in said County on the thirty-first day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-four.
Be it remembered that now at this term of the Court came Reuben Hitchcock Esquire on behalf of the State of Ohio and placed on file a transcript from the docket of William Holbrook Esquire, in the words
On April 14,1834, it was agreed that Hyrum Smith and Lyman Wight should go west by the way of Michigan and the northern part of Illinois, visiting the churches and ascertaining what they would do for the brethren in Missouri, while Joseph, with the main company, was to take a more southerly route.
and figures following, that is to say: The State of Ohio Geauga County ss.
The State of Ohio } Complaint to compel the defendant to give bond to
v. } keep the peace. On complaint of Joseph Smith
Doctor P. Hurlbut.} Junr. against the defendant against J. C. Dowen, a Justice of the Peace for Kirtland Township in said County made on the 21st day of Dec. 1833 a warrant was issued by said J. C. Dowen, Justice aforesaid which was returned before me William Holbrook a Justice of the Peace for Painesville township in the County aforesaid on the 4th day of January A D 1834 by Stephen Sherman a Constable of Kirtland township with defendant in Court. And not being ready for the examination said Constable is directed to keep the defendant in custody and return him again before the Court on the 6th day of January A. D. 1834 at 9 O'clock A. M. at his office in Painesville, at which time the defendant again appeared and not being yet ready for the examination on the part of the state this cause is again postponed to the 13th of January 1834 at 9 O'clock A. M. and the defendant required to be kept in custody by A Ritch Const. of Painesville township, at which time the defendant was again brought before the Court by A Ritch Constable. And all parties being ready for trial the Court commenced the examination and the following witnesses were examined on the part of the State, Amos Hodges C. Hodges, Sarah Wait [Waite], Burr Priggs [Riggs] Mary Copley Joseph Allen M. Hodges D. Elliot J. Smith Jr. L. Copley C. Holmes S. I. Whitney S. Slayton Mr. Wakefield, I. Wait and E. Goodman and the same were examined by the defendant. The examination commenced Monday the 13th January 1834 and ended January 13, 1834. After hearing the testimony it is the opinion of the Court that the complainant had reason to fear that Doctor P. Hurlbut would beat wound or kill him or injure his property as set forth in his complaint, and it is the consideration of the Court that the defendant enter into a recognizance to keep the peace generally and especially towards the complainant and also to appear before the Court of Common Pleas on the first day of the term thereof next to be holden in and for said County and not depart without leave, or stand committed till the Judgment of the Court be complied with.
The defendant forthwith complied with the judgment of the Court & entered into a recognizance as provided by the Statute.
The State of Ohio } I certify the foregoing to be substantially a true
Geauga County ss. } copy of my docket entry in the above entitled examination.
William Holbrook Justice of the Peace.
And thereupon came the Prosecuting Attorney for the County and also the said defendant, and the Court having heard the said complaint and also all the testimony adduced by the said complainant, and also by the said defendant and having duly considered the same are of opinion that the said complainant had ground to fear that the said Doctor P. Hurlbut would wound, beat or kill him or destroy his property as set forth in said complaint. Wherefore it is ordered and adjudged by the Court that the said Doctor P. Hurlbut enter into a new recognizance with good
On the 21st Elders Smith and Wight started on their mission, traveling by team.
Of current events Joseph wrote as follows:-
"Friday, April 11. I attended meeting, and Father Tyler was restored to the fellowship of the church.
"On the 12th I went to the lake and spent the day in fishing and visiting the brethren in that place.
"Sunday the 13th; was sick and unable to attend meeting.
"On Monday 14th I purchased some hay and oats and got them home.
"Tuesday 15th; drew a load of hay, and on Wednesday ploughed and sowed oats for Brother Frederick.
"Thursday, the 17th of April, I attended a meeting agreeably to appointment, at which time the important subject of the deliverance of Zion and the building of the Lord's house in Kirtland, was discussed by Elder Rigdon. After the lecture I requested the brethren and sisters to contribute all the money they could for the deliverance of Zion, and received twenty-nine dollars and sixty-eight cents.
and sufficient security in the sum of two hundred dollars hereafter to keep the peace and be of good behavior to the citizens of the State of Ohio generally and to the said Joseph Smith Junior in particular for the period of of six months, and it is further ordered that the said Doctor P. Hurlbut pay the costs of this prosecution taxed at the sum of one hundred and twelve dollars and fifty-nine cents. And thereupon came the said Doctor P. Hurlbut with Charles A. Holmes and Elijah Smith as his sureties in open Court, entered into a recognizance in the penal sum of two hundred dollars each, conditioned that the said Doctor P. Hurlbut shall for the period of six months from and after this day keep the peace and be of good behavior to all the citizens of the State of Ohio generally and to the said Joseph Smith Jun. in particular. M. Birchard P. J.
Certificate to Common Pleas Record.
The State of Ohio, }
Geauga County, ss. }
I, B. D. Ames Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas, within and for said County,
And in whose custody the Files, Pleadings, Journals, Records, Execution Dockets, and Seal of said Court, are required by the Laws of the State of Ohio to be kept, hereby certify that the foregoing copy of Record is taken and copied from the Records of the proceedings of the Court of Common Pleas within and for said Geauga County, and that said foregoing copy has been compared by me with the original Record and that the same is a correct transcript therefrom..
In Testimony Whereof, I do hereunto subscribe my name officially, and affix the Seal of said Court, at the Court House in Chardon in said County, this l6th day of July, A. D. 1896.
(Seal) B. D. AMES Clerk.
"April 18. I left Kirtland in company with Elders Sidney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdery, and Zebedee Coltrin, for New Portage, to attend a conference. Dined at W. W. Williams', in Newburgh, and continuing our journey, after dark we were hailed by a man who desired to ride. We were checked by the Spirit, and refused. He professed to be sick, but in a few minutes was joined by two others, who followed us hard, cursing and swearing, but we were successful in escaping their hands, through the providence of the Lord, and staid [stayed] that night at a tavern, where we were treated with civility.
"On the l9th continuing our journey, dined at Brother Joseph Bosworth's, in Copley, Medina County. Brother Bosworth was strong in the faith, and if faithful may do much good. We arrived the same day at Brother Jonathan Taylor's, in Norton, where we were received with kindness. We soon retired to the wilderness, where we united in prayer and supplication for the blessings of the Lord to be given unto his church. We called upon the Father in the name of Jesus to go with the brethren who were going to the land of Zion, and that I might have strength and wisdom and understanding sufficient to lead the people of the Lord, and to gather back and establish the saints upon the land of their inheritances, and organize them according to the will of heaven, that they be no more cast down forever. We then united in the laying on of hands.
"Elders Rigdon, Cowdery, and Coltrin laid their hands on my head and conferred upon me all the blessings necessary to qualify me to stand before the Lord, in my calling, and be returned again in peace, and triumph, to enjoy the society of my brethren.
"Those present then laid their hands upon Elder Rigdon, and confirmed upon him the blessings of wisdom and knowledge to preside over the church in my absence; to have the Spirit to assist Elder Cowdery in conducting the Star, and arrange the covenants, and the blessings of old age and peace till Zion is built up and Kirtland established, till all his enemies are under his feet, and a crown of eternal life in the kingdom of God with us.
"Previous to blessing Elder Rigdon we laid hands on
Elder Cowdery and confirmed upon him the blessings of wisdom and understanding sufficient for his station, that he be qualified to assist Elder Rigdon in arranging the church covenants, which are soon to be published; and have intelligence in all things to do the work of printing.
"After blessing Elder Rigdon we laid our hands upon Brother Zebedee, and confirmed the blessings of wisdom to preach the gospel even till it spreads to the islands of the seas, and to be spared to see threescore years and ten, and see Zion built up and Kirtland established forever, and even at last to receive a crown of life. Our hearts rejoiced and we were comforted with the Holy Spirit.
"Sunday, April 20. Elder Rigdon entertained a large congregation of saints with an interesting discourse upon the dispensation of the fullness of times, etc.
"On the 21st I attended conference, and had a glorious time. Some volunteered to go to Zion, and others donated sixty-six dollars and thirty-seven cents, for the benefit of the scattered brethren in Zion. The following are extracts from the minutes of the conference:-
"This day a conference of elders assembled at the dwelling house of Brother Carpenter, President Joseph Smith, Jun., read the second chapter of Joel's prophecy, prayed, and addressed the conference as follows:-
"It is very difficult for us to communicate to the churches all that God has revealed to us, in consequence of tradition; for we are differently situated from any other people that ever existed upon this earth, consequently those former revelations cannot be suited to our conditions; they were given to other people, who were before us; but in the last days, God was to call a remnant, in which was to be deliverance, as well as in Jerusalem and Zion. Now if God should give no more revelations, where will we find Zion and this remnant? The time is near when desolation is to cover the earth, and then God will have a place of deliverance in his remnant, and in Zion, etc.
"The President then gave a relation of obtaining and translating the Book of Mormon, the revelation of the priesthood of Aaron, the organization of the church in 1830, the
revelation of the high priesthood, and the gift of the Holy Spirit poured out upon the church. . .
"Elder Rigdon adverted to the former covenants to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and others of the ancients which were to be realized in the last days, etc., and spoke at some length upon the deliverance of Zion; the endowment of the elders with power from on high, according to the former promises, and the spreading of the word of the Lord to the four winds. He first referred to the situation of the brethren in Missouri, and urged the importance of those who could, giving heed to the revelations by going up to their assistance; and those who could not go to help those who are going, to means for their expenses, etc.
"Elder Cowdery gave a brief relation of the mobbing in Missouri, etc., and called for a contribution. Elders Ambrose Palmer and Salmon Warner followed on the same subject. Brother Joseph Bosworth spoke on the deliverance of Zion; and said he had no property, but if necessary for her deliverance he would sell his clothes at auction, if he might have left him as good a garment as the Savior had in the manger. Others spoke on the same subject.
"Elder Rigdon in speaking on the second item gave an account of the endowment of the ancient apostles, and laid before the conference the dimensions of the House to be built in Kirtland, and rehearsed the promise to the elders in the last days, which they were to realize after the house of the Lord was built. Brother Bosworth then related a few items of a vision, which he gave as a testimony of those things contained in the revelations read by Elder Rigdon, and his remarks thereon. President Smith explained the revelation concerning the building of the Lord's house.
"President Smith then laid hands on certain children and blessed them in the name of the Lord. Elder Rigdon administered the sacrament. There were present seven high priests and thirteen elders. Adjourned to the Monday preceding the second Sunday in September. Closed by singing 'Now my remnant of days,' etc.
"(Signed) Clerk of the Conference."
-Times and Seasons, vol. 6, pp. 1058-1061
On the 22d Joseph returned to Kirtland and on the 23d received the revelation to Enoch. 3
3 1. Verily I say unto you, my friends, I give unto you counsel and a commandment, concerning all the properties which belong to the order, which I commanded to be organized and established, to be an united order and an everlasting order for the benefit of my church, and for the salvation of men until I come, with promise immutable and unchangeable, that inasmuch as those whom I commanded were faithful, they should be blessed with a multiplicity of blessings; but inasmuch as they were not faithful, they were nigh unto cursing. Therefore, inasmuch as some of my servants have not kept the commandment, but have broken the covenant, by covetousness and with feigned words, I have cursed them with a very sore and grievous curse; for I, the Lord, have decreed in my heart, that inasmuch as any man, belonging to the order, shall be found a transgressor; or, in other words, shall break the covenant with which ye are bound, he shall be cursed in his life, and shall be trodden down by whom I will, for I, the Lord, am not to be mocked in these things; and all this that the innocent among you, may not be condemned with the unjust; and that the guilty among you may not escape, because I, the Lord, have promised unto you a crown of glory at my right hand. Therefore, inasmuch as you are found transgressors, ye cannot escape my wrath in your lives; inasmuch as ye are cut off by transgression, ye cannot escape the buffetings of Satan until the day of redemption.
2. And I now give unto you power from this very hour, that if any man among you, of the order, is found a transgressor, and repenteth not of the evil, that ye shall deliver him over unto the buffetings of Satan; and he shall not have power to bring evil upon you. It is wisdom in me; therefore, a commandment I give unto you, that ye shall organize yourselves, and appoint every man his stewardship, that every man may give an account unto me of the stewardship which is appointed unto him; for it is expedient that I, the Lord, should make every man accountable, as stewards over earthly blessings, which I have made and prepared for my creatures. I, the Lord, stretched out the heavens, and builded the earth as a very handy work; and all things therein are mine; and it is my purpose to provide for my saints, for all things are mine, but it must needs be done in mine own way; and, behold, this is the way, that I, the Lord have decreed to provide for my saints: that the poor shall be exalted, in that the rich are made low; for the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves. Therefore, if any man shall take of the abundance which I have made, and impart not his portion, according to the law of my gospel, unto the poor, and the needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment.
3. And now, verily I say unto you, concerning the properties of the order: Let my servant Pelagoram have appointed unto him the place where he now resides, and the lot of Tahhanes, for his stewardship, for his support while he is laboring in my vineyard, even as I will when I shall command him; and let all things be done according to counsel of the order, and united consent, or voice of the order, which dwell in the land of Shinehah. And this stewardship and blessing, I, the Lord, confer upon my servant Pelagoram for a blessing upon him, and his seed after him; and I will multiply blessings upon him, inasmuch as he shall be humble before me.
4. And again, let my servant Mahemson have appointed unto him, for his stewardship, the lot of land which my servant Zombre obtained in exchange for his former inheritance, for him and his seed after him; and inasmuch as he is faithful, I will multiply blessings upon him and his
May 1. Over twenty of those who had volunteered to go to Zion started from Kirtland, with four baggage wagons.
seed after him. And let my servant Mahemson devote his moneys for the proclaiming of my words, according as my servant Gazelam shall direct.
5. And again, let my servant Shederlaomach have the place upon which he now dwells. And let my servant Olihah have the lot which is set off joining the house which is to be for the Lane-shine-house, which is lot number one; and also the lot upon which his father resides. And let my servant Shederlaomach and Olihah have the Lane-shine-house and all things that pertain unto it; and this shall be their stewardship which shall be appointed unto them; and inasmuch as they are faithful, behold, I will bless, and multiply blessings upon them; and this is the beginning of the stewardship which I have appointed them, for them and their seed after them; and inasmuch as they are faithful, I will multiply blessings upon them and their seed after them; even a multiplicity of blessings.
6. And again, let my servant Zombre have the house in which he lives and the inheritance, all save the ground which has been reserved for the building of my houses, which pertains to that inheritance; and those lots which have been named for my servant Olihah. And inasmuch as he is faithful, I will multiply blessings upon him. And it is my will that he should sell the lots that are laid off for the building up of the city of my saints, inasmuch as it shall be made known to him by the voice of the Spirit, and according to the counsel of the order; and by the voice of the order. And this is the beginning of the stewardship which I have appointed unto him, for a blessing unto him, and his seed after him; and inasmuch as he is faithful, I will multiply a multiplicity of blessings upon him.
7. And again, let my servant Ahashdah have appointed unto him, the houses and lot where he now resides, and the lot and building on which the Ozondah stands and also the lot which is on the corner south of the Ozondah, and also the lot on which the Shule is situated, and all this I have appointed unto my servant Ahashdah, for his stewardship, for a blessing upon him and his seed after him, for the benefit of the Ozondah of my order, which I have established for my stake in the land of Shinehah; yea, verily this is the stewardship which I have appointed unto my servant Ahashdah; even this whole Ozondah establishment, him and his agent, and his seed after him; and inasmuch as he is faithful in keeping my commandments, which I have given unto him, I will multiply blessings upon him, and his seed after him, even a multiplicity of blessings.
8. And again, let my servant Gazelam have appointed unto him, the lot which is laid off for the building of my house, which is forty rods long, and twelve wide, and also the inheritance upon which his father now resides and this is the beginning of the stewardship which I have appointed unto him, for a blessing upon him, and upon his father; for behold, I have reserved an inheritance for his father, for his support; therefore he shall be reckoned in the house of my servant Gazelam; and I will multiply blessings upon the house of my servant Gazelam, inasmuch as he is faithful, even a multiplicity of blessings.
9. And now a commandment I give unto you concerning Zion, that you shall no longer be bound as an united order to your brethren of Zion, only on this wise: after you are organized, you shall be called the united order of the stake of Zion, the City of Shinehah. And your brethren after they are organized, shall be called the united order of the city of Zion; and they shall be organized in their own names, and in their own
They traveled as far as New Portage and tarried there, waiting for the rest of the company from Kirtland to arrive.
name; and they shall do their business in their own name, and in their own names; and you shall do your business in your own name, and in your own names. And this I have commanded to be done for your salvation, and also for their salvation in consequence of their being driven out, and that which is to come. The covenants being broken through transgression, by covetousness and feigned words; therefore, you are dissolved as a united order with your brethren, that you are not bound only up to this hour, unto them, only on this wise, as I said, by loan, as shall be agreed by this order, in council, as your circumstances will admit, and the voice of the council direct.
10. And again, a commandment I give unto you concerning your stewardship which I have appointed unto you; behold, all these properties are mine, or else your faith is vain, and ye are found hypocrites, and the covenants which ye have made unto me are broken; and if the properties are mine then ye are stewards, otherwise ye are no stewards. But verily I say unto you, I have appointed unto you to be stewards over mine house, even stewards indeed; and for this purpose I have commanded you to organize yourselves, even to Shinelah my words, the fullness of my scriptures, the revelations which I have given unto you, and which I shall hereafter, from time to time, give unto you, for the purpose of building up my church and kingdom on the earth and to prepare my people for the time when I shall dwell with them, which is nigh at hand.
11. And ye shall prepare for yourselves a place for a treasury, and consecrate it unto my name and ye shall appoint one among you to keep the treasury, and he shall be ordained unto this blessing; and there shall be a seal upon the treasury, and all the sacred things shall be delivered into the treasury, and no man among you shall call it his own, or any part of it, for it shall belong to you all with one accord; and I give it unto you from this very hour; and now see to it, that ye go to and make use of the stewardship which I have appointed unto you, exclusive of the sacred things, for the purpose of Shinelane these sacred things, as I have said and the avails of the sacred things shall be had in the treasury, and a seal shall be upon it, and it shall not be used or taken out of the treasury by anyone, neither shall the seal be loosed which shall be placed upon it, only by the voice of the order, or by commandment. And thus shall ye preserve the avails of the sacred things in the treasury, for sacred and holy purposes and this shall be called the sacred treasury of the Lord; and a seal shall be kept upon it, that it may be holy and consecrated unto the Lord.
12. And again, there shall be another treasury prepared and a treasurer appointed to keep the treasury, and a seal shall be placed upon it; and all moneys that you receive in your stewardships by improving upon the properties which I have appointed unto you, in houses or in lands, or in cattle, or in all things save it be the holy and sacred writings, which I have reserved unto myself for holy and sacred purposes, shall be cast into the treasury as fast as you receive moneys, by hundreds or by fifties, or by twenties, or by tens, or by fives, or in other words, if any man among you obtain five talents let him cast them into the treasury; or if he obtain ten, or twenty, or fifty, or an hundred, let him do likewise; and let not any man among you say that it is his own, for it shall not be called his, nor any part of it; and there shall not any part of it be used, or taken out of the treasury, only by the voice and common consent of the order. And this shall be the voice and common consent of the order: that any man among you, say unto the treasurer, I have
On May 3 a conference was held at Kirtland, at which time action was taken on the name of the church. Previous to this no official action had been taken, and no uniformity of practice had obtained, hence to insure uniformity in records it was necessary to have some official action. The church had been called the "Church of Christ," "The Church of Jesus Christ," "Church of God," "Church of the Firstborn," or whatever appellation suited the write or speaker best. The minutes of this conference are as follows:-
"KIRTLAND, Ohio, May 3, 1834.
"Minutes of a conference of the elders of the Church of Christ, which church was organized in the township of Fayette, Seneca County, New York, on the 6th of April, A. D.1830.
"The conference come to order, and Joseph Smith, Jr.,
need of this to help me in my stewardship; if it be five talents, or if it be ten talents, or twenty, or fifty, or an hundred, the treasurer shall give unto him the sum which he requires, to help him in his stewardship, until he be found a transgressor, and it is manifest before the council of the order plainly, that he is an unfaithful and an unwise steward; but so long as he is in full fellowship, and is faithful, and wise in his stewardship, this shall be his token unto the treasurer that the treasurer shall not withhold. But in case of transgression the treasurer shall be subject unto the council and voice of the order. And in case the treasurer is found an unfaithful, and an unwise steward, he shall be subject to the counsel and voice of the order, and shall be removed out of his place, and another shall be appointed in his stead.
13. And again, verily I say unto you, concerning your debts, Behold, it is my will that you should pay all your debts; and it is my will that you should humble yourselves before me, and obtain this blessing by your diligence and humility, and the prayer of faith; and inasmuch as you are diligent and humble, and exercise the prayer of faith behold I will soften the hearts of those to whom you are in debt, until I shall send means unto you for your deliverance. Therefore write speedily unto Cainhannoch, and write according to that which shall be dictated by my Spirit, and I will soften the hearts of those to whom you are in debt, that it shall be taken away out of their minds to bring affliction upon you. And inasmuch as ye are humble and faithful and call on my name behold, I will give you the victory. I give unto you a promise that you shall be delivered this once out of your bondage; inasmuch as you obtain a chance to loan money by hundreds, or thousands, even until you shall loan enough to deliver yourselves from bondage, it is your privilege, and pledge the properties which I have put into your hands, this once, by giving your names, by common consent, or otherwise, as it shall seem good unto you. I give unto you this privilege, this once, and, behold, if you proceed to do the things which I have laid before you, according to my commandments, all these things are mine, and ye are my stewards , and the master will not suffer his house to be broken up. Even so. Amen.
was chosen moderator, and Frederick G. Williams and Oliver Cowdery were appointed clerks.
"After prayer the conference proceeded to discuss the subject of names and appellations, when a motion was made by Sidney Rigdon, and seconded by Newel K. Whitney, that this church be known hereafter by the name of 'The Church of the Latter Day Saints.' Appropriate remarks were delivered by some of the members, after which the motion was put by the moderator, and passed by unanimous voice.
"Resolved that this conference recommend to the conferences and churches abroad, that in making out and transmitting minutes of their proceedings, such minutes and proceedings be made out under the above title.
"Resolved that these minutes be signed by the moderator and clerks, and published in the Evening and Morning Star.
"JOSEPH SMITH, Jr., Moderator.
"FREDERICK G. WILLIAMS,}
"OLIVER COWDERY, } Clerks."
-Evening and Morning Star, vol. 2, p. 352.
It has been stated that in this action the name of Christ was entirely disregarded, but it will be observed that it is called in the beginning of the minutes, "the Church of Christ;" so we conclude that the appellation given in this resolution was intended to be additional.
"An appeal," published in the Evening and Morning Star (vol. 2, page 361) for the following August, signed W. W. Phelps, David Whitmer, John Whitmer, Edward Partridge, John Corrill, Isaac Morley, Parley P. Pratt, Lyman Wight, Newel Knight, Thomas B. Marsh, Simeon Carter, and Calvin Beebe, contains the following sentence: "The Church of Christ recently styled the Church of the Latter Day Saints."
"May 5. Having gathered and prepared clothing and other necessaries to carry to our brethren and sisters who had been robbed and plundered of nearly all their effects; and having provided for ourselves horses and wagons, and firearms, and all sorts of munitions of war of the most portable kind for self-defense, as our enemies were thick on every hand, I started with the remainder of
the company, from Kirtland, for Missouri, and on the 6th we arrived, and joined our brethren who had gone before, at New Portage, about fifty miles distance.
"My company from Kirtland consisted of about one hundred, mostly young men, and nearly all elders, priests, teachers, or deacons, and as our wagons were nearly filled with baggage we had mostly to travel on foot.
"On the 7th we made preparations for traveling, gathered all the moneys of every individual of the company, and appointed F. G. Williams Paymaster of the company from the funds thus collected. The whole company now consisted of more than one hundred and fifty men, accompanied by twenty baggage wagons, and we were more than sixty miles on our journey, having left but few men in Kirtland; viz.: Elder Sidney Rigdon and Oliver Cowdery and a few working on the Temple, except the aged. Zerubbabel Snow was appointed Commissary General at the time Williams was appointed Paymaster.
"Through the remainder of this day and a part of the 8th, I continued to organize the company, appoint such other general officers as the case required, and gave such instructions as were necessary for the discipline, order, comfort, and safety of all concerned. I also divided the whole band into companies of twelve, each company electing their own captain, who severally assigned each man, in their respective companies, his part and duty, which was generally in the following order: Two cooks, two firemen, two tentmakers, two watermen, one runner, two wagoners and horsemen, and one commissary. We purchased flour, baked our own bread, and cooked our own provisions, generally, which was good though sometimes scanty; and sometimes we had johnny cake, or corn dodger, instead of flour bread. Every night before retiring to rest, at the sound of the trumpet, we bowed before the Lord in the several tents, and presented our thank offerings with prayer and supplication; and at the sound of the morning trumpet every man was again on his knees before the Lord, imploring his blessing for the day."
-Times and Seasons. vol. 6, pp. 1074, 1075.
In harmony with the testimony of Joseph concerning the purpose of this expedition is the statement of H. C. Kimball, as published in Times and Seasons, volume 6, page 771:-
"At this time also our brethren were suffering great persecution in Jackson County, Missouri; about twelve hundred were driven, plundered, and robbed; and their houses burned and some were killed. The whole country seemed to be in arms against us, ready to destroy us. Brother Joseph received a lengthy revelation concerning the redemption of Zion, which remains to be fulfilled in a great measure. But he thought it best to gather together as many of the brethren as he conveniently could, with what means they could spare, and go up to Zion to render all the assistance that we could to our afflicted brethren. We gathered clothing and other necessaries to carry up to our brethren and sisters who had been stripped; and putting our horses to the wagons, and taking our fire locks and ammunition, we started on our journey; leaving only Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, and the workmen who were engaged at the Temple; so that there were very few men left in Kirtland. Our wagons were about full with baggage, etc., consequently we had to travel on foot. We started on the 5th of May, and truly this was a solemn morning to me. I took leave of my wife and children and friends, not expecting ever to see them again, as myself and brethren were threatened both in that country and in Missouri by the enemies, that they would destroy us and exterminate us from the land."
Parley P. Pratt, on this point writes as follows:-
"It was now the first of May, 1834, and our mission had resulted in the assembling of about two hundred men at Kirtland, with teams, baggage, provisions, arms, etc., for a march of one thousand miles, for the purpose of carrying some supplies to the afflicted and persecuted saints in Missouri, and to reinforce and strengthen them; and, if possible, to influence the Governor of the State to call out sufficient additional force to coöperate in restoring them to their rights. This little army was led by President Joseph Smith in person. It commenced its march
about the first of May. Passing through Ohio, Indiana. and Illinois, it entered Missouri sometime in June."-Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, p. 122.
These witnesses all agree, and show that the object of the expedition was honorable and charitable.
Thursday, May 8, found them ready to start from New Portage, Ohio, on this long and perilous journey.
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