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WE will open this chapter with the words of Joseph Smith, under date of January 6, 1842:-
"Thursday, 6th. The new year has been ushered in and continued thus far under the most favorable auspices, and the saints seem to be influenced by a kind and indulgent Providence in their dispositions and means to rear the temple of the Most High God, anxiously looking forth to the completion thereof as an event of the greatest importance to the church and the world, making the saints in Zion to rejoice, and the hypocrite and sinner to tremble. Truly this is a day long to be remembered by the saints of the last days, a day in which the God of heaven has begun to restore the ancient order of his kingdom unto his servants and his people; a day in which all things are concurring to bring about the completion of the fullness of the gospel, a fullness of the dispensation of dispensations, even the fullness of times; a day in which God has begun to make manifest and set in order his church, those things which have been, and those things which the ancient prophets and wise men desired to see, but died without beholding it; a day in which those things begin to be made manifest which have been hid from before the foundation of the world, and which Jehovah has promised should be made known in his own due time, unto his servants, to prepare the earth for the return of his glory, even a celestial glory, and a kingdom of priests and kings to God and the Lamb forever, on Mount Zion, or the hundred and forty and four
thousand whom John the Revelator saw, which should come to pass in the restitution of all things.
"Conference held at Zarahemla, at which the stake was discontinued. A branch organized and John Smith appointed president."-Millennial Star, vol. 19, pp. 21, 22.
Saturday, January 15, 1842, Joseph Smith began reading the Book of Mormon for the purpose of correcting some mistakes in the first edition. 1 This work continued from time to time as opportunity offered.
Nothing more of peculiar importance occurred except the general routine of business until March 1, 1842. On this date President Smith writes:-
"I commenced publishing my translation of the Book of Abraham, in the Times and Seasons."
These extracts, as we understand, are from a translation of a roll of manuscript found with some Egyptian mummies purchased of a traveler who visited Kirtland, Ohio, a few years before for the purpose of exhibiting the mummies. The church has never to our knowledge taken any action on this work, either to indorse [endorse] or condemn; so it cannot be said to be a church publication; nor can the church be held to answer for the correctness of its teachings. Joseph Smith, as the translator, is committed of course to the correctness of the translation, but not necessarily to the indorsement [endorsement] of its historical or doctrinal contents.
About this time, at the request of Hon. John Wentworth, of Chicago. Illinois, editor and proprietor of the Chicago Democrat, Joseph Smith wrote a sketch of the rise and progress of the church, which sketch was published soon after in that paper. This production closed with a plain and comprehensive epitome of the faith and doctrine of the church. 2
1 Saturday, 15th. I commenced reading the book of Mormon, at page 64, American stereotype edition (the previous pages having been corrected), for the purpose of correcting the stereotype plates of some errors which escaped notice in the first edition.-Millennial Star, vol. 19, p 22.
2We believe In God the Eternal Father, and in his Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
This is an important historical document, for the reason that there has been some discussion regarding just what the doctrine of the church was in past years.
On assuming editorial charge of the Times and Seasons President Joseph Smith published a notice that he would become responsible for all future editorials and for all papers having his signature, but disclaiming responsibility for the paper in the past. 3
March 20,1842, the Quorum of the Twelve wrote a general
We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression.
We believe that through the atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.
We believe that these ordinances are, 1st, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; 2d, Repentance; 3d, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; 4th, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
We believe that a man must be called of God by "prophecy, and by laying on of hands" by those who are in authority to preach the gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
We believe in the same organization that existed in the primitive church; viz.: Apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc.
We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, etc.
We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
We believe all that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal, and we believe that he will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes. That Zion will be built upon this continent. That Christ will reign personally upon the earth, and that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisaic glory.
We claim the privilege of worshiping [worshipping] Almighty God according to the dictates of our conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul, "we believe all things, we hope all things," we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. Respectfully, etc.,
-Times and Seasons, vol. 3, pp. 709, 710.
3TO SUBSCRIBERS.-This paper commences my editorial career. I alone stand responsible for it, and shall do for all papers having my signature henceforward. I am not responsible for the publication or arrangement of the former paper; the matter did not come under my supervision.
-Times and Seasons vol. 3, p. 710.
epistle to the church in Europe, in which they made the building of the temple and the Nauvoo House a special feature, and appointed John Snider their agent for collecting means.
This epistle was signed by each of the quorum except P. P. Pratt and Orson Hyde, who were in foreign lands. 4
March 24, the "Ladies' Relief Society" was organized.
The editor of the Times and Seasons, Joseph Smith, in the issue for April 1, speaks of the society and explains the purpose of its creation. 5
4 The following is an extract from the epistle of the Twelve:-
Brethren, we wish not to control you or your means; it is not for our peace or interest; nay, rather, it is a source of labor, trouble, and anxiety to have aught to do with the pecuniary business of the church, which we would gladly avoid, could we do it and do our duty, could we do it and the things desired be accomplished and we stand guiltless where God hath placed us; and for this reason we desire to make such arrangements as will most tend to leave the business in your own hands, or in the hands of those whom you shall select; men of your own acquaintance in whom you can repose confidence that they will execute their trust in righteousness. And that our plans may be understood by you and carried into execution, we have sent unto you our beloved brother, Elder John Snider, the bearer of this epistle and other epistles also previously written by us to you; and we beseech you, brethren, to receive him as a servant of the Most High, authorized according to the order of the kingdom of heaven, and assist him by all lawful means in your power to execute the mission intrusted to him; for great events depend on his success, but to none will they be greater than to yourselves.
Our authority for thus sending Brother Snider to you is found in the Book of the Law of the Lord, page 36, as follows: "Nauvoo, December 22, 1841." "The word of the Lord came unto Joseph the Seer, Verily thus saith the Lord, Let my servant John Snider take a mission to the Eastern Continent unto all the conferences now sitting in that region and let him carry a package of epistles that shall be written by my servants, the Twelve, making known unto them their duties concerning the building of my houses, which I have appointed unto you, saith the Lord, that they may bring their gold, and their silver, and their precious stones, and the box tree, and the fir tree, and all fine wood to beautify the place of my sanctuary saith the Lord; and let him return speedily with all means which shall be put into his hands; even so, Amen."
In this revelation, the brethren will discover their duty in relation to the building of the temple of the Lord in Nauvoo and the Nauvoo House; and we call upon them with united cry to give heed unto the things written and help to build the houses which God hath commanded, so that Brother Snider may speedily return with means to strengthen the hands of the laborers and adorn and beautify the tabernacle of Jehovah.
-Times and Seasons, vol. 3 pp. 736,737.
5LADIES RELIEF SOCIETY.-A society has lately been formed by the ladies of Nauvoo for the relief of the poor, the destitute, the widow, and the orphan; and for the exercise of all benevolent purposes. The society is known by the name of the "Ladies' Relief Society of the City of Nauvoo;" and was organized on Thursday, the 24th of March, A. D. 1842.
March 26, Elder John Snider was blessed for his mission under the hands of President Joseph Smith and Apostles Page and Richards, and the same day started for England.
On the 27th Joseph Smith baptized one hundred seven persons in the Mississippi River. April 6,1842, there was a special General Conference convened at Nauvoo, at which several important items of business were done. Among them was the consideration of the case of Apostle John E. Page who had been under censure for sometime in consequence of his failure to accompany Apostle Orson Hyde to the Orient. The investigation resulted in his restoration to fellowship. 6
The society is duly organized with a presidentess or chairwoman, and two counselors, chosen by herself, a treasurer and secretary. Mrs. Emma Smith takes the presidential chair, Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Whitney and Mrs. Sarah M. Cleveland are her counselors, Miss Elvira Cole is treasuress, and our well-known and talented poetess, Miss Eliza R. Snow, secretary.
There was a very numerous attendance at the organization of the society, and also at their subsequent meetings, of some of our most intelligent, humane, philanthropic, and respectable ladies; and we are well assured from a knowledge of those pure principles of benevolence that flow spontaneously from their humane and philanthropic bosoms, that with the resources they will have at command they will fly to the relief of the stranger, they will pour in oil and wine to the wounded heart of the distressed, they will dry up the tear of the orphan, and make the widow's heart to rejoice.
Our ladies have always been signalized for their acts of benevolence and kindness; but the cruel usage that they have received from the barbarians of Missouri has hitherto prevented their extending the hand of charity in a conspicuous manner, yet in the midst of their persecutions when the bread has been torn from their helpless offspring by their cruel oppressors, they have always been ready to open their doors to the weary traveler, to divide their scanty pittance with the hungry, and from their robbed and impoverished wardrobes to divide with the more needy and destitute, and now that they are living on a more genial soil, and among a less barbarous people, and possess facilities that they have not heretofore enjoyed, we feel convinced that with their concentrated efforts the condition of the suffering poor, of the stranger, and the fatherless, will be ameliorated.
We had the privilege of being present at their organization, and were much pleased with their modus operandi and the good order that prevailed. They are strictly parliamentary in their proceedings, and we believe that they will make pretty good Democrats.-ED.-Times and, Seasons vol. 3, p. 743.
Special conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints met according to appointment in the city of Nauvoo, April 6, 1842.
The day being wet, the First Presidency did not attend, and Elder Page addressed those present upon the subject of the charges against
him, and said he would be happy to have an opportunity of laying his statement before the conference at a convenient time.
President William Law, General Bennett president pro tem., and President H. Smith all spoke upon the subject of military affairs, showing the necessity of a well-organized and efficient force; that as we were bound to serve our country if required in common with all good citizens, we ought not to be behind any of our neighbors in point of good order, neat uniforms, and equipments, and a well-organized and thoroughly disciplined legion.
April 7. Conference met; President Joseph Smith had the several quorums put in order, and seated. He then made some very appropriate remarks concerning the duties of the church, the necessity of unity of purpose in regard to the building of the houses, and the blessings connected with doing the will of God, and the inconsistency, folly, and danger of murmuring against the dispensations of Jehovah.
He said that the principal object of the meeting was to bring the case of Elder Page before them, and that another object was to choose young men, and ordain them, and send them out to preach, that they may have an opportunity of proving themselves, and of enduring the tarring and feathering and such things as those of us who have gone before them have had to endure.
Elder Page having arrived, was called upon, and addressed the congregation in relation to the nonperformance of his mission to Jerusalem. He said that when he started with Elder Hyde, joy filled their hearts, and they were aware of the responsibility of their mission. Elder Hyde's vision was that he should be in Jerusalem alone; E. P. [Elder Page] considered Elder Hyde to be his father and guide in the mission and felt it his duty to submit to Elder Hyde's opinion in all things. No elders ever were more in concert on a mission than they were while together. They made a covenant in Quincy to stand by each other while on the mission; that if they were insulted or imposed upon they would stand by each other even unto death, and not separate unless to go a few miles to preach a sermon; that all moneys should go into one purse, and it did so. Elder Hyde in Indiana first said he would go to visit Bro. Knight, and that Elder Page would stay and preach. He assented, and he went and returned to Indianapolis. Elder Page had a mare given him on account of both. Elder Hyde then took the mare went on, and left his luggage with Elder Page. While away he sold the mare for forty dollars, and received sixty dollars more as a donation from the man to whom he sold the mare. He returned; they preached in Dayton and received a handsome contribution. Elder Page preached sixteen miles off and raised a branch; Elder Hyde went to Cincinnati revised the "Missouri Persecutions," got two thousand copies printed and paid for them, and took part of them with him, and left a large box full and about one hundred and fifty loose copies with Elder Page. Elder Hyde started for Philadelphia, purposing to visit churches on the way; he left Elder Page twenty-three dollars and thirty-one cents. Elder Page returned to Dayton and Milton and sold books, with the intention of following Elder Hyde as soon as practicable; but he stayed a day or two too long, and the river closed by the frost, from one to two weeks earlier than usual. Elder Hyde told him that it was possible they might be from one to two years before they would leave America, as it would take upwards of one thousand dollars each to take them to Jerusalem and back; that it would be slow gleaning in England; and assigned this as a reason for not immediately following Elder Hyde, thinking that he would be sure of seeing him in the spring.
Elder Page accused himself of not using better economy in proceeding on his journey. There came out a piece in the paper stating the displeasure
April 13, the first number of a periodical called The Wasp was issued at Nauvoo, Elder William Smith editor. It was a weekly newspaper devoted to art, science, literature, agriculture, manufactures, trade, commerce, and general news.
of the Lord respecting Elder Hyde and Elder Page. He sat down and wrote a piece to put in the paper, acknowledging the justice of the charge; but wisdom prevented its being published; preached about Washington, etc., gathered funds for the mission, in Westchester and in Philadelphia. Elder Hyde raised funds on behalf of the mission by applauding Elder Page's talents, wisdom, etc.: but they were disappointed in him when they saw him. He raised funds for the mission; the most liberal was in Philadelphia. He intended to sail on the 25th of July but the brethren said that if he would remain two weeks they would raise funds for him. They found that it would take longer, and he decided to stay a month. He then received a command through a letter from President H. Smith to an official character in Philadelphia requesting him to return. He wrote to ascertain the reason, but did not get an answer. He was then called in by President J. Smith and Elder B. Young. Elder Hyde would often renew the covenant between them, never to part with each other in that mission. Elder Page had no blame to attach to Elder Hyde-he supposed that he had done right; but if he had been in his place he would have tarried for him until the spring.
The reports of his having apostatized, etc., returned even from this place to New York. Many reproved him for leaving Cincinnati for Dayton.
President J. Smith then arose and stated that it was wrong to make the covenant referred to by him; that it created a lack of confidence for two men to covenant to reveal all acts of secrecy or otherwise to each other, and Elder Page showed a little grannyism. He said that no two men when they agreed to go together ought to separate; that the prophets of old would not, and quoted the circumstance of Elijah and Elisha . . . when about to go to Gilgal; also when about to go to Jericho, and to Jordan; that Elisha could not get clear of Elijah-that he clung to his garment until he was taken to heaven; and that Elder Page should have stuck by Elder Hyde, and he might have gone to Jerusalem; that there is nothing very bad in it, but by the experience let us profit. . .
When Elder Hyde returns we will reconsider the matter, and perhaps send them back to Jerusalem. We will fellowship Elder Page until Elder Hyde comes, and we will then weld them together and make them one. A vote was then put and carried, that we hold Elder Page in full fellowship.
Voted that Elder Page be sent to Pittsburg [Pittsburgh]. . . .
Elder L. Wight then addressed those who intended to be ordained, on the subject of their duty and requirements to go to preach.
President H. Smith spoke concerning the elders who went forth to preach from Kirtland, and were afterwards called in for the washing and anointing at the dedication of the house; and those who go now will be called in also, when this temple is about to be dedicated, and will then be endowed to go forth with mighty power, having the same anointing, that all may go forth and have the same power; the first, second, and so on, of the seventies, and all those formerly ordained. This will be an important and beneficial mission, and not many years until those now sent will be called in again.
He then spoke in contradiction of a report in circulation about Elder
The Times and Seasons for May 2, 1842, contained two articles on the temple. One, the epistle of the Twelve to the church in America, 7 and the other
Kimball, B. Young, himself, and others of the Twelve, alleging that a sister had been shut in a room for several days, and that they had endeavored to induce her to believe in having two wives. Also cautioned the sisters against going to the steamboats.
President J. Smith spoke upon the subject of the stories respecting Elder Kimball and others, showing the folly and inconsistency of spending any time in conversing about such stories or hearkening to them, for there is no person that is acquainted with our principles would believe such lies, except Sharp, the editor of the Warsaw Signal. Baptisms for the dead, and for the healing of the body, must be in the font; those coming into the church and those rebaptized may be done in the river.
A box should be prepared for the use of the font, that the clerk may be paid, and a book procured by the moneys to be put therein by those baptized, the remainder to go to the use of the temple. Sung a hymn. Ordinations to take place to-morrow morning, baptisms in the font also. There were two hundred and seventy-five ordained to the office of elder under the hands of the Twelve during the conference.
April 8. Sung a hymn; prayer by Elder Kimball; sung a hymn.
Elder Page then addressed the assembly upon several subjects; made many interesting remarks concerning being called to the ministry, labor in the vineyard, etc., spoke of his own travels and the fruits of his labors as an encouragement to the young elders who were going into the vineyard.
President J. Smith said the baptisms would be attended to, also the ordinations. Sung a hymn. Elder John Taylor preached a sermon while the ordinations and baptisms were going on, on the subject of infidelity, showing that the arguments used against the Bible were reasonably scientifically, and philosophically false.
The stand was occupied in the afternoon by Elder Amasa Lyman and followed by Elder William Smith; then the conference closed by benediction of President J. Smith.-Times and Seasons vol. 3, pp. 761-763.
7EPISTLE OF THE TWELVE.
To the Saints in, America, Greeting:-
Beloved brethren, we have whereof to congratulate you at the present time, as we have opportunity from day to day to witness the progress of the building of the temple of the Lord in this city, and which is and must be accomplished by the united exertions of the labors of the brethren who reside here, and the tithings and contributions of those who are scattered abroad in the different States.
In this glorious object the hearts of all the faithful are united, the hands of the laborer are made strong continually, and the purse strings of the more opulent are unloosed, from time to time, to supply those things which are necessary for upraising the stones of this noble edifice and it may truly be said that the blessing of the Lord is upon his people; we have peace without and love within the borders of our beautiful city-beautiful, indeed, for situation, is Nauvoo, the crown of the great valley of the Mississippi, the joy of every honest heart.
Although all things are more prosperous concerning the temple than at any former period, yet the saints must not suppose that all is done or that they can relax their exertions and the work go on. It is a great work that God has required of his people, and it will require long and
unwearied diligence to accomplish it; and redoubled diligence will be necessary with all to get the building inclosed [enclosed] before another winter, so that the joiner can be employed during the cold weather; and we would again call upon all the saints abroad to unite in making their deposits in banks known to be good and safe, and forward their certificates to the Trustee in Trust, as speedily as possible, when trusty men are not coming immediately to this place who can bring your offerings. All will want the privileges and blessings of the sanctuary when it is completed and all can have their wishes; but they can obtain them only by faithfulness and diligence in striving to build.
We praise our God for the liberality which has hitherto been manifested. Many have given more than was required of them, many have given their all; but they have done it cheerfully, they have done it voluntarily, and they shall have a great reward; for the blessings of heaven and earth shall be multiplied unto such, even the blessings of that priesthood which hath neither beginning of days nor end of life. While there are those who of their abundance have built unto themselves fine houses, and who ride in carriages and on horseback, and regale themselves with the good things of the land, and at the same time they have left the Lord's house untouched, or, if touched at all, have touched it so lightly as scarce to leave the print of their little finger,-their reward will be according to their deeds, and unless they speedily repent and come up with their abundance to the help of the Lord, they will find in the end that they have no part nor lot in this matter; their gold and silver will become cankered, their garments moth-eaten and they will perish in their own slothfulness and idolatry, leaving none to mourn their absence.
But, brethren, the temple will be built. There are hundreds and thousands who stand ready to sacrifice the last farthing they possess on earth rather than have the building of the Lord's house delayed, and while this spirit prevails no power beneath the heavens can hinder its progress; but we desire you all to help with the ability which God has given you, that you may all share the blessings which will distill from heaven to earth through this consecrated channel.
This is not all. It will be in vain for us to build a place where the Son of Man may lay his head, and leave the cries of the widow and the fatherless unheard by us, ascending up to the orphan's God and widow's friend. It is in vain we cry Lord, Lord, and do not the things our Lord hath commanded; to visit the widow, the fatherless, the sick, the lame, the blind, the destitute, and minister to their necessities; and it is but reasonable that such cases should be found among a people who have but recently escaped the fury of a relentless mob on the one hand and gathered from the half-starved population of the scattered nations on the other.
Neither is this all. It is not sufficient that the poor be fed and clothed, the sick ministered unto, the temple built; No! When all this is accomplished, there must be a year of jubilee; there must be a day of rejoicing; there must be a time of release to Zion's sons, or our offerings, our exertions, our hopes, and our prayers will be in vain, and God will not accept of the doings of his people.
On those days of darkness which overspread our horizon, when the wolf was howling for his prey around the streets of Kirtland, when the burglar was committing his midnight and midday depredations in Jackson County, when the heartless politician was thrusting his envious darts in Clay, and when the savage war whoop of Missouri echoed and reëchoed through Far West, and Zion's noblest sons were chained in dungeons and her daughters driven by a horde of savages, naked and defenseless from their once peaceful homes to seek a shelter in a far distant land,-
many of the brethren stepped forward to their rescue, and not only expended all they possessed for the relief of suffering innocence, but gave their notes and bonds to obtain more means with which to help those who could not escape from the overwhelming surge of banishment from all that they possessed on earth.
Deaths, wounds, and sickness, from the mob, and the cold and shelterless situation of the brethren, followed in quick succession; and all the means which could possibly be obtained from each other, in addition to the noble charities of the citizens of Illinois, were brought in requisition to sustain a remnant of the saints, who now mostly inhabit this place. To accomplish this the president and bishops loaned [borrowed] money and such things as could be obtained, and gave their obligations in good faith for the payment of the same; and many of the brethren signed with them at different times and in different places to strengthen their hands and help them carry out their designs, fully expecting that, at some future day, they would be enabled to liquidate all such claims to the satisfaction of all parties.
Many of these claims have already been settled, many have been given up as canceled by those who held them, and many yet remain unsettled. The saints have had many difficulties to encounter since they arrived at this place. In a new country, destitute of houses, food, clothing, and nearly all the necessaries of life, which were rent from them by an unfeeling mob, having to encounter disease and difficulties unnumbered, it is not surprising that the church has not been able to liquidate all such claims, or that many individuals should yet remain involved, from the foregoing circumstances; and while things remain as they are, and men remain subject to the temptations of evil as they now are, the day of release and year of jubilee cannot be; and we write you especially at this time, brethren, for the purpose of making a final settlement of all such claims, of brother against brother, of the brethren against the presidency and bishops, etc., etc.-claims which have originated out of the difficulties and calamities the church has had to encounter, and which are of long standing, so that when the temple is completed there will be nothing from this source to produce jars and discords, strifes and animosities, so as to prevent the blessings of heaven from descending upon us as a people.
To accomplish this most desirable object we call on all the brethren who hold such claims to bring them forward for a final settlement; and also those brethren who have individual claims against each other, of long standing, and the property of the debtor has been wrested from him by violence, or he has been unfortunate and languished on a bed of sickness till his means are expended; and all claims whatsoever between brother and brother, where there is no reasonable prospect of a just and equitable settlement possible, that they also by some means, either by giving up their obligations or destroying them, see that all such old affairs be adjusted so that it shall not give occasion for difficulties to arise hereafter. Yes, brethren, bring all such old accounts, notes, bonds, etc., and make a consecration of them to the building of the temple, and if anything can be obtained on them it will be obtained, and if nothing can be obtained when the temple is completed we will make a burnt offering of them, even a peace offering, which shall bind the brethren together in the bonds of eternal peace, and love, and union; and joy and salvation shall flow forth into your souls, and you shall rejoice and say, It is good that we have hearkened unto counsel and set our brethren free, for God hath blessed us.
How can we prosper while the church, while the Presidency, while the bishops, while those who have sacrificed everything but life, in this thing, for our salvation, are thus encumbered? it cannot be. Arise
an editorial from the pen of Joseph Smith. 8 A careful perusal of these articles will indicate that the erection of the temple was one of the leading purposes of the times.
then, brethren, set them free, and set each other free, and we will all be free together; we will be free indeed.
Let nothing in this epistle be so construed as to destroy the validity of contracts, or give anyone license not to pay his debts. The commandment is to pay every man his dues, and no man can get to heaven while he justly owes his brother or his neighbor, who has or can get the means and will not pay. It is dishonest, and no dishonest man can enter where God is.
We remain your brethren in the gospel of peace,
B. YOUNG, President,
HEBER C. KIMBALL.
JOHN E. PAGE.
GEORGE A. SMITH.
W. RICHARDS, Clerk.
-Times and Seasons, vol. 3, pp. 767-769.
8THE TEMPLE.-This noble edifice is progressing with great rapidity; strenuous exertions are being made on every hand to facilitate its erection, and materials of all kinds are in a great state of forwardness, and by next fall we expect to see the building inclosed [enclosed]; if not the topstone raised with "shouting of grace, grace unto it." There have been frequently, during the winter, as many as one hundred hands quarrying rock, while at the same time multitudes of others have been engaged in hauling and in other kinds of labor. A company was formed last fall to go up to the pine country to purchase mills and prepare and saw lumber for the temple and the Nauvoo House, and the reports from them are very favorable. Another company has started this last week, to take their place and to relieve those that are already there. On their return they are to bring a very large raft of lumber for the use of the above named houses.
While the busy multitudes have thus been engaged in their several avocations, performing their daily labor, and working one tenth of their time, others have not been less forward in bringing in their tithings and consecrations for the same great object. Never since the formation [foundation] of this church was laid have we seen manifested a greater willingness to comply with the requisitions of Jehovah, a more ardent desire to do the will of God, more strenuous exertions used, or greater sacrifices made, than there has been since the Lord said, "Let the temple be built by the tithing of my people." It seemed as though the spirit of enterprise, philanthropy, and obedience rested simultaneously upon old and young; and brethren and sisters, boys and girls, and even strangers, who were not in the church, united with an unprecedented liberality in the accomplishment of this great work; nor could the widow in many instances, be prevented, out of her scanty pittance, from throwing in her two mites.
We feel at this time to tender to all, old and young, both in the church and out of it, our unfeigned thanks for their unprecedented liberality,
On May 17,1842, Gen. John C. Bennett resigned his position as Mayor of Nauvoo, and Joseph Smith was elected by the City Council to succeed him.
On May 6, 1842, Ex-Governor Boggs, of Missouri, was
kindness, diligence, and obedience, which they have so opportunely manifested on the present occasion. Not that we are personally or individually benefited in a pecuniary point of view, but when the brethren as in this instance show a unity of purpose and design, and all put their shoulder to the wheel, our care, labor, toil, and anxiety is materially diminished; "our yoke is made easy, and our burden is light."
The cause of God is one common cause, in which all the saints are alike interested. We are all members of the one common body, and all partake of the same Spirit, and are baptized into one baptism, and possess alike the same glorious hope. The advancement of the cause of God and the building up of Zion is as much one man's business as another. The only difference is that one is called to fulfill one duty and another another duty; "but if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it," and if one member is honored all the rest rejoice with it, and the eye cannot say to the ear I have no need of thee, nor the head to the foot I have no need of thee; party feelings, separate interests, exclusive designs should be lost sight of in the one common cause, in the interest of the whole.
The building up of Zion is a cause that has interested the people of God in every age; it is a theme upon which prophets, priests, and kings have dwelt with peculiar delight. They have looked forward with joyful anticipation to the day in which we lived; and fired with heavenly and joyful anticipations they have sung, and wrote, and prophesied of this our day. But they died without the sight; we are the favored people that God has made choice of to bring about the latter-day glory; it is left for us to see, participate in, and help to roll forward the latter-day glory-"the dispensation of the fullness of times when God will gather together all things that are in heaven, and all things that are upon the earth even in one;" when the saints of God will be gathered in one from every nation, and kindred, and people, and tongue; when the Jews will be gathered together into one, the wicked will also be gathered together to be destroyed, as spoken of by the prophets; the Spirit of God will also dwell with his people, and be withdrawn from the rest of the nations and all things whether in heaven or on earth will be in one, even in Christ. The heavenly priesthood will unite with the earthly, to bring about those great purposes; and whilst we are thus united in the one common cause to roll forth the kingdom of God, the heavenly priesthood are not idle spectators; the Spirit of God will be showered down from above, it will dwell in our midst. The blessings of the Most High will rest upon our tabernacles. and our name will be handed down to future ages, our children will rise up and call us blessed; and generations yet unborn will dwell with peculiar delight upon the scenes that we have passed through, the privations that we have endured, the untiring zeal that we have manifested, the insurmountable difficulties that we have overcome, in laying the foundation of a work that brought about the glory and blessings which they will realize; a work that God and angels have contemplated with delight, for generations past; that fired the souls of the ancient patriarchs and prophets;-a work that is destined to bring about the destruction of the powers of darkness, the renovation of the earth, the glory of God, and the salvation of the human family.-Ed-Times and, Seasons, vol. 3, pp. 775, 776.
shot and severely wounded at his home in Independence. Missouri. It was at first reported that he was dead, but this was a mistake. He recovered and went to California, where he died some years later.
Because of the part that Governor Boggs had taken in driving the saints from the State, suspicion rested upon them. It was quite generally charged that Joseph Smith sent one O. P. Rockwell to do the deed. Rockwell was apprehended, tried, and acquitted. Gen. A. W. Doniphan was attorney for Rockwell, and he told us a few years ago that there was not one particle of evidence produced in court to connect Rockwell with the crime. At the time Boggs was shot he was a candidate for State senator, and politics was agitated during the campaign in a very vindictive spirit. Boggs had many bitter political enemies. There was surely as much reason to suspect his political enemies of being guilty of the crime as to suspect the Latter Day Saints.
About this time the Quincy Whig published an account of the tragedy, which is a fair specimen of the reports which went the rounds of the press. 9
To this Joseph Smith published an answer and denial. 10
9 ASSASSINATION OF EX-GOVERNOR BOGGS, OF MISSOURI.-Lilburn W. Boggs, late Governor of Missouri, was assassinated at his residence in Independence, Missouri, by an unknown hand, on the 6th instant. He was sitting in a room by himself, when some person discharged a pistol loaded with buckshot, through an adjoining window; three of the shot took effect in his head, one of which penetrated the brain. His son, a boy, hearing the report of the pistol, ran into the room in which his father was seated, and found him in a helpless situation, upon which he gave the alarm. Footprints were found beneath the window, and the pistol which gave the fatal shot. The Governor was alive on the seventh but no hopes are entertained of his recovery. A man was suspected, and is probably arrested before this. There are several rumors in circulation in regard to the horrid affair; one of which throws the crime upon the Mormons, from the fact, we suppose, that Mr. Boggs was Governor at the time, and in no small degree instrumental in driving them from the state. Smith, too, the Mormon prophet, as we understand, prophesied a year or so ago, his death by violent means. Hence there is plenty of foundation for rumor. The citizens of Independence had offered a reward of five hundred dollars for the murderer.-Millennial Star, vol. 19, p. 439
10NAUVOO, Illinois, May 22, 1842.
Mr. Bartlett; Dear Sir:-In your paper (the Quincy Whig) of the 21st instant, you have done me manifest injustice ascribing to me a prediction
The report of the English mission to the conference at Manchester, June 1,1842, showed a membership of 7,514.
On June 17,1842, Elder William Law made a statement regarding the morals and loyalty of Nauvoo, which makes an extraordinarily good showing for the dominant church there. 11
of the demise of Lilburn W. Boggs, Esq., Ex-Governor of Missouri, by violent hands. Boggs was a candidate for the State Senate and, I presume, fell by the hand of a political opponent, with "his hands and face yet dripping with the blood of murder;" but he died not through my instrumentality. My hands are clean, and my heart pure, from the blood of all men. I am tired of the misrepresentation, calumny, and detraction heaped upon me by wicked men; and desire and claim only those principles guaranteed to all men by the Constitution and laws of the United States and of Illinois. Will you do me the justice to publish this communication, and oblige, yours respectfully,
-Millennial Star, vol. 19, pp. 439, 440
11What have the Mormons done in Illinois? is a question which I have frequently asked of those who are busy with the tongue of slander in calumniating the Latter Day Saints, but as yet I have found none who are willing to answer me honestly or correctly. Perhaps many judge from rumor, not having investigated the matter for themselves. I have, therefore, thought it might be well to lay before the public some facts in relation to the case, believing that there is a respectable portion of community who, after having received correct information, will frown with indignation upon the conduct of those who are endeavoring to raise a persecution against our people.
In the first place, we would say, that where a crime is committed there is a law broken, for if no law has been violated there cannot have been a crime committed; if, then, our people have broken the law, is there not power in those laws to vindicate themselves, or to redress the wrongs of those who are injured? We say there is; neither would we cast any aspersion upon the characters of the administrators of the laws as though they were not vigilant in the discharge of their duty; we believe they have been (with very few exceptions).
With these facts before us, there is then no difficulty in obtaining correct information as to the amount of crime committed by the Mormons throughout the State. You have only to refer to the various dockets kept by the administrators of law, from the highest court to the lowest, throughout the length and breadth of the land, and there you will find recorded the crimes of the Mormons, if it so be that they have committed any. We say their faults are few compared to the population. Where is there a record of murder committed by any of our people? None in the State. Where is there a record against any of our people for a penitentiary crime? Not in the State. Where is there a record of fine or county imprisonment (for any breach of law) against any of the Latter Day Saints? I know of none in the State. If, then, they have broken no law, they consequently have taken away no man's rights-they have infringed upon no man's liberties.
We have been three years in this State, and have not asked for any county or State officer. Laws have been administered by those not of our persuasion; administered rigorously, even against the appearance of crime, and yet there has been no conviction of which I have heard.
But favorable as the statement of Elder Law is, it is not more complimentary to their industry, good government, and morality than is a statement made by the Rev. Mr. Prior, of the Methodist Church, who visited Nauvoo in 1843. 12
Where is there another community of thirty thousand, in any State, against none of whom there is a record of conviction for crime in any court during the space of three years? And yet there are those who cry out "Treason! murder! bigamy! burglary! arson!" and everything that is evil, without being able to refer to a single case that has ever been proved against the Mormons.
This, then, must be the "head and front of our offending," that by industry in both spiritual and temporal things we are becoming a great and numerous people, we convert our thousands and tens of thousands yearly to the light of truth-to the glorious liberty of the gospel of Christ; we bring thousands from foreign lands, from under the yoke of oppression, and the iron hand of poverty, and we place them in a situation where they can sustain themselves, which is the highest act of charity towards the poor. We dry the widow's tear, we fill the orphan's hand with bread, and clothe the naked; we teach them the principles of morality and righteousness, and they rejoice in the God of Abraham, and in the Holy One of Israel, and are happy.
Thus it is with the honest in heart; but when the wicked creep in amongst us for evil, to trample upon the most holy and virtuous precepts and find our moral and religious laws too strict for them, they cry out, "Delusion, false prophets, speculation, oppression, illegal ordinances usurpation of power, treason against the government, etc. You must have your charters taken away; you have dared to pass an ordinance against fornicators and adulterers; you have forbid the vending of spirituous liquors within your city; you have passed an ordinance against vagrants and disorderly persons; with many other high-handed acts. You even threaten to vote at the next election, and maybe (at least we fear) you will send a member to the legislature; none of which doings we, the good mobocrats and anti-Mormon politicians (and some priests as well) are willing to bear."
This is the cry of the base and vile, the priest and the speculator, but the noble, the high-minded, the patriotic, and the virtuous breathe no such sentiments; neither will those who feel an interest in the welfare of the State; for who does not know that to increase the population ten thousand a year with the most industrious people in the world, to pay thousands of dollars of taxes, to bring into the State immense sums of gold and silver from all countries, to establish the greatest manufacturing city in America (which Nauvoo will be in a few years), and to create the best produce market in the West, is for the good and prosperity of the community at large, and of the State of Illinois in particular. As to the city ordinances, we have passed all such as we deemed necessary for the peace, welfare, and happiness of the inhabitants, whether Jew or Greek, Mohammedan, Roman Catholic, Latter Day Saint, or any other; that they all worship God according to their own conscience, and enjoy the rights of American freemen.
Nauvoo, June 17, 1842.
-Millennial Star, vol. 19, pp. 485, 486.
12At length the city burst upon my sight. Instead of seeing a few miserable log cabins and mud hovels, which I had expected to find, I
On June 26 a council was held, to decide upon the propriety of sending a delegation to the pineries, to engage in the lumber business in the interest of the temple and Nauvoo House. On the 28th it was decided to send a company under the leadership of Ezra Chase.
was surprised to see one of the most romantic places that I had visited in the West. The buildings though many of them were small, and of wood, yet bore the marks of neatness which I have not seen equaled in this country. The far-spread plain at the bottom of the hill was dotted over with the habitations of men with such majestic profusion, that I was almost willing to believe myself mistaken, and instead of being in Nauvoo of Illinois, among Mormons, that I was in Italy at the city of Leghorn, which the location of Nauvoo resembles very much. I gazed for some time with fond admiration upon the plain below. Here and there arose a tall majestic brick house, speaking loudly of the genius and untiring labor of the inhabitants, who have snatched the place from the clutches of obscurity and wrested it from the bonds of disease, and in two or three short years rescued it from a dreary waste to transform it into one of the first cities of the West. The hill upon which I stood was covered over with the dwellings of men, and amid them was seen to rise the hewn stone and already accomplished work of the temple, which was now raised fifteen or twenty feet above the ground. The few trees that were permitted to stand are now in full foliage, and are scattered with a sort of fantastic irregularity over the slope of the hill.
But there was one object which was far more noble to behold, and far more majestic than any other yet presented to my sight, and that was the widespread and unrivaled Father of Waters, the Mississippi River, whose mirror-bedded waters lay in majestic extension before the city, and in one general curve seemed to sweep gallantly by the beautiful place. On the farther side was seen the dark green woodland, bending under its deep foliage, with here and there an interstice bearing the marks of cultivation. A few houses could be seen through the trees on the other side of the river, directly opposite to which is spread a fairy isle, covered with beautiful timber. The isle and romantic swell of the river soon brought my mind back to days of yore, and to the bright emerald isles of the far-famed fairy land. The bold and prominent rise of the hill, fitting to the plain with exact regularity, and the plain pushing itself into the river, forcing it to bend around its obstacle with becoming grandeur, and fondly to cling around it to add to the heightened and refined luster of this sequestered land.
I passed on into the more active parts of the city, looking into every street and lane to observe all that was passing. I found all the people engaged in some useful and healthy employment. The place was alive with business-much more so than any place I have visited since the hard times commenced. I sought in vain for anything that bore the marks of immorality, but was both astonished and highly pleased at my ill success. I could see no loungers about the streets nor any drunkards about the taverns. I did not meet with those distorted features of ruffians. or with the ill-bred and impudent. I heard not an oath in the place, I saw not a gloomy countenance; all were cheerful, polite, and industrious.-Smucker's History of the Mormons, pp. 152-155.
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