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THE year 1863 opened with encouraging prospects, though perplexing hindrances had not all disappeared.
The Annual Conference convened at Amboy, Lee County, Illinois, April 6; Joseph Smith President, Isaac Sheen and J. W. Gillen clerks. The following branches reported:-
Nauvoo, Mission, Batavia, Fox River, Marengo, Plano, Amboy, Buffalo Prairie, Abingdon, Princeville, and Pittsfield, Illinois; Little River, Belvidere, Keokuk, String Prairie, Montrose, Nashville, Butternut Grove, and Fremont County, Iowa; Burlington, Union, Geneva, and Wolf River, Wisconsin; Galien and Swan Creek, Michigan; Whitestown and Union, Indiana; Pittsburg [Pittsburgh] and Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Wassoja, Minnesota.
The following-named elders reported:-
J. W. Briggs, W. W. Blair, John Landers, Z. H. Gurley [Sen.], J. W. Gillen, A. M. Wilsey, James Blakeslee, John Shippy, Francis Reynolds, E. C. Briggs, Nathan Lindsey, Andrew Cairns, H. Lytle, C. G. Lanphear, William Anderson, Charles Williams, Henry Cuerden, Horace Bartlett, Charles Jones, Briggs Alden, George Morey.
The following resolutions were passed:-
"Resolved, that the seventh resolution in the 'Word of Consolation' be reaffirmed, which says:-
"'7. Resolved, that in the opinion of this conference there is no stake to which the saints on this continent are commanded to gather at the present time; but, that the saints on all other lands are commanded to gather to this land,
preparatory to the reëstablishment of the church in Zion, when the scattered saints on this land will also be commanded to gather and return to Zion, and to their inheritances, in fulfillment of the promises of God. And it is the duty of the saints to turn their hearts and their faces towards Zion and supplicate the Lord God for such deliverance.' . .
"That E. C. Briggs and C. G. McIntosh prosecute a mission to Utah, Nevada Territory, and California.
"That Brn. Joseph Smith, J. W. Briggs, and W. W. Blair be appointed a committee to prepare a preface to section 110 of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, to make known our political faith. 1
1 THE DECLARATION OF LOYALTY.
To the government of the United States by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints:-The Annual Conference, of April 6, 1863, at its recent session at Amboy, Illinois directed that the article on "governments and laws in general," which are in Doctrine and Covenants, section 110 be published in the Herald that all may know the ground that the saints of God occupy with regard to civil rulers and civil laws. It furthermore appointed Joseph Smith, Jason W. Briggs, and W. W. Blair a committee to write a brief preface to said article. We therefore submit the following:-
It must be evident to the saints that the time has come when the wrath of God is beginning to be poured out upon the enemies of God and his people agreeable to the word of promise, and that the most striking and prominent event in bringing it about was the rebellion first of South Carolina, then of all the Southern States, who have been and are now warring against the Northern States. When it is admitted, and indeed declared, that South Carolina and the Southern States are in rebellion, it is easy for us to tell where our government is. It is that authority to which they will not submit and which they are resisting by force of arms. Without legal and rightful authority properly vested, there could be no such thing as rebellion, for rebellion is resistance to rightful authority. Now rebellion, we are told, is as the sin of witchcraft, and witchcraft was anciently a crime, punishable with death. Rebellion is no less obnoxious now than then. The evils resulting from it are as great now as then, and it should find as little favor and sympathy with the people of God now as it has in any past time. The fact is, God has always called his people to peace-to be obedient to kings, governors, and rulers in general, except when they dictate in matters of religion-in matters pertaining to the salvation of the soul. It is therefore the duty of all saints to set a bright and worthy example in this respect to the erring and disobedient family of man.
Jesus, our blessed Master, paid tribute to Cæsar, and he was far greater than Cæsar; yet he recognized and respected the civil power of him who had by force of arms put an iron yoke of bondage upon the once favored but now disobedient people of Israel. He said: "Render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's, and unto God the things that are God's." Following Christ does not lead us into contact with civil rulers, but to honor them and respect them as ministers of God who are
"That Elder W. W. Blair be assigned to a mission to preside over the churches in Western Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota.
"That Elder James Blakeslee preside over Eastern Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.
"That Elder Z. H. Gurley [Sen.] preside over Northern Illinois and Wisconsin.
"That Elder J. W. Briggs preside over the British Isles.
"That President Joseph Smith preside over Eastern Iowa, Southern Illinois, and Missouri.
"That Bro. J. W. Briggs, in the prosecution of the English mission, be empowered and directed to print and reprint such matter for circulation as he in his discretion may deem best for the advancement of the work.
"That Elder Jeremiah Jeremiah be associated with Elder J. W. Briggs in the mission in the British Isles.
"That Bro. J. W. Briggs be supplied with funds from the treasury of the church to publish whatever he may deem advisable for the prosecution of his mission in the British Isles. . . .
"That Bro. S. Powers be appointed to preside over Eastern Wisconsin if he cannot fulfill his mission to England, but if he can prosecute that mission, this conference requests him to do so.
"Bro. J. W. Briggs made some remarks concerning a revelation which was given in March, 1863, for the appointment of Bro. William Marks as counselor to the President of the Church.
"Elder W. W. Blair said that, at the June conference in 1859, it was prophesied that Bro. William Marks would be a counselor to the President of the Church.
set for the protection and well-being of the innocent and for the punishment of the guilty.
It is our duty to pray for all in authority that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life. Are they weak and imbecile? Are they wicked and disobedient? Then they need our prayers so much more. If we desire peace, let us be peaceful. If we desire good government, let us be obedient, with hearty good will, not only for wrath but for conscience' sake.
JOSEPH SMITH, }
JASON W. BRIGGS }, Committee.
WILLIAM W. BLAIR }
-True Latter Day Saint' Herald,vol. 3, pp. 201, 202.
"Bro. W. W. Blair read the revelation which was referred to by Bro. J. W. Briggs. 2
"Resolved, that Bro. William Marks be ordained a counselor to the President of the Church.
"He was then ordained to that office by Brn. Joseph Smith, J. W. Briggs, and E. C. Briggs.
"Resolved, that Brother Joseph Smith be sustained as the President of the Church.
"That Bro. J. W. Briggs be sustained as President of the Quorum of the Twelve.
"By separate votes concerning the following members of the Quorum of the Twelve it was resolved that they be sustained as members of that quorum: Z. H. Gurley [Sen.], James Blakeslee, Samuel Powers, John Shippy, Reuben Newkirk, William W. Blair, and Edmund C. Briggs.
"That George White of the Quorum of the Twelve be notified in the Herald to report himself to the next Semiannual Conference.
"Brn. Joseph Smith and William Marks blessed the following members of the Quorum of the Twelve and confirmed their apostleship: Jason W. Briggs, Zenos H. Gurley [Sen.], James Blakeslee, John Shippy, William W. Blair, Reuben Newkirk, and Edmund C. Briggs.
"Resolved, that Bro. Israel L. Rogers be sustained as the Bishop of the Church.
"That Lorin W. Babbitt, Francis Reynolds, E. M. Wildermuth, James W. Gillen, C. H. Jones, A. B. Alderman, D. L. T. Bronson, Isaac A. Bogue, Nathan Lindsey, Henry Cuerden, Stephen Bull, Andrew Cairns, Ransom R. Partridge,
2Hearken unto me, O ye elders of my church. Lo! I have seen your efforts in my cause, and they are pleasing unto me. I declare unto you, It is my will that you ordain and set apart my servant William Marks to be a counselor to my servant Joseph, even the president of my church that the first presidency of my church may be more perfectly filled. And moreover it is expedient in me that my elders in going to declare my gospel to the nations, shall observe the pattern which I have given. Two by two let them be sent, that they may be a help and a support to each other in their ministry. Press onward, ye elders and people of my church, even my little flock, and as I have spoken to you in times past, so will I again speak to you as my friends, inasmuch as you speak in my name; and lo! I am Alpha and Omega, and will be with you unto the end. Amen.
James B. Henderson, Jeremiah Jeremiah, Hugh Lytle, Stephen J. Stone, and James Burgess be ordained elders of the Quorum of Seventy.
"That Bro. M. J. Maudsley and Bro. Alexander H Smith, son of the martyred Prophet Joseph, be ordained elders.
"That Silas H. Briggs be received as a member of this church on his original baptism and ordination as an elder.
"That Aurelia Kinyon be received as a member of this church on her original baptism."-True Latter Day Saints' Herald, vol. 3, pp. 196-198.
The following officers were sustained: Isaac Sheen, President of High Priests' Quorum; A. M. Wilsey, President of Seventy; the High Council; Quorum of Seventy; and Quorum of Elders. The following from the June Herald indicates progress and hopeful prospects in various places:-
"Bro. James Blakeslee communicated from Kirtland, Ohio, May 4, as follows: 'We [he and Bro. J. W. Briggs] have baptized five persons here, four old, and one new member, and ordained one elder, Bro. James Twist. Bro. J. W. Briggs has gone [to New York, to embark for England]. I expect to go to Whitestown, Indiana, the present week.'
"Bro. W. W. Blair wrote from Council Bluff City, Iowa, May 9, as follows: 'I baptized twenty-two at Little River branch, Decatur County, Iowa, from the 26th to the 29th of April, and eight at Manti, in the Fremont County branch, on the 6th inst., and left them all rejoicing in the power and goodness of God. Many more were almost persuaded. We have a flattering prospect before us for advancing the work here.'
"Bro. J. Jeremiah was in Cincinnati, April 22, en route for New York to embark with Bro. J. W. Briggs for England. We hope and suppose that he is now in Wales and attending to the duties of his mission in that country, and that Bro. J. W. Briggs is with Bro. Charles Derry in England. Bro. Derry wrote from West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England, April 10, and said that he was sick and had not been able to fulfill several appointments for preaching
which he had made. The saints are requested to pray for his restoration to health.
"Bro. W. Aldrich wrote from Derby, Orleans County, Vermont, May 14, as follows: 'Bro. Samuel Powers is here with me. We stayed a few days in Upper Canada, with his connection, and preached several times. We then came to Couttacook, Canada East. There we found a niece of mine that the doctors had given up to die with the heart disease. We talked with her and she received the word. We administered to her and she was healed and baptized. We stayed there one week and preached about six times and visited from house to house. Many seemed to believe and to be almost ready to obey, but thought they wanted a little more time to consider, so we were obliged to leave them. We arrived here last evening, at the house of my brother-in-law, D. M. Montgomery. We shall go from here to New Hampshire, my native State.'
"Bro. E. C. Briggs left this vicinity on the 21st ult. to fulfill his mission to Utah, Nevada, and California. He expected that three or four elders will accompany him and coöperate with him in his mission."-True Latter Day Saints' Herald, vol. 3, p. 231.
The supplement to the June Herald contains an interesting letter from Elder Charles Derry, from West Bromwich, England, May 12, 1863, concerning the introduction of the Reorganization in England. We extract as follows:-
"I have rebaptized one good intelligent man, (an elder in the days of Joseph,) and reordained him. He is bound to some extent, but he will make a useful man. Three men and three women have given in their names; the men would have been baptized last night, but it was stormy. Others are very favorable. My meetings are but poorly attended, but I intend to preach outside now, as the weather is suitable, but the atmosphere is very heavy and oppressive to me. However, I shall have two old elders to assist me, and with God's help we will try to remove that mountain of filth that has been accumulating in the way of the truth during twenty years past. I believe it can be done as the Lord lives, and I
know you will all pray that this may be accomplished. Why should not mountains be removed to-day as well as anciently, especially since they are so rotten?
"I have written various letters to different parts of the country, setting forth the truth. Some have done good that I know of, and the remainder will do so I have no doubt. I deal in love with the wanderers, but I deal plainly, and truth will triumph. I shall continue to set forth the truth by writing letters to those I cannot get to, until Brother Jason comes, when I learn that he will have means to publish such matter as will conduce to the spread of the work. I shall be glad to see him.
"My health is tolerable, only a cough and cold interferes with my preaching considerably. Our friends the Brighamites are very quiet, and their members 'obey counsel' well, for they dare not come to hear lest they should be convinced that they are really wrong."-True Latter Day Saints' Herald, supplement to vol. 3, p. 15.
With July 1,1863, the Herald began its fourth volume, and was thereafter published semimonthly instead of monthly. This marks an epoch in the advancement of the Herald.
According to provision made at the Annual Conference a special conference was held in North Star branch, Pottawattamie County, Iowa, June 6, 1863. Elder W. W. Blair presided, and Elders A. Young and D. P. Hartwell were clerks.
The reports of elders were good, and we reproduce them, inviting especial attention to the testimonies of Elders J. A. McIntosh and Wheeler Baldwin, concerning the power of God attending them, compared with their experiences in the days of the Martyrs. Each of these, as well as many others in the Reorganization, were elders and missionaries under the administration of Joseph the Seer:-
"Elder Henry Cuerden had been traveling and preaching since last December. He found a wide field of labor and people anxious and attentive to hear. He advised the ministry not to persecute those who differed with them, as it was productive of much evil. He bore testimony to the power of God attending the administrations of the elders in
healing the sick, and to the gifts being given to those who believe. He had, by request, administered to the children of those who belonged to other churches, and they were healed.
"Bro. J. A. McIntosh went last fall to Eastern Iowa and Central Illinois. He labored mostly in Lee County, Iowa, and Hancock County, Illinois. He was much blessed in his efforts. The power of God attended the word, as it did under the first Joseph. He never felt better than when he was preaching on this mission. Ten men could not fill the calls he had to preach. He was treated with great kindness by all he met with. His heart was made glad by the love and unity and Spirit of the Lord which he found among the saints. He would now labor to the best of his ability, wheresoever the conference would direct.
"Bro. David M. Gamet reported that he had labored a short time in Fremont County, Iowa, and some ten miles below Nebraska City, Nebraska Territory. He baptized ten in Fremont County, in the Plum Hollow branch, and those [some] in Nebraska. The power of God attended his labors. He felt highly encouraged, and would labor what he could for the future. . . .
"Elder Wheeler Baldwin reported that his labors had been mostly confined to the branch at Manti, in Fremont County. He had preached some at Indian Creek and Farm Creek. He bore a strong testimony to the truth of this organization, and said that he had not enjoyed the Spirit and power of God so much for the past thirty years as he had since he united with this work last March. The power of God's Holy Spirit was with the people in the branch at Manti, and he looked to see many more unite with them soon.
"Elder Silas W. Condit reported that he had devoted what time he could to preaching. He had baptized a goodly number in Little Sioux, Magnolia, and Bigler's Grove branches, and had organized the Bigler's Grove branch since last October. His determination is to do what he can for the future to advance the work of the Lord.
"Elder George Medlock reports that he has labored what he could in Omaha and Florence, Nebraska. He had baptized
six members, and organized a branch at Omaha City with fourteen members.
"Elder W. W. Blair reports as follows: 'Since last October I have baptized a goodly number, whose names will appear in the reports of the branches to which they belong. In March I left Council Bluff City for Amboy, Illinois, to attend the April Conference, and went preaching by the way. At Manti, Fremont County, I preached a few times; baptized some who had formerly been Methodists, some Campbellites, some Presbyterians, and some old Latter Day Saints; and organized them, with (I think) three who had previously been baptized by Bro. Joseph, into a branch, numbering in all twenty-two; Wheeler Baldwin president, S. S. Wilcox clerk. The dear Lord blessed my labors mightily, in word and deed. Here I was called upon to administer to the sick. An English sister, Harriet Weach, not yet in fellowship with us, had been prostrated for over a year. Medical treatment failed to relieve her. Assisted by Brn. George Redfield and S. S. Wilcox, I anointed her with oil, laid hands upon her and prayed, according to the ordinance of the Lord's house, and (God be praised) she was healed, and I had the pleasure of baptizing her four days after. Sister Wilcox was also, by the prayer of faith, relieved of a heart disease from which she had suffered for many years.
"'From Manti I went to Little River branch, Decatur County. Here I preached a few times, baptized one, and seven more gave their names to unite with us. I preached twice in the String Prairie branch, Lee County, Iowa. The Lord loves the people there. They have a very interesting branch, and many of the Gentiles were almost persuaded to come forward. I stopped two or three days at Nauvoo, with the saints, after which I went on to conference. After conference I went to the Fox River branch. I preached once and baptized two. I then visited the Mission branch, La Salle County. Here are some faithful and good saints. God bless them and increase their joy, is my earnest prayer. In returning home to Western Iowa I stopped at Little River branch and baptized twenty-two,
after preaching a few times, and left them rejoicing in the loving-kindness of the Lord. Leaving there I came on to Manti, and found that thirteen had been baptized since I left there, some weeks before. I preached a few times and baptized eight, which increased their number to over forty. Taking leave of them I reached home May 12, after an absence of nearly three months. I have to thank and praise the Lord for his goodness to me, in giving me ability to labor in his cause and gather souls unto Jesus Christ, his Son. . . .
"'I almost forgot to mention a testimony given me by Bro. and Sr. Reals, of Manti, relative to Brother Joseph. Here it is as they gave it to me on the 12th of last March: "During a visit of Joseph Smith and family in June, 1839, at Mr. Anson Matthews', near Table Grove, McDonough County, Illinois, we heard him (Joseph) say that he sometimes thought his enemies would kill him, 'and if they do,' said he, 'this boy ,' (putting his hand on Joseph's head,) 'will finish the work in my place'."
"'There have been some new branches organized in this region that will not be reported at this conference.'"-True Latter Day Saints' Herald, vol. 4, pp. 25-27.
The following missions were assigned:-
"On motion resolved, that Elder A. Young travel and preach in Nebraska, as his circumstances will permit. The following missions were appointed: William Kelley and Riley W. Briggs, to labor together in Minnesota. J. A. McIntosh, John Swain, Lehi Ellison, Spencer Smith, and A. Kuykendall, in Shelby, Audubon, Guthrie, and Dallas counties, Iowa. S. W. Condit and A. G. Jackson, with W. W. Blair. Wheeler Baldwin, George Redfield, S. S. Wilcox, and Wm. Redfield, in Mills, Fremont, Page, and Taylor counties, Iowa. George Hatt, George Medlock, and Colby Downs, in Nebraska. B. F. Leland, B. V. Springer, and B. S. Parker, in Harrison and Cass counties, Iowa. W. A. Litz, with A. Young, in Nebraska. Thomas Dobson, in his own vicinity. Resolved, that W. W. Wood's labors be accepted in his late mission."-True Latter Day Saints' Herald, vol. 4, pp. 27, 28.
The following-named persons were baptized by Elder William H. Kelley: Stephen Smith, E. W. Knapp, James Otto, E. F. Hyde, and P. E. Knapp.
The special conference at String Prairie, Lee County, Iowa, June 20-22, was presided over by Joseph Smith; J. W. Gillen and William Anderson clerks.
The following named elders gave encouraging reports: John Shippy, Joseph Smith, James Burgess, Henry Cuerden, J. W. Gillen, Loren Page, and William Anderson.
The following instruction was given by President Smith:-
"There are a good many of the saints who are scattered, and do not stand connected with any branch, who do not have the privilege of associating with the saints. They should have our faith and prayers, and in order that they may gain the confidence of those with whom they associate, they should practice what they believe and teach. They must not talk of judgment or boast of mighty faith. There is another thing that they should avoid; that is, mixing in politics to an undue degree, for we are apt to get irritated. This does not preclude us from using our right of elective franchise, but to the contrary, it is our duty to vote for the best men; and the man that does not vote is just as much to blame for having bad men in office as those who vote for them. We should use all the means we have in our power to inform ourselves so that we can vote understandingly.
"Another thing should be avoided by the elders; and that is, preaching so hard against the various denominations, or otherwise pulling down the doctrine of the various sects, instead of building up our own. We should preach the peaceable things of the kingdom. There should be no malice, anger, or hatred; all should be kind and affectionate one to another, exercising love and charity to all. There should be no talebearing and if we are injured, say nothing at the time, but think of it and consider whether it is worthy of our notice, and let us try and forgive them; and let us examine ourselves and see if we have done altogether right.
Perhaps we also may need forgiveness ourselves, and by doing so we will not be so easily injured, but will be able to go through the world smoothly."-True Latter Day Saints' Herald, vol. 4 p. 30.
Elder John Shippy baptized John McKenzie and Roxanna Ferdig.
John H. Lake was ordained an elder, and on suggestion of President Smith, appointed to preside over the Keokuk branch.
There was a special conference held at Elk Grove, Lafayette County, Wisconsin, June 27, 28. Elder Z. H. Gurley, Sen., presided, and Nathan Lindsey was clerk.
Elder Z. H. Gurley, Sen., baptized James Christo, Constance Christo, William Gess, Frances Gess, and Sarah Hind. William Gess was ordained an elder.
A special conference was held at Fox River, Kendall County, Illinois, August 29-31. Joseph Smith presided, I. Sheen and E. Stafford clerks. President Joseph Smith baptized David Perce, Amazi Harrington, Mary A. Morton, Jane Benton, and Angelina Perce. Elder John Shippy baptized Mary Squires. Amazi Harrington and Rufus Benjamin were ordained elders.
The Herald for September 1, 1863, contained more information concerning the work in Europe. Elder Jason W. Briggs wrote as follows:-
"Accept a few lines in token of remembrance and to inform you of what we are doing. Bro. Derry is still in Staffordshire, preaching in different parts. The branch there continues to increase in numbers. I left there some six weeks since. I went into Gloucestershire, where I remained ten days, visiting different localities. I organized a branch at Lydney, near the Severn, with ten members, perhaps more now. The presiding elder, John H. Morgan, is an old elder. He is holding meetings in the vicinity with every prospect of building up a large branch. From there I came to this place, where I found Bro. Jeremiah, and we organized a branch with about eighteen members. Here is a good prospect of gathering in many, but it requires time and much labor, as the Brighamite elders
resort to every means to prevent their members hearing us. We placarded this and the adjoining towns and called a large number together two Sundays, in an open space in the city, inviting them to defend their false doctrines; but they proved their identity with the dumb dogs spoken of by the ancient prophet, though Mr. Cannon, and the president of Wales, and the president of the Merthyr conference, were in the city.
"We have the 'Word of Consolation' revised, translated into Welsh, and now in press, and will be out next week. Bro. Jeremiah is in Monmouthshire, where he has been mostly since I came into Wales. I have visited a number of towns within ten miles of this place; viz.: Aberdare, Aberaman, Cymbach, Llirwin, Dowlais, Rhymney, and New Tredegar. In all these places there are old saints, not connected with the Brighamites. Some have been baptized and others have applied for it. We called a special conference, July 19, at which time eight elders and two priests were appointed to labor in these different places, and they are doing so every Sunday. We make it a rule to ordain or reordain no one except he promises to go to work by virtue of his office and labor to make others hear, and they all seem willing to do so.
"A week ago last Sunday we held nine meetings, and we have seven appointed for tomorrow in this vicinity, besides what Brn. Derry and Jeremiah are doing; the last is twenty-five miles, and the former ninety-five miles from here. The Brighamites here tithed the saints until some were compelled to seek relief from the parish, and then, lo, they tithed that which they received. The war bears hard upon the workmen in this country. Trade is slack, and wages are low and uncertain.
"The Spirit bears witness to the Reorganization through the gifts abundantly in Wales, as well as in America. My best respects to your brothers, Alexander and David, and all the saints. May God bless you all.
"J. W. BRIGGS."
"MERTHYR TYDVIL, Wales, August 1, 1863."
"I. L. Rogers, Dear Brother:--The inclosed [enclosed], addressed to Bro. Joseph, is intended for you and Bro. Sheen; also, in addition, I would say that the prospects are good. Last Sunday a brother from near Swansea, forty miles distant, having heard of us by the Merthyr papers, came up and was baptized, and returned to baptize ten more who sent him up. Also another from Sweeney, twenty miles the other way, came to inquire, and is coming again; was well pleased with what he learned. The Brighamite elders go from house to house to warn the saints of us. They say that we are apostates, and cut off from the church; that Joseph never belonged to the church, and is a lawyer, a gambler, and a drunkard; next I expect to hear he is a cannibal. If there were a couple more elders here I would be glad, but those that take hold are willing, generally, to help what they can; but in this country almost every man of family depends upon his day's work to support his family, and a day out of work curtails their daily bread. Times are hard on them now; in some parts there is much suffering for bread, and a great amount of property of all kinds has gone to the pawn shops this season to procure bread.
"The work is being planted in many localities, distant from each other. I think we are getting the work firmly rooted, if its progress is not so rapid as we could wish; there are open doors for us as fast as we can improve them. We are arranging for a public discussion in Birmingham with a clergyman of that place, and an ex-Brighamite, jointly, against our doctrines. They have challenged us, and we accept, of course. We are now arranging the question. I want it to cover the whole ground of our faith. I have sent one up for them to consider.
"J. W. BRIGGS."
-True Latter Day Saints' Herald, vol. 4, p. 74.
Elder Charles Derry wrote from West Bromwich, July 7, giving about the same items.
The following show how the work was being introduced in the West and elsewhere:-
"By a letter from a brother in Salt Lake City, dated August 11, we are informed that Elders E. C. Briggs and
Alex. McCord had arrived in that city, and that Bro. Briggs had had an interview with Brigham Young, and that Brigham had given a 'flat' denial to a request which Bro. Briggs had made. We suppose that Bro. Briggs requested the privilege of preaching the gospel, and that Brigham refused to give them this privilege; but we are informed by the letter that they were encouraged by the prospect before them, and were in good health.
"Bro. E. H. Webb, of Sacramento, California, writes as follows: 'I am happy to learn that the missionaries are on the way here. May the Lord abundantly prosper them in each location of their intended labors. I believe they will be well received here. Here are hosts of scattered sheep, and all without a shepherd. I have been among them somewhat, but they all seem too timid to venture a step (lest it should be a wrong one) till the missionaries arrive.'
"Brn.. Hugh Lytle and J. C. Crabb wrote from Griggsville, Pike County, Illinois, August 17, as follows: 'We left the April Conference and went to Jackson County, Indiana. We preached in Jackson, Bartholomew, and Lawrence counties, forty-three times. We found much prejudice existing in the minds of the people against the Latter Day Saints. We succeeded in removing the same to a great extent. Many felt willing to investigate, notwithstanding the opposition set forth by the leaders of those who worship the beast. A good work might be done there this winter. We arrived in Pike County, Illinois, July 23, and have since baptized sixteen and added twenty to the church. There can be a great work done here.'
"Bro. W. W. Blair writes from Little Sioux, Iowa, August 18,1863, as follows: 'Please request (through the Herald for September) the saints generally to set apart Sunday, September 27, as a day of fasting and prayer, that the Lord will favor us with pleasant weather at the coming October Conference, at North Star, Iowa, and mightily bless the efforts and direct the counsels and labors of his servants on that occasion. It is probable from present indications that we shall have a very large attendance, perhaps three thousand or more, and consequently there will be much
business to do. We shall have to hold our meeting in Nature's temple, the spacious firmament above being our covering. The most of the people who come from a distance will have to be prepared to 'tent out,' as but few, comparatively, can be accommodated in the branch. Yesterday we returned from our two days' meeting at Bigler's Grove; ten were added, nine by baptism, and one by vote. Our meetings were large and very orderly. The probability is that fifteen or twenty more will come in there in a little while.'
"Elder James Burgess was ten miles east of Nauvoo, August 25, and says: 'I have been laboring in these parts of late, and with good success. We have baptized ten of late, and expect to baptize more soon. Our meetings are well attended, and a spirit of inquiry is manifest on every hand. People come from a distance to attend our meetings. A week ago last Sabbath I spent a very agreeable time in Nauvoo. There are some good and worthy saints there, who are enjoying the good Spirit of the gospel.'"
-True Latter Day Saints' Herald, vol. 4, p. 79.
The following is an extract from a letter written by Elder E. C. Briggs, from Salt Lake City, Utah, August 18,1863--
"We arrived here on the 7th inst. We had a pleasant trip, though tedious and lonely, over the bleak and dry sandy plains. We came most of the way alone and without fear of danger, though reports of danger were all the time brought to us. At Fort Bridger we were required to take the oath of allegiance to the government of the United States of America, which we willingly did, and on our arrival here we at once drove up to the so-called President Brigham Young's house. His clerks told me he was not at home. We then put up at the Mansion House, kept by Mr. Tuft, and his mother, a widow, who treated us kindly; and on Tuesday, 11th inst., we had an interview with Brigham Young in his own harem. There were twenty-five or thirty of his associates present and two reporters.
"I at once introduced the object of our presence, and under whose directions we came, and what we expected to accomplish by coming, and with all I bore testimonies of the
sure calling and true standing of President and Prophet Joseph Smith, the son of the Martyr. He said that he knew more of that family than they knew of themselves; that Emma is a 'wicked, wicked, wicked' woman, and always was; that Joseph is acting under the influence of his mother; that she is at the bottom of this work and our mission here; that the heavens have nothing to do with that family at the present, but they shall be felt after in time, but they are under the influence of the Devil now; that all Joseph wants is to associate with the murderers of his father, etc. He said: 'I do not want any of your preaching here or your doctrine, and I will immediately write and advertise you, and warn the people not to receive you or your doctrine into their houses; and while I have influence over the Bowery you cannot hold meetings.' And then he threw out some intimidations to us, and gave us to understand we should be watched; that he wanted us to be gentlemen, and other low insinuations.
"We then told him we had come to do good, and that we were not in the least daunted or fearful, though intimidations had been thrown out at us before, and since we arrived here, by him and his adherents, etc. We then bade him good day, and since then all manner of stories are afloat against us. Every crime you can think of, we are charged with, and I suppose some of the people believe them; but we console ourselves without noticing them enough to contradict them, with the blessed promises of our dear Savior, who said, 'Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.'
"We have an appointment for the first meeting in the Territory next Sunday, August 23, at the residence of the Hon. Judge Waite, by his proffered kindness and that of his noble wife, who have opened their house to our service whenever we wish to hold meetings.
"We find some true friends here, though poverty is seen in their little dwellings wherever they welcome us with hospitality. They detest the evils of this people as much as any can in this world. We have seen many here who
feel that they are in bondage, and are mourning for that deliverance that is promised."-True Latter Day Saints' Herald, vol. 4, pp. 89, 90.
The Semiannual Conference convened in North Star branch, Pottawattamie County, Iowa, October 6, 1863. Joseph Smith presided, Alphonso Young and Edward W. Knapp were clerks. The following-named elders reported: Joseph Smith, E. C. Briggs (by letter), Hugh Lytle, Colby Downs, Eli Clothier, Wheeler Baldwin, W. A. Litz, J. A. McIntosh, William Redfield, Alphonso Young, D. M. Gamet, George Morey, Nathan Lindsey, Frank Reynolds, E. Page, George Medlock, Lehi Ellison, George Sweet, John Jamison, D. H. Bays, and W. W. Blair.
On the 7th Barton Parker and S. W. Condit reported. The following branch reports were presented: Plum Creek, Camp Creek, Fremont, Union, Little River, Glenwood, Nephi, North Star, Galland's Grove, Bigler's Grove, Omaha, Farm Creek, Raglan, Crescent City, Onawa, Council Bluffs, Boyer, Boomer, Weeping Water, Wheeler's Grove, Little Sioux.
Elder D. H. Bays baptized Elizabeth Frazier, Sumantha A. Colwell, Benjamin E. Ballowe, and J. F. Speight. On the 8th Elder Colby Downs baptized Ellen Chadburn, William Traver, David Wilding, Emily Smith, William Bowers, and Jacob Stoker.
Elijah B. Gaylord, Uriah Roundy, James Newberry, John Smith, and John Outhouse were ordained high priests, by Joseph Smith and W. W. Blair.
The following resolutions were adopted:-
"Resolved, that the counties of Shelby, Crawford, Audubon, Guthrie, Dallas, Polk, and Sac, be under the presidency of J. A. McIntosh; Mills, Fremont, Page, and Taylor counties, under Wheeler Baldwin; Decatur and vicinity, under George Morey; Central Nebraska, under George Hatt; South Nebraska, under Elders A. Young and William A. Litz; Harrison and Monona counties, under Silas W. Condit; Pottawattamie and Cass counties, under Hugh Lytle.
"Resolved, that this conference authorize the committee of publication to publish the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, with such corrections in arrangement as may be necessary."-True Latter Day Saints' Herald, vol. 4, p. 122.
The following were ordained elders: Rufus A. Gunsolley, David H. Smith, J. F. Speight, and John N. Burton, by Joseph Smith and W. W. Blair; and David Wilding was ordained a seventy.
On the 9th C. G. McIntosh, D. B. Harrington, and Joseph F. Speight were ordained seventies, by W. W. Blair and J. A. McIntosh.
C. G. McIntosh and D. B. Harrington, were appointed a mission to Utah; Joseph F. Speight, to England; J. C. Crabb, Pike County, Illinois; Colby Downs and Lehi Ellison, Linn and Benton counties, Iowa; Alexander E. Smith, within the bounds of the Western conference.
Nancy Henderson was baptized by President Joseph Smith.
The Herald for October 15,1863, contained an encouraging letter from Utah. It is as follows:-
"I write to inform you how we are prospering here in the work of the last days, and to tell you we want more Heralds. There is a great call for them.
"Bro. McCord returned from his mission to Ogden last evening. He baptized three up there, who were old members in the days of the first Joseph; one was Bro. John Taylor, and one was Stephen Maloney, and he reordained them elders, and they promised to do what they could to preach the glad news of the Reorganized Church of Christ to all in their vicinity. Sister Taylor with her husband has always held on to their first love, and opposed the doctrine of Brigham Young with his accursed polygamous system. I can only say now, our prospects are glorious at present of doing a great work here in restoring this people back to God from whom they have strayed in the dark and cloudy day, and to obedience to the laws of the land which they have so ingloriously denounced heretofore. I hear good news from all parts of the Territory.
"We have baptized now twenty in all, and many more are with us in faith. The saints here feel to rejoice with unspeakable joy, inasmuch as the Lord has visited them again with the gifts of the gospel, and with that peace of mind or love that casteth out all fear. May God bless his saints in all the world with gifts and blessings to glorify his holy name and build up his kingdom on the earth. Truly the Lord holds the reins in his own hands, and the victory is ours and the crown is sure if we continue faithful until the end of the race.
E. C. BRIGGS.
"SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, September 28, 1863."
-True Latter Day Saints' Herald, vol. 4, pp. 123, 124.
Elder Briggs wrote again, as follows:-
"SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Oct. 20, 1863.
"I write to inform you that the work is prospering here, equal to any expectation I have ever had. The honest are inquiring after the truth, and are beginning to think for themselves, as well as act irrespective of the opinions of others; and I can surely say that I am much encouraged, in view of the speedy triumph of the true cause of our Redeemer, in this whole Territory, over the terrible meshes this people have been thrown into, and with all of the studied efforts of the apostate and monarch of Utah (falsely called a President of the Church of Christ) to stifle our testimony and close every house and the ears of all the people against us; yet I am happy to say we are making rapid progress in gaining both the ears and hearts of the people who are honest and love the truth; and I can say surely the most of this people are honest and desirous to do right, though many are deceived and do what they do supposing they are doing God service; but there are a great many here who have no more sympathy with the church affairs and doctrines than I have. They look upon the peculiar institutions here that distinguish them from the true church of God as being sacrilege, and horrible; but we are assured of a better day dawning, which will set right all things that are wrong, and give comfort to those who have been so shamefully abused. And we are not in the
least discouraged; and we ask an interest in your prayers that we may be sustained in doing good; and may God bless his saints with patience, longsuffering, and a quiet, meek spirit, knowing that our strength is in the Lord, who is mighty to save.
E. C. BRIGGS"
-True Latter Day Saints' Herald, vol. 4, p. 146.
There was a special conference at Galland's Grove, Iowa, October 25, 26, 1863. J. A. McIntosh presided, O. E. Holcomb, Sen., and Nathan Lindsey clerks.
John B. Hunt and O. E. Holcomb, Jr., were assigned a mission in Shelby, Audubon, and Guthrie counties, Iowa; R. D. Butterworth, Dallas and Guthrie counties, Iowa; William Davis, Dallas County, Iowa; William Stevens, Des Moines and vicinity; Albert Crandall, to labor with J. A. McIntosh; Joseph E. Lane, in Sac County, Iowa; John N. Burton, in the mission presided over by J. A. McIntosh.
There was a special conference at the residence of E. B. Gaylord, in Fremont County, Iowa, November 7, 1863. Elder Wheeler Baldwin presided, S. S. Wilcox clerk. At this conference Noah G. Green was ordained an elder.
There was a General Conference of the church in the British Isles on December 26, 27, 1863.
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