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THE Herald for July 1 contained these pleasing items:
We see by a letter from Bro. Brand, that he is making good headway in the vicinity of Independence and Lee Summit, in the Northwestern Missouri District, we believe. His letter shows great calls for the ministry, quite a number baptized, and some effective branch organization.
Bro. Joseph R. Lambert also is being greatly blessed in his efforts. . . .It is a pleasant thought that in the scene of the church's former trial, her faith is becoming established and gaining ground. . . .
Brn. T. W. Smith, E. C. Briggs, and W. H. Kelley, are bearing off the work in other portions of the vineyard.
Sunday, the 11th of May, 1873, Bro. Mark H. Forscutt was at New Tredegar, Wales. He preached three sermons that day, and was about to return to America.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 20, pp. 419, 420.
The following account of a trip made by President Smith contains some items of historic value:
It is a pleasant thing to think of, when dusty toil or wearying care has caused the energies of mind and body to flag and daily duties to become an irksome task, that there is a rest-a place and a time-when there may be a cessation of toil, a relief from care.
But nerves of steel and muscles of iron chafe and jar and wear in unremitted and long continued use; and they must rest and be renewed, or soon become old, worn and useless.
We know that rest is delightful, and we have been resting.
On the 5th of June, just passed, we left the "secret haunts" of the Herald
"sanctum," having two objects in view, to be present at the session of the Nauvoo and String Prairie District conference, on the 6th and 7th, and to visit the "Beautiful City" and rest, for a day or two, within its hallowed precincts.
During the railway ride we were cheered and strengthened by the company of our hale and pleasant friend, Bro. Israel L. Rogers, and our kind and good brother, Charles Wagner, of Fort Scott, Kansas. We arrived at the station opposite Nauvoo, at about nine o'clock at night; and meeting Brn. Wm. Anderson and Alex. H. Smith on the platform, we were soon on our way over the mighty river that drains the Mississippi Valley.
We slept in the home of the Elect Lady the night of the 5th, being made welcome by her husband, who "kindly entreated" us; and on the morning of the 6th, we wandered around the city until evening, when we crossed to Montrose. By the kindness of Orson, the son of Sr. E. A. Newberry, we had a wagon ride over "a few hills, not very large," to the place of meeting. We found "the elders" and "the people" in assembly in the Allen Schoolhouse, quite a large number being present.
After a pleasant business session, presided over by that genial friend to the cause, Bro. John H. Lake, and ending in a "social meeting" on Saturday night, we met on Sunday morning in the grand old woods on the banks of the Des Moines River, to hear "reasonings from the Scripture." The day was pleasant, threatening, but withholding rain; the word was declared; the Saints enjoyed the "bread" of both temporal and spiritual life-we rejoiced together-and our ways diverged.
The editor preached in the town of Vincennes, the home of Bro. John Lake, on Sunday evening, upon the "office work of the Spirit," with good liberty, and we trust with good effect. We were the guest of Bro. Wm. Hall, on String Prairie, and of Bro. D. Griffith and Bro. Levi Cheney, at Vincennes. At Vincennes we parted company with Bro. Charles Wagner, who returned to Fort Scott.
On Monday we returned to Montrose by the same kindness as we left it; and availing ourselves of modem magic, "crossed over the river" on the back of a "cricket."
We had before us a visit to the shades of Hickory Grove (Shakerag) and Cottage Schoolhouses, including a stop for a night at the house of our excellent father in Israel, Bro. Richard Lambert, and a talk in the Lincoln Schoolhouse. But our first business was to rest, which we at once set vigorously about.
With the exception of speaking once at Montrose, on Tuesday night, the 10th of June, we passed the days until Friday the 13th, resting-absolute quietude-away from the "world, the flesh, and the Devil." Such a rest of mind and body as we had not had for months, and which we fully enjoyed, whether we appreciated it or not.
There is such an air of quiet and restful repose about the old town, that when we were once within its influence, we found it difficult to remember the pushing, striving, stirring life we are daily mingling
with and making a part of. Duty was but a hazy memory, care a dull and distant thought; while the pleasures of rest were forceful and refreshing.
Pleasures, like sorrows, must have an end; and, striking the current of active life at an acute angle, in order to avoid too great a commotion, we emerged from the quiet ways and deserted streets in company with Bro. Henry T. Pitt, the elder of the Rock Creek Branch, and met our appointment in Bro. Lambert's neighborhood. . . .
Leaving Rock Creek in charge of Bro. Daniel Lambert, by team we arrived at Bro. Thomas McGahan's in time for dinner. After a rest of an hour or two, in company with Bro. Daniel, we walked over to Bro. Salisbury's, near to the schoolhouse, where our evening service was to be held. At the hour appointed we met a "company of earnest souls," waiting for the word. We had a season of good liberty. On Sunday we spoke in the forenoon, and Bro. Lambert in the evening, in the Cottage Schoolhouse, to well-filled houses; and were permitted to feel that there was an excellent spirit resting with the people.
Brn. Joseph R. and Daniel P. Lambert have been laboring here with the result of the obedience of some twelve or thirteen earnest seekers after truth, who are striving energetically to improve in the "apostles' doctrine," holding steadfastly to the "faith once delivered to the saints." Brn. Salisbury, Connor, and McGahan are striving to establish and carry on a Sunday-school, and we think they will succeed, for they are determined men, and will have aid from the sisters. . . .
In company with Brn. Solomon and Don C. Salisbury on Monday, after the meetings were over, and parting with Bro. Daniel Lambert, who went home, we came eastward to the home of Bro. Don C. Salisbury. We here had the comfort of a visit with Mrs. Catharine Salisbury, second in age of the three sisters of Joseph and Hyrum, and who with her three sons, Solomon, Don C., and Frederick, are now members with us in the church, and in the fellowship of the Spirit.
At Colchester, at which point we made our next stop, we as at our last visit, obtained the use of the Christian church; in which we preached the word on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday nights, to quite large and attentive congregations. . . .
We have experienced nothing but kindness on this trip, and we have received cheer, comfort, and courage therefrom; and this has had a tendency to rest and refresh us.
Rest is an outgrowth of labor, and none can truly rest except he is weary. We have been weary, and we have rested. Not in idle inanition, a dreamless, unconscious existence; which, to us, is not a condition of resting; but in quietude, peaceful thought, restful thankfulness and expansive relaxation from labor; and such a rest we have enjoyed. Nauvoo needs rejuvenating. The river is wide, and runs so grandly by broad plains, engirt by hills, that the city lies in the summer sun like a vision, to vanish with the night-but each recurring morn but
adds to the sacredness of the fast receding memories clinging round it-and it is a "joy for ever."-The Saints' Herald, vol. 20, pp. 450-452.
The Herald for August 1 contained some interesting items as follows:
Bro. Mark H. Forscutt was at Plano for a day or two in the third week in July, on a flying visit. He has gained in flesh and rugged appearance by his over-the-ocean trip. He returned to his home at Kewanee on the 18th of July; but was to fill an appointment on the 20th, at Union, the place where he met Elder C. W. Smith, in discussion, a year ago last spring. . . .
Bro. H. J. Hudson, of Columbus, Nebraska, writes that Bro. Alexander H. Smith passed that place on the 14th of July, en route for California. . . .
Bro. T. W. Smith has arrived "down east," and is busy in his field.
Bro. C. G. Lanphear has been at Green Center, Indiana, where he baptized.
Letters from Bro. J. C. Clapp inform us that he is having good houses and very kind treatment in Graves and Murray Counties, Kentucky. His health is being reëstablished, which will be good news to many who have feared for him.
Bro. A. N. Caudle has started south, and will likely go to the field of Bro. Clapp.
Bro. B. V. Springer is in Indiana, at work for the Master.
Brn. Robert Davis and J. S. Snively are at work in Canada. So also are others of the Canadian elders.
Brn John H. Lake, Joseph R. Lambert, Frank Reynolds, and others are busy in the south of Iowa and middle Illinois.
The elders in California are striving to obtain the crown for labor and sacrifice.
Bro. James W. Gillen is in Montana preaching.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 20, pp. 483, 484.
July 18, 1873, Elder L. F. West wrote the following good news from Milton, Florida:
The field in the South is opening far and wide, and where there is but one feeble and financially pressed traveling elder, there is room for half a score or more. The golden grain is inviting reapers. Thousands of honest-hearted souls in the South are standing ready for the "reapers of life's harvest."-The Saints' Herald, vol. 20, p. 522.
August 10, Elder Joseph Lakeman wrote from Grand Manan, New Brunswick: "I am pleased to inform you that the work here is still onward, with a very good feeling outside of the church."
The following items were published August 15, 1873:
Bro. Wm. T. North, of Bandera, Texas, writes, "There are a few of us here who are trying to do our duty.. . ."
Bro. Alexander H. Smith has arrived at San Francisco, California, the field of his labors. He left Bro. James McKiernan at Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Bro. Wm. W. Blair is in Ford County, Illinois, where fine opportunities are presented for the preaching of the word.
Late advices from Bro. Jason W. Briggs, inform us that he has been quite ill; but is now better. He goes into northeast Iowa and southeast Wisconsin, in a few days from the date of his letter. He had found an old-time Latter Day Saint in the county adjoining his residence, who sent for the Herald.
Advices from Bro. T. W. Smith, bring the cheering news of an excellent conference in Maine. The work seems to be advancing all through the East.
Bro. C. G. Lanphear is at Conneautville, Pennsylvania.
Bro. Henry A. Stebbins has been filling appointments regularly, at Millington, Brimhall's Schoolhouse, and other places in his district.
Bro. John H. Hansen and Bro. Samuel R. Gurley left Blanchardsville, last month, for conference and the West.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 20, pp. 514, 515.
August 22, 1873, Elder C. W. Wandell was ordained a seventy by Apostle A. H. Smith, and soon after G. Rodger was ordained to the same office by Elder Smith.
Elder J. Avondet wrote from Italy August 30 that he was still preaching each Sunday and had baptized two sisters by the name of Gardiol.
August 30 Elder J. L. Bear reported his work in Switzerland as follows:
I have preached eleven times in public, congregations small. I have also preached the word in private houses, to families and single individuals, many declaring that I taught the truth and they believe, but did not feel to unite with the church, preferring the world; fear of persecution is keeping them back. I have sown the seed of the gospel in many places, rode and traveled on foot several hundred miles, have written also quite a number of letters explaining our faith and doctrine; have baptized six to the present, all grown persons; blessed four children. Have also translated into the German tongue the following tracts: "Truth Made Manifest;" "Bible Versus Polygamy;" "Is Polygamy an Original Tenet of the Church;" "Brighamism, Its Promises and its Failure;" "Rejection of the Church;" "The Successor in the Prophetic Office and Presidency of the Church;" "The Plan of Salvation;" "Extract of a General Epistle of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints."
The present time looks gloomy. In the first time there were private houses opened unto me to preach, and many delighted in it a little while, and then left it again. Now for quite a time I could not get a single house to preach in, those who would be willing have no houses of their own and are not allowed.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 20, pp. 769, 770.
These items were published September 1, 1873:
Bro. John R. Evans writes that seven more were baptized at St. Davids, near Canton, Illinois.
Brn. John S. Patterson, T. E. Jenkins, - Morgan, and others, are laboring in England and Wales, with varying success.
Bro. Jonas W. Chatburn is also fighting the good fight about Accrington, England. He met some of the Salt Lake people there; but they would give him no opportunity to talk with them.
Bro. E. C. Briggs has returned to his home at Plano, with the intention of attending the conference at Council Bluffs, Iowa. He reports Brn. Duncan Campbell and Wm. H. Kelley as laboring successfully in Michigan and Indiana.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 20, p. 548.
The semiannual conference convened at Park's Mill, near Council Bluffs, Iowa, September 3, 1873. Joseph Smith, W. W. Blair, and D. H. Smith presidents; H. A. Stebbins secretary, W. H. Kelley and E. C. Brand clerks. The first two days were occupied in hearing reports. On the 5th,
The conference took up the subject of ordinations, as per appointment, and resolution of April conference.
Bro. James Caffall, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, was asked if he would accept the appointment, made at the April conference.
Bro. Caffall responded, and said that he would like to be able to express his feelings, but could not. He had never sought place nor power; and never desired it, only in accordance with the will of God. If the conference ratified his appointment, he would do the best that lay in his power to magnify the calling wherever he was called. . . .
Bro. E. C. Brand, upon request, stated that if his appointment had come through the President, he should have declined; had it come from the body, he should have hesitated; but coming as it had, he did not feel at liberty to do otherwise than to accept it and strive to do the will of God, as ability should be given him. . . .
Bro. James Caffall was then set apart, by prayer and the laying on of hands, to the office designated; Brn. J. Smith, J. W. Briggs, and Wm. W. Blair, engaging m the ordinance, Bro. Wm. W. Blair being spokesman.
Bro. E. C. Brand was then set apart to the office of a seventy, under the hands of the same brethren; Elder J. Smith, spokesman.
On motion of J. Smith and H. A. Stebbins, the brethren voted to ordain Bro. Phineas Cadwell to the office of president of the Second Quorum of Elders.
Elder F. Reynolds moved that Bro. J. M. Harvey be ordained counselor to Elder Cadwell. This motion was seconded, put to vote and carried.
Elders H. A. Stebbins and J. H. Lake moved that Bro. Daniel F. Lambert be ordained as second counselor to Elder Cadwell. It was by vote so ordered.
These ordinations were the result of a report from the Second Quorum of Elders, recommending and requesting such action.
The brethren so appointed expressed their willingness and acceptation of the appointments. They were then ordained and set apart to the offices designated, under the hands of Brn. J. W. Briggs, J. H. Lake, and J. R. Lambert; J. W. Briggs blessing Bro. Cadwell; J. H. Lake blessing J. M. Harvey, and J. R. Lambert blessing Daniel F. Lambert.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 20, p. 637.
The afternoon of the 5th the resignation of the Secretary of the Church, H. Goodcell, Jr., was read and accepted. 1
Jefferson Turnbow, and his wife, Rachel Turnbow, of Farmington, Kentucky; also Susan T. Holman, of Worcester, Massachusetts, were received on their original baptisms.
The 6th, Elder Wm. D. Morton was ordained a high priest under the hands of J. W. Briggs and J. R. Lambert.
President Smith presented the following, which was considered and his request was granted:
1SAN BERNARDINO, California, June 26, 1873
Bro. Joseph Smith: . . . In the minutes of the April conference, I notice that I was still upheld as church secretary. I had not expected this; for, considering my negligence and inattention, I certainly claimed no right to be regarded as worthy to retain the position to the exclusion of another. I had supposed that the place would be filled by some one nearer the center of operations, and more ready to enter upon the duties of the office.
It becomes my unpleasant duty then to inform you that, under present circumstances, it is not only best but necessary, that I should resign the position with which the church has honored me. My circumstances have greatly changed within the last two years, and I can neither leave home for Plano, nor attend to the duties here. I do not wish to occupy a position nominally, and some one else do the work and perform all the duties; hence I tender my resignation.
I feel that I am somewhat to blame in this matter; for the first election was made, I suppose, in accordance with a willingness that I had expressed to accept any position of usefulness. Two years ago I would have come as I then wrote you; but now I must decline. I am sorry, if my course has caused you, by depending on me, to be inconvenienced, and I hope to be forgiven for whatever wrong, injury, or mischief I have done.
Thankful for the confidence and good will of my brethren, I remain yours in Christ
H. GOODCELL, JR.
-The Saints' Herald, vol. 20, p. 64O.
That in the year 1863 a sum of money, to wit, $2,000, was paid to me, as agent of the church in charge of the Herald Office, to be by me, expended in behalf of the publishing department; but to be credited on the Bishop's books of account as tithing:
That in 1869 an additional sum of $3,000 was paid to me, as agent, as above stated, to be by me expended for publishing purposes and missionary purposes, to be credited on tithing, as before stated:
That the sums of money were by me so expended, as the books of account in the Herald Office will, I trust, show.
That upon my requesting the Bishop to credit said amounts, and to charge the same as expended as specified, the Bishop declined so to do.
I, therefore, do respectfully ask your honorable body to pass an order authorizing the Bishop to enter the said sums to the credit of the persons paying them as tithing and to charge the same to the Herald Office as expended by the agent of the church, in accordance with the order of the persons so paying them.
And your petitioner will ever pray, as in duty bound.
-The Saints' Herald, vol. 20, p. 642.
The following letter was read from Switzerland:
Affolten, a Ct., ZURICH, Switzerland, August 9, 1873.
There is great difference between the ministerial labors in America and those in Europe. America is flooded with tracts, and branches are very near all over the land, where the missionaries get help; but here it is not so, and that makes the labor difficult. Who pays the traveling fare? Who keeps us over night? Who sustains us in the necessaries of life? Hard questions to answer. Nevertheless I have, through the mercy of God, led six into the waters of baptism since I arrived in this land; but they are very poor in temporal things. Times here are very hard for poor people; their earnings can not keep up their daily demand for the necessaries of life. Wages of labor are not high enough to keep it equal. The little money coming to me from my father who died many years ago I have nearly used up, and used it very sparingly, too. I need a person here who loves truth with all his heart, who seeks the kingdom of God, to embrace the doctrine, and would stand by me and assist me both spiritually and temporally. I have not got a proper person to have a branch organized. Some promised me from time to time they wanted to join, but they delayed the accepted time and turned cold again. If all those who declared that the gospel I preach was the truth had obeyed, the church would number here at present at least twenty. It pains my heart to bring people so far till they have to say it is the truth and then no farther.
Many Brighamites went from here to Utah about a month ago; so the president of the Zürich Branch told me. . . .
J. L. BEAR.
-The Saints' Herald, vol. 20, pp. 643, 644.
Then the following action was had on missions and other items:
Resolved, That we sustain Brn. J. Avondet and J. L. Bear in Switzerland, Italy, and Germany; A. H. Smith on the Pacific Slope; J. C. Clapp in Southeastern Mission.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 20, p. 644.
Elder Wm. Anderson of Montrose was appointed to labor in Utah and California Mission. Elder Robert Evans was appointed to preside in Wales during the absence of Elder J. T. Davies. Elder James Caffall appointed to labor in Western Iowa, Eastern Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas. Elder J. H. Hansen, Southeastern Mission. Elder Wm. Redfield was released from the Utah Mission. Elder G. E. Deuel was appointed to labor under the Presidency. Frank Reynolds, North Kansas District. A. J. Fields, Ohio and Indiana. James McKiernan, Northern Missouri and Southern Iowa.
Bro. E. C. Brand moved that Bro. D. H. Bays be released from his mission to Texas.
Bro. Wm. H. Kelley requested the reason for such release.
Bro. Brand replied, that the release was asked for, pending the settlement of some matters affecting the membership of Bro. Bays.
The motion prevailed.
[Note.-The Presidency think this release premature, and the action thereon hasty. They therefore request Bro. Hugh Lytle to take early steps to settle the existing differences in which Bro. Bays is involved, and to certify the same to them, at Plano, Illinois, at as early a day as possible.]. . .
Resolved, That the resolution of the annual conference requiring the Bishop to give receipts for all sums paid into his hands, and to take receipts for all sums paid away, be and is hereby repealed. . . .
Resolved, That the Emigration Fund, now in the hands of the Bishop, be turned over to the general fund of the church . . . "subject to draft as per resolution creating the fund, when it shall be required." . . .
The authorities were, upon presentation, sustained by a unanimous uplifting of the hand.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 20, p. 646.
Then the following was passed concerning tracts:
Resolved, That this conference order that the First Presidency and the Twelve [and the Bishop and his counselors] take steps to furnish for the church, suitable tracts for distribution, both in America and in foreign lands; and that the expenses thereof be defrayed by the Bishop.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 20, p. 645.
The conference closed on Sunday the 7th. On the last day Elder D. S. Mills was set apart under the hands of Presidents Joseph Smith and D. H. Smith to preside over the Third Quorum of Elders.
The following editorial comment was published in Herald for September 15:
The General Semiannual Conference is over, and by all who participated in its business or worship, that we have heard express an opinion, decided that a profitable time was enjoyed by them.
The business of the conference; the very able and worthy sermons preached there; the good feeling engendered by the assembling and social mingling of the Saints, as well as the effect produced by the gathering of so large a body of people, will tell favorably for the extension of our cause. The blessing and approval of God rested upon the assembly, as made manifest through the gifts; and the people near its site, not of our faith, manifested a spirit of hospitality and kindness truly commendable.
Most of those residing at Plano, who attended the conference, have returned to their homes. President Joseph Smith remained in Western Iowa for the purpose of visiting the Saints and aiding in forwarding the work in that section and preaching the word. Elder Wm. W. Blair remained also to preach and visit the branches; in consequence of this it was deemed necessary that Bro. David H. Smith should return and assist in the work of the Herald Office, where he has been employed since the close of the spring conference.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 20, p. 578.
The following from the pen of Elder J. S. Patterson from Birmingham, England, gives quite a comprehensive view of the situation in Europe:
I am pleased to be able to state that so far as I am aware, the working portion of the priesthood are united, and anxious for the success of our cause; and many of them, considering the circumstances that surround them, are making noble sacrifices for its advancement. Late advices from Brn. Avondet and Bear, in Italy and Switzerland, show that they are untiring in their efforts, and are making slow, but sure progress on the enemy's works; but they are battling single-handed against heavy odds, and without the necessary ammunition (i. e., the printed words). I am pleased to learn, however, that they are expecting some soon; may God speed their efforts. Advices from Scotia [Scotland] state that the few there are still in the faith, but not adding to their numbers; while in England we are pleased to say that several have put on Christ by baptism, and the spiritual condition of some branches is considerably improved. While last in London, the brethren there were putting forth their best efforts for the cause. Brn. Owen and Barnes have rented a meeting-room in a respectable portion of Stoke Newington, at a rent of
five shillings for one Sunday's use. . . . The attendance was not large, but those that came usually acknowledged the truth of the doctrine. None were baptized from this effort, yet thousands were warned, and the brethren felt that they had done their duty so far as their means would permit. Brn. Bradshaw and Norton have also been energetic in their efforts at the old stand, in the Mile End Road. Bro. Norton has also labored in several other localities, and he is strong in the hope of seeing the fruit of his labors. Bro. Bradshaw, as is his custom, speaks regularly out of doors in addition to his duties as president of the branch.
Before leaving Birmingham last time I was called upon to make an addition of two to our numbers by baptism. I believe them to be the fruits of the labors of the local brethren. In company of Bro. Thomas Taylor I then visited Clay Cross, and assisted him in taking the necessary steps to put that branch in working order. We so far succeeded that there is now a flourishing branch there, with Bro. Thomas Pointon at its head. He is alive to the cause, and is ably seconded by Bro. Wm. Bennett; they are both untiring in their efforts to win souls to Christ. In company of Bro. Pointon I visited Nottingham, where there formerly was a branch of the church, but they had got broken up through the evil acts of some. We succeeded in finding a few who were overjoyed to see us. We comforted them all we could, and left them rejoicing. We send them a Herald occasionally, and they meet together and read it. Late letters from them are cheering, one more of the lost ones found by them. After leaving them I attended the Birmingham quarterly conference, which was held at Stafford. . . . Brn. Seville, Greenwood, and Caton, who now reside there, believe that the ground is broken there, and they propose to follow up the effort, when a suitable place can be had to preach in. . . . I returned to Clay Cross, by request, and held meeting there in the Angel Room, which is now rented by that branch for permanent meetings. While there I baptized five, the fruits of the labors of other brethren. One sister of these baptized had previously been administered to for an inward tumor, by Bro. Bennett and myself. She was very low at the time. I believe the doctors said she could not live. She subsequently walked over two miles to be baptized and walked home again. Recent information from there states that she is now rejoicing in the promise of complete restoration. To God be the glory. Some that were wayward in that branch are now said to be repentant. I am pleased to state that that branch is now in a flourishing condition. . . . I next visited Hanley Branch, Staffordshire, presided over by Bro. Brunt, We there advertized [advertised] ourselves in the local papers, and spoke twice on Sunday, September 14, Thursday, 18, and again three times on Sunday, 21, in some of which we showed our opposition to certain false doctrines. We had reporters from the local papers present, and of course we got ourselves into print. It is believed that good will result, as even the reporter was surprised to learn that we used the Bible. The brethren there are doing what they can for the cause, and I wish them every success.
I also visited Sheffield in my rambles, where there are six faithful sisters all alone, without meetings. Some are believing there, and I am not without hope that there will yet be a branch there. I also visited Tyldsley, in Lancashire, where I found several old Saints who have refused to follow those that have gone into by and forbidden paths. They received me kindly, listened to our claims, and are favorable; they desire me to return. I think a branch could be organized there. Brn. Taylor, Crump, and Kirkland are also preaching in this neighborhood, and the appearances are that they will convert some soon. They expect an old brother and sister here next Sunday that were baptized in the days of the first Joseph.
Advices from Wales show that things move slowly since Bro. Davies left them. Our semiannual conference comes off at Aberaman, on October 4. I expect to be present with them. Bro. Taylor will accompany me. We expect to visit some of the branches, and if God be with us, strengthen them, ere we return. I think it would be a good thing for the work in Wales if Bro. Davies could retum to them. He seems to suit the mission so well, and is beloved by all. One of the principal wants of the mission is the printed word; but the Saints do the best they can in that direction, putting what money they can spare together, and having bills and epitomes printed for distribution; all seem to have a strong hope of the ultimate success of the mission. The Brighamites are on the wane. We have made many requests to get the privilege of speaking to them, and have challenged the elders to meet us in every place we have found them; but all to no purpose. They are determined to keep on the back ground, or as they have frequently told me, they are not allowed to discuss. The work is not dead in England, but the brethren think that the slow and steady, yet constant movements, will prove best in the end.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 20, pp. 680, 681.
October 1, 1873, President Smith published the following dissertation, including the position of the Reorganization, which will be of value to the reader:
Men very often misjudge Christ and his gospel in a very curious manner. There are multitudes of teachers, and advocates, who claim the name and sanction of Christ, who are very capable of originating ideas, doctrines, theories, and precepts of their own manufacture. And very often in teaching, and preaching, they forget to properly distinguish between the doctrines that are really Christ's, and those which are their own. Sometimes this is done carelessly; sometimes blindly; the teacher presuming himself (of course) a Christian, and as a matter of consequence his thoughts and doctrines must be Christ's.
Sometimes, however, it is done purposely; Christ having a good credence in the world, and the name of Christ widely revered, it becomes a recommendation to that unto which it is affixed. Naturally, then, wishing a doctrine to become acceptable, and knowing that with many it
would be of more weight, if the idea prevailed that it was Christ's doctrine, the next step is to proclaim that it is a doctrine of Christ.
Listeners hearing the objectionable doctrine, and hearing it proclaimed the doctrine of Christ, they very naturally, if they object to it, object to the source of such a doctrine, and Christ through an unworthy or careless servant is misjudged.
A very careful study of Christ's words is requisite then, that the nature and spirit of his gospel, and its promises may be familiar to us; that we may be incapable of being deceived, and that we may be saved from a false conception of, and consequent rejection of Christ, the judgment whereof, obtains from our lack of making ourselves acquainted with the gospel of Christ through negligence.
In like manner in the course of events attendant upon the church since the establishment thereof, by Joseph and Hyrum Smith, as inspired by the higher wisdom, there have arisen in connection with it, many supporters, and adherents thereto, who were capable of promulgating doctrines of their own, and a careful perusal of the history of the church shows that they have done so frequently.
Hence to justly pronounce upon the doctrines of Joseph Smith, there should nothing be taken into consideration but those doctrines that emanated from him, and bear unmistakable evidence of having been promulgated by him.
To harshly judge him for every theory that tradition, rumor, and designing men, who desire the seal of his influence to make their doctrines acceptable to those who revere his memory, are pleased to foist upon him, is to stand greatly in the dark in regard to the true nature of his mission.
We believe the position of the Reorganized Church to be as follows: All authentic documents and doctrines, published in his day are received by them. These bear the mark of one mind, and their harmony in and of themselves, and their agreement with the written word are no less remarkable than the beautiful justice and morality displayed throughout.
But with the conflicting statements of those professing to teach the doctrines of Joseph Smith, the substance of which disagree so broadly with the printed teachings he left, they have nothing to do; and they refuse, justly, to receive them. Tradition, and rumor, and the statements of interested men, are sources too uncertain for light and truth, for the members of that church to risk either the reputation of Joseph Smith, or their own well-being and salvation upon them.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 20, pp. 610, 611.
This issue of the Herald contained some news items which we here insert:
Bro. T. W. Smith has baptized six at Jonesport; Bro. R. J. Anthony has baptized two in Utah, one of them is the brother reported by him at the fall conference as having been greatly blessed of God, by being
healed after being injured with a falling log. The gift of healing having been marked and rapid, and observable to that degree as to remove doubt and confirm faith. . . .
There have been quite a number of baptisms at Plano of late, some of which promise to add ability, integrity, and talent to the church.
Bro. E. C. Brand stopped at Plano, on his way to England. He gave us a very powerful and excellent discourse on Friday evening, September 26.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 20, pp. 611, 612.
The European Mission conference was held at Aberaman, South Wales, October 5, 1873; John S. Patterson, president; Evan Morgan, clerk. Reports from different points in Europe indicated general progress, but all felt the necessity for the printed word. The following were sustained:
The authorities of the church were then presented to the church in their proper order; first Joseph Smith as president of the church, etc., and Elders W. W. Blair and David H. Smith as his counselors; afterward the several quorums in America, all of whom were unanimously sustained; after which the authorities in Europe were also presented. John S. Patterson as president of the mission; John Avondet, as missionary to Italy, and Bro. Ursenbach as his colaborer; Elder J. L. Bear, missionary to Germany and Switzerland; Elder John T. Davies as president of the Welsh Mission, with a strong desire for his return from America; Elder Thomas E. Jenkins, as missionary in Wales, to labor as his health and circumstances will permit. The various district authorities in England and Wales were also presented, and all were unanimously sustained.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 20, p. 717.
The Herald editorial column, October 15, 1873, contains an excellent dissertation on "steadfastness," which is worthy of preservation, and we insert it with the suggestion that if applied unto the doctrine of Christ it will be an effectual preventive against apostasy and departure:
The ocean beats with steady wave upon a steadfast shore; the great river flows with steady stream between the steadfast banks; the brooklet runs in steady rythm [rhythm] of noise and motion from fountains in the steadfast hills.
The glorious sun sends a flood of steady rays to beautify and strengthen a steadfast earth; the moon, whose silver disc lights up the gloomy night, shines down with cold but steady gleam over steadfast rock and fell; the twinkling, shimmering stars, in steady purpose fixed, add their accumulated wealth to the steadfast design of the Creator.
The lesson of all this steadfast glory is to teach man to abide in the faith of God, fixed and immovable, "grounded in the truth."
"Be ye steadfast." How like the handwriting of God in imperishable imprint in star and moon and sun; in brooklet, river, and the grand old ocean, does the injunction seem. And how needful that now, when changeability, unrest, and fickleness, seem to characterize all human things, there should be complete accord between this record which God has left of himself in sun, in moon and stars; in brooklet, stream, and ocean, and that record which Jesus bore and the Comforter testifies of.
In looking over the history of the church, one painful reminder of the folly which ruled some of the children of men, is the evanescent, perishable character of the homes they have made, the buildings they have builded. That the work in which the Latter Day Saints engaged was not intended to work the implanting of any principle calculated to make their lives evanescent and vascillating [vacillating], must be evident to all; and so far is the truth removed from such a proposition, that the contrary is absolutely taught. "Be ye stead fast," has been the watchword-the slogan of battle-the battle of truth and error-the wondrous work of redemption.
This was the lesson taught to the first elders of the church. If they failed to profit by the lesson taught, and failed to teach it to others in the same unmistakable terms in which it was taught to them, their experience has been sad, their loss painful and certain.
How much better are we than were they? By nature no better. But by their experience we should be wiser; and if wiser, that wisdom should find expression in the development of a character more enduring and steadfast in the integrity of their hope and faith.
Saints, "Be ye steadfast." Let no sudden prosperity dazzle you into ways that lead you out of the path that leads unto God. Let no carking care, nor lowering cloud, nor storm of sorrow or adversity cause you to forget that, as God has made ocean, river, and stream; sun, moon, and stars steadfast in their courses; so has he made the "word of promise" steadfast and sure. It is your duty then to make an assurance of steadfastness the characteristic of your lives. Let it become your nightly dream, your daytime musing, to approve yourselves as of those of whom it shall be said, "They believed in God; they believed also in me; they have endured unto the end."
Then, make your homes to abide in time; surround them with those things within the reach of your own labor that beautify, while they utilize. Fit them by cheerfulness, peace, and cleanliness, to receive that heavenly guest-the Spirit of God.
Light up the fires upon the altars of your hearts and homes; let the flames of them shine out afar; not like the flitting will-o'-the-wisp, nor like the short-lived, shining rocket glare, but like the steadily revolving beacon light; or like the steady, persistent blaze of the "unwearied sun," burning ever alike, through gloom and mist and storm and darkness; never changing-never varying, always the same; so let these altar fires burn on.
There is a word-there is a work-no other man can perform, no others
receive. Shall we permit this work-this word-to bless or curse us. If they bring us blessings, that blessing will be characterized by steadfastness and assurance; if they bring a curse, who shall tell the depths to which we must fall.
Henceforth let it be the aim, the object of our daily efforts, our strife, our labor, and our all, to make our lives resplendent with the light which shineth down from God out of heaven into our hearts, reflecting from our altar fires the steadfast word-hope- and work.
Let us mark the places that we "occupy till he comes," with the characteristics of the "word made flesh and dwelling among men."
Brethren, "Be ye steadfast." Then, when these shifting, changing scenes of our earthly warfare are for ever past; when the rhythm of the murmur and motion of the brooklet is forever still; when the full river has ceased its steady flow, and its music of peace is hushed and still; when the pulses of the grand old ocean have ceased to send its heaving waves to thunder against the rocky bounds which must hold them until the Master says, "It is enough;" when the stars shall wax pale and cease their twinkling, shining motion; when the moon shall hide her face in brooding blackness; when the sun shall veil his burning brightness in the gloom of the night before the dawn of the millennial morn, then shall you for ever abide in the steadfastness of truth, faith, hope, and charity.
Brethren, let us abide unto the end.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 20, pp. 649, 650.
Under the head of "Free Education," President Smith discussed in an interesting manner some of the issues of the day. He wrote as published in the Herald for December 1:
It would appear that President Young is decidedly averse to the institution of free schools; but upon what principles of right or common sense he bases his objections, we are at a loss to know.
So far as we now remember anything about the sunny days of the prosperity of the church at Nauvoo, and the policy of the then leaders, there was a manifest tendency to encourage the education of the people.
When the necessity for a change in this policy occurred, we are not informed; but so late as January, 1841, President Joseph Smith, in an "Epistle to the Elders in England," published in the Times and Seasons for January 1, 1841, congratulates the church upon the fact that there was then a bill before the legislature of the state of Illinois for the incorporation of a seminary of learning. Elder D. C. Smith, then editor of the Times and Seasons in his editorial for that number, says that General Bennett had just returned with a charter for the "University of Nauvoo."
In this charter, certain trustees were to "have all the powers and privileges for the advancement of the cause of education which appertain to the trustees of any other college or university of this State."
The city council acted upon the provisions of the charter for the university, on the 3d of February, 1841, appointing certain men trustees, of whom, as regents, were Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, D. H. Wells, C. C. Rich; thereby showing that it was the opinion and earnest conviction of those men that education was of paramount importance.
In pursuit of the measures adopted by the leading men of the church, the citizens of Nauvoo were notified, in the Times and Seasons for March 1, 1841, that J. P. Greene, C. C. Rich, D. H. Wells, and Vinson Knight were appointed school wardens for common schools for their respective wards.
This charter for the university was received by the church, in conference, at Nauvoo, by a "unanimous vote."
This shows that the church then, together with its leading men, were a unit in favor of education.
On page 631, of Times and Seasons, there will be found the following significant language:
"While this city is lengthening her cords, and strengthening her stakes, and exhibiting such a spectacle of bustle and enterprise as was never before witnessed, it is to be hoped that mental culture will not be passed over as a little thing. Knowledge is power. A finished education always gives an influence in cultivated society, which neither wealth nor station can impart nor control."
An extract from the Evening and Morning Star, reprinted in the Times and Seasons for January 15, 1842, shows that "If children are to be brought up in the way they should go, to be good citizens here, and happy hereafter, they must be taught. It is idle to suppose that children will grow up good, while surrounded with wickedness, without cultivation. It is folly to suppose they can become teamed without education. . . . In order to do this as it should be, it is necessary that children should be taught in the rudiments of common learning out of the best books."
Here seems to be the key to the subsequent action of the church in fostering the cause of education.
One of the vantage grounds from which the elders used to hurl their arrows of truth, was that priestcraft always tried to keep the people in ignorance, to the end that there should be an unquestioning obedience to the commands of rulers, spiritual and temporal. Now, if the rulers at Utah, who have claimed that church rule was necessarily both temporal and spiritual, are of the opinion that to place the rudiments of education within the reach of all, thereby stimulating some to go further than that, is to destroy the loyalty of the mass to priestly sway, it savors strongly of the old-time idea that there is fear upon the part of the rulers that their acts as leaders will not bear the scrutiny of an inquiry, hence the necessity of keeping them in ignorance. This is changing front very rapidly, as compared with the condition of things as known to exist at
the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith respecting encouraging educating the people.
It has so often been said that the leading men in Utah were "carrying out the measures of Joseph," that a comparison on the education theory may serve to let in a little light. If by the reflected light of this comparison, we find that the men of the past, whose names we have quoted, were not in favor of the freest education, we will be thankful to be corrected.
It has been further charged by some, that Joseph, Alexander, and David Smith, the sons of Joseph the Martyr, were doing all they could to destroy the work he essayed to accomplish; and but lately we saw the statement reiterated in a letter from a sojoumer at Salt Lake City, not a member of the Reorganized Church, to a friend in the States, to the effect that "the Smith boys were doing the church more damage than all the other enemies of the church combined." This statement was gathered from the sentiments of many, polygamists and defenders of that doctrine, whom the writer heard express themselves.
Now we have been sufficiently long before the public for all interested in the matter, both those in the valley of Salt Lake and out of it, to know that from the first we have avowed and defended the doctrines promulged [promulgated] by Joseph Smith, the Martyr, and his compeers, from 1830 to 1844, the year of his death; as those doctrines are found in the Bible, New Testament Scriptures, Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants; together with the authentic declaration of those doctrines as found in the published works of the church, and the written essays, published discourses, letters, and epistles of the duly accredited officers of the church during that time.
We do not now remember having denied any one of the fundamental principles, or doctrines of the church, as so set forth and avowed, from the commencement of our public career to the present time; and we feel less inclined to deny now than ever.
We have criticised [criticized] some of the earlier public measures of the church as in our opinion unwise; but with those measures the doctrine held by the church affecting the salvation of men had little to do; they were at best but auxiliaries, or adjuncts, helps, etc.
Neither Joseph nor Hyrum, nor their compeers, ever built up polygamy; nor did they ever build up any of the necessary concomitants thereto; nor did they ever build up the church upon a saving efficacy of a reception of the dogma of polygamy; hence, in opposing that dogma we are not "tearing down," nor "destroying" what they built up.
So far as we have seen any history of the matter, the 29th day of August, 1852, was the time; the Salt Lake land was the place; a special conference, over which Brigham Young presided, was the occasion; and Orson Pratt was the man chosen to open to public scrutiny the peculiar features of that dogma.
If Orson Pratt then told the truth, it was the first attempt to present
it; as a reading of his discourse delivered in the tabernacle on that day, as published in the Journal of Discourses, volume 1, pages 53-66 will show. He said:
"It is quite unexpected to me, brethren and sisters, to be called upon to address you this forenoon; and still more so, to address you upon the principle which has been named; namely, a plurality of wives.
"It is rather new ground for me; that is, I have not been in the habit of publicly speaking upon this subject; and it is rather new ground to the inhabitants of the United States; and not only to them, but to a portion of Europe; a portion of them have not been in the habit of preaching a doctrine of this description; consequently we shall have to break up new ground."
Further on in his argument upon that occasion, he said:
"The Latter Day Saints have embraced the doctrine of plurality of wives as a part of their religious faith. . . . Before we get through, we will endeavor to show why we consider it an essential doctrine to glory and exaltation, to a fullness of happiness in the world to come."
Hence, in taking the stand for the doctrines taught for thirteen years and more during the Martyr's lifetime, as affording a fullness of salvation to man in the fullness of the gospel; and which doctrines were apparently taught for some eight years (or from June, 1844, to August, 1852), after the Martyr's death; we have, seemingly to us necessarily, taken the stand against polygamy; and by so doing have possibly been "tearing down" and "destroying" the crop of doctrines raised upon the "new ground broken up" by Elder Pratt and others. And if we may credit what we hear, that crop has not been roses, lilies, nor fruit pleasant to the taste; but rather thorns, thistles, and apples of discord.
The church prospered when the elders taught the gospel, and the salvation offered in Christ to men; hundreds of doors opened to them, as the Lord said there should. The time came when the ears of the people were closed to the word of life in Christ; but when the men of the Reorganization began to sound the gospel trump, the way began to open up before them; the Lord again began to bless their labors with hearers and believers; until now the doors are opening almost everywhere.
We preach the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of men; the gospel, the way and means of coming unto him. We do not preach polygamy, nor do we believe it of saving efficacy, neither for salvation nor exaltation.
As an individual, we want no one, whether he be friend or foe, believer or unbeliever, to misunderstand or mistake us.
If to preach the "righteousness which is by faith" is to "tear down" and "destroy" the work which Joseph and Hyrum Smith built up, we are so tearing down.
If to be in favor of free thought, inquiry, education, the liberty to hold and express opinion, and that all men shall alike be amenable to the laws of God and of man, is to be "opposed" to the work those men began, we are so in opposition.
If it is "tearing down" the work they began (and carried on so long as they lived, judging from their public record), to be opposed to the unrestricted exercise of priestly power; the keeping the people in ignorance; the assuming of martial rights necessarily belonging to others; the prostitution of the institution of marriage to the self-aggrandizement and pleasure of the few, to the exclusion of the many; the preaching, and attempted enforcement of a doctrine as essential to salvation, not contemplated in the gospel contained in the Scriptures, nor revealed in the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, then are we so "tearing down."
We rejoice that the work of the last days is progressing; that priestcraft stands shaking in its gaudy trappings; and that honest, hard-thinking, upright men are beginning again to realize that the primitive doctrines of the Latter Day Saints originated with God; not men, nor yet devils.
Whosoever says that the "Smith boys" are "doing more damage" to that system of things that has made the name of Latter Day Saint a synonym for "uncleanness" and "lasciviousness," in the mouths of many; and that has piled difficulties mountains high in the way of preaching the "Word of Life," as revealed to Joseph Smith before his boys were born, pays them a compliment, which as an individual we appreciate; but one which others who labor with them are equally entitled to.
We have not changed in sentiment, in respect to the mooted questions one shade; nor do we expect to. So, "if this be treason," make the most of it.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 20, pp. 738-741.
On December 23 Elder J. W. Briggs arrived with his family in Plano, Illinois, to make his future home there.
The year 1873 was an important one to the church. The more complete organization of the quorums marked a new era in progress and development, and the year ended with increased hope and courage on the part of the laborers in every department.
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