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JULY 15 The Saints' Herald contained an editorial on the condition of President D. H. Smith, and also regarding affairs in and around Nauvoo, that, though sad in some regards, will be interesting. It is as follows:
When we last wrote respecting Bro. David H. Smith's health, we were in receipt of comforting and assuring letters; since then, we have been troubled again by a partial relapse in his malady that dims our assurances. We have visited him and find him much disturbed mentally, as well as bodily, but hope that continued freedom from labor may reinstate him altogether. As our colaborer in the work we miss his cheering voice and pleasant counsels; and our constant prayer is that he may soon be permitted to resume his ministerial duties.
In our visit to Nauvoo we had the pleasure of attending a two-day meeting at the Rock Creek Branch, ten miles east of Nauvoo, Bro. John H. Lake having charge. We met brethren from Pilot Grove and Elvaston, Brn. Wallace, Wells, Phelps, and others from the latter place; Brn. Salisbury, Dorothy and others from the former. During the meeting Brn. John H. Lake and Daniel Lambert addressed the people assembled. The neighborhood was well represented. Several of Bro. Richard Lambert's family , and of Brn. John and William Stevenson's family, Father Thomas Pitt and family, and Bro. Walter Head, and a host of others were present. Bro. David accompanied us and seemed to enjoy the meetings though he was quite wearied at the close. He took no part, only as a listener, now and then joining the singing.
It was a cheering sight to see so large a number present where, but a few years ago, it was hard work to get only a small gathering to hear.
Those patriarchs, Brn. Thomas Pitt and John Alston, who have
remained right there in Rock Creek Township ever since the Saints left the county, now begin to reap the benefit of steadfast faith. Bro. Alston bore a faithful testimony. So also did Bro. Thomas Revel of Nauvoo, Srs. Newberry and Borley of Montrose, Iowa. The first to bear a testimony at the opening of the meeting among the sisters was a young sister of the Montrose Branch, Sr. Braddock. With candor she talked to the Saints about the shortness of the time left to labor for the cause.
We were blessed, thanks to the Lord of Hosts for his mercies. How happy are they who can, like one of old, say, "I will trust him though he slay me."
The work in and through Hancock County shows an increasing desire on the part of the people to hear. Bro. Daniel F. Lambert has spoken in the Pilot Grove neighborhood, at different places, all the season, so far. Bro. John H. Lake is in the field doing the best that he can.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, p. 432.
The following items are from the Herald for August 15:
From Deer Creek, Nebraska, July 24, we learn that Bro. Charles Derry is still breasting the tide of opposition in his defense of the truth, pressing steadily toward the "mark," for the prize for which he set out in the long years ago, brooking contumely and abuse, seeking to do good for evil in trying to show the people the narrow way through the preaching of the word.
Bro. Josiah Ells, writing from Warnock Station, Ohio, July 28, says:
"My health is much improved. I expect to stay here a few weeks; the work is spreading, so far as a desire to hear is manifest."
We are in receipt of a letter from Bro. A. C. Inman. He wrote from Crawford County, Illinois, July 26. He is still trying to sow the good seed as he passes on through life.
Bro. John H. Lake removed from Keokuk, Lee County, to Farmington, Van Buren County, Iowa, the last of July.
Bro. Charles N. Brown, of Providence, Rhode Island, writes under date of July 21, very encouragingly of the prospects of the district over which he has been chosen to preside. It has been called "New York and Southern New England Mission." He has visited several places in his mission, and writes feelingly of the Saints where he has been. Circumstances should now make New York, State and city, a good missionary field.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, pp. 496, 497.
September 1 the following was published respecting the work in Australia:
Letters from Brn. Wandell and Rodger, June 18 and July 2, 1874, indicate that the missionary work is difficult, but not discouraging in that distant field. Bro. Wandell says:
"In Sydney we are increasing slowly as yet. I baptized two on Tuesday last, and have an appointment to baptize two more on Sunday next."
Bro. Wandell was engaged in delivering a course of lectures directed to the subject of spiritualism. They have two public meetings on Sunday, testimony meeting on Thursday evening, choir practice on Friday evening, and on Tuesday evening a "scripture meeting," at which the doctrines of the church are considered.
Bro. Rodger was laboring at Waratah, some miles from Sydney.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, pp. 529, 530.
The following items giving general information are taken from the Herald for September 15:
Bro. Edmund C. Briggs wrote us from York Center, Indiana, that his wife, Sr. Emma Briggs, was ill; as was also Sr. Conat, at Lawrence, Michigan.
Bro. Wm. W. Blair was at Wirt, Indiana, at last advices.
Brn. Bear and Avondet are looking to be released from their mission at the fall conference. They report an error in the minutes respecting their mission, there have been two baptized in Italy and six in Switzerland, eight members in all, besides Brn. Ursenbach, Bear, and Avondet. These brethren have been very faithful.
Brn. Gurley and Warnock have "arrived out" at Salt Lake City.
Bro. F. C. Warnky writes us excellent news from Fontana, Miami County, Kansas. Bro. John A. Davies and himself were preaching every night to excellent houses.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, pp. 561, 562.
The semiannual conference convened at Parks' Mill (near Council Bluffs), Iowa, September 19, 1874; Presidents Joseph Smith and W. W. Blair presiding, H. O. Bronson secretary, and D F. Lambert clerk. Encouraging reports were read from Australia, Italy, Switzerland, England, and Wales, as well as from nearly all parts of America.
The Bishop reported for the time beginning April 1, 1874, and ending September 10, 1874: On hand at last report, $70.11; received, $2,199.75; total, $2,269.86; expended, $1,418.70; leaving balance due the church of $851.16.
Since the death of Elder Isaac Sheen, Church Recorder, the church had brought suit against his widow and recovered the books belonging to the office. At this conference she presented a bill for three hundred six dollars for services of her husband and for books furnished the office. This was referred to a committee consisting of I. L. Rogers, Joseph Smith, and H. A. Stebbins, to audit and settle account, with instruction to pay her no more than two hundred dollars less the cost of bringing suit to recover record.
The following items of business we select as being of especial importance:
Elder James McKiernan was released from the music committee upon his own request, and James V. Roberts appointed to succeed him.
After some discussion regarding the cost of sustaining them, Elders Bear and Avondet were released from their mission, and a vote of thanks extended them for labor done.
Elders C. W. Wendell and Glaud Rodger were sustained in their mission to Australia; and Elder J. W. Briggs was requested to proceed to Utah at his earliest convenience.
Elder D. H. Bays was released from his mission to Texas. Elders Z. H. Gurley and Robert Warnock sustained in Utah; Elder Thomas Taylor was sustained in charge of European Mission; Elders J. T. Davies and Robert Evans were sustained in Wales; Elders J. H. Hansen and C. E. Blodgett were assigned to the Kentucky mission; Elder J. R. Lambert was assigned to Western and Northern Iowa; Elder J. C. Clapp in the Pacific Slope Mission; Elder M. H. Forscutt was appointed "to labor as wisdom and the Spirit may direct, under the jurisdiction of the local authorities where such labor may be performed;" Elders A. H. Smith and William Anderson were continued in the Pacific Slope Mission; Elder George Hatt was assigned to Eastern Nebraska; Elder J. V. Roberts was appointed to labor in Southwestern Iowa and Southern Nebraska; Elder F. C. Warnky was assigned to Colorado; Elder R. W. Briggs was assigned to labor in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio, and Elders Magnus Fyrando and H. N. Hansen were assigned to Scandinavia.
The following-named elders were continued in former fields: James Caffall, Charles Derry, J. H. Lake, E. L. Kelley, E. C. Brand, Hugh Lytle, C. G. Lanphear, E. C. Briggs, W. H. Kelley, Robert Davis, Duncan Campbell, and T. W. Smith.
The following-named persons were received by vote on their original baptism: B. F. Boydstun and wife, Mary Page (widow of John E. Page), Roxana Wells, Mary Lowe, and Charlotte Bond.
The Quorum of High Priests made a report containing resolution of condolence for deceased members, asking for the ordination of Charles Derry as president of the quorum, and other matters. 1
Elder Elijah Banta offered his resignation as Bishop's counselor, and as a member of the Board of Publication. These resignations were accepted. Elder W. W. Blair was chosen to fill the vacancy on the Board of Publication, but the filling of vacancy in the Bishopric was postponed until the next annual conference.
The recommendations of the High Priests' Quorum for the ordination of Charles Derry as president, and Hervey Green as member of the quorum were indorsed [endorsed]. Elder Derry was ordained on the 23d, under the hands of Elders W. W. Blair, A. H. Smith, and J. R. Lambert. Elder John S. Patterson was ordained a seventy at the same time, in harmony with his call in the revelation of 1873, by W. W. Blair, J. H. Lake, and J. R. Lambert. Elder Green was not present.
The following-named persons were baptized during the session: Lucinda Bennett, Mary H. Thomas, Harrison Brown, Arnold Kester, Sarah Ann Clark, Mary Chase, Eliza Houghton, Keziah Lane, and Melissa Walter.
The question of providing a house for the president of the Pacific Slope Mission provoked considerable discussion, but the result was as follows:
1Mr. President and Brethren in Conference: We respectfully submit for your consideration the following resolutions adopted unanimously by the High Priests' Quorum:
Whereas, It has pleased God to call from our midst and from a life of usefulness and earnestness our worthy brother, Isaac Sheen, President of the High Priests' Quorum of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; it is hereby
Resolved, That we in quorum assembled do hereby tender to his family our sympathies, and while we feel that we and the church in general have sustained a lose in his demise, we yet bow in humility to the decrees of the Almighty, and hereby [testify] to our esteem for our deceased brother, whose virtues we would commend and emulate.
Resolved, That the above resolution of the High Priests' Quorum be read before the General Conference now in session, and that the General Conference be requested to have it spread upon the minutes for publication.
Whereas, Bro. Thomas Carrico was ordained into the High Priests' Quorum in 1843, and has been received into the same quorum of the Reorganized Church.
Resolved, That we sustain him as a high priest of this church.
Resolved, That the General Conference now in session be requested to take under advisement the propriety of appointing and ordaining a successor to Bro. Isaac Sheen as president of the High Priests' Quorum, Bro. C. Derry being our choice for that office.
Resolved, That this quorum recommend that Bro. Hervey Green, of California, and Bro. Curtis F. Stiles be ordained high priests-The Saints' Herald. vol. 21, p. 621.
Resolved, That should the Saints of the Pacific Slope Mission deem it wise to establish a permanent headquarters for the president of that mission, we see no impropriety in their so doing by any action which they in conference assembled may deem advisable, and we heartily consent thereto.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, p. 628.
By resolution it was provided "that the Society Islands be provided with missionary labor by the Australian Mission, if practicable."
The following comments on the conference and incidents connected therewith were expressed by the Herald editor, October 15:
The semiannual conference for 1874 convened on the 19th of September just past, in a drizzling rain, which began some days before, and which did not cease for clear weather until the evening of the 21st.
It seemed at the outset, as though we would be under the necessity of adjourning, and abandoning the sylvan shades of the conference grounds to the all-pervading dampness; but with brave persistence the Saints stuck to their tents and the ground, and though meeting in the storm, they parted in sunshine.
Our fears, however, hastened the business; for feeling that some parts of it must be done, ran or shine, we presented, and the conference considered, what was most pressing at the opening on Monday morning, so that if forced to adjourn, we would have no regrets over urgent calls.
Fourteen years the Saints have met in conference in the west of Iowa, in the fall of the year, and have not up to the present year lost a session by reason of rain. They have, on some few occasions, suffered some from the cold; but generally the weather has been good. This immunity from elementary disturbance has doubtless made the Saints a little boastful, thinking themselves so much the favorites of Him who rules the elements, that they may claim fair weather at their conferences, as of right. A rebuke is wholesome, and it will do us all good, if we profit by this fall's experience.
The progress reported at our session just past is very encouraging; and the evidences of moral improvement more and more manifest is assuring. No people can make successful progress, whose standard of moral excellence and worth is not a high one; and hence, having inscribed upon one of our banners of reform, "Ye are as a city set upon a hill," our standard of excellence is only to be measured by the best good to which man may possibly attain. Every step taken by any one of the vast host in any direction other than upward towards the standard, is a step lost to them and a hindrance to the grand army itself, more or less detrimental, as the one thus wandering is or is not energetic and useful.
We can not afford to lower the standard. The praise of the people we should care little about; but the approval of the Master, and the recognition
of the exhibition of the principles of virtue and integrity by those among whom and to whom our mission of ministration is, we should justly prize and strive for.
We are urging our warfare against fearful odds; and he who underrates the difficulties lying in the way, or who overestimates himself and his abilities for the fight, must needs run certain chances of defeat; while he who justly states the powers of his foes, and has a correct understanding of himself, will wage his battle doubly armed. For these reasons it behooves the Saints to remain steadfastly persistent that only righteousness and peace, and those things which tend to their establishment and continuance, shall receive their support; for these, and these only, will secure to the combatants against error and evil the Spirit of truth, which will give the victory and the triumph.
One very interesting and very comforting circumstance which transpired during the late conference, was the application of certain old-time Saints to be received into fellowship upon their original baptism. Bro. B. P. Boydstun and wife, of Rockwall, Texas; Srs. Bennett, [Wells,] and Lowe of New York State; Sr. Bond, of Kirtland, Ohio, and Sr. Mary Page, widow of John E. Page, of Dekalb, Illinois, were all members of the church, when, as it is everywhere acknowledged, the Spirit bore witness to those who received the preaching and obeyed, that the work was of God. These, now moved upon by that same Spirit which accompanied the word years ago, are directed to the church again. Their coming is welcome; and the testimony which that coming bears to the work itself, is by no means a weak, valueless one; on the contrary, the evidence thus given is very assuring to them lately engaged in that work.
When these names were being presented and the votes thereon were being taken by the uplifted hand, there were many eyes suffused with tears, as many hearts grew tender and responsive at the Spirit's kindling touch.
Bro. Boydstun says that he can no longer preach; but his home is open to any one who will come and declare the word. Sr. Page is a ready and reliable coworker with the gospel heralds in the regions where she dwells; herself and family being anxious and solicitous for the spread of the truth. Sr. Page's fidelity and steadfastness have been tested and approved. So we may write of others, and may God long spare them, though now aged, to aid in the good work, and share in the glories of its triumph.
The conference minutes give but a faint conception of the numbers and names of the notable ones of the church that were present at this session; we give from memory the names, and present localities of some of them. Wm. C. Sides and Carl A. Gross, of Nevada; Alexander H. Smith, of Nauvoo, direct from his field of labor for the last year and a half in California. Sr. Glaud Rodger and family accompanied Bro. Smith from the West, and have gone to Lamoni, Iowa, to stay for a time. Sr. A. D. Boren, and daughter Mary, of San Bernardino, California, on their way
home from a visit in Indiana and Illinois; they availed themselves in their return trip across the plains of the services of Bro. J. C. Clapp, formerly of Los Angeles, California, but now returned from Kentucky and the South; Bro. Clapp expects to spend a year in labor in Oregon. Brn. Joseph R. and Daniel F. Lambert, late of the Nauvoo and String Prairie District, now located in Harrison County, Iowa. These brothers honor the cause both with their labor and their lives; we congratulate the community where they shall labor. Bro. James Caffall, resident at Council Bluffs, an efficient coworker, now looking to the work of the ministry in Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri. Bro. John H. Lake, now living at Farmington, Iowa, and laboring in Western Illinois, Southern Iowa, and Northern Missouri. Bro. Lake has been and is a good faithful laborer. Bro. Hugh Lytle, of St. Joseph, Missouri; an old-time Saint, and still an anxious servant of the Master. Bro. Thomas Dobson, of Deloit, Iowa, also an old-time Saint; Brn. Charles and George Derry, of Nebraska. Bro. Charles is well known to the Saints as the first missionary of the Reorganization to England. Brn. Z. S. Martin and Steven Butler, of De Soto, Nebraska; Brn. J. M. Harvey and Magnus Fyrando, of Magnolia, Iowa; Bro. Harvey is best known in his locality as Judge Harvey, he has made the latter-day work a study and is a staunch defender of the truth. Bro, Fyrando is a Scandinavian, an able man; and the conference authorized Bro. Fyrando and Bro. H. Hansen, of Crescent City, Iowa, a young man of good ability, to speed the gospel plow in Denmark. There was an excellent manifestation of the Spirit when Bro. Fyrando' s name was presented. Brn. R. C. B. and R. M. Elvin, of Nebraska City, Nebraska. Bro. R. C. B. Elvin is one of the early Scotch believers, and his son R. M. is a young man of excellent promise. Both feel the importance of the work. Bro. Mark H. Forscutt, the first and only active incumbent of the office of secretary that the church has had, lately of St. Louis, now laboring in a series of lectures in towns of Western Iowa. Bro. Forscutt saw much of Western life, during some years spent in Utah, and is by conviction and choice a defender of the truth; and as such he is second to but few in ability. Bro. H. C. Bronson, of Princeville, Illinois, a young man, now presiding over the Kewanee, Illinois, District; a man of fair ability. Bro. John S. Patterson, of Kewanee, Illinois, known to the Saints by reason of his connection with Bro. Forscutt in the English Mission. Bro. Patterson is a middle-aged man of dignified presence in council and one of the best of friends and companions, a man of no mean capabilities and a ready advocate of the cause; he was ordained to the office of seventy at this session. Bro. E. C. Brand, an excellent, eccentric man of middle age, impulsive and pushing; he has achieved celebrity in the church by his labors in California and Utah. Bro. Frank Reynolds, of Harlan, Shelby County, Iowa, secretary of the seventy; Bro. Jonas W. Chatburn, also of Harlan; Thomas Chatburn of Dowville; Colby Downs, Isaac Ellison, of Twelve Mile Grove, Harrison County. Iowa; S. S. Wilcox,
Wm. Redfield, J. J. Kaster, and J. R. Badham, of Manti, Fremont County, Iowa; Brn. Samuel Waldo, Rowland Cobb, S. W. Condit, D. M. Gamet, I. L. Rogers, D. Dancer, E. Banta, George and Washington Conyers, George Hatt, and a host of others, all anxious and earnest for the work.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, pp. 630-632.
President Smith follows this with a detailed account of his visits to and labors in Council Bluffs, Plum Hollow, Tabor, Magnolia (where he dedicated the church on the 11th of October), and Woodbine, all in Iowa.
October 31 Elder Z. H. Gurley wrote from Salt Lake City. From his letter we quote the following:
I am happy to say that the interest in the reorganized work continues to increase in this country, judging from the steady growth in our congregations, and also from the invitations to "call," etc., etc. My faith and confidence in the ultimate end becomes more steadfast. I know that truth, though oppressed for a season, will triumph even in Utah; and that from the seed that has been, and is being sown, we shall reap in due season if we faint not. For as God only "giveth the increase," let us possess our "souls in patience" and abide his time. I repeat a former motto, "In God we shall do valiantly."
Bro. Warnock started for the north and east on the 21st instant, is meeting with success in having congregations and good liberty; "God-speed the plow." I am looking for Bro. Briggs to join us soon, and expect to go south soon after, as winter is upon us, and the roads south may become blockaded ere long.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, p. 691.
On November 1 the Herald contained the following notice concerning the elders appointed to labor in Utah:
Bro. Jason W. Briggs is intending to proceed at once to Utah in compliance with the request of the fall conference. It is contemplated to issue a small four-page paper from Salt Lake City, for a few months, the prospectus of which will be found elsewhere in the present number of the Herald, and should the effort prove beneficial to the mission, to continue it.2 Bro. Briggs will have the care of the paper, and while in charge of
2Prospectus of the "Messenger," of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of latter Day Saints:
The above periodical will be issued monthly, beginning in November, 1874, and will be devoted to the elucidation and defense of gospel truth, as embodied in the doctrines held by the church established A. D. 1830, and reorganized in and from A. D. 1853. It will seek to assert truth and defend it; to avoid error and expose it; plainly, but kindly. It will deal with every question essentially connected with the latter-day work, and also with every form of opposition in their time and place, whether it be innovation, apostasy, or atheism. Its columns will be open, to a reasonable extent, to those whose teachings or theories it assails; for we only ask that what we believe to be truth should have a fair encounter with what we believe to be error, and we shall be content with the result. It wall aim to avoid extremes, and at the same time, disdain all compromises; while it may rebuke with
the mission there, he requests the coöperation of those interested in the success of the good cause, in the way of letters, communications, subscriptions, etc.
Brn. Zenas H. Gurley and Robert Warnock will prove excellent helps in the enterprise. We heard, incidentally, that Brn. Gurley and Warnock attended the Brighamite conference held in the city of Salt Lake, and that Bro. Warnock subsequently reviewed a sermon on celestial marriage, preached during the session by Elder O. Pratt. Bro. Warnock spoke for an hour and thirty-five minutes. It is needless to say that this review was not made in the Tabernacle, as no elder of the Reorganized Church has yet been accorded the courtesy of the use of public buildings under the dominant reign there.
One of the brethren had gone north and the other south from the city at last advices.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, p. 659.
The following items from different places give a fair estimate of the work and its extension:
Late advices from Brn. Wandell and Rodger give us to understand that they are steadily at work. Bro. Wandell's health is improving. The prospects are more encouraging than heretofore. We give extracts from their letters. Bro. Rodger writes to Bro. Wandell as follows, September 18:
"Things are looking a little brighter here; most excellent meetings afternoon and evening last Sunday; quite a stir about the lecture this evening. I hope the Lord will give me help to defend the truth. . . . I have secured the hall here for a lecture next Friday evening, perhaps on the Book of Mormon, as that is somewhat of a stumbling-block. To-night on the immortality of the soul of man. . . . The seed sown may yield in time, although things seem to move slow."
Bro. Wandell as follows:
"I am glad to write that my health is improving. If I only get so that I can do out-door preaching, I will be able to do good. Bro. Ellis
severity the deceiver, it will speak only in accents of kindness to the deceived, and furnish them a medium of communication of their wants, their feelings, and their hopes. It will aim to be, though silent, a reliable "Messenger" of good tidings to all who know, or are seeking to know, the truth, for the love of it.
To the end that it may thus minister, we solicit co-operation and aid from all who are in sympathy with this effort. To the Saints and friends in Utah we look first for encouragement and aid, and hope to receive them from all parts of the continent, as well as England and Wales, and upon the character of your response will depend the success or failure of the enterprise; as soon as sufficient encouragement is given, the "Messenger" will be issued semimonthly.
The price of subscription for the "Messenger" will be fifty cents in advance for twelve numbers, postage paid.
Communications and remittances should be addressed to J. W. Briggs, Salt lake City, Utah. Remittances and orders may also be sent to Herald Office, Plano, Illinois.
J. W. BRIGGS.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, November 1, 1874
-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, p.672
arrived yesterday. I expect Bro. Rodger here to-day; he comes to meet his eldest brother whom he has not seen for many years. When Bro. R. comes, we will have a council meeting, at which the interests of the mission will be duly considered. . . . I inclose [enclose] you Bro. Rodger's last note to me. You will see that he is alive and doing what he can for the spread of the truth. We are at peace throughout the mission . . . ."
Bro. Phineas Cadwell writing from Magnolia, Iowa:
"I feel very thankful that you made it in your way to come to Magnolia and assist in the dedication of our church. It has had a good effect, and left an impression on the minds of the people which will not be forgotten very soon; the same with Bro. Mark."
Bro. G. T. Chute, writing from Garland, Butler County, Alabama, October 30, said:
"The work is progressing in this country; some are being added to the church. Five or six new places for preaching have been opened during the last three months, with a good interest manifest. Prospects good for an ingathering soon. I am giving all my time to the ministry. Brn. P. Vickery and W. J. Booker have agreed to see that my family are supported for the next six months, rather than I should quit the field."
Bro. Hervey Green is still laboring for Zion's cause, not only in preaching the word, but also in securing subscribers for our papers and books, and still promises more soon. He said:
"Prospects for the spread of the good [work] are brightening in California. Calls for preaching come in from every direction, more than the present force of elders can fill. I am happy to say that the elders now in the field in California are diligent, and proving themselves workmen that need not be ashamed; but we want more, for the harvest is great, and much of the grain ripe, and my prayer is that it may be gathered ere it falls into the ground."
From the following notice, which we glean from the Daily Humboldt Times, published at Eureka, California, it will be seen that Bro. Mills is at the "front," sounding the gospel trump:
"Free lectures.-Elder D. S. Mills, of the Latter Day Saint Church, will lecture in the Third Street City Hall to-day at half past ten in the forenoon and seven o'clock in the evening. A general invitation is extended."
Bro. Robert Warnock says, October 26:
"I have preached four times to crowded houses, the first opposition to Brigham in this place.3 Cowardly opposition was strong, and some threats indulged in; nobody frightened. I blessed one child."
Bro. G. H. Hilliard, writing from Jeffersonville, Wayne County, Illinois, furnishes us with the following, touching a debate which he held at Springerton, Illinois, with a "Christian" minister a few days previous:
"Our debate at Springerton has closed; we debated six days in succession,
3Place not given.
then both preached. We baptized six at the close, two more gave in their names and will be baptized at the next meeting. The other side lost, some of their best members declaring they would no longer stand connected with the Christian Church (so-called). I do not think the cause lost anything, although I felt my incompetence in the defense of so great and glorious a work."
Bro. F. C. Warnky, writing from the summit of the Rocky Mountains, November 2, 1874, said, "I have reached my field of labor, have hoisted the standard of liberty to the inhabitants of the everlasting hills." He had preached in Omaha and Papillion, Nebraska. At the latter place found an old-time Saint, and instructed her more perfectly in the way.
Bro. John R. Cook is still laboring in and around Long Valley. At the time of writing, October 13, he had recently baptized three, and had an appointment to baptize others soon. He had opened a new field some twenty miles from Long Valley Branch, where he expected an ingathering soon.
Bro. Joseph C. Clapp-we are pleased to learn by letter from him, October 7, that he arrived home at Los Angeles, California, on the 5th. He found his mother, whom he went home to see, in a very low state of health, not likely to survive many days; but her hopes were strong in the Lord.
Bro. A. C. Inman has been preaching at Pleasant Hill and vicinity, Miami County, Ohio, lately, and thinks a good impression was left. He had met with Bro. Robert Fuller, who held the office of a priest, and had ordained him an elder.
By letter from Bro. Magnus Fyrando, of Magnolia, dated October 20, we learn that there were ten baptized at that place during the week of Elder M. H. Forscutt's lectures there.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, pp. 688-690.
In November the first issue of The Messenger, published at Salt Lake City, Utah, made its appearance. It plainly declared what its mission was to be. 4
4 The "Messenger" has tidings for the inhabitants of these valleys, even all who have ears to hear, but especially for the latter Day Saints; and these tidings relate to the dispensation of the fullness of times; to the establishment of the church, by the command of God, on the 6th of April, A. D. 1830; of its disorganization (or rejection), beginning with June 27, A. D. 1844; of the darkness that arose as a mist at that time; of its causes; of the scattering that followed; and of the returning light and reorganization, or setting in order the church by the commandment of God, beginning with April 6, A. D. 1858, and of its progress and aim.
Our tidings will relate also to the wanderings of those who in the "mist of darkness," got "lost," and so, by accident, come to these valleys, under the misapprehension that this was, or could be, the covert or closet of safety for the church. While you may have believed the hand of the Lord was in all this, it is possible you were, and are still leaning upon the "arm of flesh," which we all know can only bring ultimate curse. If there are any here still, willing to do as they are told by man, asking no questions, "obeying counsel" "right or wrong" thus surrendering their agency, we have little or nothing for you nor do we expect anything from such a quarter, except hands off. But to the thinking we
At this time the suit of Ann Eliza Webb Dee Young, the "nineteenth wife" of Brigham Young, which she had brought to obtain divorce and alimony was creating considerable excitement, and in the Herald for December 1, 1874, President Smith made the following pertinent observations thereon:
It will be no new thing to any of the readers of the Herald to learn that we regard Brigham Young as a great criminal, for we have so stated aforetime; not only once, but many times. But what makes his guilt more glaring, and adds darkness to its turpitude, is the fact, that when Ann Eliza Young, one of those whom Brigham Young has married according to the customs and usages of practical polygamists in Utah, under the sanction of the alleged revelation referred to by Judge McKean,
alone appeal; and you affirm your belief in the establishment of the church through the ministry of Joseph Smith and others, designed to remain until the coming of Christ the second time, who will receive it unto himself. To this we all agree; but whether it shall exist in a justified condition, or fully organized condition, from its establishment to its final endowment by the personal coming of its great head, or king, depends not upon the decree of God, but the faithfulness of the church; for it is expressly declared that if not obedient it should be "rejected as a church."
Such an event then as rejection or disorganization was possible, not only upon general principle that this is the ordinary punishment of great and continued transgression, but it is expressly threatened. When the church was recognized of God, as the only one with which he was pleased, it was charged to observe his law-of the gospel-as found in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and the covenants and articles of the church then existing, as found in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. Now if this gospel and kingdom is everlasting, as we are assured, then the laws by which its members or citizens will finally be judged, must be equally everlasting. It is the laws of any kingdom that determines its character. If it is everlasting, so are they. To change or violate these, on the part of an individual, is transgression, and subjects them to discipline; and to be "cast out" if not repented of.
For the church to do this is treason, and its punishment is rejection and scattering, "as a church," and in that case, the only hope for the individual member of the church, is to repent, return, and reorganize. What is possible may become probable, and probability may end in certainty. Therefore the question, Whether the organization known in these valleys as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is truly such, or a mistake, an accident, a human contrivance, is quite legitimate and debatable; and we propose to investigate this question with you, whose interest in it is equal to ours. And that our exact position may be inferred, we here state that the signification we attach to the word, "Reorganization," implies that all the calamities referred to above, to wit: darkness, transgression, amounting to treason against God, rejection and scattering, have really occurred. Thus our mission and message is legitimate and consistent. We deemed it proper that this number of the "Messenger" should contain a declaration of principles and definitions that we may be understood, both in design and method. We take it that it is now too late, even in Utah, to "set cabbage plants roots up," or make gardens on a flat rock, even if so directed by authority; because there is a principle underlying this that forbids cabbage to grow, or gardens to nourish in such positions. It is principle then that precedes authority, and legitimate authority exhibits the principles on which it is based. Reason and conscience are the individual umpires of truth, not to be stifled, but addressed.
Inspiration itself must tell a reasonable story, when addressed to reasonable creatures, otherwise the credit given it will prove, much like the thorn-bush to the falling one who grasps it-a source of pain.-The Messenger, vol. 1, p. 2.
gets tired of her nineteenth part of a husband past seventy, and sues him for divorce and alimony, that same nineteenth part of a husband goes into the court and swears as follows:
"And the defendant further answering alleges, that at the town of Kirtland, in the state of Ohio, on the tenth day of January, A. D. 1834, this defendant being then an unmarried man, was duly and lawfully married to Mary Ann Angell, by a minister of the gospel, who was then and there by the laws of said State, authorized to solemnize marriages. And that the said marriage was then and there fully consummated, and that the said Mary Ann Angell, who is still living, then and there became, and ever since has been and still is, the lawful wife of this defendant, all of which said facts the said complainant on the said sixth day of April, 1868, and for a long time prior thereto had fall knowledge and information."
Brigham Young further testifies that when he took this Mrs. Ann Eliza Dee to be his nineteenth polygamous wife, she was the lawful wife of James L. Dee, "never, as this defendant [B. Young] is now advised and believes, having been divorced from the said James L. Dee."
The unfairness and falsity of this statement of President Young is made apparent by the facts of the case being of record, as follows: Petition for divorce was filed by Ann Eliza Dee, formerly Ann Eliza Webb, in the probate court of Great Salt Lake County, Utah, December 9, 1865, and a decree of divorce was rendered and recorded December 23, 1865; and of these facts President Young must have been cognizant.
All this goes to show that Brigham Young, like any common criminal, when his criminality is about to be discovered, proves to be a coward as well as a criminal, and at once sacrifices a woman, a wife, and a home.
If the consequence of this unmanly, unworthy defense of Brigham Young against the suit of Ann Eliza, were to affect only these two persons, there would be little for other parties to complain of; but when it is considered that there are seventeen other women supposed to be of Brigham Young's own family, whose standing as wives are affected immediately by this answer, that Mary Ann Angell is his only legal wife, and some of whom may be affected by a similar condition of facts as that alleged in the case of Ann Eliza; and when it is further considered that there are some hundreds of women in Utah, whose standing as wives to their respective husbands, is also indirectly affected by these answers, it will be seen that many specially affected have just right to complain. Besides this there is not a follower of President Young who believes in the tenet of polygamy, who is not affected by these answers, and who has not a just cause of complaint.
Brigham Young has been the apostle and shining practical light of the doctrine of polygamy for twenty-two years. He has claimed immunity from accusation for crime upon the ground that the practice, of the doctrine was legal; and that there was neither dishonor nor illegality in the position occupied by polygamous wives. It has not only been the
effort to make "celestial marriage" a church tenet, but it has been claimed that women "taken to wife" under the institution were "married," and that they were "Wives," not "concubines."
These two answers of Brigham, made when he is pressed to action in a court of law, where the legality of such so-called marriages and the true status of women, so-called wives, could be fully presented and defended, were he brave enough to dare the issue, and the claims made were correct, fully warrant the statement, it seems to us, that he feels himself guilty and that he is willing to betray Ann Eliza, the other women he has hitherto called wives, and all others holding similar relation as wives to other men than himself; by which betrayal he also inculpates all who have stood by him in the defense of the tenet and its practice. Not only is this the result, as it seems to us, but these answers show most fully what is the real condition of those upon whom the consequences fall most heavily, the women of Utah who have been deceived into polygamous marriages; for if in his case, it is true, as he alleges, that he has but one legal wife, and she the one to whom he was married January 10, 1834, in Kirtland, Ohio, what are those to be called to whom he has been "united in celestial marriage" since that time, including Mrs. Ann Eliza Webb Dee Young; in fact, what does Mr. Young himself will call them by this answer of his? Certainly not wives.
This answer of President Young destroys the poetry, of the "institution," and compels its devotees to sit down and contemplate that "institution" face to face with its stubborn facts and hard, unpalatable truths; which we hope they will now do, aided and urged thereto by this unfriendly act of one who should have been their friend, but one who, by this act, shows the mortifying fact that he cares more for himself in danger of being mulcted in dollars and cents, than for those whose friends he should have been for principle.
There is good grows out of this to one individual directly, that one is Mrs. Mary Ann Angell Young. We congratulate her upon having won from her husband at last, the acknowledgment that she was his only wife, his "one legal wife. It was due her many years ago.
There is good to grow out of this to the latter-day work. It is a tardy but welcomed acknowledgment from a chief practical exponent of polygamy, that the law given to the church in 1831, that "man should have but one wife," is of full force, and that the position assumed by those espousing that law against polygamists is a correct one. We are thankful for this acknowledgment, forced as it has been, though we are and must be ashamed of the moral cowardice which prompts it.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, pp. 721-723.
On December 1, 1874, the following challenge was issued, and published with comments in the January following:
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, December 1, 1874.
Messrs. Orson Pratt and Daniel H. Wells: Sirs: In pursuance of our mission to Utah to preach the gospel of Christ, and to reclaim the Latter
Day Saints from error, and false doctrines into which they have been led; among which are the following:
1. That Adam is God, "and the only God with whom we have to do," as taught by Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, volume 1, page 50, and elsewhere.
2. That polygamy, together with that document called a "revelation," dated July 12, 1843, is of God; as taught by Orson Pratt, in the Seers, and elsewhere by others.
3. Blood-atonement, that is, the killing of men by the chief elders of the church, in order to save them; as taught by Brigham Young and others.
4. That Brigham Young is the rightful successor of Joseph Smith, in the Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; as claimed by himself, yourselves, and others.
5. That Utah is the place of safety, or place of Zion, and that the organization there, over which Brigham Young presides, is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; as taught in the Deseret News Journal of Discourses, Millennial Star, etc. All of which we deny.
We therefore invite you both or either of you, to come forward and discuss publicly with us, or one of us, the above principles and doctrines of your faith. If those principles are true and divine, all ought to know it; if they are false and pernicious, all ought also to know that.
And more especially is this course proper, since, in this country almost all great questions of the hour are publicly discussed. Of course you will affirm these propositions; but that the laboring oar may be equally shared by us, we in denying the first proposition, will affirm and undertake to prove that Adam-worship is idolatry, equal to that of the worship of Baal.
In denying the second thesis, we will prove that polygamy is abominable in the sight of the Lord, forbidden in the books that all Latter Day Saints profess to believe; and that the so-called revelation of July 12, 1843, is an invention, false in principle and pernicious in its influence, a fraud in its origin, neither genuine nor authentic.
In denying the third proposition we will prove that it is one of the doctrines of devils, and to obey it is a capital crime against the laws of God and man.
In denying the fourth proposition we will show that Joseph Smith, eldest son of Joseph Smith, is the rightful successor of his father in the presidency of the church, and that Brigham Young is an usurper, and the quorum organization under him are a conspiracy to rob the fatherless, the seed of Joseph of the birthright promised of the Lord, and that they are as a body or church, rejected of God.
In denying the fifth proposition we will affirm and prove that the "Reorganization" over which Joseph Smith, son of Joseph Smith, presides, is the true and only Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Authorities to be used in the discussion: the Bible, Book of Mormon, Book of Doctrine and Covenants; also church publications from A. D. 1830 to A. D. 1844.
If you accept this proposal, we can arrange the preliminaries necessary. We await your reply, which we request during this week, or at your earliest convenience.
JASON W. BRIGGS.
ZENAS H. GURLEY.
Members of the Quorum of Twelve in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.-The Messenger, vol. 1, p. 10.
This challenge was never accepted, nor any response made.
The following letter from Mrs. Avondet, wife of J. Avondet, announces pleasing news from the far East:
OMAHA, Nebraska, December 14, 1874.
Bro. J. Smith: I have just received a letter from my husband, dated at Birmingham, England. Bro. Thomas Taylor invited him and Bro. Bear to stay to conference; they will stay two weeks. They have had a good time, and have found good Saints, good sisters, especially Bro. Taylor and his wife. In connection with Bro. Bear, before they left Switzerland, they organized one branch of sixteen members and ordained one elder who speaks both French and German. God willing, Bro. Avondet will soon be in Omaha. Our branch looks for him with anxiety,-The Saints' Herald, vol. 22, p. 23.
Elder Avondet arrived at home December 25, 1874, and J. L. Bear arrived at home, Agency City, Missouri, December 28.
In the December issue of the Messenger the editor sums up the Utah situation in the following terse manner:
It is conceded on all sides that the religious, social, and moral status of the Utah organization, known as the Church of Latter Day Saints, etc., is monstrous; at enmity with human progress in all directions-a standing reproach to religion and morality-a real moloch, at whose shrine the pure and devoted, the innocent and loving, are sacrificed without stint and without remorse; and it is further conceded that religion, morality, and humanity call loudly upon the philanthropists of every class, sect or party, to aid in the disentanglement of this problem, and for the deliverance of its victims; hence, all these ought to act in unison for the common object, and yet each ought to appreciate the "situation" in order to act their several parts; otherwise the best intentions may only result in is "beating the air."
The strong arm of the government ought to see to it that just laws exist, and that those laws are duly administered; that crime is clearly defined and surely punished; thus establishing justice for all and protection for all; check the overbearing and lift up the helpless and the lowly; and this is all the government, through its officers, can do-all it ought to do, or attempt-and yet this does not touch the great fountain of evil in Utah; it only purifies some of the bitter streams issuing thence.
The liberalists, divided into two classes, scientists and spiritualists, perceive the great evil in its fruits, and the former, in obedience to the logic of their reason, turn the full beams of their philosophy upon the
medley of absurdity and contradiction; but it falls upon the masses like the moon's rays upon the frosty plain. It does not warm the soul into action; it only shows a wrong-a great wrong truly-a terrible picture; but those who would turn from it must look upon -. What? Upon vacancy; for scientists fail to offer a balm for the evil-a reverse picture to beckon them from the ugly one which they have revealed.
Whether "nature abhors a vacuum," or not, evidently the religious soul does. The truth is the whole and sole cause of the evils under which Utah groans, is a perverted religion; a perverted priesthood; out of which grows a perverted morality and social system; and whoever fails to take in this idea in their design to improve the condition of the people of Utah at most can only give temporary and partial relief-lop a few branches off the bitter tree.
For this reason the efforts of the spiritualists, the other branch of liberals, are also powerless to reach the cause.. Dancing tables, rope-tying tests, throwing furniture, and flying mediums, or talking spirits, contradicting each other, will never satisfy a people who believe in the existence of a power to reveal itself "with all deceivableness of unrighteousness and lying wonders."
Much less can the advocates of the current theology of the age, whether Catholic or Protestant, rise to the occasion and correct the errors of Utah.
The people of Utah have been proselyted from those various faiths and creeds, and a return to them savors of "wallowing in the mire," after having "been washed" for remission of sins. Catholicism is by them regarded as a form without life or substance, and Protestantism as devoid of even the form.
In short, none of these parties possess an antidote for the Utah contagion, though each and all may offer a cordial of relief, and receive a reward for so doing with him who "gives a cup of water" in the goodness of his heart.
We have alluded to the lack of qualifications on the part of some who are laboring in good earnest in this field of missionary enterprise. To ignore or repudiate the Book of Mormon completely unfits any party to deal with the question at issue. To speak of "Joe Smith and his crowd of villains, escaping from justice," etc., is not a passport to the judgments, and much less the hearts of the Mormon people. And every Mormon-man, woman, and child-knows that instead of "Joe Smith" escaping from justice, he was, together with his brother, against whom no accusation lay, brutally murdered while in the custody of the authorities of the state of Illinois. These considerations and facts clearly indicate that the "gray-haired reverend men" who met at Grand Opera House, Chicago, on November 1, 1874, to discuss ways and means to "advance the cause of Christianity" in Utah did not appreciate the situation, as will further appear from the following extracts from their speeches: One "had known a minister [missionary] in Utah, who had to go into the pulpit with the Bible in
one hand and a revolver in the other." The speaker (Reverend Mr. Lyford) said, "When a boy he had acquired a talent for close shooting," and he had "consecrated that talent to God, and would exercise it at any molestation," and this sentiment was applauded by that "gray-haired reverend" assembly. Now it is this very "close shooting" and "revolver practice" that we want to abate in Utah. Jesus taught, "If they persecute you in one city, flee to another." (But Mr. Lyford will shoot at any molestation.) "Put up thy sword;" and again, "He that taketh the sword shall perish by the sword."
But what shall we say of the following from Reverend Mr. Fowler, D. D.: "A few Texan outlaws would be God-anointed agents to revolutionize that country, a little backbone on the part of the government authorities would help the case immensely; it could also be helped by the gospel." Texan outlaws! that is "border ruffianism" invoked by missionaries to Utah to reclaim the "murderous Mormons." This is like a temperance lecturer taking "a sniff" and passing the bottle round to his audience before taking the platform to bewail the evils of drunkenness. But the speaker adds, the case in Utah may also be "helped by the gospel."
This combination of "revolvers" and "Texan outlaws" are "the gospel's" auxiliaries in the Chicago "Grand Opera House" scheme for "advancing the cause of Christianity" in Utah! Gentlemen, it won't do. You don't understand the situation. The root of the evil you have not touched, you can not touch it. It is a perverted faith, founded originally upon the Bible and Book of Mormon, involving present revelation; and upon this basis must the Utah question be met.
The efforts of the Reorganization of the church meet the case, and show from the Bible, Book of Mormon, and the revelations in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, that all the false teaching, absurdities and abominations, taught and practiced by the leaders here, are forbidden; and in addition to this, we are able to show from the Book of Mormon and the revelations of Joseph Smith given to the church for a law, that just such a state of things as now exists in Utah was contemplated by the many warnings therein found. And better still, we are able to point out from the same books the means of deliverance, and the blessings that shall follow.
Thus it is that the Reorganization of the church possesses, under God, the key to solve the Utah problem; and that solution will satisfy justice, manifest mercy, and while it will uncover iniquity, will hold up to merited infamy the nest of vipers, who, in the name of God and religion, have outraged justice and humanity; it will vindicate the truth of God as embodied in the doctrines of the "True Latter Day Saints." And in the name of our Master, the Lord Jesus Christ, in the name of justice and humanity, we appeal to all good men and women to help.-The, Messenger, vol. 1, p. 6.
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