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ON July 4, Lewis Van Buren wrote from Berne, Switzerland. He stated that the few Saints at Hedingen had kept the faith, but the spirit was weak, and they were looking anxiously for an elder to visit them.
During this summer Elder D. H. Bays, missionary to Texas, met with considerable opposition, resulting in several debates.
The Herald for July 15 contained an editorial from the pen of President Joseph Smith, entitled, "An Order of Enoch." From it we present the following practical suggestions:
We have several times reminded the Saints that we believed that inheritances were to be purchased, not conquered, by the Saints. All know by this time that it is not many thousand acres that we could buy as an individual with all our fortune; nor can it be reasonably expected that with the history of past accumulations of wealth by spiritual leaders, and their subsequent abuse, and the extremely jealous care with which present and future attempts of this sort will be watched and frustrated by Latter Day
Saints, a man with so little financial ability as we are noted to be, will get together much of this world's lucre in the time yet remaining; this ought to satisfy any who may be waiting for us to parcel out an inheritance to them, that it is poor, very poor policy to wait longer. Again, and we beg pardon for the personal character of what follows, it is understood to be the province of the one who properly succeeds Joseph Smith, to "teach the revelations" given through him; hence, his work and mission are obviously more to teach than to give revelations. To teach the revelations is, if we comprehend the meaning of the word, to make them practicable, to so render them that the work designated in them, or provided for by them, may be done. This we have tried to do, in regard to the law under consideration, and have been met with so decided rebuke by many older Latter Day Saints than we are, whose wisdom it was meet that we should regard, that we have been timid in insisting that we were right. But as no advancement has been made by hitherto favorite methods, we ask that we be listened to and the methods we propose be taken into consideration and a trial be made of them. More especially do we ask this of men to whom has been given wisdom and success in temporal things; and though the suggestions may be those of a dreamer, if they have seeming practicability in their favor, let them be put to the test. We have not gold or silver, but we have moral strength to stand by men of energy and wisdom, and that is worth something in any cause.
Men of the church, whether holding office or not, may legitimately combine their moneys and goods in organized associations, composed of two or more members, for the purpose of carrying on any industrial enterprise that may offer opportunity for utilizing labor, giving employment to those who may need it, and returning a sufficient profit to pay a reasonable percentage upon the capital invested. We name in this connection the manufacture of woodenware; plows and other articles of husbandry; tiling and brick; jars and earthenware; brooms, which involve the employment of many, raising broom-corn; cheese, which makes sale for milk and stimulates the keeping of dairies; wagons, buggies; boots and shoes, etc. These, together with the purchase and sale of everything raised, produced or manufactured, opens fields of enterprise that should satisfy the most exacting.
Besides these it is within the liberties for any man of means and public spirit, to establish by himself, under his own inspection and management, any or all of these; or, if he prefers to begin and carry out any plan for the aiding of the ministry, the support of the families of the elders in the field, the helping of the deservingly industrious but unfortunate, who may only need help for a time, to be returned to the general fund when success ensues; the establishing of farms and purchase of lands, to be resold to brethren who may be able to pay part down with time for the remainder, and a reinvestment of the proceeds in similar ventures, or any other of the multifarious number of works in which men may engage.
To those who may be hesitating, waiting for the institution of the Order of Enoch, we state, that if the law concerning that order can not be filled by an association of men and money, for the transaction of every business enterprise in which honest men may spend their time and employ their means, legally organized according to the laws of the land, we believe that it can not be done; for this reason, if for none other: no business transaction in which money and goods are involved, and the owners liable to lose what may have been invested by them in such enterprise, can be prosecuted in any of the States, with fair assurance to those investing that they shall not suffer loss by irresponsible swindlers, unless there shall have been first a legal sanction to such business, by proper organization. No matter by what holy name it might be called, the name itself can not be a guarantee for the honesty of its members. If they are honest, legal restraints do them no wrong; if they are dishonest, they need them; and the legislatures have taken care that safeguards shall be provided.
The Order of Enoch is at best, when reduced to everyday practice, but an organized legal body, having church origin and membership. That is, divesting the Order of Enoch of all its legendary mistiness, it can but prove to be a legal method to carry out church designs.
Examine the matter as freely as you will the fact still remains, that the law is inoperative and the possible good to accrue therefrom is unrealized; not from any spoken design of the lawgiver that it should be so; but from a failure to comprehend, or an unwillingness to carry into effect what is comprehended.
Another reason why there can be no safe organization except in the provisions of the civil law is, there can be no by-law enacted by any number of men associated together for any definite object that can make the subscribers thereto honest. If their gospel covenant has failed to give birth and growth to honest principles, or to cultivate and enrich the native germ, association will, of necessity, fail to accomplish the beneficent work. To secure the honest men from the rogue in grain and to prevent the commission of "crime made venial by the occasion," through the exciting of cupidity by reason of opportunity, safe provisions are made in the laws enacted by those who are "wiser in their generation than the children of the kingdom," and of these provisions wise men should avail themselves, that the good they seek for others as for themselves may not be defeated.
That precedent for this may not be lacking, we cite, the organization and establishment of the church, "agreeably to the laws of our country." Also, "And thus all things shall be made sure according to the laws of the land." Again, "Therefore I, the Lord, justifieth you and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land."
In the article on marriage, the church affirms that the association in wedlock, the most sacred and beneficent of all copartnerships for the
business of life that men can enter into, is entered into in deference to the precept of the law of the lands and by an analogy of reasoning we may conclude that in the matter under consideration, an adherence to the rule is pleasing to God.
In conclusion, he who has strong desire to do something laudable and beneficial to the cause, may by himself or with others set immediately at work upon any of the enterprises named, observing, that if he proceeds alone he may not incorporate; if he proceeds with others he may. The way will be found in the statute books of the several States. The object having been ascertained, agree as to rules of association, the amounts to be invested, the by-laws for government, file the articles of agreement in the proper office in the county, and go to work. We are ready to listen to any proposition, and to help any proper movement on to success.
We have wondered heretofore that some of our wise men in temporal things, whom the Lord had blest and was blessing with safe investments and sure returns, did not engage in the land and farm business, aiding men who are willing to work, to secure to themselves homes, and thus people the land with industrious and frugal citizens, whose religion was a safeguard of good conduct. A few thousands of dollars set apart to this special work, might with care be made an efficient means to "lay up treasure in heaven," and to make friends of (by means of) the "mammon of unrighteousness." Whoever undertakes it must use discretion, constant and earnest diligence, that he shall not waste and squander the means so used; and in doing so, will need to insist that his brethren whom he may help, shall deal honestly with him, and shall promptly perform their part of the agreement, that the golden opportunities afforded them may in turn be offered to others, and thus many be reached.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 26, pp. 218, 219.
Editorial items for July 15 contains the following from England: "Two excellent letters of late date are received from England: one from Bro. Archibald Bradshaw, and the other from Bro. R. Kendrick. These indicate that there is a new era about to dawn for the work there. The brethren write in splendid spirits."
On July 21, Elder Joseph Standing, of Utah, was shot and killed by a mob, near Varnell's Station, Whitfield County, Georgia. Upon this the editor of The Saints' Herald commented as follows:
We are not in possession of all the facts connected with the killing of Elder Standing, an elder of the Utah church, in Georgia, lately; but we have enough to believe that while he and his colaboring elders were attempting to propagate their religious views in that State, they were ordered off by a mob; that Elder Standing resented, possibly resisted this attempt, and was shot by some hasty, hot-headed man, who was there engaged in an
unlawful business. It was a cruel and wicked act of violence, which deserves the condemnation of all free men, all law-abiding people. It smacks of bigotry and oppression, and the very fact that the party doing the killing were there for an unlawful purpose, gives Elder Standing a place among those who have died for their opinion's sake. Those who have suffered from mob violence need only to know that others are victims to lift their voices against the act.
We are opposed to the principle of plurality of wives, which it is said Elder Standing was propagating; and think that the proselyting of sinners to that system of faith, is but to change their manner of sinning; but we are likewise opposed to the shotgun, revolver, and rifle argument to prevent it. Mob violence, the killing of heretics, by fire or impalement, are arguments fit for an unenlightened past, but are sadly out of place to-day.
On July 22 Elder Peter N. Brix, missionary to Denmark, wrote from Aalborg, reporting the baptism of three and earnestly pleading for some one to be sent to his assistance.
On July 25 Elder J. R. Lambert wrote that he had organized a branch at Lake Crystal, Minnesota; Eli Stedman, president, D. F. Crane, clerk.
August 2, Elder J. W. Gillen wrote that he had just returned to Oakland, California, from a tour in the southern part of the State. On the 4th he sailed for Australia on the steamship "City of Australia." On September 10 he wrote from Sydney, Australia, that he arrived safely, after a pleasant voyage of twenty -seven days. Of his predecessor, he said: "Bro. Rodger has left an excellent name here, and is beloved by all who know him."
Commencing August 9, a debate was held at Norway, Lasalle County, Illinois, between Elder W. W. Blair and a Seventh-day Advent elder by the name of A. A. John. This debate was reported in synopsis by Elder Joseph Luff and published in the Herald.
In August, 1879, the work was first opened in Eastern Florida through the instrumentality of Elder Heman C. Smith and Priest David Donaldson. They went from Western Florida, where the work had previously been established, most of the way on foot. They made a beginning by hiring a hall for one night in Gainesville, that being financially all they were able to do. Then
two prominent citizens, Judge Dawkins and Mr. Grissom, who before were unknown to the missionaries, stepped forward, paid for the night already occupied and engaged the hall for a week, inviting the missionaries to occupy. The result was that the Gainesville Branch was organized August 28, with eight members, Moses O. Howard, presiding priest, seven of these new converts. Soon after the missionaries returned to Western Florida, and the following April Elder Smith was released from the Southern field, since which no especial effort has been made to prosecute the work in Eastern Florida.
About this time the church in Utah was having some trouble over property bequeathed by President Brigham Young in his will. This resulted in some litigation, in the course of which the executors of the will, George Q. Cannon, Albert Carrington, and Brigham Young, Jr., were confined in the penitentiary of Utah on the order of Judge Boreman, for contempt of court. The supreme court of Utah reversed this order and the prisoners were released after being confined from August 4 till the 28th, 1879. The contention seemed to be brought about by the executors turning over certain properties to the church which by the will was bequeathed to the heirs. Some of the heirs sued the executors and President John Taylor as trustee-in-trust for the church for possession of the property. The court sustained the contention of the heirs and ordered the property conveyed to them, which the defendants did not do, and for which they were adjudged guilty of contempt. John Taylor gave bonds and the executors went to prison, as before related. On October 4, the case was compromised and settled by the church paying the heirs seventy-five thousand dollars and retaining the property in question.
In the summer or autumn of 1879 the church republished the historical work known as "Joseph Smith the Prophet and his Progenitors," written by Lucy Smith, the mother of the Martyrs. It was first published in 1852 in Liverpool, England, by S. W. Richards and Company, under supervision of Orson Pratt. It was
subsequently condemned by the authorities in Utah, and as many as could be procured destroyed. In 1878 the church decided to republish it, and a committee was appointed to prepare it, which they did by inserting a few explanatory foot-notes, leaving the text just as it is in the original book.
On August 9 a circular letter of instruction was issued by William M. Evarts, secretary of state, to the diplomatic officers of the United States in various countries, calculated to prevent the emigration of polygamists. 1 This was met in Utah by some hostile demonstrations.
1WASHINGTON, District of Columbia, August 9, 1879.
Sir: The annual statistics of emigration into the United States show that large numbers of emigrants to come to our shores every year from the various countries of Europe for the avowed purpose of joining the Mormon community at Salt Lake, in the territory of Utah, under the auspices and guidance of the emissaries and agents of that community in foreign parts. This representation of the interests of Mormonism abroad, which has been carried on for years, is understood to have developed unusual activity of late, especially in -, among other countries where it has unfortunately obtained a greater or less foothold. The system of polygamy which is prevalent in the community of Utah is largely based upon and promoted by these accessions from Europe, drawn mainly from the ignorant classes, who are easily influenced by the double appeal to their passions and their poverty, held out in the flattering picture of a home in the fertile and prosperous regions where Mormonism has established its material seat. Inasmuch as the practice of polygamy is based on a form of marriage by which additional wives are "sealed" to men of that community, these so-called "marriages" are pronounced by the laws of the United States to be crimes against statutes of the country, and punishable as such.
On the 1st of July, 1862, the Congress of the United States passed an act expressly designed, as appears from its title, "To punish and prevent the practice of polygamy in the Territories of the United States and other places," etc. That act remains the law of the land as to its continuing provisions, which, in the revision of the statutes of the United States made in 1874, read as follows:
"Section No. 5352-Every person having a husband or wife living who marries another, whether married or single, in a Territory or other place over which the United States have exclusive jurisdiction, is guilty of bigamy, and shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, and by imprisonment for a term not exceeding more than three years. But this section shall not extend to any person by reason of any former marriage whose husband or wife by such marriage is absent for five successive years and is not known to such person to be living, nor to any person by reason of any former marriage which bas been dissolved by decree of a competent court, nor to any person by reason of any former marriage which has been pronounced void by decree of a competent court on the ground of nullity of the marriage contract."
Whatever doubt, if any, has heretofore existed as to the efficiency of the law above cited, and the intent of the general Government to enforce it, has now been terminated by the recent decision of the Supreme Court, the highest judicial tribunal of the land, sustaining the constitutionality of the legislation and affirming the conviction and punishment of offenders against that law.
Under whatever specious guise the subject may be presented by those engaged in investigating the European movement to swell the numbers of the law-defying Mormons of Utah, the bands and organizations which are got together in foreign lands as recruits, can not be regarded as otherwise than a deliberate and systematic attempt to bring persons
On August 18, Elder David Dancer wrote of the then new town of Lamoni, Iowa, now headquarters of the church, as follows:
I think there ought to be something said, through the Herald, in regard to our new town. If things could be got into working order this fall, our town would command quite a large trade this winter, and in fact till the southwestern road is built, and I think they will not undertake that very soon . . . . As long as the road remains as it is, our town will draw the trade of Eagleville, Loraine, and a distance of twenty miles or more from the south and southwest. It will command a strip of country ten by twenty-five miles, if buildings and men suitable to do the business can be got this fall. If not the trade must go to some other place. We need a hotel,-I hardly know how we can get along without it this winter,-a brick-yard, lumber-yard, stock scales, stores, mechanics; and now is the time to start. It is expected that the cars will be running to our place by September 20.
to the United States with the intent of violating their laws and committing crimes expressly punishable under the statutes as penitentiary offenses.
No friendly power will, of course, knowingly lend its aid even indirectly, to attempts made within its borders against the laws and government of a country wherewith it is at peace, with established terms of amity and reciprocal relations of treaty between them; while, even were there no question involved of open and penal infraction of the laws of the land every consideration of comity should prevail to prevent the territory of a friendly State from becoming a resort or refuge for the crowds of misguided men and women whose offense against morality and decency would be intolerable in the land from whence they come.
It is not doubted, therefore, that when the subject is brought to its attention, the Government of - will take such steps as may be compatible with the laws and usages to check the organization of these criminal enterprises by agents who are thus operating beyond the reach of the law of the United States, and to prevent the departure of those proposing to come hither as violators of the law, by engaging in such criminal enterprises, by whomsoever instigated.
You are instructed, therefore, to present the matter to the Government of -, through the minister of foreign affairs, and to urge earnest attention to it, in the interest not merely of a faithful execution of the law of the United States, but of the peace, good order, and morality which are cultivated and sought to be promoted by all civilized countries. You will fortify your representations on the subject by the citation of any facts which may come to your notice concerning emigration of this character from -, and to this end the consular officers in your jurisdiction have been instructed to communicate to you what information with regard thereto may come to their knowledge. Your timely protest in cases where the probable departure of Mormon emigrants is reported or known to you would probably prove a weighty auxiliary to the general representations you are now instructed to make. You are also authorized in your discretion to call attention to this subject, and the determined purpose of this Government to enforce this law and eradicate this institution, through the public press of the principal cities or parts of the country, as you may find it useful toward the end in view. I desire to be informed of the steps taken by you under these instructions, and of the disposition shown in reference to the same by the Government to which you are accredited.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM M. EVARTS.
-The Saints' Herald, vol. 27, pp. 9, 10.
In the Herald for September 15 the following information was published from Papeete, Tahiti; written by Elder David Brown:
Our new church is about finished, or will be in two or three days; Bro. Nelson says it is a fine building. It cost about three hundred dollars for the material, and the brethren built it themselves, as several of them are carpenters. Several of the brethren are here now, visiting Tiona and Bro. Nelson. Bro. Nelson wrote you some time ago that he could have his "permit," or was told so by the commissary of police to go and get it, but when he went he was told he could not have it. But since then the authorities gave it to him, as an Orematua or missionary, of which when we heard it we were very glad, and ever since then blessings seem to surround us, and especially Bro. Nelson. My Heralds come regularly, with very few exceptions. Reading matter is very scarce here, and the Herald is very welcome; we wish it came oftener. Bro. Nelson is learning fast to talk the language. There are many calls for him to the other islands, but he has not gone yet.
About this time the sisters of Providence, Rhode Island, organized a society called the "Daughters of Zion," with Eliza Hawks, president; Abbie M. Barnes, vice-president, and Ida Sprague, secretary and treasurer. The purpose of this organization was "for the mutual good of each other, and to aid in the advancement of the latter-day work." This was a local organization preceding the general organization, bearing the same name, over thirteen years.
The semiannual conference for 1879 convened at Gallands Grove Iowa, September 24; President Joseph Smith and W. W. Blair presiding; R. M. Elvin, E. W. Tullidge, and E. T. Dobson, secretaries. The usual reports from missionaries, missions, and districts were made, which upon the whole were quite encouraging.
The committee on location reported as follows:
The locating board respectfully beg leave to submit and report, that the route of the railway having been determined through Decatur County, Iowa, in such direction as to render the land heretofore purchased by the board unavailable for the purposes of location, it has been deemed wisdom to offer the same for sale, that the money may be otherwise invested as may be necessary to do. Joseph Smith, John Scott, Israel L. Rogers, W. W. Blair, David Dancer, H. A. Stebbins, locating committee.
The music committee made a lengthy report, closing with
several recommendations, which after amendments, read as follows:
In conclusion, your committee ask, (1), That their labors be accepted, and they discharged. (2), That some one well qualified for the task be appointed musical editor for the church. (3), That the committee be authorized to turn over to him all the music prepared by them, instead of to the Board of Publication. (4), That measures be at once taken to prepare the manuscript for publication by said musical editor, and the book be at once published, or as soon as circumstances will justify. (5), That the name of the music book be "The Saints' Harmony."
M. H. Forscutt was appointed musical editor, and the committee was discharged.
The Board of Publication made a lengthy report of work done, and of receipts and expenditures, leaving a balance in hand of $66.12. They also offered their resignations. By subsequent action these resignations were accepted. Thus releasing I. L. Rogers, H. A. Stebbins, John Scott, W. W. Blair, and David Dancer.
The board reported that during the year a building had been purchased and fitted for Herald Publishing House at a cost of $1,264.34, and that on this account there had been paid out of current receipts of the office $1,064.34, leaving the church for the first time in a publishing house of its own with only $200 indebtedness. The conference passed a resolution requesting Bishop Rogers to act as a member of the board. The Bishop consented to act, and upon his nomination the following were elected his associates: David Dancer, G. A. Blakeslee, W. W. Blair, and Joseph Smith.
A committee, consisting of W. H. Kelley, G. A. Blakeslee, and Phineas Cadwell was appointed to investigate the books and reports of the retiring board during the entire time of its incumbency and report to the annual conference of 1880.
A Danish hymn book was submitted to the conference for examination, by Elder Peter N. Brix, missionary to Denmark, and it was submitted to a committee consisting of Ingvert Hansen and H. N. Hansen, who reported favorably, recommending the book for use in the Danish Mission, and that the conference approve of the work.
A resolution from Decatur District was presented to the conference asking that the church define more clearly its
position on the book of Doctrine and Covenants. This was referred to the First Presidency, who subsequently reported as follows:
To the Elders andSaints in Conference Assembled; Greeting: In the matter of preamble and resolution from the Decatur District, referred to us on a previous day of the session, we beg leave and submit:
It is our opinion that the free rendering and meaning of the resolution passed at the semiannual session of 1878, and referred to in said resolution from Decatur District, is that:
Whereas, Certain rumors had obtained currency that the church had not at any time so attested the book of Doctrine and Covenants, and the later revelations given to the church, by vote and affirmation, that they should form with the Bible and Book of Mormon, a standard of reference in case of controversy and difference of opinion upon questions of doctrine and practice in the church; therefore, to remedy this defect, if it existed, the resolution referred to was introduced and passed.
We are further of the opinion, that it is not the intent and meaning of the said resolution to make a belief in the revelations in the book of Covenants, or the abstract doctrines possibly contained in it, a test of reception and fellowship in the church; but that the things therein contained relating to the doctrine, rules of procedure, and practice in the church, should govern the ministry and elders as representatives of the church.
We are further of the opinion, that, while it is not intended, or indeed practicable to bind, or proscribe the liberty of conscience, whereby violence is done to the honesty and integrity of the people by prescribing dogmas and tenets other than the plain provisions of the gospel, as affirmed in the New Testament, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants, and set forth in the epitome of faith and doctrine; it is clear to us that it is destructive to the faith of the church, and inconsistent with the calling and dignity of the ministry, to decry, disclaim, preach or teach contrary to the revelations in said book of Covenants, or to arraign them in such a way that the faith of the people of the church is weakened and they thereby distressed.
We are further of the opinion, that the elders should confine their teaching to such doctrines and tenets, church articles and practices, a knowledge of which is necessary to obedience and salvation; and that in all questions upon which there is much controversy, and upon which the church has not clearly declared, and which are not unmistakably essential to salvation, the elders should refrain from teaching; or if called upon, in defense of the church, or when wisdom should dictate, they should so clearly discriminate in their teaching between their own views and opinions, and the affirmations and defined declarations of the church that they shall not be found antagonizing their own and others' views as a conflict in teaching upon the part of the church.
We are further of the opinion, that the advancing of speculative theories upon abstruse questions, a belief, or disbelief in which can not affect the salvation of the hearers, is a reprehensible practice; and should not be indulged in by the elders; especially should this not be done in those branches where personal antagonisms must inevitably arise, to the hindering of the work of grace; and should be reserved for the schools of inquiry among the elders themselves.
We are further of the opinion, that until such time as vexed questions now pending are definitely settled by the competent quorums of the church, the discussion of them should be avoided in all places where the elders labor, in the world and in the branches, and should only be had in solemn conclave when necessary to examine them for settlement, under proper rules of restraint.
J. SMITH, }Presidency.
W. W. BLAIR, }
GALLANDS GROVE, September 29, 1879.
-The Saints' Herald, vol. 26, pp. 329, 330.
The report was adopted. Elder Z. H. Gurley, who had previously been released, reported through President Smith that he stood with the church on this definition, and that the conference in adopting the above report of the First Presidency had removed the objection upon which his resignation was based. After much discussion he was reinstated by a vote of sixty-seven to five. Upon vote of the conference he was reordained an apostle of the Quorum of Twelve.
The Twelve reported on the case of Jason W. Briggs as follows:
To the Presidents of the Conference. Elders and Brethren. Greeting:: By the appointment of the last annual conference, the Quorum of the Twelve have met, and investigated the case of Bro. Jason W. Briggs.
Brn. J. M Harvey, Jonas W. Chatburn, and Phineas Cadwell appeared as prosecutors of the case.
The accused presented before the council a demurrer to the action of the semiannual conference of 1878; and, after considerable discussion the following resolution was adopted by the council:
Resolved, That while we believe the demurrer is quite well taken, yet we also believe that the nature of the case is such, that it is for the best interests of all concerned, that we proceed to a hearing of the case.
The prosecution then entered upon a full, and free presentation of their side of the case; after which the accused entered upon a defense of his position. having accorded to him all the time and opportunity that he required.
After due examination of the evidence before us, we, as a quorum, have come to the following conclusions on the charges preferred.
In regard to charge No. 1, that, "He has denied the pre-existence of man, and in doing so, has denied the pre-existence of Christ as a personal entity;"
We find that the accused holds the following positions: First, That he questions man's pre-existence as a conscious, personal agent, or entity; but he holds a sort of pre-existence of man. Second, he claims that Christ, as being more than man, existed as the "Logos" or "word" of God, which dwelt in the "bosom of God." But to him it is a "mystery," as he claims it was to Paul, who said, "Great is the mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh," etc. We find him guilty; not of denying, but of questioning the pre-existence of man, as an intelligent, conscious entity, possessing agency, and also the pre-existence of Christ, as a personal being, or entity.
In regard to charge No. 2; we present the following:
Resolved, That the second charge is not sustained; because evidence shows no intention to assail the utterances of the Holy Spirit, but to discriminate between true and false inspiration; and also, shows the wide channel inspiration takes. The article referred to was not finished, hence the readers could not fully judge the matter on its merits. The comparison made by the brother between Mother Shipton's prophecy and that of Ezekiel, was unwise.
As pertains to the third charge, That he has denied the gathering, and the law of tithing, as taught in the books, we present that:
We find that the brother does not believe there is any place of gathering as pertains to this church, and holds that there is no command now in force, requiring a gathering, either into what is called the "regions round about," or a "local Zion," or to a "stake." He refers to the revelation of 1841, page 306, paragraph 15, as defining his position.
As to the law of tithing the prosecution did not urge an accusation on that subject. Therefore, be it Resolved, That the charge as pertains to a gathering, is sustained.
Signed by the following brethren of the Twelve:
A. H. SMITH, President pro tem. JAMES CAFFALL.
T. W. SMITH, Secretary. JOHN H. LAKE.
JOSIAH ELLS. WM. KELLEY
E. C. BRIGGS. J. R. LAMBERT.
-The Saints' Herald, vol. 26, pp. 332, 333.
The report was adopted. The following resolution was adopted concerning Elder Briggs:
Whereas, Bro. J. W. Briggs has been found guilty by the Quorum of the Twelve, of teaching that which is not accepted by the church, therefore, be it
Resolved, That he stand rejected from the Quorum of the Twelve, and that he be forbidden to act in any of the offices of the church.
And that he be so suspended until he make restitution to the church.
The following resolution was adopted:
Resolved, That President J. Smith, and those whom he may call to his aid, shall be a committee to prepare and present to the publishers of the Encyclopedia Brittanica, Johnson's, and other encyclopedias, an article setting forth the leading facts touching the rise and progress of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, embracing its distinctive doctrines and principles.
The several quorums made their usual reports, and upon their recommendation the following changes were ordered: I. N. Roberts, J. F. Mintun, G. T. Griffiths, George Montague, G. S. Hyde, and W. T. Bozarth were ordained to the office of seventy. R. M. Elvin was ordained president of First Quorum of Elders to fill vacancy occasioned by resignation of Elijah Banta; J. R. Badham was ordained his second counselor, and the ordination of F. G. Pitt as his first counselor was provided for. J. T. Kinneman was ordained president of Third Quorum of Elders, and the ordination of T. W. Chatburn as first, and J. M. Terry as second, counselor provided for. G. F. Waterman was ordained president of Fourth Quorum of Elders, and H. H. Robinson his first counselor. The First Quorum of Elders released H. C. Bronson and David Powell, silenced A. G. Weeks, and enrolled S. F. Walker, Charles Sheen, Robert Lyle, Joseph Boswell, E. W. Tullidge, J. A. Crawford, James Perkins, and and Hans Hansen.
The Second Quorum of Elders dropped James X. Allen, and enrolled J. J. Conyers and Robert Holt.
The Third Quorum enrolled B. L. Billingsly, W. W. Whiting, Senterlow Butler, and George Hawley.
The Fourth Quorum of Elders was organized and their names published: 3
3 D. D. Babcock, William J. Booker, Martin R. Brown, Nelson Brown, James W. Bryan, A. W. Bullard, J. L. Buckingham, Orrin Butts, Alexander J. Cato, Abram N. Caudle, George T. Chute, O. E. Cleveland, John Conyers, William Coleshaw, John A. Currie, James W. Calkins, Benjamin F. Dykes, James Ervin, W. H. Davenport, J. D. Flanders, Joseph Flory, Rial D. Evans, Griffith George, John H. Givens, James Foxall, John W. Grierson, Richard Groom, Henry Green, Ingvert Hansen, H. N. Hansen, Joel Hall, Temme Hinderks, William Hopkins, J. C. Hardman, James B. Jarvis, Alexander Kennedy, Alfred Jackson, Benjamin F. Kerr, Walter Kinney, James K. Kent, Joseph P. Knox, A. Kuykendall, Edward W. Knapp, Elias Land, Bronson L. Lewis, A. B. Kuykendall, David Lewis, Milton Lynch, Dorman Lewis, Isaac A. Morris, Jesse W. Nichols, J. F. Mintun, Marion Outhouse, James B. Prettyman. James Ogard, C. W. Prettyman, David E Powell,
The following missions agreed to by First Presidency and Twelve were indorsed [endorsed] in part; the others were referred to those quorums and agreed to after adjournment:
Z. H. Gurley, as circumstances and wisdom direct; Josiah Ells, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia; J. R. Lambert, Northern Iowa and Minnesota; J. H. Lake, J. L. Adams, B. V. Springer, Heman C. Smith, continued in last appointment; T. W. Smith, Eastern States; James Caffall, Kansas, Colorado, and Nebraska; A. H. Smith, Missouri and Southwestern Iowa; W. H. Kelley, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Canada; E. C. Briggs, Western States; W. W. Blair, Charles Derry, S. S. Wilcox, R. J. Anthony, Joseph Luff, G. E. Deuel, Utah Mission; M. H. Forscutt, Northern Illinois; E. C. Brand, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho; J. F. McDowell, Northern Illinois and Wisconsin; Charles Wickes, Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin; C. G. Lanphear, Hugh Lytle, S. W. Condit, D. M. Gamet, J. C. Crabb, J. M. Harvey, P. Cadwell, W. Baldwin, T. Carries, J. A. McIntosh, J. W. Chatburn, George Sweet, C. G. McIntosh, R. C. Elvin, H. J. Hudson, G. A. Blakeslee, W. H. Hazzeldine, James Whitehead, W. D. Morton, Sr., O. P. Dunham, H. P. Brown, Joseph Parsons, T. P. Green, A. M. Wilsey, George Derry, John Landers, W. B. Smith, J. H. Hansen, James McKiernan, J. M. Wait, E. M. Wildermuth, T. E. Jenkins, J. L. Buckingham, Glaud Rodger, as circumstances permit; J. A. Crawford, Missouri and Southern Iowa; David Lewis, Welsh Mission; G. S. Yerrington, referred to local authority; John Thomas, Arkansas and Northeast Texas; George Hyde, Central Nebraska and Little Sioux District; James Perkins, under James Caffall and J. R. Lambert; Duncan Campbell, Southern Iowa and Northern Missouri; Robert Davis, Michigan and Canada; J. S. Patterson, Northern Illinois; J. T. Davies
Joshua Prettyman, P. H. Reinsimar, James L. Richey, John M. Range, Andrew J. Seeley, H. P. Sherrard, G. R. Scogin, William Smith, Henry Stephens, George C. Smith, Lucius N. Streeter, Nicholas Taylor, P. L, Stephenson, H. L. Thompson, James Thompson, J. F. Thomas, John G. Vickery, Henry E. Webb, Levi Wilson, Hyrum Robinson, D. J. Wetherbee, Lyman Campbell, Henry Hershey, G. F. Waterman, John Gallup, A. F. Rudd, D. R. Buttrick, Adam Mortimer, Robert Ross, Jacob Snyder, J. T. Williamson, Robert Thrutchley, A. J. Fields, Martin Brown.
and M. T. Short, Southeastern Kansas and Southwestern Missouri; J. T. Phillips, Missouri; J. C. Foss, Maine and Rhode Island; J. W. Gillen, Australia; I. N. Roberts, Kansas; Joseph Lakeman, Maine and New Brunswick; F. C. Warnky, Magnus Fyrando, released; D. H. Bays, released subject to inquiry by First Presidency; A. J. Cato, released subject to inquiry by his quorum; J. C. Clapp, Oregon and Washington; C. N. Brown, New York and Massachusetts; J. W. Bryan, Texas; W. T. Bozarth and G. T. Griffiths, Missouri and Southern Iowa; Columbus Scott, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio; R. M. Elvin, Southwestern Iowa, Southeastern Nebraska, Northwestern Missouri, and Northeastern Kansas; James Brown, West Virginia, and Ohio; Thomas Taylor, president of European Mission; P. N. Brix, Danish Mission.
October 13, the Mount Pisgah Branch was organized in Perry County, Indiana, by Elder B. V. Springer. The Welsh Mission held a conference at Aberaman October 26. The business was of local character.
In the Herald for October 15 the editor gave an account of his visit to Decatur County, Iowa, which will be of interest in showing progress to that time, and by comparison show subsequent progress to the present. He wrote, among other things, the following:
Though only two years had passed since the editor was there, the country had assumed a more matured look. Thrift and more careful management were visible in every direction. The farm houses seemed whiter and cleaner; the yards seemed less littered up, and it was with some misgivings that the editor asked himself the question, Is this the same country that I visited two years ago? Many of the faces of landscape and people had changed, and that for the better. Some of the latter, looking quite familiar, were pleasant and cheerful, compared with themselves as seen the two years before. . . Sheds had been repaired, fences seemed to have been fixed up; wells were putting off the half sunken condition in which too many were seen before. Some attempt at ornamentation had been made here and there; and altogether the first notes were encouraging.
The Leon and Mount Ayr Railway is at present writing within a mile or two of completion to Mount Ayr, by the way of Davis City and the Colony. A town has been laid out in Fayette Township, and an assurance received from the railway people that it shall be called Lamoni. A
petition largely signed is on its way to Washington, asking for a change of the name of the post-office from Sedgwick to Lamoni. The location of the new one will be about one and a half miles north and west of the present one,4 and Bro. Samuel H. Gurley will most probably be the postmaster. Bro. Volentine White, carpenter and builder, formerly of Sandwich, Illinois, has the honor of erecting the first house in the new town, though others are expecting to follow him at once.
About this time the people in Utah became greatly agitated over the publication of the last testimony of Emma Smith. (See volume 3, pages 353-8.)
Joseph F. Smith, son of Hyrum Smith, seems to have been put forward to collect testimony to rebut the testimony of the prophet's wife. He appeared in the Deseret Evening News of October 18 with quite an array of statements and affidavits from different parties all given with a view to implicate Joseph Smith with polygamy, or spiritual wifery. Some of them if true certainly ought to have been published long before.
President Joseph Smith replied at some length to this effort of his cousin in the Herald for November 15, 1879.
In Herald for November 15 the following notice was published regarding the presidency of the Pacific Slope Mission:
The semiannual General Conference accepted the resignation of Bro. D. S. Mills, as president of the Pacific Slope Mission, leaving the matter in the hands of the Presidency. Until further action is had by the Presidency, or the General Conference, the work in California will be left in the charge of the local district presidents; with the instruction that those districts send their presidents, or others chosen by them as delegates, to the next April conference to be held for the mission to confer together as to what should be done for the best interests of the work.
Our reason for this action is, there is no one in the East at our disposal who is suitable to send in the present emergency. Added to this, so much has been expended by the California Saints for eastern interference that we deem it prudent to avoid further draft upon them.
Should there be a necessity for further continuation of mission organization in California, a president, or presiding elder may be chosen at the spring session with a full concurrence of all the branches, ascertained by vote at their respective district conferences to be held prior to the said
4The old office of Sedgwick was near the present residence of Elder John Hatcher.
April session. In the meantime we counsel forbearance and Christian treatment of one another.
W. W. BLAIR.
November 17, Elder Spencer Smith, one of the first missionaries of the Reorganization to Texas, died at his home near Oakdale, Nebraska.
On November 19 Elder R. Kendrick, of London, England, wrote of three successive debates held in that city between himself and an Elder Russell Dick, of the Christian Church. He was well pleased with results, and spoke hopefully of prospects. He also gave notice of the organization of Lyme Grove Branch.
November 20, President W. W. Blair wrote from Columbus, Nebraska, that Elders Charles Derry, Joseph Luff, R. J. Anthony, G. E. Deuel, and himself were on their way to Utah. On the 24th he wrote again from Salt Lake City, Utah, that they had arrived there and had arranged for Elder Derry to labor at Ogden, Elder Deuel at Beaver, Elder Luff at Provo, Elder Anthony at Logan, Utah, and Malad, Idaho, and himself at Salt Lake City.
On November 27, President Blair wrote an open letter to John Taylor, then president of the church in Utah, setting forth the purpose of the missionaries, and and what they expected to teach. 5
5 Having been appointed by the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of latter Day Saints, in connection with six other missionaries, to labor as ministers for Christ in Utah and the adjoining States and Territories, I have deemed it proper to inform you, the president of the Utah Mormon church, that our coming and labors are with the design and purpose of promoting the glory of our God and his Christ in the salvation of souls, to inculcate the love of man for his race, and for the peace, the good order, and the integrity of society as provided for under the Constitution, the laws, and the accredited authorities of our nation.
We have come to teach the principles of life and salvation just as they are taught in the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, and in the Nauvoo edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.
It is our purpose to advocate and maintain "Mormonism," as it is found in those books, and to earnestly protest against all doctrines, principles, and practices that are contrary to them, or not clearly provided for by them; and as a consequence we shall teach that all that is essential to full salvation and glory in Christ is plainly and faithfully set forth in these books by which all who have them are to be finally judged at the bar of God.
We shall teach that polygamy is not only no part of Christ's gospel, but that it is utterly subversive of it; and this we hope to do, not in bitterness, nor with ridicule, neither with railing accusation, but in the spirit of truth and love.
We shall teach that "the blood of Jesus Chris cleanseth us from all sin," and that
December 2, he wrote that he and his colaborers had organized the Utah mission with W. W. Blair, presiding; Robert Warnock, financial agent, and Joseph Foreman, secretary.
"blood-atonement," or human sacrifice for sin, to idolatrous murder-a relic of barbarism -and should be treated as such.
We shall teach that the Adam-god doctrine is a blasphemous and hurtful heresy, being contrary to the Holy Scriptures, and repugnant to all that is worthy the name of religion.
We shall teach that tithing the poor is anti-Christian, is squarely against the letter and spirit of the gospel of Christ, is contrary to the dictates of right, reason, and the common instincts of humanity, and is in direct violation of the laws and provisions for tithing as taught by Joseph the Seer, by the Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Mormon.
We shall teach that "vengeance" belongeth alone to God, and that none but God and civil rulers are or can be justified in executing wrath and judgment upon offenders, either in respect to person or property.
We shall teach that all men, whether religious or otherwise, should heartily honor, and faithfully support the laws and accredited authorities of those nations and countries where they reside.
We shall teach that the true "endowment" under the gospel of Christ, is that of the Holy Spirit in all spiritual grace and gifts; in all spiritual peace, and comfort, and love; and in all spiritual power, and knowledge, and wisdom; and that it is, and is to be effected, not by robings, scenic display, grips, covenants, and oaths, nor in secrecy; but that it is wrought solely, and only, by the Spirit of God upon the heart and in the soul of those who come into right relations with God, as in the case of Moses and the seventy elders at Sinai; of the apostles and saints on Pentecost, at Jerusalem; of the Nephites on this continent (Nephi, chapter 9); and that of Joseph the Seer and Saints at Kirtland, Ohio, in the winter of 1836, described in the "Messenger and Advocate" and in the 15th volume "Millennial Star."
We shall teach that the sufferings of the Saints by persecution and otherwise is not solely the result of their righteousness, but that it has been, and is, largely of the bad counsels of unwise leaders. and because of their disobedience towards the laws of God and the laws of the land.
We shall teach that when God's people serve him aright, he will "make their enemies to be at peace with them," and will "soften the hearts" of the people toward them, and give them "favor and grace in their eyes" that they "may rest in peace and safety," as prophesied by Joseph the Seer. (Doctrine and Covenants 102: 7.)
We shall teach that the Reorganized Church under the presidency of Joseph, the eldest son of the Seer, has enjoyed such "favor and grace," such "peace and safety," for the last near twenty years, notwithstanding the odium that has been brought upon the sacred name of the church by polygamy, disloyalty, and kindred evils, so that at Independence and throughout Missouri, at Nauvoo and throughout Illinois, in Iowa, Nebraska, and elsewhere, the best classes of citizens, in large numbers, are asking our people to settle among them, which is being done in many places with most gratifying results
We shall teach that Joseph Smith, eldest son of Joseph the Seer, is the divinely called and appointed successor of his father in the presidency of the Church of Jesus of Latter Day Saints, as provided for in the laws, the prophetic promises and the traditions of the church.
Finally, we shall teach that all who profess to be Saints should emulate the love, the gentleness, the quiet submission, the sinless purity, and the enlightening, ennobling spirituality of Christ our Savior, and that none should follow any minister only as such do truly follow Christ in his moral precepts and in his doctrinal requirements.
Trusting in the kind providences of our heavenly Father, in the saving light and power of his Son Jesus Christ, and in the comfort and guidance of the Holy Spirit. we shall
December 4, Elder William Clayton, of the church in Utah, once quite prominent in the church, and whose name was associated with the introduction of polygamy (see volume 3, page 348), died at Salt Lake City.
On December 20 the Bishop issued a notice concerning church property and reports, which was published in the Herald. 6
President Hayes, in his message to the Forty-sixth Congress, had the following to say on the subject of polygamy in Utah:
enter upon our labor of love, humbly asking such aid and encouragement as all lovers of truth and right can give.
If agreeable to you, we would be pleased to have an interview with you at your earliest convenience, that we may have a free and full interchange of views and sentiments in respect to all matters of difference, or otherwise, relating to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
In conclusion, dear sir, accept my unfeigned well wishes and earnest prayers for the welfare of yourself and the people over whom you preside. Very truly,
W. W. BLAIR.
6Those concerned will please take notice that the General conference of April, 1878, adopted a recommendation of its committee, whereby it is required that all those "having charge of church property" should "value the same and forward to the Bishop the report of such valuation, and that all property not yet deeded to the church . . . be alike valued and proper deeds made, as provided in the church articles."
No Such reports were made to me prior to the April conference of 1879, consequently I could not present them when called upon there, nor have I received any since. Therefore, I now urge upon the attention of the brethren concerned, the necessity and importance of complying with the above requirement of the General Conference, and I request them to send in their reports by the lst of March, 1880, without fail.
TO BISHOPS AGENTS.
At the April conference of 1878 it was made requisite that Bishop's agent's should render annual itemized accounts to me, for presentation to the General Conference, and yet but a few agents complied with this law. Then, in April, 1879, the General Conference further required that the agents should not only make out itemized reports, but that these reports should be published as are the itemized reports of the Bishop, these to be published annually. The resolution reads as follows: "Resolved, That we require of the Bishop of the church a report through the "Herald," or in a supplement sheet, an itemized report of the means received and paid out by the agents, with the names of the donors and to whom paid, and that this report be made annually."
I therefore call the attention of the agents to this matter, and urge that they pay heed to it, all of them. From the first of March, 1879, to the first of March, 1880, every item of receipt and of expenditure should be given in their reports to me, giving names of persons or branches (if by branch collection) giving, and the names of those to whom anything has been paid. Where an agent has resigned and another has succeeded him the books of the former will show the facts, and the report should embrace them the same from the date named. Be prompt and accurate, brethren, and send in your reports immediately after March 1, 1880, so that they can be arranged, copied, and prepared for presentation to the conference, and for publication.
ISRAEL L. ROGERS, Presiding Bishop
SANDWICH, Illinois, December 20, 1879.
The continued deliberate violation by a large number of the prominent and influential citizens of the territory of Utah of the laws of the United States for the prosecution and punishment of polygamy demands the attention of every department of the Government. This Territory has a population sufficient to entitle it to admission as a State. The general interests of the nation, as well as the welfare of the citizens of the Territory, require its advance from the territorial form of government to the responsibilities and privileges of a State. This important change will not, however, be approved by the country while the citizens of Utah, in very considerable number, uphold a practice which is condemned as a crime by the laws of all civilized communities throughout the world. The law for the suppression of this offense was enacted with great unanimity by Congress more than seventeen years ago but has remained until recently a dead letter in the territory of Utah because of the peculiar difficulties attending its enforcement. The opinion widely prevailed among the citizens of Utah that the law was in contravention of the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom.
This objection is now removed. The supreme court of the United States has decided the law to be within the legislative power of Congress, and binding, as a rule of action, for all who resided within the Territories. There is no longer any reason for delay or hesitation in its enforcement. It should be firmly and effectively executed. If not sufficiently stringent in its provisions, it should be amended, and in aid of the purpose in view, I recommend that more comprehensive and more searching methods for preventing as well as punishing this crime be provided.
If necessary to secure obedience to the law, the enjoyment and exercise of the rights and privileges of citizenship in the Territories of the United States may be withheld or withdrawn from those who violate or oppose the enforcement of the law on this subject.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 27, pp. 6, 7.
December 22, a debate was held at Limerick, Ohio, between Reverend Doctor Redfern of the Christian Union Order and Elder L. R. Devore, followed by good results. The same day Reese Creek Branch, Montana, was reorganized by E. C. Brand and on the 30th Willow Creek Branch was organized by same person.
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