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IN January, 1888, appeared the first number of Autumn Leaves, a magazine published by Mrs. M. Walker, by the consent and approval of the Board of Publication, and intended for the benefit of the young. We extract from the salutatory as follows:
In presenting to our patrons this first number of Autumn Leaves, we deem it necessary to offer a few words explanatory of its purpose and aim. Though published in the immediate interest of the young, it will not be confined to such interests as alone pertain to the halcyon days of youth, overlooking the fact that by the swift passing away of these, our young men enter upon the stern battle of life, assuming all its grave responsibilities and cares; our merry, light-hearted girls become wives and mothers, thus entering a new world, as it were, where at the very outset they are met by grave responsibilities and cares. . . .
To so lead the minds of our young people that they may be expanded in view of what the greatness of God and his marvelous creations are, and to a realizing sense that the greater light which we as a people have, calls upon us and them for greater humility and faithfulness, and imposes upon us and them greater obligations to holiness of heart and life, is one great object we have in view; and this is all that we need be concerned about, for God will take care of the rest; and if at the end of the race we are worthy, we shall be crowned. . . .
Nature, in her grandeur and magnificence, is but a living revelation to us of the loving care God has over all his works. From her open volume in the springtime we read the promise of summer, and in summer we watch the maturing of that promise; and when the winds of autumn begin to stir among the leaves, and we see them falling around us one by one, clothed in colors which no artist's hand can rival, each one as it falls to the ground or is borne away, on the free breeze of heaven, warns us that summer is ended, her mission of bounty accomplished, and the time of rest for the earth is near. The falling leaves are like the whispering of angels or the rustling of the robes of that mighty host, soon, very soon to attend the Son of Man in his return to the earth; and as one by one they fall, singly or in showers, let us watch them well, for not until the last one has fallen will the opening heavens reveal him; then, but not till then, will he come with a shout, and with the voice of the archangel.
Jesus admonished his disciples to watch, and told them of many things which should precede his coming. We are living in the age in which these things are being fulfilled, the autumn of time; and, as events are transpiring in the great world in which we live, clearly pointing to the speedy coming of Christ, let us watch them in their fulfillment; watch them while we labor and wait for the last leaf to fall from the branches of the prophetic tree, for with its falling will be ushered in a new dispensation, in which all Israel shall be saved; "for the Deliverer shall come out of Zion, and turn away ungodliness from Jacob."
Therefore, dear boys and girls, it shall be our earnest endeavor to prepare every page of Autumn Leaves with reference to your days of manhood and womanhood as carefully as for the present hour, and while striving to guide you into the path of purity, honor, fidelity, and truth, we shall bear in mind that there is beyond this world a stage of action for which the present time is intended to fit you, that you may take part in its triumph and enter into its rest.
The position which you occupy is a peculiar one, for you are living in a day when the people of God, as in days of old, have committed two evils: they have forsaken God, "the fountain of living waters, and have hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water."
This magazine has continued its monthly issues under the same editorial charge until the present, though its ownership has been transferred to the church, and it is now issued under the auspices of the Board of Publication.
On January 1 the Victoria District, Australia, was organized under the direction of T. W. Smith, of the Quorum of Twelve, and on the same day Elder Joseph F. Burton was ordained to the office of seventy by T. W. Smith. On the occasion of this ordination there was a peculiar experience, related by Elder Smith:
I never had such an experience before, nor ever heard of any one else having the same. In the opening prayer of the meeting, which was for sacrament, prayer, and testimony and ordinadinations [ordinations], I was led to pray that the angel of the Lord might assist in the ordinations. I had never had such a thought before, but I now remember that I felt the same influence in ordaining Bro. John C. Foss to the same office.
Elder Burton says of this experience:
On Sunday, January 1, at three in the afternoon, after opening the meeting by singing, and prayer by Bro. T. W. Smith, in which he asked God to bless him in the ordinations to be performed, and to assist him by permitting a heavenly messenger to lay on hands with him, while he should ordain me to the office of seventy; and while his hands were upon my forehead and the back part of my head, I felt a slight pressure upon the top and right side of my head, as though four hands were upon my head. As soon as the ordination was over, I felt clearly and distinctly a circle of fire around my head about where the rim of my hat came, which feeling remained clearly through the remainder of the day, and gradually lessening, yet was distinctly noticeable the next day and whenever I would speak of it; and with it a calm, happy feeling, which I think is testimony, to me that Bro. T. W. Smith is accepted by God in his office and work, and that God desires me to be faithful and true to his covenant so that I may wear the crown of life with the redeemed.
About the first of January there was a discussion at Malad, Idaho, between Elder R. M. Elvin and the Reverend M. T. Lamb, who recently published a book called the "Golden Bible," the purposes of which was to refute the claims of the Book of Mormon. A correspondent of the Salt Lake. Herald from Malad says in regard to this:
Malad is wild with the lecture fever. People of all denominations flock from their homes and trudge through blinding snow-storms to listen to the Reverends Lamb and Elvin from night to night. The large and spacious court-room proves to be entirely too small to accommodate those desiring admission, and it is safe to say that if the court-room was as large again it would be packed from night to night.
Under date of January 4, Elder Joseph Dewsnup, President of the Manchester District, wrote from Manchester, England, in which he gave the following wholesome rebuke to those who write for church publications reflecting upon earthly governments:
I may here mention a matter that I believe to be important to the work in this country. I allude to the occasional appearance of letters in your pages from brethren on this side of the water, and others who pay us a
visit now and again, and then give your readers the benefit of their opinions to the disparagement of the country in general, and our present government in particular. I do not indorse [endorse] the sentiments of such writers and deprecate such statements when they take the form of political bias. Personally I do not like to see the church paper used for the propagation of political animus. I love the church of Christ enough to enable me to sink myself politically, having no desire to see membership of the church wrecked upon the rock of current politics. Let every man exercise his rights of citizenship in that manner which he believes to be best calculated to benefit his country and most likely to enhance the interests of our God-given church, leaving others to do the same, without imputing stupidity or unworthy motives to any one. We want a non-political pulpit and a non-political press so far as present politics are concerned.
In regard to church work, Elder Dewsnup wrote as follows:
Retrospectively, we have great cause for thankfulness. The past year has been the most successful one we have heretofore experienced in connection with the Lord's work in the Manchester District, while prospectively we have commenced the year 1888 with higher anticipations of progressive work in behalf of the Master than we ever had before. Reports from every side are encouraging.
On January 8 Elder William Anderson, formerly one of the missionary force, and one of the early missionaries to Utah and the West, died in Oakland, California.
The Salt Lake Tribune of January 19 gave the following notice of the preaching of President Joseph Smith in Salt Lake City:
Joseph Smith, delivered an eloquent sermon Sunday evening, at the Josephite chapel, to a full house. He spoke guardedly, but to the point, and his arguments were full of force and power. The speaker cited numerous illustrations of divine displeasure with polygamy, both in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and made a strong argument from the fact that section three [Kirtland edition, section 101] of the Doctrine and Covenants was cut out of the editions used in Utah in 1876. This section is on marriage and began about as follows: "Because of a certain reproach against this people we declare that a man shall have one wife, and a woman but one husband except at death, when the survivor may marry again." Mr. Smith wanted to know why this section has been excised which had been in the book since 1835. Most of the congregation could have told him why, but they didn't respond. The organization of the Mormon church under monogamic auspices, and in monogamic States, and how the revelations plainly showed that God intended to build up the church
under and in consonance with the laws of the land were plainly shown. "He that keepeth the law of God, keepeth the law of the land," is one of the principles of the Reorganized Church. If the prophet ever practiced polygamy, the speaker never knew it. Mr. Smith closed by reciting how he had successfully preached Mormonism in the very court-room where Joseph and Hyrum were arraigned, and had baptized even in Bear Creek. After the services a number of the Utah polygamous church members, who were present, shook hands with Mr. Smith pleasantly enough. Among these were Messrs. Wooley, Hatch, and Olsen, of the Legislature; Patriarch John Smith, and Proprietor Hall, of the Valley House.
January 25 Elder David Whitmer, one of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon, died at Richmond, Missouri. It is related by those who were with him in his last moments, that three days before his death Mr. Whitmer called his family and some friends to his bedside, and addressing himself to the attending physician, he said: "Doctor Buchanan, I want you to say whether or not I am in my right mind, before I give my dying testimony." The Doctor answered: "Yes, you are in your right mind, for I have just had a conversation with you." He then addressed himself to all around his bedside in these words:
Now you must all be faithful in Christ. I want to say to you all, the Bible and the record of the Nephites (Book of Mormon), is true, so you can say that you have heard me bear my testimony on my death-bed. All be faithful in Christ and your reward will be according to your works. God bless you all. My trust is in Christ for ever, world without end. Amen.
On January 29 the Saints' chapel at Logan, Iowa, was dedicated by Elder Charles Derry, assisted by Elders Phineas Cadwell and W. W. Whiting.
The San Francisco Call of January 30 mentions the work of President Joseph Smith in that city. The San Francisco Chronicle also gives favorable notice, each paper giving a synopsis of a discourse delivered by President Smith at a hall, number 71 New Montgomery Street.
February 6 a branch was organized at Stanberry, Missouri, by James Thomas, and on February 26 the Beaver Falls Branch was organized at Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.
On February 25 George P. Dykes, once an elder in the church, died at Zenas, Arizona. It will be remembered that Elder Dykes about twenty years before his death turned against the church and gave the elders laboring in California considerable trouble; but it appears that he relented before his death. John Y. Graumlich gives an account of an interview with him just prior to his death, in which he says: "We sat up nearly all night talking on the great plan of salvation, and nearly his last words to us was advice never to turn away from it, but to stand firm in the cause and defend it to the last."
March 3, 1888, a conference for the Southern California District adopted rules to govern a district Sabbath-school Association.
On March 26 Elder Joseph Dewsnup, of Manchester, England, wrote of the work and its prospects as follows: "Our influence is spreading for good. Conference convenes on Friday next. Our anticipations of success are large. God helping, we are determined that it shall be the best conference ever yet held in the district."
On March 27 the Quorum of Twelve met at Independence, Missouri, for the purpose of transacting business pertaining to the quorum prior to the convening of General Conference. At a session held March 30, Elder Heman C. Smith, called by the revelation of a year before, was ordained to the office of an apostle by President Joseph Smith, Apostles W. H. Kelley, and E. C. Briggs.
The General Conference convened at Independence, Missouri, on April 6. Joseph Smith and W. W. Blair presided; H. A. Stebbins was secretary, assisted by W. C. Cadwell and W. R. Sellon.
Addresses were made by Presidents Smith and Blair, and by E. C. Briggs, acting president of the Twelve. President Smith said:
The circumstances under which we are gathered are pleasant. The ground upon which we meet is historic, and it should be sacred to us. I am pleased to note that there has been a striking improvement among our people, and that improvement should continue. I trust that we shall remain together at this conference with the same impulse for good that has moved us to come together. If we shall patiently wait and quietly
move along we shall succeed without disruption. Only that which is honest and straight will be permitted to abide. I feel to congratulate the brethren upon the thought that the constant endeavor of the great majority who have been preaching has been to maintain righteousness and truth, both in word and in conduct. We can afford to be patient with those who differ from us, and more so with those who are of us.
President Blair said:
To me the whole outlook of the work is very promising. What a contrast this day is with our situation in 1856 to 1860, so great that we can hardly imagine the change. Then our number was few indeed and there were foes everywhere. The only source we could look to for aid was above. Old Saints said that the efforts of the Reorganized Church would be a failure, and, indeed, it had to face all the factions and their antagonisms. But we were conscious that we were in the right, and that all would work out well, for we looked above and trusted in God. The inspiration of the Spirit was with us and we were comforted by the testimony that the standard should not be permitted to fall; for God had lifted it up and it should triumph gloriously. Now the work stands higher than it ever did before, though we are largely misunderstood by the world and a good deal misrepresented. Still there are many who begin to think that there is some truth with us.
Elder E. C. Briggs said:
I believe that this will be one of the most important conferences we have ever held. In June, 1852, I attended the first conference that the Reorganized Church ever held. I was also the first elder of it that took the field to preach its faith. Now how different is the condition of things. Of the East I will say that in many cities of those States our people have a standing that is high, and they have places of worship and are known as being followers of God and Christ. I never saw the day when there was such a desire manifest to hear the word of life as there is now.
There were present of the ministry and reporting: Joseph Smith, W. W. Blair, A. H. Smith, J. H. Lake, James Caffall, J. R. Lambert, W. H. Kelley, J. W. Gillen, Joseph Luff, G. T. Griffiths, Heman C. Smith, Charles Derry, E. C. Brand, Duncan Campbell, J. T. Davies, J. C. Foss, J. S. Roth, A. H. Parsons, Henry Kemp, J. C. Clapp, Columbus Scott, M. T. Short, W. T. Bozarth, A. J. Moore, I. N. White, W. J. Smith, Peter Anderson, W. M. Rumel, R. S. Salyards, John A. Davies, Robert M. Elvin, Stephen Maloney, Alfred White, John Hawley, E. L. Kelley, J. W. Wight, H. H. Robinson, John Shippy, H. C. Bronson, Emsley Curtis, F. C. Warnky, Samuel Crum, James Thomas, and Warren E. Peak.
The following of the ministry reported by letter: T. W. Smith, J. F. Burton, R. J. Anthony, B. V. Springer, M. H. Bond, John Smith, D. S. Mills, E. M. Wildermuth, I. N. Roberts, H. N. Hansen, Thomas Daly, L. R. Devore, Arthur Leverton, R. C. Evans, Thomas Taylor, F. M. Sheehy, C. E. Brown, J. H. Merriam, Thomas Whiting, J. J. Cornish, Samuel Brown, Thomas Matthews, James Moler, G. W. Shute, F. P. Scarcliff, F. M. Cooper, I. M. Smith, A. J. Cato, D. L. Harris, W. M. Gibson, J. R. Badham, J. P. Knox, G. R. Scogin, John Shields, J. A. Currie, Jr., and David Scott.
These reports showed labor done in Utah, California, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Australia, Society Islands, Illinois, Minnesota, Canada, Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, Montana, Idaho, Kentucky, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Virginia, England, Nova Scotia, Indian Territory, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas.
The Church Secretary's report showed a gross gain in membership for the year of 2,614; a net gain of 1,442.
The report of the Board of Publication showed a net gain of $2,353.32 over last year's assessment.
The report of the committee on amendments to the Book of Rules, chapter thirteen, deferred from last conference, was taken up; and after some discussion and amendments the report was adopted.
1. In cases of offense or transgression, where redress by church trial is sought, or discipline required for the purpose of reclaiming the erring, the following rules of procedure should be observed:
2. Any person, a member of the church, who shall have been offended by another, whether such offense shall have been publicly or privately given, or any officer whose duty it is to examine into and settle differences between brethren, shall be entitled to proceed against the person so offending before any court of the church having jurisdiction, providing that such proceeding shall be commenced within one year from the time it becomes known that such offense has been committed: except in cases of felonies, as provided by the laws of the land, and where the statute of limitation does not run.
3. No member shall be entitled to proceed against another for an offense
before any church court whatever unless he shall first have made efforts to reconcile, or become reconciled to the member offending, as directed in the scriptures.
The steps required are:
The member offended shall seek opportunity to state his matter of grievance to the offending, as said by the Savior, "between him and thee alone." If explanation, apology, restitution, or reconciliation is not effected after candid and fair effort has been made by the one offended, then he shall take with him some teacher of the church, or, if such teacher is not obtainable, or is an interested party, a deacon if obtainable, otherwise a member, and shall try a second time to secure an adjustment of the difficulty existing, but shall not state the matter of grievance to such officer or member except in the presence of the party offending.
If no reconciliation shall be effected by this second visit and effort, the offended, if he shall so choose, may lay the matter before the presiding officer of the branch, or, if such presiding officer be not an elder or other officer in the Melchisedec line of authority, before the presiding elder of the district, or mission if it be not in an organized branch or district, who shall appoint from the eldership of the church such persons as may properly sit, to examine and try the case; or such court may be appointed by the branch.
4. When it shall be determined to call an offending member before a court of the church, the officer appointing the court, shall cause to be prepared the charge, or charges made against the accused in writing, stating definitely and specifically what the offense is charged to be, a copy of which shall be furnished the accused, if practicable, so that he may if he so desire, make settlement of the difficulty by reconciliation or otherwise, and avoid further action; this copy may be given to the accused by any teacher, or deacon, or member in the absence of said officers, or if left at his usual place of residence with a member of his family over eight years of age, it shall be held as given to him. Upon the failure of the accused to make restitution or explanation, the court shall be appointed, and shall proceed to examine and try the cause upon the charge, the original of which, or a copy thereof, shall be furnished them by the officer appointing them; they shall, also, give due notice to all parties of time and place when and where the trial shall be had as provided in Book of Rules. Where in cases persons can not meet together by reason of great distance between them of travel or other obstacle over which they have no control, and which is sufficient to prevent meeting in person, the work toward reconciliation and labor referred to herein may be done by written correspondence between the parties.
5. In case satisfaction shall not be given upon the examination and decision of any cause before an elders' court, an appeal from such decision may be had by the party aggrieved to the conference of the district, if the court was appointed by a branch officer, or to the Bishop's court:
or if the Bishop was present at the trial by the elders' court to the High Council if the matter has been first tried before the district authorities.
In all cases of appeal the person making the appeal must set forth clearly to the court to which appeal is made the reasons for such appeal. In case the appeal is made to the conference of the district, or to the Bishop's court, the court from which appeal is taken, or the branch or conference to which an elders' court have reported shall send at once upon receipt of notice of such appeal being taken, the papers and minutes of evidence and a copy of the proceedings of the court and cause the same to be filed with the court to which the appeal is taken.
In cases where a member has been adjudged guilty of an offense, for which the penalty has been suspension from church fellowship or church privileges, such person shall so remain as affected by the decision until a rehearing and reversal of the decision shall have been had upon the appeal.
In cases where appeal is taken to the High Council, the rule laid down in Doctrine and Covenants, governing such appeals shall obtain. In all such cases notice of appeal should be made to the Presidency by filing the notice in the office of the Secretary of the church and courts, branches and districts from which appeals to the High Council are made should upon notice of such appeal being taken, at once prepare minutes of evidence and copies of all the proceedings had of record by them.
Any party desiring to appeal from the decision of any court herein provided for, must give notice of the same to the officers of the court, branch or district interested within sixty days from the date of trial and decision of the court, and perfect said appeal within six months from the time of such trial and decision.
In all cases where a doubt is entertained in regard to where an appeal should properly be taken from decisions of original courts, reference should be made to the missionary in charge, and his counsel observed.
6. In all cases where the court, upon proper inquiry, finds the accused not guilty, or that there is no just cause for action, the decision, if approved by the branch or district conference, is to be final, and no member against whom charge has been made, so examined and decided as herein provided, shall be liable to further action upon said charge and offense. A new trial or rehearing of a case may be had by any defendant, or by either party to the action if the same is between two members, upon the discovery of fraud or new evidence, the existence of which was not known to the party suffering thereby nor the court at the time of the trial. Application for a new trial or rehearing upon this ground must be accompanied by a statement of the character of the fraud or evidence, and the same set forth clearly before the court, or the officer appointing the court, or his successor, who shall then proceed to the examination of the case as at the first, he being first satisfied that the evidence relied upon is new and sufficient to justify such procedure.
7. Nothing in the foregoing rules shall be construed to interfere with the rights and duties of those whose calling is to regulate the affairs of the church in all the world, as provided in the law of said church.
8. All rules, resolutions, or parts of the same contrary to the Book of Rules, and which are contrary to the foregoing provisions are hereby declared inoperative and void.
This is a mistake made in the published minutes. The effect of the resolution as adopted was that all resolutions, etc., found in the Book of Rules contrary to the foregoing, are declared inoperative and void.
At this conference the Twelve passed a resolution declaring that they would not recommend for missionary appointment any one addicted to the use of either tobacco or strong drink. The resolution was to take effect one year after date. The quorum also passed a resolution declaring that in the event of a necessity for rebaptism, ordinations prior thereto were null and void. These resolutions were indorsed [endorsed] by the conference.
A resolution was passed by conference declaring that the findings of a court of elders in a branch should be affirmed; but if a penalty be recommended by the court both affirmative and negative vote should be taken.
The committee appointed to consider the advisability of publishing a music book, reported, recommending the publication of the Saints' Harmony. The report was adopted and the Board of Publication was requested to proceed with the work.
Provision was made for the church to be represented at the Centennial Celebration of the World's Progress, to be held at Cincinnati, Ohio, in the summer of 1888; and Joseph Smith, W. W. Blair, G. A. Blakeslee, the missionary in charge of Ohio, and E. L. Kelley were appointed a committee to see that the interests of the church were cared for and the faith of the church properly set forth at said celebration.
The building committee for Independence Branch in behalf of the branch appealed to the conference asking that the Bishop be instructed to pay the amount of three thousand five hundred dollars to aid in meeting obligations incurred in erecting the church at that place and in completing the building.
This after discussion was denied. The Bishop was requested to solicit funds to aid in the completion of the Independence chapel.
Reports were presented from the several quorums.
The Seventy reported two lost by death since last report, namely, Alexander McCord and George S. Hyde. They recommended for ordination to the office of seventy the following: Thomas J. Beatty, Isaac M. Smith, Thomas Matthews, James Moler, Hyrum O. Smith, Martin M. Turpen, Hiram H. Robinson, Ulysses W. Greene, James A. Carpenter, John W. Wight, O. B. Thomas, Warren E. Peak.
The quorum selected to fill vacancies in the presidency of the quorum: Robert J. Anthony, Isaac N. White, John C. Foss. These nominations were all confirmed and their ordinations provided for.
The High Priests' Quorum presented for ordination to their quorum the following: William Leeka, David Chambers, Calvin A. Beebe, J. M. Putney, Asa S. Cochran, J. H. Peters, J. W. Waldsmith, W. C. Cadwell, C. E. Butterworth, William Anderson, J. A. Robinson, R. M. Elvin. These ordinations were referred to the First Presidency, the Quorum of Twelve, and the High Priests' Quorum. They reported back to the conference that in harmony with instructions received, they recommended that the matter be deferred until the next conference, and be made the special order for the fourth day of said session. This recommendation was adopted by the conference. 1
1The text of the instruction is as follows as given in council through President Joseph Smith.
WORDS OF THE SPIRIT.
The danger of the present crisis has been magnified. Misunderstanding has impugned the motives of brethren. This must be put away.
There is necessity for a High Council, not only in Zion, but also among Zion the pure in heart, that the church may be prepared for matters that can not be attended to by the traveling high council. It is acceptable that such High Council be organized. Those who have been chosen are accepted of God.
The matter referred to the council may be safely deferred till the ensuing conference. In the meantime let the members of the council inform themselves as to the law, and also obtain such light as may be given them, and it shall be made more clear at the next assembling.
As to who shall preside over the Twelve: Let A. H. Smith take charge for the coming year, with the consent and co-operation of his brethren.
With reference to the question of authority: There is no conflict in the law and there
The First Quorum of Elders reported the resignation of George Adams as a member of that quorum.
The Second Quorum of Elders reported the loss of William Anderson and Stephen Maloney by death, and the loss of W. E. Peak and J. W. Wight by ordination to the office of seventy; and the enrollment of C. A. Butterworth, S. W. Hogue, B. Kester, and Warren Turner to fill the vacancies.
The Third Quorum of Elders reported that they had dropped W. C. Kenyon, and enrolled J. T. Turner, B. Robinson, J. E. Malcolm, H. R. Harder, S. B. Robinson. O. P. Sutherland, and E. E. Bradley, making the quorum complete.
The Fourth Quorum of Elders reported losses as follows: James Foxall, J. T. Clark, D. A. Frampton, A. M. Caudell, by expulsion; B. F. Curr, P. H. Reinsimer, R. Thrutchly, and B. F. Baggs, by death; and H. H. Robinson by ordination to the seventy. They also reported the enrollment of E. L. Page, H. E. Goff, W. L. Booker, John Shippy, John McKenzie, E. B. Morgan, Moses W. Gaylord, Henry Holdsworth, and A. W. Thompson to fill the vacancies.
The Fifth Quorum of Elders reported that they had dropped P. P. Powell, and enrolled Abner Lloyd, Thomas Worrell, William Sparring, J. D. Erwin, B. A. Atwell, A. Haws, Samuel Brown, J. G. Smith, and V. D. Baggerly.
The First Quorum of Priests reported that they had dropped
should be none between the ministers of the law. There is danger, however, and that danger arises from misunderstanding; but time will dispel this. By an earnest seeking for wisdom a better understanding will be reached. Be at peace with each other, and be not afraid that the work will unduly suffer from the earnest, honest efforts of the ministry, whoever they may be.
Let the question respecting the epistle of the Twelve rest till next conference. Place it on record so that all may be informed concerning it. Be not urgent, nor over persistent, in the exercise of authority, for that begets antagonism, and antagonism brings darkness.
The division that now exists in the council results from misunderstanding.
The ministry must bear patiently with each other till unity be reached.
The watchmen in Zion should see eye to eye.
Thus far I have spoken under the impression of the Spirit, in answer to my prayers and the prayers of my brethren. Of myself I add:
In your ministrations do not animadvert upon the work of others. If rumors arise seek each other and quietly and frankly talk matters over, and you will find that much of the trouble will be dissipated. Do not reflect unkindly upon the work or policy of your fellow laborers. Do not take for granted all that you hear. Be patient and forbearing with each other, and be at peace with yourselves and with your coministers everywhere.
Given at Independence, Missouri, April 17,1888. H. A. STEBBINS, Clerk of Council.
Approved by President Smith, May 17,1888.
Charles A. Wickes because he had been expelled from the church, and enrolled J. A. Allison.
The Second Quorum of Priests was organized at this conference by the selection of T. R. White for president, U. A. Austin and S. D. Shippy as counselors, and G. E. Harrington as clerk. The president and his counselors were ordained according to recommendation. The following were enrolled in this quorum: John W. Peterson, Talmon R. White, Usellus A. Austin, Saleda D. Shippy, James S. Tankard, Daniel Donovan, Seth W. Farrow, William P. Brents, Henry J. Jamison, Charles W. Sifton, Isaac Phillips, Andrew J. Taylor, George E. Harrington, Moses Welsh, Thomas R. Williams, Edward D. Bennett, Frank P. Schnell, Samuel A. Reeve, Charles R. Green, Fred G. Dungee, David S. Seavy, W. Dowker, William Cairns, Peter N. Surbrook, William F. Clark, Seth M. Bass, John S. Parrish, Jacob L. Gunsolley, William D. Bullard, John A. Stromberg, Edward Charlton, John Wahlstrom, George Booth, Barton W. Dempster, William E. Coiner, Asel A. Hall, Russell B. Archibald, Simpson C. Gruver, Thomas Whitford, Thomas W. Williams, Newton W. Best, Walter H. Barrett, Curtis Randall, G. A. Graves, Thomas Rawson, Erwin C. Perthel, Hugh Harvey. Total 48.
The First Quorum of Teachers was also organized at this conference, by the selection of B. J. Scott as president, F. W. Barbee and Henry Sparling as counselors; G. H. Hidy, secretary. The following were enrolled in this quorum: B. J. Scott, John Kennedy, F. W. Barbee, W. S. McMullin, Josiah M. Curtis, Martin S. Frick, Fred J. Gerber, James A. Burnham, John Inman, Peter Simpson, Frederick Peterson, Joel W. Mooney, Peter L. Case, Henry Sparling, G. H. Hidy, Joseph Hammer, Joseph Schmutz, Thompson Cochran, Willard Wells, G. W. Leach, C. J. Hunt, William Brentham, Franklin Wiley, John B. Cline.
The epistle of the Twelve, written a year before, was reëxamined by the quorum, some slight amendments made, and presented to the conference, as follows:
The Quorum of Twelve wish to inform you that they have carefully examined their epistle of April, 1887, made a few corrections, and then unanimously indorsed [endorsed] it. They then presented it to the Quorum of
Seventy, who after due consideration reported that they had approved of it by a unanimous vote. We now present it to the body for their consideration.
The following preambles and resolution was passed by the quorum: "Whereas, it is reported to us that there is a misunderstanding of, and opposition to our last epistle relating to the prerogative and duties of district presidents by a respectful number of the church; and Whereas, We have no disposition to fasten this or any other view held by us on the church contrary to its own will; and Whereas, We believe our positions to be substantially correct; therefore, be it Resolved, That we submit our last epistle, as amended, to the General Conference, and ask its indorsement [endorsement] thereon."
It is as follows:
EPISTLE OF THE TWELVE.
To the Saints Scattered Abroad; Greeting: We congratulate you at the auspicious beginning of this another conference year; and we feel confident that you will join with us in the feeling of thankfulness and good cheer which has, in the providence of God, come to us as a church.
The year with its duties, anxieties, and cares, its successes and failures, times of rejoicing and seasons of sorrow, is past; its closing being the occasion of one of the pleasantest and most profitable and encouraging sessions of General Conference that the church has ever held.
The members were more than ordinarily of one heart and purpose-unity characterizing each work performed-so much so that the "yeas" and "nays" were not called for in a single instance during the entire session! God recognizing this oneness of spirit and purity of purpose, deigned to reveal himself in answer to our prayers, in respect to most essential and important matters connected with our duties and work as a church, and signified the names of those approved by him to occupy the office of apostle, that the Quorum of Twelve might be more nearly filled. Thus a need long since felt has been supplied, and we are greatly cheered and encouraged that others have been called to share in the burdens, duties, and responsibilities of this ministry. Our petitions having been answered by our heavenly Father, giving instruction upon such things as were engendering evil, division and discord among the Saints, to the end that unity and concord might obtain throughout the churches, in feeling, theory, and practice; together with the thought that he does most assuredly regard us as his church and people, must be received with thankfulness and rejoicing of heart, among the Saints, in every place, and should tend to confirm them in the faith, and lead to a renewal of their covenants and diligence in the work.
We are admonished of the responsibilities, and important trust conferred upon us, and what is required at our hands as laborers in the Lord's vineyard, and we purpose to renew our efforts and activity, so far as may be, and we ask the prayers and confidence of the Saints that this
purpose may be executed in the way that will best serve the interests of the church.
The work of restoring the grand old Temple, built by divine commandment, and long since left to the winds and wastes of time, deserted, to be pillaged by the irreverent and thoughtless, has been nearly completed, in keeping with the work of restoring peculiar to the Reorganization, and is now made a pleasant and delightful place in which to worship. The repairing done reflects credit upon the committee which had it in charge, and the small indebtedness incurred thereby, should be promptly and cheerfully lifted. The Saints may well feel glad that they can no longer be justly reproached for a seeming want of interest in the house appointed by God to be built to his name.
The financial condition of the church is in a healthy state, showing an increased faith, confidence, and interest among the Saints concerning tithes and offerings, which gives encouragment [encouragement] to the thought that the church will soon be able to put the whole of her available ministry into the field.
With hearts full of gratitude to God and love toward you and with unfaltering faith and confidence in our holy religion, we invoke the blessings of God upon you and his work everywhere, praying that prosperity, and a renewal of confidence and effort may come to the church throughout the whole world. As a means of better understanding our respective duties, and with a view of coming to a greater unity of action, and avoiding misunderstanding and strife, we commend the following statements, declarations and definitions, for the guidance of district presidents and all whom it may concern:
1. The law of God provides for general presiding officers in the church, and also for presidents of branches: but it contains no provision for the office known as "district president." This office should, therefore, be considered as an outgrowth in organization, the object of which is to perform work not specially provided for in the law, and to assist in the discharge of duties and obligations which, by law, are imposed upon other officers of the church.
2. Presidents of districts, according to the custom which has heretofore obtained, hold and exercise their presidency, solely by virtue of selection by vote; hence they have no right to direct, or control any except those who placed this presiding responsibility upon them. A simple choice, only, made by any body of Saints, can not bestow authority to do the work which is clearly provided for in the revelations of God, and which is assigned to other officers of the church.
3. The branch organization with a presiding elder, a priest, teacher and deacon, to perform the respective duties necessary for the welfare of such organization, is clearly provided for in the law; and if, from any cause, these branches need to be set in order, the law also provides for this emergency, and assigns the duty of setting in order, or regulating, to another class of officers, whose duties and prerogatives are clearly
defined. It follows, then, that the rights and duties of presidents of districts are outside of the above named provisions; and that they can not regulate, or set in order, the branches of the church, except by invitation, request, or direction, of those to whom this work properly belongs. It is evident, therefore, that the leading duties of presidents of districts are to open up new fields of labor; encourage and stimulate to activity the ministry in their respective districts, who are not burdened with branch duties, or who are not under general church appointment, and, so far as possible, aid all classes of ministers, in an advisory way, in order that the greatest possible degree of good may result from their labors in the respective localities where they are required to operate.
4. It is their duty to preside over district conferences, by the voice of said conferences, when there is no member of the "traveling, presiding high council" present, a seventy under special direction from him, or others whose right and privilege it is to preside by reason of their position and standing in the church. They should be as conversant with the needs and demands of the branches as their circumstances will permit; and should aid by counsel, when called upon, in any work which properly belongs to branch officers. It is not necessary, however, that he should travel from branch to branch, in one constant round, dictating and directing in branch affairs, and thus become an expensive burden while attempting to do that class of work which clearly belongs to branch and general church officials.
In connection with the above, we call attention to the two following questions which have disturbed and divided the Saints, in some localities, and which were duly referred to us for consideration and decision.
First. Resolved, That it is our opinion that in all cases where faith and repentance are professed, and baptism administered by one having proper authority, that we can not assume the motive of the person baptized to have been evil because of subsequent transgression; but due diligence should be exercised by church officials, to honor the law contained in Doctrine and Covenants, section 17, paragraph 7; and section 42, paragraph 20.
Second. Whereas, There is a divided opinion with reference to the meaning of the law contained in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, section 42, paragraph 7, which reads as follows: "Thou shalt not commit adultery; and he that committeth adultery and repenteth not shall be cast out; but he that has committed adultery and repents with all his heart, and forsaketh it, and doeth it no more, thou shalt forgive; but if he doeth it again, he shall not be forgiven, but shall be cast out." Therefore, be it resolved, That it is our decision that the law of God requires the church to forgive once upon confession; and that a second offense, demanding excommunication, can not be committed until after the guilty parties have been once forgiven of the crime charged.
May the spirit of wisdom, and the love of the truth abide with the
faithful everywhere, is the prayer of your coworkers in the vineyard of the Lord. Respectfully submitted,
HEMAN C. SMITH, Secretary pro tem.
After considerable discussion it was deferred to be made the special order for the fourth day of the next session.
The following missionary appointments were made:
Thomas W. Smith, Australia and Society Islands. James Caffall, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico. Alexander H. Smith, Northern Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Dakota, and Manitoba. W. H. Kelley, New England States, New York, New Jersey, and Eastern Pennsylvania. James W. Gillen, Southern Illinois, Southern Indiana, Eastern Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Joseph R. Lambert, Iowa and Missouri. Joseph Luff, Missouri and Kansas. Heman C. Smith, Pacific Slope, comprising California, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, and Washington Territory. John. H. Lake, Canada. E. C. Briggs, Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. Gomer T. Griffiths, Virginia and West Virginia. R. J. Anthony, Rocky Mountain Mission. R. M. Elvin, Rocky Mountain Mission. Joseph F. McDowell, Far West District. Duncan Campbell, Southern Iowa and Northern Missouri. Isaac N. Roberts, Southwestern Mission, comprising Texas, Western Louisiana, and Indian Territory. Hiram L. Holt, Oregon and Washington Territory. Peter Anderson, Rocky Mountain Mission. John T. Davies, Wales. John Condit, Idaho. Willard J. Smith, Canada and Michigan. M. H. Bond, Eastern Mission. Joseph C. Clapp, Rocky Mountain Mission and Eastern Oregon. E. A. Davies, Wales. J. A. Davies, Kansas. J. Arthur Davies, Little Sioux and Pottawattamie Districts, Iowa. W. E. Peak, Little Sioux and Pottawattamie Districts, Iowa. L. R. Devore, Southeastern Ohio and West Virginia. R. C. Evans, Canada. J. C. Foss in A. H. Smith's field. Thomas E. Jenkins, Wales. Henry Kemp, Fremont District, Iowa. James McKiernan Northeastern Missouri District, with privilege in Nauvoo and String Prairie District. A. J. Moore, Southwestern Mission. J. S. Roth, Eastern Iowa and Des Moines Districts. R. S. Salyards, Pittsburg [Pittsburgh] and Kirtland District. Columbus Scott, Michigan and Northern Indiana.
F. M. Sheehy, New England States. M. T. Short, Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. John Smith, Massachusetts District. B. V. Springer, West Virginia. W. M. Rumel, Nebraska. John Thomas, Kentucky and Tennessee. W. T. Bozarth, Des Moines District, Iowa. E. C. Brand, Kansas. I. N. White, Independence District. E. M. Wildermuth, Southern Wisconsin. T. J. Beatty, Southeastern Ohio and West Virginia. I. M. Smith, Southern Illinois. Thomas Matthews, Virginia and West Virginia. James Moler, Virginia and West Virginia. H. O. Smith, Nebraska. M. M. Turpen, Southern Iowa and Northern Missouri. H. H. Robinson, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. U. W. Greene, Maine. James A. Carpenter, Northern Michigan. J. G. Scott, Southern Indiana. M. R. Scott, Southern Indiana. Vardeman Baggerly, Southern Indiana. Thomas Taylor, English Mission. Samuel Brown, Canada. James A. McIntosh, Canada. John Shields, Canada. David E. Lander, Oregon and Washington Territory. S. W. L. Scott, Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. J. J. Cornish, Northern Michigan. Charles E. Butterworth, Gallands Grove District, Iowa. Rudolph Etzenhouser, St. Louis District. William Gibson, Southern California. Andrew Barr, Northern Michigan. James Brown, Pittsburg [Pittsburgh] and Kirtland District. A. J. Cato, Arkansas. James Wedlock, Gallands Grove District, Iowa. J. E. Holt with James McKiernan. P. B. Seaton, Tennessee. W. S. Pender, Wisconsin. Levi Phelps, Northern Michigan. E. E. Wheeler, Western Minnesota and Southeastern Dakota. Robert L. Ware, Central Missouri District. William Newton, English Mission. George W. Shute, Kansas. John T. Kinneman, Far West District, Missouri. Nicholas Stamm, Pella, Iowa, and vicinity. J. L. Goodrich, Northeastern Kentucky. James Thomas, Nodaway District, Missouri. T. J. Martin, Northwestern Minnesota District. F. M. Cooper, Northern Illinois District. C. G. Lanphear, Western New York. George Shimel, Des Moines District, Iowa. C. H. Porter, Southern Nebraska District. Albert Haws, Northern California. Hiram Rathbun, Michigan. A. H. Parsons, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. John W. Wight, Australia. C. A. Butterworth,
Australia. H. C. Bronson, Southern Nebraska. G. E. Deuel, Southern Kansas. A. White, Independence District, Missouri. E. W. Cato, Central Missouri District. L. H. Ezzell, Texas. Emsley Curtis, Independence District, Missouri. E. A. Stedman, Minnesota. Thomas Wellington, Western Illinois. John Shippy, Decatur District. E. A. Shelly, Michigan. Gomer Reese, Montana. John Hawley, Southwestern Mission. W. H. Griffin, Kentucky and Tennessee. T. W. Chatburn, Nodaway District, Missouri.
The first day of the conference, April 6, the corner-stone of the Independence Chapel was laid under the direction of President Joseph Smith. Prayer was offered by President W. W. Blair, and addresses were made by President Joseph Smith, A. H. Smith, E. C. Brand, Charles Derry, E. L. Kelley, I. N. White, and the Reverend Mr. Palmore, of the M. E. Church, of Independence. The mechanical work of laying the stone was superintended by A. Jessiman, J. A. Kennedy, and John Earnshaw. The box in the corner-stone contained copies of the Holy Scriptures, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Saints' Harp, Joseph the Prophet, by Tullidge, Joseph the Seer, by Blair, Manuscript Found, Report of the First Building Committee, Herald, Hope, Autumn Leaves, Independence Gazette, Independence Daily Sentinel, Independence Weekly Sentinel, Kansas City Times, Kansas City Journal, Lamoni Gazette, photographs of Joseph the Seer, President Joseph Smith, W. W. Blair, G. A. Blakeslee, I. L. Rogers, A. H. Smith, W. H. Kelley, J. H. Lake, Heman C. Smith, G. T. Griffiths, R. J. Anthony, and the Building Committee. A copper cent bearing date 1817, taken from the corner-stone of the Kirtland Temple, deposited by G. A. Blakeslee. The editor of the Herald in the issue for June 9, says of this occasion:
The scene was impressive and suggestive. Many years ago a little handful of men hailing from the east and far east gathered around a stone designed to mark the resting place of an altar to be erected to the worship of God, and there in the midst of dangers, similar to those once pending where the Huguenots sung and prayed, dedicated the labor of their hands to God. How changed-a half century later, sons of some of those men, with others whose fathers were made exiles on America's free soil for religion's sake and many who believed on Christ through their
words, gathered in hundreds to place in its bed a stone marking a spot where Israel's wandering and waiting children propose to raise an altar whereon the sons of Jacob might "offer an offering in righteousness." The Lord had promised the men who had laid the first stone with their comrades, on Fishing River, fifty years ago, that if they would hearken to him, and do as he counseled them they should "find grace and favor with the people." The men to whom the promise was made failed in even trying to keep those last words of counsel given them on Zion's borders. Their children, taking these words as if addressed to them, have essayed to keep the counsel then given, and the Lord mindful of the words that had "gone out of his mouth" has blessed them as he had covenanted to bless their fathers, and the assembly gathered on that April day neath the skies that rise over the city "beautiful for situation," bear witness to the keeping of God's word. In peace, by the common consent of the entire community where the Saints are dwelling, with the active coöperation of many, and the outspoken sympathy of many more, the people of the church once driven from the State, in open day, with the watchful guardians of the public safety careful that they were not disturbed and the spirit of American liberty again outraged, set up the stone designed to show where the "sanctuary and the true tabernacle" had been "pitched."
During the conference the Twelve and Bishopric reëxamined their joint epistle of 1878, and after a few unimportant changes reaffirmed it, and it was published in the Herald for May 19, 1888:
TO THE CHURCH OF CHRIST, GREETING.
The quorum of the Twelve, and Bishopric, feeling that a perfect understanding should obtain between us in order to properly discharge the responsibility placed jointly upon us by the revelation of October 7, 1861, which reads as follows:
"In order to place the church in a position to carry on the promulgation of the gospel, and as a means of fulfilling the law, the Twelve will take measures in connection with the Bishop to execute the law of tithing; and let them before God see to it, that the temporal means so obtained is truly used for the purposes of the church, and not as a weapon of power in the hands of one man for the oppression of others; or for the purposes of self-aggrandizement by any one, be he whomsoever he may be.
"As I live, saith the Lord, in the manner ye execute this matter, so shall ye be judged in the day of judgment."
We met at the residence of Bro. C. A. Bishop, Independence, Missouri, April 10, 1888, to agree upon rules of action. There having been important changes in each quorum since an understanding was had, it was deemed best to reconsider the joint epistle of April, 1878, signed by William H. Kelley, Thomas W. Smith, James Caffall, John H. Lake, Alexander H. Smith, Zenos H. Gurley, and Joseph R. Lambert of the Quorum
of the Twelve, and Israel L. Rogers, Henry, A. Stebbins, and David Dancer, the Bishopric of the church. It was therefore carefully considered, and after a few unimportant changes unanimously reaffirmed, and is now placed before the church as containing the "Basis of Adjustment and Principles and Rules of Action" upon which these quorums agree to execute the important duties resting upon them. It is as follows:
Here follows "Basis of Adjustment" by the First Presidency and the "Principles and Rules of Action." The only important changes were the eliminating of the words, "Such agents to be elders," in paragraph 2, and the striking out of all after the word annually in paragraph 9. (See pp. 223, 225.)
The above document was signed by the following: Edmund C. Briggs, William H. Kelley, James Caffall, John H. Lake, Alexander H. Smith, Joseph R. Lambert, James W. Gillen, Heman C. Smith, Joseph Luff, Gomer T. Griffiths, of the Quorum of Twelve; George A. Blakeslee, Edmund L. Kelley, Elijah Banta, the Bishopric of the Church.
About this time Mr. Charles B. Thompson, who figured as Baneemy, about 1854 to 1856, reappeared before the public as the editor of the Cypipz Herald, published in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We are not informed as to the fate of this paper, but think it did not long survive.
On May 15 Elder R. S. Salyards entered upon his duties in the editorial department of the Saints' Herald, having been selected by the board from the missionary force.
During the last days of May Elder John T. Davies and Elder Thomas Lee, of the Utah church, held a series of debates at St. John, Utah, on the several issues between the two bodies represented.
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