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ON June 2, 1888, the Montana District was organized, embracing the territory of Montana, by R. J. Anthony, president of the Rocky Mountain Mission. Gomer Reese was chosen president of the district and William Nelson secretary.
A letter was received from Elder T. W. Smith, then in Australia, inclosing [enclosing] a communication from one James L. Young, regarding the work in the Society Islands and the natives there who had embraced the faith. 1
1PAPEETE, Tahiti, January 26,1888.
Reverend T. W. Smith, Forster, New South Wales. Dear Sir: Yours of December 27, from Hastings, just to hand per "Richmond." I am glad to hear that you reached Victoria safely and that you had a pleasant passage there.
Your people have paid up all they owed on the church and held an opening festival a
In the early part of June a branch was organized in Oregon by Hiram L. Holt, called the Drift creek Branch.
On June 3 J. W. Wight and C. A. Butterworth, missionaries to Australia, sailed from San Francisco, and landed in Sydney, Australia, the 28th of the same month.
June 11 J. J. Cornish wrote from Freesoil, Michigan, that he had just closed a three-evening discussion with a Reverend Mr. Snyder, of the M. E. Church, discussing three propositions touching water baptism.
June 14 a debate began between Elder R. C. Evans and T. L. Wilkinson of the Methodist Church, at Waterford, Ontario. Four propositions were discussed, three of them on the question of baptism, and one on the Godhead as taught by the Methodists.
At a district conference of the Gallands Grove District, held at Deloit, Iowa, June 15 to 17, a district Sunday-school association was organized. James Baker was appointed superintendent, C. J. Hunt assistant superintendent, and Fannie Pett secretary.
On June 16 Fulton Branch was organized at Fulton, Iowa. John Heide president, John Sutton teacher, Ella Deiley secretary.
On June 16, L. D. Hickey, formerly an apostle under James J. Strang, wrote President Joseph Smith making a proposition that he would accept President Smith as the legal president of the church, but still retaining the faith and claims of James J. Strang, to which President Smith replied in an editorial published in the Herald for July 14, as follows:
Elsewhere in this issue there will be found a letter from Elder L. D. Hickey, dated June 16, 1888, and an extract from one dated June 17.
It will be seen by these letters that Elder Hickey and those with him, if
few days ago which was well attended. They have elevated themselves not a little in the eyes of the people here by their energy and determination in paying for the church, and by their quiet and sensible conduct in the opening of the building. They can now taste the sweets of independence and feel, as Tehopea said to me a few days ago, that they are a homogeneous body and can depend upon each other. It was a little surprising to some to see some hundreds of these Paumotu people living together for several days with no rioting, quarreling, or drunkenness. This is new to papeete folks, and I have heard it several times remarked on.
he represents them correctly, are Strangites; that is, they identify themselves in the church under the claims of James J. Strang. It will be further seen that Mr. Hickey offers terms of "peace," and those terms are that we shall indorse [endorse] the letter which Mr. Strang claimed to have received from Joseph Smith creating him his successor, and "indorse" [endorse] the "administration" of James J. Strang. If those whom Mr. Hickey represents, those who met in conference near Horton [Kansas] according to the notice lately appearing in the Herald, are really of this opinion it proves only this, so far as the Reorganization is concerned, that they accept identity with the Reorganization upon the demand that the Reorganization shall accept and indorse [endorse] Mr. Strang and his administration; which would mean the acceptance of the "Book of the Law," published by Mr. Strang, a phase of polygamy, a kingdom with an earthly king, and those whom he ordained into office with the offices he bestowed upon them. All this, if we understand the force of the word indorse [endorse] used by Elder Hickey.
On behalf of the Reorganization we state that we do not accept these terms.
The Reorganization does not indorse [endorse] the so-called appointment of James J. Strang; does not indorse [endorse] the administration of Mr. Strang; does not accept the Book of the Law published by him and does not accept the office of king or viceroy found in the administration of Mr. Strang, nor the men ordained by him in the offices unto which he ordained them by virtue of such ordination.
The Reorganization is not prepared to offer any terms of compromise in which the abandonment of the principles upon which we believe the church of Christ was established and built, and as found in the books of the church, would be demanded, or would follow as a consequence. Neither will the Reorganized Church accept any man, or any number of men upon terms offered by them, which involves a like surrender of principle. We might have made terms of peace with some, years before this, had we been willing to yield a principle here or a doctrine there; the Book of Covenants to one and the Book of Mormon to another; a point here and a point there; but this we could not do, and have not done.
We do not propose now to be compromised with these people in Kansas upon the terms proposed. The names signed to the notice are not on the church record of names of the Reorganization as members or as elders. Elder L. D. Hickey is not an accredited minister for the church, and known to the heads of the church as having been legally ordained, and has no authority to represent the Reorganization. He has not to our knowledge ever been received into the fellowship of the church; and if he has ever asked to be acknowledged upon his baptism of 1842, by the Reorganization, we are not aware of it. He states specifically that he has identified the body over which Young Joseph presides as the church, and does so identify that body now; but does not indorse [endorse] the "doctrine preached by many of the elders" of the church, and demands an acceptance of Mr. Strang and his administration. He does not say what the doctrine
preached by many of the elders is that he does not indorse [endorse]; but the very natural conclusion would be that whatever doctrine or theory came in contact with Mr. Strang's philosophy and administration, would be rejected.
We do not mean in what we have here written to call Mr. Strang, or Elder Hickey, bad names, or to say an ill word against them; we have dealt with the matter in plain words and without heat or anger. We do not call the right of these men to believe what they please in question, the privilege to do that is freely conceded. We do not in what we have stated call in question the honesty of the men in Kansas, including Elders Wake and Flanders. That has nothing to do with it. An attempt is made to force Mr. Strang upon us. We refuse to be so compromised.
The Reorganized Church took up the work of the latter-day dispensation where we understood that it was left at the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and upon the platform of faith and organization stated in the books acknowledged by the church before and at such death. Since that time the church has made her progress untrammeled by any factional phase of Mormonism, so-called; and always upon the same stead-fast confession of faith. We have offered no compromise to any for the sake of influence, or numbers; have accepted no compromise when offered; have denounced polygamy in any form; have refused credence to the claim of any king but Christ; have no room or place for spiritism as it has developed itself, and have never courted it nor feared it; have no Jesuitical orders known to the law of God demanding the fealty of the members of the church, neither within the pale of the church, nor out of it; and so far as we can now see owe no allegience [allegiance] to any but Christ, no fealty to any faith only that found in the books acknowledged by the church, and no service but to God, Christ, the church, and humanity. No matter what others may think, believe, or teach; no matter how strong the effort to compromise us with this or that order, or philosophy, we will not be so compromised; and the Saints everywhere will do well to bear this in mind; for we presume that now that the Lord's Spirit is prospering the preaching of the word everywhere, the crafty adversary of souls, and the ambitious among those who once have had connection with the faith will endeavor to disturb the faith of the Saints; and if possible by cunning craft to bring in vain and damaging doctrines and theories by which the weak among the Saints may be turned aside. If any one tells you or teaches you that Bro. Joseph believes this, or that, or indorses [endorses] this theory, or that doctrine; or accepts this or that new and strange thing, whether it be of a public, or of a private nature, an open or a secret order, do not accept such statement until you either see it published in statement from Bro. Joseph, or have it personally from himself. Bro. Joseph Smith is not responsible for any man's conduct and faith but his own; and he is not concluded; nor compromised by what another man may believe he believes, or seek to make him responsible for as a matter of teaching, or belief by implication; he reserves to himself the right to state his own faith and belief. Bro. Joseph is not a spiritist, as the term is
used; is not identified with any phase of spiritualistic belief, or order; has no affiliation, or membership in any league, band, lyceum, or order under any spiritual name, order, or belief; is not a member of any secret order, band or association whatever; holds no title, or office, or membership in any society except the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is not compromised in any secret order, is not under the control or domination of spiritualistic influence, or departed spirits, and does not acknowledge allegiance or affiliation with any such powers; or of any spirit influence to his knowledge, only that warranted the believer in Christ, as shown in the teaching of the gospel. Should any make statements publicly, or privately, by which Bro. Joseph is made to indorse [endorse], or sanction anything contrary to the statements herein found and to the injury of the faith of the church, brethren, challenge the proof at once, no matter who makes the statement. When Bro. Joseph accepts any new philosophy, or receives anything that is to affect the faith, doctrines, and policy of the church, he will put it before the brethren as provided for in the books and usages of the church. He has no secret and reserved policy to first entangle others in and then spring upon the church. Should he lose faith in the gospel of Christ and in the church, without transgression upon his part and by the processes of unbelief unto apostasy, he has sufficient regard for the rights of those now in the faith with him, to notify them of such change; and he will then step down and out without adding treachery to unbelief, disgrace and infamy to apostasy.
The Southwestern Texas District was organized June 23, by I. N. Roberts, then president of the Southwestern Mission. J. A. Currie, Jr., was elected president, O. D. Johnson, secretary.
A letter dated June 24, Hoel Y'-Mynydd, South Wales, signed by George Cope, says: "The prospects for Wales are brighter than ever. People are beginning to understand us. I am preaching to hundreds every Sunday here, in the open air, and better listeners I never had. I move from here next week, and am sorry for that, for the people are thirsting for the pure gospel."
June 25 to 29 a discussion was held at Wilber, Nebraska, between Elder H. C. Bronson, and a Reverend Pressen. Three propositions were discussed, all concerning baptism.
On June 30 the first district in New South Wales was organized, to be known as Forster District. George Ballard district president, John Dickinson assistant, George Lewis and C. S. McLaren secretaries. Elders J. F. Burton, J. W. Wight, and C. A. Butterworth,
of the missionary force, were present and participated in the organization.
July 25 a four-day debate commenced in Severe County, Arkansas, between Elder A. J. Cato and A. Bradley of the Disciple Church. The propositions discussed were the claims of the respective churches.
August 7 a debate commenced in Richey County, West Virginia, between Elder E. L. Kelley and the Reverend Archibald, of the Disciple Order. The proposition was, "Is the Book of Mormon of divine origin and worthy of the belief of all men?"
On August 21 to 23 a debate was held at Council Bluffs, Iowa, between Elder W. E. Peak and a Mr. N. M. Allen of the Baptist Church.
On August 12 a branch was organized at Monmouth, Ontario, by Elders John H. Lake and W. J. Smith, composed of thirty-one members, to be known as the Monmouth Branch. Anson W. Burton was ordained an elder, and chosen to preside; W. N. Hales, priest; Thomas Dack, teacher; John Braden, deacon.
August 15 Haley's Creek Branch, composed of seven members, was organized near Lexington, Tennessee, by John Thomas.
Elder D. S. Crawley held two debates at Arcadia, Kansas, in the months of August and September, the first with a minister of the Disciple order, named Lucas, and the second with a Baptist minister.
August 28 a branch was organized in Houston County, Texas, by A. J. Moore. Priest John C. Tipton was chosen president; H. C. Gooch, teacher; Beatrice Teagarden, secretary.
September 9 Irondale Branch, consisting of fourteen members, was organized at Irondale, Ontario, by W. J. Smith. Abraham Lake was ordained an elder and elected president; Charles H. Lake was ordained to the office of priest and chosen to act in that capacity.
September 10 Snowflake Branch was organized in Kearney County, Nebraska, by James Caffall. P. Moldrup, president; S. K. Sorensen, secretary.
September 13 Garafraxa Branch was organized in Duffern County, Ontario, by J. H. Lake. James Mortimer, president; John H. Taylor, priest.
September 15 a debate was commenced at Pipe Creek, Texas, between Elder J. A. Currie, Jr., and J. A. King, of the Disciple Church. At the close of the second day Elder King received a message claiming his attention elsewhere, and a Mr. Turner took his place and finished the discussion. Four were baptized into the church immediately after.
September 17 George Q. Cannon, of the First Presidency of the church in Utah, who had been hiding for some time to escape arrest, surrendered himself to United States Marshal Dyer, plead guilty to two indictments for unlawful cohabitation, and was sentenced by Judge Sanford to one hundred seventy-five days imprisonment and to pay a fine of four hundred fifty dollars. During this year both before and after the sentence of Elder Cannon, many arrests and convictions were had in Utah and Idaho for polygamy and unlawful cohabitation.
An annual reunion was held at the fair-grounds at Missouri Vailey, Iowa, October 6 to 15. Presidents Joseph Smith. and W. W. Blair were in charge, W. C. Cadwell and S. B. Kibler secretaries.
The following ministers were present and took part in the proceedings: Joseph R. Lambert, M. H. Forscutt, A. H. Smith, R. M. Elvin, J. W. Chatburn, J. C. Crabb, H. O. Smith, C. E. Butterworth, Charles Derry, J. A. Davies, J. S. Roth, J. M. Putney, John Pett, W. E. Peak, G. A. Blakeslee, H. C. Bronson, W. W. Whiting, E. L. Kelley, John A. McIntosh, David Chambers, W. A. Carroll, D. K. Dodson, and Henry Garner.
Of this reunion the editor of the Herald said among other things:
The preaching was up to the standard in excellence, and the prayer and testimony meetings were marked by an unusual degree of spirituality; tongues, prophesyings and testimonies gave evidence of marked advancement in grace and spiritual growth. The attendance was not quite so large as last year, but was fair; many new faces being present. Seventeen were added by baptism; some promising young men being of the number."-The Saints' Herald, vol. 35, p. 681
Early in November there was a discussion between Elder E. E. Wheeler and Elder Allyn of the Christian Church, at Olivet, Dakota, on church propositions.
A discussion was held at Nebraska City, Nebraska, November 12 to 17, between Elder H. C. Bronson and Reverend Mr. Williamson of the Christian Church. Each disputant affirmed that the church with which he is identified is the church of God.
November 18 Diamond Valley Branch, of Nevada District, was organized by Thomas Daly.
The church at Garafraxa, Ontario, was dedicated December 2, Elder R. C. Evans preaching the dedicatory sermon.
December 4 Elder R. J. Anthony wrote from Salt Lake City, Utah. In speaking of the trials of the Utah church, he stated:
Hundreds, ensnared by that delusion, have been convicted and sent to prison, and hundreds more are under indictment and are hiding or fleeing from the officers of the law, while possibly a million dollars' worth of property, once owned by the church, is now in the hands of a United States receiver and liable to escheat to the public schools in the Territory, after all legal claims are allowed.
It is not a pleasant thing to see a people who claim to believe in the restoration of the gospel and its grand precepts place themselves in an attitude where the Nation has deemed it absolutely necessary to lay a heavy hand on the property that has required years of labor and patient toil to procure, in order to force them to see that they have established dogmas that must be abandoned, and who by persistently teaching and practicing them have forced an issue between them and the Nation, and that laws have been enacted and are now being rigidly enforced to make people see what the Lord warned them against, and asked them to see, and do, many years ago, which if they had done, all of this terrible reproach and distress would have been turned away from them.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 35, p. 815.
On December 6 Elder G. T. Griffiths wrote of an interview that he had on the 28th of November previous with Mr. Daniel D. Spalding, a nephew of Solomon Spalding, in the presence of Mr. Jerome Beardsley, at Conneaut, Pennsylvania, in which he declared that the writings of his uncle were concerning American Indians. 2
2Q.-What is your given name, Mr. Spalding?
A.-Daniel D. Spalding.
Q-How old are you?
In an editorial published in the Herald for December 8, 1888, President Joseph Smith explained the attitude of himself and associates as follows:
It was at one time an argument frequently used by the elders of the church in making their appeal for the attention of the people, that because our forefathers believed so and so, or worshiped [worshipped] thus and thus, it was really no more of an obligation upon us to follow in their footsteps in worship and belief, than it was incumbent upon us to plow our land with a forked stick from the forest, or carry grain to mill in one end of a sack with a stone in the other end, because our predecessors may have done so. Has time in its passing broken the force of that argument, or made the wisdom of the saying less?
We are led to ask this question because there is a class of believers in the latter-day work who seemed to be grieved at the course pursued by the sons of Joseph Smith, when upon attaining their majority and determining their own position in the religious controversies of the world, they have chosen to say that some things done by their father were, in their opinion, unwise, and that some other things which it is alleged he both said and did were not only unwise but were absolutely wrong, and
A.-I am eighty-two years old.
Q.-How long have you resided in this vicinity?
A.-About sixty years.
Q.-How closely were you related to Solomon Spalding?
A.-He was my father's brother.
Q.-How old were you the last time you saw your uncle?
A.-Between ten and eleven years of age.
Q.-Then you remember him well?
A.-Oh, yes. He was a very sickly man, and the last time I saw him was at Conneaut creek, just before he went to Pittsburg [Pittsburgh], where he died shortly afterwards.
Q.-What did your uncle do for a living?
A.-He was a land agent, and my father said he was a scoundrel and used to cheat the people out of their money and property.
Q.-Was he much of a scholar?
A.-No. He had some natural talent, but he was not very smart; but very lazy. Then he wrote the manuscripts that the Mormons call the Book of Mormon to make money out of it.
Q.-How did the Mormons get the manuscripts?
A.-I don't know. (Here his daughter a lady about fifty years old, replied, "His widow gave them to Joseph Smith, Jr.")
Q.-Is there not a story afloat that Sidney Rigdon stole them?
A-I had not heard that before.
Q.-Mr. Spalding, did you ever see the manuscripts? or the Book of Mormon?
Q.-What did Mr. Spalding write about?
A.-I heard my father say it was a story about the Indians.
Q.-Was your uncle a minister?
A.-He was not; neither did he belong to any church.
Q.-Then you do not know whether the Book of Mormon and the manuscript are the same or not?
A.-No. Only what I have heard people say; have not seen either.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 85, p. 820.
contrary to the word of God, by which he and all others, his contemporaries in faith and believers after him, should have been guided and governed.
That it may be seen what it is we refer to as a principle, we state that Elder Alexander H. Smith in conversation with one of the class above referred to upon the military trappings and titles appertaining to the position of general in the Nauvoo Legion held by the martyrs, remarked: "That is one of the things in which I think our fathers made a mistake." To this his hearer replied, rather severely: "I never suffer myself to comment upon what was done by those men of God."
The principle on the one hand was, that whatever was done by those men must be accepted without question-it was right because they did it; on the other hand the principle of examination of the thing done, and determining acceptance or rejection upon the merit and claims for truth and correctness attaching to the thing itself, rather than to the individual doing it, was clearly asserted; and the right to so examine and so determine was assumed as a right conferred upon every man, and which must attach to every one upon whom the responsibility of agency and answering for himself is cast.
Joseph Smith, and his family, with him, assumed the privilege of judging for themselves concerning their own action in reference to the things of eternal importance. This privilege was presented to those who chose to listen to the teachers of the new faith as attaching to all men. It was bequeathed to the sons of Joseph Smith as not only a principle but as a birthright. They deem it as essential that they determine for themselves in all matters attaching, or related to the work of their father and his compeers, as it was, or is, that men should hear, judge, and determine for themselves their course in the gospel, for the reason that such work was done at the outset of a new faith, or the revival of an old one, having its warrant in the word of God, written, as well as spoken in their day. This word of God was renewed in its authority, the Bible and New Covenant, the Book of Mormon, being indorsed [endorsed] authoritatively as the scriptures, the written law; while the revelations to the church agreeing with the Written Word were the present and accompanying authority for preaching the restored gospel.
One of the methods adopted by the Son of God, the great Teacher and grand Exemplar to all his followers, prophets, and prophets' sons included, to thwart the evil designs of the adversary of souls and preserve his own integrity before the Father, was to answer when tempted, "It is written;" and this answer he gave in regard to the enticement to worship another than God, an appeal to personal vanity in the possession of unquestioned power, and the necessities or pleasures of the flesh;-to all of these the unwavering answer of the Son of Man was, "It is written," followed by the rule of scripture applicable in the case.
On December 8 the Saints' chapel at Woodbine, Iowa, was
dedicated during a session of the conference of the Little Sioux District held at that place.
On December 9 a discussion was held in the Methodist church at Genoa, Nevada, between Elder Thomas Daly and a Reverend Mr. Gardener, of the M. E. Church on the respective claims of the two churches represented.
December 11 to 15 a discussion was held at Verdure, Vernon County, Missouri, between Elder Emsley Curtis and Elder F. Smith, of the Christian Church.
On December 16 a church built at San Bernardino, California, was dedicated, President Joseph Smith preaching the dedicatory sermon, and Elder D. S. Mills offering the dedicatory prayer. Elders Joseph F. Burton and Heman C. Smith were also present and assisted in the exercises.
Some time in December a debate was held near Oenaville, Texas, between Elder W. P. Brown, representing the faction commonly known as Whitmerites, and Elder A. J. Moore. It is reported that Elder Brown at that time stated that there was no church, no kingdom, no officers until Pentecost. He said it was all man's work in choosing Seventy; also in having a succession in the Quorum of Twelve.
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