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Times and Seasons/3/23
Times and Seasons: Volume 3, Number 23
Summary:Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Times and Seasons Vol. 3
|Number 22||Number 24|
Times and Seasons: Volume 3, Number 23
Jump to Subtopic:
- HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
- DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE BAPTISTS & LATTER-DAY SAINTS.
- LETTER FROM JOSEPH SMITH.
- THE TEMPLE.
- ON MARRIAGE.
- CONFERENCE MINUTES.
- THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES.
- BOOKS OF MORMON, &C.
|TIMES AND SEASONS|
|"TRUTH WILL PREVAIL"|
|Volume III. No. 23.]||NAUVOO, ILLINOIS, OCT. 1, 1842.||[Whole No. 59.|
Since our 'Extract' was published from Mr. Stephens' 'Incidents of Travel,' &c., we have found another important fact relating to the truth of the Book of Mormon. Central America, or Guatimala [Guatemala], is situated north of the Isthmus of Darien and once embraced several hundred miles of territory from north to south.-The city of Zarahemla, burnt at the crucifixion of the Savior, and rebuilt afterwards, stood upon this land as will be seen from the following words in the book of Alma:-'And now it was only the distance of a day and half's journey for a Nephite, on the line Bountiful, and the land Desolation, from the east to the west sea; and thus the land of Nephi, and the land of Zarahemla was nearly surrounded by water: there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward.' [See Book of Mormon 3d edition, page 280-81.]
It is certainly a good thing for the excellency and veracity, of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon, that the ruins of Zarahemla have been found where the Nephites left them: and that a large stone with engravings upon it as Mosiah said; and a 'large round stone, with the sides sculptured in hieroglyphics,' as Mr. Stephens has published, is also among the left remembrances of the, (to him,) lost and unknown. We are not going to declare positively that the ruins of Quirigua are those of Zarahemla, but when the land and the stones, and the books tell the story so plain, we are of opinion, that it would require more proof than the Jews could bring to prove the disciples stole the body of Jesus from the tomb, to prove that the ruins of the city in question, are not one of those referred to in the Book of Mormon.
It may seem hard for unbelievers in the mighty works of God, to give credit to such a miraculous preservation of the remains, ruins, records and reminiscences of a branch of the house of Israel: but the elements are eternal, and intelligence is eternal, and God is eternal, so that the very hairs of our heads are all numbered. It may be said of man he was and is, and is not; and of his works the same, but the Lord was and is, and is to come and his works never end; and he will bring every thing into judgment whether it be good, or whether it be evil; yea, every secret thing, and they shall be revealed upon the house tops. It will not be a bad plan to compare Mr. Stephens' ruined cities with those in the Book of Mormon: light cleaves to light, and facts are supported by facts. The truth injures no one, and so we make another
From Stephens' "Incidents of Travel in Central America."
"On a fine morning, after a heavy rain, they set off for the ruins. After a ride of about half an hour, over an execrable road, they again reached the Amates. The village was pleasantly situated on the bank of the river, and elevated about thirty feet. The river was here about two hundred feet wide, and fordable in every part except a few deep holes. Generally it did not exceed three feet in depth, and in many places was not so deep; but below it was said to be navigable to the sea for boats not drawing more than three feet water. They embarked in two canoes dug out of cedar-trees, and proceeded down the river for a couple of miles, where they took on board a negro man named Juan Lima, and his two wives. This black scoundrel, as Mr. C. marks him down in his notebook, was to be their guide. They then proceeded two or three miles farther, and stopped at a ranch on the left side of the river, and passing through two cornfields, entered a forest of large cedar and mahogany trees. The path was exceedingly soft and wet, and covered with decayed leaves, and the heat very great. Continuing through the forest toward the northeast, in three quarters of an hour they reached the foot of a pyramidal structure like those at Copan, with the steps in some places perfect. They ascended to the top, about twenty-five feet, and descending by steps on the other side, at a short distance beyond came to a colossal head two yards in diameter, almost buried by an enormous tree, and covered with moss. Near it was a large altar, so covered with moss that it was impossible to make anything out of it. The two are within an enclosure.
Retracing their steps across the pyramidal structure, and proceeding to the north about three or four hundred yards, they reached a collection of monuments of the same general character with those
at Copan, but twice or three times as high.
The first is about twenty feet high, five feet six inches on two sides, and two feet eight on the other two. The front represents the figure of a man, well preserved; the back that of a woman, much defaced. The sides are covered with hieroglyphics in good preservation, but in low relief, and of exactly the same style as those at Copan.
Another, represented in the engraving, is twenty-three feet out of the ground, with figures of men on the front and back, and hieroglyphics in low relief on the sides, and surrounded by a base projecting fifteen or sixteen feet from it.
At a short distance, standing in the same position as regards the points of the compass, is an obelisk or carved stone, twenty-six feet out of the ground, and probably six or eight feet under, which is represented in the engraving opposite. It is leaning twelve feet two inches out of the perpendicular, and seems ready to fall, which is probably prevented only by a tree that has grown up against it and the large stones around the base. The side toward the ground represents the figure of man, very perfect and finely sculptured. The upper side seemed the same, but was so hidden by vegetation as to make it somewhat uncertain. The other two contain hieroglyphics in low relief. In size and sculpture this is the finest of the whole.
A statue ten feet high is lying on the ground, covered with moss and herbage, and another about the same size lies with its face upward.
There are four others erect, about twelve feet high, but not in a very good state of preservation, and several altars so covered with herbage that it was difficult to ascertain their exact form. One of them is round, and situated on a small elevation within a circle formed by a wall of stones. In the centre [center] of a circle, reached by descending very narrow steps, is a large round stone, with the sides sculptured in hieroglyphics, covered with vegetation, and supported on what seemed to be two colossal heads.
These are all at the foot of a pyramidal wall, near each other, and in the vicinity of a creek which empties into the Motagua. Besides these they counted thirteen fragments, and doubtless many others may yet be discovered.
At some distance from them is another monument, nine feet out of ground, and probably two or three under, with the figure of a woman on the front and back, and the two sides richly ornamented, but without hieroglyphics.
The next day the negro promised to show Mr. C. eleven square columns higher than any he had seen, standing in a row at the foot of a mountain; but after dragging him three hours through the mud, Mr. C. found by the compass that he was constantly changing his direction; and as the man was armed with pistols, notoriously a bad fellow, and indignant at the owners of the land for coming down to look after their squatters, Mr. C. became suspicious of him, and insisted upon returning. The Payes were engaged with their own affairs, and having no one to assist him, Mr. Catherwood was unable to make any thorough exploration or any complete drawings.
The general character of these ruins is the same as at Copan. The monuments are much larger, but they are sculptured in lower relief, less rich in design, and more faded and worn, probably being of a much older date.
Of one thing there is no doubt: a large city once stood there: its name is lost, its history unknown; and, except for a notice taken from Mr. C.'s notes, and inserted by the Senores Payes in a Guatimala [Guatemala] paper after the visit, which found its way to this country and Europe, no account of its existence has ever before been published. For centuries it has lain as completely buried as if covered with the lava of Vesuvius. Every traveller [traveler] from Yzabal to Guatimala [Guatemala] has passed within three hours of it; we ourselves had done the same; and yet there it lay, like the rock built-city of Edom, unvisited, unsought, and utterly unknown."
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
In this manner did the Lord continue to give us instructions from time to time, concerning the duties which now devolved upon us, and among many other things of the kind, we obtained of him the following, by the spirit of prophecy and revelation; which not only gave us much information, but also pointed out to us the precise day upon which, according to his will and commandment, we should proceed
to organize his church once again here upon the earth.
The rise of the church of Christ in these last days, being one thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the flesh, it being regularly organized and established agreeably to the laws of our country, by the will and commandments of God in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month which is called April: which commandments were given to Joseph Smith jr. who was called of God and ordained an apostle of Jesus Christ, to be the first elder of this church; and to Oliver Cowdery, who was also called of God an apostle of Jesus Christ, to be the second elder of this church, and ordained under his hand: and this according to the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to whom be all glory both now and forever. Amen.
After it was truly manifested unto this first elder that he had received a remission of his sins he was entangled again in the vanities of the world; but after repenting, and humbling himself, sincerely, through faith God ministered unto him by an holy angel whose countenance was as lightning, and whose garments were pure and white above all other whiteness, and gave unto him commandments which inspired him, and gave him power from on high, by the means which were before prepared, to translate the book of Mormon, which contains a record of a fallen people, and the fulness [fullness] of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, and to the Jews also, which was given by inspiration, and is confirmed to others by the ministering of angels, and is declared unto the world by them, proving to the world that the holy scriptures are true, and that God does inspire men and call them to his holy work in this age and generation, as well as in generations of old, thereby showing that he is the same God yesterday, to day, and forever.-Amen.
Therefore, having so great witnesses, by them shall the world be judged, even as many as shall hereafter come to a knowledge of this work; and those who receive it in faith and work righteousness, shall receive a crown of eternal life; but those who harden their hearts in unbelief and reject it, it shall turn to their own condemnation, for the Lord God has spoken it; and we, the elders of the church, have heard and bear witness to the words of the glorious Majesty on high, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
By these things we know that there is a God in heaven who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth and all things which are in them, and that he created man male and female: after his own image and in his own likeness created he them, and gave unto them commandments that they should love and serve him the only living and true God, and that he should be the only being whom they should worship. But by the transgression of these holy laws, man became sensual and devilish, and became fallen man.
Wherefore the Almighty God gave his only begotten Son, as it is written in those scriptures which have been given of him; he suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them; he was crucified, died, and rose again the third day; and ascended into heaven to sit down on the right had of the Father, to reign with almighty power according to the will of the Father, that as many as would believe and be baptized, in his holy name, and endure in faith to the end should be saved: not only those who believed after he came in the meridian of time in the flesh, but all those from the beginning, even as many as were before he came, who believed in the words of the holy prophets, who spake as they were inspired by the gift of the Holy Ghost, who truly testified of him in all things, should have eternal life, as well as those who should come after, who should believe in the gifts and callings of God by the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father, and of the Son, which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end. Amen.
And we know that all men must repent and believe on the name of Jesus Christ and worship the Father in his name, and endure in faith on his name to the end, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God. And we know that justification through the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, is just and true: and we know, also, that sanctification through the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, is just and true, to all those who love and serve God with all their mights, minds, and strength; but there is a possibility that man may fall from grace and
depart from the living God. Therefore let the church take heed and pray always, lest they fall into temptations; yea, and even let those who are sanctified, take heed also. And we know that these things are true and according to the revelations of John, neither adding to, nor diminishing from the prophecy of his book, the holy scriptures, or the revelations of God which shall come hereafter by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost, the voice of God, or the ministering of angels: and the Lord God has spoken it; and honor, power, and glory, be rendered to his holy name, both now and ever.-Amen.
And again by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism.
All those who humble themselves before God and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church.
The duty of the elders, priest, teachers, deacons, and members of the church of Christ.
An apostle is an elder, and it is his calling to baptize, and to ordain other elders, priests, teachers, and deacons, and to administer bread and wine-the emblems of the flesh and blood of Christ-and to confirm those who are baptized into the church, by the laying on of hands for the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, according to the scriptures; and to teach, expound, exhort, baptize, and watch over the church; and to confirm the church by the laying on of hands, and the giving of the Holy Ghost-and to take the lead of all meetings.
The elders are to conduct the meetings as they are led by the Holy Ghost, according to the commandments and revelations of God.
The priest's duty is to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize, and administer the sacrament, and visit the house of each member, and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret, and attend to all family duties: and he may also ordain other priests, teachers and deacons-and he is to take the lead of meetings when there is no elder present, but when there is an elder present he is only to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize, and visit the house of each member, exhorting them to pray vocally and in secret, and attend to all family duties. In all these duties the priest is to assist the elder if occasion requires.
The teacher's duty is to watch over the church always, and be with, and strengthen them, and see that there is no iniquity in the church, neither hardness with each other; neither lying, backbiting, nor evil speaking: and see that the church meet together often, and also see that all the members do their duty-and he is to take the lead of meetings in the absence of the elder or priest-and is to be assisted always, in all his duties in the church, by the deacons, if occasion requires; but neither teachers nor deacons have authority to baptize, administer the sacrament, or lay on hands; they are however to warn, expound, exhort, and teach, and invite all to come unto Christ.
Every elder, priest, teacher, or deacon, is to be ordained according to the gifts and callings of God unto him: and he is to be ordained by the power of the Holy Ghost which is in the one who ordains him.
The several elders composing this church of Christ are to meet in conference once in three months, or from time to time, as said conferences shall direct or appoint: and said conferences are to do whatever church business is necessary to be done at the time.
The elders are to receive their licenses from other elders by vote of the church to which they belong, or from the conferences.
Each priest, teacher, or deacon, who is ordained by a priest, may take a certificate from him at the time, which certificate when presented to an elder, shall entitle him to a license, which shall authorize him to perform the duties of his calling-or he may receive it from a conference.
No person is to be ordained to any office in this church, where there is a regularly organized branch of the same, without the vote of the church; but the presiding elders, travelling [traveling] bishops, high counsellors [counselors], high priest, and elders, may have the privilege of ordaining, where
there is no branch of the church, that a vote may be called.
Every president of the high priesthood, (or presiding elder,) bishop, high counsellor [counselor], and high priest, is to be ordained by the direction of a high counsel, or general conference.
The duty of the members after they are received by baptism.
The elders or priests are to have sufficient time to expound all things concerning the church of Christ to their understanding, previous to their partaking of the sacrament, and being confirmed by the laying on of the hands of the elders; so that all things may be done in order. And the members shall manifest before the church and also before the elders, by a godly walk and conversation, that they are worthy of it; that there may be works and faith agreeable to the holy scriptures --walking in holiness before the Lord.
Every member of the church of Christ having children, is to bring them unto the elders before the church, who are to lay their hands upon them in the name of Jesus Christ, and bless them in his name.
No one can be received into the church of Christ unless he has arrived unto the years of accountability before God, and is capable of repentance.
Baptism is to be administered in the following manner unto all those who repent: The person who is called of God and has authority from Jesus Christ to baptize, shall go down into the water with the person who has presented him or herself for baptism, and shall say, calling him or her by name: Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen. Then shall he immerse him or her in the water, and come forth again out of the water.
It is expedient that the church meet together often to partake of bread and wine in remembrance of the Lord Jesus: and the elder or priest shall administer it: and after this manner shall he administer it: he shall kneel with the church and call upon the Father in solemn prayer, saying, O God, the eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son Jesus Christ to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of they Son, and witness unto thee O God, the eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.
The manner administering the wine: He shall take the cup also, and say, O God the eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son which was shed for them, that they may witness unto thee, O God, the eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.
Any member of the church of Christ transgressing, or being overtaken in a fault, shall be dealt with as the scriptures direct.
It shall be the duty of the several churches composing the church of Christ, to send one or more of their teachers to attend the several conferences, held by the elders of the church, with a list of the names of the several members uniting themselves with the church since the last conference, or send by the hand of some priest, so that a regular list of all the names of the whole church may be kept in a book, by one of the elders, whoever the other elders shall appoint from time to time,-and also, if any have been expelled from the church; so that their names may be blotted out of the general church record of names.
All members removing from the church where they reside, if going to a church where they are not known, may take a letter certifying that they are regular members and in good standing: which certificate may be signed by any elder or priest, if the member receiving the letter is personally acquainted with the elder or priest, or it may be signed by the teachers, or deacons of the church.
From the "North Staffordshire Mercury."
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE BAPTISTS & LATTER-DAY SAINTS.
SIR,-In a late publication, you reported the case of some persons who were taken before T. B. Rose, Esq. for disturbing a congregation of "Latter-Day Saints," or believers in the "Book of Mormon." A teacher of that sect, on being asked by the magistrate wherein they differed from the Baptists, replied, "In the laying on of hands" but declined
making an honest confession of those peculiarities which separate them as widely from the Baptists, as from every other denomination of the christian church.-This was certainly prudent; but as the Baptists feel themselves dishonoured [dishonored] by such an alliance, they would be unjust to themselves were they to leave unanswered such a libel upon their denomination. The following very prominent marks of difference will enable your readers to judge for themselves.
I.-The Saints admit all persons indiscriminately to baptism, encouraging them to pass through that rite, with the promise that great spiritual improvement will follow. They baptize for remission of sins, without waiting for credible evidence of repentance for sin. But the Baptists admit none to that ordinance who do not exhibit this qualification in the most satisfactory manner; and if they found a candidate looking to the water of baptism as having virtue to cleanse him from sin, he would be put back until better instructed.
II.-After baptism the Saints kneel down, and their priest laying on his hands, professes to give them the Holy Ghost. If effects similar to those produced by the laying on of the Apostles' hands were seen to follow, skepticism must yield to the force of such evidence; but in their case no such effects are produced; the baptized sinner is a sinner still, though flattered and deluded with the epithet "Latter-day Saint." The Baptists regard such mummery with as much disgust as all Christians do.
III.-Having, as they suppose, the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, the Saints consistently pretend to have the power of working wonders, and profess to heal the sick with Holy Oil; also to the power of prophecy. As most moral evils bring with them their own remedy, these lofty pretensions will ruin them in due time, by opening the eyes of the most deluded, as in the case of the countless sects of imposters [impostors] who have appeared upon the stage before them. It need not be added, that the Baptists stand far removed from such conceits, and have no part in them.
IV.-Not satisfied with the Bible, as complete revelation from God, the "Latter-day Saints" have adopted a romance written in America, as a fresh revelation, and have added a trashy volume of 600 pages to the Book, which we are forbidden to add to, or take from, under the most awful penalties! But even this is not enough for their impious presumption. They have published a monthly magazine, in which "new revelations" are served up fresh as they arrive, for the use of all who can swallow them.-The disgust with which the Baptists regard such a melancholy exhibition of human folly and wickedness, separates them to an impassable distance from such people.
V-In order to carry on this order of things, the Latter-day Saints have appointed two Priesthoods. "The lesser, or Aaronic Priesthood, is to hold the keys of the Ministering of Angels, and to administer in outward ordinances." "The power and authority of the higher, or Melchisedeck Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the Spiritual Blessings of the Church-to have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven-to have the Heavens opened to them-to commune with the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn; and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and of Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant." (See page 13.) So that in this wonderful priesthood, they have provided for an ample supply of new things in endless variety, and without end, from the hands of wretched men, who blasphemously aspire to a dignity which belongs alone to Him who is the only "Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedeck."
The fear of trespassing upon your valuable columns, Mr. Editor, prevents my enlarging upon these and very many other points of difference; but enough has been done to shew [show] your readers, that no two sects can differ more widely from each other, than the Baptists and Latter-day Saints; and that to confound them in any way together is not only unjust to the former, but involves them in the disgrace of being partakers in a bold imposition, or a pitiable delusion, which they regard with equal abhorrence and disgust.
Hanley, Feb. 16, 1841.
The foregoing article attempts to show the difference between the Baptists and Latter-Day Saints. We will now attempt
to show the difference between the Baptists and Former-Day Saints.
1st.-The Former-Day Saints baptized for remission of sins, Acts ii. 38. The Baptists baptize those only who are supposed to have their sins forgiven before they are baptized.
2nd.-The Former-Day Saints admitted all persons indiscriminately to baptism, as soon as they professed faith and repentance, encouraging them to pass through that rite with the promise that great spiritual improvement would follow, Acts ii. 38-41 inclusive. But if the Baptists found the penitent believer looking for remission of sins through that rite, they would be put back to "get religion" where they could find it.
3rd.-After baptism, the Former-Day Saints prayed for and laid hands on the disciples in the name of Jesus, and professed to give them the Holy Ghost, Acts viii. 17, also Acts xviv. 6. The Baptists say, "they regard such mummery with as much disgust as all Christians do."
4th.-Having, as they supposed the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, the Former-day Saints consistently pretended to have the power of working wonders, and professed to heal the sick with Holy Oil. Jas. v. 14, 15. Also to the power of prophecy. First, Corinthians from 12th to 14th chapter. It need not be added that, the Baptists stand far removed from "such conceits," and have no part in them; nor in any thing pertaining to the gifts and power of God: or to use the Apostle's own words, they have a form of Godliness, denying the power.
5th.-Not satisfied with the Bible as a complete revelation from God, the Former-day Saints have added a volume of several hundred pages (the New Testament,) to that book, which (according to Baptist logic) Moses forbid them to add to, or take from. Deut, iv. 2. But even this was not enough; but new revelations were served up almost daily, fresh as they arrived, for all those who could swallow them. "The disgust with which the Baptists regard such things, considering them but a melancholy exhibition of human folly and wickedness" separates them to an impassable distance from the Former-day Saints: and how with all these differences the Baptists should ever have been thought by themselves, or any body else, to be the church of Christ, is difficult to imagine!
6th. -In order to carry on their strange work, or order of things, the Former-day Saints had two priesthoods. The Aaronic Priesthood administered in outward ordinances, as in the case of John the Baptist. The power and authority of the Higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood was to hold the (keys) of all the spiritual blessings of the Church, as Jesus said, "I give unto thee the (keys) of the kingdom of heaven-whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven," &c. They were to have the privilege of knowing the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom,"-to have the heavens opened unto them-to commune with the general assembly and church of the firstborn; and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and of Jesus the mediator of the new covenant. Heb. xii. 22, 23, 24. So that in this wonderful Priesthood, they have provided for an ample supply of new things in endless variety, and without end, from those who are and were counted the off-scouring of all things; and who, as the baptist would insinuate, "did aspire to a dignity which they say, "belongs only to him who is the only Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedeck [Melchizedek]."
The fear of trespassing upon the time and patience of our readers, prevents our enlarging upon these and many other points of difference; but enough has been said to shew [show] that no two sects can possibly differ more widely from each other than do the Baptists and Former day-Saints,-and to amalgamate the two systems in any way is not only an act of injustice-but would involve the Baptists, who by the by are an honourable [honorable] body, in the disgrace of that sect which was "every where spoken against," See Acts.
The Boston Olive Branch says:
-> Laroy Sunderland's paper has gone out of his hands. Where are the thousands of dollars he begged for the poor slave gone?-A mystery we wish it solved.
-> Now, if the public are not acquainted with Mr. Pratt's exposition of Mr. Sunderland we refer all inquirers to that document, and we think they will be satisfied. We will, should they wish it, give the "thousands" a touch hereafter.
TIMES AND SEASONS.
CITY OF NAUVOO,
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 1842.
LETTER FROM JOSEPH SMITH.
Nauvoo, September 6, 1842.
TO THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS, SENDETH GREETING:-
As I stated to you in my letter before I left my place, that I would write to you from time to time, and give you information in relation to many subjects, I now resume the subject of the baptism for the dead; as that subject seems to occupy my mind, and press itself upon my feelings the strongest, since I have been pursued by my enemies.
I wrote a few words of Revelation to you concerning a Recorder. I have had a few additional views in relation to this matter, which I now certify. That is, it was declared in my former letter that there should be a Recorder, who should be eye-witness, and also to hear with his ears, that he might make a record of the truth before the Lord. Now, in relation to this matter, it would be very difficult for one recorder to be present at all times, and to do all the business. To obviate this difficulty, there can be a recorder appointed in each ward of the city, who is well qualified for taking accurate minutes: and let him be very particular and precise in making his record, in taking the whole proceedings; certifying in hi, [his] record that he saw with his eyes, and heard with his ears; giving the date, and names, &c., and the history of the whole transaction; naming also, some three individuals that are present, if there be any present, who can at any time when called upon, certify to the same, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. Then let there be a general Recorder, to whom these other records can be handed, being attended with certificates over their own signatures; certifying that the record which they have made is true. Then the general church recorder can enter the record on the general church book, with the certificates and all the attending witnesses, with his own statement and records to be true, from his knowledge of the general character and appointment of those men by the church. And when this is done on the general church book, the record shall be just as holy, and shall answer the ordinance just the same as if he had seen with his eyes, and heard with his ears, and made a record of the same on the general church book.
You may think this order of things to be very particular, but let me tell you that they are only to answer the will of God, by conforming to the ordinance and preparation that the Lord ordained and prepared before the foundation of the world, for the salvation of the dead, who should die without a knowledge of the gospel.
And further, I want you to remember that John the Revelator was contemplating this very subject in relation to the dead, when he declared as you will find recorded in Revelations, xx: 12. "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God: and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works" You will discover in this quotation that the books were opened; and another book was opened, which was the book of life. But the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works; consequently the books spoken of must be the books which contained the record of their works; consequently the books spoken of must be the books which contained the record of their works; and refers to the records which are kept on the earth. And the book which was the book of life, is the record which is kept in heaven; the principle agreeing precisely with the doctrine which is commanded you in the revelation contained in the letter which I wrote you previous to my leaving my place, "that in all your recordings it may be recorded in heaven." Now the nature of this ordinance consists in the power of the priesthood, by the revelation of Jesus Christ; wherein it is granted, that whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Or in other words, taking a different view of the translation, whatsoever you record on earth shall be recorded in heaven; and whatsoever you do not record on earth shall not be recorded in heaven; for out of the books shall your dead be judged, according to their works, whether they themselves have attended to the ordinances in their own propria persona, or by the means of their own agents, according to the ordinance which God has prepared for their salvation from before the foundation of the world; according to the records which they have kept concerning their dead.
It may seem to some to be a very bold doctrine that we talk of: a power which records or binds on earth, and binds in heaven: nevertheless, in all ages of the world, whenever the Lord has given a dispensation of the Priesthood to any man by actual revelation, or any set of men, this power has always been given. Hence whatsoever those men did in authority, in the name of the Lord, and did it truly
and faithfully, and kept a proper and faithful record of the same, it became a law on earth and in heaven, and could not be annulled, according to the decrees of the great Jehovah.-This is a faithful saying! Who can hear it?
And again for a precedent, Matthew, xvi: 18,19. "And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter: and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it: and I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Now the great and grand secret of the whole matter, and the sum and bonum of the whole subject that is lying before us, consists in obtaining the powers of the Holy Priesthood. For him to whom these keys are given, there is no difficulty in obtaining a knowledge of facts in relation to the salvation of the children of men, both as well for the dead as for the living. Herein is glory and honor, and immortality, and eternal life. The ordinance of baptism by water, to be immersed therein in order to answer to the likeness of the dead, that one principle might accord with the other. To be immersed in the water and come forth out of the water is in the likeness of the resurrection of the dead in coming forth out of the graves; hence, this ordinance was instituted to form a relationship with the ordinance of baptism for the dead, being in likeness of the dead. Consequently the Baptismal Font was instituted as a simile of the grave, and was commanded to be in a place underneath where the living are wont to assemble, to shew [show] forth the living and the dead: and that all things may have their likeness, and that they may accord one with another; that which is earthly, conforming to that which is heavenly, as Paul hath declared, 1 Corinthians, xv: 46, 47, and 48. "Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural, and afterwards that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord, from heaven. As is the earthy such are they also that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly." And as are the records on the earth in relation to your dead, which are truly made out, so also are the records in heaven. This therefore is the sealing and binding power, and in one sense of the word the keys of the kingdom, which consists in the key of knowledge. And now my dearly and beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles, in relation to the dead and the living, that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul says concerning the fathers, 'that they without us can not be made perfect;' neither can we without our dead, be made perfect. And now in relation to the baptism for the dead, I will give you another quotation of Paul, 1 Corinthians, xv: 29. Else what shall they do which are baptised [baptized] for the dead if the dead rise not at all; why are they then baptized for the dead. And again, in connexion [connection] with this quotation, I will give you a quotation from one of the prophets, who had his eye fixed on the restoration of the priesthood, the glories to be revealed in the last days, and in an especial manner this most glorious of all subjects belonging to the everlasting gospel, viz: the baptism for the dead; for Malachi says, last chapter, verses 5th and 6th, Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. I might have rendered a plainer translation to this, but it is sufficiently plain to suit my purpose as it stands. It is sufficient to know in this case, that the earth will be smitten with a curse, unless there is a welding link of some kind or other, between the fathers and the children, upon some subject or other, and behold, what is that subject. It is the baptism for the dead. For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect. Neither can they or us, be made perfect without those who have died in the gospel also; for it is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness [fullness] of times; which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole, and complete, and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place, and be revealed, from the days of Adam even to the present time; and not only this, but those things which never have been revealed from the foundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and prudent, shall be revealed unto babes and sucklings in this the dispensation of the fulness [fullness]of times.-Now what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? "A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from Heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth, glad tidings for the dead: a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy; how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things; and that say unto Zion, behold! thy God reigneth. As the dews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them. And again, what do we hear? Glad tidings from Cumorah! Moroni,
an Angel from heaven, declaring the fulfilment [fulfillment] of the prophets-the book to be revealed. A voice of the Lord in the wilderness of Fayette, Seneca county, declaring the three witnesses to bear record of the book. The voice of Michael on the banks of the Susquehanna, detecting the devil when he appeared as an angel of light. The voice of Peter, James and John, in the wilderness between Harmony, Susquehanna county, and Colesville, Broom county, on the Susquehanna River, declaring themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fulness [fullness] of times. And again, the voice of God in the chamber of old father Whitmer, in Fayette, Seneca county, and at sundry times, and in divers places, through all the travels and tribulations of this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And the voice of Michael, the archangel; the voice of Gabriel, and of Raphael, and of divers angels, from Michael or Adam, down to the present time, all declaring each one their dispensation, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the power of their priesthood; giving line upon line, precept upon precept; here a little and there a little-giving us consolation by holding forth that which is to come, confirming our hope.
Brethren shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceeding glad.-Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prisons; for the prisoners shall go free.
Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your eternal King. And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills, flow down with gladness. Let the woods, and all the trees of the field praise the Lord: and ye solid rocks weep for joy. And let the sun, moon, and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy. And let the eternal creations declare his name for ever and ever. And again I say, how glorious is the voice we hear from heaven proclaiming in our cars, glory, and salvation, and honor, and immortality, and eternal life: kingdoms, principalities, and powers. Behold the great day of the Lord is at hand, and who can abide the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appeareth, for he is like a refiners fire and like fullers soap; and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Let us therefore, as a church and a people, and as Latter Day Saints, offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness, and let us present in his holy Temple when it is finished, a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation.
Brethren, I have many things to say to you on the subject; but shall now close for the present, and continue the subject another time.
I am, as ever, your humble servant and never deviating friend.
As good news from a far country, like pure water to a thirsty traveller [traveler], is very refreshing, so we have thought that a little space devoted to Nauvoo, might afford some consolation to those that wish well to the cause of Zion. It is one of the few comforts of the saints in this world, to be settled in peace, and witness the raped [rapid] growth of their infant city, as a place of safety and gathering for the last days. For three or four miles upon the river and about the same distance back in the country, Nauvoo presents a city of gardens, ornamented with the dwellings of those who have made a covenant by sacrifice, and are guided by revelation, an exception to all other societies upon the earth. There is a beautiful commandment and call upon this subject in the fiftieth Psalm, as well as a prophecy of what the Lord will do when he shines, the perfection of beauty out of Zion.
The city of Nauvoo is regularly laid off into blocks, containing four lots of eleven by twelve rods each-making all corner lots. It will be no more than probably correct, if we allow the city to contain between seven and eight hundred houses, with a population of 14 or 15,000. Many of the recent built houses are brick, some one story, and some two stories high, displaying that skill, economy and industry which have always characterized intelligent minds and laudable intentions. The first habitations, as well as many now reared for the time being, in comparison with the expensive mansions of voluptuousness and grandeur in old cities, may be termed "small" but when it is recollected that a large portion of the saints have been "scattered and peeled" some two or three times: and that, also, it is the 'fashion' of the world, to 'shave' them close before they let them 'go to the land of promise,' (as hypocrites not unfrequently [infrequently] name the place of gathering) no apology will be needed. We can, therefore, of a truth declare, that within the same length of time, and with the same amount of means, no society on the face of the globe, has a better
right to the claim of improvement by their own industry; or have offered to their surrounding neighbors, a plainer pattern of mechanical skill, domestic economy, practical temperance, common intelligence, every day virtue, and eternal religion, than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Such a statement of facts will be considered the simple truth, when it is remembered that we are the only people upon the earth who profess to be governed and guided by direct revelation from the Lord: And in this place let us not forget to mention that important commandment which said: "And again, inasmuch as there is land obtained, let there be workmen sent forth, of all kinds, unto this land, to labor for the saints of God." Now who that has witnessed the driving of the saints from place to place, and seen them in the short space of two or three years, raise a town or a city, glowing with all the arts, improvements, and curious workmen found any where upon the earth, can doubt this revelation? One thing is certain, the elders must possess more plausibility, discernment and ingenuity, to find out wise and skilful [skillful] workmen, than has ever been the lot of the world, or else the revelation is true,-and these elders are blessed with the spirit of God, to assist in bringing to pass his act, his strange act. This light is not under a bushel.
Two steam mills have been put into operation this season, and many other buildings for mechanical labor in the various branches of manufacture, are either under way or in contemplation,-while the Temple of God, a work of great magnitude, and the Nauvoo House, which when finished will hardly be surpassed in the western world, are rising up as monuments of the enterprise, industry and reverence of the commandments of God, of the saints in their banishment from Missouri.
As to mercantile business we have but little to say:-The fewer foreign goods that are consumed among the saints, the better it will be for home manufactories,-and the nearer we shall come to the word of the Lord, which says: "Thou shalt not be proud in thy heart; let all thy garments be plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands."
We have two presses doing as much as can be expected from the limited resources of a people twice plucked up by the roots, and plundered, even to their clothes, besides the loss of a good printing establishment. As far as truth can be spread and lies contradicted by two presses, against several thousand, it is done! and we have the gratification of saying that things seem to work together for good to them that look for the second appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Finally, brethren, as this world is not the place of much happiness to the saints, on account of the great prevalence of the powers of darkness upon the earth, and the wickedness and corruption of men's hearts, we think we can not do better than say, that while other cities are secretly practicing vice in its most horrid form, Nauvoo, like an infant at the breast of its mother, is deriving its nourishment from that fountain of life which invigorates youth without endangering the health; and we do sincerely hope, that we as children of the kingdom, may keep the law of God, and the law of the land, continuing steadfast in the liberty of the gospel, and ever abounding in the knowledge of the Lord, knowing this, for grace and salvation, that in the world there is no deliverance; no; nowhere but in Jerusalem, and in Mount Zion, and in the remnant whom the Lord our God shall call.
Nauvoo, at present is, figuratively, the great fish market of the earth, where all kinds, both good and bad, are gathered-where the good are preserved, and the bad cast away-for until the savior comes, there will be wise virgins and foolish;-blessed are they that continue to the end faithful, for whether they have builded a city in Ohio, or Missouri, or Illinois, they shall enter into the joys of their Lord, and inherit the kingdom prepared before the foundation of the world.
If there is any subject in which the saints of the Most High are interested more than another, it is in the completion of the edifice; destitute of a place of worship, and so many thousands subject to the inconvenience of worshipping out of doors where the cold, heat, and damp alternately prey upon the systems of the weak and delicate, and subject them to colds, fevers, and a variety of diseases, renders it imperative upon us to use our energies in building that house. This however is tolerable, when we consider the inconveniences that we have to labor under in the winter season; when instead of having a commodious building to worship in, we are subjected to the inconvenience of worshipping in private houses, or in the best manner that we can, and no matter how important a subject has to be laid before the saints, it is imposible [impossible] for them to hear it, as there is no place for them to congregate in.
These, as natural reasons, might be considered sufficient to induce any religious community to use their utmost exertions in the accomplishment of so desirable object. But when
we consider the great work in which we are engaged, a work that has been looked forward to with delight by the ancient servants of God; a theme about which all the inspired poets have sung, and all the prophets, from the foundation of the world, have wrote-even the "dispensation of the fulness [fullness] of times, which has been spoken of by ALL the prophets since the world began." God has reserved us as the honored instruments to participate in the blessings glories, and privileges, that "prophets and kings desired to see, but died without the sight.
Under these circumstances, blessed with the light and intelligence of heaven, and with direct revelation from the Most High, it behooves us as his people to use the most untiring diligence, and to exert all our energies in the accomplishment of an object so desirable for us to attend to; and so pregnant with importance to the inhabitants of this city. The Lord has given us directions in regard to this affair, and has said, "let the House be built by the tithing of my people." This is a commandment which is binding, which is imperative upon all God's people, and if we consider ourselves his people, we shall feel ourselves bound under the strongest obligations, even that of duty, to our God to fulfil [fulfill] this requisition. We take pleasure in stating that many of the saints have come forward with willingness and cheerfulness, and have tithed and consecrated all, yea more than could have been required of them; whilst others have relaxed in their duty and have been slow to perform their covenants. We know that of late we have had gloomy times; clouds have been gathering around our horizon, and our atmosphere has been impregnated with the foul effluvia of wanton and unmerited persecution; the life of our prophet has been sought after, and many unpleasant circumstances have transpired which in their nature have had a tendency to damp the energies, and slacken the exertions of the saints in the accomplishment of this great work; and as the building of the Temple is principally depending upon the tenth day's labor of the inhabitants of this place, when many are slack, as has been the ease of late, it has a great tendency to retard the work-to dispirit those who are actively engaged, and who feel zealous in the work, and to derange very materially the plans and designs of the committee. There are some few things that devolve upon us to mention, which, though an unpleasant work, we feel the importance of the cause requires at our hands.
The committee find themselves very much perplexed in consequence of the brethren not coming forward as usual from their different wards, to perform their tenth of labor. They state that they cannot get sufficient stone quarried to supply the stone cutters at the Temple, and that some of them have been obliged to quit work in consequence, and that unless strenuous exertions are immediately made, and the brethren come up promptly to their duty, the work will be greatly retarded, and perhaps have to stop; at all events the stone cutters will have to stop unless they get an immediate supply of stone. Brethren, such things ought not to be: "let us not be weary in well doing, for we shall reap in due time, if we faint not." We have commenced a good work we have been zealously engaged in it-we have spent a great deal of labor, and toil, and our expectations have been great when we have reflected upon the blessings that would flow to us through that medium. Let us begin this next week and continue our labors "until the topstone shall be raised with shoutings of grace! grace unto it!" The committee state that if they have a sufficiency of stone quarried, they can not only be progressing with the work this fall, but the stone cutters can be employed all the winter, and thus have a great quantity of hewn stone ready to commence with as soon as the spring opens which will greatly facilitate the progress of the work.
It may here be necessary to give a word or two of instruction: many of the brethren no doubt out of the best of motives bring guns and watches, and other kinds of property that is not saleable, or easy to dispose of; they give them in at what is considered a fair valuation, yet they are not saleable-they will not purchase either provisions or clothing for those that need, neither will they purchase labor, and they lay as useless lumber the hands of the committee. It is the especial desire of the committee, and absolutely necessary for the prosperity of the work that the brethren in town pay their tenth in labor, and not in property.
In regard to the brethren in the country, we would also say a word. Cattle which are neither fit for milking or killing are frequently brought in for tithing, and they lay as dead property on the hands of the committee-as they have no way of feeding them they are put into the drove, from which several have wandered off and been lost; we would therefore advise the brethren to bring in fat cattle which would immediately supply the hands with beef; or otherwise milch [milk] cows that might be disposed of to advantage. Another word on this subject and we have done. Many of the brethren, in their liberality bring in pumpkins, squashes, potatoes, and other vegetables, if, when they were doing this they could bring a little corn meal,
flour, butter, pork, or other articles of that kind they would be very acceptable.
Perhaps we have said enough on this subject, but we feel the importance of it and therefore speak plainly. It is for you, brethren, to say whether the work shall stand or progress; one thing is certain, that unless that is done all our efforts to aggrandize or enrich ourselves will be vain and futile. We may build splendid houses but we shall not inhabit them; we may cultivate farms but we shall not enjoy them; we may plant orchards, or vineyards, but we shall not eat the fruit of them. The word of the Lord is build my house, and until that command is fulfilled we stand responsible to the great Jehovah for the fulfilment [fulfillment] of it, and if not done in due time we may have to share the same fate that we have heretofore done in Missouri.
But leaving duty and interest out of the question, if we wish to receive great blessings from the hands of Jehovah, if we wish to receive our anointing, if we wish the glory of the priesthood to be more fully developed, if we wish to do the will of God and to secure the blessings of the most high God, in fact if we wish to secure our present, our temporal and eternal salvation, we shall build that house.
From the Book of Doctrine & Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
According to the custom of all civilized nations, marriage is regulated by laws and ceremonies: therefore we believe, that all marriages in this church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, should be solemnized in a public meeting, or feast, prepared for that purpose: and that the solemnization should be performed by a presiding high priest, high priest, bishop, elder, or priest, not even prohibiting those persons who are desirous to get married, of being married by other authority.-We believe that it is not right to prohibit members of this church from marrying out of the church, if it be their determination so to do, but such persons will be considered weak in the faith of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Marriage should be celebrated with prayer and thanksgiving; and at the solemnization, the persons to be married, standing together, the man on the right, and the woman on the left, shall be addressed, by the person officiating, as he shall be directed by the holy Spirit; and if there be no legal objections, he shall say, calling each by their names: "You both mutually agree to be each other's companion, husband and wife, observing the legal rights belonging to this condition; that is, keeping yourselves wholly for each other, and from all others, during your lives." And when they have answered "Yes," he shall pronounce them "husband and wife" in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by virtue of the laws of the country and authority vested in him: "may God add his blessings and keep you to fulfil [fulfill] your covenants from henceforth and forever. Amen."
The clerk of every church should keep a record of all marriages, solemnized in his branch.
All legal contracts of marriage made before a person is baptized into this church, should be held sacred and fulfilled. Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again. It is not right to persuade a woman to be baptized contrary to the will of her husband, neither is it lawful to influence her to leave her husband. All children are bound by law to obey their parents; and to influence them to embrace any religious faith, or be baptized, or leave their parents without their consent, is unlawful and unjust. We believe that husbands, parents and masters who exercise control over their wives, children, and servants and prevent them from embracing the truth, will have to answer for that sin.
We have given the above rule of marriage as the only one practiced in this church, to show that Dr. J. C. Bennett's "secret wife system" is a matter of his own manufacture; and further to disabuse the public ear, and shew [show] that the said Bennett and his misanthropic friend Origen Bachelor, are perpetrating a foul and infamous slander upon an innocent people, and need but be known to be hated and despise. In support of this position, we present the following certificates:-
We the undersigned members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and residents of the city of Nauvoo, persons of families do hereby certify and declare that we know of no other rule or system of marriage than the one published from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and we give this certificate to show that Dr. J. C. Bennett's "secret wife system"
is a creature of his own make as we know of no such society in this place nor never did.
S. Bennett, N. K. Whitney,
George Miller, Albert Pettey,
Alpheus Cutler, Elias Higbee,
Reynolds Cahoon, John Taylor,
Wilson Law, E. Robinson,
W. Woodruff, Aaron Johnson.
We the undersigned members of the ladies' relief society, and married females do certify and declare that we know of no system of marriage being practised [practiced] in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints save the one contained in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and we give this certificate to the public to show that J. C. Bennett's "secret wife system" is a disclosure of his own make.
Emma Smith, President,
Elizabeth Ann Whitney, Counsellor [Counselor],
Sarah M. Cleveland, Counsellor [Counselor],
Eliza R. Snow, Secretary,
Mary C. Miller, Catharine Pettey,
Lois Cutler, Sarah Higbee,
Thirza Cahoon, Phebe Woodruff
Ann Hunter, Leonora Taylor,
Jane Law, Sarah Hillman,
Sophia R. Marks, Rosannah Marks,
Polly Z. Johnson, Angeline Robinson,
Missouri Law.-The Executive committee of the Am. A. S. Society have taken legal advice in regard to what can de [be] done for Thompson, Work, and Burr, confined for twelve years in the penitentiary of Missouri. The result is, that nothing can be done for their relief-the case being quite out of the jurisdiction of the other courts. The only thing which can possibly avail them is, for the governors of those States of which they were citizens, to expostulate with the governor of Missouri, and obtain some abridgement [abridgment] of the time. Whether they will do this is very doubtful. This is a hard case; for it is admitted, even in Missouri, that they broke no law except by a forced construction. Indeed, when the young men were arrested, it was a long time before they could find any law under which to try them, and the law they applied did not, and never was intended to have any relation to the case.
We have copied the foregoing article for the purpose of showing that the State of Missouri, is not governed by law in her disposition of those that are considered offensive. If "the young men broke no law," and the law by which they were tried had no relevancy to the case, how could they be sent to the penitentiary for twelve years, except upon mob law, or despotic assumption? It is well such cruel cases, as too often occur in Missouri, begin to attract the attention of some more sensible portions of the American public. The church of Latter-Day Saints will not be the only people, who complain of injustice and oppression from the people and government of Missouri. We care nothing about abolitionism, and have nothing to do with it, but we do care about the honor and virtue of our country, and want an equal enjoyment of rights and privileges from the banker to the beggar; from the president to the peasant:-but when wicked men bear rule the people mourn.
We certainly take pleasure in presenting to our readers, the following well directed hit on Miller's Sectarian Millennium. It appears in the Olive Branch of Boston, and if the editors had been as wise in their calculations from a plentiful harvest for the people's salvation, as in their exposition of the Millennium's commencing in April, 1843, they would have given one hint upon the voice of famine: but to the article; viz:-
GOD'S WAYS ARE EQUAL. In his controversy with the ancient Jews God said, "My ways are equal, your ways are unequal." On this declaration we have been led lately to reflect, when looking over the country and seeing the immense harvest about to be gathered in. Nature is yielding in an unusual manner, and the strong probability is that two years' provisions are soon to be reaped from the earth. Why is this? We know that the All-wise Giver of good things has in time past sent plentiful years, but they were to supply the necessities of his creatures in years of scarcity which were to follow. In this he showed his ways to be equal. It was so with the seven years of plenty in Egypt, which were followed by seven years of famine. This was an equal balance of year for year; and no doubt this balance has always been kept up, the surplus of one year supplying the deficiency of another. Here all is equal. Now our reflections on this subject led us to propose the following question for the consideration and answer of those who believe that this is the last year of the world's existence. If the present is
to be the last year of the world, and God should supply the inhabitants thereof with a large amount of food beyond the power of consumption, the present year, where is the evidence of his wisdom, or of the truth of that declaration-"My ways are equal?"
Joe Smith was seen on the 3d inst., on his way to Galena, and it was thought he would push for Canada. His influence is on the wane most evidently.-St. Louis Picket Guard.
It is a great pity that humbuggery was not on the wane too. Joe Smith is at his residence in Nauvoo, attending to and administering the droppings of Mormon beneficence. Apropos-would it not be a more wise course for the press abroad to drop this nonsensical jargon about the Mormons-let them pursue their vocations after their own modes, customs and consciences, than to be eternally poking sharp sticks at a harmless inoffensive sect? Surely we should think so. What say you, friend Whitney?
Minutes of a conference of the elders of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, held at Alexander, Genesee co. N. Y., on the 27-8 of August A. D. 1842.
The conference met according to previous adjournment and organized by calling Elder R. L. Young to the chair and C. R. Clark clerk; after which a hymn was then sung and the throne of Grace addressed by Elder Pelatiah Brown.
On motion said conference was adjourned to 1 o'clock P. M. Conference met according to adjournment, a hymn being sung and prayer by the president, conference proceeded to business.
Motioned and carried that the clerk take the names of all the official members present, which are as follows: high priest, Ezra Thayer: of the Seventy, Charles Thompson, Harmon H. Hill, Joel McWhithey: Elders, Geo. Thompson, Hiram Thompson, C. R. Clark, S. W. Disbrow, Nathan Hatch, - Taylor, Benjamin Waldron, Thomas Pearson, Pelatiah Brown, Geo. Brown, Rowland Cobb, Nathan Bradley, R. L. Young, R. D. Sprague: Priests, Miron Alger, John L. Bartholf, Alviras Webster, Daniel Adams: Teachers, Silas Alger, Joseph Shamp, Joseph Shadbolt, Linus Whiting, James E. Herrington: Deacons Sameul Mott, Isaiah Call.
Representation of the several branches belonging to said conference.
Alexander branch represented by Samuel Mott, consists of 24 members, 2 elders, 1 deacon.
Batavia branch represented by S. W. Disbrow, consists of 22 members, 2 elders, 1 priest, 1 teacher.
Acron branch represented by James E. Herrington, consists of 9 members, 1 elder, 1 priest.
Charlotte Centre branch represented by Thomas Pearson, consists of 16 members, 3 elders.
Attica branch represented by Alviras Webster, consists of 13 members, 1 priest, 1 teacher.
Castile branch represented by Benjamin Waldron, consists of 5 members, 2 elders, 1 teacher. Also 4 members, living near by.
Bennington branch represented by Joel McWhithey, consists of 24 members, 2 elders, 1 deacon.
Sparta branch represented by R. L. Young, consists of 13 members, 2 elders, 1 deacon; 2 moved away since last conference.
Loon Lake branch represented by R. L. Young, consists of 6 members, 2 elders.
Howard and Bath branches represented by R. L. Young, consist of 25 members, 1 priest, 1 teacher.
In Burns are 2 members and 1 elder.
In Grove are 5 members and 1 teacher.
In Granger are 2 members and 1 elder.
Conference then adjourned to Br. Geo. Thompson's at early candle light.
Opened agreeable to adjournment: after singing and prayer, conference proceeded to business.
Moved and carried that no elder or priest belonging to any of the branches under the jurisdiction of this conference, go beyond the jurisdiction of his branch to preach and build up the church without a recommend from said conference; and that no officer shall hereafter be ordained to any of the above branches except for the express purpose of presiding over or in said branch without the voice of the conference.
Motioned and carried that Richard D. Sprague and Rowland Cobb have a recommend to build up the church in the regions round about.
Motioned and carried that Hiram Thompson, Silas S. Davis and R. L. Young retain their recommends received last conference.
Moved and carried that we acknowledge Elder Charles Thompson in authority to travel in all the branches in this conference, teaching them the order of the kingdom, organizing and regulating the officers of the same, and to preside over them while with them, and to gather up the scattered members and officers and attach them to some branch or organize them by themselves.
Moved and carried that S. W. Disbrow retain his former appointment as to receiving donations for the building of the Temple at Nauvoo, and that he forward the said donations to the Trustee in Trust, when he shall have convenient opportunity and receive receipts which he shall present at the next conference.
Conference then adjourned to meet on the 28th at the meeting house at Alexander Centre at 9 o'clock A. M.
Met agreeable to adjournment. A hymn sung and prayer made by Elder Charles Thompson, followed by a discourse delivered by Elder Pelatiah Brown on the resurrection. A discourse was delivered in the afternoon by Elder Charles Thompson on the subject of faith.
Conference adjourned to meet Elder Geo. Thompson's at early candle light.
Met according to adjournment, a hymn sung and the throne of Grace addressed by the president.
Motioned and carried that we give our vote of thanks by letter to the Rev. Mr. Bunker, minister of the Universalist church of Alexander, and the members of the same for their kindness in granting to this conference the use of their house of worship and candid attention during the conference: also his kind invitation in inviting us to attend his meetings, which will be accepted when convenient.
Moved and carried that Miron Alger, priest, have a recommend to go forth to preach and to build up according to his office.
Moved and carried that Hiram Thompson be the clerk in this conference until otherwise directed by the same, to receive, record and keep a memorandum of all the essential business done in said conference.
Motioned and carried that the president and clerk transcribe these minutes after their true meaning, and forward them to the editor of the "Times and Seasons" requesting them to be printed.
R. L. YOUNG, Pres.
CALVIN R. CLARK, Clerk.
Elder Martin Titus is requested to return to Nauvoo immediately, to answer to certain charges that are preferred against him.
THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES.
(From the Warder.=====
The days of old were days of might, A blight hath pass'd upon the church,
In forms of greatness moulded [molded]; Her summer hath departed;
And flowers of heaven grew on the earth, The chill of age is on her sons,
Within the church unfolded. The cold and fearful-hearted.
For grace fell fast as summer's dew, And sad amid neglect and scorn,
And Saints to giant's stature grew. Our mother sits and weeps forlorn.
But one by one the gifts are gone, Narrow and narrower still, each year
That in the church resided; The holy circles groweth;
And gone the spirits living light, And what the end of all shall be,
That on her walls abided: Nor man nor angel knoweth.
When by our shrines he came to dwell And so we wait and watch in fear.
In power and presence visible. It may be that the Lord is near.
BOOKS OF MORMON, &C.
Just published and for sale, Books of Mormon, and Hymn Books, together with some other publications in defence [defense] of the faith of the saints.
Nauvoo. Aug. 20, 1842.
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