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Times and Seasons/5/17
Times and Seasons: Volume 5, Number 17
Summary:Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Times and Seasons Vol. 5
|Number 16||Number 18|
Times and Seasons: Volume 5, Number 17
Jump to Subtopic:
- HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
- TO THE ELDERS OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST, WHO PREACH GOOD TIDINGS TO THE WORLD.
- FOREIGN NEWS.
- CONFERENCE MINUTES.
- TRIAL OF ELDER RIGDON.
|TIMES AND SEASONS|
|"TRUTH WILL PREVAIL"|
|Volume V. No. 17.]||CITY OF NAUVOO. ILL. SEPT. 15, 1844.||[Whole No. 101.|
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
The disciples should lose no time in preparing schools for their children, that they may be taught as is pleasing unto the Lord, and brought up in the ways of holiness. Those appointed to select and prepare books for the use of schools, will attend to that subject as soon as more weighty matters are finished. But the parents and guardians in the Church of Christ need not wait-it is all important that children, to become good should be taught so. Moses, while delivering the words of the Lord to the congregation of Isrrel [Israel], the parents, says, And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thy heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.-If it were necessary to teach their children diligently, how much more necessary is it now, when the Church of Christ is to be an ensign, yea, even a sample to the world, for good? A word to the wise ought to be sufficient, for children soon become men and women. Yes, they are they that must follow us, and perform the duties which, not only appertain to this world, but to the second coming of the Savior, even preparing for the sabbath of creation, and for eternity.
"The Star Office is situated within twelve miles of the west line of the state of Missouri; which is at present the western limits of the United States, and about 120 miles west of any press in the state, in about 39 degrees of north latitude, and about 17 1-2 degrees of west longitude; two and a half miles south of Missouri river; 280 miles by land, or 500 by water west of St. Louis; nearly 1200 miles west of Washington; 1300 miles from New York, and more than 1500 miles from Boston."
In August we were again delighted to receive the Star. The following is extracted from the second number.
THE ELDERS IN THE LAND OF ZION, TO THE CHURCH OF CHRIST
Brethren, we think it proper to give you some general information respecting the present state of the church in Zion, and also the work of the gathering. Notwithstanding that nearly all christendom doubts the propriety of receiving revelations for the government of the church of Christ in this age, and generally adopt the scriptures of the Old and New Testament as the only rule of faith and practice, yet we believe, from the scriptures of truth, that to every church in the past ages, which the Lord recognized to be his, he gave revelations wisely calculated to govern them in the peculiar situation and circumstances under which they were placed, and to enable them by authority to do the peculiar work which they were to perform. The bible contains revelations given at different times to different people, under different circumstances, as will be seen by editorial articles in this paper. The old world was destroyed for rejecting the revelations of God, given to them through Noah. The Israelites were destroyed in the wilderness for dispising [despising] the revelations given to them through Moses: and Christ said that the world, in the days of the apostles, should be condemned for not receiving the word of God through them: thus we see that the judgments of God in the past ages have come upon the people, not so much for neglecting the revelations given to their forefathers, as for rejecting those given immediately to themselves. Of the blessings of heaven it may be said they have always rested upon the heads of those to whom they were promised: Therefore, seeing that it not only was, but as long as God remains the same, always will be the privilege of the true church to receive revelations, containing blessings and cursings, peculiarly adapted to itself as a church. We conclude that it is a mistaken notion that the scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the only rule of faith and practice; nevertheless, inasmuch as the precepts and examples contained in them are truly applicable to us under our particular circumstances, we are bound to be governed by them; and we also can receive much benefit from such prophesies as point out the events that shall take place in our day and age: of these there are many, both in the Old and New Testament. They speak plainly of great things that shall be accomplished in the last days;-such as preaching of the everlasting gospel to all nations; the gathering of the elect from the four winds of heaven; the building up of Zion and Jerusalem, or the gathering of the remnants
of Jacob, and the planting them in the lands of their father's inheritance: The necessary preparation to meet the Savior at his second coming, with all his saints to dwell with them in the millennium reign. And now, who, with the bible in his hand, can suppose that these great and marvelous works can be accomplished by the church without more revelations from the Lord? We cannot, for we worship the God of Israel, in whom there is neither variableness nor shadow of turning;-consequently as in the days of old, so in these last days, he has given us revelations by which we may know how to organize the Church of Christ, and by his authority to perform the work which he has enjoined upon us. And now brethren, if we wish for blessings upon this church, we must walk humble before the Lord, and observe to keep all his commandments. Notwithstanding the work of the gathering will be accomplished, we believe in a speedy manner, yet the Lord has commanded that it shall not be done in haste, nor by flight, but that all things shall be prepared before you; and for this purpose he has made it the duty of the bishop or agent in the land of Zion to make known, from time to time, the privileges of the land, to the conferences, which may determine and make known how many can be accommodated. And the saints will remember that the bishop in the land of Zion, will not receive any, as wise stewards, without they bring recommend from the bishop in Ohio, or from three elders. The elders therefore, will be careful and not recommend and send up churches to this place, without first receiving information from the bishop in Ohio, or in the land of Zion, that they can be accommmodated [accommodated] when they arrive, so as to be settled without confusion, which would produce pestilence. Therefore, if a church is desirous to come to the land of Zion, we would recommend, that first, by letter or otherwise, they make known their desires and their situation to the bishop in Ohio or in the land of Zion, and receive information from them before they start. Brethren will perceive as well as we, that where churches of fifty or a hundred souls each, are coming to the land of Zion from different parts of the nation, and, as soon will be the case, from different nations, without a knowledge of each other, they would, when they arrive, be in a state of confusion, and labor under many disadvantages which might be avoided by strictly observing the rules and regulations of the church. Moreover by being in haste, and forcing the sale of property, unreasonable sacrifices have been made, and although this is a day of sacrifice and tithing, yet to make lavish and unreasonable sacrifices is not well pleasing in the sight of the Lord.
It is about one year since the work of the gathering commenced, in which time between three and four hundred have arrived here and are mostly located upon their inheritances, and are generally in good health and spirits are doing well. The expense of journeying and settling here, together with the establishing of a printing office and store, have probably exceeded the expectations of our brethren abroad, and although Zion, according to the prophets, is to become like Eden or the garden of the Lord, yet, at present it is as it were but a wilderness and desert, and the disadvantages of settling in a new country, you know, are many and great: Therefore, prudence would dictate at present the churches abroad, come not up to Zion, until preparations can be made for them, and they receive information as above. The prospect for crops in this region of country, is, at present, tolerable good, but calls for provisions will undoubtedly be considerable, for besides the emigration of the whites, the government of the United States is settling the Indians, (or remnants of Joseph) immediately to the west, and they must be fed.
Brethren, we drop the above remarks for your benefit, until you can have the revelations to peruse for yourselves, which will be published as soon as they can be consistently.-Although the Lord has said, that it is his to provide for his saints in these last days, yet, remember he is not bound so to do, unless we observe his sayings and keep them.
TO THE ELDERS OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST, WHO PREACH GOOD TIDINGS TO THE WORLD.
Brethren, as stars of the ensign which is now set up for the benefit of all nations, you are to enlighten the world; you are to prepare the way for the people to come up to Zion; you are to instruct men how to receive the fulness [fullness] of the gospel, and the everlasting covenants, even them that were from the beginning; you are to carry the Ark of Safety before the wondering multitudes, without fear, entreating and beseeching all men to be saved; you are to set an example of meekness and humility before saints and sinners, as did the savior; and when reviled you are not to revile again; you are to reason with men as in days of old, to bear patiently and answer as the spirit of truth shall direct, allowing all credit for every item of good. You are to walk in the valley of humility and pray for the salvation of all; yea, you are to pray for your enemies; and warn in
compassion, without threatening the wicked with judgments which are to be poured upon the world hereafter. You have no right to take the judgments, which fell upon the ungodly before the flood, and pour them upon the head of this generation; you have no authority to use the judgments which God sent upon Pharoah in Egypt, to terrify the inhabitants of America, neither have you any direction by commandment, to collect the calamities of six thousand years, and paint them upon the curtain of these last days to scare mankind to repentance; no; you are to preach the gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation, even glad tidings of great joy unto all people.
Again, you are not to take the blessings of an individual, or of a church, from the days of Enoch to the days of the apostles, and place them upon an individual or a church, in these last days; but you are to teach all men that they are to be judged according to their works: For, if God is the same yesterday, today and forever, his reward is always with him, and his revelations and blessings, and judgments, before the flood, were fitted for that people and that time; in the days of Abraham, for that man and that time; in the days of Moses, for that man and that time; in the days of David, for that man and that time; in the days of Paul, for that man and that time; and now, for this generation and this time. You therefore, must reason from the Bible and the Book of Mormon, with great care and not pervert the meaning of God's sacred word. If our heavenly Father saw fit to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for their wickedness, for its abomination, and Jerusalem for a transgression of his commandments, what have their destructions to do with the salvation of the world now? The Lord says vengeance is mine, and I will repay. Teach all men to trust in God and not in man, and do works meet for repentance. Again, teach all men that God is a God of the living and not of the dead. Finally, whatever you do, do it with an eye single to the glory of God. You are the light of the world in matters of pure religion, and many souls may be required at your hands. Let the idea not leave you, that, not only the eyes of the world but the eyes of the angels and of God are upon you.
It is a day of strange appearances. Every thing indicates something more than meets the eye. Every nation is opening events which astonish mankind: Even the heart of man begins to melt at the prospect before it. The unquenchable thirst for news; the continuity of emigration; the wars and rumors of wars, with many other signs of the distress of nations, from the old world-as it is called across the ocean-whispers so loud to the understanding, that he that runs may read the label on the eastern sky: The end is nigh. France is filled with a spirit of rebellion and when the cholera was sweeping its thousands, mobs were collecting to slay their tens of thousands. While the hospitals were crowded with the sick, and the groans of the dying filled the air, the fashionable French were holding cholera balls and dancing at the judgments of the Almighty.-In England, where an anxious multitude have been waiting for a reformation in government for years, disappointment is destruction. The house of lords has rejected the Reform Bill, and the proud hearted Englishman says-Reform or revolution! No stop there: for the sound comes across the Atlantic. Reform or ruin!-All the kingdoms of the east seem to be preparing to act the part allotted to them, when the Lord rebukes the nations. As on a morning of some great festival, the church bell, the cannon, the small arms, the music, and the cheers of the multitude, arouse all to what is going on, and thunders to man: Behold the day! so also earthquakes, wars and rumors of wars, the distress of nations, the constant tide of emigration to the west, the wide spreading ravages of the cholera morbus, and the joy of the saints of God as they come out of Babylon, alarms the world, and whispers to every mortal, watch ye, for the time is at hand for the second coming of Jesus Christ, the redeemer of Israal [Israel], with peace on earth and good will to man. Watch the signs of his coming, that ye be not deceived.
In connexion [connection] with the star, we publish a weekly paper entitled the UPPER MISSOURI ADVERTISER. It will contain sketches of the news of the day, politics, advertisements, and whatever tends to promote the interest of the great west.
Independence, July, 1832.
From the N. Y. Prophet.
MAGNA EST VERITAS ET PREVALEBIT."
"Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose upon the earth, so truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to mis-doubt her strength. Let her and falsehood grapple."-Milton.
The distinguishing characteristics of the age, in political and religious matters, is a tendency to Ultraism. In the language of an eminent writer, "men seem to see now as they
never saw before, in extent as well as in clearness of visions. We are almost ready to persuade ourselves the experience of the past is of little value to us; that the change of circumstances is so great, that what was wisdom once is no longer such;" that the political or religious systems which we now rear on the ruins of the old ones, must ever endure as the monuments of superior wisdom. Gibbon informs us that it was while viewing the ruins of ancient Rome, that he first formed the idea of that gigantic work, to which he devoted so large a portion of his life; a work replete with instruction from the dead in our dangers and our duties he thought that history was philosophy teaching by example: and indeed it is so.
We may gaze with speechless admiration upon the monuments which fallen nations have left of their glory, on the Ionic elegance of the temples of Apollo at Miletus, and Diana at Ephesus, the Doric grandeur and sublimity of the temple of Theseus at Athens, what are these confessed standards of excellence in the fine arts, compared with the price at which they were purchased-the price of liberty?-Where are Athens and Rome? These once glorious republics have become blended with the chaos of the past; they live only in our memories; their downfall may be traced to their departure from those virtues which were the foundation stones of their strength. Who will look for one moment at modern Rome, where he may see the ruins even of the ancient city? What is true of nations is equally true of the people of God, if they depart from his counsels, their destruction is sure, and God leaves them to rear their own systems upon a heterogeneous mass of error and truth, which they vainly suppose are decided improvements of his plan of salvation, and must eventually supersede it. But who I ask, that is not thoroughly imbued with the common spirit of ultraism and innovation, will regard for a moment, the religious systems of man, when he may behold in all its native simplicity and dignity, the plan of salvation as devised by Almighty God?
Like the early christians, the Latter Day Saints are charged by the priests of the day, with being innovators, a charge which they indignantly disdain, and which is truly farsical [farcical], considering the source from whence it emanates; from those miserably flimsy pretenders to christianity, who wield an influence decidedly inimical to her extension, and indeed hostile to her very existence, for while the avowed infidel attempts openly, but fruitlessly, to sap he [the] foundation upon which rests Christ's Church. These with the more specious appearance of friendship and zeal for her doctrines, wage war not merely with her enemies, but covertly with christianity herself. These pseudo friends in the persons of ministers and church members, have taken her under their insidious protection, only to dishonor her at their leisure, and use what advantages they have acquired by faithless and hollow professions, to give an air of probability to the plausible mischiefs which they have prepared against her, and to plunder her by stealth of some of her fairest distinctions, so that we are wholly unable to recognize her in the painted, patched, and disfigured garb in which they have arrayed her.
It was once said by Talleyrand, of a celebrated physician, that he knew a little of everything, even of medicine. But it may not be said of these persons, with all their professions, that they have embraced even the first principles of the doctrine of Christ. I write with warmth but with no roots of bitterness in my heart; I write with the solemn conviction of my responsibility as one who has embraced the truth in the love of it, and in view of the august tribunal before which all men must one day appear. Oh! that God would inspire me with wisdom from on high, to present truth in such plainness that some wayward wanderer in the wilds of error may fall in love with her who is coming out of the wilderness, leaning on the arm of her beloved. Any person but tolerably conversant with the annals of history, must know that there is no principle which is so directly opposed to the tastes and views of the formalist or profligate, as revelation from God; a principle which God's people have always held, and for which martyrs have died in every age-a principle (this fact none dare dispute) which has always distinguished the people of God in the days of their obedience and prosperity. When men have rejected revelation, and hewn out for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, which can hold no water; then it is that God has left them in their flagrant wickedness, to all the distraction of division and uncertainty, to the worse than Cimmerian darkness of an enslaved mind-Thus it was with the Jews; they killed the prophets which were among them, and God left them to their own ways: and immediately they divided into different sects. Herodians, Pharisees, Saducees, Samaritans, and others, just like the sects of the present day, without any bond of union, all of them utterly destitute of a knowledge of God; their natural inclinations and blindness led them to place
false constructions upon the prophesies, and of course they did not know when they were fulfilled. They declared if they had lived in the days of their fathers, they would not have killed the prophets, but evinced the utter futility of their professions, by slaying those whom God had sent among them. The mystery of the whole was they were destitute of revelation which God intended, but for the wickedness of man, should always remain in the church-Lo! the fulness [fullness] of time had come, and God spake as he did on the morn of creation, "Let there be light" and there was light. The messiah had come, but Oh! how humbly, how directly the reverse from the common expectation; the Jews had rejected the prophets, and they knew him not.
Who will say that the prophets are not necessary? Who will say that revelation is unnecessary? Jesus went forth (preceded by John, who worked no miracle) and established his church on the foundation of apostles and prophets, he himself being the chief cornerstone. Ephesians ii 20. And he gave to this church spiritual gifts, which were to continue in the church so long as she remained in an organized form. Eph., iv., 1 Cor. xii. And for this church he prayed just previous to his betrayal, when he knew that he must soon leave them, "Neither pray I for thee alone; but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. That they may all be one; as the father art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. How different all this is from the religion of the present day; even the very foundation is taken away, and most of the gifts, and so far from praying for a union which the gospel contemplates, and for which Jesus prayed as an evidence to the world of the divinity of his mission, the religionists of the present day, when talking with the Mormons, delight to call to mind and expatiate on the advantages of division in the christian church; the fact of division they are too often reminded of by the jeers of the sceptic [skeptic], and the failure of their much loved projects, and to cancel their confusion, they have taxed their inventive powers, to construct some kind of a robe to hide its hideous deformity. How preposterous to tell us of its advantages. Allowing that some benefit might arise from discussion, can they at all compare with the more serious of the tapestry-garments dipped in blood, the groans of the wounded and the dying-the broad and constantly swelling ranks of infidelity, embracing the brightest and most promising portion of the world, and last, not least, that spirit of bigotry and persecution which is as savage as the tiger, and as cruel and relentless as the grave. I ask where is the grin? and echo answers where? How anyone can for a moment suppose after studying the New Testament, that any church not organized according to the pattern there laid down by the great Head of the church, can be the true one, it is difficult to conceive, unless their creed be "credo quia impossible." The pigmy form, dissonant spirit, repulsive aspect, and incongruous teachings, of the present churches, prove to any person with a cast of mind ordinarily reflective, that they are the growth of any other than an apostolic age. It is impossible to convince the world that that decrepid [decrepit] form without dignity or grace, characterized by a certainty of disposition, wholesale denunciation, and a spirit of falsehood and murderous persecution, is the pure, peaceful, transferring, religion of Him who spake as a man never spake.
It is most certainly obvious that there has been a wide departure from the simplicity of primitive christianity. This apostasy has been foretold in the days of the apostles. I Tim. iv, Tim. ii, iii., &c.
At the close of the sixteenth century, such men as Luther, Calvin, Knox, and Melancthon, awoke from their profound slumbers, heartily sick of the corruptions and mummeries of Papacy, and were hailed by thousands of the sons and daughters of oppression and superstition, as the suspicious omens of a brighter and happier day. They discarded, to be sure, many of the follies of the system of religion from which they had just emerged, but after all, theirs was a partial reformation-they were still in Babylon-their highest aims seem to be to mend the old system; and prove that time to the present day, at different periods, such men as Wesley Murray, Edwards, Campbell, and have arisen from some cause or another, and have become the projectors of new editions of christianity, so that the religious world has become a Babel of conflicting faiths; and the skeptic points triumphantly to the opposing sects, as an unanswerable argument in favor of his assertion that the Bible affords ample ground on which to rear superstructures of faith wide as poles asunder, and therefore cannot have emanated from God.
Christianity as it fell from the lips of Jesus Christ and his apostles, is now treated as if it had at length been discovered to be fictitious; not only by infidel and the unthinking, but by the various denominations of modern christians themselves. From the days in which Christ said the kingdom of Heaven suffereth
violence and the violent take it by force, men have been aware of the miserable inefficiency of their faith, yet no one has looked with longing, lingering desire towards God for a restoration of the faith once delivered to the saints, the great mass have been willing to hear and teach for doctrines the commandments of men. No never had the voice of man been heard for centuries proclaiming the apostolic faith, God saw fit, to send forth into his vineyard, a youth, with the bloom of boyhood upon his cheek, uninitiated in the mysteries of controversies, totally unacquainted with the erudition of the schools, one who loved truth and the approbation of his God, better than the praise of man. He was the son of an indigent man, depending entirely upon manual labor for his subsistence. Under these circumstances he went forth gifted with that wisdom which comes from God only, which all the machinations of his enemies were not able to gainsay or resist. All the eloquence of the most gifted pulpit orators were not able to gainsay or resist. All the eloquence of the most gifted pulpit orators; all the arguments of the most profound reasoners; the whole host of historians, logicians and polemics, have been unable to detect a single departure from the scriptures, in the religion which he promulgated. The wicked falsehoods of catch-penny tracts, pamphlets and newspaper effusions, which have been widely and industriously circulated; the foul calumnies of perfidious hypocrites who have been excommunicated from her bosom; the almost incredible labors and unparalelled [unparalleled] self-denial and truculent persecution to which her ministry has been subjected, all, ALL, have not been able to prevent the most rapid and astonishing progress of primitive christianity, that has been known since Jesus dwelt among men. Already she has a foothold in various parts of the United States, the Canadas, Nova,Scotia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and the islands of the sea, &c., and this church who was looked upon as contemptible, is now formidable in numbers, and Daniel predicted the little stone shall fill the whole earth. This gospel of the kingdom must first be preached among all nations, then shall the end come.
Who, I ask most solemnly, who, but the most sceptical [skeptical], cannot recognize the hand of God in all this?
In the prosecution of their holy work, the saints of God are obligated to contend with not only the almost invincible force of educational prejudices, pre-conceived and long established opinions, but also with the greatest and foulest flood of falsehood that was ever put in circulation by satan himself, mendaciorum loquacissimus and all his host. It is almost, if not quite, beyond the range of language to exaggerate here, my heart grows warm as I write upon this subject and I wonder that the red hot bolts of heaven's condign vengeance have not been visited upon them. I shudder for the people of this generation, who have aided in this nefarious work, by the suppression of truth or otherwise, when I call to mind that there is a day of terrible retribution at hand, when all men shall stand at the judgment seat of Christ, to be judged according to the deeds done in the body. Then will the hollow-hearted professor of religion know that there is a God of justice, then will the minister of religion, and the mercenary editor, (both grand engines in these deeds) forget their ill-gotten gain, they will forget utterly their meagre [meager] short lived triumphs over truth and its faithful advocates; and they, the asperity of whose invective against the Saints of the Last Days, nothing could abate, will be crowned with shame the numerous, mournful train, will be obliged, sadly indeed, to drink the very dregs, the bitter portion of the chalice which they have prepared for themselves. The fair escutcheon of our country has been polluted, the constitution has become virtually illegible, and many of the brave sons of Columbia, have been degraded to the condition of serfs. Oh! God of our fathers, speed, oh! speed the day, when the hand of injustice shall be removed from thy people, and the glorious era of universal and everlasting righteousness shall be ushered in. The blood of the martyrs of Jesus, yea, prophets, patriarchs and saints, has crimsoned this fair land, may it ever be a memorial before thee of their undying faithfulness in thy cause. It is very common for religionists to suppose that the Latter-day Saints cannot be good people, because they are so severely persecuted. "But Christ says, "if the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own; but because ye are not of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you-the servant is no greater than his lord." And again-"They that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." The religion of Jesus never did and never will become so fashionable as to shield its adherents from persecution: it is only when it is mixed up with the fooleries of men, and diluted down to their taste, that it receives the adulation of the multitude. If the people of God were to be loved by the world in any age, ("I speak reverently, my heart trembles while I write,)
does not the language of our Lord attribute to him a very strange way of speaking, and something of a deceptive manner?" the dreadful fires which followed the early disciples seem to have been rekindled, and the ministers of the Latter-day Saints have and do now ask themselves the question on entering their fields of labor, have I grace and strength to suffer for the gospel as they suffered. I am acquainted with elders of this church, who, even in this age of illumination and toleration, have assisted to perform the last task of sepulture to forty of their brethren at one time, who died noble martyrs for the "faith once delivered to the saints." Thousands of men, helpless women and young children, have been forcibly ejected from their peaceful homes, in an inclement season of the year, and no virtuous indignation, no, Christian sympathy was aroused in their favor; yet with all their sorrows, the Latter day Saints would not exchange their faith for any other, for the value of the universe; they know in whom they have believed, and that deliverance shall soon be theirs.
In the New York Sun of the 16th ult., I noticed among some flippant remarks on Joseph Smith the beloved Prophet, an assertion that he was a heartless, unfeeling aspirant, a man without a redeeming quality; it appears to me that such a libellous [libelous] assertion, must have proceeded from very narrow or willfully distorted views. A mere cursory glance at that noble man's life, ought to cover with shame the man's face who can be guilty of such bare-faced falsehood. If such had been his character, would he have invariably stood between his people and death in all their persecutions?-Was he ever assailed by temptation to swerve from the path of the just? if so, it must have been during the late troubles at Nauvoo. To a man if acute sensibility, of warm and generous feelings as were his, it must have been painful to tear himself from his people, the partner of his choice and his children. Assassination he knew was almost inevitable, he saw the grave fast opening before him and was he unappalled? He was. Overwhelmed as a man of selfish ambition must have been, he stood firm a practised [practiced] declaration, that his was that high order of moral responsibility and benevolence to which extraordinary minds alone are attributable. He had laid down his life like a good shepherd for the sheep, the damp shroud and the lonely coffin are his, but his spirit calmly smiles in the presence of Jesus. The "blood of the martyrs shall be the seed of the church," God's nobleman the chivalry of the age, the heralds of salvation, shall be raised up by thousands and fly on the wings of the wind, to the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills, all nations shall hear, and he shall come whose right it is to reign; then in the morning of the resurrection, when every chain that now binds down God's people shall be knocked off, when the martyrs for Jesus, shall at his mandate burst the bars of death, and stand with their sheaves with them upon the earth redeemed, then having passed through all their afflictions, having endured hardness like good soldiers of Jesus Christ filled with those serennial joys which flow supernal from the throne of God, like incense from a censor, Hallelujah! Hallelujah, the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth! Then shall the righteous shine forth in the kingdom of their Father in all the splendor of the regal sun, reflecting forever the celestial rays that hang from the Eternal Presence. God grant to breathe his benediction upon his people, to stretch out his arm to sustain them in all their afflictions, and preserve them blameless unto the coming of Christ is the prayer of your brother in the Lord.
JOHN A EATON.
Boston, Aug. l0, 1844.
From the N. Y. Prophet.
Minutes of a conference held in Eaton, Northampton county, Pa., August 6th, 1844.
Meeting being duly called and opened by prayer, Elder Albert Lutz was called to the chair, and elder William A. Moore, was chosen secretary. Brother Wm. A. Glover was called upon to represent the number of members and their standing, which were as follows:
Nineteen members, two elders, one priest and one teacher, all in good standing, two having removed; one an elder, gone to Scotland to preach the gospel.
Elder Lutz then arose and gave such instructions as was necessary, stating, that the branch having never been organized, then proceeded to organize the branch by appointing William Glover, presiding elder; Isaac Dorr, priest, and William Glover, Sen., teacher. Elder Robert Smith arose and said he would make every exertion to spread the gospel in the surrounding country. The following resolutions were offered and read by the secretary, and unanimously adopted.
Resolved, That this branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, uphold and sustain the heads and all the authorities of the church.
Resolved, That this branch of the church, by their own free will and consent, give the tenth day of their labor to be applied to the building of the Temple at Nauvoo
Resolved, In order to secure our salvation, and the permanency of this great work, that we hold ourselves in readiness, as much as possible, at all times, to obey the instructions of the Twelve.
Resolved, That we request the above proceedings and resolutions to be published in the Times and Seasons, and New York Prophet, after which a hymn was sung and the meeting dismissed, with a benediction by Elder Wm. A. Moore.
ALBERT LUTZ, Chairman.
Wm. A. Moore, Secretary.
TIMES AND SEASONS.
CITY OF NAUVOO.
SEPTEMBER 15, 1844.
TRIAL OF ELDER RIGDON.
Minutes of a meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, held on the meeting ground in the city of Nauvoo, on Sunday, Sep. 8th, 1844
Present, of the quorum of the Twelve, President Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, P. P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Orson Hyde, George A. Smith, John Taylor and Amasa Lyman.
The High Council organized themselves with Bishop Newel K. Whitney at their head, as follows: William Marks, President of the Stake, and Charles C. Rich, Councillor [councilor]; Samuel Bent, James Alred, Lewis D. Wilson, Alpheus Cutler, David Fullmer, George W. Harris, Thomas Grover, Aaron Johnson, Henry G. Sherwood, also Reynolds Cahoon, Asahel Smith and Ezra T. Benson, in the place of three absent members.
At 10 minutes after 10 o'clock, President Young requested the choir to sing a hymn, which was done; and the services opened by prayer from elder Orson Hyde, after which the choir sung another Hymn.
President Young then arose and addressed the people in substance as follows:-
I will call the attention of the congregation to the subject which is designed to be laid before you to-day. But I will first make a request that the police will attend to the instructions given them by the mayor this morning, and that is, to see that there is perfect order in the outside of the congregation. We are not afraid of disturbance here, but there is generally some disposed to talk on the outside, which prevents those from hearing who are near them, and we wish all to hear what is said from the stand.
I have frequently thought lately of Paul's words when he said 'much every way,' 'some for Paul, some for Appollos, some for Cephus and some for Christ:' and I believe there are a great many here for Christ. I will make the application of Paul's words to us: 'Much every way.' Some for Joseph and Hyrum, the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, the Temple and Joseph's measures; and some for Lyman Wight, some for James Emmett and some for Sidney Rigdon, and I suppose some for the Twelve.
The business of the day will result in this thing: all those who are for Joseph and Hyrum, the Book of Mormon, book of Doctrine and Covenants, the Temple and Joseph's measures, and for the Twelve; they being one party; will be called upon to manifest their principles openly and boldly. Then we wish all who are of the opposite parties to enjoy the same liberty, and to be as decided and bold, and to show their principles as boldly, and be as decided as they are in their secret meetings and private councils. If they are for Sidney Rigdon; and believe he is the man to be the first president and the leader of this people, we wish them to manifest it as freely as they do in other places; because this will form another party.
We want all those who are for Lyman Wight and his measures, to show themselves openly and boldly; and all those for James Emmett and his measures, to show themselves.-We wish them to withdraw today without fear and to be as bold here as they are in other places. They may as well show themselves boldly, for I know where they live, and I know their names: I can point them out if necessary. Those who wish to tarry and build up the city and build the Temple, and carry out the measures and revelations of our martyred prophet, we wish to know who they are. Now all those who decline going either way, but secretly slander the character of Joseph Smith and the Twelve, my fellowship will be withdrawn from them without any further ceremony. If there are not more than ten men who hang on to the truth, and to Joseph and the Temple, and are willing to do right in all things, let me be one of that number. If there should be but ten left, and their lives should not be threatened; threatened with destruction by mobs, the Temple not be built &c., because they are determined to do right, let me be one that is martyred
for the truth. I have travelled [traveled] these many years in the midst of poverty and tribulation, and that too with blood in my shoes, month after month to sustain and preach this gospel and build this kingdom; and God forbid that I should turn round and seek to destroy that which I have been laboring to build up.
It is written in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, that the president can be tried before the bishop and twelve high priests, or the high council of the church. There are many present this morning who were present at the organization of the quorum in Kirtland. We have here before us this morning, the high council, and bishop Whitney at their head, and we will try Sidney Rigdon before this council and let them take an action on his case this morning; and then we will present it to the church, and let the church also take an action upon it. I am willing that you should know that my feelings for Sidney Rigdon as a man, as a private citizen, are of the best kind. I have loved that man and always had the very best feelings for him; I have stood in defence [defense] of his life and his house in Kirtland, and have lain on the floor, night after night, and week after week, to defend him. There are those who are following Sidney for whom my heart is grieved, I esteom [esteem] them as good citizens. But when it touches the salvation of the people, I am the man that walks to the line.
I am informed that elder Rigdon is sick; I am also informed that he and his party have had a council this morning, and have concluded not to say anything in their own defence [defense], thinking that would be best for them. I have no idea that elder Rigdon is any more sick than I am: any how, we would have a right to try his case, for he had sufficient notice to prepare himself if he had been disposed. We gave him notice last Tuesday evening, and had it published in the Neighbor, and was he sick he could have sent us to have the case deferred. I heard Elder Rigdon's discourse last Sunday, myself; I heard him pour blessings upon this people in an unbounded degree; I heard him encouraging the building up of this city and the Temple; he said he was one with us, and left his blessing upon the congregation. The congregation says to him: 'go in peace.' I said upon the back of his statements, you see that brother Rigdon is with us. I have not seen that brother Rigdon has been with us since he returned from Pittsburg [Pittsburgh]; I have known that he was not with us in spirit, but I took him at his word. The spirit reveals many things which it would not do to tell the public, until it can be proved. But to come to the point. On Tuesday last, I heard that elder Rigdon had a meeting the night previous, and had ordained men to be prophets, priests and kings. I concluded to go see elder Rigdon, and asked Elder Hyde to go with me. We went into his house, and after the usual compliments, I set [sat] down directly opposite him, and took hold of his hand. I looked him right in the face and asked him if he had a meeting last night, here, in which men were ordained to be prophets, priests and kings? He replied no. We had no meeting here; had we brother Soby?
'Well, did you have a meeting any where, brother Rigdon, in which men were ordained to be prophets, priests and kings?'
'Well, I don't know; did we have a meeting last night, brother Soby? Yes, I believe there was one last night; wasn't there brother Soby, up at your house?'
I saw the disposition of elder Rigdon to conceal the truth and equivocate, and I determined to know the whole secret. I said to him again. 'Elder Rigdon, did you not ordain these men at that meeting last night?'
He replied, 'yes I suppose I did.'
I then asked brother Rigdon, by what authority he ordained prophets, priests and kings?
With a very significant air he replied 'oh, I know about that!'
I will not attempt to describe the feelings I had, nor the look of his countenance, but he equivocated very much. He said there was no meeting here last night, and then finally said, I believe there was a meeting at brother Soby's. I questioned him till he acknowledged that they ordained men to be prophets, priests and kings.
I then asked brother Rigdon; 'do you not think, really, that you hold keys and authority above any man, or set of men in this church, even the Twelve?'
Says he, 'I never taught any such doctrine, did I, brother Soby?'
Says I, 'brother Rigdon, tell me the truth, do you not think so?'
He replied, 'yes I do.'
Says I, 'that tells the whole story. Brother Joseph never undertook such an important business as you are engaged in, without consulting his brethren, and especially the Twelve, if they were present.' I felt delicate in asking elder Rigdon these questions, but I knew it was my duty to find out the secret of the whole matter. To evade answering the questions I put to him, he finally said dont [don't] crowd upon my feelings too much; my feelings are tender, and
I dont [don't] wish to be crowded. I then proposed to him, that myself and the brethren of the Twelve would call in the evening and converse with him further on the subject, to which he agreed. In the evening eight of the Twelve together with bishop Whitney, went to elder Rigdon's and conversed a-while; and finding matters as before stated, we concluded we would go over to Dr. Richards' and there council together what was best to do on the subject. In our council we deemed it necessary to demand his license, and say to him he could not hold it any longer, unless he retracted from his present course and repent of his wickedness. A committee of three was chosen, who went over and demanded his license, but he refused to give it up, at the same time saying, 'I did not receive it from you, neither shall I give it up to you.' On the strength of this, we published a notice in the Neighbor that there would be an action on his case before the church to day.
We have now the quorum before us, before which he will be tried, with the oldest bishop at their head; and I shall leave the subject for the brethren to take it up, and it is left for us to decide whether we are Latter Day Saints or not.
President Loung [Young] said further that the Twelve are to be regarded as witnesses in this trial, and not as judges. We present ourselves before the High Council as witnesses, and we are prepared to bring other witnesses forward if necessary. There will be some who will say that this is not a fair trial, because the opposite party are not here. They have had sufficient notice and time to make their objections, and if they dont [don't] appear to make their defence [defense] it will prove to me that they are guilty. Elder Rigdon has not conducted himself like a man of God, he has not conducted himself like a prophet of God, nor a counsellor [counselor] to the first president, since he came here. We prefer these charges against him, and the High Council will be obliged to act.
Elder Orson Hyde arose and said as follows: I thought I would present to your view, some things which have transpired since the death of our beloved Prophet and Patriarch, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, who were murdered by the mob. I was in New Haven when I first heard the news, but hardly crediting the report; I went from thence to New York, where I learned the same things, then I concluded I would start to Boston. When I arrived at Boston I met with President Young and one or two others of the Twelve. We held a council together and it was decided to write to elder Rigdon at Pittsburg [Pittsburgh]. I was appointed to write the letter. I informed elder Rigdon of our conclusions, and stated to him that we had decided to return immediately to Nauvoo, and that we should go by the lakes, inasmuch as we deemed it safer and quicker to go that way, than to go through Pittsburg [Pittsburgh]. I stated also that it was the desire of the twelve, that Elder Rigdon and Elder Page should meet us at Nauvoo, and after we had rested and mourned for our martyred brethren, we would sit down together and hold a council on the very ground where sleeps the ashes of our deceased friends. This letter was received by Elder Rigdon as we have since learned. Well what does he do? He comes directly to Nauvoo.-He arrived before the Twelve could get there. He immediately entered into measures to call the church together to appoint a Guardian, and was very anxious to crowd an action before the Twelve arrived, when he knew it was the request of the Twelve to sit in council together with him before any action was taken before the public. He represented to the congregation that it was necessary that he should return home immediately on account of the situation of his family. Providentially the Twelve came before he had accomplished his designs, and an action was taken before the public, and he was defeated. The church unanimously voted to sustain the Twelve in their office as appointed by President Joseph Smith and the church-since that action was taken Elder Rigdon has shown no more anxiety to return to Pittsburg [Pittsburgh]. Now I would ask this congregation, if Elder Rigdon had known that he was commanded to take the lead of this people, would he have had any reason to fear his success, if he had been sure God had appointed him? Were the Twelve jealous that they should not stand in their place? I heard no such thing. We wanted to sit in council together, and felt that whatever the spirit dictated that should be our course. There is a way by which all revelations purporting to be from God through any man can be tested. Brother Joseph gave us the plan, says he, when all the quorums are assembled and organized in order, let the revelation be presented to the quorums, if it pass one let it go to another, and if it pass that, to another, and so on until it has passed all the quorums; and if it pass the whole without running against a snag, you may know it is of God. But if it runs against a snag, then says he, it wants enquiring [inquiring] into: you must see to it. It is known to some who are present that there is a quorum organized where revelation can be tested. Brother Joseph said, let no revelation
go to the people until it has been tested here. Now I would ask, did Elder Rigdon call the quorum together and there lay his revelation before it, to have it tested? No, he did not wait to call the quorum; neither did he call the authorities together that we have here.-He endeavored to ensnare the people and allure their minds by his flowery eloquence; but the plan was defeated. The voice of the people was in favor of sustaining the Twelve to be their leaders. I tell you it is no enviable place for one of that quorum to stand in, and act as the leader of this people. The shafts of the enemy are always aimed at the head first.-Brother Joseph said some time before he was murdered. "If I am taken away, upon you, the Twelve, will rest the responsibility of leading this people, and do not be bluffed off by any man. Go forward in the path of your duty though you walk into death. If you will be bold and maintain your ground the great God will sustain you." And now inasmuch as a charge has been laid upon us, it will be inquired in a day to come if we have been faithful to the charge, and we are responsible for what has been laid upon us.
After the Twelve returned I went to see Elder Rigdon and requested him to meet us in council; I invited him to attend but he said he was sick; well, I dont [don't] know but he was sick, but I am informed he went the same day and held a meeting somewhere outside the city.-To-day, there is an excuse. He says he is sick, perhaps it is so. In our conversation on Tuesday evening, when he said he had the keys and power he said he did not claim jurisdiction over the Twelve, he claimed jurisdiction over no man. Says I Elder Rigdon, if the Twelve were to transgress would you call them to account? He replied no, I have no jurisdiction over them. But was brother Joseph here and he was to see the Twelve do wrong, we would not have time to wink more than twice, before he would be upon us with a rod and drive us back to the path of duty again. Elder Rigdon says he claims no jurisdiction over the Twelve, nor the Twelve over him. Says I Elder Rigdon such a course as this will lead to a division of the church. He replied there will be a good many churches built up all over the world, I asked if all these churches would be subject to one common head. He answered they would not. Elder Young replied, then there will be many bodies. He replied, Oh no! I then said where there are many heads there is no head at all; and a thing that has got many heads must be a hydra,- a monster: a house divided against itself cannot stand. Elder Rigdon is now going to work to make a division, and yet he said on the stand, he did not want to make a division. When any man comes here with a revelation purporting to be from God, we feel in duty bound to question its validity. This is a kind of furnace to prove all things, and Elder Rigdon dont [don't] like to come into the furnace.
I will now give some testimony which has been handed to me concerning what Elder Rigdon has said. Those who have testified here are ready to testify to the same before the congregation if it is necessary.
I shall omit names unless called upon, and then they shall be forthcoming. One of Mr. Rigdon's party said to this brother, you are a pretty strong Twelve man I believe: are you not? He answered: I am no party man-but am desirous to obtain the truth. Mr. Rigdon's friend then said, if you will not tell it to the Twelve, I will tell you our plans. He then communicated unto me their designs. The substance of which was as follows: that Elder Rigdon was going to feel of the minds of the branches, and then the people of Nauvoo, until he got strong enough to make a party, and if he found that he could raise influence to divide the people he would do so, and let the remainder follow the Twelve.
Elder Hyde continued and said: this was said previous to his discourse at La Harpe; then he comes here, and says I have no authority, I have no jurisdiction over this people whatever. We knew by the spirit that this was in Elder Rigdon's heart before, and we wanted to bring it out. This shows that the whole plan was matured at the time he said he did not want to divide the church-he had no jurisdiction, &c., and he let out the roots of it on Tuesday evening, when we conversed with him. When we demanded his license, he said, "I did not receive it from you, neither shall I give it up to you." He then threatened to turn traitor. His own language was, inasmuch as you have demanded my license, I shall feel it my duty to publish all your secret meetings, and all the history of the secret works of this church, in the public journals. He intimated that it would bring a mob upon us, says he, I know what effect it will have; there is a rod and a scourge awaits this people. Says I, Elder Rigdon if you want the honor of bringing distress upon this people, you may have it, you may have the honor of it here, and you may have the honor of it in eternity; and every effort you make to bring distress upon this people, will recoil back upon your own head. I have been told since, he was angry and did not
mean to do as he said; but I would ask this congregation, can a man say what is not in his heart? I say he cannot, for "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." (Elder Young says he can prove that Elder Rigdon made use of the same expression previous to our visiting him last Tuesday.) I replied to him and said, we have counted the cost and it can't cost us more than our lives, and we have got them ready to pay. Now what was the idea conveyed by Elder Rigdon's expressions, it was this, if you will let me alone, and not oppose me in measures, although you are a wicked and iniquitous people, we will be hail fellows well met, and all fellowship together; but if you oppose me, I will expose all your secret wickedness, I will expose all your iniquity. Now I dont [don't] know of any man in this church that has gone deeper into matters than he did in Far West in his oration on the 4th of July. He was the cause of our troubles in Missouri, and although Brother Joseph tried to restrain him, he would take his own course, and if he goes to exposing the secrets of this church, as he says, the world will throw him down and trample him under their feet.
Before I went east on the 4th of April last, we were in council with Brother Joseph almost every day for weeks, says Brother Joseph in one of those councils there is something going to happen; I dont [don't] know what it is, but the Lord bids me to hasten and give you your endowment, before the temple is finished. He conducted us through every ordinance of the holy priesthood, and when he had gone through with all the ordinances he rejoiced very much, and says, now if they kill me you have got all the keys, and all the ordinances and you can confer them upon others, and the hosts of Satan will not be able to tear down the kingdom, as fast as you will be able to build it up; and now says he on your shoulders will the responsibility of leading this people rest, for the Lord is going to let me rest a while. Now why did he say to the Twelve on YOUR shoulders will this responsibility rest, why did he not mention Brother Hyrum? The spirit knew that Hyrum would be taken with him, and hence he did not mention his name; Elder Rigdon's name was not mentioned, although he was here all the time, but he did not attend our councils.
When we were coming away last Tuesday evening, Elder Rigdon said you are not led by the Lord, and I have known it for a long time that you were not led by the Lord. In his discourse before the people the first Sunday after he came here, he stated that Joseph Smith yet holds the keys of this kingdom, for he had seen it since he was dead. When Elder Rigdon made this remark, says I to him, I defy any man to show that we have adopted any measure, only what Joseph has directed us.-We have all the while sought to carry out those measures which he has labored at such pains to establish. Now if Brother Joseph yet holds the keys of this kingdom, I would ask how is any man going to get by Joseph into celestial kingdom of God, if they oppose and seek to destroy the principles laid down by Brother Joseph. They can't get over it neither can they get by him. I will now leave the subject with Brother Parley for he is a witness in the matter.
Elder Parley P. Pratt arose to give his testimony concerning this case. He said in the first place I will say that there is no man present, save one, who has been acquainted with Elder Rigdon longer than I have. Elder Hyde knew him before I did. I have been in church fellowship with him for 15 or 16 years. I was a member of the same church with him before we heard this gospel; I was the first man who presented the Book of Mormon to him, and bore testimony to him concerning the gospel. I witnessed his coming into this church, I have feelings for him as a friend of the strongest kind, and ever have felt an interest for him, I would be amongst the first to rejoice to see him walk up as a counsellor [counselor] with us. I have no feelings but in his favor. But the salvation of this church is of far more importance than anything else, and we are determined to walk up to our duty, let it come against whom it may. After Brother Rigdon came from Pittsburg [Pittsburgh], I waited on him to bid him welcome, but he was so crowded with friends shaking hands and welcoming him back that I said to him Elder Rigdon, you are busy to day, but to-morrow morning the few of the Twelve who are here will want to meet with you, and sit down in council together. We expect to hear you preach. In the morning I called upon him to go with me to Brother Taylor's, as we had to hold our councils at Elder Taylor's, he being confined to his bed, by the wounds he received from the mob. He made an excuse, saying, that he was engaged with a strange gentleman, and could not leave him then, but would come when he got through. We waited until it was almost meeting time, and instead of coming to meet with us, he went directly to the meeting. He came here and preached, and related his vision or revelation to appoint a guardian.-We still deferred and waited to meet with him in council, until, to our astonishment, without
our knowledge he caused an appointment to be made for the next Thursday for the church to choose their guardian; and they to [too] in the absence of the more part of the quorum of the Twelve, and even without consulting the high council of the church. I knew such a course would divide the church, and I protested against it, and determined to come to the stand if the motion was to proceed and dismiss the meeting. It fortunately happened that the Twelve came in time to attend the meeting which was changed by them into a special conference. We made another effort to get Elder Rigdon to sit in council with the quorum of the Twelve. We met at the time appointed and waited something like three hours before he came. He finally came and we then asked him to give us the relation of his vision or revelation, which he did. He said it was shewn [shown] to him that there were no authorities left in the church who could act. When Joseph was alive the people had confidence in the quorums, but now they had not that confidence; the people must choose some man they can have confidence in, to act. Said I to him, Elder Rigdon, there never was a time when the people were more willing to hearken to council and be agreed, than they are now.-Said I, has not the Almighty God established authorities in this church by Joseph Smith, such as the quorum of the Twelve, the high council and other quorums, and have they not power to act, and will they not be damned if they do not act; and will the people not be damned if they do not give heed to these authorities? He answered, yes; when not twenty minutes before he said there was no authorities in the church! Said I, Elder Rigdon, I object to that meeting you got up, in the name of the Twelve. It is got up without the consent or advice of those of the Twelve who are here, at present we dont [don't] need to adopt any new measures, we only need to carry out the measures which God has revealed, and when we have done this, God will give us more; and on these grounds, I object to the meetiug [meeting]. Says he, there is no need to appoint another officer. We have only to sustain the officers, as they are already organized; and I pledge myself there shall be no other business brought up on Thursday, only the regular prayer meeting. When I had got the pledge from him I told the people that Thursday's meeting would only be a prayer meeting. But after this some of the people went to him and he turned round again, and said it was a business meeting. I know that he said no business should be done at that meeting, and afterwards said it should be a business meeting. I then saw that this was a deep and cunning plan laid to divide the best people that ever lived.
On last Sunday we heard preaching all day about things along way ahead-terrible battles to be fought somewhere by the brook Kedron. Their preaching gave me a text which I want to preach from, it is somewhere in Webster's Spelling Book, and I suppose the little boys can tell me where. However it is a story of a "country maid and her milk pail," &c. The moral was that when men suffer their imaginations to be amused with things along way ahead, they suffer loss by neglecting those things which immediately concern them.-The great God said through Joseph-build this temple; I give you a sufficient time to build it, and if you do not build it by the appointed time, you shall be rejected as a people with your dead. I thought we were concerned in building up this place and defending it, and while we were immediately concerned in all these important matters, the day was spent in talking about Queen Victoria, battles, &c., and things which were calculated to draw our minds away from those things wherein our eternal interest is at stake. When he blessed the people I said amen, and when he said our persecutions were about over, and cried peace, peace, I hoped it would be so, if we could get it. He did by hard straining get it out that we might go on and build the temple and build up the city.
On Tuesday as has been stated we went to Elder Rigdon's house, when I had heard that he had been ordaining men to unheard of offices. These men were in no quorum, and under nobody's direction, nor authority, but Elder Rigdon's own revelations. We protested against it. He claimed he had authority and keys over any one else. By and bye we had more of his revelations. Says he, I saw all this before I left Pittsburg.[Pittsburgh] I then charged him with endeavoring to palm upon the people, false revelations and lies in the name of the Lord. He then gave us another slice of his revelation, in addition to what he had already told us. It was that he was to help fight a bloody battle in some appointed place, the particulars of which had been revealed to him.-This battle was not to be a war of words, not a battle with the tongue, but says he, "with the 'sword,' and it will be a bloody battle; the great God has revealed it to me, and no one shall beat me out of it!" Says I to him, if you build up churches and ordain men to preach who are not subject to the Twelve, how are they to be governed. Suppose the Twelve,
having authority to regulate all the churches in all the world according to the book of Doctrine and Covenants, should publish an epistle to the churches, they will say, who are the Twelve? We are not under the authority of the Twelve. Will not this be the result!
I asked the question to one of his new prophets, do you consider yourself under the direction of the Twelve? He hesitated a while and replied, "I hope Elder Rigdon and the Twelve will be united and walk together, if not I shall not be under the direction of the Twelve, only so far as they agree with Elder Rigdon. I shall be under the directions of the revelations as given to Elder Rigdon, I regard him as my prophet, seer, and revelator." And the old revelations require us to build this temple, that we may receive our endowment, and all the ordinances and priesthood, whereby we may save ourselves and our dead. The new revelation is to draw the people to Pittsburg [Pittsburgh], and scatter them abroad; and do any thing and every thing but that which the old revelations bid us do. Some of the brethren, Elders Young, and Orson Pratt, and others then said to him that the matter must be settled before he went away to Pittsburg, [Pittsburgh] either one way or the other. We labored with him till near twelve o'clock, but the split seemed only to grow wider and wider. Says I, Elder Rigdon, if the God of heaven has sent me to tell what will be, you will never fulfill your revelation; I have no more confidence in your revelations than I have in Gladden Bishop's. One said he would marry the Queen of England, and the other said he would take her by the nose. Now brethren it was for this ordaining men to unheard of offices in an illegal manner, and the proceedings of their secret meetings, that the fellowship of the Twelve was withdrawn from Elder Rigdon.-I was one of the committee who went to demand his license, and acted as spokesman. I made the demand in a respectful manner, taking care not to do anything intentionally to wound his feelings. When I demanded his license he refused to give it up as has already been observed, and says he, I shall now take the liberty to publish to the world, all the secret works of this church, and stir up the world against you, and says he, I know the result both on you and the church, and myself, this was letting out a little more of his revelation.-He then said, I have sat and laughed in my sleeve at the proceedings of the Twelve this evening, for they have been fulfilling in this last act, the vision I had at Pittsburg [Pittsburgh]. I knew you would withdraw fellowship from me, I knew you would oppose me, in all my movements. It was shown to me in the vision before I left Pittsburg.[Pittsburgh] Thought I to myself, O consistency, where hast thou fled? Here are revelations manufactured as fast as they are needed to suit the circumstances.
Last Sunday elder Rigdon said we were a blessed people. Now he says he has known ever since he left Pittsburg [Pittsburgh], that this same blessed people would cut him off before he left them.
He further said, 'I am not going to injure this people; I dont [don't] want to make a division,' and soon after said, 'I know this people have not been led by the Lord for a long time.' He was talking about exposing our secrets; elder Hyde then said he was glad he had got at the roots of his feelings; elder Rigdon replied 'I dont [don't] do it with a design to injure this people, as before stated.'
Now the quorum of the Twelve have not offered a new revelation from the time of the massacre of our beloved brethren, Joseph and Hyrum, but we have spent all our time, early and late, to do the things the God of heaven commanded us to do through Brother Joseph. Here are the principles of brother Joseph, our prophet, who laid the foundation of this work, and the Twelve have labored to carry them out. We have not said, go to Black river, nor to Prairie du Chein, nor to Pittsburg,[Pittsburgh] but we have said take the sword of the spirit, tlfings [things?] commanded and enjoined by brother Joseph. Only think of the idea, after blessing the congregation in the manner he did last Sabbath, in two days after he says this people have not been led by the Lord for a long time, and I have known it: And why? Because we fulfilled his own revelation by cutting him off from the church; but if we had not cut him off nor opposed him in his secret corner of treachery apostacy, [apostasy] we should have been a very good people, and we would all fellowship together.
I will here read from the book of Doctrine and Covenants, page 102, new edition, paragraph 11, to show concerning the legal authorities of this church: (See D. C.)
Now you ask where is the proper authority and power for us to look to? We answer here is a power and authority equal to the first presidency; equal and nothing more. But suppose you uphold elder Rigdon's theory, what have you got? You have got one of the quorum which does not even form a majority, and consequently has no power to act. But if it would make no odds who you look to for your leaders, if they are not chosen and upheld by the faith and prayer of the church, and then they
must walk according to the revelations, or there is no power in their appointment. I say and bear testimony that the things revealed to Sidney Rigdon touching the great battles to be fought some where; the secret meetings;-the ordination of officers, and the government of this church, is a revelation of falsehood and delusion, calculated to lead the people astray. It will result in open apostacy [apostasy], and is designed to bring destruction upon us, or else it will result in speedy repentance and a turning round to the principles and revelations laid down by our martyred prophet.
Elder O. Hyde arose again and said he wanted to relate a little story, It is only about two minutes long, and I think it will serve to illustrate the present position of the church. Elder Rigdon's remarks not only authorized, but courted a division of the church, and at the same time he acknowledged that he had no jurisdiction over the church whatever. The, story is this, 'in the days of King Solomon there were two women who lived in the same house, and each had a child. One night one of the women overlay her child, and when she awoke her child was dead. As soon as she discovered this, she took her own dead child and placed it by the side of the mother of the living child, and took the living child to herself. When the mother of the living child awoke in the morning to give her child suck, behold it was dead; but when she had considered it, she found it was not her child; and the other woman said nay: but the living is my son, and the dead is thy son. And this said no; but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son.-They then referred the matter to King Solomon, who said, the one saith this is my son that liveth, and thy son is dead. And the other saith, nay; but thy son is the dead, and my son is the living. And, the King said, 'bring me a sword,' and they brought a sword before the King, and the King said; 'divide the living child in two, and give the half to the one and a half to the other.' But the woman whose the living child was, said to the King, 'O my lord the King, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it;' for her bowels yearned over her son. But the other said, 'let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it.' Now brethren the Twelve say let not the child be divided;-but elder Rigdon says let the child be divided, for I profess to have no claim or jurisdiction over it; and I believe if the great God would speak from heaven this morning, he would say to the Twelve, you are the mother, (or rather the father) of the living child, and the church shall not be divided, for I say it in the name of the great God. I say let not, the child be divided; let it live; and all the congregation said amen.
Elder Amasa Lyman said, so far as I am acquainted with what has been said, it is correct, and the most of it has been under my own observation. It would therefore be useless to recapitulate. But there are some things connected with the history of this event that should speak to the understanding of the individuals to whom this case is to be submitted. The Twelve have already told their mind on the subject and have acted upon it. There is a curiosity connected with the revelation of this individual, who is so favored of heaven as to have gathered the rays of light from the upper world; intelligence and wonderful things, that other men never thought of. Even Gladden Bishop never thought of such wonderful things. Now where has this individual been for these years past? Has he been laboring to support and uphold the man whom God has appointed to bring forth this work? Has he been endeavoring for the last four or five years to build up the principles taught and laid down by the man of God? Here are men present who have travelled [traveled] through the length and breadth of these United States, and to Europe, and some who have traveled as far as Palestine to carry out and establish the principles which have been laid down by our deceased prophet, and yet the great God has not made known to any of these men the wonderful things made known in this revelation. Neither has elder Marks or the twelve received any such wonderful revelation. But this man who has been asleep all the while, when he was not sick, to sleep and smoke his pipe, and take his drink; correspond with John C. Bennet, and other mean, corrupt men. This is the character of the man on whom shines the light of revelation; this is the man who says the Twelve have gone astray and this church is not led by the Lord. This man is made generalissimo of all the armies of the Gentiles, on both sides I suppose; this is the man who is to fight these wonderful battles till the blood of the slain flow as high as the horses bridles in the brook Kedron. Elder Brigham nor any of the Twelve did not get this wonderful power; they have not got the same spirit. But these men who obtain these great revelations carry the spirit about with them; you can smell it as soon as you come near enough to feel their breath. Elder Rigdon's plan is to divide the church, although he claims no jurisdiction.
This wonderful spirit of revelation has fallen on a great many. Here is a revelation
come from Michigan, which points out a Mr. Strang, as the one to take the lead of this people. So Brother Sidney is not the only man who proposes to have been appointed to lead this church. The devil seems to have set a good many hooks and baited them very nice, that some may be sure to catch. Here is another revelation come from the wonderful town of Appanooce; but the Twelve are so wicked they cannot get it. The great John C. Bennet said at the conference when he first came here, that he sustained the same position in first presidency as the Holy Ghost does to the Father and son. He now says that elder Rigdon is to take the presidency, and he is appointed to elder Rigdon's place. Now you see it is impossible for this people to go after them all. When elder Rigdon was in Pittsburg [Pittsburgh] he saw a great many things, and I dare to venture to say, that when the news reaches him of your action to-day, it will bring another slice of his revelation; he no doubt saw it before he left Pittsburg [Pittsburgh]. It is plain beyond a doubt that elder Rigdon came here with a spirit as corrupt as hell; because the effects produced by all his movements are as corrupt as can be. He first told the people he came here to do one thing, afterwards he said he would do another quite opposite. He said God had sent him here to see that the church was built up to Joseph, and the least departure from this, he said, was sure to result in the destruction of the church. He said wo, wo, wo unto this people if they do not make a right choice. And again he says he saw that the people would reject him. He said there was an important passage in the scriptures which had to be fulfilled. He did nor [not] tell us what it was, but we learned that it was that part of Isaiah's prophecy where he says, 'the stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner.' Now it appears that Isaiah's prophesy must be proved true, if it has to ruin the whole church to do it. The Temple must be forsaken and not be finished, and all that Joseph has done must be rejected, to carry out his notion that he (Sidney) was some great one. For the last four or five years we have never heard of Sidney's getting a revelation, but as soon as brother Joseph is out of the way, he can manufacture one to allure the people and destroy them. Now after he has given his testimony to the world; after finding fault with God because he happened to get into jail in Missouri; and because he was poor: yet this is the man that can get such wonderful revelations. Brother Parley and Brigham suffered in Missouri, but did not find fault with God; they dont [don't] get such wonderful things.-Now this is the man who has got the keys of conquest; the keys of David, keys which the Twelve never heard was to be given to man, who had, in a manner, curse [cursed] God to his face. It may be plead that Sidney Rigdon may be mistaken. If he should, it is not the first time he has been mistaken in his revelations. But Joseph Smith never was mistaken in his revelations. He never commenced to do a thing and when he had got it half done, turn round and quit it.
(To be Continued)
Nauvoo, Sept. 15, 1844.
At a meeting of the quorum of High Priests, Samuel James of LaHarp, and Geo. W. Crouse of Nauvoo, for unchristian conduct, were cut off from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, by the voice of said quorum, and ordered to be published in the Times and Seasons, and Neighbor.
GEORGE MILLER, President.
WM. FELSHAW, Clerk of Quorum.
Wake, O wake, the world from sleeping! Comfort ye the house of Israel,
Watchman, watchman, stand in power- They are pardon'd, gather them;
Hear the Savior now exclaiming: Hear the watchman's proclamation,
'Tis the last-th' eleventh hour! Jews rebuild Jerusalem.
Lo! the lion's left his thicket; Soon the Jews will know their error,
Up ye watchmen, be in haste, How they killed the Holy One,
The destroyer of the Gentiles And they'll mourn and shout hosanna!
Goes to lay their cities waste. This the beloved Son.
Bring the remnants from their exile, Sound the trumpet with the tidings,
For the promise is to them; Call in all of Abrams seed,
Japhet's ruled the world his time out, Though the Gentiles may reject it,
He must leave the tents of Shem. Christ will come in very deed. W. W. P.