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Title: Essentials in Church History - A History of the Church from the Birth of Joseph Smith to - the Present Time (1922), with Introductory Chapters on the - Antiquity of the Gospel and the "Falling Away"
Author: Smith, Joseph Fielding
Language: English
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Essentials in Church History

A History of the Church from the Birth of Joseph Smith to the Present
Time (1922), with Introductory Chapters on the Antiquity of the Gospel
and the "Falling Away"

By Joseph Fielding Smith of the Council of the Twelve, and Church

Published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Salt Lake City, Utah Deseret News Press 1922

Copyright 1922, by Heber J. Grant, Trustee-in-Trust for the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

typos or formatting errors, you can email mormontextsproject@gmail.com

Volunteers who helped with this book: Eric Heaps, Meridith Crowder,
Byron Clark, Jean-Michel Carter, Tod Robbins, Ben Crowder, Stephen
Bruington, Benjamin Bytheway.

Version 1.0


The need of a history of the Church in one volume that can be used
for general reading, and at the same time meet the requirements of
a text-book in the priesthood quorums, Church schools and auxiliary
organizations, for a long time has been recognized. In the preparation
of this volume, all these requirements have been given thoughtful
consideration. As the title of the book, _Essentials in Church
History_, implies, the vital and essential points of history and
doctrine have been selected, and as far as possible, arranged in
chronological order. The doctrines and revelations given to the Prophet
Joseph Smith have been interwoven with the main story of the history
in a manner, it is hoped, that will prove to be both interesting
and instructive to the casual reader, as well as to the careful
student. Moreover, the work has been prepared with the desire that
the arrangement of the material will stimulate in the reader a zeal
for further research and study of other and more extensive histories,
particularly the _Documentary History of the Church_, in six volumes,
which covers the period of the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

It is impossible to give, in one volume, in detail all the important
incidents in the history of the Church. However, this volume is sent
forth on its mission with the hope that it will answer fully the
purpose for which it was written.

Grateful appreciation is hereby acknowledged for invaluable assistance
given by Dr. John A. Widtsoe, of the council of the twelve, in the
preparation of the manuscript. I also desire to express sincere thanks
to Elders Edward H. Anderson, J. M. Sjodahl, Andrew Jenson, August
William Lund and others, who have so willingly and cheerfully assisted
in the preparation of the work.

Joseph Fielding Smith

Table of Contents

Part One -- Introductory: The Gospel in Ancient and Mediaeval Times

Chapter 1. Antiquity of the Gospel

Chapter 2. The Falling Away

Chapter 3. The Protestant Revolution

Part Two -- Opening of the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times

Chapter 4. Necessity for a Restoration

Chapter 5. The Ancestry of Joseph Smith

Chapter 6. Boyhood of Joseph Smith

Chapter 7. The Vision

Chapter 8. The Visitation of Moroni

Chapter 9. Joseph Smith Receives the Record--The Priesthood Restored

Chapter 10. The Witnesses of the Book of Mormon

Chapter 11. Revelation on Doctrine and Church Government

Chapter 12. Organization of the Church

Chapter 13. Beginning of the Public Ministry of the Church

Chapter 14. The Public Ministry of the Church (2)

Part Three -- The Ohio and Missouri Period

Chapter 15. Removal of the Church in New York to Ohio

Chapter 16. The Land of Zion--Its Dedication

Chapter 17. The Book of Commandments--The Vision of the Glories--The
Hiram Mobbing

Chapter 18. Organization of the First Presidency--Important Revelations

Chapter 19. Expulsion from Jackson County

Chapter 20. The Patriarchal Priesthood--Zion's Camp

Chapter 21. Choosing of the Twelve and Seventy--Dedication of the
Kirtland Temple

Chapter 22. Clay County Rejects the Saints--Apostasy and Sorrow

Chapter 23. The Presidency Move to Missouri--Excommunication of Oliver
Cowdery and Others

Chapter 24. Difficulties in Missouri--Governor Boggs' Order of

Chapter 25. Persecutions of the Saints

Chapter 26. The Expulsion from Missouri

Part Four -- The Nauvoo Period

Chapter 27. The Founding of Nauvoo

Chapter 28. Foreign Missionary Labors

Chapter 29. Appeal to Washington for Redress--Further Missouri

Chapter 30. The Nauvoo Temple and Ordinances Therein--Important Events

Chapter 31. Joseph Smith Accused as Accessory to Assault on Boggs

Chapter 32. Doctrinal Development and Prophecy

Chapter 33. Missouri's Third Attempt to Capture Joseph Smith

Chapter 34. Joseph Smith's Candidacy for President--Nauvoo Conspiracy

Chapter 35. The Martyrdom

Chapter 36. The Succession of the Twelve Apostles--Preparation to Leave

Part Five -- The Settlement in the Rocky Mountains

Chapter 37. The Exodus from Nauvoo

Chapter 38. The Mormon Battalion

Chapter 39. The Pioneers

Chapter 40. In "the Land of Promise"

Chapter 41. Organization of the Presidency--Church Activities

Chapter 42. Church Activities

Chapter 43. "The Utah War"

Chapter 44. The Mountain Meadows Massacre

Chapter 45. The Army in Utah

Chapter 46. A Period of Strife and Bitterness

Chapter 47. The Mission of Governor Shaffer and Judge McKean

Chapter 48. Church Colonization and Progress

Part Six -- Recent Development

Chapter 49. The Second Period of Apostolic Presidency

Chapter 50. The Administration of President John Taylor

Chapter 51. The Administration of President Wilford Woodruff

Chapter 52. The Administration of President Lorenzo Snow

Chapter 53. The Administration of President Joseph F. Smith

Chapter 54. The Administration of President Heber J. Grant


The Auxiliary Organizations of the Church

General Authorities of the Church

Stakes of Zion

Church Publications

List of Authorities and Books of Reference

Part One

Introductory: The Gospel in Ancient and Mediaeval Times

Chapter 1

Antiquity of the Gospel

The Gospel Older than the Law

From the time of the exodus from Egypt until the advent of Jesus Christ
the Israelites were subject to the laws given to Moses. The belief is
held by many that when the Savior supplanted these laws with the Gospel
it was the first appearance among men of that great plan of salvation.
The Gospel is much older than the law of Moses; it existed before the
foundation of the world. Its principles are eternal, and were made
known to the spirits of men in that antemortal day when Jesus Christ
was chosen to be the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." All
necessary preparations were made in the spirit life for the peopling of
this earth in a mortal existence. It was there decided that Adam should
come to this earth and stand as the progenitor of the race.

The Fall of Man and His Redemption

That Adam and his posterity might gain the experience that can only be
obtained in mortality, it was necessary that he should break the law
by which he was governed in the Garden of Eden, and thereby subject
himself and his posterity to death. To gain an exaltation man must have
experience and must exercise his free will. Then, knowing both good
and evil, by obeying the will of the Father he will receive a reward
for the good deeds done while in the flesh. The fall of man brought
temptation, sin and death. It was therefore essential that a Redeemer
be provided through whose atonement for the fall, all men, without
regard to their belief, race, or color, are entitled to come forth in
the resurrection of the dead, to be judged according to their works.
"For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of
the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made
alive" (1 Cor. 15:21-22).

Individual Salvation Taught to Adam

Individual salvation requires that a man must repent and accept the
fulness of the Gospel if he would be exalted in the kingdom of God.
This plan of salvation was taught to Adam after his expulsion from the
Garden of Eden. He was baptized in water for the remission of his sins,
in the name of the only Begotten of the Father, and received the Holy
Ghost. He and his wife, Eve, were commanded to teach their children the
Gospel, that they also "might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the
words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to
come, even immortal glory" (Moses ch. 6).

In obedience to this commandment Adam and Eve made all these things
known to their sons and daughters. Thus the Gospel was taught in the
beginning and was declared from generation to generation. Adam received
the Holy Priesthood, which was also conferred upon the patriarchs who
followed after him. They were "preachers of righteousness, and spake
and prophesied, and called upon all men, everywhere, to repent, and
faith was taught unto the children of men" (Moses 6:22).

The Gospel Rejected in Days of Noah

In the days of Noah the Gospel was universally rejected, save by
Noah and his immediate family--in all eight souls. Noah had labored
diligently and long to bring mankind to repentance, but without avail,
"for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth" (Moses 8:29).
After the destruction of the wicked in the flood, the Gospel continued
to be taught by Noah and the later patriarchs, but quite generally it
was not received. Melchizedek, king of Salem, through his faithfulness,
became a great high priest, and the people of the Church in his day
honored him by calling the "Holy Priesthood after the order of the Son
of God," by his name, "out of respect or reverence to the name of the
Supreme Being" (D. & C. 107:4). From Melchizedek, Abraham received the
Priesthood, and to Melchizedek, as the properly authorized servant of
the Lord, Abraham paid tithes of all he possessed (Gen. 14:20).

The Covenant with Abraham

Unto Abraham also was the Gospel preached and the Lord made covenant
with him that through him and his posterity should all nations of the
earth be blessed (Gen. 22:18). This same Gospel was also declared to
the children of Israel in its simple truth; but they proved unworthy
to receive it in its fulness, due to their long sojourn in Egypt,
where they had partaken of the customs, traditions and theology of the
Egyptians, and therefore "the word preached did not profit them, not
being mixed with faith in them that heard it" (Heb. 4:2). The Lord
endeavored to establish the fulness of his Gospel and authority among
them, which Moses plainly taught, and he sought to sanctify the people,
"that they might behold the face of God; but they hardened their hearts
and could not endure his presence, therefore the Lord in his wrath (for
his anger was kindled against them) swore that they should not enter
into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his
glory" (D. & C. 84:23-24).

The Higher Priesthood and the Carnal Law

It became necessary, therefore, for the Lord to take Moses and the
Higher Priesthood out of their midst, but the Lesser Priesthood,
which holds the keys of the ministering of angels and the preparatory
Gospel--faith, repentance and baptism for the remission of sins--he
permitted to remain. To this he added the carnal law, known as the
law of Moses, which was added, so Paul informs us, as a schoolmaster
to prepare them to receive the fulness of the Gospel when restored by
Jesus Christ.

The Israelites, from the time they entered the promised land to the
coming of the Son of God, were living under the law of Moses, which
laid upon them severe and exacting restrictions because of their
refusal to receive the fulness of the Gospel when it was offered in the
wilderness. When the Savior came, it was to complete and fulfil the
ends of this law, of which he said not one jot or title should pass
until all was fulfilled.

Dispensation of the Meridian of Time

In the Dispensation of the Meridian of Time, when the Savior ministered
among the Jews, he restored the Gospel with the Higher Priesthood.
He called and ordained Twelve Apostles and gave them power, before
his ascension into heaven, to complete the church organization, and
commissioned them to carry the message of divine salvation into all the
world. In restoring that which had been taken away, he annulled the
carnal law, which had been added in the place of the higher law, for it
had filled the measure of its creation.

Commission of the Apostles

Under the commission Jesus gave the apostles to carry the Gospel
message into all the world and preach it to every creature, they
commenced their active ministry on the day of Pentecost, preaching in
power to the convincing of many souls. As the work of the ministry
grew, and the assistance of other laborers was required to carry on the
work, men were divinely called and ordained to specific offices in the
Church. The Lord, himself, had called and ordained, besides the twelve,
seventies, and sent them forth throughout Judea bearing the message
of truth. When they returned from that missionary journey it was with
much rejoicing because even the devils were subject unto them. What
other officers the Lord ordained and set apart, the scriptures do not
reveal. That the Twelve Apostles were empowered to set in order all
things pertaining to the Church, is, nevertheless, beyond dispute. We
learn that under their direction and ministry, as branches were formed
and the work of the ministry required it, high priests, evangelists,
patriarchs, elders, bishops, deacons, priests, pastors and teachers
were called into the service of the Church. The organization was in
this manner effected during the days of the apostles. The Church was
also blessed with the divine gifts and blessings of the Spirit of the
Lord in those early days, just as it was during the Savior's ministry.
There were in the Church many prophets who uttered, by the gift of the
Holy Ghost, many remarkable predictions.

Essential Offices in the Church

All of these offices in the Church, are essential to the advancement
of the members and cannot be discarded with impunity. Paul said, the
Lord "gave some apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and
some pastors and teachers; for the perfection of the saints, for the
work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." These
were not merely to remain in the Church during the formative period, or
for a brief season in order to start the work, and then to be replaced
by other officers of another kind. Men were ordained to these callings
"for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity
of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect
man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Eph.
4:12-13). Evidently, then, as long as there is imperfection in the
Church among the members, in doctrine, knowledge, or love, they fall
short of "the stature of the fulness of Christ."

These officers are all needed and cannot justly be removed, for the
Lord never so intended. The writer of the epistle to the Ephesians
also further compares all these officers to the various parts of the
human body and says: "From whom the whole body fitly joined together
and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the
effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of
the body unto the edifying of itself in love." This same apostle also
likens the spiritual gifts to the physical body, declaring each to
be essential in the Church, just as the parts of the body are each
necessary and one part cannot say to another, "I have no need of you,"
for all are necessary that all men may "profit withal."

Chapter 2

The Falling Away

The Body of the Church Destroyed

Notwithstanding that the early officers of the Church were endowed
with the Holy Priesthood and exercised the spiritual gifts, which were
to remain until all came "unto a perfect man unto the stature of the
fulness of Christ," there came a great and terrible change, absolutely
destroying the perfect body of the Church. In its place arose a strange
organization which eventually gained dominion over the earth and ruled
the destinies of men, not in love unfeigned, but in blood and carnage
most appalling, and with an iron hand.

The Falling Away Predicted

The rise of this power had been predicted by many of the prophets of
old and by the apostles of our Lord. Even the Savior, when instructing
his disciples regarding the signs of the times, intimated that this
would occur. Isaiah, seven centuries before the birth of Christ,
predicted that the time would come when the earth would be defiled
under its inhabitants because of the transgression of the law, the
changing of ordinances and the breaking of the new and everlasting
covenant. It is evident that this was to occur in the latter days,
and not in the days of Israel's subjection to the law, for the law of
Moses was not an everlasting covenant. This prophecy was to receive its
consummation in the day when the earth, defiled by the wickedness and
corruption of its inhabitants, should be cleansed by fire and few men
left (Isaiah 24:1-6).

The Prophecies of Isaiah and Amos

Speaking of this event Isaiah says: "For the Lord hath poured out upon
you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets
and your rulers, the seers hath he covered." Shortly before this time,
Amos also predicted that the time would come when the Lord would send a
famine in the land, "not a famine of bread," said he, "nor a thirst for
water, but of hearing the words of the Lord."

The Vision of Daniel

Daniel saw in vision the overthrow of the Church established by the
Savior in the meridian of time. In his vision of the four beasts,
representing the kingdoms seen by Nebuchadnezzar in his dream, he saw
one horn, or power, come up among the ten that succeeded the Roman
Empire, "more stout than his fellows." This horn had eyes and a mouth
that spake very great words against the Most High, and three other
kingdoms were subdued by this great horn. The same power "made war with
the saints and prevailed against them," and through continued conflict
and exercise of might was able to "wear out the saints of the Most
High" and thought to "change times and laws." This blasphemous power
was to rule until the coming of the Ancient of Days, when the kingdom
and dominion was to be "given to the people of the saints of the Most
High whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom."

Apostasy Commenced in Days of Apostles

The falling away from the faith commenced before the close of the
ministry of the apostles. Paul, when at Miletus taking his final
departure from the elders of Ephesus who had come to meet him,
earnestly entreated them to take heed to feed the Church of God, for,
said he, "I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves
enter in among you, not sparing the flock, and of yourselves shall men
arise, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them."
He also took occasion to warn the Saints at Thessalonica not to be
deceived regarding the ushering in of the second advent of the Son of
God, "for that day," he wrote to them, "shall not come, except there
come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of
perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called
God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of
God, showing himself that he is God."

The Predictions of Paul

The Saints at Galatia commenced very early to depart from the faith.
Timothy was warned by Paul, and instructed that in the last days
perilous times would come and men would be "lovers of their ownselves,
covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents,
unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false
accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more that lovers
of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof."
Moreover, he said the time would come, "when they will not endure sound
doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves
teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from
the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

Prophecy of Peter

Peter, likewise, by the spirit of prophecy, bore record of the
departure from the faith when he wrote to the Saints, saying: "But
there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be
false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies,
even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift
destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason
of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of." Then he sought to
impress upon the minds of the Saints the fact that the prophets before
him had also predicted these direful events, saying: "That ye may be
mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and
of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior; knowing
this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking
after their own lusts, and saying: Where is the promise of his coming?
for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were
from the beginning of the creation."

The Mystery of Iniquity

As already stated, Paul declared to the Thessalonians that the "mystery
of iniquity" was already at work, and to Timothy he said: "All they
which are in Asia be turned away from me." He had, we are led to
believe, had some dispute with Asiatic converts, for he wrote to
Timothy in great sorrow because some of his companions had forsaken him
and were advocating doctrines contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In trying to correct these evils he was left to contend alone, for he
adds: "At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me."

Decline of Spiritual Gifts

It was not long after the departure of the apostles that spiritual
gifts ceased to be manifest in the Church. The decline of these
blessings, which are inseparably connected with the Church of Christ,
led to the belief, so prevalent even in this day, that they were not to
be continued, having been instituted in the incipiency of the Church,
merely as a means of aiding in its establishment, after which they were
no longer needed.

Revelation and heavenly communication also came to an end. There was
no more vision, for the people had closed their eyes. This condition
also led to the universal belief, which the world holds even now, that
the canon of scripture is full and there is to be no more scripture,
notwithstanding the Lord has revealed through his servants that
revelation is to continue.

Changes in Church Government

The offices in the Priesthood were also changed because those unto whom
the Gospel was preached would not endure sound doctrine, but after
their own lusts heaped to themselves teachers having itching ears and
were "men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith."

The Church Taken from Among Men

Instead of apostles and prophets there came, as time went on, a very
different ecclesiastical order from that instituted by the Lord. The
Church established by the Redeemer was taken from the earth because of
continued persecution and apostasy, until there was but a dead form
of the true Church left. The great ecclesiastical organization that
arose and claimed to be the Church of Christ was of gradual growth. The
change from truth to error was not made all in one day. It commenced
in the first century and continued during the immediate centuries that
followed, until the Church established in the days of the apostles was
no more to be found among men. Without the direction of inspired men,
who could communicate with God, the change was a natural one.

Rise of the Church of Rome

In the beginning of the fourth century this great religious power,
under the Emperor Constantine became the state religion of the Roman
Empire. From that time forth its dominion spread and before many
years had passed away it became the ruling power in religion in the
so-called civilized world. By it "times and laws" were changed. The
simple principles of the Christian faith were embellished almost beyond
recognition with pomp and mystic rites borrowed from pagan worship. The
priests and potentates, who officiated in these ceremonies, no longer
followed the simple customs of the humble fishermen of Galilee but,
dressed in splendid and costly robes, with mitres on their heads, they
performed their various parts in pride and with mystifying ceremonies
that over-awed and bewildered the humble people.

Changes in the Doctrines of the Church

The correct doctrine regarding the Godhead taught by Jesus Christ,
was changed into a mystery. The ordinance of baptism was changed from
burial in the water for the remission of sins, to sprinkling of a
little water on the head. Sprinkling of infants, miscalled baptism, a
custom which "is mockery before God, denying the mercies of Christ,
and the power of the Holy Spirit," became a fixed and universal
custom. Changes in the administration of the sacrament of the Lord's
supper were also introduced, and the doctrine advanced that the bread
and wine became the flesh and blood of our crucified Redeemer, by
transubstantiation. Those who entered the ministry were forbidden
to marry, and many other changes, which need not be mentioned here,
were made in the principles of the Gospel, in the functions of the
Priesthood and the worship of the Lord.

Temporal Power of the Pope

Rome became the capital of this ecclesiastical power and the bishop or
pope, as he was called, its head. As its power grew it claimed dominion
not only in matter religious, but in civil affairs as well. During the
acme of its glory it ruled practically the known world. By it kings
were made and by it they were dethroned. Unless they bowed before the
papal power in abject submission they were made to feel the weight of
its mighty hand.

Frederick Seebohm, in his _Era of the Protestant Revolution_, says:
"Kings were not secure on their thrones till they had the sanction
of the Church. On the other hand the clergy claimed to be free from
prosecution under the criminal laws of the land they lived in.
They struggled to keep their own ecclesiastical laws and their own
ecclesiastical courts, receiving authority direct from Rome, and with
final appeal, not to the crown, but to the pope."

"To establish an accusation against a bishop," writes Motley, in his
_Rise of the Dutch Republic_, "seventy-two witnesses were necessary;
against a deacon, twenty-seven; against an inferior dignitary, seven;
while two were sufficient to convict a layman."

Power of the Clergy

Few outside of the clergy were educated enough to read and write;
therefore priests became the lawyers, diplomats, ambassadors,
instructors and prime ministers in the nations. All learned men talked
and wrote in Latin, which was the language of Rome. It is said that
for centuries a man convicted of a crime in England, by showing that
he could read or write, could claim the benefits of a trial in the
ecclesiastical court, which, "by long abuse came to mean exemption from
the punishment of the criminal law of the land."

Not only did the priests fill these important offices where they
were enabled to wield great power and to control, very largely, the
destinies of nations, but many of them became extremely avaricious and
"divined for money." Jean de Valdez, brother of the secretary to King
Charles V, wrote of the times as follows: "I see that we can scarcely
get anything from Christ's ministers but for money; at baptism money,
at bishoping money, at marriage money, for confession money--no, not
extreme unction without money! They will ring no bells without money,
no burial in Church without money; so that it seemeth that Paradise is
shut up from them that have no money. The rich is buried in the Church,
the poor in the church-yard. The rich may marry with his nearest kin,
but the poor not so, albeit he be ready to die for love of her. The
rich may eat flesh in Lent, but the poor may not, albeit fish perhaps
be much dearer. The rich man may readily get large indulgences, but
the poor none, because he wanteth money to pay for them" (_Era of the
Protestant Revolution_, p. 60).

In addition to all this they taxed the people in various ways,
receiving a tithing from all produce of the farms, a tenth of the land
and of the wages of the working man. Writes Motley: "Not content,
moreover, with their territories and their tithings, the churchmen
perpetually devised new burdens upon the peasantry. Plows, sickles,
horses, oxen, all implements of husbandry were taxed for the benefit of
those who toiled not, but who gathered into barns."

Sale of Indulgences

Some of these ecclesiastical rulers became so avaricious and filled
with the spirit of greed that they advanced the blasphemous doctrine of
forgiving sins by the sale of indulgences. It is claimed by the Church
of Rome that these evils were the sins of individuals who perverted
the doctrine of the church in relation to penance and forgiveness
of sin. The indulgence was, according to their teaching, "a pardon
usually granted by the pope, through which the contrite sinner escaped
a part, or all, of the punishment which remained even after he had
been absolved. The pardon did not therefore forgive the guilt of the
sinner, for that had necessarily to be removed before the indulgence
was granted; it only removed or mitigated the penalties which even the
forgiven sinner would, without the indulgence, have expected to undergo
in purgatory."[1]

However, the sale of indulgences in various parts of Europe, was a
means of creating large fortunes for those who sanctioned it. There
was no crime in the category for which the power of forgiveness was
not offered if the party seeking it could pay the price. The various
countries were districted and farmed for the collection of these
revenues, according to John Lathrop Motley, the historian, who writes:

    "The price current of the wares offered for sale was published
    in every town and village [in the Netherlands]. God's pardon for
    crimes already committed, or about to be committed, was advertized
    according to a graded tariff. Thus poisoning, for example, was
    absolved for eleven ducats, six livres tournois. Absolution for
    incest was afforded at thirty-six livres, three ducats. Perjury
    came to seven livres and three carlines. Pardon for murder, if not
    by poison, was cheaper. Even a parricide could buy forgiveness at
    God's tribunal at one ducat, four livres, eight carlines. Henry de
    Mountfort, in the year 1448, purchased absolution for that crime
    at that price. Was it strange that a century or so of this kind of
    work should produce a Luther? Was it unnatural that plain people,
    who loved the ancient Church, should rather desire to see her
    purged of such blasphemous abuses than to hear of St. Peter's dome
    rising a little nearer to the clouds on these proceeds of commuted
    crime? . . . The Netherlands, like other countries, are districted
    and farmed for the collection of this papal revenue. Much of the
    money thus raised remains in the hands of the vile collectors.
    Sincere Catholics, who love and honor the ancient religion, shrink
    with horror at the spectacle offered on every side. Criminals
    buying paradise for money, monks spending the money thus paid in
    gaming houses, taverns, and brothels; this seems to those who have
    studied their Testaments a different scheme of salvation from the
    one promulgated by Christ. There has evidently been a departure
    from the system of earlier apostles. Innocent conservative souls
    are much perplexed; but at last all these infamies arouse a giant
    to do battle with the giant wrong."[2]

Thus were the prophecies of the scriptures fulfilled; the laws
transgressed by a power that exalted itself "above all that is called
God" and in his sacred name speaking "great words against the Most


1. _History of Western Europe_, p. 39, James Harvey Robinson.

2. _The Rise of the Dutch Republic_, vol. 1, pp. 63-66, Motley.

Chapter 3

The Protestant Revolution

The "Dark Ages"

Not content with absolute dominion over the spiritual and temporal
affairs of the people, this papal kingdom attempted the exercise of
authority also over the consciences of men. Especially was this so
during the dark ages, when this power was at the zenith of its glory.
This exercise of authority extended also far into the day when the
light of religious freedom commenced to break forth, during the period
known as the revival of learning. Previous to this revival, as we
have seen, the language of learning was the Latin tongue. The people
were helplessly dependent upon their priests for all instruction
in scientific as well as religious thought. The few copies of the
Bible extant were guarded by the clergy, and the scriptures were not
accessible to the common people, and since they could neither read nor
write, and in very few instances understood Latin, they would have been
helpless even with the Bible in their hands. Under these conditions
it is not to be wondered at that the poor people of those benighted
countries of Europe, credulous and filled with superstitious fear,
were ready to accept almost anything that was made known to them, in
doctrine or deed, by unscrupulous priests.

The Revival of Learning

Neither is it to be wondered at that priests attempted to use force
and coercion during the revival of learning to check the opportunities
of the people in obtaining light and truth. It was due to the exercise
of greater knowledge on the part of the priests and their performance
of mystic ceremonies, that over-awed the people and enabled the clergy
to keep them shackled by the chains of ignorance and superstition.
Ignorance was a ready tool in the hands of the priests by which they
shaped and moulded the masses into vessels to their liking. The
increase of learning among the people, aided by the discoveries and
inventions of the times, would change all this; for the people would
not be so ready to accept every wind of doctrine without some mental
cogitation and desire to have a reason given why things were thus and
so. Moreover, the revival of learning meant the end of many practices
and blasphemous doctrines advanced in the name of Jesus Christ, such
as the exercise of force over the consciences of men and the sale of
indulgences for the pardon of sin--if not the end, at least a wonderful
modification of such an evil system.

Early Translations of the Bible

Evidently this ruling ecclesiastical power realized that enlightened
conditions would bring rebellion against its authority. For that reason
stringent laws were framed to enforce the edicts and regulations of the
church of Rome. During the "Reformation" and before, there were several
translations of the Bible made in the languages which the common
people understood. Wycliffe's Bible appeared in 1380 and was followed
by translations at a later date, both in English and other tongues.
At first there was an attempt to destroy these copies which were
prepared without authority or sanction from the Catholic Church. With
the invention of printing in the fifteenth century, however, the cause
of religious freedom received a wonderful impetus, and Bibles were
distributed all over Europe. Before the time of printing a Bible cost
five hundred crowns, and such copies as were in existence were in the
keeping of the clergy, who guarded them with the utmost zeal. Through
the aid of printing, the price of Bibles was reduced to five crowns,
which made it possible for the people not only to have the privilege of
hearing the scriptures read in their own tongue, but also to acquire
the understanding by which they could read them for themselves.

Scripture-Reading Forbidden

An English chronicler, Henry Kneighton, many years before the
"Reformation" expressed the prevailing notion about the reading of
the scriptures when he denounced the general reading of the Bible,
lamenting "lest the jewel of the Church, hitherto the exclusive
property of the clergy and divines, should be made common to the
laity." Archbishop Arundel in England had issued an enactment that
"no part of the scriptures in English should be read, either in
public or in private, or be thereafter translated, under pain of the
greater excommunication." The New Testament translation of Erasmus was
forbidden at Cambridge, and the Vicar of Croyden said from his pulpit:
"We must root out printing, or printing will root us out." In the reign
of Henry VIII the reading of the Bible by the common people, or those
who were not of the privileged class, had been prohibited by act of
Parliament, and men were burned at the stake in England as well as in
the Netherlands and other parts of Europe for having even fragments of
the scriptures in their hands.

For those who were considered derelict in church duties or heretical in
doctrine, edicts were declared, forbidding them to gather in private
assemblies for devotion, in various parts of Europe. All reading of the
scriptures; all discussion within one's own doors concerning faith,
the sacraments, the papal authority, or other religious matter, was
forbidden "under penalty of death. The edicts were no dead letter.
The fires were kept constantly supplied with human fuel by monks who
knew the act of burning reformers better than of arguing with them.
The scaffold was the most conclusive of syllogisms, and used upon all
occasions" (_The Rise of the Dutch Republic_, Motley).

The Inquisition

Continuing this woeful account of conditions in the rebellious
Netherlands and other countries under Spanish rule, the author of _The
Rise of the Dutch Republic_ says: "Charles V introduced and organized a
papal institution, side by side with those horrible 'Placards' of his
invention, which constituted a masked inquisition even more cruel than
that of Spain. . . . The execution of the system was never permitted
to languish. The number of Netherlanders who were burned, strangled,
beheaded, or buried alive, in obedience to his edicts, and for the
offense of reading the scriptures, of looking askance at a graven
image, or of ridiculing the actual presence of the body and blood of
Christ in a wafer, have been placed as high as one hundred thousand by
distinguished authorities, and have never been put at a lower mark than
fifty thousand."

Dawning of a Better Day

Conditions like these could not go on forever. The dawn of a better day
began to break over the nations. The Spirit of the Lord was striving
with men and preparations commenced for the introduction into the world
of the re-established Gospel at a later day. It was necessary that the
shackles of superstitious fear and illiteracy, which bound the world
so completely, should be broken, that men might exercise their right
of free agency before the fulness of Gospel light should break forth.
Not only was advancement made in the art of printing, but there came a
revival of learning and research in all directions and in all parts of
Europe. It was not confined to one land or to one people, but the whole
of Europe took on a new life. The discovery of the telescope, the law
of gravitation, the invention of gunpowder and many other wonderful
things, were revolutionizing the thoughts of men.

The Mission of Columbus

With the discovery of the mariner's compass navigators became more
bold and daring, and gradually extended their explorations until they
discovered the way to India around the Cape of Good Hope. Near the
close of the fifteenth century the belief prevailed that the earth was
flat and inhabited only on the upper side. Beyond the shores of lands
then known it was thought there hung a pall of fog and darkness. The
sea was referred to as the "Sea of Darkness" beyond the boundaries
known to man. Far off in or beyond the ocean it was believed great
dragons had their lair, and if any man should be so unfortunate as to
drift among them he would return no more. Mariners had been afraid to
traverse the seas far beyond the sight of land. Shortly before the end
of this century there came one navigator more daring than his fellows,
who proposed to cross the sea. After many pleadings and attempts to
interest some one with means in the venture, he finally succeeded and
the remarkable feat was done. In accomplishing this he made discoveries
that the Lord, in his wisdom, had kept hid from the nations of the east
all down through the ages, until in his own due time he desired them
to be revealed. Columbus was moved upon by the Spirit of the Lord and
crossed the waters in fulfilment of predictions made by a prophet, who
lived on this continent, five hundred years before the birth of Christ.

The "Reformation"

All these things played an important part in the establishment of
individual and religious freedom. The most important agency of all in
this great work was doubtless the so-called "Reformation," which was
in fact a revolution from the bondage of the church of Rome. Great
men of intellectual power began to undermine the thraldom of the
religious world. This rebellion against the dominion of Rome was almost
simultaneous in the various lands. In England, Scandinavia, France,
Switzerland, the Netherlands and Germany, many "reformers" arose near
the end of the fifteenth and during the sixteenth century. They were of
varying degrees of enthusiasm and opposition to the teachings of that
time. In the beginning their only desire was to correct evils within
the Catholic Church, but failing in this many of them openly rebelled
and set up independent churches of their own.

Martin Luther

The greatest of these "reformers" was Martin Luther in Germany, who
did more than any other individual in casting off the yoke of bondage
placed upon the people by the papacy. Powerful princes came to his
aid, but there was not in Germany at that time the cohesion of the
people, or the centralization of power, that existed in England under
Henry VIII, or in Sweden, where Gustavus Vasa reigned. Luther's task,
therefore, was a heavy one, but he nobly carried it through to the
bitter end.

The Protestant Revolution a Preparatory Work

Their mission was not, however, to set up the Church or Christ, for
the time was not ripe, and that important event was reserved for
another generation. They were called to be forerunners of that eventful
day, and did much to prepare the world for the ushering in of the
Dispensation of the Fulness of Times. The Lord did not call them to
their great work by an opening of the heavens; by visitation of angel,
or direct communication, as in times of old; neither did any of them
claim that in this manner they had been called. Nevertheless it was
the Spirit of the Lord which rested upon them and inspired them to
fight against the abominations and practices of their times committed
in the name of religion. Such, at least, was the case with most of
them. The motive of Henry VIII of England, was a selfish one; yet the
Lord brought good out of it in behalf of religious freedom. At first
Henry opposed the rebellion of Luther and others most vigorously, even
writing in defense of the pope of Rome, for which service he received
the benediction of the pope and the title of "Defender of the Faith."
Afterwards, when his own interests where in conflict with the policy
of the Catholic Church and in no wise he could prevail, he became
rebellious, with the result that he was excommunicated by the pope. In
defense he established an independent church, known today as the Church
of England, of which he became the head. Parliament and the people were
back of him and thus the great state church of England was brought into

Disagreement Among "Reformers"

The pity of it all is that these "reformers" when they established
their religious freedom, could not agree among themselves. They were
constantly in turmoil, contending one with another on points of
doctrine, which led to considerable bitterness and the establishing
of various and conflicting sects. Moreover, they had not learned the
lesson themselves, through all the persecutions they were forced to
suffer, that toleration was a fundamental principle of freedom. Because
this great lesson had not been learned the persecuted became the
persecutors in many cases, and were just as intolerant where they had
the power with those who disagreed with them as their enemies had been
with them.

America a Land of Freedom

Nevertheless the seeds of toleration had been sown, but they were of
slow growth. Toleration was a matter of education and therefore came by
degrees and could not burst forth in full fruition at once. Not until
there had been much shedding of blood in Europe, and more particularly
in America during the war for independence, were the people fully
awakened to this truth. It required a planting in new soil in a choice
land above all other lands. Here in America freedom and religious
toleration became a fundamental part of our great government. Our land
became a land of refuge for the afflicted, the downtrodden, and the
oppressed of other nations, who found in the United States a haven of
rest; for this land had been dedicated to liberty by the shedding of

Praise be to the great souls who conducted the Protestant Revolution.
They helped to make it possible for the establishment of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the early part of the nineteenth
century, preparatory to the second coming of the Son of God. For all
the good they did we honor them, and they shall receive their reward
which shall be great. They were not restorers, but were sent to prepare
the way for one who was yet to come with a mission of restoration and
everlasting power.

Part Two

Opening of the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times

Chapter 4

Necessity for a Restoration

The Marvelous Work

The work of the Protestant revolution having been accomplished, and
the land of America having been prepared by the sowing of the seed
of religious freedom, the time for the restoration of the Gospel had
arrived. The promise made by the Savior that the Gospel of the kingdom
should be preached in all the world for a witness, was about to be
fulfilled, and the Church of Jesus Christ was again to be established
in the earth. The "marvelous work and a wonder," which Isaiah predicted
should come forth in the latter days, was about to make its appearance,
to the confounding of the wisdom of the worldly wise.

Reasonable and Scriptural to Expect a Restoration

It is reasonable as well as scriptural, to believe that the Lord,
before he shall come in judgment and to commence his reign of a
thousand years, will send a messenger to prepare the way before him.
In justice the people should be warned and given the privilege of
repentance and remission of sins, through the preaching of the Gospel,
and have an opportunity for membership in the Church of Christ. "Surely
the Lord God will do nothing," said Amos, "until he revealeth the
secret unto his servants the prophets."[1]

Ancient Predictions to be Fulfilled

Many of the ancient prophets had spoken of the opening of the heavens
and revealing anew to man, the everlasting Gospel, before the second
coming of the Lord. The visitation of heavenly messengers, and the
pouring out of the Spirit of the Lord, in which the sons and daughters
of Israel should prophesy, old men dream dreams, and the young men see
visions, were also foretold as events for the latter days.

Daniel Saw Our Day

Daniel, in vision, while an exile at the court of Babylon's great
king, saw our day and the work of setting up the kingdom which should
be given to the Saints of the Most High, who should possess it "even
forever and forever." The same event he confirmed in the interpretation
of Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the wonderfully constructed image. It was
to be in the last days at a time when the kingdoms represented by the
toes of the image should bear rule. In that day the God of heaven will
"set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, or left to other

Vision of John

John also saw the time when the Gospel should be declared by an angel
flying in the midst of heaven "having the everlasting gospel to preach
unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred,
and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give
glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him
that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters."
This also was to be in the last day, when the people were departed from
the teachings of the Lord, and needed a call unto repentance, for this
angel was to be followed by another who should say: "Babylon is fallen,
is fallen;" and before Babylon should fall, she was to be warned and
given a chance of repentance.

Joseph Smith Divinely Called

It was necessary, therefore, that one should be chosen and clothed
with power from the Father to re-establish the Church of Jesus Christ
on the earth.[2] In choosing a representative to stand at the head
of this "great and marvelous work, about to come forth unto the
children of men," the Lord did not select one who was versed in the
learning and traditions of the world. His ways are not the ways of
man, neither are his thoughts like the thoughts of men. One taught in
the learning of the world would have had too much to unlearn of the
traditions and philosophy of men. In his great wisdom, the Lord chose
an unsophisticated child--a boy fourteen years of age. Unto this youth
the Lord revealed the fulness of the Gospel, which the world could not
receive because of unbelief. Through years of heavenly guidance--for he
was instructed by messengers from the presence of the Lord--this young
man, Joseph Smith, was prepared to direct the work of the restoration
of the Gospel and the building of the Kingdom of God.


1. Amos 3:7. The Prophet Joseph Smith's revision.

2. The erroneous idea which prevails in the world in relation to the
Church, is set forth in Smith's _Bible Dictionary_, Article--Church,
vol. 1, p. 458, as follows: "We have seen that according to the
scriptural view the Church is a holy kingdom, established by God
on earth, of which Christ is the invisible King--it is a divinely
organized body, the members of which are knit together amongst
themselves, and joined to Christ their Head, by the Holy Spirit, who
dwells in and animates it; it is a spiritual but visible society of
men united by constant succession to those who were personally united
to the Apostles, holding the same faith that the Apostles held,
administering the same sacraments, and like them forming separate, but
only locally separate, assemblies, for the public worship of God. This
is the Church according to the Divine intention. But as God permits men
to mar the perfection of his designs in their behalf, and as men have
both corrupted the doctrines and broken the unity of the Church, we
must not expect to see the Church of Holy Scripture actually existing
in its perfection on earth. It is not to be found, thus perfect, either
in the collected fragments of Christendom, or still less in any one
of these fragments; though it is possible that one of those fragments
more than another may approach the scriptural and Apostolic ideal which
existed only until sin, heresy, and schism, had time sufficiently to
develop themselves to do their work."

Chapter 5

The Ancestry of Joseph Smith


Ancestry of Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith was born in Sharon, Windsor County, Vermont, December 23,
1805. He was the third son and fourth child of Joseph and Lucy Mack
Smith, who had a family of ten children. His parents were of sturdy New
England stock, honest, godfearing, industrious, but poor in worldly
substance. Joseph Smith had descended on his paternal side from Robert
Smith, who emigrated from England in the year 1638. There is no record
to be found of the ancestry of Robert Smith, nor do we know at this
time from what part of England he came, further than that he went in
his early youth to Boston, Lincolnshire, and then to London, where he
took ship for America. He landed in Boston, Massachusetts, and moved
to that part of Rowley, in Essex County, which afterwards became the
township of Boxford. Here, later, he purchased two hundred eight acres
of land, a portion of which was in Topsfield township. He married Miss
Mary French. They were the parents of ten children. Robert was known
among his neighbors as a quiet, unassuming man, devoted to the welfare
of the settlement. Through his industry he was able to provide some
comforts for his family, who were reared in the prevailing religious
teachings of that day, but strictly in the knowledge of the scriptures.

Patriotic Service of Samuel Smith

Samuel, son of Robert and Mary, was born January 26, 1666. He married
Rebecca, daughter of John Curtis, a prominent citizen of the town of
Topsfield. After his father's death, Samuel moved to Topsfield, where
he became an influential member of that community and was honored by
the citizens with several offices of trust. He was the father of nine
children. His son Samuel, born January 26, 1714, was one of the most
prominent citizens of Topsfield. The greater part of his life was
spent in the service of the people. He passed through the stormy days
of the American Revolution and bore arms in defense of the liberties
of the people. Among the many positions he held are the following: He
was grand juryman in 1760; in 1770, road supervisor; in 1779, 1780,
1783, 1784 and 1785, on the committee of safety; from 1771 to 1777
and in 1781 and 1782, assessor and selectman in Topsfield, declining
the honor in 1783; he was moderator, in 1758-60, 1762, 1764, 1766-73,
1777-80, and 1782-83; representative to the General Court (House of
Representatives) in 1764-70, 1772, 1777-78, and 1781; town clerk in
1774, 1776 and 1777; delegate to the Provincial Congress at Concord,
October 11, 1774 and again January 19, 1775, and on the tea committee,
from Topsfield and acted as chairman, in 1773.

He was known as Captain Samuel Smith, receiving his military title
during service in the militia of Massachusetts. He married Priscilla,
daughter of Zacheus Gould of Topsfield. They had five children, two
sons and three daughters. The mother died shortly after the birth of
her youngest child, and Samuel married a cousin of his first wife who
bore the same name. He died November 22, 1785, leaving an estate valued
at more than 544 pounds sterling. The Salem Gazette of November 22,
1785, made mention of him in the following words:

"Died.--At Topsfield, on Monday, the 14th instant, Samuel Smith, Esq.
So amiable and worthy a character as he evidently appeared, both in
public and private, will render the memory of him ever precious. For a
number of years he represented the town in the General Court, where he
was esteemed a man of integrity and uprightness. His usefulness among
those with whom he was more immediately conversant was eminent. He
was a sincere friend to the liberties of his country, and a strenuous
advocate for the doctrine of Christianity."

"The memory of the Just be blessed."

Asael Smith Grandfather of Joseph Smith

Asael Smith was the second son and youngest child of (2) Samuel. He
was born in Topsfield, March 7, 1744. His mother died, as already
noted, shortly after his birth. His early life was spent in Topsfield.
February 12, 1767, he took to wife, Mary Duty, of Windham, New
Hampshire, and later moved to that place. From there he went to
Dunbarton and then to Derryfield, now the city of Manchester. During
the Revolution he followed the example of his illustrious father and
served with the Colonial forces. After the death of his father in 1785,
he returned to Topsfield and made his home on the family estate. He
lived in the old home, about one mile north of the town, where a number
of his children were born, notably Joseph, father of the Prophet Joseph

Asael was a man of very liberal views, far in advance of his time. Some
of his children were members of the Congregational Church, but in his
religious views he leaned towards the teachings of the Universalists.
However, he held aloof from all sects, because he could not reconcile
his understanding of the scriptures with their many conflicting creeds.
He advocated the truth very strongly, that all men should have free and
equal religious liberty. In his opinions he was frank and explicit,
expressing himself without fear of the prevailing opinions of his
neighbors. He was somewhat gifted with the pen and wrote some worthy
sentiments which have been preserved and are still in possession of
members of the family. Many years before his death he wrote a charge
to his family in which the advice given could be followed with great
profit by parents and children even in our day. An excerpt from this
document will give an insight into the character of this man and depict
his remarkable faith in Jesus Christ:

Advice of Asael Smith to His Family

"And first to you, my dear wife," he wrote, "I do with all the strength
and power that is in me, thank you for your kindness and faithfulness
to me, beseeching God who is the husband of the widow, to take care
of you and not to leave you nor forsake you, or suffer you to leave
nor forsake him, nor his ways. Put your whole trust solely in him,
he never did nor never will forsake any that trust in him. . . . And
now my dear children, let me pour out my heart to you and speak first
of immortality in your souls. Trifle not in this point; the soul is
immortal; you have to deal with an infinite Majesty; you go upon
life and death, therefore in this point be serious. Do all to God in
a serious manner; when you think of him, speak of him, pray to him,
or in any way make your addresses to his great Majesty, be in good
earnest. Trifle not with his name or with his attributes, nor call
him to witness to any thing but is absolute truth, nor then, but when
sound reason or serious consideration requires it. And as to religion,
I would not wish to point out any particular way for you; but first I
would wish you to search the scriptures and consult sound reason and
see if they (which I take to be two witnesses that stand by the God of
the whole earth) are not sufficient to evince to you that religion is a
necessary theme. . . .

"For the public.--Bless God that you live in a land of liberty and
bear yourselves dutifully and conscionably towards the authority under
which you live. See God's providence in the appointment of the Federal
Constitution and hold union and order precious jewels."

Prediction of Asael Smith

In the spring of 1791 he moved from Topsfield to Tunbridge, Vermont,
where he made his home for several years. As old age came on and his
health became impaired he removed to Stockholm, St. Lawrence County,
New York, and made his home with his son Silas. Here he died, October
31, 1830, at the advanced age of more than 86 years. In stature he was
tall, his body was well proportioned and possessed of unusual strength.
At times the spirit of inspiration rested upon him. One one occasion
he said: "It has been borne in upon my soul that one of my descendants
will promulgate a work to revolutionize the world of religious faith."
Perhaps he did not expect to live to see that day, but such proved to
be the case. The first summer after the organization of the Church, his
son Joseph and grandson Don Carlos Smith paid him a visit and presented
him with a copy of the Book of Mormon. At the time he was in feeble
health, but he diligently read the book, or most of it, and said he was
convinced that the work of his grandson, Joseph Smith, was of divine
origin. He was not baptized, due to his weakened physical condition,
and died shortly after this visit. His wife, Mary Duty Smith, later
moved to Kirtland where she died in 1836, firm in the faith of the
restored Gospel.

John Mack of Connecticut

On his maternal side, Joseph Smith was descended from John Mack, who
was born in Inverness, Scotland, March 6, 1653. John Mack came to
America about 1669, and resided, first in Salisbury, Massachusetts. He
married Sarah, daughter of Orlando and Sarah Bagley, and moved to Lyme,
Connecticut, where eight or more of their twelve children were born.
He was the founder of the Mack family of Connecticut. He died Feb. 24,

Ebenezer, son of John Mack, was born in Lyme, Conn., Dec. 8, 1697.
He was a man of thrift and was well respected by the people of Lyme,
where he served for many years as minister of the Second Congregational
Church. He married Hannah, daughter of Aaron Huntly, an honored citizen
of Lyme. At one time Ebenezer Mack possessed considerable property and
"lived in good style commanding all the attention and respect which
are ever shown to those who live in fine circumstances, and habits of
strict morality."[1] Reverses came, however, and he was reduced, in his
declining years, to poverty. He was the father of nine children.

Maternal Grandparents of Joseph Smith

Solomon, son of Ebenezer Mack, was born in Lyme, Conn., Sept. 26,
1735. At the age of twenty-one years he enlisted in the services of
his country under the command of Captain Henry, and the regiment of
Col. Whiting. He was engaged in the king's service with two teams
carrying supplies to Fort Edwards. In 1748 he enlisted under Major
Spenser and was engaged in several bloody engagements in which his
life was spared miraculously. He served until the spring of 1759, when
he received his honorable discharge at Crown Point. That same year he
met a young school teacher, Lydia Gates, daughter of Nathan Gates, a
wealthy citizen of East Haddam, Connecticut. The friendship of these
young people ripened and they were married after a short acquaintance.
In 1761 Solomon and his young wife moved to Marlow where they took
up their residence in a wilderness. Only four other families resided
within forty miles of them. It was while here he learned to fully
appreciate the excellent virtues of his wife, "For," he writes, "as
our children were deprived of schools she assumed charge of their
education, and performed the duties of instructoress as none, save a
mother, is capable of. Precepts, accompanied with examples such as
theirs, were calculated to make impressions on the minds of the young,
never to be forgotten. She, besides instructing them in the various
branches of an ordinary education, was in the habit of calling them
together both morning and evening, and teaching them to pray, meanwhile
urging upon them the necessity of love towards each other as well as
devotional feelings towards Him who made them."

In this manner their children became confirmed in the virtues and were
established in faith in their Redeemer.

Patriotic Service of Solomon Mack

In 1776, Solomon Mack enlisted in the American army. For some time
he served in the land forces and later was transferred to the navy.
With his two sons, Jason and Stephen, he was engaged in a privateering
expedition commanded by Captain Havens. In this service they passed
through some thrilling experiences, but escaped without great harm.
His service in the war covered a period of about four years. After his
discharge he went to Gilsum, New Hampshire, to make his home. Owing to
the rigorous campaigns through two wars, he became broken in health and
suffered considerably in his declining years. His son Stephen moved to
Vermont and later to Detroit, where he engaged in mercantile pursuits
and was one of the founders of Detroit. During the war of 1812 Stephen
again entered the services of his country. He held the commission of
a captain at the time of the siege of Detroit and was ordered by his
superior officer to surrender, which he boldly refused to do. Breaking
his sword across his knee he threw the parts into the lake and said he
would not submit to such a disgraceful compromise while the blood of an
American ran in his veins.

Such is the character of the forebears of Joseph Smith.


1. _History of the Prophet Joseph_, by Lucy Mack Smith.

Chapter 6

Boyhood of Joseph Smith


The Birth of Joseph Smith, the Prophet

Joseph Smith, son of Asael, was born in Topsfield, July 12, 1771. Near
the close of the eighteenth century he was residing in Tunbridge,
Vermont, where he owned a good farm and engaged in tilling the soil.
It was here he met Lucy Mack, daughter of Solomon Mack, of Gilsum, who
later became his wife. She was visiting in Tunbridge with her brother
Stephen, who at that time was a resident of Tunbridge. Joseph Smith,
after his marriage, continued to reside in Tunbridge for about six
years. In 1802 he rented his farm and moved to Randolph, to engage in
the mercantile business. Later he sold his farm in Tunbridge and moved
to Royalton, then to Sharon, Windsor County, where their son Joseph was
born, Dec. 23, 1805. In 1811 the Smith family moved from Vermont to
Lebanon, New Hampshire, just over the border line, where they intended
to settle down "and began to contemplate, with joy and satisfaction"
the prosperity which had attended their exertions. They were desirous,
as most parents are, to provide comfortably for their children and give
them the advantages of an education. Of this desire the Joseph Smith
mother writes:

Early Struggles of the Smiths

"As our children had, in a great measure, been debarred from the
privilege of schools, we began to make every arrangement to attend
to this important duty. We established our second son, Hyrum, in an
academy at Hanover; and the rest, that were of sufficient age, we were
sending to a common school that was quite convenient; meanwhile myself
and companion were doing all that our abilities would admit of for the
future welfare and advantage of the family; and were greatly blessed in
our labors."

These desires, however, were rudely shattered, for an epidemic of
typhus fever passed over the land and all the Smith children were
sorely afflicted. The oldest daughter, Sophronia, lay for a long time
nigh unto death, and was saved only by Divine providence in answer to
prayer. Joseph recovered from the fever after an illness of two weeks,
but was left suffering with extreme pain in his shoulder which was
first treated as the result of a sprain, but later developments proved
it to be from another cause. A bag of pus had formed which had to be
lanced. The description of his suffering is very vividly told by his
mother in the following words:

Serious Affliction of Joseph Smith

"As soon as the sore had discharged itself, the pain left it, and shot
like lightning (using his own terms) down his side into the marrow of
the bone of his leg, and soon became very severe. My poor boy, at this,
was almost in despair, and he cried out, 'Oh, father, the pain is so
severe, how can I bear it!'

"His leg soon began to swell, and he continued to suffer the greatest
agony for the space of two weeks longer. During this period I carried
him much of the time in my arms in order to mitigate his suffering
as much as possible; in consequence of which I was taken very ill
myself. The anxiety of mind that I experienced, together with physical
over-exertion, was too much for my constitution, and my nature sank
under it.

Tenderness of Hyrum Smith

"Hyrum who was rather remarkable for his tenderness and sympathy, now
desired that he might take my place, as he was a good, trusty boy
we let him do so; and, in order to make the task as easy for him as
possible, we laid Joseph upon a low bed, and Hyrum sat beside him,
almost day and night, for some considerable length of time, holding the
affected part of his leg in his hands, and pressing it between them so
that his afflicted brother might be enabled to endure the pain, which
was so excruciating that he was scarcely able to bear it.

Surgical Aid Sought

"At the end of three weeks, we thought it advisable to send again for
the surgeon. When he came, he made an incision of eight inches on the
front side of the leg, between the knee and ankle. This relieved the
pain in a great measure, and the patient was quite comfortable until
the wound began to heal, when the pain became as violent as ever.

"The surgeon was called again, and he this time enlarged the wound,
cutting the leg even to the bone. It commenced healing the second time,
and as soon as it began to heal, it also began to swell again, which
swelling continued to rise till we deemed it wisdom to call a council
of surgeons; and when they met in consultation, they decided that
amputation was the only remedy.

A Council Held

"Soon after coming to this conclusion, they rode up to the door, and
were invited into a room, apart from the one in which Joseph lay. They
being seated, I addressed them thus: 'Gentlemen, what can you do to
save my boy's leg?' They answered, 'We can do nothing; we have cut it
open to the bone, and find it so affected that we consider his leg
incurable, and that amputation is absolutely necessary in order to save
his life.'

"This was like a thunderbolt to me. I appealed to the principal
surgeon, saying, 'Dr. Stone, can you not make another trial? Can you
not, by cutting around the bone, take out the diseased part, and
perhaps that which is sound will heal over, and by this means you will
save his leg? You will not, you must not, take off his leg until you
try once more. I will not consent to let you enter his room until you
make me this promise.'

"After consulting a short time with each other, they agreed to do as I
had requested, then went to see my suffering son. One of the doctors,
on approaching his bed, said, 'My poor boy, we have come again.' 'Yes,'
said Joseph, 'I see you have; but you have not come to take off my leg,
have you, sir?' 'No,' replied the surgeon, 'It is your mother's request
that we make one more effort, and that is what we have now come for.'

"The principal surgeon, after a moment's conversation, ordered cords
to be brought to bind Joseph fast to the bedstead; but to this Joseph
objected. The doctor, however, insisted that he must be confined, upon
which Joseph said very decidedly, 'No, doctor, I will not be bound, for
I can bear the operation much better if I have my liberty.' 'Then,'
said Dr. Stone, 'will you drink some brandy?'

"'No,' said Joseph, 'not one drop.'

"'Will you take some wine?' rejoined the doctor. 'You must take
something, or you can never endure the severe operation to which you
must be subjected.'

"'No,' exclaimed Joseph, 'I will not touch one particle of liquor,
neither will I be tied down; but I will tell you what I will do--I
will have my father sit on the bed and hold me in his arms, and then
I will do whatever is necessary in order to have the bone taken out.'
Looking at me, he said, 'Mother, I want you to leave the room, for I
know you cannot bear to see me suffer so; father can stand it, but you
have carried me so much, and watched over me so long, you are almost
worn out.' Then looking up into my face, his eyes swimming in tears, he
continued, 'Now, mother, promise me that you will not stay, will you?
The Lord will help me, and I shall get through with it.'

"To this request I consented, and getting a number of folded sheets,
and laying them under his leg, I retired, going several hundred yards
from the house in order to be out of hearing.

The Operation

"The surgeons commenced operating by boring into the bone of his leg,
first on one side of the bone where it was affected, then on the other
side, after which they broke it off with a pair of forceps or pincers.
They thus took away large pieces of the bone. When they broke off the
first piece, Joseph screamed out so loudly, that I could not forbear
running to him. On my entering the room, he cried out, 'Oh, mother, go
back, go back; I do not want you to come in--I will try to tough it
out, if you will go away.' . . .

"I was immediately forced from the room, and detained until the
operation was complete; but when the act was accomplished, Joseph
put upon a clean bed, the room cleaned of every appearance of blood,
and the instruments which were used in the operation removed, I was
permitted again to enter.

He is Healed

"Joseph immediately commenced getting better, and from this onward
continued to mend until he became strong and healthy. When he had so
far recovered as to be able to travel, he went with his uncle, Jesse
Smith, to Salem, for the benefit of his health, hoping the sea breezes
would be of service to him, and in this he was not disappointed."

Removal to New York

Continued sickness pursued the family for a year; this, together with
three successive years of crop failure, placed the family in rather
straitened circumstances. So discouraged did they become that the
decision was reached to move to the milder climate and more fertile
region of western New York, where there would be a better opportunity
to retrieve their fortunes.

As soon as arrangements could be made and obligations settled, Joseph
Smith and family moved to Palmyra, New York, a distance of about three
hundred miles from their home in New Hampshire. The members of the
family now counseled together relative to the course they should adopt.
It was finally decided to purchase about one hundred acres of land,
situated about two miles south of Palmyra on the border of Manchester
township. It should be remembered that western New York, at that time,
was sparsely settled. Ohio, Michigan and Illinois were still largely
in a state of wilderness, and beyond the great "Father of Waters" lay
a vast country scarcely known. More than ten years later Missouri was
spoken of by the Lord to Joseph Smith, in a revelation as being on the
"borders of the Lamanites."[1]

The Purchase of a Home

At the time of the removal to Palmyra, two of the boys, Alvin and
Hyrum, were able to be of material assistance in making their new home.
With their father they set to work clearing the newly acquired land
from a heavy growth of timber, a condition which generally prevailed in
that country one hundred years ago. During the first year they cleared
about thirty acres--no small task in itself--besides engaging in a
day's labor now and again, as opportunity afforded, in order to raise
means to meet their obligations. Thus, during the first year, they were
able to meet most of their first payment on the land, which during
that year was not in a condition to be farmed. The mother, through her
untiring industry, took upon herself the task to provide the household
necessities, which she did through the sale of hand-painted oil-cloth
table covers, a work in which she was quite skilled, and in which she
met with fair success.

Removal to Manchester

About four years after the arrival of the Smith family in Palmyra, they
moved to the farm where they built a four-room log house, which was
later increased by the addition of sleeping rooms on the rear. It was
while living in this house that Joseph received his glorious visions.
The building of a more commodious home was contemplated under the
direction of Alvin, the oldest son, who much desired to see his parents
comfortably located. "I am going to have," he said, "a nice, pleasant
room for father and mother to sit in, and everything arranged for their
comfort, and they shall not work any more as they have done." This
was indeed a noble thought and desire, for his parents had toiled and
labored much in the midst of trials and tribulations that had reduced
them to a state of poverty.

Death of Alvin Smith

Alvin did not live to realize the blessing thus contemplated and to
see the fulfilment of his dream. The frame of the new house was raised
and the necessary material procured to complete the structure in the
fall of 1824; but in November of that year Alvin was stricken. He died
on the 19th day of that month in the twenty-seventh year of his age.
He lived to know of the visitation of the Father and the Son, and of
the coming of Moroni, and was convinced that these things were true.
He died with a prayer on his lips for his younger brother Joseph, and
admonished him to be true to the great work entrusted to his care.
Alvin is spoken of as a "youth of singular goodness and disposition,
kind and amiable."

The Hand of Providence

While hard to bear, the many misfortunes of the Smiths were all
overruled by the providence of the Lord, for their good. Had they
remained in Vermont, or New Hampshire, the purposes of the Lord could
not as well have been accomplished. He had a great work for the
youthful Joseph to perform, and it was necessary that the family should
move to the field of his activities. Therefore, through the valley of
tribulation they were led by the hand of the Lord to the place he had
prepared for them.


1. Doc. and Cov. 54:8.

Chapter 7

The Vision


Joseph Smith's Own Story

Never has the story of the wonderful vision of the Father and the Son
to Joseph Smith been told so effectively and clearly as by Joseph
Smith, himself, as he has related it in complete simplicity. Therefore
it is repeated here:

"Some time in the second year after our removal to Manchester, there
was in the place where we lived an unusual excitement on the subject
of religion. It commenced with the Methodists, but soon became general
among all the sects in that region of country. Indeed, the whole
district of country seemed affected by it, and great multitudes united
themselves to the different religious parties, which created no small
stir and division amongst the people, some crying, 'Lo, here!' and
others, 'Lo, there!' Some were contending for the Methodist faith, some
for the Presbyterian, and some for the Baptist. For notwithstanding
the great love which the converts to these different faiths expressed
at the time of their conversion, and the great zeal manifested by the
respective clergy, who were active in getting up and promoting this
extraordinary scene of religious feeling, in order to have everybody
converted as they were pleased to call it, let them join what sect they
pleased--yet when the converts began to file off, some to one party and
some to another, it was seen that the seemingly good feelings of both
the priests and the converts were more pretended than real; for a scene
of great confusion and bad feeling ensued; priest contending against
priest, and convert against convert; so that all their good feelings
one for another, if they ever had any, were entirely lost in a strife
of words and a contest about opinions.

"I was at this time in my fifteenth year. My father's family was
proselyted to the Presbyterian faith, and four of them joined that
church, namely--my mother Lucy; my brothers Hyrum and Samuel Harrison;
and my sister Sophronia.

A Time of Religious Excitement

"During this time of great excitement, my mind was called up to serious
reflection and great uneasiness; but though my feelings were deep and
often poignant, still I kept myself aloof from all these parties,
though I attended their several meetings as often as occasion would
permit. In process of time my mind became somewhat partial to the
Methodist sect, and I felt some desire to be united with them; but so
great were the confusion and strife among the different denominations,
that it was impossible for a person young as I was, and so unacquainted
with men and things, to come to any certain conclusion who was right
and who was wrong. My mind at times was greatly excited, the cry and
tumult were so great and incessant. The Presbyterians were most decided
against the Baptists and Methodists, and used all the powers of either
reason or sophistry to prove their errors, or, at least to make the
people think they were in error. On the other hand, the Baptists
and Methodists in their turn were equally zealous in endeavoring to
establish their own tenets and disprove all others.

The Promise of James Tested

"In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said
to myself, What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or,
are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is
it, and how shall I know it? While I was laboring under the extreme
difficulties caused by the contests of these parties of religionists,
I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth
verse, which reads: _If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God,
that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be
given him._

"Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart
of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with
great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again
and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did;
for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom
than I then had, I would never know; for the teachers of religion
of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so
differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by
an appeal to the Bible. At length I came to the conclusion that I must
either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James
directs, that is, ask of God. I at length came to the determination to
'ask of God,' concluding that if he gave wisdom to them that lacked
wisdom, and would give liberally and not upbraid, I might venture. So,
in accordance with this my determination to ask of God, I retired to
the woods to make the attempt. It was on the morning of a beautiful
clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. It was
the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amidst
all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally.

The Vision

"After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to
go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down
and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely
done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which
entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as
to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered
around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden

"But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of
the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very
moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to
destruction--not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual
being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had
never before felt in any being--just at this moment of great alarm, I
saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the
sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.

"It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the
enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two
personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing
above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name, and
said, pointing to the other--_This is my beloved Son, hear Him!_

"My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the
sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore,
did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked
the personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects
was right--and which I should join. I was answered that I must join
none of them, for they were all wrong; and the personage who addressed
me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that
those professors were all corrupt; that 'they draw near to me with
their lips, but their hearts are far from me; they teach for doctrines
the commandments of men, having a form of godliness but they deny the
power thereof.' He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many
other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time.
When I came to myself again I found myself lying on my back, looking up
into heaven.

"When the light had departed, I had no strength; but soon recovering in
some degree, I went home. And as I leaned up to the fireplace, mother
enquired what the matter was. I replied, 'Never mind, all is well--I am
well enough off.' I then said to my mother, 'I have learned for myself
that Presbyterianism is not true.'

Sectarian Opposition

"It seems as though the adversary was aware, at a very early period of
my life, that I was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of his
kingdom; else why should the powers of darkness combine against me?
Why the opposition and persecution that arose against me almost in my

"Some few days after I had this vision, I happened to be in company
with one of the Methodist preachers, who was very active in the
before-mentioned religious excitement; and, conversing with him on the
subject of religion, I took occasion to give him an account of the
vision which I had had. I was greatly surprised at his behavior; he
treated my communication not only lightly, but with great contempt,
saying it was all of the devil, that there were no such things as
visions or revelations in these days; that all such things had ceased
with the apostles, and that there would never be any more of them.

"I soon found, however, that my telling the story had excited a great
deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion, and was the
cause of great persecution, which continued to increase; and though I
was an obscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and
my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the
world, yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite
the public mind against me, and create a bitter persecution; and this
was common among all the sects--all united to persecute me.

Joseph Smith's Reflections

"It caused me serious reflection then, and often has since, how very
strange it was that an obscure boy, a little over fourteen years of
age and one, too, who was doomed to the necessity of obtaining a
scanty maintenance by his daily labor, should be thought a character
of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the great ones of
the most popular sects of the day, and in a manner to create in them
a spirit of the most bitter persecution and reviling. But strange or
not, so it was, and it was often the cause of great sorrow to myself.
However, it was nevertheless a fact that I had beheld a vision. I have
thought since, that I felt much like Paul, when he made his defense
before King Agrippa, and related the account of the vision he had when
he saw a light and heard a voice; but still there were but few who
believed him; some said he was dishonest, others said he was mad; and
he was ridiculed and reviled. But all this did not destroy the reality
of his vision. He had seen a vision, he knew he had, and all the
persecution under heaven could not make it otherwise; and though they
should persecute him unto death, yet he knew, and would know to his
latest breath, that he had both seen a light and heard a voice speaking
unto him, and all the world could not make him think or believe

"So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of
that light I saw two personages, and they did in reality speak to me;
and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a
vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling
me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying,
I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth?
I have actually seen a vision, and who am I that I can withstand God,
or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen?
For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I
could not deny it, neither dared I do it, at least I knew that by so
doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.

"I had now got my mind satisfied so far as the sectarian world was
concerned; that it was not my duty to join with any of them, but to
continue as I was until further directed. I had found the testimony of
James to be true, that a man who lacked wisdom might ask of God, and
obtain, and not be upbraided."

Joseph Smith's Great Honor

There is no account in history or revelation extant, where ever before
both the Father and the Son appeared in the presence of mortal man in
glory. Most wonderful was the honor bestowed upon this unsophisticated
boy. Great was his faith--so great that he was able, like the brother
of Jared, to penetrate the veil and behold the glory of these holy
Beings, whose glory rested upon him. Without this power overshadowing
him, he could not have endured their presence, for their brightness
was far greater than the brightness of the noonday sun. It was not,
therefore, with the power of the natural eye that this great Vision
was beheld, but by the aid of the eye of the spirit. The natural man,
without the saving grace of the power of the Lord, could not behold
his presence in this manner, for he would be consumed. Joseph Smith,
through the power of the Lord, was able to behold the presence of the
Great Creator and his Glorified Son, for they deigned to honor him with
their presence and converse with him.

The Heavens No Longer Sealed

No longer were the heavens as brass. No more would man be forced to
stumble and grope in darkness. Salvation was made known and the glad
tidings were to sound forth, as with the blast of a mighty trumpet,
to the ends of the earth. Satan's reign was nearing its end, and the
message of eternal peace was shortly to be proclaimed to every nation,
and kindred, and tongue and people.

The Vision Rejected by the World

No wonder Joseph Smith rejoiced, he now possessed greater knowledge
than all the professors and divines in all the world! Naturally he
desired that others should share his joy and partake of his wonderful
information. He would proclaim it to them with gladness, surely
they would be pleased to receive it and would rejoice with him! But
great disappointment awaited him, for with one accord his message
was rejected. Only the members of his household would believe. He
was treated with scorn by great men of learning, although he was but
a boy. He was mocked and shamed. Instead of the spirit of love and
gratefulness following him for revealing this glorious message of
truth, it was the spirit of contempt and hatred with which he had to
contend. In sorrow he learned to hold his peace and wait--wait for
further light and inspiration which he had been promised. Though all
the world should mock and former friends deride, he knew he had beheld
the Vision. There was one Friend to whom he now could go and pour out
his soul in humble hope of encouragement and succor. What did it matter
though the whole world should laugh, if the Son of God would hearken to
his humble pleadings?

Not Strange that the Message Should be Rejected

Yet, when we stop to reflect, it is not strange that this message of
light and truth should be rejected by the world, for the Lord had said
long years before, "Men love darkness rather than light, because their
deeds are evil." As for the priests, was not their craft in danger?
The message left with the youthful seer by the God of heaven was
most drastic. It had been declared in language that could be clearly
understood, that the creeds of men were not in accord with his Gospel.
This was not a message to please the religious teachers of the day.
Moreover, the Vision had shattered the traditions of the times. The
doctrines taught in the churches were emphatically contradicted and
disproved. The world was teaching and believing that the canon of
scripture was full; that there was not to be and could not be, more
revelation; that the visitation of angels had ceased with the early
Christian fathers, and such things as these had passed away forever.
Again, the doctrine was taught that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost were
incomprehensible, without body, parts and passions. A revelation of
the Father and the Son as separate persons, each with a body tangible
and in the form of the body of man, was destructive of this doctrine,
as revelation was of the doctrine of the closed heavens. The world had
held that perfection in religion and the organization of the Church of
Christ was not to be expected, but that men were led by their own human
reason to interpret the word of the Lord as set forth in the scriptures.

A Bold Denunciation of False Doctrine

A bold denunciation of all such false teachings and traditions,
although told in confiding simplicity by a humble youth, fourteen years
of age, was not likely to bring rejoicing and peace of mind to those
who thus believed and loved their old traditions dearly. Nevertheless
the story must be told; for in the world were thousands of honest souls
who were likewise praying that the light of the everlasting Gospel
would be restored, and the message of salvation again be proclaimed as
a witness before the end of unrighteousness should come.

Chapter 8

The Visitation of Moroni


Life of Joseph Smith Between 1820-23

"I continued to pursue my common vocations in life until the
twenty-first of September, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-three,
all the time suffering severe persecution at the hands of all classes
of men, both religious and irreligious, because I continued to affirm
that I had seen a vision.

"During the space of time which intervened between the time I had the
vision and the year eighteen hundred and twenty-three--having been
forbidden to join any of the religious sects of the day, and being
of very tender years, and persecuted by those who ought to have been
my friends and to have treated me kindly, and if they supposed me to
be deluded to have endeavored in a proper and affectionate manner
to have reclaimed me--I was left to all kinds of temptations; and,
mingling with all kinds of society, I frequently fell into many foolish
errors, and displayed the weakness of youth, and the foibles of human
nature; which, I am sorry to say, led me into divers temptations,
offensive in the sight of God. In making this confession, no one need
suppose me guilty of any great or malignant sins. A disposition to
commit such was never in my nature. But I was guilty of levity, and
sometimes associated with jovial company, etc., not consistent with
that character which ought to be maintained by one who was called of
God as I had been. But this will not seem very strange to any one
who recollects my youth, and is acquainted with my native cheery

"In consequence of these things, I often felt condemned for my weakness
and imperfections; when, on the evening of the above mentioned
twenty-first of September, after I had retired to my bed for the
night. I betook myself to prayer and supplication to Almighty God for
forgiveness of all my sins and follies, and also for a manifestation to
me, that I might know of my state and standing before him; for I had
full confidence in obtaining a divine manifestation, as I previously
had one.

The Appearing of Moroni

"While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light
appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room
was lighter than at noon day, when immediately a personage appeared
at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the
floor. He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. It was a
whiteness beyond anything earthly I had ever seen; nor do I believe
that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedingly white and
brilliant. His hands were naked, and his arms also, a little above the
wrists; so, also, were his feet naked, as were his legs, a little above
the ankles. His head and neck were also bare. I could discover that he
had no other clothing on but this robe, as it was open, so that I could
see into his bosom. Not only was his robe exceedingly white, but his
whole person was glorious beyond description, and his countenance truly
like lightning. The room was exceedingly light, but not so very bright
as immediately around his person. When I first looked upon him, I was
afraid; but the fear soon left me.

The Book of Mormon Revealed

"He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent
from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that
God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good
and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should
be both good and evil spoken of among all people. He said there was
a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the
former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they
sprang. He also said that the fulness of the everlasting Gospel was
contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants;
also, that there were two stones in silver bows--and these stones,
fastened to a breast plate, constituted what is called the Urim and
Thummim--deposited with the plates; and the possession and use of these
stones were what constituted seers in ancient or former times; and that
God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book.

Moroni Quotes Ancient Prophets

"After telling me these things, he commenced quoting the prophecies
of the Old Testament. He first quoted part of the third chapter of
Malachi, and he quoted also the fourth or last chapter of the same
prophecy, though with a little variation from the way it reads in our
Bibles. Instead of quoting the first verse as it reads in our books, he
quoted it thus:

_"For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven and all the
proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall burn as stubble; for they
that come shall burn them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave
them neither root nor branch._

"And again, he quoted the fifth verse thus: _Behold, I will reveal
unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the
coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord._

"He also quoted the next verse differently: _And he shall plant in the
hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts
of the children shall turn to their fathers; if it were not so, the
whole earth would be utterly wasted at its coming._

"In addition to these, he quoted the eleventh chapter of Isaiah, saying
that it was about to be fulfilled. He quoted also the third chapter of
Acts, twenty-second and twenty-third verses, precisely as they stand
in our New Testament. He said that that prophet was Christ; but the
day had not yet come when they who would not hear his voice should be
cut off from among the people, but soon would come. He also quoted the
second chapter of Joel, from the twenty-eighth verse to the last. He
also said that this was not yet fulfilled, but was soon to be. And he
further stated that the fulness of the Gentiles was soon to come in. He
quoted many other passages of scripture, and offered many explanations
which cannot be mentioned here.

Moroni's Admonition

"Again, he told me, that when I got those plates of which he had
spoken--for the time that they should be obtained was not yet
fulfilled--I should not show them to any person; neither the
breastplate with the Urim and Thummim; only to those to whom I should
be commanded to show them; if I did I should be destroyed. While he was
conversing with me about the plates, the vision was opened to my mind
that I could see the place where the plates were deposited, and that so
clearly and distinctly that I knew the place again when I visited it.

"After this communication, I saw the light in the room begin to gather
immediately around the person of him who had been speaking to me, and
it continued to do so, until the room was again left dark, except just
around him, when instantly I saw, as it were, a conduit open right up
into heaven, and he ascended till he entirely disappeared, and the
room was left as it had been before this heavenly light had made its

The Second Appearance of Moroni

"I lay musing on the singularity of the scene, and marveling greatly
at what had been told to me by this extraordinary messenger; when, in
the midst of my meditation, I suddenly discovered that my room was
again beginning to get lighted, and in an instant, as it were, the same
heavenly messenger was again by my bedside.

"He commenced, and again related the very same things which he had done
at his first visit, without the least variation; which having done, he
informed me of great judgments which were coming upon the earth, with
great desolations by famine, sword, and pestilence; and that these
grievous judgments would come on the earth in this generation. Having
related these things, he again ascended as he had done before.

The Third Appearance of Moroni

"By this time, so deep were the impressions made on my mind, that
sleep had fled from my eyes, and I lay overwhelmed in astonishment at
what I had both seen and heard. But what was my surprise when again
I beheld the same messenger at my bedside, and heard him rehearse or
repeat over again to me the same things as before; and added a caution
to me, telling me that Satan would try to tempt me (in consequence of
the indigent circumstances of my father's family), to get the plates
for the purpose of getting rich. This he forbade me, saying that I must
have no other object in view in getting the plates but to glorify God,
and must not be influenced by any other motive than that of building
His kingdom; otherwise I could not get them. After this third visit, he
again ascended into heaven as before, and I was again left to ponder on
the strangeness of what I had just experienced; when almost immediately
after the heavenly messenger had ascended from me the third time,
the cock crowed, and I found that day was approaching, so that our
interviews must have occupied the whole of that night.

The Fourth Appearance of Moroni

"I shortly after arose from my bed, and, as usual, went to the
necessary labors of the day; but, in attempting to work as at other
times, I found my strength so exhausted as to render me entirely
unable. My father, who was laboring along with me, discovered something
to be wrong with me, and told me to go home. I started with the
intention of going to the house; but, in attempting to cross the fence
out of the field where we were, my strength entirely failed me, and I
fell helpless on the ground, and for a time was quite unconscious of
anything. The first thing that I can recollect was a voice speaking
unto me, calling me by name. I looked up, and beheld the same messenger
standing over my head, surrounded by light as before. He then again
related unto me all that he had related to me the previous night,
and commanded me to go to my father and tell him of the vision and
commandments which I had received. I obeyed; I returned to my father in
the field, and rehearsed the whole matter to him. He replied to me that
it was of God, and told me to go and do as commanded by the messenger.
I left the field, and went to the place where the messenger had told me
the plates were deposited; and owing to the distinctness of the vision
which I had had concerning it, I knew the place the instant that I
arrived there.

The Hill Cumorah

"Convenient to the village of Manchester, Ontario county, New York,
stands a hill of considerable size, and the most elevated of any in
the neighborhood. On the west side of this hill, not far from the top,
under a stone of considerable size, lay the plates, deposited in a
stone box. This stone was thick and rounding in the middle on the upper
side, and thinner towards the edges, so that the middle part of it was
visible above the ground, but the edge all around was covered with

"Having removed the earth, I obtained a lever, which I got fixed
under the edge of the stone, and with a little exertion raised it up.
I looked in, and there indeed did I behold the plates, the Urim and
Thummim, and the breastplate, as stated by the messenger. The box in
which they lay was formed by laying stones together in some kind of
cement. In the bottom of the box were laid two stones crossways of the
box, and on these stones lay the plates and the other things with them.

"I made an attempt to take them out, but was forbidden by the
messenger, and was again informed that the time for bringing them forth
had not yet arrived, neither would it, until four years from that time;
but he told me that I should come to that place precisely in one year
from that time, and that he would there meet with me, and that I should
continue to do so until the time should come for obtaining the plates.

The Four Annual Visits to the Hill

"Accordingly, as I had been commanded, I went at the end of each
year, and at each time I found the same messenger there, and received
instruction and intelligence from him at each of our interviews,
respecting what the Lord was going to do, and how and in what manner
His kingdom was to be conducted in the last days.

"As my father's worldly circumstances were very limited, we were under
the necessity of laboring with our hands, hiring out by day's work
and otherwise, as we could get opportunity. Sometimes we were at home
and sometimes abroad, and by continued labor, were enabled to get a
comfortable maintenance."

Temptation of Joseph Smith

As Joseph Smith journeyed to the Hill Cumorah on that memorable first
visit, he was beset by many conflicting emotions. His father's family
was poor and in financial distress. Creditors had been bearing down
heavily upon them. The adversary of all righteousness took advantage
of these conditions to sorely tempt the youth with all his power. The
plates of the book were made of gold and were of great intrinsic value.
Could they not be used to relieve the financial embarrassment of the
family? Or was there not some thing else deposited with the plates that
might be used for such purpose? Such were the thoughts Satan put into
his heart as he approached the hill, and the admonition of the angel
was temporarily forgotten.

He had no difficulty in locating the spot where the records were
hidden.[1] It was the matter of but a moment to scrape away the grass
and dirt and with a lever pry loose the stone which served as a
covering to the box containing the sacred treasure. There before him,
lying on two stones which were crosswise of the box, he beheld the
record. With it were the Urim and Thummim, two transparent stones set
in bows of silver and attached to the breastplate--all as the angel had
described. He was enraptured. Putting forth his hand he attempted to
remove the plates, but received a shock, which in a measure deprived
him of his strength. After a moment's hesitation he made a second
attempt, but received a greater shock than at first. The cause of this
was unknown to him, for he had supposed that physical strength and
exertion were all that were necessary for him to obtain the record. The
third time he stretched forth his hand to take the plates and again
received a shock with considerable violence, which sapped his strength
and made him powerless. In his great excitement and without meditation
he exclaimed: "Why cannot I obtain the book?" "Because you have not
kept the commandments of the Lord," answered a voice near by him.
Looking up he was astonished to behold the heavenly messenger of his
former visits.

Powers of Good and Evil Shown

In humble repentance he sought the Lord in prayer. His vision was
opened and the glory of the Lord shone round about him, and he was
made to feel the sweet influence of the power of righteousness. While
he was beholding this vision the angel said, "Look!" Joseph beheld the
prince of darkness surrounded by his innumerable train of associates
in all their diabolical fury. As the visions of evil passed before him
the angel said: "All this is shown, the good and the evil, the holy
and impure, the glory of God and the power of darkness, that you may
know hereafter the two powers and never be influenced or overcome by
that wicked one. Behold, whatever entices and leads to good and to
do good, is of God, and whatever does not is of that wicked one. It
is he who fills the hearts of men with evil, to walk in darkness and
blaspheme God; and you may learn from henceforth, that his ways are to
destruction; but the way of holiness is peace and rest."[2]

Joseph was further informed that the record had been deposited for the
sake of the glory of the Lord, for they contained the fulness of the
Gospel as it was given to the ancient inhabitants of this American
continent, and was to be brought forth by the power of God; and
moreover that the translation would go forth to the Gentiles, many of
whom would believe--afterwards it should go to the house of Israel many
of whom should also be brought into the Church of Christ.

Value of the Prophet's Lesson

The lesson taught to Joseph Smith on this occasion was one of lasting
benefit to him. Henceforth he understood the power of the evil one and
was prepared to resist temptation. Years afterwards, when speaking
of this event he said, "Ever afterwards I was willing to keep the
commandments of God." Had the lesson not been taught in this manner, at
a later day he might have fallen into temptation when off his guard,
with results that would have brought disaster.

The Interval of Four Years

During the interval of four years, from 1823 to 1827, Joseph Smith was
under the necessity of aiding his father's family in paying their debts
and procuring a living. At times he found employment at home and at
times abroad, as opportunity afforded. The death of his oldest brother
Alvin, in 1824, made it all the more needful that he exert himself for
the benefit of the family. In October, 1825, he entered the employ of
an aged gentleman named Josiah Stowel. Mr. Stowel had heard of some old
Spanish silver mines in Harmony, Pennsylvania, and employed his hired
help in searching for the hidden treasure. Joseph, after about one
month of fruitless search, persuaded this kindly gentleman to forsake
the foolish venture. From this employment came the cry that Joseph
Smith, the "Mormon" Prophet, was a "money-digger."

The Prophet's Marriage

While residing in Harmony and in the employment of Mr. Stowel, Joseph
boarded at the home of Mr. Isaac Hale. It was here, and under these
conditions, that he met Miss Emma Hale, daughter of Isaac Hale. The
friendship of these young people ripened into love, and they were
married about one year and three months later, January 18, 1827, by
Squire Tarbill, in South Bainbridge, New York.


1. The following description of Cumorah is from the pen of Oliver

    You are acquainted with the mail road from Palmyra, Wayne County,
    to Canandaigua, Ontario County, New York, and also, as you pass
    from the former to the latter place, before arriving at the little
    village of Manchester, say from three to four, or about four miles
    from Palmyra, you pass a large hill on the east side of the road.
    Why I say large, is because it is as large, perhaps, as any in
    that country. To a person acquainted with this road a description
    would be unnecessary, as it is the largest and rises the highest
    of any on that route. The north end rises quite sudden until it
    assumes a level with the more southerly extremity, and I think I
    may say an elevation higher than at the south a short distance, say
    half or three-fourths of a mile. As you pass toward Canandaigua
    it lessens gradually until the surface assumes its common level,
    or is broken by other smaller hills or ridges, water courses and
    ravines. I think I am justified in saying that this is the highest
    hill for some distance round, and I am certain that its appearance,
    as it rises so suddenly from a plain on the north, must attract the
    notice of the traveler as he passes by.--_Messenger and Advocate_,
    1834, page 158.

2. See _Improvement Era_, vol. 2, p. 807.

Chapter 9

Joseph Smith Receives the Record--The Priesthood Restored


Joseph Receives the Record

Each year, on the twenty-second day of September, between the years
1823 and 1827, Joseph went to the Hill Cumorah, as the angel had
instructed him, where he was taught in matters pertaining to his
sacred duties. At last the time arrived for the delivery of the
plates, the Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate. It was the 22nd day
of September, 1827. The Prophet went to the hill to keep the final
appointment with Moroni, before the record should be given into his
hands. Once more the angel instructed him in his duties and impressed
upon his mind the great responsibility now to be placed upon him,

    "Now you have got the record into your own hands, and you are but
    a man, therefore you will have to be watchful and faithful to your
    trust or you will be overpowered by wicked men; for they will lay
    every plan and scheme that is possible to get it away from you, and
    if you do not take heed continually, they will succeed. While it
    was in my hands, I could keep it, and no man had power to take it
    away, but now I give it up to you. Beware, and look well to your
    ways, and you shall have power to retain it."[1]

Moreover, he was told, if he let the record go out of his hands or
neglected his duty, he should be cut off, but through faithfulness and
perseverance he should be protected until the angel should come for the
record and again take it into his keeping.

Designs of the Wicked Frustrated

Joseph soon found that the warning of the angel was all too true
concerning the powers of darkness being arrayed against him, and the
desire of evil-disposed persons to destroy him and obtain the plates.
Scarcely was the record in his possession before strenuous exertions
were made by wicked persons to get them out of his hands. Every scheme
and invention which the powers of darkness could devise, were used.
Conjurors, diviners with peepstones and other means were employed. Mobs
gathered and searched the premises of the Smith home, even breaking
into the house and ransacking it. Under pretext of law searches were
made. At times it became necessary to hide the record in strange
places. Once they were hidden in a hollow log in the woods; again,
under the hearthstone in the house, and under the floor in a nearby
shop. When the Prophet departed for Pennsylvania he hid them in a
barrel of beans, and when a search was made they were not discovered.
The Lord was with him in his labor and the powers of darkness were
overcome and of no avail.

Martin Harris

So intense and bitter became the opposition in Manchester that the
Prophet sought a place of refuge in another locality. Having received
an invitation from his wife's parents to come to their home in Harmony,
Pennsylvania, he accepted the invitation and prepared to go. Being very
poor he experienced some difficulty in procuring the necessary means to
meet his obligations and make the journey. In this hour of distress,
and in the midst of persecution, he found a friend in Martin Harris, of
Palmyra, New York. Joseph, with his wife's brother, Alva Hale, had gone
to Palmyra to transact some business, and while there he was approached
by Martin Harris, who said to him: "How do you do, Mr. Smith? Here
are fifty dollars. I give this to you to do the Lord's work with; no,
I give it to the Lord for His own work." Joseph offered to take the
money and give his note which Alva Hale also agreed to sign, but Martin
Harris refused to take the note. This money enabled the Prophet to make
the journey to Harmony where he found a haven of rest.

Removal to Pennsylvania

Shortly after this event Joseph moved to Harmony, Susquehanna County,
Pennsylvania, to the home of Isaac Hale. Later he purchased from
Mr. Hale a small farm, to which he removed. Here in comparative
peace he commenced to make a copy of the characters on the plates,
which consisted of the learning of the Jews and the language, in
hieroglyphics, of the Egyptians. He also, by Urim and Thummim, made a
translation of some of them. This was done between December, 1827, and
the February following. In the month of February, 1828, Martin Harris
came to Harmony to visit with Joseph Smith. He had been much impressed
with the Prophet's story and desired to know more concerning the work.

The Prophecy of Isaiah Fulfilled

Martin Harris took the transcript that had been made together with the
partial translation, and departed for New York. Just what his object
was, and what he had in mind, is not made clear. That he was led to do
so by inspiration was later shown. He first submitted the characters to
Professor Charles Anthon of Columbia College with the request that he
examine them. He then took them to Dr. Samuel L. Mitchell, also of New
York. When Martin returned he made the following report:

    "I went to the city of New York, and presented the characters
    which had been translated, with the translation thereof, to
    Professor Charles Anthon, a gentleman celebrated for his literary
    attainments. Professor Anthon stated that the translation was
    correct, more so than any he had before seen translated from the
    Egyptian. I then showed him those which were not yet translated,
    and he said that they were Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyrian and Arabic;
    and he said they were true characters. He gave me a certificate,
    certifying to the people of Palmyra that they were true characters,
    and that the translation of such of them as had been translated was
    also correct. I took the certificate and put it into my pocket,
    and was just leaving the house when Mr. Anthon called me back, and
    asked me how the young man found out that there were gold plates in
    the place where he found them. I answered that an angel of God had
    revealed it unto him.

    "He then said to me, 'Let me see that certificate.' I accordingly
    took it out of my pocket and gave it to him, when he took it and
    tore it to pieces, saying, that there was no such thing now as
    ministering of angels, and that if I would bring the plates to him,
    he would translate them. I informed him that part of the plates
    were sealed, and that I was forbidden to bring them. He replied, 'I
    cannot read a sealed book.' I left him and went to Mr. Mitchell,
    who sanctioned what Professor Anthon had said respecting both the
    characters and the translation."

A number of years later, when he discovered the use to which his
testimony had been given, Professor Anthon denied the statement of
Martin Harris, although he did confess that such a person called to see
him with such characters, but he treated it as a hoax. There may be
some slight errors in the account of Martin Harris, but in the main his
story must be true for it is the fulfilment of an ancient prophecy of
Isaiah[2] almost word for word. It is not likely that Martin Harris was
familiar with the prophecy of Isaiah at that time and without question
Professor Anthon had no intention of fulfilling prophecy in making his
answer, but nevertheless such proved to be the case.

The Lost Manuscript

The impression made on the mind of Martin Harris by this interview
resulted in his removal to Harmony to give further aid to Joseph Smith.
He arrived about the 12th of April, 1828, and immediately commenced
to write as the Prophet dictated his translation of the record.
Martin continued in this work until the 14th of June, at which time
one hundred and sixteen pages of manuscript on foolscap paper had
been prepared. Some time after Martin Harris commenced to write he
importuned the Prophet for the privilege of taking the manuscript home
and showing it to some skeptical friends, who had sorely criticized him
for the part he was taking in the work. He was desirous of convincing
them; and they had, without doubt, pleaded with him to do this thing.
Especially had his wife implored him for a look at the manuscript.

The Prophet inquired by Urim and Thummim, and the request of Martin
was denied. However he was not satisfied and importuned and pleaded
with Joseph again to inquire of the Lord. This he did, but the answer
was the same as before. Still Martin implored, and so insistent and
prolonged were his pleadings that Joseph Smith again, the third time,
inquired of the Lord. This time the answer was favorable. The request
was granted on certain positive conditions. Martin was to show the
manuscript to his brother, Preserved Harris, his wife, his father and
mother and his wife's sister, Mrs. Cobb. No other person was to see
the writings. In a most solemn covenant Martin bound himself to this
agreement. When he arrived home, and pressure was brought to bear
upon him, he forgot his solemn oath and permitted others to view the
manuscript, with the result that by stratagem it passed out of his

The Lord was displeased with Joseph Smith for his constant importuning,
and took from him the Urim and Thummim after the departure of Martin
Harris with the partial translation from the plates. When the fact
was known that Martin had lost the manuscript, the Prophet suffered
the torments of the damned. He found no rest; there was no peace of
conscience. In the bitterness of his soul he feared to approach the
Lord. This condition continued for some time until one day the angel
appeared to him, and returned the Urim and Thummim, that he might
through them receive a revelation from the Lord. (Doc. & Cov. Sec.
3.) In this revelation it was made known that the purposes of the
Lord were not frustrated, but the designs of men. Joseph was soundly
rebuked and warned against yielding to temptation. Nevertheless the
mercy of the Lord was extended to him because of his severe punishment
and sore repentance. After the revelation was received, both the
Urim and Thummim and the plates were taken from him, but in a few
days were restored again. This was the most bitter lesson Joseph
Smith ever received. It seemed necessary to prepare him for the great
responsibilities yet before him.

A few days later Joseph received another revelation (Doc. and Cov. Sec.
10) in which he was forbidden again to translate the portion of the
record which had been lost. Satan had put it into the hearts of wicked
men, the revelation declared, to alter the writing of the manuscript
and then, if Joseph Smith should translate again, they would say that
he could not do it twice alike, and thus they would catch him in his
words which he had pretended to translate.

What the Lost Record Contained

The lost manuscript contained the abridgment made by Mormon of the
record of Nephi, from the time Lehi left Jerusalem down to the reign
of King Benjamin, or to the words of Mormon, in the Book of Mormon.
When Mormon made his abridgment of the records of the Nephites, the
Lord directed him to attach also the small plates of Nephi, which
contained the record of the people covering the same period of time as
the abridgment down to the reign of King Benjamin. In this manner there
were two accounts of that history, the abridgment and the original.
Now the translation of the abridgment was lost; but the better account
could still be translated, and the designs of Satan be defeated. Thus
the "wise purpose" of the Lord, in directing Mormon to include Nephi's
plates, was made known to Joseph Smith.

The Coming of Oliver Cowdery

Martin Harris was never permitted to act as scribe again. For a time
the Prophet was without assistance. For several months he was under the
necessity of "laboring with his hands" on his small farm in Harmony
and otherwise seeking employment. The work of the Lord was lagging.
He must be about his mission. He prayed to the Lord for help. On the
6th of April, 1829, a young school teacher, Oliver Cowdery, came to
Harmony to inquire of Joseph Smith regarding his work. Oliver Cowdery
had been teaching school near the home of the Smiths in Manchester,
and part of the time boarded with that family. From them he learned
of the Prophet's vision, the coming of Moroni, and of the plates. He
had a feeling that these stories were true and desired to investigate
at close quarters. He was convinced of the truth of Joseph's story,
and two days after his arrival in Harmony commenced to write as the
Prophet translated from the record. Later in the month of April the
Lord gave to Oliver a revelation through Joseph Smith in which he was
called to the work. In that revelation things were revealed that only
Oliver Cowdery knew. From that time forth he continued to act as the
amanuensis for Joseph Smith, until the Book of Mormon was finished.

Restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood

While translating, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery discovered that the
question of baptism for the remission of sins was mentioned several
times in the record. This caused them to marvel, for the doctrine of
baptism was misunderstood in the world. They concluded to inquire of
the Lord for light. On the 15th day of May, 1829, they retired to the
woods and prayed for instruction on this question. While thus engaged
in prayer a heavenly messenger descended in a cloud of light and said
that he was John, known as John the Baptist in the New Testament. He
said he acted under the direction of Peter, James and John, who held
the keys of the Melchizedek Priesthood, and had been sent to confer on
Joseph and Oliver the Aaronic Priesthood, which holds the keys of the
temporal Gospel. He laid his hands upon their heads and said:

    "Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer
    the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering
    of angels, and of the Gospel of repentance, and of baptism by
    immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken
    again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an
    offering unto the Lord in righteousness."

He stated that the Melchizedek Priesthood would soon he conferred
upon them and that Joseph Smith should be called the first and Oliver
Cowdery the second elder of the Church.

Joseph and Oliver Baptized

This messenger, after conferring the Priesthood, instructed Joseph and
Oliver to go down into the water and baptize each other. After which
they were to lay hands upon each other and re-confer the Priesthood
which he had bestowed upon them. There are two reasons why they should
be commanded to do this thing. First, to confer the Priesthood before
baptism, is contrary to the order of the Organized Church, therefore
they were commanded to confer the Priesthood upon each other in the
regular way, after they were baptized. Second, the angel did for
them that which they could not do for themselves. There was no one
living in mortality who held the keys of this Priesthood, therefore it
was necessary that this messenger, who held the keys of the Aaronic
Priesthood in the Dispensation of the Meridian of Time, should be
sent to confer this power. It is contrary to the order of heaven for
those who have passed beyond the veil to officiate and labor for the
living on the earth, only wherein mortal man cannot act, and thereby it
becomes necessary for those who have passed through the resurrection
to act for them. Otherwise John would have followed the regular order,
which is practiced in the Church, and would have first baptized Joseph
Smith and Oliver Cowdery and then conferred upon them the Aaronic

As the angel had commanded them, they repaired to the water where
Joseph first baptized Oliver and then Oliver baptized Joseph.
Immediately after coming out of the water they experienced great and
glorious blessings, and being filled with the Holy Spirit, began to
prophesy of the coming forth of the Church and the establishment of
the great work of the Lord in the latter days. Their minds were now
enlightened and the scriptures were opened to their understandings. For
the first time in many centuries there now stood on the earth men with
power to officiate in baptism for the remission of sin.

The fear of opposition compelled them to keep secret the matter of
their ordination and baptism, except where they revealed it to a few
personal friends, whom they could trust.

Restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood

In course of time, and very shortly after the coming of John the
Baptist, Joseph and Oliver received the Melchizedek Priesthood from
Peter, James and John. The date when this Priesthood was conferred is
unknown, but it was only a few days after the first ordination. In a
revelation given in 1842 (Doc. & Cov. Sec. 128) we are informed that
it was between Harmony, Pennsylvania, and Colesville, New York, on the
Susquehanna River, where it was conferred. In another revelation given
in September 1830, we are informed that the restoration was under the
hands of Peter, James and John, "whom I have sent unto you, by whom
I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles, and special
witnesses of my name" (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 27).

Help from Joseph Knight

While the work of translating was going on the Lord sent a friend in
time of need to give material assistance to Joseph Smith and Oliver
Cowdery. This was Joseph Knight, Sen., of Colesville, Broome County,
New York. Having heard of the manner in which Joseph and Oliver were
occupying their time, Mr. Knight brought them provisions from time
to time, a distance of some thirty miles, and thus enabled them to
continue their labor without interruption, which otherwise would have
delayed the work.

Joseph and Oliver Remove to Fayette

It was not destined that the work of translation should go on in
Harmony without interruption. Opposition finally made itself manifest
and became so strong that even Isaac Hale--a man who believed in
justice, law and order, but who did not express much faith in the
mission of Joseph Smith--became somewhat bitter in his feelings. The
necessity of a change of residence was apparent. Oliver Cowdery wrote
to a young friend, David Whitmer of Fayette, New York, with whom he
had previously corresponded regarding the coming forth of the Book of
Mormon, desiring that he would come and take Joseph and himself to the
Whitmer home in Fayette. This David Whitmer consented to do, and the
removal was made in June, 1829.

When David was on the journey to Harmony on this mission, he was
met some distance from the town of Harmony by Joseph and Oliver. In
referring to this circumstance some years later, David Whitmer wrote:
"Oliver told me that Joseph had informed him when I started from home,
where I stopped the first night, how I read the sign at the tavern,
where I stopped the next night, etc., and that I would be there that
day for dinner, and this is why they had come out to meet me. All of
which was exactly as Joseph had told Oliver, at which I was greatly
astonished" (_Millennial Star_, vol. 40:769-774).

At the Whitmer Home

When they arrived in Fayette, they found Mr. Peter Whitmer, father of
David, ready to receive them and anxious to know more concerning the
work, Joseph and Oliver received their board free at the Whitmer home,
and other timely assistance was also given them by members of the
Whitmer family. David, John and Peter Whitmer, Jr., became very zealous
in the work. The Lord spoke to each of them by revelation, calling them
to cry repentance to their generation. The people of Seneca County, in
which Fayette was situated, were friendly, and many houses were opened
by those desiring to know more of the Prophet's message. Many were
convinced and showed a willingness to obey the Gospel. Hyrum Smith,
who had come to Fayette, David Whitmer and Peter Whitmer, Jr., were
baptized, the first by the Prophet and the others by Oliver Cowdery.
Samuel H. Smith, younger brother of the Prophet, had been baptized
while the Prophet and Oliver were in Harmony, Pennsylvania. He was the
third person baptized in this dispensation, receiving the remission of
his sins on the twenty-fifth day of May, 1829, just ten days after the
appearing of John the Baptist; Oliver Cowdery baptizing him. Samuel
had accompanied Oliver from Manchester to Harmony early in April when
Oliver came to inquire concerning the Prophet and the record he claimed
to have, and remained with his brother Joseph during the spring. Samuel
Smith had not taken to the Prophet's story as readily as other members
of the family, and was rather hard to convince that Joseph and Oliver
had been ordained and baptized. After much inquiry and explanation by
Joseph and Oliver, Samuel retired alone to the woods, and in secret
prayer obtained a revelation for himself. Now convinced, he was anxious
to be baptized and to engage in the work of establishing "the cause of


1. _History of the Prophet Joseph_, p. 106, Lucy Smith.

2. Isaiah's prophecy is as follows: "And the vision of all is become
unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to
one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I
cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is
not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not
learned. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near
me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed
their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the
precept of men: Therefore behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work
among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder; for the wisdom
of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent
men shall be hid" (Isa. 29:11-14).

For a discussion of this point see the _History of the Mormon Church_,
by B. H. Roberts, chapter 8. Also _Orson Pratt's Works_, Chapter 6, and
the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi, 27th chapter.

Chapter 10

The Witnesses of the Book of Mormon


The Witnesses Called

In due time, in June 1829, the Book of Mormon translation was finished.
Three special witnesses must now be chosen who should behold the plates
through divine favor and bear record to the world. This was according
to the predictions of the ancient prophets who had kept the records
of the Nephites. Nephi, son of Lehi, had prophesied: "Wherefore at
that day when the book shall be delivered unto the man of whom I have
spoken, the book shall be hid from the eyes of the world, that the
eyes of none shall behold it save it be that three witnesses shall
behold it, by the power of God, besides him to whom the book shall be
delivered; and they shall testify to the truth of the book and the
things therein. And there is none other which shall view it, save it be
a few according to the will of God, to bear testimony of his word unto
the children of men; for the Lord God hath said that the words of the
faithful should speak as if it were from the dead."[1]

In a revelation given at the request of Martin Harris, after his
repentance, in March, 1829 (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 5), this statement
is reiterated, and Martin was told he might be granted this great
privilege of being one of the witnesses, if he would humble himself
sufficiently and overcome his pride in mighty prayer and sincerity of
heart, and acknowledge the things he had done which were wrong. It was
natural for Oliver Cowdery, the Prophet's scribe, and David Whitmer, to
desire to be the two other witnesses of the special three.

When the translation was finished Joseph wrote to his parents
requesting them to come to him. This information they conveyed to
Martin Harris at Palmyra, who desired to accompany them. The next
day after the word was received they started on the journey. The
evening of their arrival at the Whitmer home was spent in reading the
manuscript of the Book of Mormon, which caused them all to rejoice
exceedingly. They had not previously realized the magnitude of the work
of translation, nor had they received a clear understanding of what the
book contained.

When the time arrived for the manifestation of the power of the Lord
to the witnesses, as was the custom, early in the morning the little
group at the Whitmer home engaged in singing and prayer. At the close
of these services Joseph Smith arose and approaching Martin Harris
said: "Martin Harris, you have got to humble yourself before God this
day, that you may obtain a forgiveness of your sins. If you do, it
is the will of God that you should look upon the plates, in company
with Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer." Lucy Smith, the Prophet's
mother, who was present, says this was spoken, "with a solemnity that
thrills through and through my veins to this day, when it occurs to my

These three men earnestly sought for the privilege of being the special
witnesses, Joseph laid the matter before the Lord and received a
revelation by Urim and Thummim granting their petition. The revelation
is as follows:

Revelation to the Witnesses

    "Behold, I say unto you, that you must rely upon my word, which
    if you do with full purpose of heart, you shall have a view of
    the plates, and also of the breastplate, the sword of Laban,
    the Urim and Thummim, which were given to the brother of Jared
    upon the mount, when he talked with the Lord face to face, and
    the miraculous directors which were given to Lehi while in the
    wilderness, on the borders of the Red Sea.

    "And it is by your faith that you shall obtain a view of them, even
    by that faith which was had by the prophets of old.

    "And after that you have obtained faith, and have seen them with
    your eyes, you shall testify of them, by the power of God;

    "And this you shall do that my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., may not
    be destroyed, that I may bring about my righteous purposes unto the
    children of men in this work.

    "And ye shall testify that you have seen them, even as my servant
    Joseph Smith, Jun., has seen them, for it is by my power that he
    has seen them, and it is because he had faith.

    "And he has translated the book, even that part which I have
    commanded him, and as your Lord and your God liveth it is true.

    "Wherefore, you have received the same power, and the same faith,
    and the same gift like unto him;

    "And if you do these last commandments of mine, which I have given
    you, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; for my grace
    is sufficient for you, and you shall be lifted up at the last day.

    "And I, Jesus Christ, your Lord and your God, have spoken it unto
    you, that I might bring about my righteous purposes unto the
    children of men. Amen" (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 17).

The Witnesses Behold the Plates

A short time after this revelation was given these four, Joseph Smith,
Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris, retired to the woods
and engaged in humble prayer. They asked the Lord to bestow upon
them the blessing of the promise. Each prayed in turn, according to
previous agreement. Joseph prayed first and after each had prayed and
no answer of divine favor was obtained, they again observed the same
order of prayer, but without result. Feeling it was because of his
transgressions that no answer was received, Martin Harris suggested
that he would withdraw from the others. After consultation this was
agreed to, and Martin withdrew. Again the three knelt in prayer.
Presently they beheld above them a light of great brilliancy, and an
angel descended and stood before them. In his hand he held the plates,
and before them were the other records and sacred things spoken of in
the revelation. The angel took the golden book and turning leaf by leaf
exhibited to the witnesses the engravings thereon. He then turned to
David Whitmer and said, "David, blessed is the Lord, and he that keeps
his commandments." Immediately after this they heard a voice in the
bright light which shone above them, saying: "These plates have been
revealed by the power of God, and they have been translated by the
power of God. The translation of them which you have seen is correct,
and I command you to bear record of what you now see and hear."

Joseph Smith now left Oliver and David and went in search of Martin
Harris. He found him at a considerable distance fervently petitioning
the Lord in prayer. With earnestness he pleaded with Joseph to join
him that he too might be blessed with a vision of the plates. Joseph
readily consented, and before they had prayed very long the same vision
burst upon their presence and they beheld the same messenger. The angel
again turned the leaves one by one and the same scene was re-enacted.
Martin Harris was overjoyed and cried out: "'Tis enough; 'tis enough;
mine eyes have beheld; mine eyes have beheld!" Jumping up he shouted
hosannah and praised the Lord.

When they returned from this interview it was between three and four
o'clock in the afternoon. The incident is related by the Prophet's
mother in the following words:

    "On coming in, Joseph threw himself down beside me, and exclaimed,
    'Father, mother, you do not know how happy I am: the Lord has now
    caused the plates to be shown to three more besides myself. They
    have seen an angel, who has testified to them, and they will have
    to bear witness to the truth of what I have said, for now they
    know for themselves, that I do not go about to deceive the people,
    and I feel as if I was relieved of a burden which was almost too
    heavy for me to bear; and it rejoices my soul, that I am not any
    longer to be entirely alone in the world. Upon this, Martin Harris
    came in; he seemed almost overcome with joy, and testified boldly
    to what he had both seen and heard. And so did David and Oliver,
    adding, that no tongue could express the joy of their hearts, and
    the greatness of the things which they had both seen and heard."[2]

Testimony of the Three Witnesses

In accord with the instructions they received in the revelation and
by direct command from the voice of the Lord when they viewed the
plates, the three witnesses gave to the world their united testimony
in writing. This testimony, together with the testimony of eight other
witnesses who also beheld the plates, has been published in every copy
of the Book of Mormon as a witness to the unbelieving world. Their
testimony is as follows:

    "Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people,
    unto whom this work shall come: That we, through the grace of God
    the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which
    contain this record, which is the record of the people of Nephi,
    and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people
    of Jared, who came from the tower of which hath been spoken. And we
    also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of
    God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a
    surety that the work is true. And we also testify that we have seen
    the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shown
    unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare with
    words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and
    he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the
    plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the
    grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld
    and bear record that these things are true. And it is marvelous in
    our eyes. Nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that
    we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the
    commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know
    that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the
    blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment seat
    of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And
    the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost,
    which is one God. Amen.

    Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, Martin Harris."

Testimony of the Eight Witnesses

In addition to the testimony of the three witnesses, eight other
witnesses were called to view the plates and to give testimony to
the world, and became the "few according to the will of God, to bear
testimony of his word unto the children of men." These eight men did
not obtain the same privilege as the three special witnesses, for it
was not in the presence of an angel that they beheld the record, but
they were shown the plates by Joseph Smith by command of the Lord.
Their testimony is as follows:

    "Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto
    whom this work shall come: That Joseph Smith, Jun., the translator
    of this work, has shown unto us the plates of which hath been
    spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the
    leaves as the said Smith has translated we did handle with our
    hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the
    appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship. And this we
    bear record with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shown
    unto us, for we have seen and hefted, and know of a surety that the
    said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken. And we give
    our names unto the world, to witness unto the world that which we
    have seen. And we lie not, God bearing witness of it.

    Christian Whitmer, Jacob Whitmer, Peter Whitmer, Jun., John
    Whitmer, Hiram Page, Joseph Smith, Sen., Hyrum Smith, Samuel H.

Necessity of the Testimonies

In all ages of the world when the Lord has had a work to be performed
he has raised up witnesses. In this manner his works are attested so
that those who reject them will be left without an excuse. The justice
of the Lord demands that this shall be done. The Lord commanded Moses,
when in the wilderness, that no man should be condemned except it be on
the testimony of two or three witnesses. "One witness shall not rise
up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that
he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three
witnesses, shall the matter be established" (Deut. 19:15). The Savior
himself bore witness to the justice and validity of this law when he
contended with the Jews. Said He: "It is also written in your law,
that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that beareth witness
of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me." In
this manner he condemned them for rejecting his testimony, which was
attested by the scriptures and had the approval of his Father.

If Joseph Smith had given no other testimony but his own, then he might
justly have been condemned, for his testimony would not have been in
keeping with the word of the Lord, but the testimony of three other men
should be sufficient. Reinforced as that testimony is by the testimony
of the eleven others, and by the witness which the book itself affords,
the testimony given by Joseph Smith becomes binding on the world. All
who reject it, the Lord said, shall be condemned, for the "testimony
of two men is true," provide they are truthful witnesses. The Book
of Mormon declares that in "the mouth of three witnesses shall these
things be established; and the testimony of three, and this work, in
the which shall be shown forth the power of God and also his word, of
which the Father and the Son, and the Holy Ghost bear record--and all
this shall stand as a testimony against the world at the last day"
(Ether 5:4).

Validity of the Testimonies

The witnesses of the Book of Mormon were true and faithful to their
testimony throughout their lives. The time came, however, when all
three of the special witnesses became estranged from Joseph Smith and
departed from the Church. Because of their spirit of rebellion against
the Prophet and the work, Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer were dealt
with for their fellowship and excommunicated from the Church. Martin
Harris simply drifted away without action being taken against him in an
official way. While the Prophet lived, they retained their bitterness
of spirit and remained aloof, but during all those years, and to the
end of life, all three were steadfast in their testimony as found in
the Book of Mormon. In the year 1848, after the Church had been driven
from Nauvoo, Oliver Cowdery returned to the Church, at Kanesville and
humbly begged to be re-admitted as a member. Martin Harris also sought
again a place and standing in the Church and in the year 1870 he came
to Utah to make his home. He died in 1875, at Clarkston, Utah, at the
age of 92 years. David Whitmer never came back to the Church, but
shortly before his death, in refutation of the statements that had gone
forth that he had denied his testimony, he published it again to the
world, in which he said: "It is recorded in the American Cyclopedia
and the Encyclopedia Britannica, that I, David Whitmer, have denied my
testimony as one of the Three Witnesses to the divinity of the Book of
Mormon; and that the other two witnesses, Oliver Cowdery and Martin
Harris, denied their testimony to that book. I will say once more to
all mankind, that I have never at any time denied that testimony or any
part thereof. I also testify to the world, that neither Oliver Cowdery
nor Martin Harris ever at any time denied their testimony. They both
died reaffirming the truth of the divine authenticity of the Book of

Impossibility of Collusion

If there had been collusion between Joseph Smith and the witnesses,
then of necessity they would have had to hold together and tell the
same story. A disagreement on the part of any, or all of them, would
have meant destruction to their plan, if it were not true. The boldness
with which Joseph Smith and the Church met the situation, when these
men rebelled, and took action against them and severed them from
the Church, would never have been done if there had been fraud and
collusion. The Prophet and the high council would not have dared to do
it. This fact together with the other fact that after they were severed
from the Church and had become estranged, they all three bore the same
testimony, and all told the same story which they told when in the
Church, precludes even the remotest possibility that they had planned
together to deceive. These truths together with much more evidence
which cannot be mentioned here, is strong presumptive evidence of the
authenticity of the solemn message given by these witnesses to the

The Angel Receives the Plates

After the completion of the translation of the Book of Mormon in 1829,
the angel again appeared to Joseph Smith and received back the plates
into his keeping. Of this circumstance the Prophet wrote in 1838: "By
the wisdom of God, they [the plates] remained safe in my hands, until I
had accomplished by them what was required at my hand. When, according
to arrangement, the messenger called for them, I delivered them up to
him, and he has them in his charge until this day."

The Book of Mormon Printed

The question of printing the manuscript now confronted Joseph Smith.
Not only was he without the necessary means, but printers were scarce
and those who were approached were either prejudiced through bigotry,
or unwilling for fear of the opposition of customers. Martin Harris,
who possessed the means, came to the rescue with a promise to pay
for the printing of the book. Finally a contract was entered into
with Mr. Egbert B. Grandin, of Palmyra, who consented to print five
thousand copies of the Book of Mormon for three thousand dollars. In
the meantime the copyright to the book had been secured. The appearance
of the words "Author and Proprietor" which appear on the title page of
the first edition of the Book of Mormon, have caused some ridicule by
enemies of Joseph Smith. This expression was printed in the book in
accord with the law governing copyrights, and in no way detracts from
the validity of the story of the translation of the record.

Soon after the completion of the translation and the securing of the
copyright, the Lord commanded that Oliver Cowdery should transcribe
the entire manuscript, and that in furnishing copy to the printer, the
second copy should be used, and that only sheet by sheet, as the type
should be set up. It was further provided that in going to and from
the printing office, there should always be a guard to protect the
manuscript, and that a guard should be placed at the home constantly
to watch and protect the translation from evil disposed persons. These
precautions were necessary because of the malicious opposition which
prevailed in and about Palmyra, where the work was done. At times
attempts were made to get the manuscript from the possession of Joseph
and those who, with him, had the work in charge.

One man, named Cole, more cunning than the others who opposed the
work, devised the plan of anticipating the publication of the book.
Cole, an ex-justice of the peace, was printing a paper which he called
_Dogberry Paper on Winter Hill_. He had announced to his subscribers
that he would furnish them weekly installments of the Book of Mormon in
his paper. Having access to the Grandin printing office, he commenced
his publication by working on Sundays when the office was closed.
In this manner he was able to publish a number of issues containing
garbled extracts from the printed sheets of the Book of Mormon. As the
copyright was secured, he was warned and finally stopped from this
method of stealing. The work of printing the book continued, but not
without interruption, for great pressure was brought to bear upon the
printer who was threatened by enemies of the latter-day work, with
a withdrawal of trade that would ruin his business. This came near
to breaking the contract. However, after some delays, the book was
finished some time in the spring of 1830, and made ready to go forth,
as the Nephite prophets had foretold, to the Gentiles and then to the
house of Israel as a voice speaking out of the dust.


1. 2 Nephi 27:12-13. Ether 5:2-4. Compare John 8:16-18.

2. _History of the Prophet Joseph_, p. 139. Lucy Smith

3. _An Address to All Believers in Christ_, David Whitmer. Compare
_Millennial Star_, 43:301.

Chapter 11

Revelation on Doctrine and Church Government


Revelation to the Witnesses

Before the Church could be organized it was essential that there be
revealed such matters as pertained to the organization of the Church.
This was done between the time the witnesses viewed the plates of the
ancient record and the sixth of April, 1830. The first of these (Doc.
and Cov. Sec. 18) was given to Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery and David
Whitmer, at Fayette. It made known the calling of the Twelve Apostles
who should be chosen in this dispensation, although it was about six
years before they were called. It gave instructions "relative to the
building up of the Church of Christ according to the fulness of the
Gospel." It was also stated that the Book of Mormon contained "all
things written concerning the foundation" of the Church and the Gospel.
The Church, when organized, should be built upon the foundation of the
Gospel and "the gates of hell shall not prevail" against it. Moreover,
it was declared that "the world is ripening in iniquity, and it must
needs be that the children of men are stirred up unto repentance, both
the Gentiles and also the house of Israel." To Oliver Cowdery and David
Whitmer, the Lord said that all men were now called on to repent, for
the Priesthood was restored and the opportunity given for the remission
of sins. These men had been called as special witnesses, and therefore
were under obligation to warn the world. Until this time men had not
been privileged to be baptized, for there had been no authority in the
earth to officiate in gospel ordinances. The Lord said the worth of
souls was great, for Christ had suffered "the pains of all men that
all might repent and come unto him." As many as would repent and be
baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and endure to the end, should be
saved. It was made clear in this revelation that all men must take upon
them the name of Jesus Christ, for in his name should "they be called
in the last day." Otherwise they "cannot have a place in the kingdom"
of the Father.

The Twelve Apostles

Not only were Joseph Smith and the witnesses to the Book of Mormon to
be called to testify, but there were to be twelve other witnesses, who
should be appointed to declare the Gospel to both Gentile and Jew. The
three witnesses to the Book of Mormon were designated to search out
these Twelve Apostles, who were to have charge of the preaching of the
Gospel in all the world.

Revelation Given to Martin Harris

The next great commandment (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 19) was given to Martin
Harris, in March, 1830, as one of the three special witnesses. Martin
was admonished and warned against his weaknesses, and was commanded to
preach the first principles of the Gospel and declare "glad tidings"
upon the mountains, and "every high place, and among the people," unto
the end of his life. If he should fail, then misery should he receive.
He was further instructed to keep his contract with the printer, and
impart of his substance for the printing of the Book of Mormon, which
"contains the truth and the word of God."

The Atonement and Eternal Punishment Explained

The most important teaching in this revelation was the doctrine of the
atonement and the explanation of the expression "eternal punishment."
"I am Alpha and Omega," said the Lord, "yea, even I am He, the
beginning and the end, the Redeemer of the world. I have accomplished
and finished the will of him whose I am, even the Father, concerning
me--having done this that I might subdue all things unto myself,
retaining all power, even to the destroying of Satan and his works at
the end of the world, and the last great day of judgment, which I shall
pass upon the inhabitants thereof, judging every man according to his
works and the deeds which he hath done.

"And surely every man must repent or suffer, for I, God, am endless;
wherefore, I revoke not the judgments which I shall pass, but woes
shall go forth, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, yea, to those
who are found on my left hand. Nevertheless it is not written that
there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless
torment. Again it is written eternal damnation; wherefore it is more
express than other scriptures, that it might work upon the hearts of
the children of men, altogether for my name's glory. Wherefore I will
explain unto you this mystery, for it is mete unto you to know even as
mine apostles. . . .

"For behold, the mystery of Godliness, how great is it? for, behold, I
am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand, is endless
punishment, for Endless is my name; wherefore--

Eternal punishment is God's punishment.

Endless punishment is God's punishment."

Then follows the statement that Jesus Christ "suffered the pains for
all, that they might not suffer if they would repent." These sufferings
were most exquisite and sore, which caused him "the greatest of all, to
tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both
body and spirit;" and would that he "might not drink the bitter cup and
shrink." Nevertheless he partook of that cup and finished his work, and
this that men might not suffer if they would repent; but if they will
not repent then they must suffer even as he.

Revelation on Church Government

In April 1830, just before the organization of the Church, another
very important revelation (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 20) was received on
Church government. In it the date for the organization of the Church
was designated as April 6. The Church was to be "regularly organized
and established agreeable to the laws of our country" by the will and
commandment of the Lord. These commandments were given to Joseph Smith
and Oliver Cowdery, who had been called and ordained to be apostles, or
special witnesses for Christ. Joseph Smith was to be the first elder of
the Church and Oliver Cowdery the second elder, and they were to ordain
each other to these callings, according to the grace of Jesus Christ.
Other matters of great importance revealed are as follows:

Mention is made of the matter of translation of the Book of Mormon,
which is said to contain the record of a fallen people, and the fulness
of the Gospel to the Gentiles and also to the Jews. By the opening
of the heavens, and the inspiration given to men who are called to
his holy work, the Lord has shown that "he is the same God yesterday,
today, and forever, and does inspire men and call them to his work in
this age and generation, as well as in generations of old.

By these great witnesses the world shall be judged, "even as many
as shall come to a knowledge of this work." Those who receive it in
righteousness shall receive a crown of eternal life, while those
who reject it shall be condemned. It is declared that the Lord has
spoken, and the elders of the Church have heard and bear witness so
that through their testimony man may know there is a God in heaven,
who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting, the
same unchangeable Framer of heaven and earth and all things which are
in them. Man is created in the image of God, male and female, and is
commanded to love and serve him. Through transgression of his laws, man
became fallen, wherefore the Only Begotten Son was sent into the world
to suffer temptations--but gave no heed to them--was crucified, died,
and rose the third day and ascended into heaven to reign in power.
All who believe on him and are baptized and endure to the end, shall
be saved, no matter when they lived on the earth. Men everywhere must
repent and believe in Christ, worshiping the Father in the name of the
Son and endure in faith, or they cannot be saved. Justification through
grace is true, as also is sanctification, to all who love the Father
with all their might, mind and strength. The dangers of falling away
from grace are pointed out, with a warning to the members of the Church
to "take heed and pray always lest they fall into temptation."

Manner of Baptism Explained

By way of commandment to the Church the manner of Baptism is set forth
as follows: "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 a 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 into his Church." No person
can be received into the Church unless he has arrived unto the years
of accountability, which is eight years, for he must be capable of
repentance, which infants are not. Baptism is to be administered in the
following manner unto all who repent:

How Baptism is Performed

"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."

Duties of Elders, Priests, Teachers, Deacons and Members

An apostle is said to be an elder. His calling is to baptize and ordain
other officers in the Church. It should here be explained that at the
organization of the Church and for some time thereafter, the officers
mentioned here were all that were needed. As the Church expanded the
Lord revealed the duties of other officers in their time. Elders are to
baptize, confirm members, preach, expound the scriptures, administer
the sacrament and take charge of meetings which are to be conducted
"as they," the elders "are led by the Holy Ghost, according to the
commandments and revelations."

The priest is to teach, expound, baptize and administer the sacrament.
He may ordain other priests, teachers and deacons, but cannot lay on
hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. He may take the lead of meetings
in the absence of higher authority. It is his duty to visit the home of
the members and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret and to attend
to all family duties. When called upon he is to assist the elder in his

The teacher is to be the guardian of the Church. He is to see that
there is no iniquity in the Church, neither lying, backbiting, or evil
speaking among the members, and to see that the Church meet together
often and that the members perform their duties. He is to take the
lead of meetings if there is no elder or priest present and may assist
them in their duties. He cannot baptize, confirm, or administer the

The deacon is to assist the teacher and other officers in the Church,
but he cannot baptize, confirm, or administer the sacrament.

Conferences of the Church

The elders of the Church are instructed to meet in conference once in
three months, or from time to time as they may determine, to transact
such business as may come before them. All who are ordained are to
receive certificates of ordination, and shall be accepted as officers
in the Church by the vote of the members.

Duties of Church Members

All members shall be received by baptism after they have repented of
their sins. They shall have sufficient time to be taught the Gospel
and Church government before they are confirmed and partake of the
sacrament. Children are to be brought to the elders of the Church, who
shall bless them. The members must meet together often to partake of
the sacrament in remembrance of the Lord Jesus Christ. The elder or
priest who shall administer the sacrament "shall kneel with the Church
and call upon the Father in solemn prayer," repeating the words which
the Lord Himself has given.


Any member of the Church transgressing the commandments of the Lord, or
the rules of the Church, shall be dealt with as the scriptures direct.
If any are expelled their names are to be "blotted out" and not kept on
the records of the Church.

Recommendations of Members

Records of members are to be kept in a book, and the members moving
from one branch to another shall take a letter of recommendation, or
certificate, stating that they are in standing in the Church. This
shall be presented to the presiding officer in the branch with which
they desire to unite.


These commandments and instructions were given through Joseph Smith,
shortly before the organization of the Church, to guide him and his
companions in Church government. They are all important because they
deal with the fundamental principles of the Gospel and doctrines of the
Church. They set forth clearly many things which were familiarly known
in the primitive Church, but which were either lost or perverted during
the ages of apostasy and departure from the standards set by the Savior
and his disciples. Again they are restored in their simplicity, freed
from all mysticism and error, for the salvation of mankind.

Chapter 12

Organization of the Church


The Church Organized

It was made known, shortly after the bestowal of the Melchizedek
Priesthood, that the Church of Jesus Christ was to be organized. It
was after Joseph Smith and his companions had engaged in solemn prayer
that the word of the Lord came to them in the home of Father Peter
Whitmer, "commanding us," the Prophet writes, "that I should ordain
Oliver Cowdery to be an elder in the Church of Jesus Christ; and that
he also should ordain me to the same office; and then to ordain others,
as it should be made known unto us from time to time. We were, however,
commanded to defer this our ordination until such times as it should
be practicable to have our brethren, who had been and who should be
baptized, assembled together, when we must have their sanction to our
thus proceeding to ordain each other, and have them decide by vote
whether they were willing to accept us as spiritual teachers or not;
when also we were commanded to bless bread and break it with them, and
to take wine, bless it, and drink it with them; afterward proceed to
ordain each other according to commandment; then call out such men as
the Spirit should indicate, and ordain them; and then attend to the
laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, upon all those whom
we had previously baptized, doing all things in the name of the Lord."

Fulfilment of the Promise

On the sixth day of April, 1830, the time for the fulfilment of this
promise arrived, Joseph and a few of those who had been baptized
met in the house of Peter Whitmer, Sen., and proceeded, as the Lord
had instructed them, to organize the Church. It was on a Tuesday,
and there were six in number, namely, Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery,
Hyrum Smith, Peter Whitmer, Jr., David Whitmer and Samuel H. Smith.
The small, but momentous meeting, was opened by solemn prayer. Those
present then proceeded to express their willingness, as instructed by
divine commandment, to accept Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery as their
teachers in the things of the kingdom of God. Then they were called
upon to declare whether or not they were willing to proceed to organize
the Church of Jesus Christ. To both propositions they consented with
unanimous voice. "I then laid my hands upon Oliver Cowdery," says the
Prophet, "and ordained him an elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints; after which he ordained me also to the office of
elder of said Church. We then took bread, blessed it, and brake it with
them; and also wine, blessed, and drank it with them. We then laid
our hands on each individual member of the Church present, that they
might receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and be confirmed members of
the Church of Christ. The Holy Ghost was poured out upon us to a very
marked degree, some prophesied, whilst we all praised the Lord, and
rejoiced exceedingly."

All six of these young men--Hyrum Smith, the oldest, was but 31 years
of age--had been baptized previously to the organization. They were all
again baptized on that memorable day, April 6, 1830.

A Record to be Kept

While they were still in session in this meeting of organization a
revelation (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 21) was given to the Church in which
they were instructed to keep a record. In this record, Joseph Smith
was to be called "a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus
Christ, and elder of the Church through the will of God the Father, and
the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ." The Church was also commanded to
give heed unto all his words and commandments, "as he receiveth them,
as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith," said the Lord.
By doing this "the gates of hell" should not prevail against them,
for the Lord would dispel the powers of darkness. The Prophet would
no longer have to mourn for Zion, for he should have inspiration to
move the cause of Zion in mighty power, for the days of her rejoicing
were at hand. Oliver Cowdery was appointed "the first preacher of the
Church, unto the Church, and before the world, yea, before the Gentiles
and . . . to the Jews also."

Destiny of the Church

In the manner here described, there came into the world a power,
destined to grow and expand until it shall fill the earth, for it is
the "kingdom which shall never be destroyed . . . and it shall stand
forever." At the time of the organization, however, its influence
and power appeared to be insignificant; yet it caused, even then,
consternation and fear in the hearts of the wicked, and strenuous
efforts were launched to bring it to destruction.

Others Called to the Ministry

Before the meeting closed Joseph and Oliver called out others and
ordained them to different offices in the Priesthood, as the Spirit
manifested unto them, presumably to the offices in the Aaronic
Priesthood. The Spirit of the Lord was poured out upon them in
abundance, and after a happy time spent in testimony and witnessing
to each other the blessings of the Lord, they dismissed the meeting,
feeling that they were now individually members of the Church of Jesus
Christ, and acknowledged as such of God. There were others present
besides the six who formed the organization of the Church. Six persons
were required by law to properly form a society or organization of
the kind. Others who were present also received of the Spirit of the
Lord in the meeting and being convinced of the truth came forward and
desired to be united with the Church. Shortly afterwards they were also
baptized. Among these were the Prophet's parents, Joseph Smith, Sen.,
and Lucy Mack Smith; also Martin Harris and Orrin Porter Rockwell.

Baptism a New and Everlasting Covenant

As stated, all six of the original members of the Church were again
baptized on the day of the organization. This action was due, in part
at least, to the fact that baptism is the doorway into the Church as
well as for the remission of sins. There had been a few others baptized
before the sixth of April (see Ch. 9). Some of those previously
baptized raised the question as to why they should again be baptized.
In consequence of their desire to unite with the Church without
re-baptism, the Prophet inquired of the Lord in relation to the matter
and received the following revelation:

    "Behold, I say unto you, that all old covenants have I caused to
    be done away in this thing, and this is a new and an everlasting
    covenant, even that which was from the beginning.

    Wherefore, although a man should be baptized an hundred times, it
    availeth him nothing, for you cannot enter in at the strait gate by
    the law of Moses, neither by your dead works;

    For it is because of your dead works, that I have caused this last
    covenant and this Church to be built up unto me, even as in days of

    Wherefore, enter ye in at the gate, as I have commanded, and seek
    not to counsel your God. Amen" (Doc. and Cov. sec. 22).

Chapter 13

Beginning of the Public Ministry of the Church


The First Public Discourse

On Sunday, April 11, 1830, the work of proselyting was publicly
launched. The first discourse was preached by Oliver Cowdery. The
meeting was held by appointment at the home of "Father" Peter Whitmer,
where the meeting of organization had been held the Tuesday preceding.
A goodly number of members and investigators were present. The
impression made on the minds of those assembled was favorable, and the
same day Hiram Page, Katherine Page, Christian Whitmer, Anne Whitmer,
Jacob Whitmer and Elizabeth Whitmer, were baptized. One week later
(April 18) Peter Whitmer, Sen., Mary Whitmer, William Jolly, Elizabeth
Jolly, Vincent Jolly, Richard B. Preston and Elizabeth Ann Whitmer,
were added to the Church.

The Ministry of Joseph Smith in Colesville

Later in the month of April Joseph Smith paid a visit to the Knight
family in Colesville, Broome County, N. Y. He had been on very friendly
terms with Joseph Knight, Sen., and had been materially assisted by
that gentleman from time to time, while translating the plates. Mr.
Knight and his family were Universalists, with broad, liberal views.
They were willing to reason in a friendly spirit with Joseph Smith
on the scriptures. Several public meetings were held in Colesville
which were attended by many friends and strangers. Newel Knight, son
of Joseph Knight, Sen., was a regular attendant at these meetings,
and seemed to be deeply impressed. He and the Prophet held many
conversations on scriptural subjects and the plan of salvation, in
which a favorable impression was made on the mind of Newel. He promised
to assist Joseph in one of these meetings by offering vocal prayer, but
when the time came his courage failed him. Later he expressed a desire
to go out in the woods by himself and there, where he could be alone,
offer vocal prayer, a thing to which he evidently was not accustomed.
The following morning, in fulfilment of his promise, he retired into
the woods alone, with a troubled conscience because of his failure
to keep his promise on the previous occasion. Kneeling in a secluded
spot he attempted to offer vocal prayer, but his lips were sealed. He
could not pray. He began to feel uneasy and became troubled in both
mind and body. When he arrived home his wife was greatly alarmed at
his strange appearance. He requested her to send for Joseph, which
was done. When he came he found Newel suffering very much; his visage
was distorted, and his limbs were twisted out of shape in a frightful
manner. Presently he was caught up from the floor and tossed about the
room. The strange scene and excitement brought many of the neighbors to
the house, who witnessed his peculiar malady.

The First Miracle

After some difficulty Joseph succeeded in taking Newel by the hand, and
with great earnestness Newel pleaded with him to cast the devil out of
him, for he knew he was possessed. The Prophet said, "If you know that
I can, it shall be done." Then, almost unconsciously, he rebuked the
evil spirit in the name of Jesus Christ and commanded him to depart.
Immediately Newel spoke, saying he saw the evil spirit leave him and
vanish from his sight. This was the first miracle performed in this
dispensation. As soon as the devil departed Newel became normal again,
his distortions of body ceased, and the Spirit of the Lord opened his
vision to a glorious manifestation of the heavens.

Those who were present were greatly astonished when they saw the
casting out of the devil, and the witness of the Spirit of the Lord.
Nearly all of those who were present later became members of the Church.

The First Conference of the Church

Shortly after this event, Joseph returned to Fayette. Newel Knight
followed him and was baptized during the last week in May, by David
Whitmer. On the 9th of June the first conference of the Church was
held in Fayette. The Church at that time numbered twenty-seven souls.
There were many others present at the meetings, some of whom were
friendly and some who believed. At this conference the sacrament was
administered and those recently baptized were confirmed. Others were
sustained by the members to receive the Priesthood, and were ordained.
The officers at the commencement of the Conference were, Joseph Smith,
Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, Peter Whitmer and Ziba Peterson, each
of whom held the office of elder in the Church. During this conference
Samuel H. Smith was ordained to the office of an elder, Joseph Smith,
Sen., Hyrum Smith and Martin Harris were ordained priests, and Hiram
Page and Christian Whitmer were ordained teachers. At the close of
this conference there were in the Church seven ordained elders, three
priests and two teachers. Oliver Cowdery was appointed to keep the
record of the Church and minutes of meetings until the next conference.
The Holy Spirit was poured out upon them. Many of this little band
composing the Church were given the spirit of prophecy, while others
beheld visions and remarkable manifestations from the heavens. Newel
Knight saw in vision the great work which would yet be accomplished
through the preaching of the Gospel and the organization of the Church.
He beheld the Redeemer and received the assurance that he would be
admitted into his presence to dwell in his kingdom for ever.

"To find ourselves engaged in the very same order of things," said
Joseph Smith, "as observed by the holy apostles of old; to realize the
importance and solemnity of such proceedings; and to witness and feel
with our own natural senses, the like glorious manifestations of the
powers of the Priesthood, the gift and blessing of the Holy Ghost, and
the goodness and condescension of a merciful God unto such as obey the
everlasting Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, combined to create within
us sensations of rapturous gratitude, and inspire us with fresh zeal
and energy in the cause of truth."

Eleven other converts were baptized at the close of this conference, by
David Whitmer, in Seneca Lake, where most of the other baptisms were
performed. Those added to the Church at this time were: John Poorman,
John Jolly, Julia Ann Jolly, Harriet Jolly, Jerusha Smith (the wife
of Hyrum Smith), William, Catherine and Don Carlos Smith; and Peter,
Caroline and Electa Rockwell.

Second Visit to Colesville

Joseph Smith again paid a visit to Colesville a short time after this
conference. Oliver Cowdery, John and David Whitmer accompanied him.
They found a number of persons anxiously awaiting them and desiring
baptism. A meeting was appointed for the Sabbath; on Saturday a dam was
constructed across a stream in preparation for the ordinance on the
following day. During the night the dam was maliciously destroyed. It
was later learned that this was the work of a mob, at the instigation
of sectarian priests. On Sunday the meeting was held as contemplated.
Oliver Cowdery was the principal speaker, but others also spoke. The
first principles of the Gospel were presented and witness to the divine
message of the Book of Mormon was borne. In the meeting were many who
had helped to form the mob, who, at the close, endeavored to destroy
the influence of the meeting, but were unsuccessful. Extreme bitterness
was manifested on the part of those who opposed. The sister of Newel
Knight's wife was violently treated because she was kindly disposed,
and against her will was forced by a Rev. Shearer, to return to her
father's home, some distance from her sister's, where she was stopping.
This man, a Presbyterian minister, on false pretenses, obtained from
the father a power of attorney, by which he dragged her off. His labor
was all in vain, for she also was baptized.

Early Monday morning the dam was replaced and thirteen persons were
baptized by Oliver Cowdery. They were: Emma, wife of Joseph Smith;
Hezekiah Peck and wife, Joseph Knight, Sen., and wife, William
Stringham and wife, Joseph Knight, Jr., Aaron Culver and wife, Levi
Hale, Polly Knight and Julia Stringham.

Arrest of Joseph Smith

Before they were through with the ordinance the mob began to gather.
They surrounded the house of Joseph Knight, Sen., prepared to do
violence, but through the blessings of the Lord the Saints were
protected, but were subjected to numerous insults and threatenings. A
meeting was called for that evening for the purpose of attending to
the confirmation of those baptized in the morning. When they met at
the appointed hour, they were all surprised at the appearance of a
constable, who, with a warrant, arrested Joseph on the charge of being
"a disorderly person, setting the country in an uproar by preaching the
Book of Mormon." The constable frankly informed him that the arrest
was for the purpose of getting him into the hands of a mob, then lying
in ambush for him, but he would save him from their hands as he, the
constable, had discovered that Joseph was not the sort of person he had
been led to believe. As Joseph accompanied the constable in a wagon,
they encountered the mob, not far from the home of Joseph Knight. The
mobbers waited for the prearranged signal from the constable, but he,
whipping up his horse, obtained a lead. The mobbers followed as best
they could. In the flight one of the wagon wheels came off, and before
it could be replaced the mobbers were again in sight. However, the
wheel was replaced in time and with renewed energy Joseph was able to

The constable took Joseph to South Bainbridge, Chenango County, and
lodged him in a tavern, where he kept guard all night. The following
day a court convened to investigate the charges. Great excitement
prevailed because of falsehoods which had been circulated freely
among the people. Joseph Knight, Sen., engaged the services of two
respectable farmers who were versed in the law, namely, James Davidson
and John Reid, and brought them to South Bainbridge to defend the

The Trial at South Bainbridge

The enemies of Joseph Smith scoured the country for witnesses who would
testify against him. The justice of the peace who heard the case,
Joseph Chamberlain, was a man of fair mind and a lover of justice. Many
witnesses were heard, but among those who testified were Josiah Stowel,
Jonathan Thompson and the two daughters of Mr. Stowel, all of whom gave
evidence of his good character. Other testimony was proved to be false.
The trial lasted from ten o'clock in the morning until midnight, when a
verdict of "not guilty" was rendered.

The Second Arrest

No sooner was Joseph freed by the court than he was again arrested
on a second warrant from Broome County, a distance of about fifteen
miles. The constable who came for him forced him to leave that night
without permitting him to eat, although he had been in the court room
all day without nourishment. He took him to Colesville and lodged him
in a tavern. Then, calling in a number of rowdies, he began to abuse
his prisoner with the assistance of his rabble. Spitting upon him and
pointing their fingers at him they cried in fiendish glee, "Prophesy,
prophesy!" Being near his home, Joseph requested the constable to take
him there for the remainder of the night, but this was denied him. He
asked for something to eat and was given some crusts of bread and water.

The Trial at Colesville

The next day the trial began before three justices. The most able help
had been secured to prosecute the case while the defense was again
represented by Esquires Reid and Davidson. Many witnesses were called
who bore false and contradictory testimony. Newel Knight was placed
upon the stand and questioned in ridicule by one of the lawyers, named
Seymour, in relation to the casting out of a devil from his person, but
the testimony turned to the discomfiture of the prosecution.

At the close of the testimony the court deliberated for about thirty
minutes, although it was then nearly two o'clock a.m. and they had been
in session since the morning of the previous day. The prisoner was
brought before the court and the presiding justice said: "Mr. Smith,
we have had your case under consideration, examined the testimony and
find nothing to condemn you, and therefore you are discharged." The
judges then proceeded to reprimand him severely, "Not because anything
derogatory to his character in any shape had been proved against him
by the host of witnesses that had testified during the trial," said
Mr. Reid, "but merely to please those fiends in human shape who were
engaged in the unhallowed persecution of an innocent man, sheerly on
account of his religious opinions."

Statement of Mr. Reid

Several years later, Mr. Reid visited Nauvoo, and in the course of an
address said, speaking of these trials:

    "But, alas! the devil, not satisfied with his defeat (at the first
    trial) stirred up a man not unlike himself, who was more fit to
    dwell among the fiends of hell than to belong to the human family,
    to go to Colesville and get another writ, and take him to Broome
    County for another trial. They were sure they could send that boy
    to hell, or to Texas, they did not care which; and in half an hour
    after he was discharged by the court, he was arrested again, and on
    the way to Colesville for another trial. I was again called upon by
    his friends to defend him against his malignant persecutors, and
    clear him from the false charges they had preferred against him.
    I made every reasonable excuse I could, as I was nearly worn down
    through fatigue and want of sleep, as I had been engaged in law
    suits for two days, and nearly the whole of two nights. But I saw
    the persecution was great against him; and here, let me say, Mr,
    Chairman, singular as it may seem, while Mr. Knight was pleading
    with me to go, a peculiar impression, or thought struck my mind,
    that I must go and defend him, for he was the Lord's anointed. I
    did not know what it meant, but thought I must go and clear the
    Lord's anointed. I said I would go, and started with as much faith
    as the apostles had when they could remove mountains, accompanied
    by Father Knight, who was like the old patriarchs that followed the
    ark of God to the city of David. . . . We got him away that night
    from the midst of three hundred people without his receiving any
    injury; but I am well aware that we were assisted by some higher
    power than man; for to look back on the scene, I cannot tell how we
    succeeded in getting him away. I take no glory to myself; it was
    the Lord's work and marvelous in our eyes" (_Times and Seasons_

Inspiration of the Attorneys

At the trial the Prophet's lawyers, who were not members of the Church,
spoke with an inspiration that caused their enemies to quake before
them. So powerful were their words that many of the assembled multitude
were pricked in their hearts. The constable who had been so vicious
came forward and apologized for his ill-treatment and misbehavior, and
revealed the plans of the mob who were then prepared to tar and feather
the Prophet and ride him on a rail. By the aid of the constable, Joseph
was able to escape and make his way in safety to his sister's home,
where he found his wife awaiting him.

The Mob Threatens Joseph and Oliver

A few days later Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery returned to Colesville
to confirm those whom they had been forced to leave, at the time of
Joseph's arrest. Their presence was the signal for the mobbers to again
assemble. So sinister were their movements that Joseph and Oliver
departed from the town without waiting for refreshments. Their enemies
pursued them but through extreme diligence they were able to make their
escape. All night they traveled, except for a short period when they
sought some rest in sleep, each taking turn in watching. The next day
they arrived home, footsore and weary.

The spirit of opposition which took such decided form, was the result
of agitation on the part of professors of religion. The Rev. Shearer,
Cyrus McMaster, Dr. Boyington and a Mr. Benton, pillars in the
Presbyterian Church, incited the mobbers to do their work. Benton was
the man who signed the first warrant for Joseph Smith's arrest as a
"disorderly person" for preaching the Book of Mormon. In this manner
Satan stirred up the hearts of the people to try and overthrow the work.

Missionary Journey of Samuel H. Smith

In the month of June, 1830, Samuel Harrison Smith was set apart by the
Prophet to take a missionary journey to the east. This may be termed
the first missionary journey in the Church. Taking with him several
copies of the Book of Mormon, he started on his way. The first day he
traveled twenty-five miles, and on the way attempted to sell copies of
the book, but without success. When night came on he went to an inn,
faint and hungry; approaching the proprietor he asked him if he did not
want to buy a book which contained the history of the Indians.

"I do not know," the man replied, "how did you get hold of it?"

"It was translated by my brother, from some plates of gold, that he
found buried in the earth," was Samuel's reply.

"You liar!" said the landlord, "get out of my house, you shan't stay
one minute with your books."

Samuel was discouraged, but continued on his journey. That night he
slept under an apple tree. In the morning he called at the home of Rev.
John P. Greene, a Methodist minister. Mr. Greene was just leaving on a
preaching tour, and like the others who had been approached, he was not
interested in the book. However, he manifested a friendly spirit, and
at the earnest solicitation of Samuel, consented to take a subscription
paper and try to sell copies of the book. Thereupon Samuel left him a
copy of the Book of Mormon with the understanding that he would call
again in about two weeks. At the appointed time Samuel returned and
was disappointed to learn that there had been no sale. On his way to
the home of Mr. Greene, Samuel again passed the tavern. On the door
was a small-pox sign. Making inquiry he learned that the tavern keeper
had died from the effects of the disease. He returned home after his
labors were finished, feeling that his work had proved to be fruitless.
More out of curiosity than desire, both Mr. Greene and his wife read
the book and were deeply impressed. The copy Samuel left with John P.
Greene was placed by the latter in the hands of members of the Young
family, which was the first direct information to Brigham Young and his
brothers and some of their friends, including Heber C. Kimball, of the
restoration of the Gospel.

Joseph Smith, Sen., Visits Potsdam

About this time Joseph Smith, Sen., and his youngest son, Don Carlos,
departed on a similar journey to Potsdam, N. Y. Potsdam was the home of
Asael Smith, father of Joseph Smith, Sen., and several of his children.
Joseph was more successful on this trip than his son Samuel apparently
had been, for his father Asael accepted the truth of the everlasting
Gospel, as also did most of his children. Jesse, the oldest son of
Asael, rejected the message of his brother Joseph and manifested a very
bitter spirit against the Gospel all his life.

Book of Moses Revealed

During the summer of 1830, the Lord revealed to the Church a number
of important revelations. In June, the Prophet received the words of
the Lord to Moses, at a time when Moses was caught up into a high
mountain where he talked with the Lord face to face. This revelation
was augmented later by more of the writings of Moses, which are found
in the Pearl of Great Price. Some of the important knowledge imparted
in this revelation is as follows: The works of the Lord are without
end. No man can behold all the works of the Father without partaking
of his glory, and that cannot be given in mortal life. Moses was
created in the similitude, or likeness, of the Only Begotten Son. The
generations of men passed before his view and he saw from the beginning
to the end--all through the spiritual eye, for the natural eye cannot
behold the glory of the Lord. After this vision had passed, Moses was
left unto himself and it was several hours before he gained his natural
strength. Then Satan came, tempting him and commanding him to worship
him, but Moses said: "Who art thou? For behold, I am a son of God, in
the similitude of his Only Begotten Son; and where is thy glory, that I
should worship thee? For behold, I could not look upon God, except his
glory should come upon me, and I were strengthened before him. But I
can look upon thee in the natural man." Moreover, Moses said: "I will
not cease to call upon God, I have other things to inquire of him; for
his glory has been upon me, wherefore I can judge between him and thee.
Depart hence, Satan." When Moses had said this Satan cried with a loud
voice saying he was the Only Begotten. Then Moses feared exceedingly
but did not cease to call upon the Lord and there was opened to his
vision the bitterness of hell, and in the strength of his power Moses
again rebuked Satan, who with trembling and gnashing of teeth, departed
from him. Moses bore record of all these things, but because of the
wickedness of men it is not had among them.

The Work and Glory of the Lord

After this trying scene the Lord again spoke with Moses who was
commissioned to deliver the people of Israel from bondage. His eyes
were opened and he beheld many lands and their inhabitants without
number. The Lord taught him, and explained that there were many heavens
and many earths like this on which we stand. They are innumerable to
man, yet the Lord knows them all and they are numbered unto him. These
earths were peopled by his children, for his work and his glory are to
bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Therefore, as
one earth and its accompanying heaven shall pass away, having filled
the measure of its creation, so shall others come. There is no end to
the works and the words of the Father, for in this there is eternal
progression. However, our knowledge, in the wisdom of the Lord, is, of
necessity, limited to the earth on which we dwell.

Other Important Revelations

The information contained in this ancient scripture caused the hearts
of the brethren to rejoice. The Lord continued to pour out knowledge
upon them, here a little, and there a little, as they were able to
receive it. Early in July (1830) another revelation was given to Joseph
Smith and Oliver Cowdery, in Harmony, Pennsylvania. They were commanded
to return to the Saints in Colesville, Manchester and Fayette, and the
members would support them. They should expound the scriptures and
devote their time exclusively to the cause of Zion, and if the members
should not support them in these labors, then would the Lord withdraw
his blessings. "Be patient in affliction," said the Lord, "for thou
shalt have many: but endure them, for lo, I am with thee, even unto the
end of thy days." The afflictions surely came, for Joseph Smith was
called on to suffer, as few men have had to suffer. He was to attend to
his calling, for the Lord would withhold his power in temporal things
that he should not have strength.

Oliver Cowdery was also commanded to continue in the ministry and not
suppose that he could say enough in the cause, and if he would be
faithful the Lord would open his mouth and he should have strength such
as is not known among men. This promise was fulfilled, for the Lord
blessed Oliver in preaching to that extent that those who heard him
were caused to quake and tremble.[1] Power was given to these men to
bless or curse; those who received them they were to bless, and from
those who rejected them they were to withhold their blessing and to
wash their feet against them as a testimony. Should any lay violent
hands upon them, they should command them to be smitten, and the Lord
would smite them in his own due time. They were to take neither purse
nor scrip, neither two coats, as they went forth to prune the vineyard,
with a mighty pruning, "even for the last time."

Emma Smith to Select Hymns

In the same month (July, 1830) the Lord gave a revelation to Emma
Smith, the wife of Joseph Smith, in which she was commanded not to
murmur because of the things which she had not seen. As many other
wives have thought, she could not understand why her husband should
withhold from her a view of sacred things. The Lord assured her that
it was for a wise purpose, in him, that these things were withheld,
except from the few who were called to be witnesses to the world. She
was called "an elect lady" whose duty it was to expound scripture,
and exhort the Church, as she was directed by the Spirit; but more
especially was she called to assist her husband in writing and to be
his scribe, that Oliver Cowdery might be relieved to attend to other
duties. She was also chosen to make a selection of sacred hymns for the
Church, "for," said the Lord, "my soul delighteth in the song of the
heart, yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall
be answered with a blessing upon their heads." If she would continue in
meekness, and beware of pride, and keep the commandments of the Lord,
she should receive a crown of righteousness; except she did this, where
the Lord was she should not come, which truth applied to all.


1. Statement of President Wilford Woodruff, _Deseret News_, March 3,

Chapter 14

The Public Ministry of the Church (2)


Oliver Cowdery's Error

Another revelation given in July, 1830, instructed Joseph Smith, Oliver
Cowdery and John Whitmer, to devote their time to the study of the
scriptures, to preaching and confirming the Church in Colesville, and
performing such labors as should be required of them, until after they
should go to the west to hold conference. All things were to be done
in the Church by common consent, in prayer and faith. Oliver Cowdery
returned to Fayette and Joseph began to arrange the revelations ready
for recording. In this work he was assisted by John Whitmer. While they
were thus engaged a letter was received from Oliver Cowdery commanding
Joseph "in the name of God to erase" certain words from one of the
revelations, "that no priestcraft be amongst us." Joseph immediately
answered by letter that he could not alter the revelations of the
Lord. It became necessary, however, for him to make a trip to Fayette
to correct the error in Oliver's mind, for the latter had convinced
several others that the revelation was wrong. After some difficulty
and earnest prayer, they were all convinced that the words of the
revelation were right, and peace again prevailed.

Instructions on the Sacrament

In the month of August, Newel Knight and his wife came to Harmony on
a visit. As the wives of Newel Knight and Joseph Smith had neither
of them been confirmed, that matter was attended to at this time. A
meeting was held in which the four and John Whitmer participated, and
desiring to partake of the sacrament, Joseph set out to purchase some
wine. He had not proceeded far from his door when he was met by an
angel who gave him the following commandment:

    "Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Lord, your God, and your
    Redeemer, whose word is quick and powerful. For behold, I say unto
    you, that it mattereth not what ye shall eat, or what ye shall
    drink, when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do
    it with an eye single to my glory; remembering unto the Father my
    body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for
    the remission of your sins. Wherefore, a commandment I give unto
    you, that you shall not purchase wine, neither strong drink of your
    enemies: Wherefore, you shall partake of none, except it is made
    new among you; yea, in this my Father's kingdom which shall be
    built up on the earth."

This is one of the many important revelations (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 27)
given to the Church. The knowledge that it matters not what we eat or
drink, if we partake of the sacrament in the Spirit of the Lord and by
divine authority, is the foundation for the present practice in the
Church of using water instead of wine, for so the Lord has commanded.

In September the Lord added to this revelation stating that the time
would come when he would "drink of the fruit of the vine" on the earth
with the ancient prophets and apostles, from Michael, or Adam, the
"ancient of days," down to our own day, including all the faithful whom
the Father has given him out of the world.

In obedience to the above commandment, they prepared wine of their own
making and partook of the sacrament, confirming the two sisters as
members of the Church.

Joseph Moves to Fayette

The spirit of persecution became so strong in Harmony, that Joseph
Smith was forced to leave and take up his residence in Fayette. Even
his father-in-law, Isaac Hale, turned against him because of the
falsehoods which were circulated and the prejudice existing in the
neighborhood. This bitterness he retained throughout his life. In
August, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, with John and David Whitmer, went to
Colesville and visited the members of the Church residing there. They
prayed that the eyes of their enemies might be blinded, for the enmity
in Colesville was extreme. Their prayers were answered, and though they
passed by a number of the most bitter of the mobocrats, who looked
intently upon them, yet they were not recognized. In the evening of
the day of their arrival--a meeting was held and those who had been
previously baptized were all confirmed. They partook of the sacrament,
sang and praised the Lord in testimony without molestation. The next
morning the brethren took leave of the Saints in peace and in due time
arrived home in safety.

Spurious Revelations of Hiram Page

Shortly after Joseph Smith made his home in Fayette, Satan commenced
a subtle attack upon the work within the Church. Hiram Page, one of
the eight witnesses, obtained a stone with which he was receiving
revelations purporting to be for the guidance of the Church; but these
revelations were at variance with those given to Joseph Smith, and also
with the teachings of the Savior and his apostles, as contained in the
New Testament. Oliver Cowdery and members of the Whitmer family were
deceived. Through the Prophet the Lord gave a revelation to Oliver
Cowdery in which the order of heaven, in regard to revelation, was
pointed out for the guidance of the Church. "Behold, verily, verily, I
say unto thee," said the Lord, "no one shall be appointed to receive
commandments and revelations in this Church, excepting my servant
Joseph Smith, Jun., for he receiveth them even as Moses; and thou
shalt be obedient unto the things which I shall give unto him, even
as Aaron, to declare faithfully the commandments and the revelations,
with power and authority in the Church." It was further stated that
there should be none other appointed to receive revelations, until the
Lord should appoint another in his stead, for he held the keys of this
power. Oliver was instructed to take Hiram Page, alone, and tell him
that the revelations he had received were not from the Lord, but were
given through the power of Satan, who had deceived him. Oliver was also
instructed that he was to write by wisdom, but he was not to command
him who was at the head.

The Mission to the Lamanites

The Lord, in this revelation, appointed Oliver Cowdery to take a
mission to the Lamanites in the west, "and inasmuch as they receive
thy teachings," it read, "thou shalt cause my Church to be established
among them." There were other reasons for this mission, which were not
fully revealed. It is probable that in the spurious revelations of
Hiram Page some reference was made to the building of the city Zion. In
any case, the Lord explained that it was not revealed, and no man knew,
where the city Zion shall be built, "but it shall be given hereafter.
Behold, I say unto you, that it shall be on the borders of the
Lamanites." This mission was not to be taken until after the conference
which had been appointed for the 26th of September. Oliver was also
first to settle the difficulty with Hiram Page, who was to be taught
that he had not been appointed to receive revelations for the Church.

The Doctrine of Gathering--Destruction of the Wicked

Again the heavens were opened and the Lord made known many of his
purposes and decrees which were for these latter days. A revelation
(Doc. and Cov. Sec. 29) was given shortly before the second conference
of the Church, containing instruction which was helpful for the
guidance of the elders at that conference. They were taught the
doctrine of the gathering of the Saints. The decree had gone forth from
the mansions of the Father, that the Saints should be gathered into one
place, for they were chosen out of the world, and they were to prepare
their hearts against the day when tribulation and desolation would be
sent forth upon the wicked. The hour is nigh, the Lord declared, when
the earth should be ripe for destruction, for wickedness shall cease.

Because of the wickedness of the world, for the inhabitants thereof
will not repent, the Lord should send forth terrible plagues to torment
mankind. Great hailstorms should destroy the crops of the earth; flies
shall "take hold of the inhabitants" and eat their flesh; their tongues
shall be staid, and their flesh fall from their bones and their eyes
from their sockets. The beasts of the forests, and the fowls of the
air shall eat their bodies, and the great and abominable church, which
shall endure until the end of unrighteousness on the earth, shall be
cast down by devouring fire, as Ezekiel had said, for abomination must
not reign.

All these things were predicted by the apostles and must be fulfilled;
and the twelve who were with the Savior in his ministry shall come in
glory to judge the house of Israel who have been faithful, "and none
else." The trump shall sound, the righteous dead will rise and Christ
reign on the earth with his Saints for a thousand years. After the
thousand years are ended, and men begin again to forsake the Lord, the
earth shall be spared but for a little season. The final resurrection
shall come; the righteous received in to eternal life and the wicked
banished to partake of the second death with the devil and his angels.
The second death is that same death which was first pronounced on
Adam--banishment from the presence of the Lord. Those who partake of it
cannot return, for they have no power. Then shall come the redemption
of the earth, for old things shall pass away and all things become
new, yet not "one hair, neither mote, shall be lost" for it is the
workmanship of the hands of the Lord.

The Second Conference of the Church

According to appointment, on the 26th of September, the Church met in
conference at Fayette. There were present eight elders, four priests
and two teachers when the conference convened. Thirty-five persons had
joined the Church, making a total of sixty-two in all. Joseph Smith
opened the meeting with prayer and then read the fifth chapter of
Isaiah, which speaks of the gathering, and made comments thereon. The
matter of Hiram Page's "peepstone" was discussed and after considerable
investigation, Hiram Page and all who were present, renounced the
stone, and there was mutual satisfaction and happiness again. At this
conference, which continued for three days, the Spirit of the Lord
was manifest; much business was attended to, and those previously
baptized were confirmed. Special prayer was offered in behalf of Oliver
Cowdery and Peter Whitmer, Jr., who were called to go to the Lamanites.
Peter Whitmer, Jr., was called by revelation at this conference to
that mission. When the conference adjourned it was to meet January 1,
1831, and David Whitmer was appointed to keep the record. There were
some baptisms during the conference and a number of the brethren were

The Call to Ziba Peterson and Parley P. Pratt

A great desire being made manifest on the part of others to accompany
Oliver Cowdery and Peter Whitmer, Jr., to the Lamanites, it was made a
matter of inquiry before the Lord. The result was that Ziba Peterson
and Parley P. Pratt were also appointed to go. Ziba Peterson was among
the first baptized and was an elder at the first conference of the
Church. Parley P. Pratt was a resident of the wilderness of Ohio not
far from the city of Cleveland. While on a missionary tour for the
"Disciples" or "Campbellites," as they are called, and a visit to his
former home in Columbia County, New York, he first heard of the Book of
Mormon through a Baptist preacher by the name of Hamlin, who placed a
copy in his hands. After reading it partly through Parley changed his
plans and went to Manchester in search of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
There he met Hyrum Smith who taught him the Gospel and presented him
with a copy of the Book of Mormon which he again very carefully read.
Late in August, with Hyrum Smith, he journeyed to Fayette, where he
was baptized by Oliver Cowdery about the first of September. Shortly
afterwards he was ordained an elder and then continued on his journey
to his father's home. There he preached the Gospel to his parents
and many of his boyhood friends. His younger brother, Orson, a youth
19 years of age, readily accepted his message and became a member of
the Church. Returning to Fayette, Parley P. Pratt was appointed by
revelation to take the missionary journey with Oliver Cowdery to the
borders of Missouri, among the Lamanites.

The Missionaries Depart

In the fall of 1830, these four missionaries started on their journey
to the west. On their way they preached the Gospel among the people
as opportunity would permit. Near Buffalo, New York, they visited
the Catteraugus Indians and left two copies of the Book of Mormon
with members of the tribe who could read, and then continued on their
journey. When they came to Kirtland, Ohio, near the home of Elder
Pratt, they tarried for some time. Parley P. Pratt was acquainted
with Mr. Sidney Rigdon, one of the leaders of the "Disciples," who
with Alexander Campbell and Walter Scott, had been instrumental in
the founding of that sect. They believed in the doctrines of faith,
repentance and baptism for the remission of sins; but accepted the
Bible as the only guide unto salvation. Convinced that the religious
world had gone astray, these men had formed this organization with
sincere desire to follow closely the teachings of the early disciples
of the Lord. Through his preaching Sidney Rigdon had converted many
souls unto this faith.

Parley P. Pratt, believing that many of the "Disciples" would readily
receive the truth, had persuaded his fellow missionaries to spend some
time among them in Ohio where they were located on what was called the
"Western Reserve."

Sidney Rigdon

The first house at which they called, in Mentor, was the home of Sidney
Rigdon. After the usual greetings, they presented Mr. Rigdon with a
copy of the Book of Mormon, stating that it contained the record of
the ancient people of America, and that the Lord had again established
his Church in the earth with the authority of the Holy Priesthood.
This was the first time Sidney Rigdon had heard of the Book of Mormon
and of Joseph Smith. Replying to their statements, he said he had the
Bible, which he believed to be the word of God; as for the Book of
Mormon, he had considerable doubt of its divinity. He refused to argue
with them, but promised to read the book. At their earnest solicitation
Sidney Rigdon allowed the elders to hold meetings in his chapel. A
large congregation assembled and gave close attention to the remarks of
the elders. At the conclusion of the services Sidney Rigdon instructed
the people to consider carefully the remarkable things they had heard,
lest it should prove to be the truth. With deep and earnest study, he
read the contents of the Book of Mormon, praying for divine guidance,
and in the course of about two weeks, he received a manifestation so
that he could say, "Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto me, but
my Father, which is in heaven." He and his wife were then baptized and
also many of his congregation.

In Kirtland the elders were also successful. The people besieged the
missionaries both day and night, until they had very little time for
rest. The greater number heard the tidings gladly, but some, there
were, who came to dispute and oppose the work of the Lord. In a very
short time branches of the Church were established numbering in all
about one thousand souls.

The Journey Continued

The missionary elders continued on their journey after a stay of two
or three weeks in Kirtland, leaving a number of the new converts to
continue with the work. Sidney Rigdon, Frederick G. Williams, Isaac
Morley, John Murdock, Lyman Wight and Edward Partridge later became
members of the Church and were ordained to the Priesthood.

Having accomplished this great work, and leaving watchmen for the
tender flock, the missionaries took Dr. Frederick G. Williams with
them. About fifty miles west of Kirtland, they passed through the
country where Parley P. Pratt first made settlement in the western
country. Here, again, they made a stop and preached the Gospel. The
people were all excited over the things they had heard, for the
knowledge of the labors of the brethren had preceded them. Other
converts were made, including Simeon Carter, and although some
opposition and bitterness was manifest, in the course of a short time
a branch was raised up numbering about sixty souls. Arriving near the
border of Ohio, the missionaries spent some days among the Wyandots,
who received them kindly and rejoiced in the story of their fathers
as they learned it from the Book of Mormon. In the city of Cincinnati
they spent several days, and being disappointed in not being able
to take boat, continued on their journey afoot to St. Louis. In the
midst of winter weather, and suffering great hardships in a country
little traveled by man, they pursued their journey till they arrived
at Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, at that time scarcely more
than a trading post on the borders of the United States. They reached
Independence early in the year 1831; their journey had taken them a
distance of nearly fifteen hundred miles, through a wilderness, in the
most inclement season of the year. Four months had they been upon the
journey, but during that time they had preached the Gospel to many
thousands of white people and two nations of Indians. Churches had been
built up and the work advanced along the route of their travels. This
was the first missionary journey west of the state of New York, and its
results were to be of incalculable benefit to the Church in years to

The Book of Mormon Taken to the Lamanites

In the land of the Lamanites, the elders preached the Gospel to the
Delawares, presenting them with the Book of Mormon which they received
with rejoicing. Oliver Cowdery explained to them in detail the coming
forth of the Book of Mormon. A Mr. Pool, who believed the testimony
of these elders, became their interpreter. Several of the Indians
could read, and to them they gave copies of the Book of Mormon. The
Indians answered them by saying: "We feel thankful to our white friends
who have come so far, and been at such pains to tell us good news,
and especially this new news concerning the book of our forefathers;
it makes us glad in here," and the speaker for the tribe placed his
hand on his heart. This good labor, however, was not to last, for the
excitement reached the settlements in Missouri, and due to the efforts
of sectarian priests the Indian agents ordered the missionaries out
of the Indian country as disturbers of the peace, threatening to use
military force in case of non-compliance. With disappointment they
withdrew and thus ended the first mission to the Lamanites. From this
time on they devoted their labors to the white people in Jackson
County. However, they had declared the message of salvation to three
great tribes, the Catteraugus, in New York, the Wyandots of Ohio, and
the Delawares, west of Missouri.

It was now decided that Parley P. Pratt should return to Kirtland, and
perhaps to New York to report their labors, visit the branches they
had organized on their journey, and procure more books. In February he
started on his journey, alone. In Kirtland he met the Prophet, who had
come to that place, and to him he made a report.

Part Three

The Ohio and Missouri Period

Chapter 15

Removal of the Church in New York to Ohio


"A Crooked Generation"

In October 1830, Ezra Thayer and Northrop Sweet were called by
revelation, as they had sought the will of the Lord, to preach the
Gospel unto "a crooked and perverse generation." "My vineyard,"
declared the Lord, "has become corrupt every whit; and there is none
which doth good save it be a few; and they err in many instances
because of priestcrafts; all having corrupt minds. And verily, verily,
I say unto you, that this Church have I established and called forth
out of the wilderness: and even so will I gather mine elect from the
four quarters of the earth, even as many as will believe in me, and
hearken unto my voice."

Call of Edward Partridge and Orson Pratt

In November Orson Pratt, the younger brother of Parley P. Pratt, who
had been baptized by his brother Parley a few weeks earlier in Canaan,
Columbia County, N. Y., came to Fayette to learn the will of the Lord
concerning himself. In the following December Sidney Rigdon came from
Ohio on a similar visit, bringing with him a young man named Edward
Partridge, who was not a member of the Church. Edward Partridge, the
day after his arrival, satisfied with what he had seen and heard, was
baptized by Joseph Smith and later was confirmed by Sidney Rigdon. Both
of these young men, Orson Pratt and Edward Partridge, were called to
labor in the ministry and received the commendation and blessing of the
Lord for their faith and desire to serve him. "And this commandment,"
said the Lord, "shall be given unto the elders of my Church, that every
man which will embrace it with singleness of heart, may be ordained and
sent forth, even as I have spoken."

Sidney Rigdon to Write

Sidney Rigdon was commanded to be a companion to Joseph Smith and
to "forsake him not;" moreover, he was to write for him, "and the
scriptures shall be given, even as they are in mine own bosom, to the
salvation of mine elect," was the word of the Lord to him.

Lost Scriptures Restored

By commandment of the Lord, a revision of the scriptures by inspiration
had already commenced. Much conjecture frequently occurred among the
Saints regarding scripture mentioned in the Bible that could not be
found. They had learned in the reading of the Book of Mormon, "that
many plain and precious things" had been taken away from the Bible as
it went forth among the Gentiles. Many of these the Lord promised to
restore. From time to time, as their labors would permit, the Prophet
received by revelation these scriptures which, were lost, and Sidney
Rigdon wrote for him. Shortly after the coming of Sidney Rigdon to
Fayette, the Lord revealed the writings of Enoch, spoken of by Jude,
which caused much rejoicing among the Saints. These revelations now
form a part of the Book of Moses, in the Pearl of Great Price.

Command to Go to Ohio

Soon after the restoration of the words of Enoch, the Lord commanded
that the correction of the scriptures should cease until Joseph Smith
and companions could remove to Ohio. Such a step was necessary, the
Lord declared, "because of the enemy and for your sakes." However, they
were not to go in haste, but first to strengthen the several branches
of the Church in New York; especially that at Colesville, where the
members exercised much faith. Not only were Joseph and the brethren
with him to go to Ohio, but the Lord instructed all the Saints in New
York also to journey there, "against the time" when Oliver Cowdery
should return from the Lamanites.

Conference of January, 1831

In January, 1831, a conference was held in Fayette. Ordinary business
was transacted and a revelation given in which the Lord made known the
reason for the removal of the Church to the West (Doc. and Cov. Sec.
38). "All eternity is pained," the revelation read, "and the angels are
waiting the great command to reap down the earth, to gather the tares
that they may be burned." This was because "all flesh is corrupted" and
the powers of darkness prevail. The Lord revealed that the wicked were
plotting in secret chambers the destruction of Joseph Smith and the
Church. However, he would lead the Saints, to a land of promise, and
they and their children after them should possess it forever, if they
would seek it with all their hearts as an inheritance. This reference
was to Zion, the location of which the Lord had not yet revealed. They
were commanded to assemble in Ohio, and there he would give unto them
his law and these things should be made known. They were to dispose of
their property as best they could; farms that could not be sold should
be rented, and men of wisdom were to be appointed to look after the
interests of the poor and needy and send them forth to the place the
Lord commanded them.

In the latter part of January, Joseph Smith and his wife, accompanied
by Sidney Rigdon and Edward Partridge, moved to Kirtland. They were
welcomed there by Newel K. Whitney, and Joseph and his wife remained
in the Whitney home for several weeks receiving every kindness and
attention which could be shown in Christian love.

The Branch in Kirtland

The branch of the Church in Kirtland had been living according to a
plan called "common stock" or the holding of all property in common.
This arrangement had been in practice before they joined the Church,
but false spirits crept in among them causing them to receive strange
notions in variance with the Gospel plan. With a little caution and
exercise of wisdom, the Prophet persuaded them to abandon this plan and
their difficulties were removed.

The Law Given to Govern the Church

On the fourth of February, the Lord gave direction by revelation that
the elders of the Church should assemble together to agree on his word;
for he would give them his law by which the Church was to be governed.
Instructions were also given that Joseph Smith should have a house
built wherein he could live and translate, and receive the ancient
scriptures from the Lord. Edward Partridge was to receive the office
of bishop in the Church and to spend all his time in that ministry,
leaving his merchandise, to labor in the interests of the members of
the Church.

At Kirtland, on the 9th of February, in the presence of twelve elders,
the Lord revealed his law by which the Church was to be governed,
according to the promise given in Fayette. This important revelation
(Doc. and Cov. Sec. 42) may be termed a code of laws for the government
and guidance of the members of the Church. Their attitude towards the
law of the land as well as the moral law was clearly established.
As members of the Church they were to keep the Church covenants and
articles, and the Lord would reveal unto them, from time to time,
other covenants sufficient to establish them in Ohio and later in the
New Jerusalem, or city of Zion, the site of which would presently be
revealed. The duties of the bishop and other officers in the Church
were defined. Idlers were condemned; for, said the Lord, "the idler
shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer." The
Bible and the Book or Mormon were to be the standards on doctrine,
and they who have not the Spirit were not to teach. The manner of
administering to the sick was explained, and the Saints instructed to
live together in love. This is one of the very important revelations
given to the Church.

A Woman's "Revelation"

Soon after this revelation was given a woman named Hubble came among
the people pretending to have revelations, and professing to be a
prophetess of the Lord. By declaring that the Book of Mormon was the
word of the Lord, and appearing to be very righteous, she deceived some
of the Saints.

For the benefit of the members a revelation was received by Joseph
Smith in which the Church was instructed to hearken to him, for there
was none other appointed to receive revelations for the Church, and
none other should be appointed while he lived, if he remained true to
his trust. This commandment had previously been given, when Hiram Page
was led into error; but it seemed the Lord must speak again on this
point before the Saints could understand. The members of the Church
were instructed to purge themselves from all iniquity, and the Lord
would give them knowledge, even the mysteries of his kingdom would be
revealed, if they would sustain and assist Joseph Smith. The elders
were instructed to go forth and preach the Gospel, laboring in the
vineyard for the last time, for the Lord would shortly come upon the
earth in judgment.

Important Revelations to The Church

During the spring and summer of 1831, a number of important revelations
were received. On March 7, the Lord made known many things (Doc.
and Cov. Sec. 45) pertaining to his second coming and the signs of
the times. After revealing in clearness the teachings given to his
disciples in Jerusalem, relative to the destruction of the temple, the
scattering of the Jews, and the signs which should precede his second
coming, he made known many things which should take place in the day
in which we live. He spoke of the signs and wonders; of the gathering
of the Jews; the darkening of the sun and the bathing of the moon in
blood; of his second coming and his judgments upon the nations; the
redemption of the Jews, who shall look upon him whom they have pierced;
the binding of Satan; the millennial reign, and the redemption of
heathen nations and those who knew no law.

Zion a Place of Refuge

Zion, the New Jerusalem, shall be built and there the righteous shall
come to Zion from among all nations, singing songs of everlasting joy.
They will be the only people who will not be at war, and every man who
will not take up his sword against his neighbor, must flee to Zion for
safety. Such is to be the condition of the world before the coming of
the Lord.

John Whitmer, Historian

In another revelation John Whitmer was appointed to keep the records of
the Church, and assist Joseph Smith in transcribing all things given
for the history.

"For," said the revelation, "Oliver Cowdery I have appointed to another
office. Wherefore it shall be given him (Whitmer) in as much as he is
faithful, by the Comforter, to write these things."

The Purchase of Lands

As the Saints in New York had been commanded to settle in Ohio, the
residents in that place were instructed to impart of their lands,
as they were able to do, for the benefit of their brethren from the
east for it was needful that they should remain in Ohio for a time.
Eventually, however, it was expected that they would move farther
westward, and the members of the Church were to save their money for
the purpose of buying lands for an inheritance in the city Zion, when
the location of that place should be revealed. This information should
be made known when the brethren arrived from the east, for to them it
was to be revealed. "And they shall be appointed to purchase the lands,
and to make a commencement to lay the foundation of the city, and then
shall you begin to be gathered with your families, every man according
to his family--as is appointed to him by the presidency and the bishop
of the Church."

Equality Among the Families

In the month of May the Saints from New York commenced to arrive in
Ohio, and it fell to the lot of Bishop Partridge to assign to them
their lands. They were to be made equal according to their families
and their needs. The head of each family was to receive a certificate
to secure him and his portion and inheritance in the Church. Should
a man transgress, after receiving his portion and standing, he was
not to have power to claim that portion which had been consecrated
to the bishop for the use of the poor and needy of the Church; but
he could retain that portion which was deeded to him. A storehouse
was to be provided and the substance of the people, more than needful
for individual use, was to be placed therein, for the wants of the
people, to be kept by the bishop, who was to distribute it as the
necessities of the people should demand. In this manner the doctrine
of consecration was partially put into practice, as a preparatory step
before the members of the Church should go to Zion--for in Zion the law
of the united order, or consecration of properties, was the law upon
which that city should be built. "And thus I grant unto this people,"
the Lord declared, with reference to the New York Saints, "a privilege
of organizing themselves according to my laws; and I consecrate unto
them this land for a little season, until I, the Lord, shall provide
for them otherwise, and command them to go hence."

The Important Conference of June 1831

In the month of February the Lord had commanded that word be sent out
to the elders of the Church calling them from the east and from the
west; from the north and from the south; to meet in conference and
receive instruction. Accordingly, a conference was set for June 3,
which convened at Kirtland and continued until the sixth. The Spirit
of the Lord was displayed in a marvelous way, and the power of the
evil one, which was made manifest in opposition to the work, was
successfully rebuked.

The First High Priests Ordained

At this conference the first high priests in this dispensation were
ordained. Lyman Wight, John Murdock, Reynolds Cahoon, Harvey Whitlock
and Hyrum Smith, were ordained to the office of high priest, by Joseph
Smith the Prophet; Joseph Smith, Sen., Joseph Smith the Prophet, Parley
P. Pratt, Thomas B. Marsh, Isaac Morley, Edward Partridge, Joseph
Wakefield, Martin Harris, Ezra Thayer, Ezra Booth, John Corrill, Samuel
H. Smith, John Whitmer and Sidney Rigdon, were ordained to the office
of high priest, under the hands of Lyman Wight. Edward Partridge,
the bishop of the Church, then blessed those who had been ordained.
John Corrill and Isaac Morley were then sustained and ordained as
assistants, or counselors, to Bishop Whitney, under the hands of Lyman
Wight. All this was done by commandment from the Lord.

The Mission of John

During the conference, Joseph Smith the Prophet was led to say, "that
John the Revelator was then among the ten tribes of Israel who had been
led away by Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, to prepare them for their
return from their long dispersion."

The Elders Called to Missouri

The spirit of prophecy was abundantly manifest and during the sessions
of this conference a number of revelations were received. Many of the
elders were called to take their journey through the western country,
going two by two, preaching the Gospel, and were to assemble again in
Jackson County, Missouri, where the next conference was to be held. The
Lord said to them: "And thus, even as I have said if ye are faithful,
ye shall assemble yourselves together to rejoice upon the land of
Missouri, which is the land of your inheritance, which is now the land
of your enemies. But, behold, I the Lord, will hasten the city in its
time, and will crown the faithful with joy and with rejoicing."

The Thompson Branch

The members of the Church from Colesville, New York, on their arrival
in Ohio, were located at a place called Thompson, about sixteen miles
northwest of Kirtland. Here, as we have learned, they were directed to
live according to the Lord's law, that is, the order of stewardship
and consecration of properties. Among these people there resided a
man named Leman Copley, who was a member of the "Shaking Quakers"
before he joined the Church. He owned a large tract of land which he
agreed to turn over to the Colesville branch to occupy in this manner
of stewardship, agreeable with the revelation they had received.
It appears that Copley had not been fully converted to the Gospel
and he, with some others, later rebelled and broke the covenant of
consecration. This caused confusion among the Colesville Saints and
placed them at the mercy of their enemies, as well as in jeopardy
before the Lord. In their distress they sent Newel Knight, who was in
charge of the branch at Thompson, to the Prophet to learn what they
should do. The Lord spoke unto them saying that their covenant had been
broken and therefore was of no effect, and it would have been better
for the one who was responsible for the offense, "had he been drowned
in the depth of the sea." The members of the branch were now commanded
to journey to Missouri, "unto the borders of the Lamanites," and there
they were to seek "a living like unto men," until the Lord might
prepare a place for them. Almost immediately they took their departure
under the guidance of Newel Knight, for Missouri.

A Letter from Missouri

A few days following the conference a letter was received from Oliver
Cowdery, dated May 7, giving an account of the labors of himself and
companions in Missouri. He spoke of their labors among the Lamanites,
and of a tribe of "Navashoes" farther to the west, near Santa Fe.
Almost the whole country where he and his fellow laborers were located,
he declared, consisted of "Universalists, Atheists, Presbyterians,
Methodists, Baptists, and other professing Christians, priests and
people; with all the devils from the infernal pit, united and foaming
out their shame," against the elders of the Church. Then he adds: "God
forbid that I should bring a railing accusation against them, for
vengeance belongs to him who is able to pay." His expressed opinion
of these inhabitants of the border land was all too true, as events
immediately to follow will attest.

The Mission to the West

About the middle of June (1831) the elders who were appointed at the
conference, commenced their journey westward, traveling two by two.
Ezra Thayer, the companion chosen for Thomas B. Marsh, failed to go.
Selah J. Griffin was appointed to go in his stead. On the 19th of
June, Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Martin Harris, Edward Partridge,
William W. Phelps, Joseph Coe, and Algernon Sidney Gilbert, took up
their journey for Missouri. All these missionaries, and others not here
mentioned, commenced their travels with great anticipation of what the
result would be. Their destination was the "land of their inheritance,"
where Zion--the New Jerusalem--should be built. The Lord had promised
that the site for this holy city should be revealed to them at their
journey's end.

Chapter 16

The Land of Zion--Its Dedication


Character of Inhabitants

About the middle of July, 1831, the missionaries commenced to arrive
in western Missouri, and were met with tears of joy by their brethren
there. Here, on the borders of the United States, had gathered
renegades from the east; lawless and vile outcasts, who had been
forced to flee to the west for safety. "How natural it was," wrote the
Prophet, "to observe the degradation, leanness of intellect, ferocity,
and jealousy, of a people that were nearly a century behind the times."

First Sabbath in Zion

The first Sabbath (July 17, 1831), the elders spent in Jackson County,
William W. Phelps preached a public discourse. His congregation was
composed of "specimens of all the families of the earth." After this
meeting two persons, who had previously believed, were baptized.

Arrival of the Colesville Branch

A few days later the members of the Colesville branch, from Thompson,
Ohio, arrived in Missouri and were located on lands in Kaw township,
where a portion of Kansas City is now built.

Assignment of Labors

The duty devolved on the Prophet to assign the labors to the several
elders who were to remain in the Land. Some of them were called by
revelation to make their permanent settlement in Missouri, while others
were instructed to return to the eastern lands, after their mission in
the west was finished. William W. Phelps, who joined the Church at the
time the little band of missionaries were leaving Ohio for Missouri,
had previously been instructed by the Lord (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 55) to
engage with Oliver Cowdery, in the work of printing and selecting and
writing books for schools in the Church, that "little children also
may receive instruction" which would be pleasing to the Lord. Upon his
arrival in Jackson County, this commandment was repeated.

Algernon Sidney Gilbert was appointed to act as agent for the Church
in receiving moneys and buying lands on which the Saints might locate.
Edward Partridge was to act in his calling as bishop of the Church. His
great duty was to divide the inheritances of the members, severally,
according to their needs. In this manner duties were assigned to each
of those expected to remain as a nucleus for the building up of Zion
(Doc. and Cov. Sections 57-58).

Location of the City Revealed

As the Lord had promised, he now fulfilled. In answer to the questions:
"When will the wilderness blossom as the rose? When will Zion be built
up in her glory, and where will thy temple stand, unto which all
nations shall come in the last days?" the Lord gave the following:

    "Hearken, O ye elders of my Church, saith the Lord your God, who
    have assembled yourselves together, according to my commandments,
    in this land, which is the land of Missouri, which is the land
    which I have appointed and consecrated for the gathering of the
    Saints: wherefore this is the land of promise, and the place
    for the city of Zion. And thus saith the Lord your God, if you
    will receive wisdom, here is wisdom: behold, the place which is
    now called Independence, is the center place, and the spot for
    the temple is lying westward, upon a lot which is not far from
    the court house. Wherefore it is wisdom that the land should be
    purchased by the Saints; and also every tract lying westward even
    unto the line running directly between Jew and Gentile. And also
    every tract bordering by the prairies, inasmuch as my disciples are
    enabled to buy lands. Behold, this is wisdom, that they may obtain
    it for an everlasting inheritance" (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 57).

The Saints to Keep the Law

In another revelation (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 58) given at this time, the
members of the Church were commanded to keep the law the Lord had given
them, as well as to observe the laws of the land. "Let no man think he
is ruler," it read, "but let God rule him that judgeth, according to
the counsel of his own will; or, in other words, him that counseleth or
sitteth upon the judgment seat. Let no man break the laws of the land,
for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of
the land: wherefore, be subject to the powers that be, until he reigns
whose right it is to reign, and subdues all enemies under his feet."

After Much Tribulation, the Blessings

That Zion was to be established and the city built at once, was
evidently the idea possessed by some of the Saints; moreover, that they
were at liberty to establish their own laws, independent of all else.
Hence the instructions as here given by the Lord regarding the keeping
of the law. The Lord had warned them previously and given instruction
in regard to their duties and requirements in that land. That the city
was not to be built at that time is indicated in his word: "Ye cannot
behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your
God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory
which shall follow after much tribulation. For after much tribulation
cometh the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned
with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand. Remember
this, which I tell you before, that you may lay it to heart, and
receive that which shall follow. Behold, verily I say unto you, for
this cause I have sent you that you might be obedient, and that your
hearts might be prepared to bear testimony of the things which are to
come and also that you might be honored of laying the foundation, and
of bearing record of the land upon which the Zion of God shall stand"
(Doc. and Cov. Sec. 58).

From this we see that the glory and greatness of the city Zion was
reserved for the future; although in the scriptural sense, the time
"is nigh at hand." These early settlers were to lay the foundation,
and prepare the way for the Saints, who were yet to come, after the
preaching of the Gospel "to the uttermost parts of the earth;" for the
elders were to "push the people together from the ends of the earth."
It was a great honor conferred upon the first laborers in the vineyard,
if they would be faithful to every command.

Dedication of the Land

The Colesville Saints were located in Kaw township. The Prophet
assisted them in laying the first log, "for a house, as a foundation of
Zion" in that place. The log was carried by twelve men representing the
twelve tribes of Israel. At the same time it was made manifest through
prayer that the land should be consecrated and dedicated by Sidney
Rigdon. "It was a season of joy," the Prophet said, "to those present,
and afforded a glimpse of the future, which time will yet unfold to the
satisfaction of the faithful." All this took place on the second day of
August, 1831.

Sidney Rigdon, according to his appointment, stood up and asked:

"Do you receive this land for the land of your inheritance, with
thankful hearts, from the Lord?"

"We do."

"Do you pledge yourselves to keep the law of God on this land, which
you never have kept in your own lands?"

"We do."

"Do you pledge yourselves to see that others of your brethren who shall
come hither do keep the laws of God?"

"We do."

After prayer, Elder Rigdon arose and said: "I now pronounce this
land consecrated and dedicated unto the Lord for a possession and
inheritance for the Saints, and for all the faithful servants of the
Lord, to the uttermost ages of time, in the name of Jesus Christ,
having authority from him. Amen" (_Documentary History of the Church_,
vol. 1:196).

Description of the Land

In addition to the appointment to dedicate the land, Sidney Rigdon was
also called by revelation to write a description of it, to be sent
"unto all the churches." One object of this description was to stir up
the Saints to donate for the purchase of the lands, by placing in the
hands of the bishop money for that purpose. Those who would do this
should be given an inheritance, for Zion was to be built by purchase;
otherwise they could not obtain it except by the shedding of blood,
which was forbidden. The first description written was rejected by the
Lord, and Sidney Rigdon was commanded to write another.

The Future Glory of Zion

Many of the ancient prophets spoke of Zion and her glory. Isaiah
declared that in the latter days "out of Zion shall go forth the law,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem," in that day when swords will
be made into plowshares, and spears into pruning-hooks."[1] Moreover,
again he prophesied, saying:

    "For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish;
    yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. The glory of Lebanon
    shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box
    together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make
    the place of my feet glorious. The sons also of them that afflicted
    thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised
    thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they
    shall call thee, The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy one
    of Israel. Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no
    man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a
    joy of many generations. . . . For brass I will bring gold, and
    for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones
    iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors
    righteousness. Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting
    nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shall call thy walls
    Salvation, and thy gates Praise. The sun shall be no more thy light
    by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee;
    but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God
    thy glory. Thy son shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon
    withdraw itself; for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light,
    and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall
    be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch
    of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.
    A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong
    nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time."[2]

Dedication of the Temple Site

On the 3rd day of August, Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon,
Edward Partridge, William W. Phelps, Martin Harris and Joseph Coe, met
on a spot a little west of the Independence court house, and there they
dedicated the site for the great temple of the latter days. The 87th
Psalm was read, and the scene was most impressive; for here the house
of the Lord was to be reared in the holy city Zion, which had been
spoken of by ancient seers, from whence should go forth the law to the
ends of the earth.

First Conference in Zion

On the 4th day of August (1831) the first conference in that land was
held at the home of Joshua Lewis, in Kaw township. The members of
the Colesville branch formed the greater part of the congregation--a
total of thirty-one souls. The Spirit of the Lord was with them and
they rejoiced. Sidney Rigdon preached and exhorted the Saints "to
obedience to the requisition of heaven," that they might be planted in
their inheritances in Zion. Ziba Peterson, who had been silenced for
wrongdoing, humbled himself and made confession; by unanimous vote he
was reinstated. Joseph Smith addressed the conference and admonished
the people to be true to their covenants that they might receive the

A Commandment and a Promised Blessing

On the 7th, Polly Knight wife of Joseph Knight, Sen., died; she had
been in failing health while on the westward journey. The same day
the Prophet received a revelation of commandment and blessing to the
Saints, in which they were admonished again to keep the commandments
of the Lord. Their course of action was pointed out for them with a
statement that all who had come up to the land to keep the commandments
should be blessed; if they lived they should inherit the earth; if they
died they should rest in the mansions of the Father. On the Lord's day
they were to rest from all labor and assemble in the house of prayer to
partake of the sacrament and confess their sins (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 59).

The Return to Kirtland

On the 9th day of August Joseph Smith and the elders who were to
return, started on their journey back to Kirtland. They traveled
down the Missouri River towards St. Louis. On the third day out they
encountered some of the dangers common on these waters. At a place
called McIlwaine's Bend, William W. Phelps, in open vision, saw the
destroyer in his power, riding upon the waters. The next morning the
Prophet Joseph received a revelation in confirmation of the vision of
Elder Phelps.

Dangers on the Waters

The Lord revealed (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 61) to Joseph Smith the great
dangers that would be upon the waters in these latter days. "Behold, I,
the Lord, in the beginning blessed the waters, but in the last days,
by the mouth of my servant John, I cursed the waters. Wherefore, the
days will come that no flesh shall be safe upon the waters. . . . I,
the Lord, have decreed, and the destroyer rideth upon the face thereof,
and I revoke not the decree." It was further stated that the time would
come when none would dare go upon the waters but those who were pure in
heart, and the elders were counseled to travel by other means than by
the rivers, that their faith fail not.

Object of the Mission to Zion

On the 27th day of August Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery and Sidney
Rigdon arrived in Kirtland; others of the elders had previously
arrived. Their mission had been fulfilled. They had gone to Missouri
for the purpose of receiving definite knowledge concerning the location
of the land and site for the future city of Zion; to dedicate the
land as the "inheritance of the Saints," also to choose and dedicate
a spot for the building of the temple. Those who were to remain were
instructed in their duties and given commandments by which they were to
be governed in that land and upon which their inheritances, and those
of the Saints who should follow after, might be made secure.


1. Isaiah 2:1-4.

2. Isaiah 60:12-22. The following reference to Zion or the New
Jerusalem, is from the prophecy of Ether; Book of Mormon, Ether, 13th

    "Behold, Ether saw the day of Christ, and he spake concerning a New
    Jerusalem upon this land. And he spake also concerning the house of
    Israel, and the Jerusalem from whence Lehi should come--after it
    should be destroyed it should be built up again, a holy city unto
    the Lord; wherefore, it could not be a new Jerusalem for it had
    been in a time of old; but it should be built up again, and become
    a holy city of the Lord; and it should be built unto the house of
    Israel--And that a New Jerusalem should be built upon this land,
    unto the remnant of the seed of Joseph, for which things there has
    been a type. For as Joseph brought his father down into the land of
    Egypt, even so he died there; wherefore, the Lord brought a remnant
    of the seed of Joseph out of the land of Jerusalem, that he might
    be merciful unto the seed of Joseph that they should perish not,
    even as he was merciful unto the father of Joseph that he should
    perish not. Wherefore, the remnant of the house of Joseph shall be
    built upon this land; and it shall be a land of their inheritance;
    and they shall build up a holy city unto the Lord, like unto the
    Jerusalem of old; and they shall no more be confounded, until the
    end come when the earth shall pass away. And there shall be a new
    heaven and a new earth; and they shall be like unto the old save
    the old have passed away, and all things have become new. And then
    cometh the New Jerusalem; and blessed are they who dwell therein,
    for it is they whose garments are white through the blood of the
    Lamb; and they are they who are numbered among the remnant of the
    seed of Joseph, who were of the house of Israel."

Chapter 17

The Book of Commandments--The Vision of the Glories--The Hiram Mobbing


Desire of the Saints for Knowledge of Zion

August 28, the day after the return of the brethren from Missouri, fell
on Sunday. An inspirational meeting was held at which the brethren
reported their labors. Among the business transacted was the ordination
of Oliver Cowdery to the office of high priest "by the voice of the
Church and the command of God, under the hand of Sidney Rigdon," says
the record. Oliver Cowdery was in Missouri when the conference in June
was held, at which the first high priests were ordained.

As the Saints were very anxious to know more in relation to Zion, the
purchasing of lands there and their inheritances, the Prophet inquired
of the Lord, and received a revelation (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 63) in which
the difficulties and persecutions of the Saints in that land were
fore-shadowed. Again the people were cautioned and reproved wherein
they had not kept the commandments of the Lord. Among other things the
Lord declared the following:

    "And now, verily, I say unto you, that as I said that I would make
    known my will unto you, behold I will make it known unto you, not
    by the way of commandment, for there are many who observe not to
    keep my commandments; but unto him that keepeth my commandments,
    I will give the mysteries of my kingdom, and the same shall be in
    him a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life.
    And now, behold, this is the will of the Lord your God concerning
    his Saints, that they should assemble themselves together unto the
    land of Zion, not in haste, lest there should be confusion, which
    bringeth pestilence. Behold, the land of Zion, I, the Lord, holdeth
    it in mine own hands; nevertheless, I, the Lord, render unto Caesar
    the things which are Caesar's. Wherefore, I, the Lord, will that
    you should purchase the lands that you may have advantage of the
    world, that you may have claim on the world, that they may not be
    stirred up unto anger; for Satan putteth it into their hearts to
    anger against you, and to the shedding of blood. Wherefore the
    land of Zion shall not be obtained but by purchase or by blood,
    otherwise there is none inheritance for you. And if by purchase,
    behold you are blessed; and if by blood, as you are forbidden to
    shed blood, lo, your enemies are upon you, and ye shall be scourged
    from city to city, and from synagogue to synagogue, and but few
    shall stand to receive an inheritance. I, the Lord, am angry with
    the wicked; I am holding my Spirit from the inhabitants of the

Apostasy of Ezra Booth

In September Joseph Smith moved with his family to Hiram, in Portage
County, Ohio, about thirty miles southeast of Kirtland, and commenced
living at the home of John Johnson. About this time Ezra Booth left
the Church. He had been ordained a high priest, and had taken the trip
to Missouri, but had been rebellious. Before coming into the Church he
was a Methodist priest; but through the performance of a miracle he
was baptized, and from that time he desired to make men believe by the
performance of miracles, even by smiting them, or with forcible means.
After leaving the Church he wrote a number of articles against the
truth which were afterwards published in an anti-"Mormon" book.

Purchase of a Printing Press

As Oliver Cowdery and William W. Phelps had been called to print and
publish books and writings for the Church, it was necessary that
a printing press be purchased. William W. Phelps was instructed,
therefore, to call at Cincinnati on his return to Missouri, and
purchase a press for this purpose. This press was to be taken to
Independence, where they were to print a monthly paper to be called
the _Evening and Morning Star_. This was the first publication in the

Revision of the Bible

While residing at Hiram, Joseph Smith was engaged in the revision
of the Bible, which work was commenced in Fayette, but had been
delayed by command of the Lord until this time because of other
duties Sidney Rigdon, who also had located in Hiram, continued to
write for him. In course of time the Prophet went through the Bible,
topic by topic, revising as he was led by revelation. The work was
never fully completed, for he had intended, while at Nauvoo, a number
of years later, to finish the work, but was cut off by his enemies.
Nevertheless, many plain and precious things were revealed which throw
great light upon many subjects.

Special Conference of November

As Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer were appointed to go to Missouri
to attend to duties there, which had been assigned to them, a special
conference was called for November 1, 1831, to consider such matters as
might need attention before their departure.

Preparation for Publication of Commandments

At this special conference, which was held at Hiram, the matter of
publishing the revelations and commandments given through Joseph
Smith, was considered. This was the will of the Lord, for during
that conference he gave the revelation--one of the most important
in the Doctrine and Covenants--which he called "my preface unto
the book of my commandments, which I have given them to publish
unto you, O inhabitants of the earth" (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 1). These
inhabitants were commanded, as well as were the Saints, to "search
these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies
and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled." The Lord was
willing, "to make these things known unto all flesh, for I am no
respecter of persons," he said, "and will that all men shall know that
the day speedily cometh; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand, when
peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil shall have power
over his own dominion; and also the Lord shall have power over his
Saints, and shall reign in their midst, and shall come down in judgment
upon Idumea, or the world."

Endorsement of the Revelations

It was decided that an edition of ten thousand copies of the Book of
Commandments should be published. However, at a later date (May 1,
1832) this was changed to three thousand copies. Joseph Smith addressed
the elders and said, inasmuch as the Lord had bestowed a great blessing
upon them in giving commandments and revelations, he would ask the
conference what testimony they were willing to give regarding these
commandments which should shortly be sent to the world. After the
reading of the Lord's preface, a number of the brethren arose and bore
witness to the truth of the revelations, which were to be published in
the Book of Commandments. The conference lasted two days and much other
business was transacted.

Criticism of the Revelations

Not all of those present at the conference fully endorsed these
revelations; there was one at least, who questioned their language.
This was William E. McLellin, who had but recently joined the Church.
The Prophet thereupon received a commandment from the Lord (Doc. and
Cov. Sec. 67) in which he was directed to invite the "most wise among
you" to choose out of the revelations the least, and attempt to make
one like unto it; and if this "wise" individual could duplicate the
least of the revelations, then the elders might be justified in saying
they did not "know that they are true." If this proved to be a failure,
then they would be "under condemnation" if they did not bear record
that they are true.

William E. McLellin's Folly

William E. McLellin, as the wisest man, accepted the challenge from
the Lord. His attempt was a humiliating failure, to the convincing of
the elders present, who unitedly signified their willingness to bear
testimony to all the world, of the truth of the revelations given to
Joseph Smith.

Other Important Revelations

At the conclusion of this conference the Lord gave another commandment
(Doc. and Cov. Sec. 68) for the benefit of Orson Hyde, Luke Johnson,
Lyman E. Johnson and William E. McLellin, who had inquired concerning
themselves. In addition to the advice and commandments given to these
men there was much counsel and commandment for the inhabitants in Zion,
for there were idlers among them, the Lord declared, and they were
to keep the Sabbath day, to remember their prayers, to teach their
children the principles of the Gospel and have them baptized when eight
years old, for these things they were failing to do; therefore the
Lord was not pleased with them. Instructions were also given regarding
the Priesthood and its powers, for the guidance of the Church. This
information Oliver Cowdery was to carry on his return to Zion.

On the 3rd of November, the Lord gave the great revelation known as the
Appendix, to the Book of Commandments, which appears as Section 133 in
the book of Doctrine and Covenants.

Arrangement of the Revelations

It was decided that Oliver Cowdery should carry the revelations to
Missouri, where they should be printed. Joseph Smith was therefore kept
busy during the days intervening, as Oliver expected to leave about the
15th of November. The Prophet writes: "My time was occupied closely
in reviewing the commandments and sitting in conference, for nearly
two weeks; for from the first to the twelfth of November, we held four
special conferences."

Worth of the Revelations

At the last of these conferences, held in Hiram, at the home of John
Johnson, the members voted, after deliberate consideration of the
revelations, "that they prize the revelations to be worth to the Church
the riches of the whole earth, speaking temporally." The benefits to
the Church and to the world, which come from the Book of Mormon and the
revelations to Joseph Smith, were also considered, and the expression
of the conference was to the effect that the infinite wisdom of the
Lord, in granting for their salvation and the salvation of the world,
these sacred things, should be fully appreciated.

Commandments Dedicated

It was voted that Joseph Smith be appointed to dedicate and consecrate
these brethren, Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer, and the sacred
writings entrusted to their care, to the Lord. Moreover, it was also
voted that, in consequence of the diligence of Joseph Smith, Oliver
Cowdery, John Whitmer and Sidney Rigdon, "in bringing to light, by the
grace of God, these sacred things, they be appointed to manage them
according to the laws of the Church, and that their families as well as
the families of Hyrum Smith, Christian Whitmer, Peter Whitmer, Jacob
Whitmer, Hiram Page and David Whitmer, also Samuel Smith, William Smith
and Don Carlos Smith, be remembered to the bishop of Zion as worthy of
inheritances in the land of Zion." In accord with this motion regarding
the dedication of the revelations and those who should carry them,
this action was taken at this time by Joseph Smith. Shortly after this
conference, Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer departed on their journey.

Labors Among the Enemy

On the 1st of December, Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon were commanded
to take "a mission for a season" and call upon the inhabitants of
the earth, and, said the Lord, "confound your enemies; call upon
them to meet you, both in public and in private; and inasmuch as ye
are faithful, their shame shall be made manifest. Wherefore let them
bring forth their strong reason against the Lord." The reason for this
commandment was due to the activities of the apostate Ezra Booth, who
was publishing in Ravenna, Ohio, many falsehoods against the Church.
According to this call Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon left on the 3rd
of December for Kirtland, to fulfil this revelation. For some time they
spoke in Kirtland, Shalersville, Ravenna, and other places, vindicating
the cause and confounding their enemies. They were blessed with the
Spirit of the Lord, and witnessed the fulfilment of the promises made
to them; for they were able to allay much of the excitement and change
false impressions which had grown out of scandalous articles in the
_"Ohio Star"_ at Ravenna.

The Amherst Conference

On the 15th day of January, 1832, a conference was held at Amherst,
Loraine County, Ohio. At this conference much business was transacted
in harmony and in the spirit of fellowship. Joseph Smith was sustained
as President of the High Priesthood. The revelation known as Section
75 in the Doctrine and Covenants was also given in which a number of
elders were called to take missions, two by two, in several directions
throughout the land.

The Vision of the Glories

At the close of this conference, Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon again
took up their work of revising the scriptures. While doing so, "it
appeared self-evident," they declared, "from what truths were left,
that if God rewarded every one according to the deeds done in the
body, the term 'Heaven' is intended for the Saints' eternal home, must
include more kingdoms than one." Accordingly on the 16th of February,
1832, while revising St. John's Gospel, and in answer to their prayer,
they saw the heavens opened and beheld the Father and the Son. The
account of this vision, as it is given in Section 76 of the Doctrine
and Covenants, is one of the choicest bits of literature, and one
of the greatest revelations ever given to man. It throws a flood of
light upon eternity and the destiny of the human race and teaches
the mercy of a loving Father, who saves all the workmanship of his
hands, save it be the sons of perdition, who sin against the light and
crucify their Redeemer again unto themselves. That every man shall be
rewarded according to his works, and that a place has been prepared
for each individual somewhere in the mansion of the Father, after he
is purged from sin, is a glorious and merciful provision in the plan
of salvation, which this vision declares, as it was provided before
the world began. It would be folly to attempt to comment on this most
wonderful revelation of the power and loving kindness of the Lord,
which the words of man cannot adequately express.

The Prophet's Views on the Vision

The words of Joseph Smith pertaining to this opening of the heavens,
are well expressed. "Nothing," he has written, "could be more pleasing
to the Saints upon the order of the kingdom of the Lord, than the light
which burst upon the world through the foregoing vision. Every law,
every commandment, every promise, every truth, and every point touching
the destiny of man, from Genesis to Revelation, where the purity of
the scriptures remains unsullied by the folly of men, go to show the
perfection of the theory [of different degrees of glory in the future
life] and witness the fact that that document is a transcript from the
records of the eternal world. The sublimity of the ideas; the purity
of the language; the scope for action; the continued duration for
completion, in order that the heirs of salvation may confess the Lord
and bow the knee; the rewards for faithfulness, and the punishments
for sins, are so much beyond the narrow-mindedness of men, that every
honest man is constrained to exclaim: "It came from God!" Joseph Smith
or any other man guided by the inspiration of man's power could not
have written it.

Mob Violence in Hiram

Before going to Hiram, Ohio, to live, Joseph Smith and his wife adopted
two children (twins) of Elder John Murdock's. Their mother died at
their birth, and Emma Smith, having lost twins of her own which were
born the same day, took the Murdock twins to raise. In March, 1832,
when these children were about eleven months old, they took the
measles, and their care caused both the Prophet and his wife to lose
much rest. On the night of the 24th, after the family had retired, a
mob surrounded the house, broke open the door and dragged the Prophet
into the open. On the way he managed to get one foot loose with which
he kicked one of the ruffians and knocked him down. At this, with
blasphemous oath, the fiends swore they would kill the Prophet if he
made further resistance. They then choked him until he was unconscious.
When he came too, he discovered Sidney Rigdon, whom they had also
taken from his home and dragged by his heels so that his head struck
at every step on the frozen earth. He was unconscious on the ground.
About sixty rods from the house the mob held a council to decide what
further action they might take. Some were ready to kill the Prophet,
but returning to him they attempted to force a vial of acid in his
mouth, but the vial was broken against his teeth. An attempt was also
made to fill his mouth with tar; failing in this they tore from him
his clothes, and applied the tar with feathers to his body. After
shamefully beating him they left him helpless on the ground. Joseph
attempted to rise, but fell to the ground again. After a while he began
to recover his strength, and made his way with difficulty to his home.

Sidney received similar treatment, which left him delirious for several
days. The Prophet's friends spent the night cleaning the tar from his
body, and the following day, it being the Sabbath, he met with the
people at the regular hour, and addressed them. Several of the members
of the mob were present, including Simonds Ryder, an apostate, and
leader of the mob; a Mr. McClentic and Felatiah Allen, who had provided
the mob with a barrel of whisky to raise their spirits and make them
"brave" to do the deed. During the mobbing one of the twins became
exposed, contracted a severe cold, and a few days later, died.

Second Visit to Missouri

The first of April, Joseph Smith, with Newel K. Whitney and Jesse
Gause, left for Missouri to fulfil the provisions of a revelation (Doc.
and Cov. Sec. 78) in respect to regulating and establishing the affairs
of the store house for the poor, and the consecration of properties.
They were later joined by Sidney Rigdon. On the way they purchased
paper, at Wheeling, Virginia, for the press in Zion, and arrived in
Independence on the 24th of April. Two days later at a general council
of the Church, Joseph Smith was acknowledged by the Saints in Zion as
President of the High Priesthood, ratifying the action of the Amherst
conference, held January 25, 1832.

Zion and Her Stakes

During this conference a revelation was given commanding the elders
to bind themselves in a covenant of consecration, which could not
be broken. Kirtland was to become a "stake of Zion."[1] "For I have
consecrated the land of Shinehah (Kirtland), in mine own due time,"
said the Lord, "for the benefit of the Saints of the Most High, and for
a stake of Zion. For Zion must increase in beauty, and in holiness; her
borders must be enlarged; her stakes must be strengthened; yea, verily
I say unto you, Zion must arise and put on her beautiful garments.
Therefore I give unto you this commandment, that ye bind yourselves by
this covenant, and it shall be done according to the laws of the Lord."

Return to Kirtland

Joseph and the brethren visited the Colesville Saints in Kaw township,
who rejoiced greatly to see them. It was agreed in a council held
on the first of May to print but three thousand copies of the Book
of Commandments, and that the revelations should be reviewed and
prepared by Oliver Cowdery, William W. Phelps and John Whitmer; and
that the hymns selected by Emma Smith be prepared for printing. After
the transaction of other necessary business, Joseph Smith and his
companions, Rigdon and Whitney, returned to Kirtland. On this journey
Joseph was poisoned and Bishop Whitney met with an accident breaking
his leg and foot in several places; both were healed by the power of
the Lord.


1. The term "Stake of Zion," which was first used in a revelation given
in November, 1831 (Sec. 68) is a comparison to the stakes which bind a
tent. Isaiah says: "Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities; thine
eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall
not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed,
neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken" (Ch. 33:20). Again:
"Enlarge the place of thy tent and let them stretch forth the curtains"
of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy
stakes." (Ch. 54:2)

Zion is the tent, the settlements surrounding her, are the cords and
stakes. It is as improper to speak of Zion in Missouri as the "center
stake of Zion," as it would be to call a tent a stake.

Chapter 18

Organization of the First Presidency--Important Revelations


Important Revelations

In the fall of 1832 and continuing through the winter and spring of
1833, a number of remarkable revelations were given for the edification
and guidance of the Church. Great principles of science and philosophy,
as well as of doctrine and spiritual truth, were revealed.

On the 22nd and 23rd of September, at the inquiry of a number of
elders of the Church, the history and power of the Priesthood were
revealed (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 84); the responsibilities taken by those
who are ordained, were explained; the promises made to those who are
faithful that they shall receive the fulness of the blessings of the
father's kingdom--for he had declared it "with an oath and covenant,
which belongeth to the Priesthood," with the penalty attached that
"whoso breaketh this covenant . . . and altogether turneth therefrom,
shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world, nor in the word to
come"--were clearly defined; the place of the great temple, and when it
shall be built, and many other things dealing with the gathering of the
Saints, the building of Zion and its redemption, were set forth.

November 27 the Lord stated that he would send one mighty and strong to
arrange the inheritances of the Saints in Zion (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 85).
December 6, the parable of the wheat and the tares was explained (Doc.
and Cov. Sec. 86). On Christmas day the prophecy on war, which has so
far been fulfilled, was given (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 87). Two days later
the remarkable revelation on scientific and doctrinal truth, known as
the "Olive Leaf" (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 88), was presented to the Church.
In this wonderful communication from the heavens, the following eternal
principles, among many others, were revealed:

The light of Christ is the light of truth and is the light of the sun,
the planets, the stars, and the power by which they were made; it is
the light which quickeneth the intelligence of man; it is the life
and light of all things, and is the law by which they are governed;
it fills the immensity of space; to every kingdom there is given laws
which have their bounds and conditions; there is no space in which
there is no kingdom, great or small; the worlds in space are peopled
with the children of our Father; the earth on which we dwell is a
living body and shall die, but shall be raised again a celestial body
and shall become the abode of celestial beings; the inhabitants of the
earth who are unfaithful must inherit another kingdom in eternity;
he who cannot abide the law of the celestial kingdom, cannot abide a
celestial glory; every man in the resurrection is quickened by the
glory of the kingdom to which he has attained: the spirit and the body
is the soul of man, and the redemption of the soul is through the
death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; after the testimonies of the
elders will come the testimonies of judgments; the order of the signs
preceding the coming of the Savior, are made known; the redemption of
the just; the destruction of the "great and abominable church;" and the
fate of the wicked, are declared among the great truths contained in
this revelation.

In February, 1833, the Lord gave to Joseph Smith the "Word of Wisdom"
(Doc. and Cov. Sec. 89), for the temporal salvation of mankind. March
15, 1833, the doctrines of the eternity of matter; the glory of God is
Intelligence; the innocence of man in the beginning; and many other
things were received (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 93).

The School of the Prophets

In the revelation of December 27, 1833 (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 88), the
elders of the Church were also commanded to "teach one another the
doctrines of the kingdom." They were to be instructed "more perfectly
in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the Gospel, in
all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God," that were expedient
for them to understand. They were to tarry in Kirtland for this
instruction, before they should "go forth, among the Gentiles for
the last time, as many as the mouth of the Lord shall name, to bind
up the law and seal up the testimony, and to prepare the Saints for
the hour of judgment which is to come." They were to seek diligently
out of the best books, words of wisdom and learning "even by study
and also by faith." That this should be accomplished, they were to
prepare a house of prayer, learning and faith, even a house of glory--a
house of God. In it they were to call their solemn assemblies; one
should be appointed as teacher, and not all speak at once. While one
speaks, all others should give attention. In this manner there was to
be perfect order in the School of the Prophets--for so it should be
called. Moreover, the Lord declared: "And this shall be the order of
the house of the presidency of the school: He that is appointed to be
president, or teacher, shall be found standing in his place, in the
house which shall be prepared for him. Therefore, he shall be first in
the house of God, in a place that the congregation in the house may
hear his words carefully and distinctly, not with loud speech." Those
who were entitled to attend should be the officers of the Church who
are called to the ministry, "beginning at the high priests, even down
to the deacons." They were to greet each other in fellowship, with
proper salutations. They should be men who were clean from the blood
of this generation, sober-minded and full of faith. Further, the Lord
stated: "And ye are called to do this by prayer and thanksgiving as
the Spirit shall give utterance in all your doings in the house of the
Lord, in the School of the Prophets, that it may become a sanctuary, a
tabernacle of the Holy Spirit to your edification."

The Coming of Brigham Young and Others

September 10, George Albert Smith, son of John Smith and cousin to the
Prophet, was baptized in Potsdam, New York. He was a youth fifteen
years of age, who in later years was to play an important part in the
work of these latter days. About the 8th of November, Joseph Young,
Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and John P. Greene, came from Mendon,
Monroe County, New York. This was the first meeting of Joseph Smith
and these brethren. They remained in Kirtland for a number of days and
were privileged to meet with the Prophet on several occasions. In one
of their meetings, Brigham Young and John P. Greene spoke in tongues,
as did also the Prophet Joseph Smith. These brethren had received the
Gospel in Mendon. It had first been brought to their attention in the
summer or fall of 1831, through the labors of Samuel H. Smith, who had
left a copy of the Book of Mormon with John P. Greene. Later, through
the preaching of Elders Alpheus Gifford, Elial Strong and others they
were persuaded to receive the truth. Brigham Young was baptized by
Elder Eleazer Miller, April 14, 1832; was ordained an elder and at once
entered the ministry and assisted in raising up several branches in the
vicinity of Mendon, New York.

The Prophet's Labors in Kirtland

The winter of 1832-3 was spent by Joseph Smith in revision of the
scriptures; in the School of the Prophets, which had just been
organized by commandment (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 88); and in the holding
of conferences from time to time. In January a number of meetings of
the elders were held, in which the ordinances of washing of feet, as
spoken of in the 13th chapter of John, was attended to, as commanded by
the Lord (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 88). On the 2nd of February the Prophet
finished the revision of the New Testament, as far as he was directed
to revise it at that time, and sealed it up not to be opened until it
arrived in Zion. Several epistles were written to the Saints, and much
correspondence passed between the elders in Zion and those in Kirtland
in relation to their work.

Organization of the First Presidency

March 18, 1833, the First Presidency of the Church was organized,
with Joseph Smith, president, and Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G.
Williams, counselors. This was in fulfilment of the commandment given
in a revelation (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 90) on the 8th of that month,
wherein the Lord said to Joseph Smith: "And again, verily I say unto
thy brethren, Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams, their sins
are forgiven them also, and they are accounted as equal with thee in
holding the keys of the kingdom." One year before, in March, 1832, the
Lord had called Frederick G. Williams to this position by revelation
(Doc. and Cov. Sec. 81), and to hold "the keys of the kingdom, which
belongeth always unto the Presidency of the High Priesthood." Joseph
Smith laid his hands on the heads of each of these men and ordained
them to take part with him in this great responsibility. Thus another
step in the organization of the Church was completed.

Kirtland a Stake of Zion

March 23, 1833, a council of the elders was called for the purpose
of appointing a committee to purchase lands in Kirtland, upon which
the Saints might build a stake of Zion. After some deliberations a
committee was appointed consisting of Ezra Thayer and Joseph Coe. Later
the property was purchased for this purpose, and many of the elders
commenced to labor in various ways for the building of a city for the
Saints at Kirtland.

First Gathering of the Mob in Zion

In April, 1833, the first gathering of the mob in Jackson County took
place. About three hundred men came together to decide upon a plan
of campaign for the removal of the members of the Church in Jackson
County. At the same time the elders in Jackson County met in solemn
prayer and petitioned the Lord that the efforts of their enemies might
fail. They had reason to meet and pray, for the wickedness of their
enemies was extreme. Nor were the Saints free from guilt before the
Lord. They had failed to keep strictly the commandments of the Lord
which had been given them for the building up of Zion. Jealousies had
arisen and murmurings were heard; even the Prophet, as well as others
of the leading brethren, had been criticized. Some of the members had
failed to observe the law of consecration, which had been given for
the building of Zion, and their humility, in some respects, had been
forgotten. However, on this occasion the deliberations of their enemies
came to nothing. The Lord had heard the prayers of the Saints.

A House of the Lord in Kirtland

At a conference of high priests held May 4, 1833, a committee was
appointed to obtain subscriptions for the building of a house for a
school, in compliance with the revelations of December 27, 1832, and
March 8, 1833, where the elders might receive instructions before
going out to warn the world. Hyrum Smith, Jared Carter and Reynolds
Cahoon, were appointed as that committee. May 6, Joseph Smith received
another revelation in which the Church was commanded to "commence a
work of laying out and preparing a beginning and foundation of a stake
of Zion," in Kirtland. A house was also to be built for the work of
printing, translating, and "all things whatsoever the Lord should
command them." The committee immediately went to work to gather means
by subscriptions for this purpose. They had previously been commanded
to build a house unto the Lord, to be a house of prayer and fasting, to
be a temple unto His name.

Commencement of the Kirtland Temple

By the first of June the preparations for the building of the Kirtland
Temple were under way. A circular letter was sent out by the building
committee to the various branches of the Church. June 1, the Prophet
received the word of the Lord, in relation to the building of the
temple, in which the Saints were commanded to hasten the work, and the
necessity for such a building was made known. "Ye have sinned against
me a very grievous sin, in that ye have not considered the great
commandment in all things, that I have given unto you concerning the
building of mine house," said the Lord. Then He states the reason, in
part--for the full purpose for such a house was not at that time made
known--to be as follows: "For the preparation wherewith I design to
prepare mine apostles to prune my vineyard for the last time, that I
may bring to pass my strange act, that I may pour out my Spirit upon
all flesh. . . . Yea, verily I say unto you, I give you a commandment
that you should build an house, in the which I design to endow those
whom I have chosen, with power from on high. For this is the promise
of the Father unto you, therefore I command you to tarry, even as mine
apostles at Jerusalem."

From this it is discovered that there were certain endowments and
blessings to be given to the elders, before they could go forth fully
prepared to preach the Gospel in the world, which could only be
obtained in the temple of the Lord. For this cause the Lord commanded
that the temple be built at once, for the preaching of the Gospel was
urgent, and the laborers were few. The Saints therefore, went to work
diligently in the midst of many difficulties, both within, as well as
without, the Church, to build the house of the Lord.

The First Work on the Temple

On the 5th of June, George A. Smith hauled the first load of stone,
and Hyrum Smith and Reynolds Cahoon, two of the building committee,
commenced to dig the trench for the foundation, which they later
finished with their own hands. Others also volunteered, and by these
means the work progressed.

The Case of "Doctor" Hurlbut

On the 3rd of June a charge was preferred against Philastus Hurlbut,
who was accused of unchristian conduct while on a mission to the east.
On investigation his elder's licence was taken from him. On the 21st
he appealed his case and on making confession of his improper conduct
and a seeming show of repentance, he was reinstated. Two days later,
however, his sincerity was called in question, and on the testimony
of witnesses who had heard him say that he had not repented and had
deceived "Joseph Smith's God," he was excommunicated from the Church.
He later manifested a bitter spirit and in April, 1834, was bound by
the court to keep the peace, "with good and sufficient security in the
sum of two hundred dollars," for threats against the life of Joseph


1. Any reference to "Dr." Hurlbut might be considered insignificant but
for one thing which developed after his apostasy and excommunication,
which may be mentioned briefly here. He was not a doctor, but was so
called because he was the seventh son. He had been a Methodist, but
had been expelled from that body for immoral conduct, before he joined
the Church. While engaged in missionary work in Pennsylvania he heard
of a manuscript that had been written by one Solomon Spaulding, which
dealt with the subject of the American Indian. Hurlbut had an evil
thought. If he could make it appear that the Book of Mormon was taken,
or plagiarized, from the Spaulding Manuscript, it would prove to be
an irreparable injury to "Mormonism." Others became interested in the
scheme and a book was produced by E. D. Howe, entitled _Mormonism
Unveiled_. Of course the Spaulding story was lost so that no comparison
was possible. For many years the publication of E. D. Howe was made to
do mighty service against the Book of Mormon. As time went on, however,
the manuscript of Mr. Spaulding was found, and, is now in the archives
of Oberlin College, in Ohio. A comparison with the Book of Mormon
proved that the two productions were no more alike than the Bible is
like the story of Gulliver's Travels. Since that day the Hurlbut-Howe
theory of the origin of the Book of Mormon has been dead.

For a thorough account of this question the reader is referred to _The
Myth of the Manuscript Found_, by Elder George Reynolds; and _New
Witness for God_, vol. 3, page 354, by Elder B. H. Roberts.

Chapter 19

Expulsion from Jackson County


The Prophet's Warning

The impending storm about to break over the heads of the Saints in
Missouri was foreseen by the Prophet Joseph Smith. In January, 1833,
he wrote to William W. Phelps as follows: "The Lord will have a place
whence his word will go forth in these last days in purity; for if
Zion will not purify herself so as to be approved of in all things
in his sight, he will seek another people; for his work will go on
until Israel is gathered, and they who will not hear his voice must
expect to feel his wrath. . . . Our hearts are greatly grieved at
the spirit which is breathed both in your letter and that of Brother
Gilbert's, the very spirit which is wasting the strength of Zion like
a pestilence; and if it is not detected and driven from you, it will
ripen Zion for the threatened judgments of God. . . . This from your
brother who trembles for Zion, and for the wrath of heaven, which
awaits her if she repent not." These fears were also expressed in an
epistle written the same day from a conference of high priests in
Kirtland to their brethren in Zion. "We feel more like weeping for Zion
than we do like rejoicing over her, for we know that the judgments of
God hang over her, and will fall upon her except she repent," was their

Rise of Mob Force in Jackson

Almost as soon as the members of the Church commenced settling in
Jackson County, opposition began to show itself. The settlers were
incited to violence by their ministers, who started a campaign of abuse
and falsehood. They received ready aid from others of the citizens,
which ultimately resulted in the expulsion of the Latter-day Saints
from the state. The Rev. Finis Ewing publicly distributed the report
that "the 'Mormons' were the common enemies of mankind," while the Rev.
Pixley circulated falsehoods among the religious papers of the east,
and used his influence among both the Indians and the whites for the
destruction of the Church in Jackson County.

Nearly all the Latter-day Saints were from the Eastern States, while
the Missourians were from the South. The Missourians feared that the
"Mormons" would increase and take from them their political domination.
The question of slavery, even in that day, was quite keen, and the
Missourians were determined to keep the state within the control of the
slave holders. Above all else, however, was their extreme hatred for
the "Mormons" because of their industry and belief. Some of the latter
had also failed to show the proper discretion and wisdom, for they
openly stated that the Lord had given them the land for their eternal
inheritance, and although they were to purchase the lands, yet in time
there the city Zion would be built, unto which none but the faithful
would be privileged to come. Such expressions aroused the Missourians
to fever heat, for they naturally hated the doctrines of the Church,
and to be informed that the lands would ultimately be taken from them,
was adding fuel to the flame.

As early as the spring of 1832, the mob resorted to violence. In the
still hours of the night, windows in many of the houses of the Saints
were broken, and other damage done by their enemies, who naturally
performed their deeds in the dark; but this was only the beginning of

The Mob Council

July 20, 1833, a council of all Missourians who were opposed to the
Latter-day Saints was called to meet in the Independence Court house.
Between four and five hundred men assembled and chose Richard Simpson,
chairman, and Samuel D. Lucas and J. H. Flournoy, secretaries. They
then proceeded to discuss means for the ejection of the members of
the Church from Jackson County, "peaceably if we can," they said,
"forcibly if we must." After deliberating for some time, they concluded
that "the arm of the civil law does not afford a guarantee," or at
least a sufficient one, against the "evils" which were inflicted upon
them. These "evils" were such that "no one could have foreseen," and
"therefore, unprovided for by the laws;" and the "delays incident to
legislation would put the mischief beyond remedy." They must because of
this take into their own hands the matter of expulsion of hundreds of
citizens from their homes.

Some of the "evils" of the "Mormons" were stated to be as follows:
The declaration that miracles have been performed and supernatural
cures achieved among the sick; a belief in heavenly manifestations and
that they have held converse with God and his angels; possession and
exercise of the gifts of divination and unknown tongues; and "fired
with the prospect of obtaining inheritance without money and without
price." Yet they were well aware that the "Mormons" had never made the
attempt to obtain lands except by purchase, as the Lord had commanded
them. Nevertheless all these "crimes" must be punished; for against
such evils "self preservation, good society and public morals," made
demands that the "Mormons" should be expelled. The following articles
were drawn up and unanimously approved, to be submitted to the elders
of the Church.

Declaration of the Mob

(1). "That no Mormon shall in future move and settle in this county.

(2). "That those now here, who shall give a definite pledge of their
intention within reasonable time to remove out of the county, shall
be allowed to remain unmolested until they have sufficient time to
sell their property, and close their business, without any material

(3). "That the editor of the _Star_ be required forthwith to close his
office and discontinue the business of printing in this county; and as
to all other stores and shops belonging to the sect, their owners must
in every case strictly comply with the terms of the second article of
this declaration; and upon failure, prompt and efficient measures will
be taken to close the same.

(4). "That the Mormon leaders here are required to use their influence
in preventing any further emigration of their distant brethren to this
county, and to counsel and advise their brethren here to comply with
the above requisitions.

(5). "That those who fail to comply with these requisitions be referred
to those of their brethren who have the gifts of divination, and of
unknown tongues, to inform them of the lot that awaits them."

This address was read and after approval a committee consisting of
twelve men was appointed to wait upon the presiding elders of the
Church. They were instructed to "see that the foregoing requisitions
are strictly complied with by them; and upon their refusal, that
said committee do, as the organ of this county, inform them that it
is our unwavering purpose and fixed determination, after the fullest
consideration of all the consequences and responsibilities under which
we act, to use such means as shall insure full and complete adoption."
Such was the ungodly manifesto of the mob.

The Enemy's Demands

A recess was taken for two hours in which the committee was to carry
this message of unrighteous demands to the elders of the Church, and
then make report. Naturally these brethren desired time to consider
these drastic terms. They had come into the land by command of the
Lord, to receive their inheritance; it was here the great city of the
New Jerusalem was to be built; they had hoped for a peaceful possession
of their property, and as they had not interfered with the privileges
of others they justly felt that they were entitled to maintain their
rights. They asked for three months for consideration of these evil
terms; but were denied. They then asked for ten days; but were informed
that fifteen minutes was time enough. If immediate answer was not
forthcoming an unfavorable report would be returned, with consequences
of serious character speedily to follow. A refusal of these demands
was evidently the desire of the unlawful gathering at the court house,
which sought a pretext to vent their anger upon the Saints violently.

The Committee's Report

The committee returned and made their report. "Whereupon," their
minutes read, "it was unanimously resolved by the meeting, that the
_Star_ printing office should be razed to the ground; the type and
press secured." With the understanding that they would meet again three
days later, the horde of wretches started forth on their mission of
destruction. They did not overlook the opportunity to advertise their
deliberations "that the Mormon brethren may know at a distance that the
gates of Zion are closed against them--that their interests will be
best promoted by remaining among those who know and appreciate their

Vengeance of the Mob

With the utmost fury these human fiends proceeded to the office of the
_Evening and Morning Star_ and razed it to the ground. The office was
a part of the dwelling occupied by William W. Phelps. Mrs. Phelps and
her children, including a sick infant, were thrown out of doors amidst
the furniture which was destroyed. They then proceeded to the store
of Gilbert, Whitney and Co., bent on further destruction; but Elder
Gilbert assuring them that the goods would be packed by the 23rd of
that month, and no more would be sold, they left him and the store and
turned their attention to personal violence. They took Bishop Edward
Partridge and Charles Allen, stripped them and applied a coat of tar
which had been mixed with acid which burned into their flesh, and then
coated them with feathers. Others of the brethren were scourged, amidst
horrid yells and blasphemous oaths, while others in the excitement, for
all their captors were intent upon the "sport," were able to make their
escape from similar treatment by the mob.

Second Gathering of the Mob

On the morning of July 23, 1833, the mob, to the number of about five
hundred, again approached Independence, carrying a red flag--the emblem
of lawlessness--and armed with all manner of weapons of war. They rode
through the streets, giving vent to hideous yells and blasphemous
oaths, searching for the presiding elders of the Church. They
threatened to whip any "Mormon" whom they captured, with from fifty to
five hundred lashes each, demolish their dwellings, and turn negroes
loose to destroy their fields.

Offer of Ransom for the Church

Elders John Corrill, John Whitmer, William W. Phelps, Algernon S.
Gilbert, Edward Partridge and Isaac Morley, the leading elders, made no
resistance, but offered themselves a ransom for the Church. They were
willing to be scourged and even die, if that would appease the wrath
of the mob. The Missourians, with blasphemous oaths, assured them that
every man, woman and child would be whipped and scourged even to death
if they did not leave Jackson County. "The Mormons," said the mobbers,
"must leave the county, or they or the Mormons must die." The brethren
mentioned, knowing that resistance was useless and to save the Saints
and avoid the shedding of blood, entered into an agreement with the mob
to leave the county within a reasonable time.

The Forced Agreement of the Mob

The terms forced by the mob upon the Saints were as follows: Oliver
Cowdery, William W. Phelps, William E. McLellin, Edward Partridge,
Lyman Wight, Simeon Carter, Harvey Whitlock and the two Whitmers,
Peter and John, were to remove their families from the county on or
before the first day of January, 1834; they were to use all their
influence to induce all other members of the Church to remove as soon
as possible, one half by January first, and the rest by the first of
April following; and to do all in their power to stop others of their
brethren from moving into Jackson County; John Corrill and Algernon
S. Gilbert were allowed to remain as general agents to wind up the
business, Gilbert to sell the merchandise on hand but to buy no more;
the _Star_ was not to be published nor a press set up; Edward Partridge
and William W. Phelps were to remove their families, but they would be
permitted to come and go to wind up the affairs of the Church. The mob
pledged themselves to use no violence so long as the brethren complied
with the terms presented. To this the names of the elders and the
members of the second committee appointed by the mob were subscribed.

The Contract Broken by the Mob

Since there is no honor among knaves, the mob failed to keep their
agreement. Constantly they sallied forth, breaking windows in the homes
of the members of the Church and offering abuse when occasion afforded.
These attacks, however, did not pass unnoticed by the better class
of citizens in the state. _The Western Monitor_, a paper published
in Fayette, Missouri, first showed a friendly spirit toward the mob,
but later censured them for their conduct and advised the "Mormons"
to seek redress for their wrongs. Other papers adopted a similar
view, whereupon the members of the mob declared that if any "Mormon"
attempted "to seek redress by law or otherwise, for character, person,
or property, they should die."

Appeal to Governor Dunklin

When hostilities broke out the brethren in Missouri sent Oliver Cowdery
to Kirtland to make report and consult the First Presidency in respect
to future action. In sorrow for the afflicted members in Missouri
the presidency sent Orson Hyde and John Gould with instructions for
their brethren in that land. Shortly after their arrival, necessary
preparations having been made, Elders William W. Phelps and Orson Hyde,
were sent to Jefferson City with a petition, under date of September
28, 1833, to Governor Daniel Dunklin. In their petition the wrongs of
the Latter-day Saints were clearly set forth, and it was signed by
nearly all the members of the Church in Missouri.

The Governor's Reply

On the 19th of October, Governor Dunklin made reply to the memorial of
the members of the Church and advised them to take their grievances
before the courts, for, said he: "No citizen, nor number of citizens,
have a right to take the redress of their grievances, whether real
or imaginary, into their own hands. Such conduct strikes at the very
existence of society, and subverts the foundation on which it is
based. . . . The judge of your circuit is a conservator of the peace:
if an affidavit is made before him by any of you, that your lives are
threatened, and you believe them in danger, it would be his duty to
have the offenders apprehended, and bind them to keep the peace." He
could not "permit himself to doubt that the courts were open to" the

Futility of the Advice

Under ordinary circumstances the governor's advice might have been of
some worth. The conditions, however, were of no ordinary nature. The
leaders of the mob were Samuel D. Lucas, judge of the county court;
Samuel C. Owens, county clerk; John Smith, justice of the peace; Samuel
Weston, justice of the peace; William Brown, constable; Thomas Pitcher,
deputy constable; James H. Flournoy, postmaster, and Lilburn W. Boggs,
lieutenant governor of the state, the latter, however, keeping in the
background and aiding and abetting the others in their evil work. For
the "Mormon" people to accept the governor's advice, would mean their
trial would be conducted before their avowed and open enemies, if they
were permitted a trial at all.

Counsel Employed by the Saints

Nevertheless, accepting the governor's advice, attorneys were engaged
to fight the case. They were William T. Wood, Amos Reese, Alexander W.
Doniphan and David R. Atchison, who agreed to plant suits and carry
them through for one thousand dollars. Notes for that amount were given
by William W. Phelps and Bishop Partridge and endorsed by Gilbert,
Whitney and Co. However, very little benefit was ever derived by the
members of the Church, from this action.

Continued Activities of the Mob

As soon as it was known that the "Mormons" would appeal to the courts,
the mobbers began to prepare for war. On the night of October 31,
a band of about fifty marauders proceeded against a branch of the
Church west of the Big Blue River, not far from Independence. There
they unroofed and partly demolished a number of houses, whipped in a
savage manner several men and frightened the women and children, who
were forced to flee for safety. On the first of November, another
attack was made on a branch on the prairie, fourteen miles from
Independence. The same night another party raided the homes of the
Saints in Independence, where a number of houses were demolished and
the goods in the store of Gilbert, Whitney and Co., were scattered in
the street. One Richard McCarty was caught in the act of breaking into
the store and demolishing property and was taken before Samuel Weston,
justice of the peace, where a complaint was made against him; Judge
Weston, however, refused to consider the complaint, and turned McCarty
loose. The next day McCarty caused the arrest of the witnesses who
had captured him in this unlawful act, and had them tried for false
imprisonment. The same justice, on the testimony of this fellow alone,
found the witnesses, Gilbert, Morley and Corrill, guilty and committed
them to jail. "Although we could not obtain a warrant against him for
breaking open the store," said John Corrill, "yet he had gotten one for
us for catching him at it."

The Battle of the Blue

These attacks upon the Saints were repeatedly continued; attempts were
made to obtain peace warrants, but no justice would issue them for fear
of the mob. Monday, November 4, 1833, a band of mobbers gathered at the
Big Blue River and commenced to destroy property. Nineteen men, members
of the Church, gathered in defense, but discovering the superior number
of the mob, turned back. Their enemies, learning of this attempt,
immediately went in pursuit of the "Mormons" who fled in various
directions for safety. About thirty more of the brethren from the
prairie armed with seventeen guns approached and a battle commenced.
The mobbers soon fled leaving two of their number, Hugh L. Brazeale and
Thomas Linville, dead on the ground. Among the "Mormons" Andrew Barber
received a mortal wound and died the following day. Philo Dibble also
received a severe wound, but was almost instantly healed by the laying
on of hands by Elder Newel Knight.

The Mob Militia

Following the battle of the Blue, excitement ran high. November 5,
1833, at the instigation of Lieutenant Governor Lilburn W. Boggs, the
militia was called out under command of Colonel Thomas Pitcher, one
of the leaders of the mob of July 23. It was stated that the militia
had been called for the protection of the Saints, but it had every
appearance of a mob and in its ranks were many of the most bitter
enemies of the Church. Colonel Pitcher demanded that the Saints
surrender their arms. This they refused to do unless their enemies
should also be disarmed. Colonel Pitcher readily agreed to this
proposition to which Lieutenant Governor Boggs also pledged his honor.
Another demand was that certain brethren who had been engaged in the
battle the day before were to be surrendered and tried for murder. Both
of these demands were complied with by the Saints.

Misplaced Confidence

Having confidence in the pledge of the lieutenant governor, the Saints
returned to their homes feeling somewhat secure from further attacks.
Their confidence, however, had been misplaced, for it was a cunning
scheme of this state official, and the other leaders of the mob, to
place the members of the Church in a defenseless position and then
drive them from the county; which, forthwith, they proceeded to do.
The arms were never taken from the members of the mob, but those taken
from the Saints were distributed among their enemies to be used against
them."[1] The following day gangs of men, numbering sixty or more, went
from house to house whipping the men, driving the women and children
from their homes at the muzzles of their guns, and setting fire to
their houses, to make sure their owners would not return. More than two
hundred houses were destroyed in the several raids of the mob. The men
who surrendered themselves under the charge of murder, were detained
for one day and a night and sorely abused; then they were taken out
into a cornfield by this same Colonel Pitcher and told to "clear!"
meaning they were to leave immediately for parts unknown.

The Saints in Exile

These attacks continued for several days and among those directing
the forces of the mob were several "reverend" gentlemen who took
pleasure in these wicked deeds. By the 7th of November, the banks of
the Missouri River were lined with refugees who had gathered in the
utmost confusion, so hasty had been their flight. Twelve hundred souls
were thus forced to seek shelter, the best they could, in the dead of
winter, and in the midst of storms. Many died from exposure and the
abuse otherwise heaped upon them and the fleeing multitude left, in
the frozen stubble, a trail of blood from their lacerated feet. The
exiled Saints sought refuge in the neighboring counties, but from
some of these they were again forced to flee before the inhospitable
inhabitants among whom they found themselves. In Clay County, just
across the river north of Jackson, they were received temporarily with
some degree of kindness.

An Attempt to Seek Redress

Through their attorneys, and by direct petition to Governor Daniel
Dunklin, the Saints sought to repossess their property in Jackson
County. The governor acknowledged the justice of their claims and
expressed a willingness to furnish an "adequate force" to effect that
object; but he declared he had no power to protect them after they were
once returned to their lands. He was also willing, so it was declared
by Attorney General R. W. Wells, to organize them in companies of
militia that they might aid in their restoration. The Saints knew that
such a thing would only arouse their enemies to greater fury, and as no
protection was guaranteed them when once restored, such an offer could
not be accepted.

Farcical Effort to Enforce the Law

It may have been the intention of the state officials, at the first,
to restore the exiles to their lands, but they evidently lacked the
courage to cope with the lawless, but determined, enemies of the
Saints. A number of leading elders were subpoenaed in behalf of the
state to appear at the February (1834) term of court to be held at
Independence. On the 23rd of that month, under the protection of
Captain Atchison's company of "Liberty Blues"--nearly fifty rank
and file--these witnesses crossed the Missouri River bound for
Independence. That night they camped in the woods. Captain Atchison,
becoming alarmed at the appearance of the enemy, sent an express
to Colonel Allen for two hundred drafted militia, and to Liberty
for more ammunition. Early the next morning this company marched
to Independence, and after breakfast they were visited by District
Attorney Ames Reese and Attorney General R. W. Wells, who informed the
witnesses that all hopes of criminal prosecution were at an end. Mr.
Wells had been sent by the governor to investigate the Jackson County
outrages, but the bold front of the mob evidently intimidated the state
officials who were willing to appease the wrath of the mob rather than
to maintain the majesty of the law.

As soon as Captain Atchison was informed that his services were no
longer needed, he took his witnesses and marched them out of town,
to the tune of Yankee Doodle, quick time, and soon returned to camp.
One of the witnesses, Elder William W. Phelps, wrote of this farcical
proceeding as follows: "This order was issued by the court, apparently
on the speedy gathering of the old mob, or citizens of Jackson County,
and their assuming such a boisterous and mobocratic appearance. Much
credit is due to Captain Atchison for his gallantry and hospitality,
and I think I can say of the officers and company, that their conduct
as soldiers and men, is highly reputable; so much the more, knowing
as I do, the fatal results of the trial had the militia come or not
come. . . . Thus ended all hopes of redress, even with a guard ordered
by the governor for the protection of the court and witnesses."


1. In the spring of 1834, Governor Dunklin issued a requisition
to Colonel S. D. Lucas to return the arms to the "Mormons" which
were taken from them in November, 1833; but Lucas had resigned his
commission and moved to Lexington, Missouri. A second requisition to
Colonel Pitcher was contemptuously ignored. The arms were distributed
among the mob and they boasted that they would not return them,
notwithstanding the order of the governor of the state; and the arms
were never returned.

Chapter 20

The Patriarchal Priesthood--Zion's Camp


The Patriarchal Priesthood

December 18, 1833, a number of elders assembled in the printing office
in Kirtland and dedicated the printing press, with all that pertained
thereunto, unto the service of the Lord. The first sheets of the
re-printed _Evening and Morning Star_ were struck off, it having been
decided to continue that periodical in Kirtland until the press could
be restored in Independence.[1] While the elders were assembled in the
printing office on this occasion the Prophet gave the first patriarchal
blessings in this dispensation. It was his privilege to do this, for
he held the keys of all the authority in the Church, and was spoken
of as the first patriarch in the Church because of this fact, in the
minutes which were kept at that time. Those who received blessings
under his hands on this occasion were: Oliver Cowdery, the father
and mother of the Prophet, and three of his brothers, Hyrum, Samuel
and William Smith. Oliver Cowdery, who held the keys of Priesthood
with the Prophet, also gave a number of patriarchal blessings. Joseph
Smith, Sen., was ordained to the Patriarchal Priesthood, to hold the
keys of blessing on the heads of all the members of the Church, the
Lord revealing that it was his right to hold this authority. He was
also set apart as an assistant counselor to the Prophet Joseph in the
presidency, and at a later day Hyrum Smith, the Prophet's brother, and
John Smith, his uncle, were set apart to this same calling.

Organization of the First High Council

The first high council in this dispensation was organized at the home
of Joseph Smith in Kirtland, February 17, 1834. The First Presidency
presided in this council and the following brethren were chosen as its
members: Joseph Smith, Sen., John Smith, Joseph Coe, John Johnson,
Martin Harris, John S. Carter, Jared Carter, Oliver Cowdery, Samuel
H. Smith, Orson Hyde, Sylvester Smith and Luke S. Johnson.[2] Several
days before this action was taken the Prophet had explained the manner
in which councils should be conducted. "No man," said he, "is capable
of judging a matter in council unless his own heart is pure." Ancient
councils were conducted with strict propriety; no one was permitted to
whisper, leave the room, or think of anything but the matter before
them for consideration. If the presiding officer could stay, others
were expected to do the same, until the Spirit was obtained and a
righteous decision was reached.

There were a number of cases awaiting the action of the high council as
soon as it was organized, and within a day or two several trials were
held and matters of discipline passed upon. One question considered
was as follows: "Whether disobedience to the word of wisdom was a
transgression sufficient to deprive an official member from holding
office in the Church, after having it sufficiently taught him?" After a
free and full discussion Joseph Smith, who presided, gave his decision
as follows: "No official member in this Church is worthy to hold an
office after having the word of wisdom properly taught him; and he, the
official member, neglecting to comply with or obey it." This decision
was confirmed by unanimous vote.

Zion Shall Not be Removed

A revelation was given to Joseph Smith December 16, 1833, giving the
reason for the expulsion of the members of the Church from Jackson
County (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 101). Nevertheless the Lord declared that
Zion should "not be moved out of her place, notwithstanding her
children are scattered." In his own due time he would redeem Zion, and
let fall the sword of his indignation in behalf of his people. The cup
of his wrath was to be poured out without measure upon all nations,
when the cup of their iniquity is full. The Saints were instructed to
"Importune for redress and redemption" before the judge, and if he
should fail, then before the governor, and if they could not obtain
redress from him they were to importune the president of the United
States, and if he heeded them not, then the Lord would "vex the
nation." The Church was instructed to purchase lands in Jackson and
neighboring counties, for inheritances for the Saints. Moreover, they
were instructed in a parable to gather together the strength of the
Lord's house, "My young men and they that are middle aged also among
all my servants, who are the strength of mine house, save those only
whom I have appointed to tarry," said the Lord, "and go straightway
unto the land of my vineyard, and redeem my vineyard, for it is mine,
I have bought it with money." February 24, 1834, the Lord further
declared that if his Saints would, from that time forth, repent and
keep his commandments, they should "begin to prevail" against his
enemies from that very hour; but if they polluted their inheritances
they were to be thrown down, for he would not spare them if they
polluted their inheritances. "The redemption of Zion must needs come
by power," he declared, therefore the Saints were to collect money and
purchase lands, as they had been commanded, and the young and middle
aged were to gather to Zion and seek its redemption.

Zion's Camp

According to this instruction, a call went forth asking for volunteers
to go to Zion. Five hundred men were wanted; yet, said the Lord: "If
you cannot obtain five hundred, seek diligently that peradventure ye
may obtain one hundred;" for with less than one hundred they were
not to go. The first of May (1834) a part of these volunteers left
Kirtland, and on the fifth Joseph Smith and the remainder took up
their journey. At West Portage, about fifty miles west of Kirtland,
they met and were organized in companies for the journey. Each company
was divided as follows: a captain, two cooks, two firemen, two
tent-men, two water-men, one runner, two wagoners and horsemen, and
one commissary, twelve men in all. Every night before retiring, at
the sound of the bugle they bowed before the Lord in prayer in their
several tents, and every morning, at the trumpet's call about four
o'clock, every man again knelt in prayer, imploring the blessings of
the Lord for the day. As they traveled they endeavored to keep their
identity unknown so as not to arouse opposition in the country through
which they passed. As it was they were followed by enemies and spies,
and delegations approached them from time to time to learn the meaning
of their journey. The following questions were frequently put and
answered in this manner:

"Where are you from?"

"From the East."

"Where are you going?"

"To the West."

"What for?"

"To see where we can get land cheapest and best."

"Who leads the camp?"

"Sometimes one and sometimes another."

Their journey took them through Dayton, Indianapolis, Springfield and
Jacksonville, Illinois, and across the Mississippi River into Missouri.
It was near the banks of the Illinois River, west of Jacksonville,
where the bones of Zelph[3] the white Lamanite, were dug up and mounds,
or ancient altars, were discovered. This was about the first of
June, and on the third, while still camped on the banks of the river
refreshing themselves, the Prophet Joseph got up on a wagon and uttered
this prophecy: "I said the Lord had revealed to me that a scourge would
come upon the camp in consequence of the fractious and unruly spirits
that appeared among them, and they should die like sheep with the rot;
still, if they would repent and humble themselves before the Lord, the
scourge in great measure might be turned away; but as the Lord lives,
the members of this camp will suffer for giving way to their unruly
temper." Even this warning did not prevent some of the members of the
camp from murmuring and finding fault against their brethren.

Message to Governor Dunklin

Acting on the commandment in the revelations the brethren in Missouri
did not cease to importune the judge and the governor of the state, May
29, 1834, and again June 5, the Saints in Clay County petitioned the
governor, and on the 6th, he wrote to Colonel J. Thornton acknowledging
the just cause of the Saints in this demand made of him, stating:

    "Uncommitted as I am to either party, I shall feel no embarrassment
    in doing my duty--though it may be done with the most extreme
    regret. My duty in the relation which I now stand to the parties,
    is plain and straight forward. . . . A more clear and indisputable
    right does not exist than that of the Mormon people, who were
    expelled from their homes in Jackson County, to return and live
    on their lands; and if they cannot be persuaded, as a matter of
    policy, to give up that right, or to qualify it, my course as the
    chief executive of the State, is a plain one. The constitution of
    the United States declares that, 'The citizens of each state shall
    be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the
    several states.'"

He then suggested to Colonel Thornton, which proposition he also
presented to the Saints, that they sell out and move from their
possessions; or, to attempt to peaceably settle their difficulties,
and he would attempt to get the citizens to "rescind their illegal
resolves" against the "Mormons" and agree to conform to the laws. If
all this should fail, and they could not agree to divide their lands,
then he would have to conform his action to that end, indicating that
in justice he would be bound to assist the exiles to regain their

All such expressions led the members of the Church to hope for redress.
Acting on this thought, about the 8th of June, a delegation from Zion's
Camp was sent to Jefferson City to ascertain from the governor if he
was ready to reinstate the Latter-day Saints on their lands in Jackson
County, and leave them there to defend themselves, as he had previously
indicated that he would. If so, they were ready, by command of the
Lord, to take that course.

In the meantime the camp continued on its journey. To accept the
governor's proposition to sell their lands, was out of the question;
as soon would they expect to sell their children, for the Lord had
commanded them to retain their possessions, or inheritances in that
land. On the 15th of June, 1834, Orson Hyde and Parley P. Pratt, the
delegates, returned from Jefferson City and reported that the governor
refused to fulfil his promise. For some reason, which is not explained
but which may be guessed, he had received a change of heart, although
his reason was stated to be on the ground of "impracticability." Such
a lamentable failure on the part of the governor to do his duty, was a
severe blow to the Saints.

Threats of the Mob

On the morning of June 19, 1834, as the camp was passing through
Richmond, Missouri, they were informed by a friendly farmer who
entertained them and gave them refreshments, that they had many enemies
about, and that a mob from Jackson and other counties was intending to
intercept them before they could reach their brethren in Clay County.
This was later confirmed. Their progress, by act of divine providence,
was impeded which forced them to camp between the Little and Big
Fishing rivers that night. As they were making camp five men rode up
and told them they would "see hell before morning." They stated that
an armed force from Ray and Clay counties was to join a Jackson County
force at the Fishing River ford bent on the utter destruction of the
camp. While these five men were in the camp, cursing and swearing
vengeance, signs of an approaching storm were seen. No sooner had these
men left the camp than the storm burst in all its fury. Hailstones so
large that they cut limbs from the trees fell all around the camp,
while the trees were twisted from their roots by the force of the wind.
The earth trembled and quaked, the streams became raging torrents, and
the mobbers dispersed seeking shelter that could not be found. One
mobber was killed by lightning and another had his hand torn off by a
fractious horse, and in fear they dispersed, saying, if that was the
way God fought for the "Mormons" they would go about their business.
On the morning of June 21, Colonel Sconce with two companions visited
the camp to learn what the intention of the members were. He said:
"I see there is an almighty power that protects this people, for I
started from Richmond, Ray County, with a company of armed men, having
a fixed determination to destroy you, but was kept back by the storm.
The Prophet related to these men the sufferings of the Saints, and they
left the camp offering to use their influence to allay the excitement
which prevailed. During all this storm the members of the camp were
protected from its fury.

Judge Ryland's Proposition

Evidently with the best of intentions, Judge John F. Ryland, on the
10th of June 1834, wrote to Algernon S. Gilbert offering to call
a meeting in Liberty on the 16th, for the purpose of allaying the
"disturbances between the Mormons and the citizens of Jackson County."
A similar communication was sent to prominent citizens of Jackson
County. In their answer Elders John Corrill and A. S. Gilbert expressed
a willingness to meet, but declared that under no condition would the
Saints sell their property in Jackson County. On the 16th, the proposed
meeting was held. A deputation from Jackson County was present and made
a proposition to this effect: They would buy all the lands that the
"Mormons" own in Jackson County, and also all improvements, the value
of said land to be determined by three disinterested parties; twelve
of the "Mormons" would be permitted to go into Jackson County, to show
their lands and improvements; the purchase was to be made within thirty
days after the decision was reached, and one hundred per cent would
be added to the appraisement. On the other hand, the "Mormons" were
offered all the lands of the citizens of Jackson on the same terms.
This proposition was signed by ten men who stated they were authorized
to take this action.

After the reading of the proposition Samuel C. Owens, one of the
Jackson committee, made a war speech and was followed by Rev. Riley
who declared that "the Mormons have lived long enough in Clay County;
and they must clear out, or be cleared out." The moderator of the
meeting. Mr. Turnham, replied: "Let us be republicans; let us honor our
country, and not disgrace it like Jackson County; don't disfranchise or
drive away the Mormons. They are better citizens than many of the old
inhabitants." General A. W. Doniphan arose and said: "That's a fact,
and as the Mormons have armed themselves, if they don't fight they
are cowards. I love to hear that they have brethren coming to their
assistance. Greater love can no man show, than he who lays down his
life for his brethren." At this instant pistols and knives were drawn
and the cry was raised at the door that a man was stabbed. The mass
instantly rushed out to see what had happened, and the meeting broke up
in confusion.

Unfairness of the Proposition

Reflecting on the proposition offered by the mob committee from
Jackson, the Prophet Joseph writes: "It may be thought, at first
view, that the mob committee made a fair proposition to the Saints,
in offering to buy their lands at a price fixed by disinterested
arbitrators, and one hundred per centum added thereto, payment to be
made in thirty days, and offering theirs on the same terms; but when it
is understood that the mob held possession of a much larger quantity of
land than the Saints, and that they only offered thirty days for the
payment, having previously robbed the Saints of nearly everything, it
will be readily seen that they were only making a sham to cover their
previous unlawful conduct." To meet this proposition, which was not
made in sincerity, the Saints would have been under the necessity of
raising in thirty days approximately six hundred thousand dollars, a
thing out of reason, which the mobbers knew. Moreover, they were well
aware of the fact that the Saints would not sell although ten times the
value of the land were offered, for the Lord had commanded them to hold
to their inheritances.

Counter Proposition of the Saints

Some time later a counter proposition was made by the Saints to the
Missourians. They offered to buy out all those who were unwilling to
dwell in Jackson County with them in peace, on such terms as had been
offered except that the payment would be made in one year. A committee
of twelve, six from each side were to determine the value of the lands.
It is needless to say that the proposition was not received very kindly
by these hypocrites and deceivers.

Word of the Lord at Fishing River

While the camp was on Fishing River the word of the Lord came to Joseph
Smith (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 105) stating that it was not required of
the camp to continue the journey for the redemption of Zion. The camp
had been brought to the borders of Jackson County, "for a trial of
their faith." However, if it had not been for transgression of the
people, the Lord declared, "they might have been redeemed even now.
But behold, they have not learned to be obedient to the things which
I required at their hands, but are full of all manner of evil, and
do not impart of their substance, as becometh saints, to the poor
and afflicted among them, and are not united according to the union
required by the law of the celestial kingdom. And Zion cannot be built
up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom,
otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself; and my people must needs be
chastened until they learn obedience, if it must needs be by the things
which they suffer. I speak not concerning those who are appointed to
lead my people, who are the first elders of my church, for they are
not all under this condemnation; but I speak concerning my churches
abroad--there are many who will say, Where is their God? Behold, he
will deliver them in time of trouble, otherwise we will not go up
unto Zion, and will keep our moneys. Therefore, in consequence of the
transgression of my people, it is expedient in me that mine elders
should wait for a little season for the redemption of Zion."[4] The
elders were to be endowed with power from on high in the house of the
Lord at Kirtland, and be taught more perfectly in doctrine and have
experience and a better knowledge of their duties, before Zion could
be redeemed. This was one reason for the building of the temple in

Disbanding of the Camp

On the 23rd of June (1834), the camp continued its march and the next
day arrived near the home of Algernon Sidney Gilbert on Rush Creek,
where, on the morning of the 25th, in compliance with the revelation
of the 22nd, the camp was separated into small groups to quiet the
feelings of the people, and dispersed among the brethren who were
residing in Clay County.

The Prophecy Fulfilled

As soon as the camp arrived on Rush Creek, the cholera broke out among
the members and continued for several days. The victims were seized
suddenly and so powerful was the disease that within a few minutes some
of the brethren were dead. About sixty-eight members were attacked
and fourteen died. Among the number who succumbed was Algernon Sidney
Gilbert, keeper of the Lord's storehouse in Zion, and one of the
stalwart leaders who had stood in defense of the liberty and lives of
the Saints in Jackson County.

Organization of the High Council in Missouri

The day after the revelation was given regarding the endowments (Doc.
and Cov. Sec. 105), a council of high priests met and called a number
of individuals to receive these blessings in the house of the Lord; and
on the 3rd of July, 1834, the high priests assembled and a high council
for the Church in Missouri was organized agreeable to the revelation
and pattern given in Kirtland. Six days later the Prophet started back
for Kirtland with a number of the brethren.

What the Camp Accomplished

While the object for which Zion's Camp was organized and for which
they made the journey, as understood by the members, was not attained,
yet without question they did accomplish all that the Lord expected of
them. So he stated in the Fishing River revelation. Their faith was
tried; experience had been gained by which men were to be chosen for
responsible positions in the Church in days to come, and the work of
the Lord advanced; but in addition to all this the Lord was preparing
men through this experience for the responsibility of moving the entire
people, of the Latter-day Saints in the great exodus to the West, which
was later to come. The purposes of the Lord do not fail and all things
are turned to his advantage.


1. At a meeting held in Kirtland Sept. 11, 1833, it was decided that a
press should be established in that place and a paper published to be
called the _Messenger and Advocate_, and that the _Evening and Morning
Star_, formerly published in Independence, be continued in Kirtland
until it could again be published in Zion, which the brethren thought
would be but a short time. All the numbers of the Star published in
Independence were republished in quarto size. The first number of the
Star was issued in June, 1832, and the last in July, 1833, the month
the press was destroyed by the mob. In December, 1833, the first number
in Kirtland (No. 15) was issued, it continued until September 1834,
when it was succeeded by the "Messenger and Advocate."

2. See Doc. and Cov. Sec. 102, for procedure in High Councils and
minutes of this organization.

3. See _Documentary History of the Church_, vol. 2:79, for this
interesting incident.

4. In a letter to the high council in Zion the Prophet said: "Now,
my beloved brethren, you will learn by this we have a great work to
do, and but little time to do it in; and if we do not exert ourselves
to the utmost in gathering up the strength of the Lord's house that
this thing may be accomplished, behold there remaineth a scourge for
the Church, even that they shall be driven from city to city, and but
few shall remain to receive an inheritance." This had reference to
preparations "against the time" when the Lord should call them again to
the redemption of Zion.

Chapter 21

Choosing of the Twelve and Seventy--Dedication of the Kirtland Temple


Charges Against the Prophet

As already stated, there was some dissension in Zion's Camp on the way
to Missouri. One of the chief offenders on that trip was Sylvester
Smith, and when he returned to Kirtland he repeated many of his
grievances against the Prophet Joseph Smith. This resulted in a trial
before the Bishop, Newel K. Whitney, and the high priests, and after
a full investigation, the Prophet was vindicated and Sylvester Smith
after much persuasion made confession of his wrongdoing, and repented
of his sin.

The Law of Tithing

Up to this time the Saints had donated of their means according to
their disposition for the support of the Church. In Zion and Kirtland
the law of consecration had been given; but it had not been generally
practiced, and since the driving of the Saints from their homes, they
were compelled to seek a living individually after the manner of the
world. In the fall of 1834, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery set an
example for the Church by covenanting with the Lord that they would
give one-tenth of all he should give them, to be bestowed upon the
poor, as Jacob had covenanted centuries before. This was nearly four
years before this law of tithing was given to the Church (Doc. and Cov.
Sec. 119).

Oliver Cowdery Assistant President

December 5, 1834, Oliver Cowdery was ordained by Joseph Smith by the
command of the Lord, an Assistant President of the High Priesthood, to
hold the keys of presidency with Joseph Smith in this ministry. This
was in harmony with the ordinations he received under the hands of John
the Baptist and other holy messengers in 1829.[1]

Temporary Peace

Notwithstanding the Saints in Missouri were not permitted to return
to their possessions, the spirit of opposition began to subside for a
season, and the elders commenced going forth two by two, preaching the
Gospel throughout the land, and many were added to the Church daily.
The year 1834 came to a close with the Saints laboring diligently to
build the house of the Lord in Kirtland, and in preparing for the
School of the Elders which was to be held during the winter months. In
January, 1835, the School of the Elders commenced. Lectures on theology
were given and the study of the scriptures and other subjects were
considered for the benefit of the members of the Church, in keeping
with the revelations of the Lord.

Twelve Apostles Chosen

On the 14th of February, 1835, Brigham Young and his brother Joseph
came to the house of President Joseph Smith and sang for him. While
they were visiting with the Prophet on this occasion he told them
that he desired to call together all those who were members of Zion's
Camp, for he had a blessing for them. At this meeting he conversed
with these two brethren on the scenes of their memorable journey and
said: "Brethren, I have seen those men who died of the cholera in our
camp; and the Lord knows, if I get a mansion as bright as theirs, I ask
no more." At this he wept and could not speak for some time. He then
said the Lord had called Brigham Young to be one of the twelve special
witnesses, and Joseph Young to be a president of the seventies.

A meeting was called for the 14th of February, and on that day all
the members of Zion's Camp that could be called together assembled to
receive such blessings as the Lord had promised them. President Joseph
Smith then stated that the object of the meeting was to choose men for
important positions in the ministry to go forth and prune the vineyard
for the last time. He had been commanded by the Lord to prepare for
the calling of Twelve Apostles, in fulfilment of the revelation given
before the organization of the Church (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 18). These
twelve men were to be chosen from among those who went up in Zion's
Camp, and the three special witnesses to the Book of Mormon were
to select and ordain them. After the usual opening exercises and
appropriate instructions a recess was taken for one hour. When the
meeting was later called to order the three witnesses were blessed by
the laying on of hands by the presidency; they then united in prayer
and proceeded to make choice of the Twelve Apostles. Their names in the
order in which they were chosen are as follows:[2]

Lyman E. Johnson Brigham Young Heber C. Kimball Orson Hyde David W.
Patten Luke S. Johnson William E. McLellin John F. Boynton Orson Pratt
William Smith Thomas B. Marsh Parley P. Pratt

The witnesses then proceeded to ordain these brethren, and the first
three were ordained at that meeting. The following day all the others
except Parley P. Pratt, who was absent, Thomas B. Marsh and Orson
Pratt, who were on a mission, were ordained. Parley P. Pratt was
ordained February 21; Thomas B. Marsh on April 25 and Orson Pratt the
following day.

A charge was given to these brethren by President Oliver Cowdery, and
items of valuable instruction were imparted by President Joseph Smith.
In this way another important step in the development of the Priesthood
and the organization of the Church was accomplished.

The Seventy

On the 28th of February, 1835, another meeting was called and selection
was made from those who went to Missouri in Zion's Camp to create the
first quorum of seventy. Hazen Aldrich, Joseph Young, Levi W. Hancock,
Leonard Rich, Zebedee Coltrin, Lyman Sherman and Sylvester Smith were
called to the office of presidents of this quorum of seventy. These
brethren and those appointed to form the quorum[3] were ordained under
the hands of the First Presidency. This was another step toward the
completion of the ministry and perfect development of the latter day
work. Each step came in its turn, and in like manner the doctrines of
the kingdom were unfolded, here a little and there a little, until the
perfect organization was established on the earth.

Blessings of Those Who Built the Temple

Another conference was called March 7, for the purpose of blessing
those who had assisted, by labor or other means, in the building of
the Kirtland Temple, which was nearing completion. This conference
continued during the 8th, and all those who were available were
blessed with special blessings who had assisted in this necessary work
preparatory to the receiving of the promised endowment.

The Great Revelation on Priesthood

The Twelve Apostles met in council, March 12, 1835, and were appointed
by the presidency to a mission through the Eastern States, visiting
the branches and regulating the affairs of the Church therein. March
28, as they were about ready to depart, they sought the Prophet for
a blessing by revelation from the Lord. "We have unitedly asked God
our heavenly Father to grant unto us," they said, "through his seer a
revelation of his mind and will concerning our duty the coming season,
even a great revelation, that will enlarge our hearts, comfort us in
adversity, and brighten our hopes amidst the powers of darkness." They
were not disappointed, for the Lord gave unto them a great revelation
on Priesthood (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 107) in which the various offices,
and the powers pertaining thereto, were fully defined. It was explained
that there are two Priesthoods in the Church, "namely, the Melchizedek
and the Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood. Why the first is
called the Melchizedek Priesthood, is because Melchizedek was such a
great High Priest. Before his day it was called _The Holy Priesthood
after the Order of the Son of God;_ but out of respect or reverence to
the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition
of his name, they, the Church in ancient days, called that Priesthood
after Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek Priesthood. All other authorities
or offices in the Church are appendages to this Priesthood."[4]
Immediately following the giving of this revelation which sets
forth the duties of the twelve, the apostles started on their first
missionary journey as they had been appointed.

The Book of Abraham

On the 3rd of July, 1835, Michael H. Chandler, came to Kirtland
exhibiting four mummies and some rolls of papyrus covered with
hieroglyphic figures. Mr. Chandler had been directed to the Prophet
Joseph Smith as one who could translate the characters for him. At
his request Joseph Smith gave a translation of a few of them which
Mr. Chandler stated agreed with the decipherings of learned men who
had examined them. He gave the Prophet a certificate to this effect.
Shortly after this interview some of the Saints in Kirtland purchased
the mummies and the manuscripts, and, with Oliver Cowdery and Wm. W.
Phelps as scribes, the Prophet commenced to translate these records.
To their great joy they discovered that one of these rolls contained
writings of Abraham, or instructions given to him in Egypt from the
Lord. The other contained writings of Joseph, son of Jacob. During the
summer the Prophet prepared for the complete translation of the Book
of Abraham, as it is called, which now appears in the Pearl of Great
Price,[5] one of the accepted standard works of the Church.

The Doctrine and Covenants

A general assembly of the Church was held in Kirtland, August 17, 1835,
to consider the labors, of a committee appointed by a general assembly
of the Church, September 24, 1834, for the purpose of arranging the
items of doctrine and the revelations for publication. This committee
was composed of the following: Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney
Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams. The committee having finished their
work they called a general assembly on the above date to consider their
labors. It should be understood that the printing of the revelations
according to the action of the conference of the Church, on a previous
date in 1831, had miscarried, due to the destruction of the printing
press in Independence in July, 1833, and the destruction of most of the
forms which had been issued up to that time. At this general assembly
Oliver Cowdery and Sidney Rigdon, of the presidency, were in charge;
the Prophet and Frederick G. Williams were at the time on a visit in
Michigan. All the quorums of the Priesthood were arranged in order;
Thomas Burdick, Warren Parrish and Sylvester Smith were appointed
clerks. The usual procedure at conferences of the Church was followed,
and the morning session was devoted to ordinations and the transaction
of other important business. In the afternoon Oliver Cowdery introduced
the "Book of Doctrine and Covenants of the Church" in behalf of the
committee. Sidney Rigdon followed with instructions pertaining to the
manner of voting, by which they intended to obtain the voice of the
assembly for or against the book. Each of the councils and quorums of
the Priesthood then by separate vote acknowledged the revelations which
had been selected for a place in the book, as from the Lord, and the
doctrine and covenants of their faith. A written acknowledgment from
the Twelve Apostles, which had evidently been prepared before their
departure for their mission, was read. It is as follows:

Testimony of the Twelve Apostles to the Truth of the Book of Doctrine
and Covenants

    _"The testimony of the Witnesses to the Book of the Lord's
    Commandments, which commandments he gave to his Church through
    Joseph Smith, Jr., who was appointed, by the voice of the Church,
    for this purpose._

    "We therefore feel willing to bear testimony to all the world of
    mankind, to every creature upon the face of all the earth, that
    the Lord has borne record to our souls through the Holy Ghost shed
    forth upon us, that these commandments were given by inspiration of
    God, and are profitable for all men, and are verily true. We give
    this testimony unto the world, the Lord being our helper; and it is
    through the grace of God the Father, and His Son Jesus Christ, that
    we are permitted to have this privilege of bearing this testimony
    unto the world, in the which we rejoice exceedingly, praying the
    Lord always that the children of men may be profited thereby.

    Thomas B. Marsh, David W. Patten, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball,
    Orson Hyde, William E. McLellin, Parley P. Pratt, Luke S. Johnson,
    William Smith, Orson Pratt, John F. Boynton, Lyman E. Johnson."

To the revelations were added by vote of this assembly, the Lectures
on Faith, which had been given in the School of the Elders (Prophets)
earlier in the year, and an article on Government and Laws in General;
also one on Marriage. These lectures and the two articles mentioned
were not received, however, as doctrine and binding on the Church,
as were the revelations. The minutes of this gathering were signed
by Oliver Cowdery and Sidney Rigdon as Presidents, and by the three
clerks. They were published in the book when printed, with a preface
signed by the presidency, with date of February 17, 1835.

Close of the Year 1835

The close of the year 1835 found the Prophet busy working on the Book
of Abraham, which, among other great truths, revealed principles
pertaining to astronomy as taught to Abraham. Many council meetings
were held, and the twelve were instructed that they were to take their
families and move to Missouri the following summer with the presidency,
after the endowment in the temple was received. The School of the
Elders was continued, and the study of grammar and Hebrew, under a
competent instructor, became an important part of their work. The
elders were preparing for the solemn assembly which was soon to convene
in the Kirtland Temple, now nearly completed. Peace and tranquility
prevailed, which permitted the Prophet and the Saints to accomplish
many things essential to the welfare of the Church. The one thing that
marred the peace which was granted for a season was the rebellious
spirit manifested by William Smith against the Prophet, which nearly
cost William his standing in the Church. Charges were made against him
before the high council, but on his show of repentance he was forgiven.
Christian Whitmer, one of the eight witnesses to the Book of Mormon,
died in Clay County, Missouri, November 27, 1835, firm in the faith. He
was one of the members of the high council in Missouri.

Anointing and Blessings in the Temple

Much time was spent in January and February, 1836, in council meetings
and the filling of vacancies in the various organizations of the
Priesthood. Professor Seixas, a thorough Hebrew scholar, was employed
to teach the Hebrew language, in the stead of Dr. Piexotto, who had
failed to live up to his contract. Thursday, January 21, the first of a
number of meetings in the temple was held. These gatherings continued
through several days, in which the faithful elders of the Church
received blessings by the laying on of hands and anointing with oil.

At this first meeting the presidency met, and Father Joseph Smith,
the patriarch, was anointed and blessed. He then anointed and blessed
each of the brethren of the presidency, beginning with the oldest,
pronouncing such blessings upon them as the Spirit of the Lord
revealed, and many prophecies were uttered by each of them.

A Vision

While thus engaged the heavens were opened and the Prophet received the
following vision:

    "I beheld the celestial kingdom of God, and the glory thereof,
    whether in the body or out I cannot tell. I saw the transcendent
    beauty of the gate through which the heirs of that kingdom will
    enter, which was like unto circling flames of fire; also the
    blazing throne of God, whereon was seated the Father and the Son. I
    saw the beautiful streets of that kingdom, which had the appearance
    of being paved with gold. I saw Fathers Adam and Abraham, and my
    father and mother, my brother, Alvin, that has long since slept,
    and marveled how it was that he had obtained an inheritance in the
    kingdom, seeing that he had departed this life before the Lord had
    set his hand to gather Israel the second time and had not been
    baptized for the remission of sins.

    "Thus came the voice of the Lord to me, saying--

    "'All who have died without a knowledge of this Gospel, who would
    have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be
    heirs of the celestial kingdom of God; also all that shall die
    henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it
    with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom; for I, the
    Lord, will judge all men according to their works; according to the
    desire of their hearts.'

    "And I also beheld that all children who die before they arrive at
    the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of

Many other wonderful manifestations they beheld, and angels ministered
to them; the power of the Lord rested upon them and the house was
filled with the glory of God. The Prophet's scribe, Warren Parrish, saw
the armies of heaven, and visions of the redemption of Zion.

At this and succeeding meetings the various councils and presiding
officers in the several quorums, each in turn, received blessings by
the anointing of oil and laying on of hands, such as the patriarch and
presidency had received, and the visions of heaven were opened to their
view with wonderful manifestations of the glory and power of God, and
they shouted, "Hosanna to God and the Lamb."

The Solemn Assembly

In the city of Kirtland on Sunday, March 27, 1836, the members of the
Church realized their hopes, long anticipated, when they gathered in
the temple in solemn assembly. As early as 1832, the Lord had given
commandment for the building of a house to his name, for such a
place was not to be found on the earth; nor had there been for many
centuries. The ground was broken for this building, June 5, 1833; the
corner stones were laid on the 23rd of the following month--the same
day the Saints in Jackson County were forced by mob violence from their
homes. Now the house was finished; a monument to the faith and industry
of the little band of Latterly Saints who had constructed it in their
poverty, amidst the threatened violence of enemies. It is a building
of no mean proportions; built of stone; eighty feet in length, sixty
in width, fifty feet to the square, with a tower one hundred ten feet
from the ground. The 27th of March, 1836, was a solemn and momentous
occasion. Long before the appointed hour the building was thronged
with eager and interested people, many were turned away for lack of
room. At nine o'clock the session was called to order by President
Sidney Rigdon, who, in the midst of breathless silence, read the 96th
and the 24th psalms. The choir then sang: "Ere long the veil will
rend in twain"--which declaration was to be fulfilled earlier than
the congregation realized. After prayer and another song appropriate
remarks were made, and then the various officers of the Church were
sustained by separate vote, which procedure was interspersed with

The Prayer of Dedication

The prayer of dedication which had been given by revelation (Doc. and
Cov. Sec. 109) was offered and the house was presented to the Lord.[6]
Following the prayer, the congregation sang the hymn Hosanna[7] which
had been written for this occasion, and then shouted "Hosanna, hosanna,
hosanna, to God and the Lamb," sealing it with "Amen, Amen, and Amen."
Angels were present and the Holy Spirit, like the sound of a mighty
rushing wind, filled the house and rested upon the assembly. The people
of the neighborhood came running together hearing a strange sound
and seeing a bright light resting on the temple. The house had been
accepted by the Lord.

Endowments Given

As soon as the Temple was dedicated, ordinance work for the elders was
commenced. The ordinance of washing of feet--which the Prophet said
was never intended but for the official members of the Church[8]--was
attended to in behalf of the leading quorums, and other ordinances
were performed. The Savior appeared to several of the brethren and
angels ministered to others in these meetings. It was indeed a time of
Pentecost to the Saints.

The Coming of Moses, Elias and Elijah

After the administering of the Sacrament in the temple at the meeting
held Sunday, April 3, 1836, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery retired
to the pulpit, the veils[9] being dropped, and there bowed in silent
prayer. After rising from their knees the Savior appeared to them
standing on the breast-work of the pulpit and blessed them, accepting
the building in his name. After this vision closed, the heavens were
again opened, and Moses appeared committing to them the keys of the
gathering of Israel; Elias, who lived in the days of Abraham, then
appeared, and committed to them the keys of the dispensation of the
Gospel of Abraham. Then another glorious vision burst upon them and
Elijah appeared and committed to them the keys, in fulfilment of the
prediction of Malachi, of the turning of the hearts of the fathers to
the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, which
was to be done before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the

The Elders Prepared to Teach

In the revelation given on Fishing River (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 105) the
Lord had said the elders must be endowed with power from on high before
they would be fully prepared to go forth to build up the Church and
"prune" his vineyard. This endowment having now been received, and the
various keys of different dispensations having now been restored, the
elders were prepared for their ministry among the nations of the earth.
Following these blessings they began to go forth spreading abroad in
all parts of the land, preaching the word in power as they had never
experienced it before, and many received their testimony and were
numbered among the people of the Lord.


1. The record which gives an account of this ordination has this to
say: "The office of Assistant President is to assist in presiding over
the whole Church, and to officiate in the absence of the President,
according to his rank and appointment, viz.; President Cowdery, first;
President Rigdon, second, and President Williams, third, as they
were severally called. The office of this Priesthood is also to act
as spokesman, taking Aaron for an example. The virtue of the above
Priesthood is to hold, the keys of the kingdom of heaven or the Church
militant" (_MS. History of the Church_ Book A, Chapter 1).

The account of Oliver's ordination is given in the same record as
follows: "After addressing the throne of mercy, President Smith laid
hands upon High Counselor Cowdery, and ordained him to the Presidency
of the High Priesthood in the Church, saying: 'Brother, in the name of
Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who was crucified for the sins of the world,
that we through the virtue of his blood might come to the Father, I lay
my hands upon thy head, and ordain thee a President of the High and
Holy Priesthood, to assist in presiding over the Church, and bearing
the keys of this kingdom--which Priesthood is after the order of
Melchizedek--which is after the order of the Son of God.'"

2. Later they were arranged in order of precedence according to age as

Thomas B. Marsh David W. Patten Brigham Young Heber C. Kimball Orson
Hyde William E. McLellin Parley P. Pratt Luke S. Johnson William Smith
Orson Pratt John F. Boynton Lyman E. Johnson

3. For the names of those who formed this quorum of seventy see the
_Documentary History of the Church_, vol. 2:203; and for the names of
the members of Zion's Camp see the same volume, pages 183-5.

4. This important revelation should receive careful study for few
revelations have been given containing greater instruction for the

5. This Book of Abraham, like the Book of Moses, which also appears
in the Pearl of Great Price, is another addition to our collection of
lost scripture which the Lord, through his wisdom, has restored. These
records contain many important revelations, and should be carefully
read. The history of the discovery of these rolls of papyrus, and the
guiding hand of the Lord which placed them in the hands of Joseph Smith
is set forth in the _Documentary History of the Church_, vol. 2:348-51.
See also _Messenger and Advocate_, Dec. 1835.

6. These ceremonies were repeated for the benefit of those who could
not gain admittance at the first session.

7. "The Spirit of God like a fire is burning."

8. _Documentary History of the Church_, vol. 2:309.

9. There were four veils in the temple arranged crosswise, so that they
could be lowered and divide the assembly room into four parts.

10. See Doc. and Cov. Sec. 110, for an account of these visions.

Chapter 22

Clay County Rejects the Saints--Apostasy and Sorrow


Dishonorable Action of Governor Dunklin

Governor Daniel Dunklin, of Missouri, who showed some sense of honor
and willingness to enforce the law at the beginning of the trouble
in Jackson County, later manifested a spirit of fellowship with the
stronger side, against right and justice--a trait common with many
politicians. In a communication to William W. Phelps and others,
bearing date of July 18, 1836, he cravenly insinuated that the mobbings
and expulsion of the Latter-day Saints from Jackson County, was due to
faults of their own; the people would not have united against them,
without some reason, and while they had some friends at first even
these had forsaken them. Whether his conclusion was right or wrong, he
maintained it to be the duty of the Saints to convince their enemies of
their innocence and worthiness. "If you cannot do this," he wrote, "all
I can say to you is that in this Republic the vox populi is the vox
Dei." Such was the contemptible answer of the governor of a sovereign
state, to an innocent people, driven from their homes and smitten by
their enemies, because of their faith in the Gospel of our Redeemer.

Clay County Rejects the Saints

When the exiled Saints were driven from Jackson County, they found a
place of refuge in Clay County, just over the Missouri River to the
north. Here the people were hospitable and kindly disposed. The Saints
had no intention of remaining in Clay County, for they fully expected
to be restored to their former homes. After exhausting every source
of redress, even to an appeal to the President of the United States,
they prepared to make permanent settlement by purchasing lands. As time
passed and the indication pointed to the gathering of the Latter-day
Saints in that county, the citizens became alarmed. The people from
Jackson were constantly menacing the Saints, even though they were
peacefully minding their business in their new homes, but wrong begets
wrong, and the deep-seated hatred of these mobbers had no end. Finally
the citizens of Clay County decided to do the wrong thing, to their
everlasting injury, and rid themselves, once and for all, from the
danger which they felt confronted them by harboring the "Mormons"
in their midst. That there was a danger of conflict there can be no
question, with the menacing influence on the south, and growing hatred,
because of association of the mobbers with many of the residents of the
county to the north. However, these Clay County citizens preferred to
expel the Saints in a gentle way if it could be done. A mass meeting
was held June 29, 1836, for the purpose of presenting, with united
front, a petition to the undesirable exiles, kindly requesting them
to move to some part of the country where they could be entirely by
themselves. The new country of Wisconsin was suggested as a suitable
place. A report of conditions as they understood them and resolutions
embodying their request, were unanimously approved. They did not fail
to call attention to their great hospitality and kindness in 1833, when
they received the exiles among them; and endeavored to impress upon the
Saints the thought that they were devoid of "one spark of gratitude" if
they refused to accept the suggestions offered to depart in peace to a
more congenial locality. Yet they frankly admitted, "we do not contend
that we have the least right to expel them by force," but if they would
not go they were sure it would lead to civil war, "bearing ruin, woe,
and desolation, in its course."

Some of the reasons why the "Mormons" had become "objects of the
deepest hatred and detestation" to many of the citizens were declared
in the petition to be as follows:

    "They are eastern men, whose manners, habits, customs, and
    even dialect, are essentially different from our own. They are
    non-slave-holders, and opposed to slavery, which in this peculiar
    period, when Abolitionism has reared its deformed and haggard
    visage in our land, is well calculated to excite deep and abiding
    prejudices in any community where slavery is tolerated and

    "In addition to all this, they are charged, as they have hitherto
    been, with keeping up a constant communication with our Indian
    tribes on our frontiers, with declaring, even from the pulpit, that
    the Indians are a part of God's chosen people and are destined by
    heaven to inherit this land, in common with themselves. We do not
    vouch for the correctness of these statements; but whether they
    are true or false, their effect has been the same in exciting our
    community. In times of greater tranquility, such ridiculous remarks
    might well be regarded as the offspring of frenzied fanaticism; but
    at this time, our defenseless situation on the frontier, the bloody
    disasters of our fellow citizens in Florida, and other parts of
    the South, all tend to make a portion of our citizens regard such
    sentiments with horror if not alarm. These and many other causes
    have combined to raise a prejudice against them; and a feeling
    of hostility, that the first spark may, and we deeply fear will,
    ignite into all the horrors and desolations of a civil war, the
    worst evil that can befall any country."

For these real and fancied "wrongs" this people must move again, for
their presence was obnoxious. These foolish citizens, acting as they
thought in their own best interests, rejected the everlasting Gospel
against themselves, as well as the people who proclaimed it.

The Saints' Reply

Three days later (July 1, 1836), the Saints met in council and
formulated their reply. They accepted the requisitions of the citizens
of Clay County, notwithstanding the added loss of property that would
be entailed. They also thanked these citizens for their hospitality
during the period of the sojourn among them, which covered a period of
more than two and one half years. Let it be said that many of these
citizens sympathized with the "Mormons" and proffered material help to
aid them in the removal from the county; but in this drastic action
they were acting, as they sincerely thought, in the best interests of
their communities.

When the First Presidency heard of this ultimatum they fully endorsed
the action taken by the Missouri Saints, and in a communication to
the Clay County committee notified them of the fact. They also took
occasion to inform the committee of many other things, in humility,
which should have appealed to their sense of justice and touched their

Caldwell County Organized

In pursuance of this action the Saints began to move from Clay County
as soon as circumstances would permit, and located on Shoal Creek, in
an uninhabited section in the north part of Ray County. The property of
the few settlers in that part, they purchased, and commenced to build
their homes. By December, 1836, a goodly number had taken up their
residence there and a petition was sent to the governor asking for a
county organization. This petition was granted about the middle of that
month. This organization, and the prospect of a peaceful habitation,
gave impetus to the growth of the "Mormon" colonies, and the County of
Caldwell, as it was called, "grew like Jonah's gourd."[2]

The Kirtland Safety Society

Affairs in Kirtland had been progressing smoothly for some time,
and many blessings were bestowed upon the people. Such a condition,
however, was not to last. On the 2nd of November, 1836, articles of
agreement were prepared for the organization of the "Kirtland Safety
Society Bank." The State of Ohio, through prejudice, refused to grant
a charter, so the matter rested until January, 1837, when a society
was organized within the provisions of the law. Stock was subscribed
for and the business commenced. During this year (1837) speculation
was at high ebb throughout the entire nation. The Latter-day Saints
in Kirtland partook of that spirit; several business ventures had
failed to come up to expectations, and many of the members of the
Church were financially involved. The authorities of the Church, with
others of the leading brethren who had subscribed for stock in the
Kirtland Safety Society, pledged themselves to be responsible for
the redemption of all the notes of the institution, in proportion
to the amount of stock subscribed. Since they had no charter, other
banking institutions refused their notes. The cashier of this society,
at one time the Prophet's clerk and a faithful elder in the Church,
was found guilty of immoral conduct. He was forgiven on a show of
repentance and confession, and retained his standing in the Church;
but he never regained the spirit and shortly after became disaffected.
He misappropriated the funds of the society to the extent of over
twenty-five thousand dollars, which placed the institution in a
precarious condition. Seeing how matters were being conducted, the
Prophet gave a warning which was not heeded; therefore, early in the
summer of 1837, he withdrew from the concern, resigned his office and
disposed of all his interests therein, stating that he was satisfied
after five months' experience, "that no institution of the kind,
established upon just and righteous principles for a blessing not only
to the Church, but to the whole nation, would be suffered to continue
its operations in such an age of darkness, speculation and wickedness."

The Financial Panic of 1837

At this time the panic of 1837, swept over the United States. During
the months of March and April, the failures in the City of New York
amounted to over $100,000,000 and hundreds of institutions were driven
to the wall. It was only natural that the Kirtland Safety Society, so
improperly managed, should share in the general condition of failure.

Other Causes of Embarrassment

Other causes for the financial stress among the Saints, which also
weighed heavily upon the heads of the Church, were the afflictions
undergone at the hands of enemies, and the expenses attached to the
erection of the Kirtland Temple. Moreover, the poor, destitute and
needy, who had received the Gospel came to Kirtland seeking assistance
and necessary homes. Large contracts for land were entered into for
the benefit of these poor, that they might obtain homes to call their
own; but those concerned were not always prompt in the payment of their
dues--a common failure of mankind.

Apostasy and Sorrow

As the fruit of this condition, an apostasy followed rapidly, and it
seemed, said the Prophet, "as though all the powers of earth and hell
were combining their influence in an especial manner to overthrow
the Church at once, and make a final end." Enemies abroad, aided by
apostates within, united in various schemes to overthrow the Prophet
as if he had been the sole cause of all the evils, not only in the
communities of the Church, but throughout the entire land. Most of this
evil which befell the Church might have been avoided if the Prophet's
counsel had been accepted by the Saints. Apostasy developed within
all the councils of the Church, and many of the leading brethren, who
previously had been true and faithful, were involved.

The Pure in Heart Able to Withstand

It is strange to think of this dire condition, when just one brief
year before, the glorious manifestations in the temple had been given
to many of these men, who now possessed such bitterness of spirit.
They seemed to have forgotten their many blessings, and the wonderful
visions, and the great promises made them by the Lord, if they would
be true and faithful in their ministry. The spirit of speculation and
desire for wealth, during the brief spell of peace and harmony, had
beclouded the minds of many, and their souls were filled with deadly
hatred against their former brethren. Joseph Smith was called a fallen
prophet by those whom he had cherished and loved, and whose love for
him had been pronounced. Some, in their bitterness and darkness of
mind, sought his life. Those who sought his welfare and spoke in his
defense, were ridiculed and treated with great contempt. It was a time
when the souls of men were tested, and only those who kept themselves
pure and unspotted from the sins of the world, were able to withstand
the trial. Every influence was brought to bear upon the members of the
Church to get them to renounce the Prophet. Many good men were dragged
into the net; others barely escaped, and only through their deep
humility and great repentance, were they spared the awful fate which
carried so many to destruction. It was during this time at disaffection
that Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Wilford Woodruff, and others,
including John Taylor and Willard Richards, who had but recently joined
the Church, stood nobly in defense of the Prophet Joseph, in the face
of a murderous spirit of opposition.

The Prophet's Visit to Missouri

In September, 1837, Presidents Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon went
to Missouri to assist the Saints in that land in establishing places
of gathering. Other brethren from Kirtland accompanied them. They
arrived about the first of November in Caldwell County and immediately
went into council with the elders there, regarding locations for the
Saints. Those who met in council were Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon,
Hyrum Smith, Thomas B. Marsh, William E. McLellin, Lyman E. Johnson
and William Smith from Ohio, and the high council of the Church in Far
West, with William W. Phelps at their head. It was decided that there
was room in that land to make it desirable to invite the Saints from
other parts to locate there. The city Far West, which had been laid
out and incorporated, was chosen as a central gathering place. It was
decided to postpone the building of the Lord's house in Far West, which
had been decided on, until the Lord should reveal his will to have it

Death of Jerusha Smith

A sad event occurred while Hyrum Smith was engaged in Far West
assisting the Saints to locate, in the death of his wife Jerusha Barden
Smith, October 3, 1837. "Tell your father when he comes that the Lord
has taken your mother home and left you for him to take care of," was
her dying statement to her five little children.

Attempt to Depose the Prophet

Presidents Smith and Rigdon returned to Kirtland from Missouri, on the
10th of December. They discovered that during their absence, Warren
Parrish, John F. Boynton, Luke S. Johnson, Joseph Coe, Sylvester Smith,
and other of the leading councils had united to overthrow the Church.
Some of these men had earlier in the year shown a spirit of opposition,
but on a show of repentance had been reinstated; but the evils were
not fully eradicated from their minds. Warren Parrish was a seventy,
who a few short months before shared the Prophet's fullest confidence,
as one of his closest and dearest friends. Now, through transgression,
he became one of the Prophet's bitterest enemies and the leader of a
movement to depose him and install David Whitmer in his stead. Meetings
had been held by this clique in the temple, which they claimed as their
own, and they resorted to violence to maintain their contention. In
this manner the Kirtland Temple, so recently accepted by the Lord, was
desecrated and defiled so that it ceased to be a sacred edifice to his
holy name.

The British Mission

During these sad days of trial and tribulation, the word of the Lord
came to Joseph Smith stating that something must be done for the
salvation of the Church. The solution was the carrying of the Gospel to
Great Britain. On Sunday, the 4th day of June, the Prophet approached
Elder Heber C. Kimball in the Kirtland Temple and whispered to him,
saying: "Brother Heber, the Spirit of the Lord has whispered to me:
'Let my servant Heber go to England and proclaim my Gospel, and open
the door of salvation to that nation.'" Brother Kimball, feeling his
weakness, asked if Elder Brigham Young could not go with him. The
Prophet answered that the Lord had something else for Brigham Young to
do. Following this conversation Elder Kimball was set apart for this
great work in the British Isles, which was to be the first foreign
mission of the Church. While the First Presidency were setting Elder
Kimball apart, Orson Hyde, of the council of the twelve came in, and
listening to the blessing being given to his fellow laborer asked that
he also might have the privilege of assisting in that work. Elder Hyde
had been among those disturbed because of speculation. His heart melted
within him and he now acknowledged his faults, and sought a blessing.
His offering was accepted and he was set apart for the British labor.

The Work in Canada

The movement to send elders to Great Britain was the outgrowth of the
work in Canada. Several of the elders had taken trips to Canada and had
preached the Gospel there. Elder Orson Pratt was the first to carry the
message into Canada in the year 1833. In the fall of that same year the
Prophet and Sidney Rigdon went on a brief mission to Upper Canada and
made a number of converts. In 1836, Elder Parley P. Pratt went to the
City of Toronto and surrounding country and preached with wonderful
success. It was here at this time that Elder John Taylor, afterwards of
the council of the twelve and later President of the Church, received
the Gospel. It was also here, and due to the preaching of Elder Pratt,
that Joseph Fielding and his two sisters, Mary--who a few months later
became the wife of Hyrum Smith--and Mercy R., were baptized. Others who
received the Gospel in Canada were John Goodson, John Snyder and Isaac
Russell. All of these people were in correspondence with relatives and
friends in Great Britain whom they informed of the rise and progress of
the Church, thus preparing them for events to come.

Departure for Great Britain

Elder Willard Richards, having requested the privilege of going to
Great Britain, was set apart by Sidney Rigdon and Hyrum Smith, on
the 12th of June, 1837. The following day Elders Heber C. Kimball,
Orson Hyde, Willard Richards, and Joseph Fielding, a priest, who came
from Honeydon, England, left Kirtland on their mission to the British
Isles. They were accompanied on their journey as far as Fairport by
Elder Brigham Young and others. This little band of missionaries was
later augmented by the addition of Isaac Russell, John Goodson and
John Snyder, and on the 23rd of June, 1837, they engaged passage on
the merchant ship _Garrick_, for Liverpool. On the morning of the
20th of July, the _Garrick_ anchored in the River Mersey. As soon as
these brethren landed they went to Preston, about thirty miles from
Liverpool. It was election day for members of Parliament, and Queen
Victoria, who had recently come to the throne, was about to organize
her cabinet. As the missionaries alighted from their coach, they saw in
letters of gold on a banner above their heads an inscription, "Truth
will prevail," which they accepted as a favorable omen.

Elder Joseph Fielding had a brother Rev. James Fielding, who resided
in Preston, and the brethren went to hear him preach on Sunday, July
23, 1837. At the service Rev. Fielding unexpectedly announced that
there were present some ministers from America and they would occupy
his pulpit in the afternoon. The invitation was joyfully accepted and
President Kimball gave a brief address followed by Elder Hyde. That
evening Mr. Fielding again offered his pulpit to the brethren and Elder
Goodson and Brother Fielding preached. This was the opening of the door
for the Gospel in England.[3]

The following Wednesday (July 26, 1837) another meeting was held in
Rev. James Fielding's chapel. Elders Hyde and Richards preached and
much interest was manifested by the congregation, many were convinced
and sought baptism. Fearing that he would lose his entire flock the
Rev. Fielding closed the doors of his chapel against the elders and
from that time opposed the work with all his power. However, the work
was started, a foothold had been gained, and the brethren received
many invitations to preach in private homes. The work spread rapidly
throughout the nation, many branches were organized and many souls
sought salvation through the remission of their sins.

Revelation to the Twelve

The same day that the Gospel was first preached in England (July 23,
1837) the Lord gave a revelation through Joseph Smith to Thomas B.
Marsh and the twelve. They were commanded to gird up their loins, take
up their cross and follow the Savior and feed his sheep. "Exalt not
yourselves," said the Lord, "rebel not against my servant Joseph Smith,
for verily I say unto you, I am with him, and my hand shall be over
him; and the keys which I have given unto him, and also to youward,
shall not be taken from him till I come."

This was a timely warning, for even then some of the members of that
council were in secret collusion with enemies of the Church. Their
actions later developed, and before the close of the year they were in
open rebellion as previously indicated.

Frederick G. Williams Removed

A conference of the elders held in Far West, November 7, 1837,
refused to sustain Frederick G. Williams as a counselor to President
Joseph Smith, and Hyrum Smith was appointed in his place. President
Williams, Lyman E. Johnson, Parley P. Pratt and Warren Parrish had
previously been cited to appear before a council of the Church, charges
having been preferred against them, but the council being improperly
organized, no action was taken at that time. President Williams became
disaffected with many others, due to speculations and financial
troubles in the fore part of the year 1837, and permitted himself to
become estranged from the work.

Flight of Brigham Young

The feeling of opposition against the Prophet became so intense near
the close of the year 1837, that it was with danger that anyone in
Kirtland could speak in his defense. On the morning of December 22,
1837, Elder Brigham Young left Kirtland because of the fury of the
enemies of the Church. Apostates had threatened to destroy him because
he continued to proclaim publicly that Joseph Smith was a prophet of
the Most High and had not transgressed and fallen, as the apostates

This was the condition of affairs in Kirtland at the close of the year


1. The minutes of these meetings and the communications involved in
the question of the removal of the Saints are found in full in the
_Documentary History of the Church_, vol. 2:448-462.

2. The Missourians were willing--feeling that the section chosen by the
"Mormons" was of little value.

3. The inspiration of the Prophet Joseph to send elders to Great
Britain for the salvation of the Church, was fully attested, for
members were baptized by the thousands in the course of a few months
following. Many of them emigrated and became stalwarts in the Church,
and branches of great magnitude were raised up in various parts of

Chapter 23

The Presidency Move to Missouri--Excommunication of Oliver Cowdery and


Lowering Clouds

Threatening and sinister were the clouds which hung over the Church at
the beginning of the year 1838. Apostasy had broken into the ranks, and
many of the former faithful defenders of the truth had fallen by the
wayside. Satan rejoiced, and the enemies of the Saints gained great
power, which was later to be made manifest with extreme bitterness.

Flight of Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon

So bitter became the spirit of opposition in Kirtland that Joseph Smith
and Sidney Rigdon were forced to seek safety in flight. They departed
from that place January 12, 1838, on horseback, and journeyed towards
Far West. Unjust and vexatious law suits had been planted against them
by their enemies. Several times Joseph had been cited to appear before
the courts on trivial charges, from which he was cleared, which action
did not tend to lessen the ugly feelings of his enemies. Some sixty
miles west of Kirtland they tarried at Norton, where they were joined
by their families. On the 16th, the journey was resumed, Elder Brigham
Young accompanying them. At Dublin, in Indiana, the Prophet sought
employment, cutting and sawing wood, to relieve his necessities. Here,
through the aid of Elder Young, a Brother Tomlinson sold some property,
and gave the Prophet three hundred dollars to help him on his way.

The weather was extremely cold and the fleeing brethren were forced
because of enemies, to secrete themselves in their wagons without
sufficient means to keep warm. Their adversaries followed them for more
than two hundred miles from Kirtland, with guns and knives, seeking
their lives. "They," wrote the Prophet, "frequently crossed our track;
twice they were in the houses where we stopped, and once we tarried all
night in the same house with them, with only a partition between us and
them; and we heard their oaths and imprecations, and threats concerning
us, if they could catch us; and late in the evening they came into our
room and examined us, but decided we were not the men. At other times
we passed them in the streets, and gazed on them, and they on us, but
they knew us not." About two hundred and twenty miles from Far West a
number of brethren met the Prophet, and assisted him with teams to that
place, where he arrived, March 14, 1838. He was welcomed by the Saints
with open arms. President Rigdon did not arrive in Far West until the
4th of April, having been detained by sickness in his family.

Rejection of the Missouri Presidency

The spirit of darkness spread from Kirtland to Missouri, and some of
the leading brethren became affected. Martin Harris was dropped from
the high council in Kirtland, with three others, September 3, 1837,
and Oliver Cowdery, who had been in transgression, was retained in
his calling on condition that he would repent; and should he fail to
repent, the Prophet said, "the Church will soon be under the necessity
of raising their hands against him; therefore pray for him." These men,
and others in Kirtland, influenced some of the brethren in Missouri,
and the spirit of disaffection in Caldwell County commenced to grow. A
general assembly of the Saints was held in Far West, February 4, 1838,
and the members withdrew the hand of fellowship from their presiding
officers, David Whitmer, William W. Phelps and John Whitmer. Similar
action was taken on the succeeding days in Carter's settlement,
Durphy's home, and Haun's Mill.

The charges against two of them, William W. Phelps and John Whitmer,
were that they had sold their possessions in Jackson County, contrary
to the revelations of the Lord, which was paramount to a denial of
the faith; and for the misappropriation of funds borrowed for the use
of the Church. The Lord, in a revelation, had rebuked these men for
their transgression and warned them, but they did not heed the warning.
David Whitmer was likewise charged with improper conduct and neglect of
duty, and with the violation of the word of wisdom, in the persistent
use of tea, coffee and tobacco, and the Church had gone on record by
vote that they would not sustain any officer who indulged in such
things. Thomas B. Marsh and David W. Patten were sustained as presiding
officers in Missouri, until the coming of Presidents Joseph Smith and
Sidney Rigdon. The three accused men persisted in showing contempt for
the decision of these conferences of the Church, in which action they
were joined by Oliver and Marcellus F. Cowdery; therefore they were
cited to appear before the high council, March 10, 1838, and William W.
Phelps and John Whitmer were excommunicated. Marcellus F. Cowdery was
disfellowshipped and the case of David Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery was
held over for future investigation.

Political Motto of the Church

Shortly after the arrival of Presidents Smith and Rigdon in Far West
the following political motto was adopted:

    "The Constitution of our country formed by the fathers of liberty.
    Peace and good order in society. Love to God, and good will to man.
    All good and wholesome laws, virtue and truth above all things, and
    aristarchy, live forever! But woe to tyrants, mobs, aristocracy,
    anarchy, and toryism, and all those who invent or seek out
    unrighteous and vexatious law suits, under the pretext and color of
    law, or office, either religious or political. Exalt the standard
    of democracy; down with that of priestcraft, and let all the people
    say, Amen! that the blood of our fathers may not cry from the
    ground against us. Sacred is the memory of the blood which bought
    for us our liberty."

First General Conference at Far West

April 6, 1838, the first general conference of the Church in Missouri
was held at Far West. John Corrill and Elias Higbee were chosen
historians and George W. Robinson general church recorder and clerk
of the First Presidency. Thomas B. Marsh, David W. Patten and Brigham
Young were sustained as the presidency of the Church in Zion. The
following day, David W. Patten, in reporting the labors of the council
of the twelve, said he could not recommend William E. McLellin, Luke S.
Johnson, Lyman E. Johnson, John F. Boynton, and was doubtful of William
Smith. The other brethren were faithfully discharging their duties.

John Whitmer Withholds the Church Record

A demand by letter was made, by sanction of the conference, of John
Whitmer, the former historian, calling for the record of the Church in
his keeping. This he refused to deliver and retained it until the day
of his death. A copy of it is now in the archives of the Church.

Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Others Excommunicated

Wednesday, April 11, 1838, Seymour Brunson preferred nine charges
against Oliver Cowdery who was cited to appear for trial the following
day. Oliver refused to appear, but sent a letter, written in a very
bitter spirit, and defiant attitude, in which he boasted of his
"personal liberty," and with injured demeanor denied the right of
any church tribunal to control him in his temporal interests, which
was contrary to his constitutional privileges. Therefore he would
voluntarily "withdraw from a society assuming they have such right."
Two of the charges when presented to the council were rejected and one
was withdrawn, the other six were sustained. There was no other course
for the council to take than to excommunicate the rebellious Assistant
President of the Church, who had turned so bitter in his feelings
against his former associates.

On the 9th, five charges were also preferred against David Whitmer,
who was cited to appear for trial on the 13th. David also replied by
letter, in which he refused to recognize the authority of the general
assemblies of the Church and the action taken against him; nor would he
recognize the authority of the present council which had been called to
try his case. And, since the council would pursue its "unlawful course
at all hazards," he preferred to withdraw from their "fellowship and
communion--choosing to seek a place among the meek and humble, where
the revelations of heaven will be observed, and the rights of men
regarded." Action was therefore taken against David Whitmer and thus
another of the special witnesses, was cut off from the Church.[1]

Lyman E. Johnson and William E. McLellin

The same day charges were preferred against Lyman E. Johnson; these
were sustained, and he was cut off from the Church. One month later,
May 11, 1838, William E. McLellin was handled for his fellowship, and
he also lost his standing in the Church. About this time Jacob Whitmer
and Hiram Page also left the Church having partaken of the spirit of

A Day of Sadness

This was a day of sadness for Joseph Smith. To see the witnesses who
were associated with him in the incipiency of the Church fall by the
wayside, touched his heart. Yet right must prevail, and righteousness
triumph, even though it should cause wounds which could not be healed.
To their credit, be it said, that none of the witnesses who had beheld
angels and the plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated,
ever denied their testimony concerning these things, notwithstanding
the extreme bitterness of heart they manifested against Joseph Smith
the Prophet.[2]

Return of Elders Kimball and Hyde

April 1, 1838, a conference of the Church was held in Preston, England,
in Temperance Hall (the "Cock Pit"), for the purpose of setting in
order the branches in that mission. Joseph Fielding was sustained as
President of the British Mission, to succeed Heber C. Kimball, and
Willard Richards and William Clayton, an English convert, were chosen
as his counselors. These men were ordained high priests. On the 20th
of April, 1838, Elders Kimball and Hyde sailed from Liverpool for the
United States, in the same ship which had carried them to England, the
_Garrick_. They arrived in Kirtland, May 21, 1838, and immediately
notified the Prophet, at Far West, of their good feeling and firmness
in the faith.

Far West--The House of the Lord

In a revelation given April 26, 1838, the Lord accepted Far West as
a central gathering place for the Saints in Missouri, and a place of
refuge, which should be holy and consecrated to him. There a house
was to be built to his name, and the beginning should be made on the
4th of July following, then the Saints were to continue their labors
diligently until the house was finished. However, the presidency,
Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon and Hyrum Smith, the latter having taken
the place of Frederick G. Williams, were not to get into debt. Other
settlements in the region round about besides Far West, were to be
selected as gathering places for the Saints, and stakes of Zion were to
be established.

Stakes of Zion

In accordance with the revelation, about the middle of May, 1838,
Presidents Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon with a number of other
elders, including David W. Patten and Bishop Edward Partridge, took a
trip in the wilderness north of Far West for the purpose of locating
sites for settlements and the laying off of stakes of Zion. They
pursued their course up Grand River, some twenty-five miles to a place
they called Tower Hill, because they found ruins of an old Nephite
tower there. Here Elder Lyman Wight had his home, and here they camped
May 20, which was the Sabbath day. In the afternoon Presidents Smith
and Rigdon, with their clerk, George W. Robinson, went up the river
about one half mile, to Wight's ferry, for the purpose of selecting and
laying claim to a city plat. This was in Daviess County, township 60,
ranges 27 and 28, which the brethren called "Spring Hill," but by the
mouth of the Lord, the record states, "it was named Adam-ondi-Ahman,
because, said he, it is the place where Adam shall come to visit his
people, or the Ancient of Days shall sit, as spoken of by Daniel
the Prophet."[3] We are also informed that this is the place where
Adam assembled his posterity three years before his death, and there
bestowed upon them his blessing. On that occasion the Lord appeared to
them, and the posterity of Adam rose up and blessed him, and called
him Michael, the Prince, the Arch-angel; and the Lord administered
comfort to Adam, and said unto him: "I have set thee to be at the
head--a multitude of nations shall come of thee, and thou art a prince
over them forever."[4] The name of this place was first revealed
as early as March, 1832, but it is evident that the Saints did not
know where Adam-ondi-Ahman was until this visit of these brethren.
Adam-ondi-Ahman is located on the north side of Grand River, in Daviess
County, Missouri, about twenty-five miles north of Far West. It is
situated on an elevation, which, said the Prophet, "renders the place
as healthful as any part of the United States." It overlooks the river
in a wonderfully beautiful location.

Other Sites Chosen

Other territory, which was unoccupied, was also selected for the
gathering of the Saints, as the Lord had commanded by revelation. The
history gives the following account of the selection of these lands:

    "Monday 21. This morning, after making some locations in this
    place, which is in township 61, ranges 27 and 28, we returned to
    Robinson's Grove, about two miles, to secure some land near Grand
    River, which we passed the day previous; and finding a mistake in
    the former survey, I sent the surveyor south five or six miles to
    obtain a correct line, while some of us tarried to obtain water for
    the camp. In the evening I called a council of the brethren to know
    whether it was wisdom to go immediately into the north country,
    or tarry here and hereabouts, to secure land on Grand River. The
    brethren spoke their minds freely on the subject, when I stated to
    the council that I felt impressed to tarry and secure all the land
    near by, that is not secured between this and Far West, especially
    on Grand River. President Rigdon concurred, and the council voted
    unanimously to secure the land on Grand River, and between this and
    Far West."

For many days following, the brethren spent their time surveying,
selecting sites for settlements, building houses and preparing for the
gathering of the Saints who were rapidly coming to these parts. In
their travels they, at times, came across antiquities in the form of
mounds, which were erected by the ancestors of the Indians.

Independence Day at Far West

July 4, 1838, was spent by the Saints in celebrating Independence
Day. A declaration of independence from all mobs and persecutors was
declared, and after a parade the people assembled at the excavation
made for the building of the Lord's house, and the corner stones of
the proposed temple were laid, agreeable with the commandment of April
26, 1838.[5] The southeast corner stone was laid by Bishop Edward
Partridge, assisted by twelve men; and the northeast corner stone was
laid by the teachers, assisted by twelve men. The building was to be
one hundred and ten feet long and eighty feet wide.

Sidney Rigdon was the orator of the day, and at the close of these
services, the assembly shouted hosanna, and after singing they

The Law of Tithing

The law of tithing, which was given as a substitute law for
consecration, and to act as a "school-master" to train the Saints, was
given July 8, 1838, at Far West, by revelation. Earlier, as we have
discovered, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery made a covenant that they
would give one tenth of all they received, for the support of the poor.
Now the Prophet inquired of the Lord to know what course should be
taken by the Saints, and received the following revelation:

    "Verily, thus saith the Lord, I require all their surplus property
    to be put into the hands of the Bishop of my Church of Zion, for
    the building of mine house, and for the laying of the foundation of
    Zion and for the Priesthood, and for the debts of the Presidency
    of my Church. And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of
    my people; and after that, those who have thus been tithed, shall
    pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a
    standing law unto them forever, for my holy Priesthood, saith the

    "Verily, I say unto you, it shall come to pass, that all those
    who gather unto the land of Zion shall be tithed of their surplus
    properties and shall observe this law, or they shall not be found
    worthy to abide among you.

    "And I say unto you, if my people observe not this law, to keep
    it holy, and by this law sanctify the land of Zion unto me, that
    my statutes and my judgments may be kept thereon, that it may be
    most holy, behold, verily I say unto you, it shall not be a land of
    Zion unto you; and this shall be an ensample unto all the stakes of
    Zion; even so, Amen."

It was also made known that the tithing should be disposed of by a
council composed of the First Presidency, Twelve Apostles and Presiding

The Mission of the Twelve

On the same day the revelation on tithing was received the Lord also
gave a revelation to the council of the apostles, calling them to the
foreign field in Europe. They were to take their departure from the
Saints in Far West on the 26th day of April, 1839, from the building
spot of the Lord's house. How this revelation was fulfilled at that
date, in the midst of murderous opposition will later be shown. John
Taylor, John E. Page, Wilford Woodruff and Willard Richards, the latter
at the time acting as one of the presidency of the British Mission,
were called to the apostleship, to take the places of William E.
McLellin, Luke S. Johnson, John F. Boynton and Lyman E. Johnson, who
had fallen.

Elders Heber C. Kimball and Orson Hyde, who had recently returned from
England, spoke at the meeting in Far West, Sunday, July 29, 1838,
relating their remarkable experiences in that foreign field. On the
5th of August, at the meeting, Frederick G. Williams was re-confirmed
a member of the Church, he having been recently re-baptized. He had
partaken of the spirit of bitterness and opposition in Kirtland and
through it lost his place as one of the First Presidency, but had come
to Far West seeking fellowship in the Church.

The Kirtland Camp

A meeting of all the seventies in Kirtland was held in the temple,
March 6, 1838, to consider the removal of the Saints to Missouri. The
matter was left in the hands of the presidents and a meeting called
for the 10th instant. At this meeting the presidents reported; they
stated that it was doubtful that the journey could be taken in a
body because of the extreme poverty of the people. The effort of the
high council and high priests to get means and remove the Saints had
failed, and they, the seventies, felt that perhaps it would be better
for the journey to be taken as individuals. However, while they were
in this meeting the Spirit of the Lord rested upon them, and it was
made known that they should journey as a body to Zion, according to
the commandments and revelations, pitching their tents by the way, and
by doing this they should not want for any necessity while on their

This action having been decided, a constitution for their government
on the journey was drawn up under the supervision of President Hyrum
Smith, and adopted. They were to travel under the direction of the
seven presidents, but organized in companies and divisions, for their
guidance and convenience. On the 6th day of July, 1838, the journey
was commenced. There were in the camp 529 souls, 256 males, and 273
females, consisting of 105 families. A few others joined them on the
way. In this manner one of the most remarkable migrations covering a
distance of approximately nine hundred miles was undertaken by these
afflicted Saints. The Lord blessed them abundantly on their way.
Their provisions, like the widow's meal and cruse of oil, were not
diminished, and they were fed miraculously during their journey. As
might be expected, there were among them some who complained, and
a few were expelled from the camp to travel alone because of the
infraction of the rules; but the great majority traveled in humility
and obedience. A few died, which brought sorrow to the camp; some
obtained employment among the people of the various settlements through
which they passed, and in this way means were obtained to help them on
the way. After enduring various trials and afflictions, incident to
a journey of this proportion, they arrived at their destination, Far
West, October 2, 1838. There they received a joyful salutation from
their brethren. On the 3rd, they continued their march to Ambrosial
Creek and on the 4th near sunset pitched their tents at the public
square of Adam-ondi-Ahman. Thus the Saints from Kirtland and those
scattered abroad began to gather to the settlements in Missouri: but
their peace and happiness were not to remain undisturbed, for the
threatening clouds of mobocracy were already gathering.


1. For full account of these trials see _Documentary History of the
Church_, vol. 3:16-20.

2. During these days of darkness all three of the special witnesses
of the Book of Mormon left the Church. So also did three of the eight
witnesses, viz. Jacob Whitmer, John Whitmer and Hiram Page. Christian
Whitmer died in full fellowship and with a strong conviction of the
truth, in Missouri, Nov. 27, 1835, and his brother Peter Whitmer Jr.,
died September 22, 1836, also firm in the faith and fellowship of the
Saints. Later Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harris returned to the Church
and died in full fellowship, also Luke S. Johnson and many others who
became disaffected during these days of tribulation.

3. Doc. and Cov. Sec. 116. Daniel 7th chapter.

4. Doc. and Cov. Sec. 107: 53-55.

5. Doc. and Cov. Sec. 115.

6. See Doc. and Cov. Sec. 119 and 120.

Chapter 24

Difficulties in Missouri--Governor Boggs' Order of Extermination


Election Day at Gallatin

At the election held at Gallatin, Daviess County, Missouri, August 6,
1838, hostilities between the Missourians and the "Mormons" broke out.
This was the kindling of the flame which was to result in the expulsion
of the Latter-day Saints from that state. The Saints had been warned
two weeks before by Judge Morin, candidate for the state senate, that
an attempt would be made to prevent them from voting; however, they
paid little attention to the warning, hoping for better things. On that
day, as a number of the brethren approached the polls, Col. William
P. Peniston, who had led a mob against the Saints in Clay County,
mounted a barrel and harangued the crowd, which he had gathered for the
purpose, against the "Mormons." He accused their leaders of various
vicious crimes and called the members "dupes, and not too good to take
a false oath . . . they would steal, and he did not consider property
safe where they were; that he opposed their settling in Daviess County,
and if they suffered the "Mormons" to vote, the people would soon
lose their suffrage." Peniston was a candidate for the legislature,
and knowing the brethren would not vote for him, he was determined to
prevent them forcibly from casting their ballots.

The result was that a premeditated attack was made upon the little
band of voters. These "Mormons," about twelve in number, held their
ground against a force of over one hundred. Many heads were broken in
the conflict. Elder John L. Butler, filled with righteous rage, seized
a club and knocked men down right and left. The mobbers disbursed
swearing vengeance and threatening to get fire arms and return. The
brethren were persuaded by the election officials to depart to save
further conflict, since this was a prearranged attack, and their
enemies came fully intending to create trouble. The brethren returned
to their homes, collected their families and concealed them in the
thickets, while they stood guard over their homes during the night.

The Prophet's Investigation

The next day the report having reached Far West that two or three of
the brethren had been killed and the Missourians would not permit their
bodies to be removed, or interred, Joseph Smith and about fifteen
others armed themselves and started for Gallatin. At Colonel Lyman
Wight's home they learned the correct status of the affair. On the 8th,
some of the brethren called at the home of Adam Black, justice of the
peace and judge elect for Daviess County, and had some conversation
with him in which they asked him if he was their friend or enemy. While
he said some very bitter things against the "Mormons," he assured them
that he was not in sympathy with the mob, and would not aid them. He
was asked if he would make such a statement in writing, and willingly
did so in the following unique document:

    "I, Adam Black, a justice of the Peace of Daviess County do hereby
    Sertify to the people coled Mormin, that he is bound to support the
    Constitution of this State and of the United States and he is not
    attached to any mob, or will he attach himself to any such people,
    and so long as they will not molest me, I will not molest them.
    This the 8th day of August, 1838.

    "Adam Black."

Peniston's Affidavit

Two days after the interview with Adam Black, William P. Peniston,
William Bowman and others, made affidavit before Judge Austin A. King,
stating that the "Mormons," to the number of about five hundred men,
were armed and collected in Daviess County, for the purpose, they
verily believed, of committing great violence to the citizens, and to
take vengeance for some injuries, or imaginary injuries, done to some
of their friends, and to intimidate and drive from the country all
the old citizens, and possess themselves of their lands, or to force
such as do not leave, to come into their measures and submit to their
dictation. They also stated that about one hundred and twenty men did
commit violence on Adam Black, "by surrounding his house and taking
him in a violent manner, and subjecting him to great indignities, by
forcing him, under threats of immediate death, to sign a paper writing
of a very disgraceful character."

Adam Black made affidavit of similar nature on August 28, 1838,[1] in
this manner maliciously falsifying and breaking his promise made to the

Effect of These Falsehoods

These emissaries of evil knew the effect of their falsehoods would be
to stir the Missourians, who needed very little provocation, to acts of
violence against the "Mormons." They also hoped, with apparent reason,
to win the sympathy of the officers of the state, especially Governor
Lilburn W. Boggs. In fact it is not so clear that the governor was not
secretly aiding them. He had been elected to the highest office in
the state since the disgraceful expulsion of the Saints from Jackson
County, in which he took a very prominent part.

Mob Gatherings

These evil reports soon spread through other counties, and the people
were informed by many rumors that the "Mormons" were preparing to
commit acts of violence against the older citizens, in other parts of
the state. Every conceivable plan was adopted to provoke the members of
the Church to acts of violence. Their enemies captured prisoners and
punished them: then circulated the report in the "Mormon" settlements
that these prisoners had been tortured to death. Thus they hoped to
stir the Saints up to anger, trusting they would seek revenge that
occasion might be found against them as the aggressors; but the Lord
revealed the evil intent of their adversaries.

Arrest of Joseph Smith and Lyman Wight

Based on these falsehoods of Peniston, Black, et al., charges were
preferred against Joseph Smith and Lyman Wight. At first they objected
to being tried in Daviess County, where the writ was issued, because
of the enmity of the citizens there. After consulting with their
attorneys, Atchison and Doniphan, they volunteered to be tried in
Daviess County, before Judge Austin A. King. When the trial was held,
Adam Black was the only witness who appeared against them, and William
P. Peniston was the prosecutor. Several witnesses, both non-members
and members of the Church, testified in their defense. However, the
judge, who manifested a bitter spirit, bound them over in the sum of
five hundred dollars. At the close of the trial he admitted to some of
the witnesses that there was no evidence to warrant his action, but the
people demanded it.

Proclamation of Governor Boggs

These rumors and false affidavits reached the governor, as their
authors intended they should. On the pretext that the "Mormons" had
entered into an alliance with the Indians and were in rebellion,
Governor Boggs issued an order, through Adjutant General B. M. Lisle,
to General Atchison and six other commanders of the militia, that as a
"precautionary measure," an effective force of the militia be held in
readiness to meet either contingency (i.e., the rising of the Indians
or the "Mormons"). This force was to consist of four hundred men from
each of seven divisions, mounted, armed, and equipped as infantry or
riflemen, and formed into companies according to law, thus making a
force of 2,800 men.

During all this excitement armed forces of the mob were collecting
at various points and making threats against the Saints. Under the
direction of the civil authorities, some of the brethren who were
members of the state militia, intercepted a wagon load of arms and
ammunition on the way to a camp of mobbers. These brethren from Far
West took the guns and supplies, arrested three men who appeared to be
in charge, and carried them to Far West. Here the men were examined
before Albert Petty, justice of the peace, and held in bail to appear
at the next term of the circuit court. Judge King was informed of the
action taken and he replied that the prisoners should be turned loose
and treated kindly. What disposition to make of the guns he did not
seem to know, but said they belonged to the militia. Because of this
statement, the brethren kept the guns and distributed them; but later,
on the order of General Doniphan, they were gathered and delivered up
to him.

Austin's Mob Force at Diahman

False accusations continued to spread and great excitement was manifest
on every hand. The militia, according to the order of Governor Boggs,
was mustered into service. In their ranks were many of the most bitter
enemies of the Saints. Near Diahman a large mob force had gathered
under the command of Dr. Austin, armed and in a threatening mood.
General Doniphan, with an equal force of militia ordered them to
disperse. They claimed that they had gathered in self defense, yet they
were besieging the small settlement of "Mormons" at Diahman. Lyman
Wight, who was a colonel in the state militia, had gathered such force
as he could to protect the Saints. At the request of Doniphan he showed
a willingness to disperse, but demanded that the force under Austin do
the same. This, however, the force under Austin refused to do. General
Doniphan took up a position between the mob and the people at Diahman,
hoping that in a few days they would all disband.

Siege of De Witt

When Austin saw that his purpose to destroy Diahman was foiled he moved
his force to De Witt, in Carroll County, with the determination of
expelling the "Mormons" from that place. The citizens here attempted
to defend themselves the best they could, and Austin thereupon laid
siege to the town, firing upon the inhabitants from time to time, and
threatening their extermination or removal from the state. In the
meantime both Atchison and Doniphan, as well as a committee of citizens
from Chariton County, who had come to investigate the situation,
reported to the governor that the "Mormons" were very much alarmed and
entirely on the defensive in this unequal conflict. General Atchison
writing to the governor said: "Things are not so bad in that county
as represented by rumor, and in fact, from affidavits I have no doubt
your Excellency has been deceived by the exaggerated statements of
designing or half crazy men. I have found there is no cause of alarm
on account of the 'Mormons;' they are not to be feared; they are very
much alarmed." When the governor received these reports he seemed very
much elated, and replied: "The quarrel is between the 'Mormons' and the
mob, and they can fight it out." Nevertheless, when he discovered that
the "Mormons" were determined to fight it out and maintain their legal
and constitutional rights against such overwhelming odds, he was much
incensed, which later events will show.

Defense of De Witt

The forces of the Saints at De Witt, under Lieutenant Colonel George M.
Hinkle, who held a commission in the state militia, prepared to defend
themselves against their foes, who had come upon them without warrant
or provocation. The mob forces under Dr. Austin first threatened De
Witt, September 21, 1838, in defiance of all law, and ordered the
inhabitants to leave the country by October first. If they were not
gone by that time they were to be exterminated, "without regard to age
or sex." The following day the citizens of the town petitioned Governor
Boggs for relief against the mob. The governor turned a deaf ear to all
appeals from the Saints, and seemingly failed to heed the expressions
of any but their enemies. The siege of De Witt continued until the 11th
of October, in the presence of state troops, under General Parks and
Captain Bogart, a Methodist preacher, who looked on, but made no effort
to interfere.

The Prophet Visits De Witt

When Joseph Smith learned of the distress of his brethren in De Witt,
he paid a visit to that place. Although the town was under siege by
the mob, he risked his life and slipped past the guards. He found the
poor Saints in dire distress; their provisions were gone, and they had
no prospect of obtaining more; their cattle had been driven off and
consumed by their enemies. Again an appeal was made to the governor,
through the services of a number of gentlemen, not members of the
Church, but who understood the situation. This appeal was unheeded. On
the 11th of October the Saints accepted the proposition of the mob, to
vacate De Witt, with the understanding that they were to be recompensed
for the loss of their property. That afternoon they started for Far
West, destitute, hungry and cold. They were emaciated by their long
siege; many had died from this abuse; several more died on the march
to Far West, a distance of fifty miles. That they failed to receive
compensation as they were promised, need hardly be mentioned.

Other Attacks by the Mob

Very much elated over their success at De Witt, the mobbers sought
other fields of conquest. The Rev. Sachiel Woods, a Presbyterian,
called the mob together and informed them that the land sales were
coming on, and if they could get the "Mormons" driven out, they could
get all the lands entitled to preemptions, and to hasten to Daviess
County in order to accomplish their object. Moreover, that the lands
purchased by the "Mormons" would again come into their hands, and they
could have both the lands and the money the "Mormons" had paid for
them. Cornelius Gilliam was also busy in Platte and Clinton Counties
raising a mob to aid Woods in this wicked scheme. These mobbers
commenced to burn the houses of the Saints and drive them from their
doors, in the midst of a snow storm on the 17th and 18th of October,
1838. Among those who were thus deprived of shelter, was Agnes M.
Smith, wife of Don Carlos Smith who was in the mission field. She was
forced to wade Grand River carrying two small children, in the midst of
inclement winter weather.

General Doniphan Orders a Defense

General Doniphan ordered out an officer with a force to march to the
scene of trouble at Adam-ondi-Ahman, but these troops were in sympathy
with the mob, and so were sent back by Doniphan, who said they were
"damned rotten hearted." He then commanded Lieutenant Colonel George
M. Hinkle, to organize a force at Far West, and march them to Diahman,
while he would raise a force in Clay and other counties for the same
purpose. At the same time General Parks commanded Col. Lyman Wight,
who held a commission in the 59th regiment, under Parks, to collect
his force at Diahman, which was done. When the mobbers learned of the
action of these troops, they broke their camp and fled. What they could
not accomplish by force, they now hoped to gain by stratagem; therefore
they moved the goods from several of their log huts at Millport and
Gallatin and set them on fire. Then they spread the report in the
country round about that the "Mormons" had "riz" and were burning all
before them.[2] This action had the desired effect, and mob forces
commenced to gather in various parts of upper Missouri, and prepared
for war. This evil action was augmented by the cunning falsehoods of
Samuel Bogart, Col. William P. Peniston, Dr. Samuel Venable, and many
others, who circulated affidavits of an inflammatory nature, accusing
the "Mormons" of all the wicked deeds committed by the mob. Because of
this the Saints in the various settlements were forced to flee to Far
West, seeking protection.

Battle of Crooked River

Captain Bogart, although a member of the state militia, continued his
depredations against the Saints. On the night of the 24th of October,
1838, this reverend captain with his force went to the home of Nathan
Pinkham and took him and two other brethren prisoners, together with
some horses and arms. The word reached Far West, and Judge Elias
Higbee, the first judge of the County of Caldwell, ordered Lieutenant
Colonel Hinkle, the highest officer in the militia at Far West, to send
out a company to disperse the mobbers and release the prisoners. The
trumpet sounded in the public square about midnight and the brethren
assembled. Captain David W. Patten, was given command of a company and
ordered to go on horseback to the scene of the difficulty. The history
of what occurred is given as follows:

    "Fifteen of the company were detached from the main body while
    sixty continued their march till they arrived near the ford of
    Crooked River, where they dismounted, tied their horses and leaving
    four or five men to guard them, proceeded towards the ford, not
    knowing the location of the encampment. It was just at the dawning
    of light in the east, when they were marching quietly along the
    road, and near the top of the hill which descends to the river,
    that the report of a gun was heard, and young Patrick O'Banion
    reeled out of the ranks and fell mortally wounded. Thus the work of
    death commenced, when Captain Patten ordered a charge and rushed
    down the hill on a fast trot, and when within about fifty yards of
    the camp formed a line. The mob formed a line under the bank of
    the river, below their tents. It was yet so dark that little could
    be seen by looking at the west, while the mob looking towards the
    dawning light, could see Patten and his men, when they fired a
    broadside, and three or four of the brethren fell. Captain Patten
    ordered the fire returned, which was instantly obeyed, to great
    disadvantage in the darkness which yet continued. The fire was
    repeated by the mob, and returned by Captain Patten's company, who
    gave the watchword, 'God and Liberty.' Captain Patten then ordered
    a charge, which was instantly obeyed. The parties immediately came
    in contact, with their swords, and the mob were soon put to flight,
    crossing the river at the ford, and such places as they could
    get a chance. In the pursuit, one of the mob fled from behind a
    tree, wheeled and shot Captain Patten who instantly fell, mortally
    wounded, having received a large ball in his bowels.

    "The ground was soon cleared, and the brethren gathered up a wagon
    or two, and making beds therein of tents, etc., took their wounded
    and retreated towards Far West. Three brethren were wounded in the
    bowels, one in the neck, one in the shoulder, one through the hips,
    one through both thighs, one in the arm, all by musket shot. One
    had his arm broken by a sword. Brother Gideon Carter was shot in
    the head, and left dead on the ground so defaced that the brethren
    did not know him. Bogart reported that he had lost one man. The
    three prisoners were released and returned with the brethren to Far
    West. Captain Patten was carried some of the way in a litter, but
    it caused so much distress that he begged to be left by the way
    side. He was carried into Brother Winchester's, three miles from
    the city of Far West, where he died that night. Patrick O'Banion
    died soon after, and Brother Carter's body was also brought from
    Crooked River, when it was discovered who he was."[3]

The result of this conflict brought sorrow to the Church at Far West.
Joseph and Hyrum Smith and Lyman Wight met the brethren on their
return, at Log Creek, where they did all that could be done for Captain
Patten before his death. "Brother Patten," said the Prophet, "was a
very worthy man, beloved by all good men who knew him. He was one
of the Twelve Apostles, and died as he had lived, a man of God, and
strong in the faith of a glorious resurrection, in a world where mobs
will have no power or place. One of his last expressions to his wife
was--'what ever you do else, O do not deny the faith.' How different
his fate to that of the apostate, Thomas B. Marsh, who this day vented
all the lying spleen and malice of his heart towards the work of God,
in a letter to Brother and Sister Abbot, to which was annexed an
addendum by Orson Hyde." The funeral of Brothers Patten and O'Banion
was held at Far West, Saturday, October 27, 1838. On that occasion the
Prophet said of Elder Patten: "There lies a man that has done just as
he said he would--he has laid down his life for his friends."

Apostasy of Thomas B. Marsh

Thomas B. Marsh, President of the council of the Twelve Apostles,
suddenly left Far West in October, 1838, and went to Richmond in an
ugly mood. He had been offended over a trivial matter and thereupon
left the Church and made false accusations against his former brethren.
Orson Hyde, in the same spirit, followed him on the 18th of October.
On the 24th, Marsh went before Henry Jacobs, justice of the peace at
Richmond, and made an affidavit the gist of which is as follows:

    "They have among them a company, considered true 'Mormons,' called
    the Danites, who have taken an oath to support the heads of the
    Church in all things that they say or do, whether right or wrong.
    Many, however, of this band are much dissatisfied with this oath,
    as being against moral and religious principles. On Saturday last,
    I am informed by the 'Mormons,' that they had a meeting at Far West
    at which they appointed a company of twelve, by the name of the
    'Destruction Company,' for the purpose of burning and destroying,
    and that if the people of Buncombe came to do mischief upon the
    people of Caldwell, and committed depredations upon the 'Mormons,'
    they were to burn Buncombe; and if the people of Clay and Ray made
    any movement against them, this destroying company were to burn
    Liberty and Richmond. . . . The Prophet inculcates the notion, and
    it is believed by every true 'Mormon,' that Smith's prophecies are
    superior to the laws of the land. I have heard the Prophet say
    that he would yet tread down his enemies, and walk over their dead
    bodies; and if he was not let alone, he would be a second Mohammed
    to this generation, and that he would make it one gore of blood
    from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean; that like Mohammed,
    whose motto in treating for peace was, 'the Alcoran or the Sword;'
    so should it be eventually with us, 'Joseph Smith or the Sword.'
    These last statements were made during the last summer. The number
    of armed men at Adam-ondi-Ahman was between three and four hundred.

    "Thomas B. Marsh."

    "Sworn to and subscribed before me, the day herein written.

    "Henry Jacobs, J. P., "Ray County, Missouri."

    * * * *

    "Richmond, Missouri, October 24, 1838."

    _"Affidavit of Orson Hyde"_

    "The most of the statements in the foregoing disclosure I know to
    be true; the remainder I believe to be true.

    "Orson Hyde."

    * * * *

    "Richmond, October 24, 1838."

    "Sworn to and subscribed before me, on the day above written.

    "Henry Jacobs, J. P."[4]

General Atchison's Report to Boggs

After the expulsion of the Saints from DeWitt, General Atchison
reported the condition to Governor Boggs. He informed him that the mob
was on the way to Daviess County to continue their ravages, "where it
is thought," said the general in his communication, "the same lawless
game is to be played over, and the 'Mormons' to be driven from that
county, and probably from Caldwell County. Nothing, in my opinion, but
the strongest measures within the power of the executive, will put down
this spirit of mobocracy." Again, showing the spirit of disapproval of
the course taken by the officials in the state, he wrote the governor
and said: "I do not feel disposed to disgrace myself, or permit the
troops under my command to disgrace the state and themselves by acting
the part of a mob. If the 'Mormons' are to be driven from their homes,
let it be done without any color of law, and in open defiance thereof;
let it be done by volunteers acting upon their own responsibilities!"
This was evidently intended as a rebuke, but it and other reports of
like character were entirely ignored by Governor Boggs, who remained
true to his colors as the advocate of mob rule.

Evil Reports

Governor Boggs preferred to believe--or more correctly, accepted
contrary to his knowledge--the evil reports which flooded his office
from the enemies of the Saints. In reporting to the governor the siege
of DeWitt, General Samuel D. Lucas, referred to the Saints as "base and
degraded beings," who would be exterminated if they dared to kill one
of the mobbers besieging them; for such was the hatred of the people.
Lucas was one of the most bitter of the enemies of the Church. Reverend
Sashiel Woods and Joseph Dickson, October 24, 1838, reported to the
governor that "Captain Bogart and all his company, amounting to between
fifty and sixty men, were massacred by the 'Mormons' at Buncombe,
twelve miles north of Richmond, except three." This false report was
made about the time of the battle of Crooked River; and they added that
it might be relied on as being true that the "Mormons" expected to
lay Richmond in ashes that very morning. Their fiendish appeal ended
with these words: "We know not the hour or minute we will be laid in
ashes--our country is ruined--for God's sake give us assistance as
quick as possible!" This was sent from Carrolton. Similar reports were
sent by Amos Rees, formerly attorney for the Church in the Jackson
trouble, and Wiley C. Williams, mobocrat, in a communication to Judge
Ryland. Judge Ryland answered and said:

    "Since Mr. Morehead left Richmond, one of the company (Bogart's)
    has come in and reported that there were ten of his comrades
    killed, and the remainder were taken prisoners, after many of them
    had been severely wounded; he stated further that Richmond would
    be sacked and burned by the "Mormon" banditti tonight. Nothing can
    exceed the consternation which this news gave rise to. The women
    and children are flying from Richmond in every direction. . . .
    My impression is, that you had better send one of your number to
    Howard, Cooper and Boone counties, in order that volunteers may be
    getting ready. . . . They must make haste and put a stop to the
    devastation which is menaced by these infuriated fanatics, and they
    must go prepared and with the full determination to exterminate or
    expel them from the state _en masse_. Nothing but this can give
    tranquility to the public mind, and re-establish the supremacy of
    the laws. There must be no further delaying with this question
    anywhere. The 'Mormons' must leave the state, or we will, one and
    all, and to this complexion it must come at last" (_Documentary
    History of the Church_, vol. 3:172).

The Saints had no thought of making any attack on Richmond or any other
place. This Judge Ryland must have known; but he evidently had become
drunken with the bitter spirit of the times. His very letter refutes
the falsehoods contained therein.

Atchison's False Report

Even General David R. Atchison, who previously had shown a spirit of
justice and fair play, was overcome by the lying spirits abroad in the
land. He permitted himself, under date of October 28, 1838, after the
battle of Crooked River, to join that evil genius, Samuel D. Lucas, in
a false report to Governor Boggs, as follows:

    "Sir: From late outrages committed by the Mormons, civil war is
    inevitable. They have set the laws of the country at defiance, and
    are in open rebellion. We have about two thousand men under arms
    to keep them in check. The presence of the commander-in-chief is
    deemed absolutely necessary, and we most respectfully urge that
    your excellency be at the seat of war as soon as possible."

    "Your most obedient servants,"

    "David R. Atchison, M. G. 3rd Div." "Samuel D. Lucas, M. G. 4th

The surprising thing is that General Atchison would permit his name
to be attached to such a document as this, which both these officers
knew perfectly well was not true. But good men are at times overcome.
Apparently he could not stand the pressure of the consolidated effort
against the Saints, who were seeking merely to defend themselves and
their rights against the aggressions of mobocracy. Nevertheless it
appeared to be a capital offense for a weak and practically defenseless
people to resist such invasion. For doing so they were guilty of
causing a state of civil war!

General Atchison's conscience must have troubled him for thus yielding
to the mob spirit, for, later, because he manifested a spirit of
fairness towards the Saints, he was "dismounted" by the governor, and
relieved of his command.

Boggs' Order to Clark

October 25, 1838, the Governor issued orders to General John B. Clark
to raise sufficient troops to reinstate the inhabitants of Daviess
County on their possessions, for, said he: "they [the "Mormons"] have
burnt to ashes the towns of Gallatin and Millport in said county; the
former being the county seat of said county, and including the clerk's
office and all the public records of the county, and that there is not
now a civil officer within said county." Two thousand men were to be
raised, in addition to those already under arms, to "restore" these
people, who had not been molested, in these towns.

The Order of Extermination

This first order to General Clark was followed by another the following
day, the report of the battle of Crooked River having reached the ear
of the governor. When he discovered that the "Mormons" were attempting
to "fight it out," he had a great change of heart and issued his
disgraceful "exterminating order," the greatest blot on the escutcheon
of the state of Missouri. Others among the mob, and even officers of
lesser dignity, had hinted at such a thing; but it remained for Lilburn
W. Boggs, governor of the state of Missouri, without provocation or
due investigation, to issue by authority of the great office which he
held, to the militia of that commonwealth, an order to exterminate or
drive from Missouri twelve thousand defenseless citizens who had done
no wrong. And the execution of this shameful and wicked order was to be
carried out in the dead of winter, which would bring to pass exposure
and death of delicate women and innocent children, against whom there
could have been no charge.[5]

A Match to the Flame

The Governor's order soon became generally known and the mobbers looked
upon it, as well they might, as an approval of their unlawful course.
Great excitement prevailed, and mobs assembled on every side. Marauders
sallied forth, burning houses, driving off cattle, destroying property,
ravishing women and threatening with death any who dared resist their
fiendish deeds.


1. For the Prophet's reply to these charges see _Documentary History of
the Church_, vol. 3:70.

2. These houses really belonged to the Latter-day Saints who had
purchased them but had not taken possession.

3. _Documentary History of the Church_, vol. 3:170-1.

4. Orson Hyde returned to the body of the Church in June, 1839,
at Commerce (Nauvoo) Illinois, and on the 27th of that month was
reinstated in the council of the twelve. He was repentant, and in tears
of humility begged forgiveness from his brethren for the unfortunate
part he had taken in this lying report with Thomas B. Marsh. He had
been overcome by the spirit of darkness and had borne false witness
against his brethren while under that influence. After his return to
the Church, he faithfully performed his part to the end. It was Orson
Hyde, who, in the life time of Joseph Smith, was intrusted with the
important mission of dedicating the land of Palestine for the return
of the Jews. The consciousness of his guilt in this unfortunate act in
Missouri, preyed upon his mind all his life, and many were the days
he shed bitter tears because that chapter in his history could not be
blotted out.

Thomas B. Marsh, at a later day (1857), also returned to the Church.
On the 4th of September, 1857, he arrived in Salt Lake City with the
immigrants of William Walker's company. He had crossed the plains
from Harrison County, Mo. Two days after his arrival he addressed a
congregation in the tabernacle and in his remarks said: "I can say,
in reference to the quorum of the twelve, to which I belonged, that I
did not consider myself a whit behind any of them, and I suppose that
others had the same opinion; but let no one feel too secure; for before
you think of it, your steps will slide. You will not then think nor
feel for a moment as you did before you lost the Spirit of Christ; for
when men apostatize, they are left to grovel in the dark. . . . But let
me tell you, my brethren and friends, if you do not want to suffer in
body and mind, as I have done; if there are any of you that have the
seeds of apostasy in you, do not let them make their appearance, but
nip that spirit in the bud; for it is misery and affliction in this
world, and destruction in the world to come" (_Deseret News_, Sept. 16,
1857). He was a broken man in health and spirit and showed that the
hand of affliction had been over him. "If you want to see the fruits
of apostasy," he would say, "look at me!" He was later ordained a high

The shadow of color for the report made by Thomas B. Marsh and Orson
Hyde, was in the fact that a Dr. Sampson Avard, who had shortly before
joined the Church, did organize a band which he called "Danites." These
Danites did subscribe to some oath of vengeance on their enemies.
However, as soon as Joseph Smith discovered what was going on, he put a
stop to it and Avard was excommunicated.

5. The exterminating order of Governor Boggs to General Clark is as

    "Sir: Since the order of the morning to you, directing you to cause
    four hundred mounted men to be raised within your division, I have
    received by Amos Rees, Esq., and Wiley C. Williams, Esq., one of my
    aids, information of the most appalling character, which changes
    the whole face of things, and places the Mormons in the attitude
    of open and avowed defiance of the laws, and of having made open
    war upon the people of this state. Your orders are, therefore,
    to hasten your operations and endeavor to reach Richmond, in Ray
    County, with all possible speed. The Mormons must be treated as
    enemies and must be exterminated or driven from the state, if
    necessary for the public good. Their outrages are beyond all
    description. If you can increase your force, you are authorized to
    do so, to any extent you may think necessary. I have just issued
    orders to Major-General Wallock, of Marion County, to raise five
    hundred men, and to march them to the northern part of Daviess and
    there to unite with General Doniphan, of Clay, who has been ordered
    with five hundred men to proceed to the same point for the purpose
    of intercepting the retreat of the Mormons to the north. They have
    been directed to communicate with you by express; and you can also
    communicate with them if you find it necessary. Instead, therefore,
    of proceeding as at first directed, to reinstate the citizens of
    Daviess in their homes, you will proceed immediately to Richmond,
    and there operate against the Mormons. Brigadier-General Parks, of
    Ray, has been ordered to have four hundred men of his brigade in
    readiness to join you at Richmond. The whole force will be placed
    under your command.

    "L. W. Boggs," "Governor and Commander-in-Chief."

    "To General Clark."

Chapter 25

Persecutions of the Saints


Clark's Fitness for His Job

General John B. Clark was a resident of Jackson County. So was General
Samuel D. Lucas. Both assisted in driving the "Mormons" from that
county in 1833. Governor Lilburn W. Boggs was also from Jackson, and
aided in that expulsion. At that time he was lieutenant governor, and
worked secretly. These three men hated the Latter-day Saints with a
mortal hate. General Clark was not the ranking officer in the state
militia in 1838, but Boggs knew, from former experiences, whom to
depend upon to execute his dastardly job. Few of the other generals,
though several of them disliked the "Mormons," could debase themselves
enough to reach the level required to execute the governor's inhuman
decree. Clark, who received the command, and Lucas who assisted him,
were the two most fitted to carry out the order of extermination.

The Haun's Mill Massacre

There were a great many petty officers, and some sectarian priests,
who could descend to any level. Human butchery, if "Mormons" were the
victims, was to them but a recreation. Such a man was Col. William
O. Jennings, of the state militia. Another was Captain Nehemiah
Comstock, who served under Jennings. These "brave" men with an armed
force of characters like themselves--all from the state troops--were
assembled, at the close of the month of October, 1838, near a small
settlement of the Saints at Haun's Mill, on Shoal Creek, about twelve
miles due east of Far West. On the 28th day of that month, a Sunday,
Jennings approached the settlement and proposed a treaty of peace. The
members of the Church located there, who were quietly minding their
own business, knew not, when they were at peace, why they should be
called on to enter into such an agreement. However, knowing the status
of affairs throughout upper Missouri, they gladly entered into such a
treaty, and continued with their domestic affairs, feeling perfectly
secure. In the meantime Col. Ashley had informed Col. Jennings of the
governor's order of extermination. Thereupon Jennings and Nehemiah
Comstock gathered their forces, about two hundred and forty men, and
immediately started for Haun's Mill.

Monday, October 29, 1838, passed in peace and quiet. Tuesday the 30th
was clear and pleasant, an Indian summer day. In the afternoon, the
Saints were engaged in their daily pursuits, the men in the fields and
the shops; the women attending to domestic duties, and the children
playing on the banks of the creek. Suddenly Jennings and his force
approached at full speed, riding upon the settlement. David Evans,
perceiving their evil intentions, raised his hands as a sign of peace;
but they heeded him not. Continuing their advance, they commenced to
fire. The stricken people fled, seeking shelter and endeavoring to
escape. Some fled into the thickets near their homes, and by this means
escaped. For lack of time and want of a better protection, several of
the men and boys rushed into the blacksmith shop. The cracks between
the logs of the shop were so wide that the fiends on the outside could
see their victims within. Surrounding the place, they poured volley
after volley through the cracks with deadly effect. Several intended
victims rushed from the shop amidst the fire of the mob; some escaped
to the thicket; others were shot. Miss Mary Steadwell, while fleeing,
was shot in the hand and fainted; falling over a log she remained
protected by it. After the work of destruction was over, more than
twenty musket balls were discovered in the log. Yet the executioners
were principally seeking for the men, and let most of the women escape.

After completing all the execution possible on the outside of the shop,
the ruffians pushed through the door and finished their bloody work.
The terrible scene enacted there was one of the utmost brutality.
It is told in the "History of Caldwell County," Missouri, with such
excuses for the attack as the writers of such a history could employ.
Nevertheless the diabolical deeds of these members of the state
militia, are partly related as follows:

    "Esq. Thomas McBride was an old soldier of the Revolution. He was
    lying wounded and helpless, his gun by his side. A militiaman named
    Rogers came up to him and demanded it. "Take it," said McBride.
    Rogers picked up the weapon, and finding that it was loaded,
    deliberately discharged it into the old man's breast. He then cut
    and hacked the old veteran's body with a rude sword, or corn knife,
    until it was frightfully mangled. Wm. Reynolds, a Livingston County
    man, killed the little boy Sardius Smith, 10 years of age. The lad
    had run into the blacksmith shop and crawled under the bellows for
    safety. Upon entering the shop the cruel militiaman discovered the
    cowering, trembling little fellow, and without even demanding his
    surrender, fired upon and killed him, and afterwards boasted of the
    atrocious deed to Charles R. Ross and others. He described, with
    fiendish glee, how the poor boy struggled in his dying agony, and
    justified his savage and inhuman conduct in killing a mere child
    by saying, 'Nits will make lice, and if he had lived he would have
    been a Mormon.'"

The names of those killed are as follows: Thomas McBride, Levi N.
Merrick, Elias Benner, Josiah Fuller, Benjamin Lewis, Alexander
Campbell, Warren Smith, George S. Richards, William Napier, Austin
Hammer, Simeon Cox, Hiram Abbott, John York, John Lee, John Byers,
Sardius Smith and Charles Merrick. Some of these were mere children.
Many others were severely wounded but managed to escape with their
lives, among them a boy, Alma Smith, who had the flesh of his hip shot
away. He had the presence of mind to lie perfectly still and the fiends
thought he was dead. Alma was miraculously healed through prayer and

After this terrible work the murderers proceeded to rob the houses,
wagons and tents, and left the widows and children who escaped
destitute of the necessities of life. They even stripped the bodies of
the slain, and carried off their booty, shouting in fiendish glee and
boasting of their deeds of blood, as though they were deeds of valor,
worthy of the greatest praise and honor.

Gathering of the Mob-Militia

The same day of the massacre at Haun's Mill, General Samuel D. Lucas,
in command of two thousand men, arrived at Far West. With him were
Brigadier Generals Doniphan, Parks, Graham and Wilson, the latter
another ruffian. General Clark was at Chariton, under a forced march,
with the governor's exterminating order and a force of about one
thousand men.

As the troops approached Far West towards the evening of that day, they
formed in double file about one half mile from the city. With a flag of
truce they sent messengers to the city. They were met by Captain Morey,
with a few other individuals, who desired to know what the gathering
of the large armed force could mean, for as yet the "Mormon" people
had not learned of the Boggs exterminating order. To their horror they
were told that the body of troops were state militia, ordered there
by the governor, to exterminate the people and burn the place. They
demanded three persons in Far West, Adam Lightner, a non-"Mormon,"
John Cleminson, who had lost the faith, and his wife, to be brought
to them. When these three came out, the messengers told them to leave
Far West at once and save their lives, for they would be protected.
The determination of the force of militia was to destroy Far West and
kill the inhabitants. All three nobly said if the people were to be
destroyed they would return and die with them. The officers immediately
returned to the camp.

Charles C. Rich was then dispatched with a flag of truce toward the
camp of militia to have an interview with Generals Atchison and
Doniphan, who in the past had shown some sympathy for the "Mormons." On
his way he was fired at by Captain Bogart. Nevertheless, he continued
on his way and was granted the interview with Doniphan, who informed
him that General Atchison had been "dismounted" a few miles back, by
order of the governor, for being too merciful to the "Mormons." He then
plead with Doniphan to use his influence to protect the city from an
attack, at least until the following morning. Doniphan replied that
the governor had ordered the extermination of the "Mormons," but his
order had not arrived, and until it did there would be no attack upon
the Saints. However, he could not vouch for the action of Cornelius
Gilliam's company, which had just arrived, painted and decorated as
Indians; their commander styling himself the "Delaware Chief." These
savages spent the night in making hideous yells and other disturbances.
When Charles C. Rich returned to Far West and reported, Col. George M.
Hinkle, who commanded the forces at Far West, sent another messenger
to the mob-militia to plead for the lives of the people. He returned
without a satisfactory answer and reported that he had learned that
several members of the Church had been captured by some of the troops,
and had been brutally murdered, with no one to raise a voice in protest.

During the night the Saints made such temporary fortification as they
were able and with grim determination prepared to fight the best they
could to the last, being outnumbered more than five to one. Recruits
were hourly joining the forces of their enemies. Among these came Col.
Jennings and his band, fresh from the great "victory" at Haun's Mill.
The Saints spent an anxious night in solemn supplication to the Lord.
The women gathered such few loose articles as might be carried, and
prepared for flight if the chance was offered them. Lyman Wight, with
a small force, came from Adam-ondi-Ahman and succeeded in gaining Far
West during the night.

The Siege of Far West

Early on the morning of the 31st, Col. Hinkle sent another messenger
to General Doniphan. When he returned he stated that Doniphan had said
that the governor's order had arrived and Lucas was preparing to carry
it out. "He would be damned, if he would obey the order," was the
report, "but Lucas could do as he pleased."

The army, while encamped, permitted no person to go out or come in
the city. Those who attempted it were shot at. Corn fields were
destroyed and cattle, sheep and hogs wantonly killed by members of the

Colonel Hinkle's Treachery

About eight o'clock Col. Hinkle sought another interview, this time
with General Lucas, to learn if some compromise could not be arranged
to avoid a battle. Lucas promised to meet him with a flag of truce at
two o'clock. At the time appointed the interview was held. Hinkle, John
Corrill, who had within the past few weeks become disaffected, William
W. Phelps and a Captain Morrison, met with Lucas and his aids when the
following propositions were presented to Col. Hinkle for acceptance in
behalf of the "Mormons:"

"To give up their leaders to be tried and punished. "To make an
appropriation of their property, all who had taken up arms, to the
payment of their debts and indemnity for damage done by them. "That the
balance should leave the state, and be protected out by the militia,
but to be permitted to remain under protection until further orders
were received from the Commander-in-Chief. "To give up the arms of
every description, to be receipted for."

At least, these were the terms according to the report Lucas made to
Governor Boggs. What else he may have said is not on record. To these
terms Col. Hinkle agreed, but asked to be given until the next day
to comply with them. Lucas consented to this on the condition that
Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight, Parley P. Pratt and George
W. Robinson be turned over to the camp of the militia as hostages.
If in the morning Hinkle failed to comply with the terms, these men
would be returned to Far West, and the attack should commence on the
city. If he did comply, then these brethren, among others, should be
retained as prisoners to be tried. Hinkle returned to Far West and
reported to Joseph Smith that the officers of the state militia desired
an interview with the brethren mentioned, hoping that the difficulties
might be settled without carrying out the exterminating order. Said
Parley P. Pratt: "We had no confidence in the word of a murderer and
robber; but there was no alternative, but to put ourselves into the
hands of such monsters, or to have the city sacked, and men, women and
children massacred. We therefore commended ourselves to the Lord, and
voluntarily surrendered." As they approached the camp in compliance
with this order, General Lucas, with a guard of several hundred men,
rode up, and with a haughty air ordered his men to surround the
brethren. Colonel Hinkle was heard to say: "General, these are the
prisoners I agreed to deliver up." The prisoners were then marched
into the camp surrounded by several thousand savage looking soldiers.
"These all set up a constant yell," says Brother Pratt, "like so many
bloodhounds let loose upon their prey. . . . If the vision of the
infernal regions could suddenly be opened to the mind, with thousands
of malicious fiends, all clamoring, exulting, deriding, blaspheming,
mocking, railing, raging and foaming like a troubled sea, then could
some idea be formed of the hell which we had entered."

The prisoners were placed under a strong guard and forced to remain
without shelter during the night in inclement winter weather. The guard
blasphemed; mocked the Savior; demanded miracles and said: "Come,
Smith, show us an angel; give us one of your revelations; show us a
miracle; come, there is one of your brethren in camp whom we took
prisoner yesterday in his own house, and knocked his brains out with
his own rifle, which we found hanging over his fire place; he lies
speechless and dying;[1] speak the word and heal him, and then we will
all believe; or, if you are apostles or men of God deliver yourselves,
and then we will be "Mormons."[2]

Condemned to be Shot

Thursday morning, November 1, 1838, Hyrum Smith and Amasa Lyman were
brought by Col. Hinkle into the camp. That night a court martial was
held, at which, besides the commanding officers of the mob-militia,
Col. Hinkle, Judge Austin A. King, District Attorney Birch, and the
Reverends Sashiel Woods, Bogart and several other priests, played a
part. The prisoners were sentenced to be shot on the public square in
Far West, Friday morning at 9 o'clock. This was, let it be said to
their honor, over the protest of Generals Doniphan and Graham, and
perhaps a few others. General Doniphan was given the order to carry out
the execution. It was a most fortunate thing that he was selected, for
he refused to obey the command. The order given him was as follows:

    "Brigadier General Doniphan:

    "_Sir_: You will take Joseph Smith and the other prisoners into the
    public square of Far West, and shoot them at 9 o'clock tomorrow

    "Samuel D. Lucas," "Major General Commanding."

General Doniphan replied to this order by saying to his superior:

    "It is cold blooded murder. I will not obey your order. My brigade
    shall march for Liberty tomorrow morning at 8 o'clock; and if you
    execute these men, I will hold you responsible before an earthly
    tribunal, so help me God."

    "A. W. Doniphan," "Brigadier General."

Although this was an act of insubordination, it frightened the criminal
general and his willing aids. No charge was ever made against Doniphan,
for they dared not make one.

Plundering of the Militia

Col. Hinkle, according to his agreement, marched the militia companies
at Far West out of the city and grounded their arms, which were the
private property of the men who held them. Then the mob force was
let loose. They entered the city without restraint, on pretext of
searching the homes for additional arms. They tore up floors; ruined
furniture; destroyed property; whipped the men and forced them to sign
deeds to their property at the point of the bayonet; and violated the
chastity of women, until their victims died. About eighty men were
taken prisoners and the people were ordered to leave the state, and
were forbidden, under threat of death, to assemble more than three in a
place. Notwithstanding all this, General Lucas reported to the governor
how orderly and decorous were his troops.

Prisoners Taken to Independence

The prisoners after an earnest appeal, were permitted to visit their
homes, under a strong guard, to obtain a change of clothing. They were,
however, given strict command not to speak, or enter into conversation
with the members of their families. When the Prophet visited his home
the children clung to his garments. He requested the privilege of a
private interview with his family, which was denied him. Hyrum Smith,
whose wife less than two weeks later was confined,[3] drew attention
to the condition in his home; but received in answer only gibes and
insults. Parley P. Pratt underwent a similar scene, and in the anguish
of his soul appealed to General Moses Wilson, who answered him with an
exultant laugh, and a taunting reproach.

After these painful scenes, the prisoners were started for
Independence, under a strong guard commanded by Generals Lucas and
Wilson. On the way orders came from General Clark to have the prisoners
sent to him, but this General Lucas was not willing to do. Clark,
without question, wanted the honor of putting the prisoners to death.
Through his vanity, Lucas wanted to exhibit them before their enemies
in Jackson County, and pose as a great hero in triumph. Between the
rivalry of the two, not forgetting the hand of the Lord which was over
them, their lives were spared.[4]

Prisoners in Richmond

On the 3rd of November, 1838, the prisoners arrived in Jackson County
and the next day were taken by order of General Lucas, to Independence.
General Clark, however, would not permit them to stay, desiring to gain
possession of them himself. Therefore, he sent Col. Sterling Price with
instructions to have them removed immediately to Richmond, Ray County.
They arrived in Richmond on the 9th, and were imprisoned in a vacant
house. On their way they met General Clark, and asked him why they had
been carried from their homes and what the charges were against them.
Clark said he was not then able to determine, but would be prepared to
tell in a short time. When they were confined Clark sent Price with
two chains and padlocks and had the prisoners fastened together. The
windows were then nailed down; the prisoners were searched and the only
weapons they had (their pocket knives) were taken away. While this was
going on armed guards stood with cocked guns pointed at them. Here the
brethren were kept many days awaiting trial.

Rebuking the Guards

While incarcerated in this prison, the brethren were guarded by some
of the vilest wretches that could be found, who spent their time in
the presence of their prisoners relating their horrible deeds of
wickedness. This thing continued for some time, when the Prophet,
unable to stand it any longer, arose and rebuked them. The occurrence
is graphically related by Elder Parley P. Pratt in the following words:

    "During this time Elder Rigdon was taken very sick, from hardship
    and exposure, and finally lost his reason; but still he was kept
    in a miserable, noisy and cold room, and compelled to sleep on the
    floor with a chain and padlock round his ankle, and fastened to
    six others. Here he endured the constant noise and confusion of
    an unruly guard, the officer of which was Colonel Sterling Price,
    since governor of the State.

    "These guards were composed generally of the most noisy,
    foul-mouthed, vulgar, disgraceful rabble that ever defiled the
    earth. . . . Mrs. Robinson, a young and delicate female, with
    her infant, came down to see her husband [George W. Robinson],
    and to comfort and take care of her father [Sidney Rigdon] in
    his sickness. When she first entered the room, amid the clank of
    chains and the rattle of weapons, and cast her eyes on her sick and
    dejected parent and sorrow-worn husband, she was speechless, and
    only gave vent to her feelings in a flood of tears. This faithful
    lady, with her little infant, continued by the side of her father
    till he recovered from his sickness, and till his fevered and
    disordered mind resumed its wonted powers.

    "In one of those tedious nights we had lain as if in sleep till
    the hour of midnight had passed, and our ears and hearts had been
    pained, while we had listened for hours to the obscene jests, the
    horrid oaths, the dreadful blasphemies and filthy language of our
    guards, Colonel Price at their head, as they recounted to each
    other their deeds of rapine, murder, robbery, etc., which they had
    committed among the 'Mormons' while at Far West and vicinity. They
    even boasted of defiling by force wives, daughters, and virgins,
    and of shooting or dashing out the brains of men, women and

    "I had listened till I became so disgusted, shocked, horrified,
    and so filled with the spirit of indignant justice that I could
    scarcely refrain from rising upon my feet and rebuking the guards;
    but had said nothing to Joseph, or any one else, although I lay
    next to him and knew he was awake. On a sudden he arose to his
    feet, and spoke in a voice of thunder, or as the roaring lion,
    uttering, as near as I can recollect, the following words:

    "SILENCE, _ye fiends of the infernal pit. In the name of Jesus
    Christ I rebuke you, and command you to be still. I will not live
    another minute and hear such language. Cease such talk, or you or I
    die THIS INSTANT!_

Majesty in Chains

    "He ceased to speak. He stood erect in terrible majesty. Chained,
    and without a weapon; calm, unruffled and dignified as an angel,
    he looked upon the quailing guards; whose weapons were lowered
    or dropped to the ground, whose knees smote together, and who,
    shrinking into a corner, or crouching at his feet, begged his
    pardon, and remained quiet till a change of guards.

    "I have seen the ministers of justice, clothed in magisterial
    robes, and criminals arraigned before them, while life was
    suspended on a breath, in the courts of England; I have witnessed a
    Congress in solemn session to give laws to nations; I have tried to
    conceive of kings, of royal courts, of thrones and crowns; and of
    emperors assembled to decide the fate of kingdoms; but dignity and
    majesty have I seen but once, as it stood in chains, at midnight,
    in a dungeon in an obscure village of Missouri."[5]

General Clark at Far West

In the meantime (November 4), General Clark arrived at Far West with
1600 men, and 500 more on the outskirts of the city. He ordered General
Lucas to send to Adam-ondi-Ahman and there take all the "Mormon" men
prisoners and secure their property, till the best means could be
adopted for paying damages due to the mob troubles. On the 5th, Clark
ordered all the men at Far West to form in line, when the names of
fifty-six were called and they were made prisoners to await trial for
something which was not defined. On the 6th, he again gathered the male
portion of the population and read to them a written address which he
had prepared.

His Harangue

Feeling safe in the presence of so many helpless men, and flanked by
his troops, he made bold to impress upon the brethren the enormity of
their crimes. He read to them a number of stipulations to which they
must comply. The first, second and third, to the effect that they must
surrender their leading men, deliver their arms, and sign over their
properties to defray expenses of the "war." This, he said, they had
done. The fourth is here repeated:

    "Another article yet remains for you to comply with, and that
    is, that you leave the state forthwith; and whatever may be your
    feelings concerning this, or whatever your innocence, it is nothing
    to me; General Lucas, who is equal in authority with me, has made
    this treaty with you--I approve of it--I should have done the same
    had I been here. I am therefore determined to see it fulfilled. The
    character of this state has suffered almost beyond redemption, from
    the character, conduct and influence that you have exerted, and we
    deem it an act of justice to restore her character to its former
    standing among the states, by every proper means.

    "The orders of the governor to me were that you should be
    exterminated, and not allowed to remain in the state, and had your
    leaders not been given up, and the terms of the treaty complied
    with, before this, you and your families would have been destroyed
    and your houses in ashes.

    "There is a discretionary power vested in my hands which I shall
    exercise in your favor for a season; for this lenity you are
    indebted to my clemency. I do not say that you shall go now, but
    you must not think of staying here another season or of putting in
    crops, for the moment you do this the citizens will be upon you.
    If I am called here again, in case of a non-compliance of a treaty
    made, do not think that I shall act any more as I have done--you
    need not expect any mercy, but extermination, for I am determined
    the governor's order shall be executed. As for your leaders, do not
    once think--do not imagine for a moment--do not let it enter your
    mind that they will be delivered, or that you will see their faces
    again, for their _fate is fixed--their die is cast--their doom is

He then very graciously pleaded with them, and invoked the "Great
Spirit, the unknown God," to make them sufficiently intelligent to
break the chains of superstition, that they no longer worship man, and
never again organize with bishops, presidents, etc., but to become like
other men.

Trial in Daviess County

About this time Governor Boggs wrote General Clark to hold a military
court in Daviess County, and try those "guilty of the late outrages,
committed towards the inhabitants of said county." He was desirous
of having the whole matter "settled completely, if possible" before
the forces should be disbanded. "If the 'Mormons' are disposed,"
said Boggs, "voluntarily to leave the state, of course it would be
advisable in you to promote that object, in any way deemed proper.
The ringleaders of this rebellion, though, ought by no means to be
permitted to escape the punishment they merit." General Robert Wilson
was detailed to Daviess County to take possession of the prisoners. All
the men in the town of Adam-ondi-Ahman were placed under arrest, and a
court of inquiry instituted with the mobber Adam Black on the bench.
Notwithstanding this, after three days of examination, Black acquitted
them all. No one knew better than he of their innocence.

The Charges Against Joseph Smith and Companions

General Clark spent some time searching the laws to find some authority
by which the Prophet and companions could be tried for treason by court
martial. He even sent to Fort Leavenworth seeking such information,
which could not be found. It caused him extreme annoyance that no law
could be invoked to try private citizens by military code when there
was no war. He knew some charges would have to be preferred against the
accused, so he wrote the governor saying he had, on November 10, 1838,
made out charges against the prisoners and had called Judge Austin A.
King to try them as a committing court. He also suggested that they be
tried by court martial, especially, said he, should Joseph Smith be
so tried, but he could not discover authority for such procedure, and
requested the opinion of the attorney general on that point. "There
being no civil officers in Caldwell," he said, "I have to use the
military to get witnesses from there, which I do without reserve." The
civil officers in Caldwell, being "Mormons" had all been cast into
jail, and of course were not available. He closed his epistle by saying
the accused brethren were guilty of "treason, murder, arson, burglary,
robbery, larceny, and perjury." The reply he received was to turn the
prisoners over to the civil law, which order hurt him very much, for
he hoped to have the pleasure of attending to their execution, after
a military trial. In fact, he and Lucas had on several occasions set
the date of execution, but the hand of the Lord was always over the
afflicted brethren.

The Trial

Monday, November 12, 1838, Judge King sent out armed men to obtain
witnesses, some of whom came and testified willingly to falsehoods;
others came reluctantly. Among the witnesses who testified against
the brethren were: Dr. Sampson Avard, originator of the "Danites,"
who, later, was excommunicated from the Church for the offense; John
Corrill, George M. Hinkle, Reed Peck, John Cleminson, Burr Riggs,
William W. Phelps, John Whitmer, and others who formerly belonged
to the Church. The testimony of the prosecution continued until the
18th. Then the court called for witnesses for the defense; forty or
more names were given, and the Reverend-Captain Rogart was dispatched
with a company of militia to get them. He got them and brought them,
not to the court, but to prison, and confined them there. During the
week, the judge taunted the brethren because no witnesses appeared in
their defense. Other names were given, and the same reverend-captain
was sent for them. He did not find many, for the witnesses, learning
what had happened to their fellows, could not be found. The few he
did discover he also brought and cast behind the bars. In this manner
the mock trial proceeded from day to day. On the 24th, twenty-three
of the defendants were released, and by the 28th all the others were
acquitted or admitted to bail, excepting the following: Joseph Smith,
Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, Lyman Wight, Caleb Baldwin and Alexander
McRae, who were ordered to be taken to Liberty, Clay County, and there
committed to stand trial on the various charges named; Parley P. Pratt,
Morris Phelps, Luman Gibbs, Darwin Chase and Norman Shearer, who were
taken to Richmond Jail, there also to await trial for the same "crimes."

Nature of the Testimony

Some of the witnesses testified that the Church was a temporal kingdom,
which would, according to the teachings of its leaders, eventually
"fill the whole earth and subdue all other kingdoms." The seventh
chapter of Daniel was referred to several times. The brethren were
asked by the judge if they believed in Daniel's prophecy and when they
answered in the affirmative, Judge King turning to his clerk said:
"Write that down; it is a strong point for treason." The defendants'
attorneys, Doniphan and Rees, protested saying, "Judge, you had better
make the Bible treason." These attorneys advised their clients not to
make any defense or attempt to furnish other witnesses, for it was
useless. Doniphan observed that if a cohort of angels were to come
down, and declare the prisoners innocent, it would all be the same, for
Judge King had determined from the beginning to cast them into prison.

Malinda Porter, Delia F. Pine, Nancy Rigdon, Jonathan W. Barlow, Thoret
Parson, Ezra Chipman and Arza Judd, Jr., volunteered to testify for
the defense, but were prevented from giving testimony favorable to the
accused at the point of the bayonet.

November 29, 1838, Joseph Smith and fellow prisoners were committed to
the keeping of the sheriff of Clay County, who took them to Liberty and
cast them in prison. Parley P. Pratt and fellows were likewise retained
in Richmond, and thus ended this "trial" before Judge King.


1. This was a brother named Carey, who had been beaten over the head
until his brains oozed out. He died shortly afterwards, having been
exposed in that condition without shelter, all afternoon and night.

2. _Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt_, p. 204.

3. During these trying scenes, November 13, 1838, while Hyrum Smith,
with the Prophet and the other prisoners, were incarcerated, Joseph
Fielding Smith, who afterwards became President of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was born at Far West. When he was
but a few days old, members of this mob-militia entered the home,
ransacked it, and turned the bedding, on which the infant lay, upside
down, smothering him until his life was apparently gone when he was

4. Parley P. Pratt declared that General Wilson made the following
statement: "It was repeatedly insinuated, by the other officers and
troops, that we should hang you prisoners on the first tree we came to
on the way to Independence. But I'll be d--d if anybody shall hurt
you. We just intend to exhibit you in Independence, and let the people
look at you, and see what a d--d set of fine fellows you are. And,
more particularly, to keep you from that old bigot of a general, Clark,
and his troops, from down county, who are so stuffed with lies and
prejudice, that they would shoot you down in a moment."

5. _Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt_, pages 228-9.

Chapter 26

The Expulsion from Missouri


The Case Before the Legislature

In December, 1838, the Legislature of Missouri met. Governor Boggs
laid before that body the information in his hands relative to the
difficulty with the Latter-day Saints. This information was woefully
lacking in the matter of the petitions and documents sent to him in
defense of the Saints. On the 10th of that month Brigham Young, Heber
C. Kimball, John Taylor and other brethren petitioned the legislature,
setting forth their side of the case. This petition was presented
to David R. Atchison and others, December 17. The following day Mr.
Turner, from a joint committee, presented before the senate a report
of findings, based on the governor's information. This report stated
that the evidence was "not authenticated," and was confined chiefly to
investigation of criminal charges against individuals under arrest;
the evidence was _ex parte_; and without aid of further evidence,
the committee could not form a satisfactory opinion in relation
to the material points. For these reasons, and because "it would
be a direct interference with the administration of justice, the
committee reported that this document ought not to be published, with
the sanction of the legislature." December 19, the petition of the
brethren was presented by John Corrill, who had but recently departed
from the Church. It was read in profound silence, but at the close
of the reading, the house was in an uproar. A Mr. Childs, of Jackson
County, denounced the petition saying there was not a word of truth
in it. Mr. Ashley, of Livingstone County, denounced the "Mormons" as
did also Mr. Young, of Lafayette. Ashley was one of the murderers at
Haun's Mill, and even boasted of that slaughter before the house. Mr.
Redman, of Howard County, and Mr. Gyer, of St. Louis, and a few other
members, demanded a full investigation, for they believed there was
truth in the petition, and the actions of those members in opposing an
investigation was because they feared their evil deeds might be brought
to light. The result of it all was that the petition was laid on the
table, "until the 4th day of July next,"--Independence day. January 16,
1839, Mr. Turner introduced in the senate a bill "to provide for the
investigation of the late disturbances in this state." The bill passed
the senate, but when it came to the house (Feb. 4) it followed the
petition and was laid on the table, also to be taken up on Independence
day. Many considered this an approval of the wrongs committed on the
"Mormons" in Missouri. David R. Atchison and a few others vigorously
protested against such criminal action, but found themselves in the
minority, for the motion prevailed by a majority of eleven votes.

Legislative Appropriations

In December, the legislature of Missouri appropriated two thousand
dollars "to be distributed among the people of Daviess and Caldwell
Counties." The "good" people of Daviess were very "generous" and felt
that they could do without their portion of this appropriation, and
let it be given to the people of Caldwell. They could well afford to
do such a thing, for they had robbed the "Mormon" people of nearly all
they possessed. They had ransacked their homes and carried off their
household furniture and goods, and otherwise enriched themselves at
the expense of the Saints who had dwelt among them. This sum, so it
was pretended, was distributed among the people in Caldwell. Judge
Cameron and others attended to the "distribution." The way they did
it was to drive off the hogs belonging to the "Mormons" and shoot
them, and without further bleeding, cut them up and deliver them to
the Saints, at four or five cents a pound. They also "gave them a few
calicos," and the "sweepings of an old store," charging them an extra
price for the goods, and thus was the "munificient" sum of two thousand
dollars distributed among the "Mormons." Later the same legislature
appropriated two hundred thousand dollars to pay the troops for their
work in driving the "Mormons" from the state. In this manner were law
and justice administered in Missouri in the years 1838 and 1839.

Extent of "Mormon" Losses

The total value of the property destroyed in Missouri, which belonged
to the Saints, is beyond our knowledge. It was estimated to be not
less than two million dollars, from the time they first settled in
that state until their expulsion. About twelve hundred members of the
Church were driven from Jackson County in 1833, and all their property
was lost to them. When again they were forced to leave Clay County,
though they went peaceably at the request of the other citizens, they
left behind them a vast amount of property for which no remuneration
was ever received. When they were expelled from the state in the winter
of 1838-9, the Saints numbered between twelve and fifteen thousand
souls. All their property, except the little they were able to gather
hastily and carry with them, was either destroyed or stolen by their
enemies. In the appeal made to Congress and the President of the United
States, in 1839, the amount of their losses was estimated at two
million dollars. Claims against Missouri for the losses were presented
to Congress in the sum of $1,381,044.00, and this represented only
491 individuals; many others who lost property, entered no claims for
damages against that state.

In addition to this loss of property, the Prophet Joseph paid in
lawyers' fees, for the defense of the people and himself, against the
unhallowed persecutions of their enemies, about fifty thousand dollars;
with very little benefit in return. And for all this, the generous
state of Missouri, for a show before the world of their charity and
kindness toward the people they had robbed, could afford to appropriate
the magnificent sum of two thousand dollars! And what of the blood of
men, women and children which had been shed by these human fiends?

In Liberty Prison

After the mock trial in Richmond, Joseph Smith and his five companions
were imprisoned in Liberty, Clay County, for a period of six months.
Here they suffered, during that time, many untold hardships. Much
of the time they were bound in chains. Their food was often not fit
to eat, and never wholesome or prepared with the thought of proper
nourishment. Several times poison was administered to them in their
food, which made them sick nigh unto death, and only the promised
blessings of the Lord saved them. Their bed was on the floor, or on the
flat side of a hewn white oak log, and in this manner they were forced
to suffer. Is it any wonder that they cried in the anguish of their
souls unto the Lord, for relief from such inhuman treatment?

Epistles From Prison

The Lord did not forsake them. While they were confined, the brethren
wrote a number of communications to the Saints. Occasionally their
friends were privileged to visit them, but always in the presence of
a strong and heavily armed guard. Letters with words of comfort were
occasionally received, and in this way their spirits were buoyed up,
which enabled them to stand their trials. On March 25, 1839, an epistle
of special import was written from the prison to the Saints scattered
abroad, and to the bishop, Edward Partridge, in particular. This
epistle portrayed many of their grievances and expressed their love
and fellowship for the Saints. Above all this, however, they poured
out their souls to the Lord asking for relief, and wondering why they
were so severely punished. The Lord gave them answer which comforted
them and built them up in hope. They also received encouragement, and
assurance of their delivery from bonds, which was soon to come to

Release of Sidney Rigdon

The Prophet wrote in his Journal that January 1, 1839, "dawned upon us
as prisoners of hope, but not as sons of liberty. O Columbia, Columbia!
How thou art fallen! 'The land of the free, the home of the brave!'
'The asylum of the oppressed'--oppressing thy noblest sons, in a
loathsome dungeon, without any provocation, only that they have claimed
to worship the God of their fathers according to his own word, and
the dictates of their own consciences." Elder Parley P. Pratt and his
companions in tribulation were still held in bondage in their doleful
prison in Richmond. The brethren appealed to the supreme court in
Missouri for a writ of habeas corpus. Twice their petition was denied.
They also petitioned the judges of the county for like privileges, and
sent a memorial to the legislature asking that they be granted a fair
and impartial trial before an unprejudiced judge in some other circuit,
where they might have hope of justice, which could not be obtained
from Judge King. Finally, in the latter part of February, 1839, they
prevailed on Judge Turnham, one of the county judges, who granted their
request after some reluctance. The judge was afraid of the mob, for the
threats were made by the members of the banditti, that if any judge,
jury or court of any kind, should free the prisoners they would be
killed. Great threatenings were made at the time of this trial, and the
brethren would have been liberated, only for the blundering, wilfully
or ignorantly, of their lawyers. Sidney Rigdon, who had suffered
terribly because of exposure and the ill-treatment he had received, he
being much older and less able to endure than the other brethren, was
released by the action of the judge, at this time. Through a kindness
on the part of the sheriff, Samuel Hadley, and the jailer, Samuel
Tillery, he was let out of prison in the night, for fear of the mob,
and told to make his way out of the state as soon as he could. Even as
it was, he was pursued by a body of armed men; but having a good start
made his way to Quincy, Illinois.

Departure for Daviess

The refusal on the part of the courts and officials to grant a final
trial--for it should be remembered the brethren were being held on a
preliminary hearing all these months--and the threatenings of numerous
enemies caused the brethren to determine on making their escape if
possible. Once they tried and failed. Again the opportunity presented
itself, and the Lord indicated to them that if they were united they
could gain their freedom, but the stubbornness of Lyman Wight defeated
their purpose. The latter part of March, Elders Heber C. Kimball and
Theodore Turley went to Jefferson City with necessary papers, to see
the governor, but he was absent. However, they saw the secretary of
state, who appeared astonished at the action of Judge King, and who
wrote the judge a letter. They also saw the supreme court judges, but
due to the blundering of their attorney, Doniphan, they were unable to
obtain a writ of habeas corpus. They returned to Liberty on the 30th
of March. April 4, they had an interview with Judge Austin A. King,
who was angry to think they had been to see the governor. King said
he could have done all that they desired, and would have signed their
petition if he had been approached, for all the prisoners, but Joseph
Smith, "and he was not fit to live." Fearing that the brethren might
obtain a change of venue, Judge King hurried off with them, April 6,
1839, to Daviess County, where he hoped to continue his persecution.
Perhaps he hoped they would be murdered, for a band of fifty men in
Daviess County, on learning that the prisoners were coming, took an
oath that they would neither eat nor drink until they had murdered the
Prophet. The prisoners arrived at Gallatin, April 8, and the following
day the examination of witnesses commenced before the grand jury, over
which Judge King acted as the presiding judge. Judge Birch, the county
judge, who previously assisted in the prosecution of the brethren, was
associated with him. Both judges and jury were drunk while the case
proceeded, and the men of the jury were members of the raiding party of
Haun's Mill. They served on the jury during the day and as guards at
night, and in their drunken debauchery boasted of their many crimes. On
the 11th of April, they brought in a "true bill" against the prisoners
for "murder, treason, burglary, arson, larceny, theft and stealing."

A Change of Venue

On April 15, 1839, the brethren obtained from Judge Birch a change of
venue from Daviess to Boone County, and a mittimus was made out by
him without date, name or place. The prisoners were fitted out with a
two-horse wagon, necessary horses, and four men besides the sheriff, to
guard them to Boone County. The prisoners numbered five, as follows:
Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Lyman Wight, Caleb Baldwin, and Alexander
McRae. They started from Gallatin in the afternoon and went as far as
Diahman, where they camped for the night at Judge Morin's. The next day
they went about twenty miles where a jug of whiskey was procured, and
all of the guards, save one, got drank and went to bed. The sheriff
showed the prisoners the mittimus and said to them that Judge Birch
told him never to carry them to Boone County, and never to show the
mittimus, and, the sheriff said: "I shall take a good drink of whiskey
and go to bed, and you may do as you are a mind to."

The Escape

The prisoners bought from the guards two of the horses, paying for
one with clothing, and giving their note for the other. After four of
the guards had retired and were asleep in drunken slumber, the fifth
helped them to saddle the horses and started them on their way. Two of
the brethren mounted and three went on foot, changing places from time
to time. Said Hyrum Smith, "we took our change of venue for the state
of Illinois, and in the course of nine or ten days arrived at Quincy,
Adams County." They found their families in good health, but in a state
of poverty due to their persecutions and expulsion from Missouri's soil.

A "Concocted Plan"

Samuel Tillery, the jailer at Liberty, told the prisoners that the
persecutions against the Saints was a "concocted plan," framed by the
various officers who took part in it, from the governor down. It was
first planned in the fore part of the year 1838, but was not fully
carried out until the militia was sent down against the Saints in
Caldwell and Daviess Counties. "But," said Tillery, shortly before
the removal of the brethren to Daviess County from Liberty Prison,
"you need not be concerned, for the governor has laid a plan for your
release." He also said that the governor was now ashamed enough of the
whole transaction, and would be glad to set the prisoners at liberty,
if he dared to do it. Without question the conspirators became alarmed.
They did not plan the escape of the Prophet and associates because of
any repentance, or remorse of conscience, but because of the fear of
public sentiment, without as well as within the state. Knowledge of
the dastardly actions of the officers of Missouri, who were pledged by
oath to uphold and honor their constitution, which grants liberty to
all citizens[2] in their religious worship, spread abroad into other
commonwealths. The citizens of western Illinois received the exiled
Saints with open arms, and invited them to make their homes among them.
The governor of Iowa, Robert Lucas, wrote and spoke in a vehement
manner in opposition to the treatment the "Mormon" people received in
Missouri. He invited the Saints to make their homes within the borders
of the territory of Iowa. All these things had their effect on the
assassins in Missouri, and caused them to fear and tremble. Governor
Boggs, himself, became sick of the reproach brought upon the state, and
reached the point where he would have gladly released Joseph Smith and
his fellow prisoners, but feared that such an action would properly be
interpreted as an acknowledgment of his unlawful course. He preferred
to have it so arranged that they could escape and appear before the
world as fugitives from justice.

Escape of Parley P. Pratt

At the time Joseph Smith and his companions were sent to Liberty,
Elders Parley P. Pratt, Morris Phelps, Luman Gibbs, Norman Shearer
and Darwin Chase, were sent to Richmond, to await trial on the same
charges. Here they suffered many untold hardships and deprivations
in their dungeon, until April 24, 1839, a period of six months, when
they were taken before the grand jury in Ray County, for a hearing of
their case. The same notorious Judge Austin A. King presided at the
deliberations of this body. Norman Shearer and Darwin Chase, who were
only boys, were released, and King Follett, an aged man, was added to
the list of prisoners. A change of venue having been granted them,
the brethren were taken to Columbia, Boone County, and again cast
into prison. In the meantime Luman Gibbs apostatized, hoping to gain
his liberty, but the crafty officers, although they treated him with
improved consideration, still kept him in prison to act as a spy on
his former brethren. July 4, 1839, Elders Pratt, Phelps and Follett,
assisted on the outside by Orson Pratt and a young man named John W.
Clark, a brother-in-law of Elder Phelps, escaped in a very thrilling
and novel manner. Elder Follett was re-captured, but the other two made
their way, after many hardships and difficulties, to Illinois and the
presence of their families. Elder Follett was again cast into prison
and bound in chains, but in course of a month or two was dismissed, no
charge having been proved against him.

Departure of the Exiles

With all three members of the First Presidency in prison, the burden
of removing the Saints from Missouri was placed on the shoulders of
President Brigham Young, of the council of the apostles. A public
meeting was held at Far West, January 26, 1839, and a committee
composed of the following brethren was selected to draft resolutions
and consider means for the removal of the Saints from Missouri: Brigham
Young, Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor, Alanson Ripley, Theodore Turley,
John Smith and Don Carlos Smith. This committee went to work gathering
such means as could be obtained, and devising plans for the removal of
the poor. Later a committee on removal was appointed with the following
members: William Huntington, chairman; Charles Bird, Alanson Ripley,
Theodore Turley, Daniel Shearer, Shadrack Roundy and Jonathan H. Hale.
During the winter months the exodus began, and many of the Saints
gathered at Quincy, Illinois, where they received a kindly welcome. Due
to their extreme poverty--for they had been robbed and plundered--many
of the members of the Church were unable to get away before the spring
of 1839. April arrived, and the vicious mobocrats met in council on the
6th, and determined that all the "Mormons" should be out of Caldwell
County by the 12th of that month. All available teams were secured, and
help was solicited from the members of the Church who were already in
Illinois, and the remaining Saints at Far West began their journey from
Missouri. Thirty families were removed into Tenney's Grove, twenty-five
miles from Far West, by the 14th of April, on their way to Quincy. Most
of the committee remained at Far West until the last. President Brigham
Young was forced to leave about the middle of February, to save his
life from the angry Missourians who sought it. From the Illinois side
he directed the location of the Saints.

Thursday, April 18, 1839, Elder Heber C. Kimball notified the members
of the committee on removal to wind up their affairs at once, and be
off, for their lives were in grave danger. An armed force went to the
home of Theodore Turley to shoot him; similar action was taken against
other members of the committee, and a number of mobbers tried to kill
Heber C. Kimball in the streets of Far West. The members of the Church
had now departed; many went by way of Richmond and the Missouri River
to Quincy. The members of the committee who still remained, were given
one hour to get out of the place. Hurriedly gathering up such articles
as they could take with them, they departed. The mobbers then commenced
to loot the homes, which had not already been looted of all they

Governor Boggs and his aids had gained a great victory; the Latter-day
Saints had either been exterminated, or driven from the borders
of Missouri, according to his order. Only those remained who were
incarcerated, and the day of their deliverance was near at hand.

Fulfilment of Prophecy

A revelation was given July 8, 1838, calling John Taylor, John E.
Page, Wilford Woodruff and Willard Richards to the apostleship. John
Taylor and John E. Page were ordained under the hands of Brigham
Young and Heber C. Kimball at a meeting held in Far West, December
19, 1838. In this revelation (Doc. and Cov., Sec. 118) the apostles
were commanded to take their leave of the Saints from the temple lot
in Far West on the 26th day of April, 1839. April had arrived and the
Saints were scattered, likewise the members of the council of the
apostles. On the 5th day of April, Samuel Bogart, the mobber, with
John Whitmer and a few other apostates, came to the room occupied by
the committee on removal and read this revelation to Theodore Turley.
With much laughter and assurance that it could not be fulfilled, they
called on him to renounce Joseph Smith, which now he must do as a
rational man. The apostates said: "The twelve are now scattered all
over creation; let them come here if they dare; if they do, they will
be murdered. As that revelation cannot be fulfilled, you will now give
up your faith." Turley jumped up and said: "In the name of God that
revelation will be fulfilled." They laughed him to scorn. John Whitmer
hung his head in shame. In the course of the conversation Turley asked
John Whitmer if his testimony regarding the Book of Mormon was true,
and Whitmer answered: "I now say, I handled those plates; there were
fine engravings on both sides. I handled them;" and he then described
how they were hung, and then he said, "They were shown to me by a
supernatural power."

The 26th day of April arrived, and so also did the apostles at the
temple lot in Far West. Early that morning, these brethren and a few
of the Saints assembled at the temple lot, and proceeded to transact
the business of their mission as they were commanded, according to the
following minutes:

    "At a conference held at Far West by the twelve, high priests,
    elders, and priests, on the 26th day of April, 1839, the following
    resolution was adopted:

    "Resolved: That the following persons be no more fellowshiped in
    the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but excommunicated
    from the same, viz.: Isaac Russell, Mary Russell, John Goodson
    and wife, Jacob Scott, Sen., and wife, Isaac Scott, Jacob Scott,
    Jun., Ann Scott, Sister Walton, Robert Walton, Sister Cavanaugh,
    Ann Wanless, William Dawson, Jun., William Dawson, Sen., and
    wife, George Nelson, Joseph Nelson, and wife, and mother, William
    Warnock and wife, Jonathan Maynard, Nelson Maynard, George Miller,
    John Griggs and wife, Luman Gibbs, Simeon Gardner, and Freeborn

    "The council then proceeded to the building spot of the Lord's
    House; when the following business was transacted: Part of a hymn
    was sung, on the mission of the twelve.

    "Elder Alpheus Cutler, the master workman of the house, then
    recommenced laying the foundation of the Lord's House, agreeably
    to the revelation, by rolling up a large stone near the southeast

    "The following of the twelve were present: Brigham Young, Heber
    C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, John E. Page, and John Taylor, who
    proceeded to ordain Wilford Woodruff and George A. Smith, who had
    been previously nominated by the First Presidency, accepted by the
    twelve, and acknowledged by the Church, to the office of apostles
    and members of the quorum of the twelve, to fill the places of
    those who had fallen. Darwin Chase and Norman Shearer, who had just
    been liberated from Richmond prison, where they had been confined
    for the cause of Jesus Christ, were then ordained to the office of
    the seventies."

After vocal prayer by each of the members of the council of the
twelve, and singing, the apostles took their leave of the Saints there
assembled, and departed for Illinois, and later for their mission to
Great Britain. And thus closed the history of the Latter-day Saints in
Missouri until some future day.


1. The prayer and the answer the Lord gave the Prophet are found in
sections 121, 122, 123, of the Doctrine and Covenants.

2. The Constitution of Missouri read as follows:

    Article 4. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right
    to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own
    consciences; and that no man can be compelled to erect, support,
    or attend any place of worship, or to maintain any minister of the
    Gospel, or teacher of religion; that no human authority can control
    or interfere with the rights of conscience; that no person can ever
    be hurt, molested, or restrained in his religious professions, or
    sentiments, if he do not disturb others in their religious worship.

    Article 5. That no person, on account of his religious opinions,
    can be rendered ineligible to any office of trust or profit under
    this state; that no preference can ever be given by law, to any
    sect or mode of worship.

3. At a conference held in Quincy, Illinois, March 17, 1839, George M.
Hinkle, Sampson Avard, John Corrill, Reed Peck, Frederick G. Williams,
Thomas B. Marsh, Burr Riggs and several others were excommunicated from
the Church.

Part Four

The Nauvoo Period

Chapter 27

The Founding of Nauvoo


Seeking a New Home

In January, 1839, the threats of the mob, and their violence, became
so severe that the Saints at Far West were forced to flee from
Missouri. In November, 1838, those members of the Church residing at
Adam-ondi-Ahman had been driven from their homes, and General Clark, in
his abusive harangue at Far West, told the people they must not think
of remaining another season. Should they attempt to put in crops he
would extend no mercy, and extermination at his hands would be their

The exodus was carried on as rapidly as circumstances would permit.
Even in the inclement weather of the winter months the vanguard made
their way eastward as far as Quincy, Illinois. Here they were met with
a kindly welcome by the citizens of that place. Just where the Saints
would locate was an indefinite problem, and the Prophet, still held in
prison, could give them very little help. He advised them to locate
in some friendly territory between Far West and Kirtland, where they
might dwell in peace. It is likely that many of the refugees from
Missouri, who started on their eastward journey expected to work their
way back to the former settlements of the Saints in Ohio; but the
hospitable treatment they received and the suggestions from the people
of western Illinois, caused them to stop at Quincy. In fact, they could
do little else in their stricken condition, and a kind word and a hand
outstretched with relief, were most welcome. In Quincy an organization
known as the Democratic Association extended every kindness to the
exiles, and proffered to help them in their distress. Several meetings
of this society were held, in which other citizens of Quincy took a
part, in February and March of 1839. Sympathy was expressed for the
"Mormons" and steps were taken to allay the prejudice of the misguided
residents of Quincy, who felt an opposition to the Saints. At one of
these meetings the "Mormons" were invited to attend, and Sidney Rigdon
and others related the persecutions in Missouri, which account fell
on sympathetic ears. Through this organization material assistance
was given the Saints, and employment for many was provided. The
organization voiced its disapproval of the evil treatment accorded the
exiles while in Missouri, in the following resolutions:

    "Resolved, that we regard the rights of conscience as natural and
    inalienable, and the most sacred guaranteed by the Constitution of
    our free government.

    "Resolved, that we regard the acts of all mobs as flagrant
    violations of law; and those who compose them, individually
    responsible, both to the laws of God and man, for every depredation
    committed upon the property, rights, or life of any citizen.

    "Resolved, that the inhabitants upon the western frontier of the
    state of Missouri, in their late persecutions of the class of
    people denominated 'Mormons,' have violated the sacred rights of
    conscience, and every law of justice and humanity.

    "Resolved, that the governor of Missouri, in refusing protection
    to this class of people, when pressed upon by a heartless mob,
    and turning upon them a band of unprincipled militia, with orders
    encouraging their extermination, has brought a lasting disgrace
    upon the state over which he presides."

The Saints also were kindly received by Governor Thomas Carlin and
United States Senator Richard M. Young, and many other prominent
citizens of western Illinois.

In a communication to the Quincy _Argus_, Elder John Taylor expressed
the gratitude of the "Mormon" people, and said they felt under
peculiar obligations to the citizens of Quincy; but he warned them
against imposition on the part of any who may pretend to belong to
the community of Latter-day Saints, but who were not--either those
who never belonged to the Church, or those who, for cause, had been

While the sympathies of these good people were, without question, given
in sincerity, nevertheless there was more or less selfishness connected
with their action. It is quite evident, from events to follow, that
they expected to obtain some political and business advantages, out of
the kindness extended to these destitute and stricken refugees, who
sought a haven of peace and rest within the borders of the state. The
expulsion from Missouri occurred shortly before one of the most intense
presidential elections, and a residence within the State of Illinois
for six months gave the citizens a right to vote. The politicians on
both sides lost no opportunity to seek the advantage which the "Mormon"
vote would bring; and the "Mormons," too heavily engaged with thoughts
of recent persecutions, and hopes of building communities where they
could dwell in perfect peace, failed to comprehend the situation in
which they were being placed. By siding with one faction, it was bound
to alienate the other, and thus cause bitterness of feeling which might
not be overcome. In course of time such proved to be the case.

Committee to Locate Lands

While the Saints were gathering at Quincy, committees were appointed
to seek out suitable places for permanent settlement. A meeting was
held in February, 1839, to consider the proposition of purchasing
about twenty thousand acres, at two dollars an acre, between the Des
Moines and Missouri Rivers, on what were called half-breed lands. Other
sites were also considered from time to time, but no definite action
was taken until the arrival of Joseph Smith at Quincy, from his long
confinement in Liberty prison. Elder Israel Barlow, on his flight from
Missouri, made his way to the northeast and arrived in a destitute
condition near the mouth of the Des Moines River. There he was kindly
received and related the sad experiences of the Latter-day Saints. He
made the acquaintance of Dr. Isaac Galland, who owned considerable
property both in Iowa and Illinois, a short distance farther north.
Mr. Galland resided at a place called Commerce, in Hancock County,
Illinois, about fifty miles up the Mississippi from Quincy and lying on
the bank of the river.


Mr. Galland in a communication to David W. Rodgers, suggested that the
Saints locate in Iowa, which was a territory; for he thought they would
be more likely to receive protection from mobs under the jurisdiction
of the United States, than they would in a state of the Union, "where
murder, rapine and robbery are admirable (!) traits in the character of
a demagogue; and where the greatest villains often reach the highest
offices." He also wrote to Governor Robert Lucas of Iowa, who had known
the "Mormon" people in Ohio, and who spoke very highly of them as
good citizens. However, when the Prophet arrived at Quincy in April,
he purchased from Hugh White a farm of one hundred and thirty-five
acres, for the sum of five thousand dollars; also another farm from
Dr. Isaac Galland lying west of the White purchase, for nine thousand
dollars. This property, which was located in the vicinity of Commerce
was secured on long time notes. To these farms the destitute Saints
commenced to gather, also to the little town of Montrose on the Iowa
side of the river.

Joseph Smith Moves to Commerce

Friday, May 10, 1839, President Joseph Smith took up his residence
in a small log house on the bank of the Mississippi, on the White
purchase, one mile south of Commerce. The first house built by any of
the Saints in that part was raised by Theodore Turley, in June, 1839.
When the purchase was made of the White and Galland property, Commerce
consisted of one stone house, three frame and two block houses, three
of which were log cabins. Between Commerce and David Hibbard's place
on the south front of the river there were four houses, three of
which were log cabins, and into one of these the Prophet moved. The
place was virtually a wilderness. The land was covered with trees and
bushes, and much of it, in the lower parts near the river, was so
wet that travel by team was impossible, and on foot, most difficult.
Notwithstanding the unhealthful condition, the Prophet felt that by
draining the land, and through the blessing of the Lord, the place
could be made a pleasant habitation for the Saints, and he decided to
build a city there. There was inspiration in this decision, for this
was an excellent site for the building of a city, when the unfavorable
conditions of the lowlands were removed. The Mississippi makes a half
circle around the place, giving three fronts on the river. The ground
gradually rises from the river front for a distance of about one mile
to the common level of the prairie lands which extend beyond. A more
beautiful site could not be imagined.

The City of Nauvoo

The name "Commerce" was soon changed to "The City of Nauvoo." This word
is of Hebrew origin, and "signifies a beautiful situation, or place,"
says the Prophet, "carrying with it, also, the idea of rest; and is
truly descriptive of the most delightful location. It is situated
on the east bank of the Mississippi River, at the head of the Des
Moines Rapids, in Hancock County, bounded on the east by an extensive
prairie of surpassing beauty, and on the north, west and south, by the
Mississippi." Nauvoo is about one hundred and ninety miles up the river
from St. Louis, and nearly the same distance from Chicago, towards the

Other Sites Chosen

Other lands were also purchased, for the gathering of the Saints, all
on easy terms. Additional property adjoining that obtained from White
and Galland was obtained from David Hibbard, Daniel H. Wells, Hiram
Kimball, Horace R. Hotchkiss and others, which later became a portion
of the city of Nauvoo. Across the river on the Iowa side, extensive
holdings also were obtained. The village of Nashville, in Lee County,
with twenty thousand acres adjoining, were purchased; also other lands
opposite Nauvoo. Here the Prophet instructed the Saints that a city
should be built, to be called Zarahemla. A number of members of the
Church had located here when the Saints were driven from Missouri, and
it appeared to be a suitable location for a permanent settlement of the

Stakes of Zion Organized

At the general conference held at Commerce, October 5-7, 1839, two
stakes of Zion were organized, one at Commerce, with William Marks
as president, and one in Iowa, with John Smith as president. Later
a number of other stakes were organized in Quincy, Lima, Columbus
and Geneva, Illinois, but they did not continue very long.[1] The
idea seemed to be that the Latter-day Saints should spread out over
considerable territory, and form organizations in various parts of
the country, but this plan was abandoned, and the Saints scattered
abroad were commanded by revelation in January, 1841, to gather to
Hancock County, Illinois, and to Lee County, Iowa, and to build up
the settlements in these parts occupied by the members of the Church.
This was, the presidency wrote, "agreeable to the order of heaven."
Consequently, the Saints began to immigrate to Nauvoo, and the city
grew rapidly by such additions. About one year after the location of
the site, Nauvoo had a population of over three thousand souls, and
six years later, at the time of the great western exodus, about twenty
thousand. The stake at Zarahemla was later discontinued, but John Smith
remained there to preside over the Saints in Iowa.

Miraculous Healing of the Sick

Due to the unhealthful condition of the place when the people first
arrived at Commerce, many were taken sick with malaria fever, and were
nigh unto death. Some of the refugees were sheltered only by tents and
wagon covers, for there had been little time, and less means, by which
houses, even of logs, could be built. On the morning of July 22, 1839,
the Prophet arose from his own bed of sickness and being filled with
the Spirit of the Lord, he went forth along the river bank healing
all who were afflicted. Among the number were Henry G. Sherwood and
Benjamin Brown, who appeared in a dying condition. He later crossed
over the river to Montrose and healed Brigham Young and a number of
other brethren of the twelve, and took them along with him to assist
him in this ministry. What took place in Iowa is thus related by Elder
Wilford Woodruff:

    "After healing all the sick upon the bank of the river as far as
    the stone house, he called upon Elder Kimball and some others to
    accompany him across the river to visit the sick at Montrose. Many
    of the Saints were living at the old military barracks. Among the
    number were several of the twelve. On his arrival, the first house
    he visited was that occupied by Elder Brigham Young, the president
    of the quorum of the twelve, who lay sick. Joseph healed him, then
    he arose and accompanied the Prophet on his visit to others who
    were in the same condition. They visited Elder W. Woodruff, also
    Elders Orson Pratt and John Taylor, all of whom were living in
    Montrose. They also accompanied him. The next place they visited
    was the home of Elijah Fordham, who was supposed to be about
    breathing his last. When the company entered the room the Prophet
    of God walked up to the dying man, and took hold of his right hand
    and spoke to him; but Brother Fordham was unable to speak, his eyes
    were set in his head like glass, and he seemed entirely unconscious
    of all around him. Joseph held his hand and looked into his eyes
    in silence for a length of time. A change in the countenance of
    Brother Fordham was soon perceptible to all present. His sight
    returned, and upon Joseph asking him if he knew him, he, in a low
    whisper, answered, 'Yes.' Joseph asked him if he had faith to
    be healed. He answered, 'I fear it is too late; if you had come
    sooner I think I would have been healed.' The Prophet said, 'Do you
    believe in Jesus Christ?' He answered in a feeble voice, 'I do.'
    Joseph then stood erect, still holding his hand in silence several
    moments; then he spoke in a very loud voice, saying: 'Brother
    Fordham, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to arise from
    this bed and be made whole.' His voice was like the voice of God,
    and not of man. It seemed as though the house shook to its very
    foundations. Brother Fordham arose from his bed and was immediately
    made whole. His feet were bound in poultices, which he kicked off,
    then putting on his clothes, he ate a bowl of bread and milk, and
    followed the Prophet into the street."

In this manner the Prophet and the brethren passed from house to house,
healing the sick and recalling them from the mouth of the tomb. It was
on this occasion that a man, not a member of the Church, seeing the
mighty miracles which were performed, begged the Prophet to go with
him and heal two of his children who were very sick. The Prophet could
not go, but said he would send some one to heal them. Taking from his
pocket a silk handkerchief he handed it to Elder Wilford Woodruff and
requested him to go and heal the children. He told Elder Woodruff to
wipe the faces of the children with the handkerchief, and they should
be healed. This he did and they were healed. "As long as you keep that
handkerchief," said Joseph to Brother Woodruff, as he sent him on his
way, "it shall remain a league between you and me."

Incorporation of the City of Nauvoo

Nauvoo was incorporated in December, 1840. On the 16th day of that
month Governor Thomas Carlin signed the bill. Stephen A. Douglas was
secretary of state; and Abraham Lincoln, a member of the legislature,
had favored the bill. The boundaries of the city were defined, with
ample provision for expansion. The city council was to consist of a
mayor, four aldermen and nine councilors. The election was to take
place on the first Monday in February, 1841.

A Liberal Charter

The charter of the city was one of most liberal powers. It was
all--yes, even more--than the Saints, so long harassed by mobs, had
hoped to receive. It contained twenty-eight sections and was bounded in
its limitations only by the Constitution of the United States and that
of the state of Illinois. All the powers "conferred on the city council
of the city of Springfield" were granted to the city of Nauvoo. The
Mayor and Aldermen were given all the powers of justices of the peace,
both in civil and criminal cases, arising under the laws of the state.
A municipal court was provided composed of the mayor as chief justice,
and the aldermen as associates. This court had power to grant writs of
habeas corpus under all cases arising under the ordinances of the city
council, and trial by jury was guaranteed before twelve men.

The University of Nauvoo

The city council was authorized to establish and organize the
"University of the City of Nauvoo," for "the teaching of the arts,
sciences and learned professions." This institution was to be under
the management of a board of trustees, consisting of a chancellor,
registrar and twenty-three regents. These trustees were to be appointed
by the city council, and they were empowered with all the "privileges
for the advancement of the cause of education which appertain to the
trustees of any other college or university of this state."

The Nauvoo Legion

Another provision granted the city council the power to "organize the
inhabitants of said city, subject to military duty, into a body of
independent military men, to be called the 'Nauvoo Legion,' the court
martial of which shall be composed of the commissioned officers of said
legion, and constitute the law-making department, with full power and
authority to make, ordain, establish, and execute all such laws and
ordinances as may be considered necessary for the benefit, government,
and regulation of said legion; provided said court martial shall pass
no law or act, repugnant to, or inconsistent with the Constitution
of the United States, or of this State; and provided also that the
officers of the legion shall be commissioned by the governor of the
State." This legion was to perform the same amount of military duty as
other bodies of the regular militia, and to be subject to the call of
the mayor in executing the laws and ordinances of the city, and the
governor for public defense.

Election of Municipal Officers

On the day appointed the election was held and John C. Bennett, who had
taken a most active part in the securing of the charter, was elected
mayor. The aldermen were William Marks, president of the stake, Samuel
H. Smith, Newel K. Whitney and Daniel H. Wells, the latter at that
time, not a member of the Church. The counselors were, Joseph Smith,
Hyrum Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Charles C. Rich, John T. Barnett, Wilson
Law, John P. Greene, Don Carlos Smith, and Vinson Knight. The council
appointed Henry G. Sherwood, marshall; James Sloan, recorder; Robert
B. Thompson, treasurer; James Robinson, assessor; and Austin Cowles,
supervisor of streets. When the Nauvoo Legion was organized, Joseph
Smith was elected lieutenant general, which position he held until his

Character of the Mayor

John C. Bennett, the first mayor of Nauvoo, came to that place near
the close of the year 1840. He was born in Massachusetts in 1804;
practiced medicine in Ohio and later in Illinois. He first heard of
the Latter-day Saints during their persecutions in Missouri, and in
the summer of 1840 corresponded with the Prophet, expressing great
sympathy for the Saints, and disapproval of the evil treatment they had
received. At the time of his writing he was quartermaster-general of
the state of Illinois, and had previously served as "brigadier general
of the Invincible Dragoons," in the state militia. After coming to
Nauvoo he joined the Church and was the most active agent in securing
the city charter. He was a man of some ability, with many human
weaknesses, and was bombastic and self-important. We must give him
credit for sincerity of purpose in joining the Church although, without
question, he was seeking worldly fame; but through later immoral
conduct he became most bitter in his feelings, and an arch-traitor to
the cause. His inaugural address, delivered February 3, 1841, contains
many worthy sentiments, but expressed in a spirit of pedantry which
spoiled much of the good effect.

Freedom for All

The first act passed by the city council of Nauvoo, was a resolution
presented by Joseph Smith thanking the governor, the council of
revision and the legislature of the state of Illinois, "for their
unparalleled liberality" for the powers which the charter conferred.
Later, but among the first ordinances introduced, was one assuring
protection to Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists,
Latter-day Saints, and all other religious organizations. As the
ordinance read, they were to have, "free toleration and equal
privileges in this city, and should any person be guilty of ridiculing
and abusing, or otherwise deprecating another, in consequence of his
religion, or of disturbing or interrupting any religious meeting within
the limits of this city, he shall, on conviction before the mayor or
municipal court, be considered a disturber of the public peace, and
fined in any sum not to exceed five hundred dollars, or imprisonment
not exceeding six months." In various other ways were the liberties
and personal rights of the citizens safeguarded against the acts of
rowdies, mobbers, and disturbers of the peace.


1. See table of stakes in appendix.

Chapter 28

Foreign Missionary Labors


The Foreign Mission of the Twelve

On the 26th day of April, 1839, a majority of the apostles took their
leave of the Saints at Far West--then a hostile land--to go forth and
declare the everlasting Gospel "over the great waters" as they had
been commanded. The families of these brave men had been recently and
ruthlessly banished from their homes, and were on their journey seeking
shelter and a friendly habitation. It required the greatest courage
and the highest quality of faith for men to go forth across the ocean
to a foreign country to preach the Gospel without purse or scrip,
leaving their families in poverty, homeless, destitute, and ill. Yet
this was the test to which these brethren were put at this time. They
did not fail, but manfully and nobly took up their cross and started
on their missions. Other brethren, of the seventies, just as faithful,
accompanied them on their journey to the foreign field.

No sooner was the main body of the Saints located in Iowa and Illinois,
out of the reach of mobs, than most of the members of the council of
the twelve started on their way to the British Isles. On the 2nd day
of July, 1839, the presidency met with the apostles, and some others
who were to accompany them, and gave them instructions pertaining to
their labors. On this occasion many important items on doctrine, the
Priesthood, and the deportment of missionaries in the field, were
discussed. In the course of his instructions President Joseph Smith
taught them to beware of self-sufficiency, and to observe charity and
wisdom and to exercise the principle of mercy; for if we forgive our
brother, or even an enemy, before he repent or ask forgiveness, our
heavenly Father will be equally merciful unto us. He further instructed
them that they were not sent out to be taught, but to teach, and to be
honest, open and frank, in all intercourse with mankind. He closed his
instructions with the following words:

    "I will give you one of the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom.
    It is an eternal principle, that has existed with God from all
    eternity: That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault
    with the Church, saying they are out of the way, while he himself
    is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is in the high
    road to apostasy and if he does not repent will apostatize, as God
    lives. The principle is as correct as the one that Jesus put forth
    in saying that he who seeketh a sign is an adulterous person; and
    that principle is eternal, undeviating, and firm as the pillars of
    heaven; for whenever you see a man seeking after a sign, you may
    set it down that he is an adulterous man."

Items on Priesthood

About this time he also instructed the brethren on various matters of
Priesthood, from which the following excerpts are taken:

    "The Priesthood was first given to Adam; he obtained the First
    Presidency, and held the keys of it from generation to generation.
    He obtained it in the creation, before the world was formed. . . .
    He is Michael the Archangel, spoken of in the scriptures. Then to
    Noah, who is Gabriel; he stands next in authority to Adam in the
    Priesthood; he was called of God to this office, and was the father
    of all living in his day, and to him was given the dominion. These
    men held keys first on earth, and then in heaven.

    "The Priesthood is an everlasting principle, and existed with God
    from eternity, and will to eternity, without beginning of days or
    end of years. The keys have to be brought from heaven whenever the
    Gospel is sent. When they are revealed from heaven, it is by Adam's

    "Daniel in his seventh chapter speaks of the Ancient of Days; he
    means the oldest man, our father, Adam, Michael; he will call his
    children together and hold a council with them to prepare them for
    the coming of the Son of Man. He (Adam) is the father of the human
    family, and presides over the spirits of all men and all that have
    had the keys must stand before him in this grand council. This may
    take place before some of us leave this stage of action. The Son of
    Man stands before him, and there is given him glory and dominion.
    Adam delivers up his stewardship to Christ, that which was
    delivered to him as holding the keys of the universe, but retains
    his standing as head of the human family. . . .

    "The keys were first given to him and by him to others. He will
    have to give an account of his stewardship, and they to him.

    "The Priesthood is everlasting. The Savior, Moses, and Elias, gave
    the keys to Peter, James and John, on the mount, when they were
    transfigured before him. . . .

    "Christ is the Great High Priest, Adam next."[1]

Epistle of the Twelve

After receiving their charge from the First Presidency, before their
departure for their fields of labor, the members of the council of the
twelve, wrote an epistle to the elders of the Church, the churches
scattered abroad, and all the Saints, giving them instruction: and
encouragement in their afflictions. To the Saints they said:

    "We wish to stimulate all the brethren to faithfulness; you have
    been, tried, you are now being tried; and those trials, if you
    are not watchful, will corrode the minds, and produce unpleasant
    feelings; but recollect that now is the time of trial; soon the
    victory will be ours. Now may be a day of lamentation--then will be
    a day of rejoicing. Now may be a day of sorrow--but by and by we
    shall see the Lord; our sorrow will be turned into joy, and our joy
    no man taketh from us."

To the elders they said:

    "God has called you to an important office. He has laid upon you
    an onerous duty. He has called you to an holy calling, even to be
    the priests of the Most High God, messengers to the nations of the
    earth; and upon your diligence, your perseverance and faithfulness,
    the soundness of the doctrines which you preach, the moral precepts
    that you advance and practice, and upon the sound principles that
    you inculcate, while you hold that Priesthood, hang the destinies
    of the human family. You are the men that God has called to spread
    forth his kingdom. He has committed the care of souls to your
    charge, and when you received this Priesthood, you became the
    legates of heaven; and the Great God demands it of you, that you
    should be faithful; and inasmuch as you are not, you will not be
    chosen; but it will be said unto you, 'Stand by and let a more
    honorable man than thou art take thy place and receive thy crown.'"

The Missionaries Depart

At a meeting held in Commerce, Sunday, July 7, 1839, Elders Brigham
Young, John Taylor, John E. Page, Wilford Woodruff and Orson Hyde, made
their farewell remarks before their departure on their foreign mission.
The following day Elders Taylor and Woodruff took up their journey
toward their field of labor. Sunday, July 28, Elder Parley P. Pratt,
who had arrived in Commerce on the 10th from his long confinement in
Missouri prisons, made his farewell talk; so also did his brother
Orson, who had assisted Parley in his escape. August 29, Elders Parley
P. Pratt, Orson Pratt and Hiram Clark left Commerce on their missionary
journey, and they were followed September 18, by President Brigham
Young and Elder Heber C. Kimball. Elders George A. Smith, Reuben
Hedlock and Theodore Turley, left three days later. William Smith, of
the council of the twelve, failed to go. Willard Richards, not yet
ordained an apostle, was in England where he had remained since the
opening of the mission. Elders Orson Hyde and John E. Page were shortly
afterwards set apart for a mission to Palestine to dedicate the land
for the return of the Jews, and there was one vacancy in the council
caused by the death of David W. Patten, which was not filled until
April, 1841, when Lyman Wight was chosen.

Circumstances under which these brethren departed were extremely
distressing, as may be well imagined. Elder Heber C. Kimball thus
reports the departure of President Brigham Young and himself on their
missionary journey:

    "September 14, President Brigham Young left his home at Montrose
    to start on the mission to England. He was so sick that he was
    unable to go to the Mississippi, a distance of thirty rods, without
    assistance. After he had crossed the river he rode behind Israel
    Barlow on his horse to my house, where he continued sick until
    the 18th. He left his wife sick with a babe only three weeks old,
    and all his other children were sick and unable to wait upon each
    other. Not one soul of them was able to go to the well for a pail
    of water, and they were without a second suit to their backs, for
    the mob in Missouri had taken nearly all he had. On the 17th Sister
    Mary Ann Young got a boy to carry her up in his wagon to my house,
    that she might nurse and comfort Brother Brigham to the hour of

    "September 18, Charles Hubbard sent his boy with a wagon and a
    span of horses to my house; our trunks were put into the wagon by
    some brethren; I went to my bed and shook hands with my wife who
    was then shaking with a chill, having two children lying sick by
    her side; I embraced her and my children, and bade them farewell.
    My only well child was little Heber P., and it was with difficulty
    he could carry a couple of quarts of water at a time, to assist in
    quenching their thirst.

    "It was with difficulty we got into the wagon, and started down
    the hill about ten rods; it appeared to me as though my very
    inmost parts would melt within me at leaving my family in such a
    condition, as it were almost in the arms of death. I felt as though
    I could not endure it. I asked the teamster to stop, and said to
    Brother Brigham, 'This is pretty tough, isn't it; let's rise up and
    give them a cheer.' We arose, and swinging our hats three times
    over our heads, shouted: 'Hurrah, Hurrah for Israel.' Vilate,
    hearing the noise, arose from her bed and came to the door. She
    had a smile on her face. Vilate and Mary Ann Young cried out to
    us: 'Goodby, God bless you.' We returned the compliment, and then
    told the driver to go ahead. After this I felt a spirit of joy and
    gratitude, having had the satisfaction of seeing my wife standing
    upon her feet, instead of leaving her in bed, knowing well that I
    should not see them again for two or three years" (_"Life of Heber
    C. Kimball,"_ p. 275).

The conditions of some of the other brethren were little better. Elders
George A. Smith and companions upset their wagons in the soft ground
before they got out of sight of the village of Commerce, and Elders
Smith and Turley were so weak they could not get up, and Brother
Hedlock had to lift them into the wagon again. Soon after, as they
were on their way, some gentlemen passing them asked who had been
robbing the burying ground; so miserable did they appear.[2] After
passing through many hardships, traveling without purse or scrip, the
Lord coming to their assistance many times in a miraculous way, these
brethren finally reached their destination. Elders John Taylor, Wilford
Woodruff and Theodore Turley arrived in Liverpool, January 11, 1840,
and were followed by President Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley
P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, George A. Smith and Reuben Hedlock, who arrived
April 6, after a stormy passage of twenty-eight days. At the time of
sailing, President Young and Elder Kimball were still in poor health,
and Elder George A. Smith was suffering extremely with ague. It was
impossible for the brethren journeying on this mission to go together
in a body, and inadvisable. Due to sickness they were detained many
days, yet they pursued their course as rapidly as circumstances would
permit. As President Young and party left the New York harbor, the
shore resounded by the voices of the assembled Saints who had come to
bid them farewell on their journey. They unitedly sang: "The Gallant
Ship is under Way," composed by Elder William W. Phelps.

Ordination of Willard Richards

The first council meeting of the apostles on foreign soil was held
in Preston, England, April 14, 1840, at the house of Elder Willard
Richards, who on this occasion was ordained to the apostleship by
President Brigham Young, and under the hands of all the brethren of
the council who were present. Other business was transacted and the
brethren assigned to fields of labor. On this occasion Brigham Young
was also unanimously sustained by the brethren of the twelve as the
president of that council. There were present: President Brigham Young,
Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, John Taylor, Wilford
Woodruff, George A. Smith and Willard Richards.

The Millennial Star

A general conference of all the Saints in the British Isles was held in
Preston the following day, April 15, 1840, at which there were present,
or represented, the following: elders, 36; priests, 45; teachers, 36:
deacons, 11; members, 1686, all contained in 34 branches which had
been raised up since the opening of that mission by Elder Kimball and
companions in 1837. At this conference it was decided to publish a hymn
book, and a monthly periodical under the direction and superintendency
of the twelve, for the benefit and information of the members of the
Church. The next day, in a council meeting of the apostles, Parley
P. Pratt was chosen to edit the monthly periodical which was to be
called _"The Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star,"_ which soon made its
appearance and has been issued continuously ever since. The committee
selected to prepare for printing a book of hymns was Brigham Young,
Parley P. Pratt and John Taylor.

British Copyright of the Book of Mormon

It was also decided, agreeable to the counsel of the First Presidency
previously obtained, that copyright of the Book of Mormon and of the
Doctrine and Covenants be secured in England; and that editions of
these books be printed. The first number of the _Millennial Star_ was
issued in Manchester, in pamphlet form of twenty-four pages, Wednesday,
May 27, 1840. Later the place of publication was transferred to
Liverpool, which became the headquarters for most of the publications
of the Church, until comparatively recent years.

The First Patriarch in England

Under the labors of the twelve and their missionary companions,
branches of the Church had sprung up in various parts of England,
and the population of the Church was now growing rapidly. At another
council meeting of the twelve, held April 16, 1840, it was decided that
a patriarch be ordained, and the honor fell to the lot of Elder Peter
Melling, a most worthy man, who was ordained in Preston the following
day. Early in 1841, John Albiston was also ordained to this sacred

Individual Labors of the Twelve

Elders John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff and-Theodore Turley, the first
of the missionaries to arrive in England, met in a special council
Friday, January 17, 1840, with Joseph Fielding and Willard Richards
of the presidency of the British Mission, and decided on their fields
of labor. It was agreed that Elders Taylor and Fielding should go
to Liverpool; Elder Hiram Clark, to Manchester, with Elder William
Clayton; and Brother Richards to labor where the Spirit should direct.
In Liverpool Elders Taylor and Fielding raised up a branch of about
thirty members before the arrival from America of the other brethren of
the twelve. This number rapidly increased and at the beginning of the
year 1841, numbered more than two hundred souls. In March, 1842, the
headquarters of the mission were transferred to Liverpool.

In Herefordshire

In the Potteries of Staffordshire, Elders Woodruff and Turley found
a fruitful field. Elder Woodruff labored in Burslem, Hanley, Stoke,
Lane End and the Potteries from the 22nd of January, 1840, to the 2nd
of March, preaching every night in the week, and two or three times
on the Sabbath day, and the people flocked to hear his words and
many were baptized. While preaching on the Sabbath, March 1, which
was the anniversary of his birth, the Lord manifested to him that he
was to leave that part of the country and go to the south. Acting
on the impression from the Spirit, he left on the 3rd of March and
continued his journey to the farming communities of Herefordshire and
stopped at the home of Mr. John Benbow, at Castle Frome, Ledbury. Mr.
Benbow was a wealthy farmer, cultivating some three hundred acres
of land. Elder Woodruff presented himself to this gentleman as a
missionary from America and an elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints, who had been sent to preach the Gospel to him and
his household and all the inhabitants of the land. Mr. Benbow rejoiced
in the statements of Elder Woodruff, and informed him that there were
in that place six hundred persons and more, who had broken off from
the Methodists and had taken the name of "United Brethren." They had
forty-five preachers and a number of meeting houses that were duly
licensed according to the law of the land. They were searching for
light and truth. Losing no time, on the morning of the 5th, Brother
Woodruff stated he would like to begin his labors by preaching to the
people. There was a large hall in the mansion of Mr. Benbow, which was
available for that purpose, and the people were invited to come and
hear the new message, from the new world across the sea. The people
of the neighborhood deserted their ministers and came to hear this
strange preacher, who, in the course of a short time, baptized over
six hundred persons in that place. At the meeting held on March 8, a
constable, sent through complaint of the parish rector, came to arrest
him for "preaching to the people." Elder Woodruff said he had a license
to preach as well as the rector, and if the constable would take a
chair and sit beside him until the close of the meeting he would be at
his service. He then launched forth on a discourse treating the first
principles of the Gospel, and at the close of the meeting opened the
door for baptism, and several came forward to be baptized; among the
number were four preachers and the constable, who said, "Mr. Woodruff,
I would like to be baptized." The constable went to the rector and
told him that if he wanted Mr. Woodruff arrested, he must go himself
and serve the writ, for he had heard him preach the only true Gospel
sermon he had ever heard. The rector then sent two clerks of the Church
of England as spies, and they were both baptized. The ministers and
rectors of the Church of England then sent a petition to the Archbishop
of Canterbury, to request Parliament to pass a law prohibiting the
"Mormons" from preaching in the British nation, stating that they had
baptized fifteen hundred persons, many of whom were members of the
Church of England. But the Archbishop, knowing well that the laws of
England permitted religious freedom, replied that the petitioners, if
they had the worth of souls at heart as much as they valued ground
where hares, foxes and hounds ran, they would not lose so many of their

The other brethren also met with remarkable success. The field was
ripe, ready for the harvest, and thousands of the house of Israel
were soon gathered into the fold. At a conference of the Church in
the British Isles held in October, 1840, there was reported a Church
membership of about 4,000 souls, and in the meantime a number had
emigrated to the United States.

The First Emigration to the United States

In June, 1840, a company of forty Saints sailed in the ship _Britannia_
from Liverpool for New York, being the first Saints to leave England
for Zion.

The Mission to Palestine

At the general conference of the Church held in Nauvoo, Hancock County,
April 6-8, 1840, Elder Orson Hyde, who had not departed for England
with the other apostles, was appointed to take a mission to Palestine
to dedicate there the land for the gathering of the Jews. Elder John E.
Page, who had also tarried at home, was called to accompany him. While
addressing the congregation on the 6th, Elder Hyde remarked that it had
been prophesied, some years before, that he had a great work to perform
among the Jews; and that he had recently been moved by the Spirit of
the Lord to visit that people, and gather all the information he could
find respecting their movements, hopes and aspirations, and communicate
them to the Church. He expressed the desire to visit the Jews in New
York, London and Amsterdam, on his way to the field of his appointment.
It was moved and carried that he proceed at once on his mission and
that Elder John E. Page be given proper credentials and accompany him.
On the 15th of April, Elder Hyde left Nauvoo for Jerusalem. Working his
way across the country to New York, he sailed, after some delays, for
Liverpool, on his way to Palestine, Saturday, February 13, 1841. He
traveled alone, as Elder John E. Page had failed to make the journey.

Other Missionary Appointments

Other missionary appointments to foreign fields were made in these
early days. In July, 1840, William Barrett, a boy seventeen years of
age, was ordained an elder by Elders George A. Smith and Alfred Cordon,
in Hanley, Staffordshire, England, and set apart to take a mission
to Australia, to be the first missionary to that country. In August,
following, Elder William Donaldson, of the British army, having been
assigned to the field in India, was also blessed and set apart to labor
for the Church in that land. The following year, at the conference
of the Church, Elder Harrison Sagers was called to go to Jamaica;
Elder Joseph Ball, to South America; Elder Simeon Carter to Germany;
and Elder Arza Adams to Canada, where the Gospel had previously been

The Return of the Apostles

On the 20th day of April, 1841, President Brigham Young and Elders
Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, George
A. Smith and Willard Richards, with a company of Saints left Liverpool
on the ship _Rochester_, for New York. Parley P. Pratt continued in
England to edit the _Millennial Star_ and preside over the mission.
After a period of one month upon the water they arrived safely in
New York, and continuing their journey arrived in Nauvoo, July 1,
1841. Some eighteen or twenty months before, these brethren had left
Nauvoo, poverty-stricken, afflicted and sorrowful of heart. Now they
returned rejoicing and with gladness of heart, bearing the fruit of
their labors. They started on their way without money, and returned
with none. Yet, during their labors abroad, they had published an
edition of five thousand copies of the Book of Mormon; and an edition
of three thousand copies of the Hymn Book; over fifty thousand tracts
and pamphlets; had established a permanent magazine, the _Millennial
Star_; organized an emigration agency for the gathering of the Saints
to Zion, and had been instrumental in the hands of the Lord in bringing
thousands of the children of the House of Israel to a knowledge of
the everlasting Gospel. Truly it was a marvelous work, worthy of all

The Prophet's Comments

Commenting on the labors of these members of the council of the
apostles, the Prophet said:

    "All the quorum of the Twelve Apostles who were expected here this
    season, with the exception of Elders Willard Richards and Wilford
    Woodruff, have arrived. We have listened to the accounts which
    they give of their success, and the prosperity of the work of the
    Lord in Great Britain with pleasure. They certainly have been the
    instruments in the hands of God of accomplishing much, and must
    have the satisfaction of knowing that they have done their duty.
    Perhaps no men ever undertook such an important mission under such
    peculiarly distressing and unpropitious circumstances. Most of
    them when they left this place, nearly two years ago, were worn
    down with sickness and disease, or were taken sick on the road.
    Several of their families were also afflicted and needed their aid
    and support. But, knowing that they had been called by the God of
    Heaven to preach the Gospel to other nations, they conferred not
    with flesh and blood, but obedient to the heavenly mandate, without
    purse or scrip, they commenced a journey of five thousand miles
    entirely dependent on the providence of that God who had called
    them to such a holy calling. While journeying to the seaboard they
    were brought into many trying circumstances; after a short recovery
    from severe sickness, they would be taken with a relapse, and
    have to stop among strangers, without money and without friends.
    Their lives were several times despaired of, and they have taken
    each other by the hand, expecting it would be the last time they
    should behold one another in the flesh. However, notwithstanding
    their afflictions and trials, the Lord always interposed in their
    behalf, and did not suffer them to sink in the arms of death. Some
    way or other was made for their escape--friends rose up when they
    most needed them and relieved their necessities; and thus they
    were enabled to pursue their journey and rejoice in the Holy One
    of Israel. They truly 'went forth weeping, bearing precious seed,'
    but have returned with rejoicing, bearing their sheaves with them"
    (_Documentary History of the Church_, vol. 4: 390).


1. _Documentary History of the Church_, vol. 3:385-8.

2. Another incident worthy to relate is the following statement by
Elder Wilford Woodruff:

    "Inasmuch as the devil had been thwarted in a measure by the twelve
    going to Far West and returning without harm, it seemed as though
    the destroyer was determined to make some other attempt upon us
    to hinder us from performing our missions; for as soon as any one
    of the apostles began to prepare for starting he was smitten with
    chills and fever, or sickness of some kind. . . .

    "On the 25th of July, I was attacked with chills and fever, for the
    first time in my life; this I had every other day, and whenever
    attacked I was laid prostrate. My wife, Phoebe, was also taken
    down with the chills and fever, as were quite a number of the
    twelve. . . .

    "Although feeble, I walked to the banks of the Mississippi River;
    there President Young took me in a canoe and paddled me across
    the river. When we landed, I lay down on a side of sole leather,
    by the post office, to rest. Brother Joseph, the Prophet of God,
    came along and looked at me. 'Well, Brother Woodruff,' said he,
    'you have started upon your mission.' 'Yes,' said I, 'but I feel
    and look more like a subject for the dissecting room than a
    missionary.' Joseph replied: 'What did you say that for? Get up,
    and go along; all will be right with you. . . .

    "Soon a brother came along with a wagon, and took us (Elders Taylor
    and Woodruff) in. As we were driving through the place, we came to
    Parley P. Pratt, who was stripped to his shirt and pants, with his
    head and feet bare. He was hewing a log, preparatory to building
    a cabin. He said: 'Brother Woodruff, I have no money, but I have
    an empty purse, which I will give you.' He brought it to me, and
    I thanked him for it. We went a few rods further and met Brother
    Heber C. Kimball, in the same condition, also hewing a log to build
    a cabin. He said: 'As Parley has given you a purse, I have got a
    dollar I will give you to put in it.' He gave me both a dollar and
    a blessing" (_Wilford Woodruff--His Life and Labors_, p. 108).

Chapter 29

Appeal to Washington for Redress--Further Missouri Persecutions


Importuning for Redress

Having appealed in vain to the courts, the governor and the legislature
of Missouri, the Saints now determined to "importune for redress
and redemption at the feet of the President." This course the Lord
commanded them to take. It was his will that the national government
should have the privilege of correcting the wrongs of the Latter-day
Saints, or share in the responsibility of their persecutions, should
they also turn a deaf ear to the appeal of thousands of citizens, who
had been banished from their homes.[1] The Constitution guarantees that
"the citizens of each state shall be entitled to all the privileges and
immunities of citizens of the several states." This great privilege
had been denied the Latter-day Saints by the officers of the State of

President Sidney Rigdon arrived in Quincy, Illinois, after his release
from prison, in March, 1839, and was at that time very zealous for the
punishment of Missouri for the violation of the constitutional rights
of the Saints while in that state. He devised a plan, on an elaborate
scale, for the impeachment of Missouri before the other states and the
general government. He proposed to have the governors of the several
states present before their respective legislative bodies the matter of
Missouri's abdication of republican government, and at the same time
have presented to the President of the United States and Congress a
petition for redress of the wrongs inflicted upon the Saints. Governor
Carlin of Illinois encouraged him in this desire and promised to aid in
the work. Governor Robert Lucas of Iowa also lent some assistance to
the plan. The latter issued letters of introduction to President Martin
Van Buren and Governor Shannon of Ohio, conveying the information that
President Rigdon expected to visit Washington as the representative of
the "Mormon" people to seek an investigation into the causes for the
expulsion of the Saints from Missouri. However, nothing came of this
rather impractical plan.

The Prophet's Appeal to the People

About this same time (April, 1839) the Prophet made an appeal to the
citizens of the United States in the following language:

    "I ask the citizens of this Republic whether such a state of things
    is to be suffered to pass unnoticed, and the hearts of widows,
    orphans, and patriots to be broken, and their wrongs left without
    redress? No! I invoke the genius of our Constitution. I appeal
    to the patriotism of Americans to stop this unlawful and unholy
    procedure; and pray that God may defend this nation from the
    dreadful effects of such outrages.

    "Is there no virtue in the body politic? Will not the people rise
    up in their majesty, and with that promptitude and zeal which are
    so characteristic of them, discountenance such proceedings, by
    bringing the offenders to that punishment which they so richly
    deserve, and save the nation from that disgrace and ultimate ruin,
    which otherwise must inevitably fall upon it?"[2]

A Delegation Appointed to Visit Washington

At a conference of the Church held in Quincy in May, 1839, President
Rigdon was formally appointed to carry the message of grievances
to Washington, and Elder Lyman Wight was appointed to collect the
necessary affidavits from those injured, to be presented at Washington.
President Rigdon made no great effort to get away on this mission, and
as time passed his ardor cooled and his desire to fill his appointment
lessened. At the October Conference, held at Commerce, President Joseph
Smith, who had arrived in Illinois during the summer, and Judge Elias
Higbee were also chosen to go to Washington as well as Sidney Rigdon,
to importune for redress. On the 29th of October, these three delegates
left Commerce in a carriage driven by Orrin Porter Rockwell, with the
intention of laying before Congress the grievances of the Saints while
in Missouri. At Quincy they were joined by Dr. Robert D. Foster who
accompanied them on their way to administer to Sidney Rigdon, who was
ill. At Springfield Judge James Adams took the Prophet to his home and
treated him with every consideration as though he had been his own
son. After an eventful journey the Prophet and Judge Higbee arrived
in Washington, November 28, 1839. They did considerable preaching on
the way and were forced to leave Sidney Rigdon in Ohio because of his
sickness; Orrin P. Rockwell and Dr. Robert D. Foster remained with him.

Interview with the President

The first step taken by the Prophet and Judge Higbee after securing
a boarding place was to call on the President of the United States,
Martin Van Buren. This was the following day, November 29. They
proceeded to the house of the President, which they state they found to
be a very large and splendid palace, decorated with all the fineries
and elegance of this world. After some preliminary arrangements they
were ushered into the presence of Mr. Van Buren. They handed him some
of their letters of introduction which stated the object of their
visit and as soon as the President read one of them, he looked up with
a frown and said: "What can I do? I can do nothing for you! If I do
anything, I shall come in contact with the whole state of Missouri."
The delegates were not to be denied a hearing without some effort, so
they pressed the matter of their case with considerable vigor. The
result was that President Van Buren promised to reconsider what he had
said, and expressed deep sympathy with the Saints on account of their

The Petition before Congress

Following the interview with the President the brethren spent some
time hunting up senators and representatives with whom they might
converse and receive a hearing. They found the delegation from Illinois
friendly, and were able to make a number of friends among the honorable
gentlemen in Washington. A meeting was held with the congressional
delegation from Illinois, for the purpose of considering the best
means for getting their business before Congress. Mr. Robinson, of the
delegation, offered some opposition against the Saints presenting any
claims against Missouri to be liquidated by the United States, on the
ground that the Saints should make their appeal to the judiciary of
Missouri and the state officials, where the wrongs were committed. The
Prophet opposed such a stand with great vigor, explaining that every
effort had already been made to get the governor of Missouri and the
courts to consider their claims, but without result. Mr. Robinson then
said this was his first impression of the matter, but he would take
it under consideration. The following day another meeting was held
and it was decided that a petition should be drawn up to be presented
to Congress, and Senator Richard M. Young, of Illinois, promised to
present it in the United States Senate. They were advised that all
facts presented should be authenticated by affidavits, so word was
sent to the Saints in Illinois to prepare immediately such necessary
information as would be required.[3] The petition was duly presented to
the judiciary committee. It covered the outrages against the members
of the Church from the expulsion from Jackson County, in 1833, to the
banishment from the state in 1838-39. The dastardly course of Governor
Boggs in aiding the enemies of the Saints and his exterminating order
received proper consideration. The concluding paragraphs of this
petition are as follows:

    "For these wrongs, the 'Mormons' ought to have some redress: yet
    how and where shall they seek and obtain it? Your constitution
    guarantees to every citizen, even the humblest, the enjoyment of
    life, liberty, and property. It promises to all, religious freedom,
    the right to all to worship God beneath their own vine and fig
    tree, according to the dictates of their conscience. It guarantees
    to all the citizens of the several states the right to become
    citizens of any one of the states, and to enjoy all the rights and
    immunities of the citizens of the state of his adoption. Yet of all
    these rights have the 'Mormons' been deprived. They have, without
    a cause, without a trial, been deprived of life, liberty and
    property. They have been persecuted for their religious opinions.
    They have been driven from the state of Missouri, at the point
    of the bayonet, and prevented from enjoying and exercising the
    rights of citizens of the state of Missouri. It is the theory of
    our laws, that for the protection of every legal right, there is
    provided a legal remedy. What then, we would respectfully ask, is
    the remedy of the 'Mormons'? Shall they apply to the legislature
    of the state of Missouri for redress? They have done so. They have
    petitioned, and these petitions have been treated with silence and
    contempt. Shall they apply to the federal courts? They were, at the
    time of the injury, citizens of the state of Missouri. Shall they
    apply to the court of the state of Missouri? Whom shall they sue?
    The order for their destruction, then extermination, was granted
    by the executive of the state of Missouri. Is not this a plea of
    justification for the loss of individuals, done in pursuance of
    that order? If not, before whom shall the 'Mormons' institute a
    trial? Shall they summon a jury of the individuals who composed the
    mob? An appeal to them were in vain. They dare not go to Missouri
    to institute a suit; their lives would be in danger.

    "For ourselves we see no redress, unless it is awarded by the
    Congress of the United States. And here we make our appeal as
    _American Citizens_, as _Christians_, and as _Men_--believing that
    the high sense of justice which exists in your honorable body,
    will not allow such oppression to be practiced upon any portion of
    the citizens of this vast republic with impunity; but that some
    measures which your wisdom may dictate, may be taken, so that the
    great body of people who have been thus abused, may have redress
    for the wrongs which they have suffered. And to your decision they
    look with confidence; hoping it may be such as shall tend to dry up
    the tears of the widow and orphan, and again place in situations of
    peace, those who have been driven from their homes, and have had to
    wade through scenes of sorrow and distress.

    "And your Memorialists, as in duty bound, will ever pray."

The Prophet's Interview with President Van Buren

While the Prophet was waiting for the action of Congress, he visited
several branches of the Church in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and other
parts, returning to Washington the fore part of February. During this
time he had another interview with President Martin Van Buren and one
with John C. Calhoun, and he records the following in his journal:

    "During my stay I had an interview with Martin Van Buren, the
    President, who treated me very insolently, and it was with great
    reluctance he listened to our message, which, when he had heard,
    he said: 'Gentlemen, your cause is just, but I can do nothing for
    you;' and 'If I take up for you I shall lose the vote of Missouri.'
    His whole course went to show that he was an office-seeker, that
    self-aggrandizement was his ruling passion, and that justice and
    righteousness were no part of his composition. I found him such a
    man as I could not conscientiously support at the head of our noble
    Republic. I also had an interview with Mr. John C. Calhoun, whose
    conduct towards me very ill became his station. I became satisfied
    there was little use for me to tarry, to press the just claims of
    the Saints on the consideration of the President and Congress,
    and stayed but a few days, taking passage in company with Porter
    Rockwell and Dr. Foster on the railroad and stages back to Dayton,
    Ohio" (_Documentary History of the Church_, vol. 4:80).

The Action of Congress

Judge Elias Higbee remained in Washington during the time the petition
was before Congress. He met on several occasions with the judiciary
committee, which had the matter in hand. The members from Missouri
offered considerable opposition, as naturally might be supposed, to
the charges made against the officials of that state. They did all in
their power to prevent any consideration of the petition. Many false
statements and charges were made which Judge Higbee was able to refute.
On the 26th of February, he wrote the Prophet as follows: "I am just
informed by General Wall (the chairman of the committee), before whom,
or to whom, our business is referred, that the decision is against us,
or in other words unfavorable, that they believe redress can only be
had in Missouri, the courts and the legislature." On the 4th of March,
1840, President Joseph Smith arrived in Nauvoo. The same day the senate
committee made its report. After setting forth some of the items in the
petition the committee said:

    "The petition is drawn up at great length, and sets forth, with
    feeling and eloquence, the wrongs of which they complain; justifies
    their own conduct, and aggravates that of those whom they call
    their persecutors, and concludes by saying they see no redress,
    unless it be obtained of the Congress of the United States, to
    whom they make their solemn, last appeal, as American citizens, as
    Christians, and as men; to which decision they say they will submit.

    "The committee have examined the case presented by the petition,
    and heard the views urged by their agent, with care and attention;
    and after full examination and consideration, unanimously concur in
    the opinion--

    "That the case presented for their investigation is not such a one
    as will justify or authorize any interposition by this government.

    "The wrongs complained of are not alleged to be committed by any of
    the officers of the United States, or under the authority of its
    government in any manner whatever. The allegations in the petition
    relate to the acts of its citizens, and inhabitants and authorities
    of the State of Missouri, of which state the petitioners were at
    the time citizens, or inhabitants.

    "The grievances complained of in the petition are alleged to
    have been done within the territory of the State of Missouri.
    The committee, under these circumstances, have not considered
    themselves justified in inquiring into the truth or falsehood
    of the facts charged in the petition. If they are true, the
    petitioners must seek relief in the courts of judication of
    the State of Missouri, or of the United States, which has the
    appropriate jurisdiction to administer full and adequate redress
    for the wrongs complained of, and doubtless will do so fairly and
    impartially; or the petitioners may, if they see proper, apply to
    the justice and magnanimity of the State of Missouri--an appeal
    which the committee feel justified in believing will never be made
    in vain by the injured or oppressed.

    "It can never be presumed that a state either wants the power or
    lacks the disposition to redress the wrongs of its own citizens,
    committed within her own territory, whether they proceed from the
    lawless acts of her officers or of any other persons. The committee
    therefore report that they recommend the passage of the following

    "_Resolved_, That the committee on the judiciary be discharged
    from further consideration of the memorial in this case; and that
    the memorialists have leave to withdraw the papers which accompany
    their memorial" (_Documentary History of the Church_, vol. 4:90-2).

Compliance with the Word of the Lord

The Senate, of course, adopted this resolution, and this brought to an
end the appeal of the Latter-day Saints for redress of their wrongs
while in Missouri.[4] The Saints had the satisfaction of knowing they
had complied with the command of the Lord, wherein he instructed
them to appeal for redress, first at the feet of the judge, then the
governor and then the President of the United States. The matter was
now to be left in the hand of the Great Judge who had promised, under
the circumstances as they had developed, to "come forth out of his
hiding place, and in his fury vex the nation" (Doc. and Cov. 101:89).

The Resolutions of the April Conference

At the general conference of the Church held April 6-8, 1840, a set
of resolutions were adopted approving of the labors of the Church
committee who visited Washington, and condemning the action of the
senate in the rejection of the consideration of the wrongs of the
Saints. Some of the items in which the resolutions disagree with
the action of Congress are as follows: The failure to consider the
petition was subversive to the rights of a free people, and justly
called for the disapprobation of all the supporters and lovers of good
government. The judiciary committee stated in their report, "that
our memorial aggravates the case of our oppressors," and at the same
time they said they had "not examined into the truth or falsehood
of the facts mentioned." This was deemed by the petitioners a great
insult to their "good sense, better judgment and intelligence," when
numerous affidavits were laid before the committee to prove that the
Saints could go into the State of Missouri only in opposition to the
exterminating order of the governor, and at the risk of their lives.
Moreover, that exterminating order was before the committee for
consideration, it was a direct infraction of the Constitution of the
United States. The failure of the committee to investigate the actions
of the governor and other officers of Missouri, was "turning a deaf
ear to the cries of widows, orphans, and innocent blood, which had
been shed," and was "no less than seconding the proceedings of that
murderous clan, whose deeds are recorded in heaven, and justly call
down upon their heads the righteous judgments of an offended God." The
thanks of the Saints were extended to Governors Lucas of Iowa, and
Carlin of Illinois, for their sympathy and aid, also to the citizens of
Illinois for their kind, liberal and generous conduct. The delegates
were instructed to continue their endeavors to obtain redress, and the
resolutions closed with the following appeal: "And if all hopes of
obtaining satisfaction for the injuries done us be entirely blasted,
that they (the delegates) then appeal our case to the Court of Heaven,
believing that the Great Jehovah, who rules over the destiny of
nations, and who notices the falling sparrows, will undoubtedly redress
our wrongs, and ere long avenge us of our adversaries."[5]

Return of the Prodigals

At the general conference held in April, 1840, Frederick G. Williams,
who had been excommunicated by the action of the conference of the
Church at Quincy, March 17, 1839, along with Thomas B. Marsh, George
M. Hinkle and others, presented himself on the stand, and humbly
asked forgiveness for his conduct while in Missouri. He expressed his
determination to do the will of the Lord in the future, for he had
a knowledge of the divinity of the work. His case was presented to
the people by President Hyrum Smith, and he was received back into
fellowship by the unanimous vote of the conference. From this time on
he remained true to the Church and his brethren, until his death in
Quincy October 10, 1842.

In the following June William W. Phelps wrote to the Prophet from
Dayton, Ohio, confessing his sins and begging for reinstatement in the
Church. "I am," said he, "as the prodigal son, though I never doubt
or disbelieve the fulness of the Gospel. I have been greatly abused
and humbled, and I blessed the God of Israel when I lately read your
prophetic blessing on my head, as follows: 'The Lord will chasten
him because he taketh honor to himself, and when his soul is greatly
humbled he will forsake the evil. Then shall the light of the Lord
break forth upon him as at noonday and in him shall be no darkness.' I
have seen the folly of my way, and I tremble at the gulf I have passed.
So it is, and why I know not. I prayed, and God answered; but what
could I do? Says I, 'I will repent and live and ask my old brethren to
forgive me, and though they chasten me to death, yet I will die with
them, for their God is my God. . . . I have not walked along with my
friends according to my holy anointing. I ask forgiveness in the name
of Jesus Christ of all the Saints, for I will do right, God helping

The Prophet answered him saying his case had been presented to the
Saints and an expression of their feelings was unanimously given that
he should be received back into the Church.

Death of Bishop Partridge

Bishop Edward Partridge died Wednesday, May 27, 1840, in Nauvoo, in the
forty-sixth year of his age. He was the first bishop of the Church,
having been called to that position by revelation in 1831. He was born
in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, August 27, 1793. His daughter
Harriet Pamela, aged nineteen years, preceded her father to the grave
by eleven days. They were victims of the Missouri persecutions,
and were among those who suffered privations and exposure in the
mobbings and expulsion in the winter of 1838-9. Others who likewise
laid down their lives about this time were John Young, father of
President Brigham Young, Seymour Brunson and James Mulholland, the
Prophet's secretary. Each of these brethren died shortly after the
settlement of the Saints in Illinois. John Young was a veteran of the
Revolution. He had been driven from his home in Missouri and died in
his seventy-seventh year, a martyr to his religion, for his death was
caused by his sufferings in the cruel persecution. Seymour Brunson
died August 10, 1840. He was a man of strong character, and had taken
an active part in the Church almost from the beginning, serving in
various councils. He it was who entered charges against Oliver Cowdery
and David Whitmer at the time of their excommunication. He died in
his forty-first year and was at the time a member of the high council
in the Nauvoo Stake. James Mulholland died in November, 1839, aged
thirty-five years. He was a man of excellent education and was a
faithful elder in the Church.

Death of Patriarch Joseph Smith

Another victim of Missouri persecution was the Patriarch Joseph Smith,
who died in Nauvoo, September 14, 1840. He was the first person who
received the Prophet's testimony after the appearance of the angel,
and was always true to the mission of his son. He moved to Kirtland
in 1831, where he was ordained patriarch and an assistant counselor
to the Prophet in the Presidency of the High Priesthood, December 18,
1833. He served as a member of the first high council in 1834. During
the persecutions in Kirtland, in 1837, he was made a prisoner by the
apostate enemies of the Church, but gained his liberty and made his way
to Far West in 1838. From here he was again driven by enemies under the
exterminating order of the infamous Lilburn W. Boggs. In midwinter he
made his way to Quincy, and later in the spring of 1839, to Commerce,
where he made his home. He was six feet two inches tall, and well
proportioned. His ordinary weight was about two hundred pounds. He was
a very strong, active man, but the exposure he suffered during the
expulsion from Missouri, brought on consumption, from which he died.
His funeral services were held September 15, 1840, Elder Robert B.
Thompson delivering the discourse.

More Trouble from Missouri

The action of Congress and the President of the United States, in
refusing to consider the complaint, had its effect for evil on the
Missourians. Their hatred, great as it was against the Latter-day
Saints, was augmented by the presentation of the petition of the
Saints to the general government. They seemed to chafe under the
exposures to the world of their evil deeds. The action of Congress
also made them bold in their desire to continue their persecutions
of the Saints. If the President of the United States could refuse to
give ear to the appeal of the thousands who had been so wilfully and
maliciously wronged; and if Congress could advise that the proper place
for redress was back in Missouri, and that, too, at the hands of the
very officials who had so wickedly and unconstitutionally expelled,
robbed, and murdered the Saints, what was there for Missourians to
fear? Was not this evidence that the "Mormons," everywhere hated, were
the common prey of their mortal enemies? It is true they had driven the
Saints to the confines of another state, but it was a matter of little
moment to cross that border and drag them back again for further abuse.
Especially so, if they could enter into collusion with the officers of
the other states which they hoped to do, and which they did.

Kidnapping of Alanson Brown and Others

On the 7th day of July, 1840, Alanson Brown, Benjamin Boyce, Noah
Rodgers and James Allred, were surrounded by an armed force of mobbers,
in Hancock County, Illinois, who asked them if they were "Mormons."
When they said they were, the mobbers with many vile oaths declared
that they were sworn to kill "all the damned 'Mormons' that they could
find." The brethren were forced across the river to a small town in
Lewis County, Missouri, called Tully, where they were kept under guard
until about eleven o'clock at night. Then Alanson Brown and Benjamin
Boyce were taken out to the woods with ropes around their necks. Boyce
inquired what they intended to do and was answered by the mobbers that
they were going to kill them and "make catfish bait" of them. The two
brethren were then separated. Boyce was stripped and tied to a tree
and whipped with gads until his body was mangled from his shoulders
to his knees. In the meantime Brown had been hung by the neck until
life appeared to be gone, then the ruffians cut him down, revived him,
and returned to Tully with them both. They then placed ropes on the
necks of Allred and Rodgers and took them out to the woods, where they
stripped them of their clothing and made many threats against their
lives. Rodgers was badly beaten, as Boyce had been, but for some reason
the fiends refrained from whipping Allred. These brethren were then
returned to Tully and confined in the same room with the other two
brethren. Brown and Allred were liberated some days later, but Boyce
and Rodgers were confined in irons until the 21st day of August, when,
through the blessings of the Lord, they made their escape.

Memorial to Governor Carlin

A mass meeting of the citizens of Nauvoo was held July 13, 1840, at
which a committee consisting of Isaac Galland, Robert B. Thompson,
Sidney Rigdon and Daniel H. Wells, drew up resolutions of protest
against the treatment accorded the four men who were kidnapped,
which were adopted. The citizens then memorialized Governor Carlin,
petitioning him to take steps to have released the four men who were
then held prisoners in Missouri, and have punished the perpetrators
of the crime. Daniel H. Wells and George Miller waited upon the
governor and laid the case before him. As they recited the story of
the cruelties, the governor's wife, who was present, was moved to
tears, and the governor promised to take the matter in hand. However,
his friendship for the Saints had greatly cooled and no action was
ever taken by Governor Carlin to release the prisoners, or to bring to
justice the perpetrators of the crime.

Missouri's Requisition for the Prophet

The next move on the part of Missouri was a requisition made on
Governor Carlin of Illinois, by Governor Lilburn W. Boggs, of Missouri,
in September, 1840, for Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight,
Parley P. Pratt, Caleb Baldwin and Alanson Brown, as fugitives from
justice. This came after a silence of nearly two years, and was the
outgrowth of the action taken by Congress. Governor Carlin complied
with this unnatural, illegal and absurd request. When the sheriff came
to serve his papers none of the brethren were found at home. Thus
matters rested until the summer of 1841. On the 4th day of June, 1841,
the Prophet called at the residence of Governor Carlin and had an
interview with him and was treated very kindly. A few hours after his
departure the governor sent the sheriff of Adams County, Thomas King,
with a posse, and an officer from Missouri, to arrest him and deliver
him up to the authorities of Missouri. They found the Prophet about
twenty-eight miles south of Nauvoo. Some of the posse, on discovering
the spirit of the officer from Missouri, returned to their homes in
disgust. The party returned to Quincy where the Prophet obtained a writ
of habeas corpus, and Judge Stephen A. Douglas, who providentially
happened to be in Quincy, promised to give a hearing at Monmouth,
Warren County, the following week. The news of the Prophet's arrest
soon spread and a rescuing party was formed to prevent the Prophet
being carried to Missouri, if that attempt should be made. He returned
to Nauvoo in the custody of the sheriff, whom he entertained at his own
house and waited on him, the sheriff, being sick. June 7, Sheriff King
and the Prophet, accompanied by a number of citizens from Nauvoo, left
for Monmouth, seventy-five miles distant, where the trial commenced on
the 9th, and concluded the following day. Attorney O. H. Browning, of
the defense, made an eloquent plea closing his remarks in the following

    "Yes, my eyes have beheld the blood-stained traces of innocent
    women and children, in the dreary winter, who had traveled hundreds
    of miles barefoot, through frost and snow, to seek a refuge from
    their savage pursuers. 'Twas a scene of horror sufficient to enlist
    sympathy from an adamantine heart. And shall this unfortunate man,
    whom their fury has seen proper to select for sacrifice, be driven
    into such a savage land and none dare to enlist in the cause of
    justice? If there was no other voice under heaven ever to be heard
    in this cause, gladly would I stand alone, and proudly spend my
    last breath in defense of an oppressed American citizen."

The Decision of Judge Douglas

Judge Douglas gave the following decision: That the writ, being once
returned to the executive by the sheriff of Hancock County, was dead,
and stood in the same relationship as any other writ which might issue
from the circuit court, and consequently the defendant could not be
held in custody on that writ. On the question whether or not evidence
was admissible, he would not pass, but would take under advisement,
but on the other point, the defendant must be dismissed. Once again
the Prophet Joseph had been freed from the clutches of the inhuman
officials of Missouri.


1. Doc. and Cov. 101:76-89.

2. _Documentary History of the Church_, vol. 3:332.

3. The Saints' petition to Congress is found on pages 24-38 of the
_Documentary History of the Church_, vol. 4. The affidavits are also
found in the same volume, pages 52-73. These should be carefully

4. For the reason why the Saints did not accept the advice of the
committee and appeal to the Federal Courts, see article by Elder B.
H. Roberts, in the introduction to the _Documentary History of the
Church_, vol. 4, under the caption "The Appeal of the Church to the
National Government for Redress of Wrongs Suffered in Missouri."

5. The day of retribution came, at least in part, during the Civil War.
For this account see the introduction of _Documentary History of the
Church_, vol. 3, under the caption "Retribution," by B. H. Roberts.

Chapter 30

The Nauvoo Temple and Ordinances Therein--Important Events


The House of the Lord

In the various gathering places of the Saints from the days of Kirtland
the Lord commanded that temples to his name should be built. In Jackson
County and Far West, they were prevented from building temples by
their enemies, who drove them from their homes. At the conference of
the Church held in October, 1840, President Joseph Smith spoke of the
necessity of building a "house of the Lord" in Nauvoo. Reynolds Cahoon,
Elias Higbee and Alpheus Cutler were appointed a committee to build
such a house. On motion it was also resolved that a commencement be
made ten days from that date (Oct. 3, 1840) "and that every tenth day
he appropriated for the building of the temple." Early in January,
1841, the First Presidency issued a proclamation to the Saints
scattered abroad, in which they stated that "the temple of the Lord is
in progress of erection here, where the Saints will come to worship
the God of their fathers, according to the order of his house and the
powers of the Holy Priesthood, and will be so constructed as to enable
all the functions of the Priesthood to be duly exercised, and where
instructions from the Most High will be received."

The Revelation of January 19, 1841

A very important revelation was received January 19, 1841, dealing with
various subjects, but particularly with the building of the temple and
the ordinances to be performed therein. The Lord declared that the
prayers of the Prophet were acceptable to him, and he was called upon
to make a solemn proclamation of the Gospel to "all the kings of the
world, to the four corners thereof; to the honorable President-elect,
and the high-minded governors of the nation . . . and to all the
nations of the earth." It was to be written in the spirit of meekness,
yet of warning, for he was "about to call on them to give heed to the
light and glory of Zion, for the set time has come to favor her." The
Lord would visit the mighty and the rulers of the earth in the day
of his visitation. Therefore, said he, "Awake, O kings of the earth!
Come ye, O, come ye, with your gold and your silver, to the help of my
people, to the house of the daughters of Zion."

The Saints to Come from Afar

The Saints were also commanded to come from afar. Messengers were to
be chosen and sent unto them saying: "Come ye, with all your gold, and
your silver, and your precious stones, and with all your antiquities;
and with all who have knowledge of antiquities, that will come, may
come, and bring the box tree, and the fir tree, and the pine tree,
together with all the precious trees of the earth; and with iron, with
copper, and with brass, and with zinc, and your precious things of the
earth, and build a house to my name for the Most High to dwell therein."

Fulness of the Priesthood

"For there is not a place," said the Lord, "found on earth where he may
come and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he hath
taken away, even the fulness of the Priesthood," which fulness can only
be obtained in the house of the Lord.

The Kirtland Temple and its Mission

This declaration from the Lord would indicate that the purpose for
which the Kirtland Temple was erected was now fulfilled, and its
mission completed; and this was indeed the case. The Kirtland Temple
served temporarily only. It was built because a house was necessary
where the Lord could come and restore the various keys of former
dispensations, that the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times might
be made complete. In the Kirtland Temple the Lord gave a partial
endowment, but not in the fulness, that the apostles and others might
be endowed with necessary power to go forth "to prune the vineyard
for the last time." But the great object was the restoration of the
keys of former dispensations. When these were bestowed, then greater
light was revealed, and the full purpose of temples and ordinance work
therein was made known. It then became necessary that a house of the
Lord should be built that would be perfect in all its parts, which was
not the case in the structure of the Kirtland Temple. That edifice,
although one of the most important ever erected by the Church, was
not a complete structure as temples are understood through increased
revelation. In it there were no provisions for the salvation of the
dead; it had not a baptismal font--a fundamental part of the perfect
temple--and therefore, since it had filled the measure of its creation,
the Lord declared in the revelation of January, 1841, that there was
not a house on the earth where he could come to bestow the fulness of
the Priesthood and introduce the essential ordinances for the salvation
of both the living and the dead. Moroni, John the Baptist, Peter, James
and John, all came before there was a temple; but their coming was
necessary that the foundation might be laid and the Church established.
The Lord has made provision that in the sacred grove, the forest, and
on the mountain top, such keys may be bestowed, when there is no temple
erected to his name, and in the poverty of the people. Otherwise such
keys are to be received only in the temple reared to his holy name.

Baptism for the Dead

The doctrine of baptism for the dead was first made known to the
Saints in a discourse by the Prophet at the funeral of Elder Seymour
Brunson, August 10, 1840. This doctrine was not understood by him until
after the restoration of the keys and the Priesthood of Elijah in the
Kirtland Temple, although it had been referred to since the night of
the first appearance of Moroni. In this revelation of January, 1841,
the Lord revealed greater light regarding this wonderful principle.
It was here made known that this ordinance was to be performed in the
temple of the Lord. A baptismal font for this purpose was to be placed
in the basement of the temple, "as a simile of the grave," and was
commanded to be in a place underneath where the living are wont to
assemble, to 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" (Doc. and
Cov. Sec. 128:13).

In an epistle to the Twelve Apostles, who were at the time in Europe,
President Joseph Smith, October 19, 1840, made the following statement:

    "I presume the doctrine of 'baptism for the dead' has ere this
    reached your ears, and may have raised some inquiries in your minds
    respecting the same. I cannot in this letter give you all the
    information you may desire on the subject; but aside from knowledge
    independent of the Bible, I would say that it was certainly
    practiced by the ancient churches; and St. Paul endeavors to prove
    the doctrine of the resurrection from the same, and says, 'Else
    what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead
    rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?'

    "I first mentioned the doctrine in public when preaching the
    funeral sermon of Brother Seymour Brunson; and have since then
    given general instructions in the Church on the subject. The Saints
    have the privilege of being baptized for those of their relatives
    who are dead, whom they believe would have embraced the Gospel, if
    they had been privileged with hearing it, and who have received the
    Gospel in the spirit, through the instrumentality of those who have
    been commissioned to preach to them while in prison."

The Rite Performed in the River

After this doctrine was revealed the Lord granted the Saints the
privilege of performing the ordinance of baptism for the dead in the
Mississippi River, until such time as a font could be prepared in the
basement of the temple. When a temporary font was prepared, and long
before the temple was completed, this privilege of baptizing for the
dead in any other place than the temple was discontinued by commandment
of the Lord. So important was this work in behalf of the salvation of
the worthy dead, that the Lord declared that the living could not be
made perfect without them, and, when the opportunity presented itself,
should the members of the Church fail to perform the ordinance for
their dead, the Lord said he would reject them, for the dead were to be
saved by the same principles which would save the living.

Things Hid from the Foundation of the World

Not only was the ordinance of baptism for the dead to be performed in
the temple, but the Lord promised to reveal many things "which have
been kept hid from before the foundation of the world, things that
pertain to the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times." Here the keys of
the Holy Priesthood were to be received, for such were ordained to be
obtained in temples that the Saints may receive honor and glory, both
the living and, by proxy, the dead, even those blessings by which they
should be crowned with honor, immortality and eternal life.

The Nauvoo House

Another house was also to be built in Nauvoo. This was the Nauvoo
House, a place for the boarding of strangers. Joseph Smith, Sidney
Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, and many others were called upon to "pay
stock" for themselves and their seed after them "from generation to
generation," in this house. It was to be a place where the "weary
traveler may find health and safety while he shall contemplate the word
of the Lord; and the corner stone [stake] I have appointed for Zion,"
said the Lord. Those who took stock were not to pay less than fifty
dollars, and not more than fifteen thousand dollars for any one man.

The Calling of Hyrum Smith

Another important commandment in this revelation was the appointment
of Hyrum Smith, to act as patriarch in the office which had been held
by his father, and also his ordination to be a "prophet, seer and
revelator" unto the Church, as well as Joseph Smith. The Lord had
pointed out several years before, when Joseph Smith, Sen., was called
to be the patriarch of the Church, that this office was his by right of
lineage, and descended from father to son, and was the right based on
faithfulness of the first born. At the time of Hyrum Smith's call, he
was serving as second counselor in the First Presidency, a place he was
called to occupy after the transgression of Frederick G. Williams. The
revelation relating to this appointment reads as follows:

    "And again, verily I say unto you, let my servant William [Law] be
    appointed, ordained, and anointed, as a counselor unto my servant
    Joseph [Smith] in the room of my servant Hyrum, that my servant
    Hyrum may take the office of Priesthood and Patriarch, which was
    appointed unto him by his father, by blessing and also by right.

    "That from henceforth he shall hold the keys of the patriarchal
    blessing upon the heads of all my people;

    "That whoever he blesses shall be blessed, and whoever he curses
    shall be cursed; that whatsoever he shall bind on earth shall be
    bound in heaven; and whatsoever he shall loose on earth shall be
    loosed in heaven.

    "And from this time forth I appoint unto him that he may be a
    prophet, and a seer and a revelator unto my Church, as well as my
    servant Joseph.

    "That he may act in concert also with my servant Joseph, and that
    he shall receive counsel from my servant Joseph, who shall show
    unto him the keys whereby he may ask and receive, and be crowned
    with the same blessing, and glory, and honor, and Priesthood, and
    gifts of the Priesthood, that once were put upon him that was my
    servant Oliver Cowdery;

    "That my servant Hyrum may bear record of the things which I shall
    show unto him, that his name may be had in honorable remembrance
    from generation to generation, forever and ever."

Oliver Cowdery's Blessing Transferred to Hyrum Smith

Oliver Cowdery, as we have learned, stood with the Prophet Joseph Smith
in holding the keys of the kingdom. He was associated with Joseph
Smith in all his ordinations and in the bestowal of keys from the
heavens from the beginning. It was Oliver Cowdery, not Sidney Rigdon or
Frederick G. Williams, who knelt with the Prophet Joseph at the altar
in the Kirtland Temple, April 3, 1836, when the Savior, Moses, Elias,
Elijah, and perhaps other ancient prophets, came and conferred with
them, bestowing keys, Priesthood and authority of former dispensations
that all things might be complete and perfect in the Dispensation of
the Fulness of Times. All these blessings Oliver Cowdery would have
held throughout eternity, if he had remained faithful and true to his
calling; but he fell away, and therefore the Lord bestowed these gifts,
blessings, and powers of presidency, upon the head of Hyrum Smith, the
faithful brother of the Prophet Joseph, of whom the Lord also said
in this revelation: "And again, verily I say unto you, blessed is my
servant Hyrum Smith, for I, the Lord, love him because of the integrity
of his heart, and because he loveth that which is right before me."

Sunday, January 24, 1841, Hyrum Smith received the ordination to these
holy callings under the hands of President Joseph Smith. On the same
occasion George Miller was ordained a bishop in the place of Edward
Partridge, deceased.

Laying Corner Stones of the Temple

April 6, 1841, which was the eleventh anniversary of the organization
of the Church, the corner stones of the Nauvoo Temple were laid.
Early in the morning fourteen companies of the Nauvoo Legion, and
two military companies from across the river in Iowa, assembled and
were conducted to the grounds assigned for the general review. During
the forenoon, various military maneuvers were conducted. It was an
impressive scene. At twelve o'clock the procession arrived at the
temple grounds and the ceremonies of laying the corner stones were
commenced. President Sidney Rigdon addressed the assembly at some
length after which the architects, under the direction of the First
Presidency, lowered the south-east corner stone to its place, and the
Prophet said:

    "This principal corner stone in representation of the First
    Presidency, is now duly laid in honor of the Great God; and may
    it there remain until the whole fabric is completed; and may the
    same be accomplished speedily; that the Saints may have a place to
    worship God, and the Son of Man have where to lay his head."

Adjournment was taken for one hour and after the people reassembled
the three other corner stones were laid in the following order: the
south-west, the north-west and the north-east, after which the services
were closed.

Order of Temple Building

The Prophet later gave instructions pertaining to the order of the
laying of corner stones of temples as follows:

    "If the strict order of the Priesthood were carried out in
    the building of Temples, the first stone would be laid at the
    south-east corner, by the First Presidency of the Church. The
    south-west corner should be laid next; the third, or north-west
    corner, next; and the fourth, or northeast corner, last. The First
    Presidency should lay the southeast corner stone and dictate who
    are the proper persons to lay the other corner stones.

    "If a temple is built at a distance, and the First Presidency
    are not present, then the quorum of the Twelve Apostles are the
    persons to dictate the order for that temple; and in the absence
    of the Twelve Apostles, then the presidency of the stake will lay
    the south-east corner stone; the Melchizedek Priesthood laying
    the corner stones on the east side of the temple, and the Lesser
    Priesthood those on the west side."

Baptisms in the River Discontinued

At the conference of the Church held in Nauvoo, October 2nd to 5th,
1841, the Prophet made this announcement: "There shall be no more
baptisms for the dead, until the ordinance can be attended to in the
Lord's House; and the Church shall not hold another General Conference,
until they can meet in said house. _For thus saith the Lord!_" The
reason for this announcement was that the temple had progressed so far
that the font in the basement had been prepared for this ordinance,
therefore, baptisms for the dead could no longer be performed in the

Dedication of the Font in the Temple

One month later, November 8, 1841, the baptismal font in the temple was
dedicated. President Brigham Young was spokesman. The font is described
as being situated in the center of the basement room, under the main
hall of the temple. It was constructed of pine timber, and put together
of staves tongued and grooved, oval shaped, sixteen feet long east and
west, and twelve feet wide, seven feet high from the foundation, the
basin four feet deep, the moulding of the cap and base were formed of
beautiful carved work. It stood upon twelve oxen, four on each side,
and two at each end, their heads, shoulders, and fore legs projecting
out from under the font. The oxen and ornamental mouldings were carved
by Elder Elijah Fordham, which took him eight months to finish. This
font was replaced later by a permanent font which was more durable.

First Baptisms in the Temple

Sunday, November 21, 1841, the twelve met in council at President
Brigham Young's house, and at four o'clock they repaired to the
baptismal font in the temple, where President Brigham Young, Elders
Heber C. Kimball and John Taylor baptized about forty persons for their
dead. Elders Willard Richards, Wilford Woodruff and George A. Smith,
confirmed them. These were the first baptisms for the dead in the
font in the Lord's House. From this time forth, as long as the Saints
remained in Nauvoo, baptisms for the dead were performed in the temple.

Death of Don Carlos Smith

Sunday, August 7, 1841, Don Carlos Smith, the youngest brother of the
Prophet, died in Nauvoo. He was only twenty-six years of age, and was
one of the first to receive the testimony of the Prophet. He received
the Priesthood when but fourteen years of age, and in 1836 was made
president of the high priests' quorum. He was on a mission in Tennessee
and Kentucky in 1838. During his absence in the midst of winter his
wife was driven from her home which was burned, and she was forced to
wade Grand River with her two little children. In Kirtland he labored
in the office of Oliver Cowdery and learned the art of printing. In the
flight of his father's family from Missouri in the winter of 1839, he
took charge, and saw them removed to Quincy, Illinois. In June, 1839,
he commenced making preparations for printing the _Times and Seasons_,
a periodical published in Nauvoo. The press and type had been rescued
by Elias Smith, Hyrum Clark and others, from Dawson's yard in Far West,
where it had been buried the night that place was besieged by the
mob-militia under General Lucas. The _Times and Seasons_ was issued by
Don Carlos Smith and Ebenezer Robinson, the first number appearing in
November, 1839. At the time of his death the editors were Don Carlos
Smith and Robert B. Thompson. Don Carlos was six feet four inches tall,
was very straight, strong and active. The Prophet said of him: "I never
knew any fault in him; I never saw the first immoral act, or the first
irreligious or ignoble disposition in the child from the time he was
born until the time of his death. He was a lovely, a good-natured, a
kind-hearted, and a virtuous and faithful, upright child; and where his
soul goes, let mine go also."

Death of Robert B. Thompson

Three weeks later, Robert Brashel Thompson, general Church recorder,
died at his residence in Nauvoo, in the thirtieth year of his age. As
already stated, he was associate editor of the _Times and Seasons_, and
had been engaged in writing for the Prophet and for the Church, and
was a colonel in the Nauvoo Legion. In 1837, he married Mercy Rachel
Fielding, sister of Mary Fielding Smith, wife of the Patriarch Hyrum
Smith. He and his associate Don Carlos Smith, both fell victims to the
unhealthful conditions which prevailed in Nauvoo at the time of its

Dedication of Palestine

Early Sunday morning, October 24, 1841, Elder Orson Hyde, of the
council of the twelve, ascended the Mount of Olives and dedicated
by prayer the land of Palestine for the gathering of the Jews. He
was appointed to this mission at the April conference in 1840. Elder
John E. Page was also appointed to go with him, but lost the spirit
of his mission before he reached the eastern border of the United
States, and failed to cross the water, leaving Elder Hyde to make the
journey alone. After passing through many difficulties and privations
Elder Hyde arrived in Jerusalem in October, 1841. He prayed "for the
gathering together of Judah's scattered remnants," according to the
predictions of the holy prophets; for the building of Jerusalem again
after it has been trodden down by the Gentiles so long; and for rearing
a temple to the name of the Lord. "Grant, therefore," he prayed, "O
Lord, in the name of thy well-beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to remove the
barrenness and sterility of this land, and let springs of living water
break forth to water its thirsty soil. Let the vine and olive produce
in their strength, and the fig tree bloom and flourish. Let the land
become abundantly fruitful and possessed by its rightful heirs; let
it again flow with plenty to feed the returning prodigals who come
home with a spirit of grace and supplication. Upon it let the clouds
distill virtue and richness, and let the fields smile with plenty.
Let the flocks and the herds greatly increase and multiply upon the
mountains and the hills; and let thy great kindness conquer and subdue
the unbelief of thy people. Do thou take from them their stony heart,
and give them a heart of flesh; and may the sun of thy favor dispel the
cold mists of darkness which have beclouded their atmosphere. Incline
them to gather in upon this land according to thy word. Let them come
like clouds and like doves to their windows. Let the large ships of the
nations bring them from the distant isles; and let kings become their
nursing fathers, and queens with motherly fondness wipe the tear of
sorrow from their eye."

In this manner Elder Hyde prayed upon the Mount of Olives, dedicating
the land for the return of the remnant of Judah from the four corners
of the earth. He also erected a pile of stones as a witness according
to the ancient custom, on the top of the Mount of Olives, and another
on the top of Mount Moriah, where the ancient temple stood.

Orson Hyde of the House of Judah

Elder Orson Hyde was of the house of Judah. It was therefore very
proper that he, as one of the apostles of the Lord in this last
dispensation, should be sent to bless the land for the gathering of the
Jews. At one time, nearly ten years before, the following blessing was
pronounced upon him: "In due time thou shalt go to Jerusalem, the land
of thy fathers, and be a watchman unto the house of Israel; and by thy
hand shall the Most High do a work, which shall prepare the way and
greatly facilitate the gathering of that people."[1]

The Book of Abraham

During the month of March the Prophet prepared for publication his
translation of the Book of Abraham, which he commenced to translate
while residing at Kirtland. Due to the persecutions and drivings of the
Saints this matter could not be attended to before this time, but the
manuscript had been carefully preserved, and was now published for the
benefit of the Church and all the world. This work together with the
Book of Moses, has since been received among the standard works of the

The Wentworth Letter

At the request of Mr. John Wentworth, editor of the Chicago Democrat,
the Prophet prepared an article for publication giving a brief history
of the Church. This history was published in the _Times and Seasons_,
March 1, 1842. Mr. Wentworth stated that he wished to furnish the
information to a Mr. Bastow who was writing a history of New Hampshire.
This article is one of the earliest documents giving a consecutive
account of the history of the Church. It is concise and comprehensive,
yet covers only a few pages. The most important feature in this paper
is the publication therein, for the first time, of the Articles of
Faith. These articles, thirteen in number, were given by inspiration,
and form a simple, comprehensive declaration of many doctrines of the
Church, which have since been accepted by the vote of the Church as a
standard epitome of belief. They are as follows:

    "We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ,
    and in the Holy Ghost.

    "We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not
    for Adam's transgression.

    "We believe that through the atonement of Christ all mankind may be
    saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.

    "We believe that these ordinances are 1st: Faith in the Lord
    Jesus Christ; 2nd: Repentance; 3rd: Baptism by immersion for the
    remission of sins; 4th: Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy

    "We believe that a man must be called of God by 'prophecy and by
    the laying on of hands' by those who are in authority, to preach
    the gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

    "We believe in the same organization that existed in the primitive
    church, namely, Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, Evangelists,

    "We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelations, visions,
    healing, interpretations of tongues, etc.

    "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is
    translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the
    word of God.

    "We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal,
    and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important
    things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

    "We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the
    restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion will be built upon this
    continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth, and
    that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

    "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to
    the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same
    privilege, let them worship how, where or what they may.

    "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers and
    magistrates, in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law.

    "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous,
    and in doing good to all men; indeed we may say that we follow the
    admonition of Paul, 'We believe all things, we hope all things,'
    we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all
    things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely or of good report, or
    praiseworthy, we seek after these things."

Organization of the Relief Society

March 17, 1842, "The Female Relief Society of Nauvoo" was organized
by the Prophet Joseph Smith. Emma Smith was chosen president with
Elizabeth Ann Whitney and Sarah M. Cleveland, as counselors. The
purpose of the society is to furnish the sisters of the Church an
organization through which they could actively foster the welfare of
the members. The duty of the society was stated to be to aid the poor,
nurse the sick and afflicted, and in a general way, under the direction
and guidance of the bishop, to engage in true charitable work in
behalf of all whose necessities require assistance. This was the first
organization of women in the world, so far as history records. It is in
keeping with the genius of the Gospel, for the Lord provides duties and
labors for all the members of the Church, both men and women, wherein
service may be rendered for the temporal as well as the spiritual
salvation of mankind.

Inauguration of Endowments

In the revelation of January 19, 1841, the Lord promised to reveal to
Joseph Smith all things pertaining to the temple and the Priesthood
thereof, which revelation and knowledge were necessary before the
temple was erected. Wednesday, May 4, 1842, the Prophet met with his
brother, Patriarch Hyrum Smith, President Brigham Young, Elders Heber
C. Kimball, Willard Richards, James Adams of Springfield, Bishops Newel
K. Whitney and George Miller, and instructed them in the principles
and orders of the Priesthood that belong to the temple of the Lord.
He made known to them the doctrines of washings and anointings and
communications spoken of in the revelation. In this council, which was
held in the upper room over his store, Joseph Smith also instructed
these brethren in "all those plans and principles by which any one
is enabled to secure the fulness of those blessings which have been
prepared for the Church of the First Born." These same blessings, the
Prophet stated, would in due time be given in the temple to all the
Saints who were worthy to receive them. This was the introduction of
the temple ceremonies in their fulness in this dispensation, as they
apply to the living and to the dead. From time to time after this,
these instructions (_Documentary History of the Church_, vol. 5:1-2)
were repeated and the other members of the council of the twelve and
their wives, and a few others, received their endowments under the
direction of the Prophet Joseph Smith, as he was commanded to make
these things known. The members of the Church at large, however, were
required to wait until such time as these ordinances could be performed
in the temple, the place designated by the Lord for such instructions
and ordinance work to be given.


1. The evidence of the divine power accompanying the dedication of the
land of Palestine is seen in the wonderful changes which have come
over that land in recent years, and also in the changed attitude of
the Jews, in relation to their return and also their belief in Jesus
Christ. Nephi prophesied as follows regarding the restoration of the
Jews: "And it shall come to pass that the Jews which are scattered
also shall begin to believe in Christ; and they shall begin to gather
in upon the face of the land; and as many as shall believe in Christ
shall also become a delightsome people" (2 Nephi 30:7). The Savior
also referred to this in his instruction to the Nephites: "And I will
remember the covenant which I have made with my people; and I have
covenanted with them that I would gather them together in mine own
due time, that I would give unto them again the land of their fathers
for their inheritance, which is the land of Jerusalem, which is the
promised land unto them forever, saith the Father. And it shall come
to pass that the time cometh, when the fulness of my gospel shall be
preached unto them: and they shall believe in me, that I am Jesus
Christ, the Son of God, and shall pray unto the Father in my name." (3
Nephi 20:29-30).

At the time of the dedication of Palestine the feeling expressed by the
Jews towards Jesus Christ was most bitter. This condition is stated by
Dr. Isadore Singer, as follows: "When I was a boy, had my father who
was a very pious man, heard the name of Jesus uttered from the pulpit
of our synagogue, he and every other man in the congregation would have
left the building and the rabbi would have been dismissed at once.

"Now it is not strange in many synagogues to hear sermons preached
eulogistic of this Jesus, and nobody thinks of protesting--in fact, we
are all glad to claim Jesus as one of our people." Compare the letter
of Rabbi Landau, _Documentary History of the Church_, vol. 3:356.

In 1891, Baron Maurice de Hirch founded the Jewish Colonization
Association. The "Lovers of Zion" Association was commenced about 1878,
and was supported by Baron Edmund de Rothschild. The Zionist Federation
was organized in 1896, and was strongly promulgated by Theodore Herzl
of Vienna, Baron de Rothschild and many other renowned Jews. All of
these organizations were formed to aid in the colonization of the Jews
in Palestine. The first congress of the Zionist Federation was held in
Basel, Switzerland, in 1897, where the old nationalistic sentiment was
revived, and organizations were established for the gathering of the

At the Zionist Congress held in London in 1901, Professor R. Gothell,
president of the federation, said: "It is time the nations understood
our motives. Our purpose is gradually to colonize Palestine. We
political Zionists desire a charter from the Sultan authorizing us to
settle in our Holy Land, and we ask the powers to approve and protect
this charter."

A few years ago the firm of Funk and Wagnalls published an edition
of Dr. George Croley's work: "Tarry Thou Till I Come," and in the
introduction Dr. Funk said: "It has been believed by many from the
earliest ages of the Christian era that among the signs of Christ's
coming would be the recognition of him by the Jews as one sent of the
Father; and that they would then be restored to the Father's favor."
Dr. Funk also collected a number of expressions from leading Jews,
their belief in regard to the Savior, which were published in Dr.
Croley's work. Some of them are as follows:

Rabbi Henry Berkowits: "This Jew, Jesus, is the greatest, noblest rabbi
of them all."

Morris Jastrow: "From the historic point of view, Jesus is to be
regarded as a direct successor of the Hebrew prophets. His teachings
are synonymous with the highest spiritual aspirations of the human

Jacob H. Schiff: "We Jews honor and revere Jesus of Nazareth as we do
our own prophets who preceded him."

The Savior said to his disciples in relation to the destruction of
Jerusalem: "And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be
led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down
of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Luke
21:24). The indication that this time of restitution is at hand is
seen in the results coming out of the capture of Palestine by General
Allenby in December, 1917, during the Great War. Since that time the
Holy Land has been under the control of the British nation, and Dr.
Herbert Samuel, an orthodox Jew, has been sent there as governor of
the land. This is the first time since before the fall of Jerusalem
(70 A. D.), which was predicted by the Savior, that a ruler from the
house of Judah has presided in that land. It is an event of great

Chapter 31

Joseph Smith Accused as Accessory to Assault on Boggs


Perfidy of John C. Bennett

Doctor John C. Bennett came to Nauvoo in August, 1841, and joined the
Church. Through his zealous activity in assisting to procure the Nauvoo
Charter, he was honored by the citizens in the first election, by being
chosen mayor of Nauvoo. He also rose to prominence in the councils
of the Church, and appeared to be a firm believer in the Gospel, and
a staunch friend to President Joseph Smith. Not many months later,
however, through immoral conduct, he lost the spirit of the Gospel,
and likewise his love for President Joseph Smith. His case is an
illustration of the truth, that the Spirit of the Lord will not dwell
in an unholy tabernacle. When men transgress the Holy Spirit withdraws,
and the light in them turns to darkness. The first intimation that all
was not well with Dr. Bennett was made manifest to the Prophet May 7,
1842, after a drill and sham battle by the Nauvoo Legion. This event
had been under preparation since the previous January, and it was
the intention of all to make it a grand success. In the forenoon of
that day there was a parade of the legion, some twenty-six companies,
comprising about two thousand troops. Judge Stephen A. Douglas, who was
holding court at Carthage, adjourned, and with some leading attorneys,
went to Nauvoo to witness the military maneuvers of the legion. While
there he was the guest of President Joseph Smith. The day passed
harmoniously without confusion. A large company of spectators and
distinguished strangers had assembled to witness the sham battle.

Dr. Bennett who was major general of the legion requested President
Smith as lieutenant general to take command of the first cohort during
the sham battle. But this the Prophet declined to do. Bennett next
requested him to take his station in the rear of the cavalry without
his staff, while the engagement was going on; but Captain Albert P.
Rockwood of the Prophet's body guard would not consent, and kept close
by his leader's side, who chose his own position. The Spirit of the
Lord whispered to Joseph Smith that all was not well, and after the
day's celebration was over he said, "If General Bennett's true feelings
toward me are not made manifest to the world in a very short time, then
it may be possible that the gentle breathings of that Spirit which
whispered to me on parade, that there was mischief concealed in that
sham battle, were false; a short time will determine the point. Let
John C. Bennett answer at the day of judgment: Why did you request me
to command one of the cohorts, and also to take my position without my
staff, during the sham battle, on the 7th of May, 1842, where my life
might have been the forfeit, and no man have known who did the deed?"

Bennett's Resignation

Ten days later, Dr. Bennett resigned his office as mayor of Nauvoo
having been accused of immorality. The same day he went before Alderman
Daniel H. Wells, who was not a member of the Church, and made affidavit
to the effect that he had never been taught anything in the least
contrary to the principles of the Gospel, and the strictest morality in
both word and deed, by Joseph Smith. On the 19th, the city council met
and elected Joseph Smith to fill Bennett's unexpired term as mayor of
Nauvoo. Before the council on this occasion, Bennett was accused with
having said Joseph Smith taught him to practice immorality. He replied,
that "those who made such a statement were infernal liars," for Joseph
Smith had always taught him to be virtuous. He then pled to be forgiven
of his wrong doing, and said he hoped yet to prove by repentance his
worthiness to fellowship in the Church. For the sake of his mother, he
prayed that his evil practices might not be exposed. In this apparently
repentant spirit he appeared before nearly one hundred brethren and
cried like a child, stating, "that he was worthy of the severest
chastisement." The brethren thought him sincere and the Prophet in
mercy pled in his behalf. In a very short time, it was discovered that
not only had Bennett been guilty of immoral practices, but he had
taught others to be like himself, placing the responsibility for such
teachings on the shoulders of the Prophet. The result was that others
had to be handled for their fellowship. For this cause, and a defiant
spirit, Chauncey L. Higbee, was excommunicated. Others, on confession
of their wrong doing, and repentance, were forgiven.

J. C. Bennett Leaves Nauvoo

Notwithstanding the mercy extended to Bennett by the brethren some time
during the month of June, he left Nauvoo, breathing out threatenings
against the Prophet and the Church. He made the statement "that he
had withdrawn from the fellowship of the Saints because they were
not worthy of his society." He then entered into correspondence with
the enemies of Joseph Smith in Missouri, endeavoring to stir them up
to continue their persecutions against him. This made it necessary
that a public statement be made in regard to the immoral practices of
Dr. Bennett. This document which was signed by the Prophet contained
a supporting affidavit, bearing the signatures of the aldermen and
councilors of the city of Nauvoo. Bennett later published a book,
_The History of the Saints_, which represented to be an exposé of
"Mormonism." The work was so filled with corrupt expressions, such as
would naturally come from so vile a source, that it only created a
spirit of disgust in those who read it, and it proved to be a failure.

Shooting of Ex-Governor Boggs

On the 6th day of May, 1842, ex-Governor Lilburn W. Boggs was shot
while sitting alone in a room of his residence in Independence. He was
badly wounded and for several days his life was in the balance, but he
soon recovered.

President Smith Accused as an Accessory

July 20, 1842, Boggs went before Samuel Weston, justice of the peace
in Independence, and made affidavit that Orrin Porter Rockwell, a
resident of Illinois, had done the shooting. He applied to Governor
Carlin in his affidavit, for the surrender of Rockwell "according to
law." Subsequently he made another affidavit in which he said he had
"good reason to believe, from evidence and information now in his
possession, that Joseph Smith, commonly called 'the "Mormon" Prophet,'
was accessory before the fact of the intended murder, and that the
said Joseph Smith is a citizen or resident of the state of Illinois."
He applied to Governor Thomas Reynolds of Missouri, for a demand on
Governor Carlin of Illinois, to deliver up Joseph Smith, to be dealt
with according to law. Governor Reynolds very willingly granted the
request, and appointed Edward R. Ford agent to receive the Prophet. In
the requisition, Governor Reynolds stated "Joseph Smith is a fugitive
from justice, charged with being accessory before the fact, to an
assault with the intent to kill, made by one O. P. Rockwell, on Lilburn
W. Boggs, in this state (Missouri) and is represented to the executive
department of this state as having fled to the state of Illinois." He
therefore demanded the surrender of the Prophet on these grounds. Boggs
had not accused Joseph Smith of being a fugitive, or with fleeing from
Missouri; this charge was added by Reynolds. No doubt his reason was
that he knew Missouri could have no claim upon Joseph Smith without
making it appear that he had committed the alleged crime within
Missouri and fled from her borders.

The foundation for this accusation was perhaps based on the rumor
circulated at the time, and printed in the Quincy _Whig_, that Joseph
Smith had prophesied that Boggs would die a violent death. As soon as
the Prophet heard of this rumor he took occasion to deny it publicly
saying that he had made no such statement. Nevertheless, it gave
occasion for an accusation, and it appears evident that Boggs and his
fellow conspirators thought it an opportunity, and an excuse, to get
the Prophet within their clutches, where they might kill him "according
to law."

Governor Carlin's Action

Governor Carlin of Illinois, appeared to be a party to this conspiracy.
He had, at least, become embittered against President Joseph Smith,
and was very willing to accede to the demand from Missouri. He was
thoroughly acquainted with the law and knew perfectly well that the
Prophet was in Nauvoo on the 6th day of May, 1842, consequently was
not subject to the requisition of Governor Reynolds of Missouri. He
knew that President Smith was not a fugitive from justice; and, even
if the false and malicious charge had been true, he knew the Prophet
was entitled to a fair and legal trial in Illinois, not Missouri. Yet
he would yield to this unlawful and unrighteous demand against his
knowledge of these facts.

The Rocky Mountain Prophecy

On Saturday, August 6, 1842, President Joseph Smith passed over the
river to Montrose, in company with General James Adams, Colonel Brewer,
Hyrum Smith and a number of others, and witnessed the installation
of the officers of the Rising Sun Lodge of Masons, by General Adams,
deputy grand master of Illinois. While General Adams was giving
instructions to the master-elect, Joseph Smith had a conversation with
a number of the brethren who were resting in the shade of the building.
His topic was the persecutions of the Saints in Missouri, and the
constant annoyance which had followed them since coming to Illinois and
Iowa. In the course of his conversation the Prophet uttered a prophecy
which he recorded in his journal as follows:

    "I prophesied that the Saints would continue to suffer much
    affliction and would be driven to the Rocky Mountains, many would
    apostatize, others would be put to death by our persecutors, or
    lose their lives in consequence of exposure or disease, and some of
    them would live to go and assist in making settlements and build
    cities and see the Saints become a mighty people in the midst of
    the Rocky Mountains."

Arrest of President Smith

The governor of Illinois honored the demand of the Missourians, and
on the 8th day of August, 1842, President Joseph Smith and Orrin P.
Rockwell were both taken into custody by the deputy sheriff of Adams
County, on a warrant issued by the governor. The prisoners demanded the
right of habeas corpus, and the court of Nauvoo issued a writ demanding
that the bodies of the two accused men be brought before that court.
The deputy sheriff and his aids refused to recognize the jurisdiction
of the court, and returned to Governor Carlin for further instructions,
leaving the Prophet and Rockwell in the hands of the marshal of Nauvoo.
The marshal had no papers by which they could be held, so permitted
them to go about their business.

The Prophet's Comments on His Arrest

Commenting on his arrest, the Prophet said:

    "I have yet to learn by what rule of right I was arrested to
    be transported to Missouri for a trial of the kind stated. 'An
    accessory to an assault with intent to kill,' does not come under
    the provision of the fugitive act, when the person charged has not
    been out of Illinois. An accessory before the fact to manslaughter
    is something of an anomaly. The isolated affidavit of ex-Governor
    Boggs is no more than any other man's, and the constitution says,
    that no person shall be liable to be transported out of the state
    for an offense committed within the same. The whole is another
    Missouri farce."

Expecting the return of the deputy sheriff, President Smith secured
a writ of habeas corpus from the master in chancery for the district
of Illinois, fearing that the court of Nauvoo might be deemed without
jurisdiction or authority. Two days later when the officers returned,
President Smith and Rockwell were not at home. The deputy sheriff
made many threats and tried to intimidate the brethren at Nauvoo, but
failing in this, when questioned, he admitted that the course the
governor had taken was unjustifiable and illegal.

President Joseph Smith in Retirement

Because of the excitement which prevailed and the fear that they would
be unlawfully dragged to Missouri, Joseph and O. P. Rockwell retired to
seclusion. While in retirement the Prophet kept in touch with affairs
in Nauvoo and wrote to the Saints from time to time. It was while
thus confined that he wrote the important letters which now appear as
sections 127 and 128 in the Doctrine and Covenants, on baptism for the

Threats of Mob Vengeance

When the officers failed to find President Smith and Orrin Porter
Rockwell, they were enraged and threatened to return with a sufficient
force to search every house in Nauvoo. Ford, the officer from Missouri,
declared that he would come with a mob from Missouri and take the
Prophet by force. Hearing of these reports, President Smith wrote to
Wilson Law, major general of the Nauvoo Legion, advising him to take
necessary steps to protect the citizens of Nauvoo against any such
attack. In his communication he said he had come to the conclusion
that he would never suffer himself to fall into the hands of the
Missourians alive, if he could help it. To surrender to the officers
of Illinois meant the same thing, for Governor Carlin had joined hands
with Missouri, taking unlawful steps to send him to that state. "I am
determined, therefore," the Prophet said, "to keep out of their hands,
and thwart their designs, if possible."

Emma Smith Appeals to Governor Carlin

August 17, 1842, Emma Smith wrote a pathetic appeal to Governor Carlin
pleading the cause of her husband and the Latter-day Saints, and
requesting that he rescind his order to turn President Smith over to
his enemies in Missouri. She set forth in a clear, logical manner the
fact that the decision to deliver him to the authorities in Missouri
was contrary to law. That if he had been guilty of any crime it must
have been committed in Illinois, and the pursuit of President Smith was
a continuation of the old mob spirit and persecution which had followed
the Saints during all the years of their sojourn in Missouri. Others
also appealed to the governor, reminding him of the many threats that
were made against the citizens of Nauvoo, by John C. Bennett, Edward
R. Ford and others. His reply to all of these was that he could not
conceive of an attack of violence upon the citizens, and there was "no
excitement anywhere but in Nauvoo, amongst the Mormons themselves."
There was no apprehension of trouble in other places, so far as he was
able to ascertain. At the same time he confessed in conversation, that
"persons were offering their services every day, either in person or
by letter, and held themselves in readiness to go against the Mormons"
whenever he should call upon them. Judge Ralston, who was present
when the governor read Emma Smith's letter, asked him how he thought
Mr. Smith could go through the midst of his enemies, without violence
being used towards him; and, if acquitted, how was he to get back? The
governor was unable to make satisfactory reply.

Answering Emma Smith's letter, the governor said he had been "prompted
by a strict sense of duty," and in discharge of that duty, had
"studiously pursued that course least likely to produce excitement
and alarm." He hoped that Joseph Smith would submit to the laws and
that justice might be done. At the same time he said the Constitution
and the laws of the United States required him to take the course he
did regarding Joseph Smith as a fugitive from justice. Yet he was
perfectly aware that President Smith was not a fugitive in any sense of
the term. He further suggested that if "he is innocent of any crime,
and the proceedings are illegal, it would be the more easy for him
to procure an acquittal," and he felt that Missouri would grant the
"utmost latitude" in his defense. It was clear that he had no friendly
disposition towards the President of the Church.

A Ruse to Capture President Smith

In the meantime President Joseph Smith returned to Nauvoo and in a
meeting of a special conference August 29, addressed the Saints.
Some of the Saints thought he had gone to Washington, others that he
had gone to Europe, however, he had been in Nauvoo most of the time.
Sunday, October 2, 1842, word came from Quincy, that Governor Carlin
had offered a reward of two hundred dollars for the capture of Joseph
Smith and the same amount for O. P. Rockwell. The Quincy _Whig_ also
stated that Governor Reynolds of Missouri, had offered a reward of
three hundred dollars for each of the brethren. President Sidney
Rigdon, who had been in conversation at Carthage with Judge Stephen A.
Douglas, concerning Governor Carlin's proceedings, informed William
Clayton that he had learned that the governor had purposely issued
an illegal writ, expecting President Joseph Smith would be drawn by
it to Carthage to be acquitted before Judge Douglas on habeas corpus
proceedings. As soon as this was done a legal writ would be served and
he would be carried away to Missouri. Elder Elias Higbee confirmed
President Rigdon's report, adding thereto that many Missourians were
coming to unite with the militia of Illinois, voluntarily, at their own
expense. If President Smith should fail to go to Carthage they would
come in force to Nauvoo and search the city. Receiving this knowledge,
the Prophet concluded again to leave home for a season, and thus defeat
the plans of Governor Carlin and his aids.

Justin Butterfield's Legal Opinion

While all these trials and tribulations were going on, the case of
President Joseph Smith had been presented to United States District
Attorney Justin Butterfield, of Chicago, by the master in chancery,
Major Warren. Mr. Butterfield wrote to Sidney Rigdon, October 10, 1842,
an elaborate opinion on the case. The salient points in his opinion are
as follows: If it could be proved that Joseph Smith had not _fled_ from
Missouri since the commission of the crime of which he was accused,
and that he was not in that state at that time, then the governor of
Illinois had no power to surrender him to Missouri. According to the
Constitution, a man to be a fugitive, "must be a person who shall flee
from justice and be found in another state." The defendant has the
right to show that the process upon which he was arrested was obtained
by false pretense, that it is untrue that he fled from Missouri to
evade being brought to justice there, for the crime of which he is
charged. The affidavit of Boggs is not conclusive and may be rebutted;
the defendant has the right to show the affidavit false. The affidavit
of Boggs "on its face was not sufficient to authorize the arrest of
Smith." The opinion concluded with the following advice:

    "I would advise that Mr. Smith procure respectable and sufficient
    affidavits to prove beyond all question, that he was in the state
    (Illinois) and not in Missouri, at the time the crime with which he
    is charged was committed, and upon these affidavits, apply to the
    governor to countermand the warrant he has issued for his arrest.

    "If he should refuse to do so, I am clearly of the opinion that,
    upon the above state of facts, the supreme court will discharge him
    upon habeas corpus."

Governor Carlin's attitude being unfavorable, no further action was
taken until December, when the term of Carlin expired. On the 8th
of that month Thomas Ford was inaugurated as the chief executive
of Illinois. Immediately affidavits were obtained to prove beyond
controversy that President Joseph Smith was in the state of Illinois
on the 6th day of May, 1842, the day of the shooting of ex-Governor
Boggs, but Governor Ford refused to interfere with the action of his
predecessor. The supreme court being in session, he passed the case
with all the papers up to them for a decision. The judges held that the
writ was illegal, but were divided as to whether or not Ford should
interfere. The governor thereupon addressed President Joseph Smith,
December 17, 1842, stating that he had submitted the case to the
supreme court of Illinois. The governor then said:

    "I can only advise that you submit to the laws and have a judicial
    investigation of your rights. If it should become necessary, for
    this purpose, to repair to Springfield, I do not believe that there
    will be a disposition to use illegal violence towards you; and I
    would feel it my duty in your case, as in the case of any other
    person, to protect you with any necessary amount of force from mob
    violence whilst asserting your rights before the courts, going to
    and returning."

The Prophet Receives Advice

Justin Butterfield, in a letter from Springfield of the same date,
advised the Prophet to accept the suggestion of Governor Ford. He said
the judges of the supreme court were unanimous in the opinion that he
would be entitled to a discharge under a habeas corpus writ. Therefore
he advised President Smith to go to Springfield without delay, for he
had the right to bring the case before the United States court, which
was then in session. "I will stand by you," he said, "and see you
safely delivered from your arrest."

Another letter was received from Judge James Adams, who greatly loved
the Prophet. He said:

    "My Son: It is useless for me to detail facts that the bearer can
    tell. But I will say that it appears to my judgment that you had
    best make no delay in coming before the court at this place for a
    discharge under a habeas corpus."

Joseph Smith Surrenders for Trial

Acting on this advice, President Smith prepared to go to Springfield.
December 26, he was arrested by General Wilson Law on the proclamation
of Governor Carlin. The next day in the custody of Wilson Law and a
number of his closest friends, he commenced his journey. On the way
they obtained a writ of habeas corpus from the master in chancery at
Carthage. On the 30th, he arrived at the home of Judge James Adams,
in Springfield. The next day, to save delay, and possible legal
complications, Governor Ford was petitioned for another writ that the
case might be tried thereon and it was issued. At half-past eleven
President Smith went before Judge Pope, where Mr. Butterfield presented
all the papers in the case and asked for habeas corpus, because the
accusation was false, which was granted. The Prophet was then placed
under bail in the sum of four thousand dollars. Judge Adams and Wilson
Law went bail for him, and his case was set for Monday morning, January
2, 1843.

The Trial

A postponement of the trial was taken until the following Wednesday.
When the case came before the court, the attorney general, Josiah
Lamborn, moved to dismiss the proceedings, objecting to the
jurisdiction of the court. He was overruled and the trial proceeded.
On the 5th day of January, 1843, Judge Pope rendered a lengthy
decision,[1] discharging the Prophet on the grounds that he was
entitled to his discharge for defect in the affidavit on which the
demand for his surrender to Missouri was made. "To authorize the
arrest in this case," the opinion said, "the affidavit should have
stated distinctly--1st, that Smith had committed a crime; 2nd, that he
committed it in Missouri. It must appear that he fled from Missouri
to authorize the governor of Missouri to demand him, as none other
than the governor of the state from which he fled can make the demand.
He could not have fled from justice unless he committed a crime,
which does not appear. It must appear that the crime was committed in
Missouri, to warrant the governor of Illinois in ordering him to be
sent to Missouri for trial."

On these grounds an order was entered discharging the prisoner from
arrest. Once again Missouri, persecutor of saints and prophets, was
defeated; but her thirst for their blood was not satisfied.

Bennett's Letter to Sidney Rigdon and Orson Pratt

January 10, 1843, John C. Bennett sent a communication from Springfield
to Sidney Rigdon, and addressed to Rigdon and Orson Pratt, in which he
states that he was leaving for Missouri to confer with the messenger
charged with the arrest of Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Lyman Wight,
and others, who would be demanded in a few days on the old charge of
"murder, burglary, treason, etc." This was on the new indictments
found by the grand jury and based on the original evidence. He said:
"We shall try Smith on the Boggs case, when we get him into Missouri.
The war goes bravely on; and although Smith thinks he is now safe, the
enemy is near, even at the door." Moreover, he stated that they had
the assurance that the governor of Illinois would acknowledge the new
demand. "There is but one opinion on the case," he wrote, "and that is,
nothing can save Joe on a new requisition and demand predicated on the
old charges on the institution of new writs. He must go to Missouri;
but he shall not be harmed if he is not guilty; but he is a murderer,
and must suffer the penalty of the law." A postscript requested that
Sidney Rigdon hand the letter to Orson Pratt. After reading it, Sidney
Rigdon did as he was requested, but Orson Pratt immediately took the
letter to President Joseph Smith and informed him that he was not in
league with such a character as Bennett. Bennett wrote to these men
knowing that at the time they were both lukewarm towards the work,
and that Orson Pratt, for disobedience, had been handled for his
fellowship. Following this episode, Orson Pratt was received back in
the fellowship of the Church. For some time previous to this incident,
Sidney Rigdon had failed to magnify his calling and had gone contrary
to counsel. When confronted with the letter from Bennett he denied
having had any correspondence with him.

Rejoicing in Nauvoo

When President Smith returned to Nauvoo, from his trial, there
was great rejoicing. Tuesday, January 17, 1843, was set apart by
the apostles as a "day of humiliation, fasting, praise, prayer
and thanksgiving" before the Lord. Many public meetings were held
throughout the city. One public gathering of this kind was held at the
home of President Joseph Smith. The following day a party of invited
guests assembled at his home to celebrate his deliverance from his
enemies. The day passed very pleasantly; many interesting anecdotes
were related, and what added interest to the occasion was the fact that
it was the fifteenth anniversary of the Prophet's wedding day.


1. For the full decision, which should be read see _Documentary History
of the Church_, vol. 5:223-231. See also pages 233-244 for papers on
the trial.

Chapter 32

Doctrinal Development and Prophecy


A Brief Period of Peace

At the beginning of the year 1843, peace reigned in Nauvoo; for a
time the Saints remained undisturbed, and the Prophet had a breathing
spell of freedom. Yet there were ripples on the surface of the
water. President Joseph Smith had been delivered from his enemies in
Missouri. The persecutors of the Church had been defeated; but were
still determined to pursue their evil course. The Missourians were in
league with the enemies of the Prophet in Illinois, with a relentless
determination to bring him to his death.

This brief period of peace gave the Prophet an opportunity to instruct
the Saints in various duties and doctrines and more fully to establish
the order and authority of the Priesthood. The building of the temple
progressed; increased light was thrown on the subject of salvation for
the dead, and the Saints were impressed with the wonderful importance
and responsibility connected with their obligations in relation to
their fathers. Important revelations were received. The number of
inhabitants in Nauvoo rapidly increased, and there was a time of
prosperity and general rejoicing. But such a condition was not destined
to continue very long. The clouds of malicious hatred were to be seen
in the distance, and soon the storm of bitter persecution was to break
forth once again in redoubled fury. Traitors within, and enemies
without, were to join hands for the destruction of the Prophet.

President Joseph Smith's Intimation of Death

President Smith evidently understood that this spell of peace and
prosperity would not last. With constant pleading he urged the Saints
to increase their labors on the temple, and they responded with hearty
good will. In his prophecy, August 6, 1842, he declared to his brethren
that he was not destined to go with them to the Rocky Mountains;
yet they failed to comprehend his meaning. On several occasions he
intimated in his remarks that his enemies would not be satisfied with
anything short of his life, and then they would pursue others. He spoke
to the Saints at a meeting in the unfinished temple, January 22, 1843,
taking for his text, "The Setting up of the Kingdom of God." In the
course of his discourse he said: "I shall not be sacrificed until my
time comes; then I shall be offered freely. All flesh is as grass, and
a governor is no better than other men; when he dies he is a bag of
dust. I thank God for preserving me from my enemies. I have no enemies
but for the truth's sake. I have no desire but to do all men good. I
feel to pray for all men. We don't ask any people to throw away any
good they have got; we only ask them to come and get more. They would
then see eye to eye, and the blessings of God would be poured out upon
the people, which is the desire of my whole soul. Amen."

Doctrinal Development

Early in January, 1843, in discoursing on the kingdom of God, the
Prophet said: "Some say the kingdom of God was not set up on the earth
until the day of Pentecost, and John the Baptist did not preach the
baptism for repentance for the remission of sins. But I say, in the
name of the Lord, that the kingdom of God was set up on the earth from
the days of Adam to the present time. . . . Where there is no kingdom
of God, there is no salvation. What constitutes the kingdom of God?
Where there is a prophet, a priest, or a righteous man unto whom God
gives his oracles, there is the kingdom of God; and where the oracles
of God are not, there the kingdom of God is not." In relation to the
Gospel and baptism preached by John, he said: "John came preaching the
Gospel for the remission of sins. He had his authority from God, and
the oracles of God were with him." Speaking of the sign of the Holy
Ghost, he stated: "The Holy Ghost is a personage, and in the form of
a personage. It does not confine itself to the form of a dove, but
in the sign of a dove. The Holy Ghost cannot be transformed into the
form of a dove; but the sign of a dove was given to John to signify
the truth of the deed [baptism of Christ], as the dove is an emblem or
token of truth and innocence." In February he received a revelation
embodying the following principle: There are two kinds of beings in
heaven; angels, who are resurrected personages, having bodies of
flesh and bones; and spirits of just men made perfect who are not
yet resurrected, but inherit the same glory. In April, 1843, he gave
instructions at Ramus, as follows: "When the Savior shall appear, we
shall see him as he is. We shall see that he is a man like ourselves
and that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us
there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do
not now enjoy." The reckoning of God's time, angel's time and man's
time is according to the planet on which they reside. All angels who
minister on this earth, have belonged to it. Angels reside in the
presence of God on a globe like a sea of glass and fire, where all
things for their glory are manifest. The place where God dwells is a
great Urim and Thummim. This earth, in its sanctified and immortal
state, will be like unto crystal and will be a Urim and Thummim to the
inhabitants who dwell thereon, whereby all things pertaining to an
inferior kingdom, or all kingdoms of a lower order, will be manifest
to those who dwell on it. The white stone mentioned in Revelation 2:17
will become a Urim and Thummim to each individual who receives one,
through which things of a higher order will be made known. Again, he
taught that all principles of intelligence we attain unto in this life,
will rise with us in the resurrection. The Father has a body of flesh
and bones as has the Son, Jesus Christ, also, but the Holy Ghost is a
personage of Spirit. During the time of the trial at Springfield, in
answer to questions, he said: "Christ and the resurrected Saints will
reign over the earth during the thousand years. They will not probably
dwell upon the earth, but will visit it when they please, or when
it is necessary to govern it. There will be wicked men on the earth
during the thousand years. The heathen nations who will not come up to
worship will be visited with the judgments of God." In this manner, in
conversations, discourses and writings, the Prophet taught the people.

Attempt to Repeal the Nauvoo Charter

When Governor Thomas Ford delivered his inaugural address in December,
1842, he recommended modification of the Nauvoo charter, on the grounds
that many objections had been raised because of exceptional powers,
which had been granted. Yet these powers had proved beneficial to the
Saints, and where righteous government was administered, as it was
in Nauvoo, such a charter proved to be a blessing. In the hands of
despots such privileges might have been abused. When the charter was
granted, the prophet said: "The city charter of Nauvoo is of my own
plan and device. I concocted it for the salvation of the Church, and on
principles so broad, that every honest man might dwell secure under its
protective influence without distinction of sect or party." A bill was
presented in the legislature to repeal certain sections of the charter
shortly after that body convened. The enemies of the Saints endeavored
to repeal much more than had at first been contemplated, and take
from the charter many provisions like those found in the charters of
the other cities in Illinois. This attempt was made purposely to hurt
the "Mormons," by restricting their rights. The bill passed the house
in March with a vote of 58 to 33. When it reached the senate it was
tabled. The time for the repeal had not arrived.

A General Missionary Call

At the conference of the Church in April, 1843, a general missionary
movement was contemplated. President Joseph Smith, in the course of his
remarks, advised that the elders when they went forth as missionaries,
should preach repentance and the things they were sent to preach.
"Declare the first principles," he said, "and let mysteries alone,
lest you be overthrown. Never meddle with the visions of beasts and
subjects you do not understand." Following the general conference a
special conference convened April 10, and continued through the 12th,
presided over by the apostles. At this conference elders were chosen
and their appointments given for various mission fields in Canada and
the several states, excepting blighted Missouri. On the 11th of May,
following, Addison Pratt, Noah Rogers, Benjamin B. Grouard and Knowlton
F. Hanks, were selected to go on missions to the Pacific isles; Dan
Jones, to Wales; James Sloan, to Ireland; John Cairnes and Samuel James
to England, with Reuben Hedlock, who was appointed to preside in Great
Britain with Hiram Clark and Thomas Ward, who were in England, as his

Eternity of the Marriage Covenant

While at Ramus, May 16 and 17, 1843, the Prophet made the following

    "In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; and
    in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter in to this order
    of the Priesthood (meaning the new and everlasting covenant of
    marriage); and if he does not, he cannot obtain it.

    "He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom;
    he cannot have an increase.

    "Salvation means a man's being placed beyond the power of all his

    "The more sure word of prophecy (mentioned by Peter) means a man's
    knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and
    the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood.

    "It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance.

    "There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter,
    but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer

    "We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see
    that it is all matter."

The New and Everlasting Covenant

A revelation dealing with the subject of marriage for eternity, or
celestial marriage as it is known, was reduced to writing July 12, 1843
(Doc. and Cov. Sec. 132). It had been revealed to the Prophet a long
time before this date, but had not been recorded or publicly announced.
In it the Lord defines the "new and everlasting covenant." In a number
of revelations previously given the new and everlasting covenant is
mentioned, and various principles of the Gospel are spoken of as new
and everlasting covenants. Thus, in the Lord's Preface to the Book of
Doctrine and Covenants, he says he gave commandments to Joseph Smith,
that his "everlasting covenant might be established; that the fulness
of the Gospel might be proclaimed." Immediately after the organization
of the Church, he declared that baptism is a "new and an everlasting
covenant, even that which was from the beginning," and in a revelation
given October 25, 1831 (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 66), the everlasting
covenant is defined as the fulness of the Gospel, "sent forth unto
the children of men, that they might have life and be made partakers
of the glories which are to be revealed." But the full meaning and
significance of the "new and everlasting covenant," was not revealed
until the Prophet received this revelation (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 132), in
which it is defined as follows:

    "For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant;
    and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one
    can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.
    For all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law
    which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof,
    as were instituted from before the foundation of the world."

This reference has bearing on the new covenant of celestial marriage,
or marriage for eternity, spoken of by President Joseph Smith at Ramus
in May, 1843. Then the Lord defines the law of the new and everlasting
covenant, which embraces all other covenants and principles belonging
to the Gospel:

    "And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was
    instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth
    a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be
    damned, saith the Lord God.

    "And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are
    these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows,
    performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are
    not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise,
    of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity,
    and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the
    medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold
    this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold
    this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the
    earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood
    are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after
    the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made
    unto this end have an end when men are dead."

Conversely, then, all contracts entered into in this life, and sealed
by this authority, are binding and of force after the resurrection, as
the revelation further on declares:

    "Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord, and not a
    house of confusion. Will I accept of an offering, saith the Lord,
    that is not made in my name? Or will I receive at your hands that
    which I have not appointed? And will I appoint unto you, saith the
    Lord, except it be by law, even as I and my Father ordained unto
    you, before the world was? I am the Lord thy God; and I give unto
    you this commandment--that no man shall come unto the Father but by
    me or by my word, which is my law, saith the Lord. And everything
    that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones,
    or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they
    may be, that are not by me or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be
    thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in
    nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God. For whatsoever
    things remain are by me; and whatsoever things are not by me shall
    be shaken and destroyed."

Revealed by Elijah

The keys of this wonderful and impressive doctrine were restored
when Elijah conferred his Priesthood. The mission of Elijah in this
dispensation, as prophesied of by Malachi, was to restore the sealing,
or binding power, through which covenants and contracts, as here
described by the Lord, are approved and ratified in the heavens.
Referring to this subject, President Joseph Smith remarked in one of
his discourses:

    "Elijah was the last prophet that held the keys of the
    Priesthood. . . . It is true that the Savior had authority and
    power to bestow this blessing; but the sons of Levi were too
    prejudiced. 'And I will send Elijah the Prophet before the great
    and terrible day of the Lord,' etc. Why send Elijah? Because he
    holds the keys of the authority to administer in all the ordinances
    of the Priesthood; and without the authority is given, the
    ordinances could not be administered in righteousness."


    "The spirit, power, and calling of Elijah is, that ye have power
    to hold the key of the revelation, ordinances, oracles, powers and
    endowments of the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood and of the
    kingdom of God on the earth; and to receive, obtain and perform
    all the ordinances belonging to the kingdom of God, even unto the
    turning of the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the
    hearts of the children unto the fathers, even those who are in
    heaven. . . . What is this office and work of Elijah? It is one of
    the greatest and most important subjects that God has revealed. He
    should send Elijah to seal the children to the fathers, and the
    fathers to the children."

In the Temple these Blessings are Obtained

In the temple of the Lord these sealing blessings may be obtained. Only
in the days of poverty, when there is no temple, can they be received
elsewhere. The Prophet added further instruction to this subject in a
discourse, Sunday, June 11, 1843, wherein he said:

    "One of the ordinances of the house of the Lord is baptism for
    the dead. God decreed before the foundation of the world that
    that ordinance should be administered in a font prepared for that
    purpose in the house of the Lord.

    "If a man gets a fulness of the Priesthood of God, he has to get
    it in the same way that Jesus Christ obtained it, and that was by
    keeping all the commandments and obeying all the ordinances of the
    house of the Lord. . . .

    "All men who become heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ,
    will have to receive the fulness of the ordinances of his kingdom;
    and those who will not receive all the ordinances will come short
    of the fulness of that glory, if they do not lose the whole"
    (_Documentary History of the Church_, vol. 5:423).

Plural Marriage

This revelation, dated July 12, 1843, also contains the doctrine of
plural wives. This doctrine was made known to the Prophet as early
as the summer of 1831, and by him was taught to a few others, but it
was not practiced until the Lord commanded it. Secrecy was imposed
by the Lord until such time as he saw fit for its introduction. When
the Prophet was commanded to practice this principle, he hesitated
and deferred taking action for some time. To do so was one of the
greatest trials of his life. He knew the doctrine was in conflict with
the traditions and teachings of the world and would arouse increased
persecution; moreover, his own prejudices were in opposition to the
doctrine. However, the Lord had commanded him and he must act.

In Nauvoo the doctrine was revealed to many of the leading brethren,
and wives were sealed to some of them by President Joseph Smith, and to
others, under his direction. However, it was not until 1852, after the
Saints had come to Utah, that the revelation was published to the world.

The Douglas Prophecy

On the return from Ramus, where the doctrine of the eternity of
marriage was taught to a number of brethren, President Joseph Smith and
his scribe, William Clayton, paid a visit to Judge Stephen A. Douglas,
at Carthage, where he was holding court. On invitation they dined with
Judge Douglas, and after dinner he requested President Smith to relate
the history of the persecutions of the Saints while in Missouri. This
he did in some detail, covering a period of about three hours. He also
gave an account of his visit to Washington, with Judge Elias Higbee and
Sidney Rigdon, in 1839, and their treatment by President Martin Van
Buren, Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun and others. Judge Douglas listened
with the closest attention and deprecated the conduct of Governor Boggs
and his aides in Missouri. He said that any people who would do as the
Missourians had done to the Latter-day Saints ought to be brought to
judgment and punished.

President Smith, in concluding the conversation, uttered the following
prophecy which was recorded in the journal of his secretary, William
Clayton, under date of the event, May 18, 1843:

    "Judge, you will aspire to the presidency of the United States; and
    if ever you turn your hand against me or the Latter-day Saints, you
    will feel the weight of the hand of the Almighty upon you; and you
    will live to see and know that I have testified the truth to you;
    for the conversation of this day will stick to you through life."[1]


1. Stephen A. Douglas lived to see the fulfilment of this prophecy.
He did aspire to the presidency of the United States. He did raise
his voice against the Latter-day Saints in a speech delivered in
Springfield, Illinois, June 12, 1857. The speech was published in the
"Missouri Republican." While Mr. Douglas had more reason to expect to
be elected than any other candidate, he was overwhelmingly defeated,
and Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States.

For full particulars in relation to this subject, the reader is
referred to the _History of the Mormon Church_, chapter 46, by Elder B.
H. Roberts.

Chapter 33

Missouri's Third Attempt to Capture Joseph Smith


Conspiracy Against Joseph Smith

When John C. Bennett wrote to Sidney Rigdon and Orson Pratt, saying he
was on his way to Missouri to obtain a new requisition for Joseph Smith
and others, it was not an idle threat. Not many weeks had passed before
reports reached Nauvoo that new indictments had been found against
President Smith, based on the old Missouri charges, and that John C.
Bennett was making desperate threats. Moreover, Bennett must have
had some definite information which caused him to say that Governor
Ford would acknowledge the new requisition. A conspiracy, evidently,
was on foot, in which the governors of the two states were to play
their parts. Further evidence that Governor Ford was a party to the
conspiracy is discovered in a communication dated June 10, 1843, from
Sam C. Owens of Independence, to the governor of Illinois. Owens, one
of the bitterest persecutors of the Saints in Missouri, stated in his
letter that John C. Bennett had authorized him to write to Governor
Ford, "without hesitation" in regard to the charges against Joseph
Smith. "At the last term of the circuit court of Daviess County," he
wrote, "an indictment was found by the grand jury against Joseph Smith
for treason against the state," and necessary papers were on the way
to Governor Thomas Reynolds, who, on receipt thereof, would issue a
requisition, and Mr. Joseph H. Reynolds would be sent as a special
agent "to attend to the business." Owens also said that "Dr. Bennett
further writes that he has made an agreement with Harmon T. Wilson, of
Hancock County (Carthage seat of justice), in whose hands he wishes
the writ that shall be issued by you to be put. From the tenor of his
letter I am induced to believe that he has made the same suggestion to

A Warrant for His Arrest

June 13, 1843, Governor Reynolds issued the requisition and Joseph H.
Reynolds was dispatched to Illinois. Governor Ford lost no time in
issuing the warrant for the arrest and placed it in the hands of Harmon
T. Wilson, who, with Reynolds, immediately started for their prisoner.
The night before the warrant was issued Governor Ford incidentally
remarked to Judge James Adams that the next day he would issue such a
writ. Judge Adams sent an express at once to Nauvoo to warn the Prophet
of impending danger. His message arrived in the evening of Sunday,
June 18, but President Smith was not at home. On the 13th, he and
his family had gone north to visit with Mrs. Wasson, sister of Emma
Smith, who resided near Dixon, Lee County, Illinois. Hyrum Smith sent
William Clayton and Stephen Markham on horse back with all speed to
warn his brother Joseph. They arrived at Wasson's on the afternoon of
Wednesday, June 21, a distance of two hundred and twelve miles. Hearing
their report, Joseph said: "I have no fear. I shall not leave here; I
shall find friends, and Missourians cannot hurt me, I tell you in the
name of the Lord." He cancelled an appointment to preach in Dixon,
and concluded to remain with the Wassons, fearing that if he started
for home he might fall into the hands of his enemies where he had no

His Arrest by Reynolds and Wilson

From some source Reynolds and Wilson learned that Joseph was at
Dixon and thither they went with haste. On the way to Wasson's they
passed William Clayton, who had been sent to spy out the land, but
as they were disguised, Clayton did not know them. Arriving at their
destination the sheriffs represented themselves to be "Mormon" elders
and were directed to the Wasson home. President Smith was in the
yard when they arrived. Springing upon him like fiends, and without
showing any papers for his arrest, they pointed cocked pistols at his
head and with many vile oaths, threatened to shoot him if he stirred.
They repeatedly jabbed the muzzles of their pistols in his ribs, and
were for hurrying him off to Dixon without giving him a chance to say
farewell to his family or friends, or obtain his hat and coat. Stephen
Markham grabbed the horses by the bits and held them saying: "There is
no law on earth that requires a sheriff to take a prisoner without his
clothes." They threatened to shoot him, but he paid no heed to their
threats, and Emma Smith brought her husband his hat and coat. As the
wagon rolled away, Joseph called to Markham to go to Dixon and secure a
writ of habeas corpus. On the way the officers repeatedly thrust their
pistols in the Prophet's sides with accompanying oaths of blasphemy,
and did not desist until shortly before reaching Dixon, when Markham,
who had overtaken them, upbraided them for their cowardice and brutal
treatment of their prisoner, who was defenseless.

Arriving at Dixon, the officers placed their prisoner in a room of the
tavern, and ordered fresh horses to be ready in five minutes. Joseph
asked them if he could interview counsel, but was cruelly treated for
his request. A man passed the window and the Prophet shouted to him to
secure him a lawyer, for he was falsely imprisoned. Attorney Edward
Southwick came to the door, but it was shut in his face, with a threat.
Shepherd G. Patrick, another attorney, also came and was insulted in
like manner. The neighborhood was soon aroused, and Mr. Dixon, owner
of the house, with some friends surrounded the door and threatened
violence to the inhuman sheriffs if they did not alter their brutal
course. This had a sobering effect upon them, and lawyers Southwick and
Patrick came into the room. President Smith showed them his bruised
sides, and asked them to obtain a writ of habeas corpus. A messenger
was sent by Mr. Dixon to Mr. Chamberlain, master-in-chancery, who
lived some six miles away, and another messenger was sent for Attorney
Cyrus Walker, who happened to be campaigning near that place. Walker,
Whig candidate for Congress, said he would come provided Joseph Smith
would promise to vote for him, which the latter said he would do.
This promise, Walker thought, would give him the united vote of the
"Mormon" people, which would insure his election. About eight o'clock
the master-in-chancery arrived and issued a writ of habeas corpus
returnable before Judge John D. Caton, of the ninth judicial district,
at Ottawa, which was served on Reynolds and Wilson. The same day
William Clayton was sent by the Prophet to notify his brother Hyrum,
and get assistance.

Reynolds and Wilson Under Arrest

Stephen Markham went before a justice of the peace and obtained
a warrant for Reynolds and Wilson for threatening his life. He
later obtained other warrants from the circuit court of Lee County
against them for threatening the life of Joseph Smith, and for false
imprisonment, claiming ten thousand dollars damages, on the ground that
the writ issued by Governor Ford was a void writ in law. As they could
not obtain bondsmen outside of Missouri, they were taken into custody
by Sheriff Campbell of Lee County. They also obtained a writ of habeas
corpus and under these circumstances the entire party, including the
lawyers and Mr. Dixon, started for Ottawa.

President Joseph Smith's Discourse at Pawpaw Grove

Saturday night, June 24, they arrived at Pawpaw Grove, thirty-two miles
distant from Dixon, and the following morning the people assembled
at the hotel and requested that the Prophet preach. To this Reynolds
objected, saying that Joseph Smith was his prisoner, and the people
must disperse. They had witnessed his abuse of his prisoner, and a Mr.
David Town, an aged gentleman, who was lame, advanced and gave Reynolds
to understand that he could not interrupt gentlemen. Bringing his heavy
walking stick down with a thud, he said:

    "You--Infernal puke, we'll learn you to come here and interrupt
    gentlemen. Sit down there (pointing to a very low chair), and
    sit still. Don't open your head till General Smith gets through
    talking. If you never learned manners in Missouri, we'll teach you
    that gentlemen are not to be imposed upon by a nigger-driver. You
    cannot kidnap men here, if you do in Missouri; and if you attempt
    it here, there's a committee in this grove that will sit on your
    case; and, sir, it is the highest tribunal in the United States, as
    _from its decision there is no appeal_!"

Reynolds very meekly and in fear took the seat while President Smith
addressed the people for one hour and a half.

The Issuing of New Writs

It was learned that Judge Caton was in New York, so they all returned
to Dixon, where new writs were obtained, made returnable before the
nearest tribunal in the fifth judicial district, at Markham's request.
Provision was now made to go to Quincy, where Judge Stephen A. Douglas
was holding court. Twice on the way Reynolds and Wilson engaged in
plots to raise mobs and carry Joseph Smith to the mouth of Rock River
where there was a company from Missouri waiting to receive him; but
each time the plans were discovered and foiled.

On the way Joseph convinced Sheriff Campbell and the attorneys that
the court of Nauvoo was nearer than that of Quincy, and had full power
to try his case, and hither they bent their way. Reynolds and Wilson
endeavored to get Sheriff Campbell, who had them in custody, to go
by way of Rock River, to Quincy, not knowing that their plots were
discovered, saying that they would never go through Nauvoo alive.
Joseph Smith pledged his word of honor that they would not be molested,
and the journey was resumed by land in the direction of Nauvoo.

A Party to the Rescue

William Clayton arrived in Nauvoo on Sunday, June 25, 1843, and at the
afternoon meeting in the temple Hyrum Smith requested to see all the
brethren. He informed them of his brother Joseph's arrest, and called
for volunteers to go to his assistance. That evening a company of about
one hundred and seventy-five men left on horseback. Wilson Law refused
to go unless his expenses could be met, whereupon President Brigham
Young went to work and raised seven hundred dollars by subscription.
About seventy-five men on board the _Maid of Iowa_, under Captain
Dan Jones, went down the Mississippi to the mouth of the Illinois
River, thence up that river toward Peoria, to examine the steamboats,
suspecting the Prophet might be forced on one of them to be carried
down the river to Missouri.

Shortly after the party with the Prophet left Geneseo on the 27th, the
advance guard of the brethren, nine in all, from Nauvoo came up, and
Reynolds and Wilson began to tremble fearing for their lives. Reynolds
asked if "Jim" Flack was in the crowd. When he was informed that he
would be present the next day, the criminal sheriff replied: "Then I am
a dead man; for I know him of old." When Stephen Markham, who had gone
to locate the brethren from Nauvoo, rode up, Reynolds said, "Do I meet
you as a friend? I expected to be a dead man when I met you again,"
but he was assured that he would not be hurt. Thursday, June 29, James
Flack with others of the brethren met the company a short distance
south of Monmouth. President Joseph Smith took Flack to one side and
charged him not to harm Reynolds, for he had given his word of honor
that he would not be injured. This Flack promised to do although he had
cause for vengeance.

Arrival at Nauvoo

Other bodies of men from Nauvoo joined the company from time to time
and when they reached that place there were about one hundred and forty
riding on horse back, who were joined by the populace in procession
and thus they marched into the town. President Smith was greeted with
cheers and the firing of cannon. He was still a prisoner in the hands
of Reynolds and Wilson, and they in turn were prisoners in the hands
of Sheriff Campbell. The Prophet took them to his house and placed
Reynolds and Wilson at the head of the table, where about fifty persons
were served. This was a very different reception from the one he had
received from these men when they took him prisoner in Lee County, at
the Wasson home.

The Trial Before the Municipal Court

The same day they arrived in Nauvoo the municipal court convened, and
a requisition was made on Reynolds to return the writ, but he refused
to recognize the summons, whereupon the Prophet petitioned the court
for a writ of habeas corpus to be directed to Reynolds, commanding him
to bring his prisoner before the court. The summons was issued and
Reynolds complied with the attachment and delivered the Prophet into
the hands of the marshal of the city. That afternoon President Smith
addressed the people at great length, declaring that he would not
peacefully submit again to such ill-treatment. While he was speaking
Reynolds and Wilson with a lawyer named Davis, of Carthage, left for
that place threatening to raise the militia and come again and take
President Smith out of Nauvoo.

Saturday, July 1, 1843, the court convened to examine the writ of
habeas corpus. Messrs. Cyrus Walker, Shepherd G. Patrick, Edward
Southwick and a Mr. Backman defended Joseph Smith while Attorney Mason
was counselor for Reynolds. Witnesses were examined and the case tried
on its merits, Hyrum Smith, Parley P. Pratt, Brigham Young, George
W. Pitkin, Lyman Wight and Sidney Rigdon giving testimony, at the
conclusion of which the prisoner was discharged.

The Citizens of Lee County Thanked

July 1, 1843, a mass meeting of the citizens of Nauvoo was held in the
assembly hall and it was "unanimously resolved that Messrs. Sager and
Dixon, of the town of Dixon, and the citizens of Dixon, Pawpaw Grove,
and Lee County, receive the warmest thanks for the firm patriotism,
bold and decided stand taken against lawless outrage and the spirit of
mobocracy, as manifested in the arrest or capture of General Joseph
Smith, while on a visit to his friends in that district of country."

Reynolds' Further Attempt to Obtain Joseph Smith

The proceedings of the municipal court of Nauvoo in this case were
promptly forwarded to Governor Ford, with affidavits from the attorneys
and others bearing upon the case and the kindly treatment Reynolds and
Wilson had received in Nauvoo. Judge James Adams came from Carthage
with the information that Reynolds and Wilson were exciting the people
there to mobocracy, and petitioning the governor for a posse forcibly
to take Joseph Smith, on the grounds that he had been unlawfully taken
out of their hands. A remonstrance against the Carthage proceedings was
prepared and forwarded to Carthage by Messrs. Southwick and Patrick,
and a petition was sent to Governor Ford praying him not to issue any
more writs.

Governor Ford refused to comply with the request of Sheriff Reynolds,
and subsequently, when Governor Reynolds of Missouri requested him
to call out the militia--a method they had of doing in Missouri--to
retake Joseph Smith, Governor Ford replied that Joseph Smith had been
tried before the municipal court of Nauvoo on a writ of habeas corpus,
and discharged from arrest. He, as governor, had fully executed the
duty which the laws imposed, and had not "been resisted either in the
writ issued for the arrest of Smith or in the person of the officer
appointed to apprehend him," and the constitution would not permit him
to take such action, as the Missouri official proposed.

The Case of O. P. Rockwell

Orrin Porter Rockwell, who was accused as the principal in the shooting
of ex-Governor Boggs, went into retirement with the Prophet when
Governor Ford issued papers for his extradition. He traveled east
as far as New Jersey where he remained for some time. Following the
discharge of President Joseph Smith by Judge Pope, Rockwell concluded
to return to Nauvoo, evidently by way of the Ohio and Mississippi
Rivers. In St. Louis he was recognized by Elias Parker who had him
placed under arrest, March 4, 1843. They carried him to Independence
in chains, where he was placed under bonds in the sum of five thousand
dollars, which they knew he could not raise, as no person outside of
Missouri would be accepted by the court as bondsman. In the custody of
the notorious Joseph H. Reynolds, sheriff of Jackson County, he was
cast into prison bound hand and foot. Here he remained a prisoner for
eight months. March 15, 1843, the Prophet wrote: "I prophesied in the
name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that Orrin Porter Rockwell would get
away honorably from the Missourians."

On Christmas evening, 1843--the last Christmas day Joseph and Hyrum
Smith celebrated on earth--a large party assembled at the Prophet's
home, and spent the time in music, dancing and a social visit. During
the festivities, a man with long shaggy hair, apparently drunk, came
in and acted like a Missourian. A scuffle ensued and the Prophet had
an opportunity to see the stranger's face. To his great surprise and
joy he discovered his "long-tried, warm, but cruelly persecuted friend,
Orrin Porter Rockwell." The party came to order while Rockwell related
in detail his experiences and sufferings while in Missouri.

Orrin P. Rockwell's Story

The story is too long to tell in full at this point. It is sufficient
to relate the following incidents. When he arrived in Independence a
large crowd had gathered and suggested hanging him at once, but he was
placed in jail. In two or three days he underwent a mock trial, where
false witnesses testified against him. The magistrate said he found
no evidence against him, but placed him in prison for safe keeping,
where Sheriff Reynolds chained him hand and foot. One time he was
able to escape, but was recaptured and only by the providence of the
Lord was saved from being hanged. About the time that President Smith
was demanded by the governor of Missouri, Reynolds, the sheriff, came
to Rockwell and said that he had discovered from letters that Joseph
Smith had unlimited confidence in Rockwell, and if Rockwell would only
"tote him out by riding or any other way," so that the Missourians
might apprehend him, Rockwell might please himself whether he stayed in
Illinois or returned to Missouri, they would protect him, and any pile
that he would name the citizens of Jackson County, would club together
and raise. "You only deliver Joe Smith into our hands, and name your
pile." Rockwell replied: "I will see you all damned first, and then I

The time of further trial was continually delayed, but on the 13th of
December, he was taken before the court and tried--not on the charge
of shooting Boggs, but for breaking jail! He was found guilty and
sentenced to "five minutes' imprisonment in the county jail," but was
kept there five hours, while his enemies tried to think of some other
charge to make against him. He was finally released and with great
difficulty made his way to Nauvoo, where he arrived that Christmas

Chapter 34

Joseph Smith's Candidacy for President--Nauvoo Conspiracy


Threats of the Mob

Following the unsuccessful attempt to carry President Joseph Smith into
Missouri, the hatred of his enemies became intense. Lying accusations
were published in anti-"Mormon" papers and circulated against the
Saints. Threats were made, both in Missouri and Illinois, of mob
attacks and the legion was kept in readiness to withstand any mob
assault. The governor was apprised of these conditions from time to
time, and petitioned for protection, but refused to give credence to
the rumors, or take any measures to repel any proposed invasion. This
attitude increased the boldness of the enemies of the Saints, who
declared, in reference to the governor, should he attempt to protect
the "Mormons" in their rights: "If he opens his head we will punch a
hole through him! He dare not speak! We will serve him the same sauce
we will the 'Mormons!'"

Growth of Nauvoo

Through the gathering of converts from Great Britain as well as from
various parts of the United States, Nauvoo had become the foremost
city of Illinois. It had risen from a swamp and wilderness in 1839, to
a commonwealth of some twenty thousand souls. The people were frugal,
industrious and law-abiding. Many factories had been established,
and measures were on foot, at the suggestion of President Smith, to
dam the Mississippi for water power purposes. He also suggested that
Congress be petitioned to build a canal around the Des Moines rapids
to admit of the passage of boats for commercial purposes.[1] He
instructed the Saints to be producers and to manufacture from the raw
materials, rather than to be consumers only, and under his direction
and inspiration the city prospered.

Jealousy of Other Towns

All this augmented the jealousy and hatred of the neighboring towns,
where thrift and unity were lacking. Another thing that increased the
opposition, especially of the politicians, was the fact that the Saints
usually voted as a unit. It was this tendency which caused Cyrus Walker
to seek the favor of Joseph Smith in the summer of 1843. However, the
voting of the "Mormons" in this manner was not due to instruction
from the leading councils of the Church, but from necessity and for
self-preservation. Both the Whig and the Democratic office-seekers
sought the support of the Saints, and when it was not forthcoming,
hatred filled their breasts, and vengeance was threatened. The constant
arrival of immigrants, who were instructed to gather at Nauvoo, was
also looked upon as an attempt to lay plans to control the state. So
strong were the Latter-day Saints that they held the balance of power
in the elections and naturally threw their support to those most
friendly to them, which aroused the animosities of their opponents to a
murderous degree.

In the August (1843) election Robert D. Foster and George W. Thatcher
were elected to county offices. They went to Carthage to give bonds
and take their oaths and were threatened by Harmon T. Wilson and some
fifteen or twenty others, who were armed with knives and pistols. The
bonds, however, were accepted, and the mob gave notice of a meeting
of anti-"Mormons" to consider the question of the "Mormons" holding
office. At their meeting they made all manner of accusations and
threats, stating that they "pledge themselves in the most determined
manner" to aid Missouri should another demand be made for Joseph Smith,
which gave encouragement to the enemies of the Saints within that state.

Near the close of the year 1843, they openly resorted to mob violence.
Daniel Avery and his son Philander, were kidnapped and delivered to the
Missourians. On false accusations they were imprisoned and brutally
treated for some time. The son finally made his escape and the father
was later released on habeas corpus proceedings.

Joseph Smith and the Presidency of the United States

From the time of the organization of the Church the Saints had suffered
most cruelly at the hands of enemies. Governors and lesser state
dignitaries, had aided in the persecutions. No redress, even from the
government of the United States, could be obtained. Mobs still menaced
them, and their chances for protection by lawful means were not the
best, for the governor of Illinois was intimidated by mob threats.
It was agreed, therefore, to inquire of the various candidates for
the presidency of the United States what their feelings would be, if
elected, towards the Latter-day Saints, and their course of action in
relation to the cruel oppression the Saints had suffered. Accordingly
letters were sent to the leading candidates. Only two, Henry Clay
and John C. Calhoun, deigned to make reply. Their answers were so
unsatisfactory that the "Mormon" people decided they could vote for
neither of them. Clay replied that if he ever entered that high
office he must go into it free and unfettered, with no guarantees but
such as were to be drawn from his whole life, character and conduct,
although he had sympathized with the Saints in their sufferings under
injustice. Calhoun was more frank, stating that the case of the Saints
in Missouri, candor compelled him to say, "did not come within the
jurisdiction of the Federal Government, which is one of limited and
specific powers."

Under these conditions the citizens of Nauvoo felt that the only
consistent step they could take was to place their own candidate in the
field. Consequently, at a political convention held in Nauvoo, January
29, 1844, Joseph Smith was nominated as a candidate for the presidency
of the United States, and on May 17, a state convention was held in
Nauvoo where his nomination was sustained. There was no thought on the
part of President Joseph Smith or the Saints that he would be elected,
but it gave to them an opportunity to express their feelings, and to
sustain a candidate who would advocate their rights against oppression.
In the _Times and Seasons_ (Feb. 15) an editorial was published
entitled: "Who Shall be our Next President?" in which the reasons for
selecting their own candidate were clearly and emphatically stated by
the editor (John Taylor) in behalf of the Latter-day Saints.

James Arlington Bennett, of New York, was asked to become their
candidate for the vice-presidency, but as he was born in Ireland,
was not eligible. Sidney Rigdon, who had moved from Nauvoo to
Pittsburgh--contrary to revelation and to the feelings of the
Prophet--was selected for that place.

Views on the Powers and Policy of the Government

In February, 1844, Joseph Smith published to the world his "Views on
the Powers and Policy of the Government of the United States." After
speaking of the greatness and glory of the United States under the
early presidents he says that "'since the fathers have fallen asleep,'
wicked and designing men have unrobed the government of its glory." He
advocated the reduction of the number of congressmen by two-thirds;
the pardoning of prisoners in state prisons; the making of laws to
provide for useful employment of prisoners on roads, public works or
elsewhere, where they may be taught more wisdom and more virtue, and
only murderers should be confined or put to death. He would turn the
prisons into seminaries of learning; and petition the inhabitants of
the slave states to abolish slavery by 1850, or before, "and save the
abolitionist from reproach and ruin, infamy and shame." This should be
done by Congress paying every man a reasonable price for his slaves
out of the revenue from the sale of public lands, and deducted pay
from members of Congress, that liberty may be granted to all men.
He would abolish the practice of trying men by court martial for
desertion, and if a man deserts send him his pay with instructions
that his country will never trust him more and that he has forfeited
his honor. Make honor the standard with all men; render good for evil,
"and the whole nation, like a kingdom of kings and priests, will rise
up in righteousness." He advocated more economy; less taxes; greater
equality, and less distinction among the people. Also the establishment
of a national bank, with branches in each state and territory, the net
revenue therefrom to be applied to government interests. The president
should have full power to send an army to suppress mobs, and there
should be a repeal of the requirement for governors to petition the
president for troops in cases of invasion or rebellion. A governor
himself may be a mobber and power should be given the president to
protect citizens in such an event. Oregon, by right, and with the
consent of the Indian, should belong to the United States, and he would
invite Texas, Canada, Mexico, to join the sons of liberty, and let the
Union spread.

Such, in brief, is the platform of Joseph Smith, and when it was
circulated throughout the United States, it created much commotion and
favorable comment for its direct and fearless advocacy of principles
which other candidates, for policy's sake, dared not express.

The Contemplated Expedition to the West

The rising tide of persecution portended a repetition of the cruel
Missouri scenes. President Joseph Smith knew full well, even in the
face of continued urging of the Saints to build Nauvoo and make her
towers glorious, that the time would come when they would have to
seek a new home in the wilderness. The prophecy of August 6, 1842,
had stamped this fact upon the minds of others, and the Prophet had
referred to it from time to time. He records in his history under date
of February 20, 1844, the following:

    "I instructed the Twelve Apostles to send out a delegation and
    investigate the locations of California and Oregon, and hunt
    out a good location, where we can remove to after the temple is
    completed, and where we can build a city in a day, and have a
    government of our own, get up into the mountains, where the devil
    cannot dig us out, and live in a healthful climate, where we can
    live as old as we have a mind to."

The next day another meeting was held in the mayor's office, in
Nauvoo, most of the twelve were present, and Jonathan Dunham, Phineas
H. Young, David D. Yearsley, and David Fullmer, volunteered to go.
Alphonzo Young, James Emmett, George D. Watt and Daniel Spencer were
requested to go, and another meeting was called to meet on February
23, to further discuss matters pertaining to this expedition. On that
date President Smith and the twelve met again. Patriarch Hyrum Smith
and Sidney Rigdon were also present. The Prophet instructed them saying
he wanted an exploration of all the mountain country. Perhaps it would
be best for them to go by way of Santa Fe. "Send twenty-five men," he
said, "let them preach the Gospel wherever they go. Let that man go
that can raise $500, a good horse and mule, a double-barrel gun, one
barrel rifle and the other smooth bore, a saddle and bridle, a pair
of revolving pistols, bowie-knife, and a good sabre. Appoint a leader
and let them beat up for volunteers. I want every man that goes to be
a king and a priest. When he gets on the mountains he may want to talk
with his God; when with the savage nations, have power to govern. If we
don't get volunteers, wait till after the election." On this occasion,
Samuel Bent, Joseph A. Kelting, Samuel Rolf, Daniel Avery and Samuel W.
Richards were added to the expedition and others joined from time to
time. Sunday, February 25, the Prophet predicted that within five years
the Saints would be out of the power of their old enemies, whether they
were apostate or of the world, and commanded the brethren to write it
down "that when it comes to pass they need not say they had forgotten
the saying."

Memorial to Congress

March 26, 1844, a memorial was prepared by President Joseph Smith
asking Congress to pass an ordinance for the protection of citizens of
the United States emigrating to the territories and that indefinite
country known as California and Oregon. He asked for authorization to
raise a company of one hundred thousand volunteers, at such times and
places as he might find necessary for this purpose. At this time Oregon
was a disputed territory, unsettled, and held by the United States and
Great Britain jointly by treaty. Texas was asking for admission into
the United States, but had been denied. Orson Pratt and John E. Page
and later Orson Hyde, were sent to Washington to urge the consideration
of the scheme. Most of the Illinois delegation favored it. For
political reasons no official action was ever taken, but the general
sentiment of the politicians, who were afraid to act openly, was in
favor of the proposition.

Traitors From Within

It was not so much from Missouri and among the mobocrats of Illinois,
that the Prophet had cause to fear, but from traitors within the
councils of the Church. In the highest quorums, men were found who
secretly plotted against his life. He remarked in a discourse in
October of 1843: "This generation is as corrupt as the generation of
the Jews that crucified Christ; and if he were here today, and should
preach the same doctrine he did to them they would put him to death.
I defy all the world to destroy the work of God; and I prophesy they
never will have power to kill me _till my work is accomplished, and I
am ready to die._" In January, 1844, it became necessary to increase
the police force for the protection of the city. Joseph Smith, as
mayor, addressed these newly appointed officers of the peace, and
instructed them in their duties. In the course of his remarks he said:

    "I am exposed to far greater danger from traitors among ourselves
    than from enemies without, although my life has been sought for
    many years by the civil and military authorities, priests, and
    people of Missouri; and if I can escape from the ungrateful
    treachery of assassins, I can live as Caesar might have lived, were
    it not for a right-hand Brutus. I have had pretended friends betray
    me. All the enemies upon the face of the earth may roar and exert
    all their power to bring about my death, but they can accomplish
    nothing, unless some who are among us and enjoy our society, have
    been with us in our councils, participated in our confidence, taken
    us by the hand, called us brother, saluted us with a kiss, join
    with our enemies, turn our virtues into faults, and, by falsehood
    and deceit, stir up their wrath and indignation against us, and
    bring their united vengeance upon our heads. All the hue-and-cry of
    the chief priests and elders against the Savior, could not bring
    down the wrath of the Jewish nation upon his head, and thereby
    cause the crucifixion of the Son of God, until Judas said unto
    them, 'Whomsoever I shall kiss, he is the man; hold him fast.'
    Judas was one of the Twelve Apostles, even their treasurer, and
    dipt with their Master in the dish, and through his treachery, the
    crucifixion was brought about; and _we have a Judas in our midst._"

"The Wicked Flee"

These remarks gave offense to William and Wilson Law, William Marks,
Leonard Soby, Dr. Foster and others. William Law was the Prophet's
second counselor, and his brother had been honored with the position
of major general of the Nauvoo Legion, and was also prominent in the
Church. William Marks was president of the Nauvoo Stake of Zion.
Commenting on their fears, President Joseph Smith stated: "What can
be the matter with these men? Is it that the wicked flee when no man
pursueth . . . or that Presidents Law and Marks are absolutely traitors
to the Church, that my remarks should produce such excitement in their
minds? Can it be possible that the traitor whom Porter Rockwell reports
to me as being in correspondence with my Missouri enemies is one of
my quorum?[2] The people in the town are astonished, almost every man
saying to his neighbor, "Is it possible that Brother Law or Marks is a
traitor, and would deliver Brother Joseph into the hands of his enemies
in Missouri? If not what can be the meaning of all this? The righteous
are bold as a lion."

Councils of Apostates

It soon developed that some of these men were secretly plotting the
death of the Prophet and the destruction of the Church, claiming that
he had fallen from his high and holy calling. Among them were those who
had been tinctured by the wickedness of John C. Bennett, from which
they did not recover. Others had been guilty of immoral conduct within
more recent months and had been exposed. Their vengeance was directed
against President Joseph Smith towards whom they now entertained a
murderous spirit.

Experience of Scott and Harris

In the spring of 1844, a number of secret meetings were held by these
conspirators, to which all whom they could trust among the disaffected
spirits, were invited. Two young men, Denison L. Harris and Robert
Scott, the latter living with the family of William Law, were invited
to attend. Young Harris was also asked to invite his father, Emer
Harris. The boys pondered over the invitation and then consulted with
Emer Harris, who concluded to lay the matter before President Joseph
Smith. After hearing the story the Prophet advised the father to stay
away, but said he would like to have the boys attend, but they must
first receive some advice from him. As they were instructed, they
attended the first two meetings and each time made their report to
the Prophet. These gatherings were given over to abuse and falsehood
affecting President Smith, and the discussion of future plans. When the
young men reported the second time, Joseph was in doubt whether they
should go again and asked them to visit him for further instructions
just before the third meeting, which, like the others, was to be held
on the Sabbath day. When the time came he said to them: "This will be
the last time that they will admit you into their councils. They will
come to some determination, but be sure that you make no covenant, nor
enter into any obligations whatever with them." Arriving at the place
of meeting the young men were astonished to see it guarded by men with
muskets, and after due scrutiny they were admitted. In the meeting
the Prophet and his brother Hyrum and others were accused of the most
wicked acts. Joseph was called a fallen prophet, and his death was said
to be necessary to save the Church. An oath had been prepared which
each member present was required to take. The candidate would step
forward to the table, where Francis M. Higbee, a justice of the peace,
was stationed, and he would ask: "Are you ready?" Receiving a favorable
reply he administered the following oath:

"You solemnly swear, before God and all holy angels, and these your
brethren by whom you are surrounded that you will give your life, your
liberty, your influence, your all, for the destruction of Joseph Smith
and his party, so help you God!"

The person being sworn would then say "I do," after which he would lay
down the Bible on which the oath was taken, and sign his name to a
written copy of the oath in a book, which would then be acknowledged by
the justice of the peace.

The boys sat in amazement wondering how these men, formerly faithful in
the councils of the Church, could fall so low. In this manner the oath
was administered to about two hundred, among whom were three women,
heavily veiled.

Their Lives Threatened

Presently the turn for the two youths came to take the pledge, and they
both manfully refused, stating that Joseph Smith had done them no harm
and they were too young to understand these things. This aroused the
anger of the conspirators, and when coaxing and argument failed, they
threatened them with death. "Come boys," they said, "do as we have
done. You are young, and will not have anything to do in the affair,
but we want you should keep it a secret, and act with us; that's all."
"No," they replied, "we cannot take an oath like that against any man
who has never done us any injury." They tried to pass out, but one of
the band stopped them saying: "No, not by a--! You know all our plans
and arrangements, and we don't propose that you should leave in that
style. You've got to take the oath, or you'll never leave here alive."
The boys were surrounded by these evil conspirators, who with drawn
swords and knives, were determined to take their lives. The leaders,
no less determined, concluded that the deed of blood could not be
committed there, as the house was too near the street. So the young men
were taken to the cellar and preparations were made for their murder.
At this point, however, as if by an act of Providence, someone spoke
up and said it was evidently known by the parents of these boys that
they were there, and if they did not return a search would be put on
foot that might prove to be very dangerous to the plotters. The result
was that after some consultation they were released, with a strict
injunction, and many threats, not to reveal to any one what they had
heard, or they would be killed, and under a guard they were permitted
to depart. They immediately took their course towards the river in the
opposite direction from their homes, conveying the impression to their
enemies by word and act, that they would keep their secret. On the
river bank they met the Prophet and an elder brother of Robert Scott,
and to them they told their story (_Contributor_, vol. 5:25).

On the 27th day of March, 1844, Abiathar B. Williams and M. G. Eaton,
each made affidavit before Daniel H. Wells, justice of the peace,
confirming the story of these young men, and implicating Chauncy L.
Higbee, Robert D. Foster, Joseph H. Jackson and Wilson and William Law,
as the leaders among the plotters. Shortly afterwards (April 18, 1844)
the two Laws and Robert D. Foster, were excommunicated from the Church.
Others prominent in this conspiracy were Austin Cowles, Francis M.
Higbee, Charles Ivins and Charles A. Foster.

Apostates Attempt to Organize a Church

An attempt was made by these apostates to organize a church of their
own, patterned after the Church of Christ, with William Law at the
head. Their following was small and the attempt was a failure. They
soon joined hands openly with the most bitter enemies of the Saints and
aided them in all their anti-"Mormon" persecutions. They advocated the
repeal of the Nauvoo Charter; insulted the officers of the city and
maliciously violated the ordinances, endeavoring to bring the city into
ill-repute. Their evil deeds they laid at the door of others, and with
lying tongues made brutal accusations against the innocent, and openly
threatened the life of the Prophet.

Plot to Kill Joseph Smith

May 25, 1844, William Law, Robert D. Foster and Joseph H. Jackson,
had Joseph Smith indicted at Carthage on the charge of polygamy and
perjury. Two days later Joseph left for Carthage, accompanied by a
number of his friends, and voluntarily gave himself up for trial. He
secured legal assistance and endeavored to have his case tried, but
the opposition insisted on the case going over until the next term of
court. On the way to Carthage, Charles A. Foster overtook the Prophet
and his company, and had some conversation. When they reached their
destination Foster called Joseph Smith aside and informed him of a
conspiracy against his life. His brother Robert D., with tears in his
eyes, also said there were persons there who had planned to kill the
Prophet before he left that town. The spark of repentance kindled in
their breasts, however, soon died out, and these two men again banded
with the conspirators in Nauvoo, to bring to pass the death of Joseph
and Hyrum Smith.

The "Nauvoo Expositor"

To better advance their malicious course, the conspirators of Nauvoo
procured a press and proposed the publishing of a paper to be called
the _Nauvoo Expositor_. The object of the paper, as set forth in
the prospectus was, to advocate "_the unconditional repeal of the
Nauvoo City Charter_, to restrain and correct the abuses of the _unit
power_, to ward off the iron rod which is held over the devoted
heads of the citizens of Nauvoo . . . to advocate an _unmitigated
disobedience to political revelations_, and to censure and decry gross
moral imperfections wherever found, either in plebeian, patrician
or _self-constituted Monarch_--to advocate the pure principles of
morality." In plain words to attack the Church and destroy the
protection of the Saints guaranteed by the Charter of Nauvoo.

The first and only number of the _Expositor_ appeared June 7, 1844,
filled with vile and malicious slanders against the Prophet and the
leading citizens of Nauvoo. In attacking the charter, these wicked
conspirators knew they were taking a course which would gain them
the sympathy and aid of all the enemies of the Church, as nothing
else could do. The charter, with its liberal provisions, had aroused
the hatred of anti-"Mormons" because it prevented their sinister and
diabolical designs. These same evil actors had lived under the charter
from the beginning, and had been loud in its praise and defense, until
Satan entered their hearts and their minds became darkened. They knew
that the Latter-day Saints, without the charter would be a prey to
their enemies, and at the mercy of their apostate persecutors, the
small minority of the population, who could wreak vengeance upon their
former brethren without restraint.

The circulation of the first number of this paper filled the hearts
of the people with righteous indignation. Their liberty was attacked,
their lives threatened, and the prospect, from the circulation of
falsehoods within their city, and bitter hatred without, was another
expulsion from their homes. Were they to submit peaceably to such

The Expositor Declared a Nuisance

At a meeting of the city council held June 10, after full
consideration, the _Expositor_ was declared a public nuisance and was
ordered to be abated. The city marshal John P. Greene was instructed to
proceed to the printing office and carry out the order of the council.
Taking with him a few men he proceeded to inform the proprietors of his
mission and demanded entrance into the building which was denied. With
little effort he opened the door, pied the type, carried out the press
and burned the printed papers that were found. He then reported to the
mayor who immediately forwarded an account of the proceeding to the
governor of Illinois.

In a rage the conspirators set fire to the building and hastened to
Carthage, stating that their lives were in danger and they had been
driven from their homes. The fire was discovered and extinguished
before any damage had been done, but the falsehoods circulated aroused
the people of Carthage and other towns. Indignation meetings were held
and mobs began to gather under arms.


1. Such a canal was built, and completed in 1877, at a cost to the
government of more than four million dollars.

2. It was later discovered that William Law was in league with the

Chapter 35

The Martyrdom


Charge of Francis M. Higbee

June 11, 1844, Francis M. Higbee made complaint before Thomas Morrison,
a justice of the peace at Carthage, charging Joseph Smith and the
members of the Nauvoo city council with riot committed in destroying
the press of the _Expositor_. The warrant was served by Constable David
Bettisworth the following day. It required that the accused should go
before the justice issuing the warrant, "or some other justice of the
peace, for trial." The Prophet expressed his willingness to go before
some other justice, as he had lawful right to do, but was not willing
to be taken to Carthage to be tried before his mobocratic enemies.
Bettisworth, in anger, declared that he would take him to Carthage.
His attention was called to the nature of the warrant and that his
actions were contrary to law, and with righteous indignation Joseph
Smith obtained a writ of habeas corpus and was legally tried before the
municipal court of Nauvoo and discharged. Each of the members of the
city council did the same, and were likewise discharged.

Anger of the Mob

When Bettisworth returned to Carthage without his prisoners, the
disappointment of the mobocrats was intense, and they threatened to
go against Nauvoo in force. Indignation meetings were held in Warsaw
and Carthage, and inflammatory speeches were made against the Saints.
The assembled mobbers in each place adopted resolutions in which they
said, "We hold ourselves at all times in readiness to co-operate with
our fellow-citizens in this state, Missouri and Iowa, to exterminate,
utterly exterminate, the wicked and abominable 'Mormon' leaders, the
authors of our troubles." All members of the Church, or sympathizers
with Joseph Smith, were warned to leave these townships on pain of
instant vengeance. A deputation was sent by them to the governor,
stating that Joseph Smith and others had refused to obey the mandate of
the writ, and with other falsehoods they attempted to prejudice him in
their favor. The minutes of these unlawful and wicked proceedings were
published in the Warsaw _Signal_ and other papers of the state.

The Saints Threatened

The Saints also sent messengers to the governor with full and correct
accounts of the proceedings at Nauvoo, and asking for protection. In
the meantime, without waiting for the governor's reply, the mob forces
commenced their brutal attacks upon the Saints residing outside of
Nauvoo, threatening them with destruction unless they immediately
accepted one of the following propositions: Deny Joseph Smith as a
Prophet of God and join the mob in securing his arrest; gather up their
effects and move to Nauvoo; or give up their arms and remain quiet
until the affair was over. Runners were dispatched to Missouri for
aid from the mobbers there, and the whole country was inflamed by the
spread of diabolical falsehoods.

Advice of Judge Thomas

The Prophet did everything in his power to allay excitement and kept
the governor posted with numerous affidavits and documents regarding
the state of affairs. Judge Jesse B. Thomas, of the circuit court,
advised the Prophet to go before some justice of the peace in the
county and have an examination on the writ issued by Morrison, which
action would take away all excuse of the mob, and then he could take
steps to have them bound to keep the peace. For his pains, Judge Thomas
was threatened by the mob with a coat of tar and feathers. The Prophet
accepted his advice and was tried before Justice Daniel H. Wells,
a non-"Mormon," and after a full investigation was discharged. His
enemies knew that this trial was lawful, as the previous one had been;
but they were determined not to be thwarted in their wicked purpose.
They thirsted for the blood of the Prophet and were determined to drag
him to Carthage, with or without process of law, there to slay him. A
mass meeting was held in Nauvoo, pacific resolutions were adopted, and
messengers chosen to go forth in the surrounding country to declare the
truth and allay excitement; but the prejudice was too great and little
was accomplished.

Nauvoo Under Martial Law

Because of threats of mob vengeance from both Missouri and Illinois
information was sent to President Tyler of the United States,
acquainting him with the danger and asking for protection. Nauvoo
was placed under martial law, and the legion mustered into service
in self-defense. The Prophet stood before them in his uniform as
lieutenant-general and addressed them at length, in defense of their
liberties. In the course of his remarks he said:

"It is thought by some that our enemies would be satisfied by my
destruction, but I tell you as soon as they have shed my blood, they
will thirst for the blood of every man in whose heart dwells a single
spark of the spirit of the fulness of the Gospel. The opposition of
these men is moved by the spirit of the adversary of all righteousness.
It is not only to destroy me, but every man and woman who dares believe
the doctrines that God hath inspired me to teach to this generation."

Appeal to the Governor for Protection

On June 16, Joseph wrote Governor Ford, calling his attention to
the mob meetings at Carthage and Warsaw, and the threats made to
exterminate the Saints. He requested the governor to come to Nauvoo
to make further investigation, and to quell insurrection. Instead of
going to Nauvoo, Governor Ford went to Carthage, and sent word to
Nauvoo that he was there in the interest of peace, and asked that
well-informed and discreet persons be sent to him. Elders John Taylor
and Dr. John M. Bernhisel were immediately sent to Carthage; but to
their surprise and disappointment they found the governor surrounded by
some of the worst element in Illinois. The Laws, Fosters and Higbees,
with Joseph H. Jackson, an adventurer and murderer, the publishers of
the _Expositor_, had his ear. Elders Taylor and Bernhisel could not
get an interview with the governor except in the presence of these
vicious enemies who had pledged themselves to bring to pass the death
of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. As they told their side of the story they
were constantly interrupted by this rabble with, "that's a -- -- lie,"
and other unseemly epithets of like character. The governor treated
them very rudely, showing that he was under the influence of the mob.
He stated that Joseph Smith and the members of the city council should
come to Carthage to be tried on the original writ as nothing short of
that would satisfy the people. When the messengers protested because
of the murderous spirit of the mob, the governor strenuously advised
that they come without arms and pledged his faith that they should be
protected. He also sent a written communication to Joseph Smith, in
which he said the city council, in destroying the _Expositor_ press,
had committed a gross outrage upon the laws and liberty of the people.
He ignored the trial before the municipal court and also that before
Daniel H. Wells, justice of the peace, demanding that all who were
accused should submit themselves "to be arrested by the same constable,
by virtue of the same warrant, and be tried before the same magistrate
whose authority has heretofore been resisted. Nothing short of this can
vindicate the dignity of violated law and allay the just excitement
of the people." Governor Ford must have blushed with shame when he
penned these lines, for he knew he was violating his oath of office and
declaring an untruth, for the sake of finding favor with the mob. If
his demand was not complied with he threatened to come with sufficient
force to execute his order. "You know the excitement of the public
mind," he said. "Do not tempt it too far. A very little matter may do
a very great injury; and if you are disposed to continue the causes of
excitement and render a force necessary to coerce submission, I would
say that your city was built, as it were, upon a keg of powder which a
very little spark may explode." _"And I will,"_ he continued, _"also
guarantee the safety of all such persons as may thus be brought to this
place from Nauvoo either for trial or as witnesses for the accused."_

The same day (June 22) the Prophet respectfully replied to this
cravenly penned communication, defending his course and denying the
false accusations contained in the governor's letter. He called
attention to the promises made in Missouri, but when witnesses came
they were cast into prison, and since "a burnt child dreads the fire,"
they were not to be blamed if they refused to place themselves in the
hands of a blood-thirsty mob openly making threats to take their lives.
The Prophet expressed a willingness to go before any other justice in
the state, except at Carthage, or before the circuit court, but did not
feel legally bound to go to Carthage to be butchered.

The governor's letter to Joseph Smith caused no small surprise among
the Saints. It was evident that they could not look to him for help,
for he had joined himself entirely with their enemies. He had ignored
the law; refused to recognize the legality of the courts, and the right
of a fair and impartial trial before an unprejudiced judge and jury.

Hyrum Refuses to Leave his Brother

So serious had the matter become that a letter was sent to President
Brigham Young and the apostles who were in the mission field,
instructing them to return to Nauvoo at once. The Prophet had
previously (June 20) advised his brother Hyrum to take his family and
go at once by steamboat to Cincinnati. Hyrum replied: "Joseph, I can't
leave you," whereupon Joseph remarked to his brethren, "I wish I could
get Hyrum out of the way, so that he may live to avenge my blood, and I
will stay with you and see it out."

The Proposed Journey to the West

In the afternoon of June 22, Joseph was in consultation with Hyrum
Smith, John Taylor, Willard Richards and Dr. John M. Bernhisel, when
it was decided that he should go to Washington and lay the whole
difficulty before President Tyler. At dusk another consultation was
held, when the Prophet called these same brethren and William W.
Phelps, Abraham C. Hodge, John L. Butler, Alpheus Cutler and William
Marks, to his office in his upper room. The governor's letter was
read and the Prophet said, "There is no mercy--no mercy here." Hyrum
said, "No; just as sure as we fall into their hands we are dead men."
Joseph replied, "Yes: what shall we do, Brother Hyrum?" Hyrum replied,
"I don't know." All at once the Prophet's countenance brightened up
and he said, "The way is open. It is clear to my mind what to do. All
they want is Hyrum and myself; then tell everybody to go about their
business, and not to collect in groups, but to scatter about. There is
no doubt they will come here and search for us. Let them search; they
will not harm you in person or property, and not even a hair of your
head. We will cross the river tonight, and go away to the West." On
this date Joseph wrote: "I told Stephen Markham that if Hyrum and I
were ever taken again we should be massacred, or I was not a prophet of
God. I want Hyrum to live to avenge my blood, but he is determined not
to leave me."

Between nine and ten o'clock Hyrum Smith came out of the Mansion House
and gave his hand to Reynolds Cahoon, saying, "A company of men are
seeking to kill my brother Joseph, and the Lord has warned him to flee
to the Rocky Mountains to save his life. Good-bye, Brother Cahoon,
we shall see you again." A few minutes later, as Joseph, Hyrum and
Willard Richards were waiting on the river bank, William W. Phelps
was instructed to take the families of the Prophet and Patriarch to
Cincinnati. About midnight the three brethren were rowed across the
river by Orrin P. Rockwell, who returned with instructions to obtain
horses and pass them over the river the next night secretly, and be
ready to start for the Great Basin in the Rocky Mountains.

The Governor's Threat

At ten o'clock on the morning of the 23rd the governor's posse arrived
in Nauvoo to arrest the Prophet, but not finding him they returned,
leaving one of their number to watch for him. This posse said that if
Joseph and Hyrum Smith were not given up the governor was determined to
send his troops into the city and guard it until they were found, if it
took three years.

Joseph Smith Accused of Cowardice

At one p.m. Emma Smith sent Orrin P. Rockwell to entreat the Prophet to
come back. Reynolds Cahoon accompanied him with a letter to the same
effect. Reynolds Cahoon, Lorenzo D. Wasson and Hiram Kimball accused
Joseph of cowardice for wishing to leave the people, saying that their
property would be destroyed, and they would be left without house or
home. Like the fable, when the wolves came the shepherd ran from the

The Return to Nauvoo

The persecutions of enemies were easy to bear, but when he was thus
accused by those who should have been his dearest friends, the Prophet
was stung to the quick. It was not for himself he sought safety, but
for his people. If this was all they cared, he would not seek to
save himself. He replied: "If my life is of no value to my friends,
it is of none to myself." Turning to Rockwell he said, "What shall I
do?" Rockwell answered: "You are the oldest and ought to know best;
and as you make your bed, I will lie with you." Joseph then turned
to Hyrum and said: "Brother Hyrum, you are the oldest, what shall we
do?" Hyrum said, "Let us go back and give ourselves up, and see the
thing out." The Prophet remained in deep reflection for some time, and
then remarked: "If you go back I will go with you, but we shall be
butchered." Hyrum said, "No, no; let us go back and put our trust in
God, and we shall not be harmed. The Lord is in it. If we live or have
to die, we will be reconciled to our fate."

They then returned, and the first thing the Prophet did was to notify
Governor Ford, by the hands of Theodore Turley and Jedediah M. Grant,
that he would be ready to go to Carthage on the morrow. The governor
promised to send a posse to protect him on the way, but through the
influence of the Nauvoo conspirators, he changed his mind and ordered
the Prophet and Patriarch to come to Carthage without escort.

The Start for Carthage

Early on the morning of the 24th of June, Joseph and Hyrum with the
accused members of the city council and a few tried friends, left
Nauvoo for Carthage. On the way the Prophet hesitated, and looked back
with admiration upon the city, the temple, and his farm. "This is the
loveliest place, and the best people under the heavens," he said;
"little do they know the trials that await them!" They passed the home
of Esq. Daniel H. Wells, who was unwell. The Prophet stopped and called
on him, and as he parted, he said: "Squire Wells, I wish you to cherish
my memory, and not think me the worst man in the world either."

The Governor's Demand for Arms

About four miles from Carthage, they met Captain Dunn with a company of
about sixty mounted militia, who presented the Prophet with an order
from the governor for delivery of all the state arms in possession
of the Nauvoo Legion, which Joseph promptly countersigned. It was
not enough for the governor to demand the presence of the Prophet
and Patriarch at Carthage to be murdered, but the people in Nauvoo
were to be left defenseless against their enemies. This order for the
delivery of the state arms was evidently intended to exasperate the
Saints to commit some overt act, which might be construed as treason.
Fearing that the inhabitants of Nauvoo would show resistance, Captain
Dunn requested that the whole company return with him to Nauvoo, and
pledged to protect them even with his life. A messenger was sent
to the governor explaining the reason for the return to Nauvoo.
Notwithstanding the many threats, which the governor constantly had
heard against the lives of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, no action was taken
to disarm the mob, who were mustered into the governor's service. It
appeared very much like a repetition of the Missouri scenes, in making
the Saints defenseless while in a peaceful attitude, and arming their
murderous enemies with state arms.

A Lamb to the Slaughter

When the company met Captain Dunn, the Prophet said:

    "I am going like a lamb to the slaughter, but I am as calm as a
    summer's morning. I have a conscience void of offense toward God
    and toward all men. If they take my life I shall die an innocent
    man, and my blood shall cry from the ground for vengeance, and it
    shall be said of me, 'He was murdered in cold blood!'"

When the work of Captain Dunn was accomplished, he thanked the people
for their peaceful compliance and promised them protection. Late that
afternoon the journey to Carthage was commenced again. It was midnight
when the company arrived at that town, and while passing the public
square many of the troops of the Carthage Greys made murderous threats.
"Stand away, you McDonough boys," they yelled, "and let us shoot the
damned 'Mormons'" "---- you, old Joe, we've got you now. Clear the
way and let us have a view of Joe Smith, the prophet of God. He has
seen the last of Nauvoo. We'll use him up now, and kill all the damned

Governor Ford's Promise to the Mob-Militia

On hearing these threats Governor Ford put his head out of a window
and said, "I know your great anxiety to see Mr. Smith, which is
natural enough, but it is quite too late tonight for you to have the
opportunity; but I assure you, gentlemen, you shall have that privilege
tomorrow morning, as I will cause him to pass before the troops upon
the square, and I now wish you, with this assurance, quietly and
peaceably to return to your quarters." With a faint "Hurrah for Tom
Ford," they complied with his wish.

The Charge of Treason

Early on the morning of the 25th the prisoners voluntarily surrendered
themselves to Constable Bettisworth. Shortly afterwards Joseph and
Hyrum were again arrested by Bettisworth on the charge of "treason"
against the state of Illinois, on complaint of Augustine Spencer and
Henry O. Norton.

The Governor's Inflammatory Speech

Shortly after eight o'clock Governor Ford called all the troops
together and formed them in a hollow square. He then addressed them in
a most inflammatory manner against the Prophet Joseph and the Patriarch
Hyrum Smith. They needed little encouragement, as he well knew, for
they even then were inflamed to a murderous degree. At the close of his
speech he fulfilled his promise to the troops as they were drawn up
in file, by taking Joseph and Hyrum Smith before them, and introduced
them as Generals Joseph and Hyrum Smith. The Carthage Greys refused to
receive them by such title, and made threats against their lives, to
which the governor paid little heed.

His Lack of Sincerity

When Joseph Smith reported to Governor Ford that he had been before
Daniel H. Wells, a justice of the peace, and had been tried, the
governor replied that no other justice would do to try the case but
the one who had issued the writ, therefore they must be tried before
Justice Morrison. His lack of sincerity is shown in the fact that they
were now taken before Justice Robert F. Smith, captain of the Carthage
Greys and a most bitter mobocrat. The governor's object was to drag
them to Carthage to their enemies, and there was no thought of justice
or right in making his demand. The accused brethren were bound over
to appear at the next term of the circuit court. It was evident that
the magistrate intended to place their bail at a figure which could
not be met, in order to cast them into jail, but the bond was given,
and Justice Smith left the court house without calling on the two
prisoners, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, to answer to the charge of treason.

False Imprisonment

About eight p.m. Constable Bettisworth appeared at their lodgings at
the Hamilton House and insisted on Joseph and Hyrum going to jail. They
demanded to see the copy of the mittimus, which was refused. Their
counsel, Messrs. H. T. Reid and J. W. Woods, informed the constable
that they were entitled to a hearing before a justice, whereupon the
constable produced a mittimus which falsely stated that they had been
brought before Justice Robert F. Smith and the trial had been postponed
by reason of the absence of material witnesses. They vigorously
protested against such false and outrageous proceedings. Justice Smith
asked the governor for advice, since his mittimus was illegal, and
therefore this was a false committal, when Governor Ford replied, "You
have the Carthage Greys at your command!" The hint was sufficient, and
_Captain_ Robert F. Smith thereupon commanded his "Greys" to execute
the illegal action of _Justice_ Robert F. Smith, and the Prophet Joseph
and Patriarch Hyrum Smith were thrust into jail in defiance of all law.
Elder John Taylor protested to the governor, but was answered by that
craven individual that he had no power to interfere, and the law must
take its course.

The Governor's Broken Pledge

On the morning of June 26, Joseph requested an interview with Governor
Ford, which had been denied him the day before. This time it was
granted and the whole cause of the trouble was reviewed. Governor Ford
contemplated going to Nauvoo the following day to investigate certain
charges of counterfeiting, and the Prophet said he considered himself
unsafe in Carthage and requested to be taken to Nauvoo. The governor
gave his word of honor that he would take him when he went, but failed
to keep his promise.

The Illegal Summons

In the afternoon, Frank Worrell appeared before the jail with the
Carthage Greys and demanded that the prisoners be delivered up to the
constable to be taken before Justice R. F. Smith for trial. The jailer,
who had been instructed to keep them in custody "until discharged by
due course of law," protested such proceedings; but by threats Worrell
compelled the jailer to surrender the prisoners. They were taken before
Justice Smith, where their counsel, who had been given no notice of
a trial, asked for a continuance that they might obtain witnesses. A
continuance was granted until noon the following day. A new mittimus
was made out and the prisoners committed again to prison, and without
consultation on their part the time of trial was changed until the

Threats of the Mob

It was common conversation on the camp ground and at the hotel, in the
presence of Governor Ford, that "The law is too short for these men,
but they must not be suffered to go at large;" and "if the law will not
reach them, powder and ball must." Previously the governor had said, in
order to quiet the impatience of the Carthage Greys, that they should
have "full satisfaction."

The Night in Jail

The evening of the 26th of June was spent by the prisoners and a number
of friends, viz., John Taylor, Willard Richards, John S. Fullmer,
Stephen Markham and Dan Jones, in conversing on the scriptures, Hyrum
Smith occupying most of the time. They all retired to bed late, except
Dr. Willard Richards who sat up writing until his last candle burned
out. The Prophet and Patriarch occupied the bed, while the other
brethren slept on a mattress on the floor. The report of a gun caused
Joseph to arise from the bed, and going over to the mattress, he lay
down on the floor between Dan Jones and John S. Fullmer. Stretching
out his right arm he said to John S. Fullmer, "Lay your head on my arm
for a pillow, Brother John." He then conversed with Brother Fullmer on
many topics and gave expression to the presentiment he had from the
beginning that he was to die. "I would like to see my family again," he
said, and "I would to God that I could preach to the Saints in Nauvoo
once more." After air was quiet he turned to Dan Jones and whispered,
"Are you afraid to die?" Dan said, "Has that time come, think you?
Engaged in such a cause I do not think that death would have many
terrors." The Prophet replied, "You will yet see Wales and fulfil the
mission appointed you before you die."

The Plotting by the Mob

Early on the morning of the 27th, John P. Greene and William W. Phelps
called at the jail, and the Prophet sent Dan Jones out to inquire
what the firing of a gun in the night near the jail was for. Frank
Worrell, of the Carthage Greys, and officer of the guard, replied,
"We have had too much trouble to bring Old Joe here to let him ever
escape alive, and unless you want to die with him you had better leave
before sundown; and you are not a damned bit better than him for taking
his part. And you'll see that I can prophesy better than Old Joe, for
neither he nor his brother, nor anyone who will remain with them will
see the sun set today." Dan Jones reported to the Prophet who directed
him to go to the governor and tell him what had taken place. On his way
he overheard an officer making a speech, in which he said, "Our troops
will be discharged this morning in obedience to orders, and for a sham
we will leave the town; but when the governor and the McDonough troops
have left for Nauvoo this afternoon, we will return and kill these men,
if we have to tear the jail down." This was greeted by three cheers
from the troops.

The Governor Warned

Jones immediately reported to the governor what he had heard. Governor
Ford replied: "You are unnecessarily alarmed for the safety of your
friends, sir, the people are not that cruel." Irritated by this remark,
Jones urged the necessity of placing better men to guard the jail, and
he said: "The Messrs. Smith are American citizens, and have surrendered
themselves to your Excellency upon your pledging your honor for their
safety; they are also Master Masons, and as such I demand of you
protection of their lives."

Governor Ford's face turned pale, and Jones continued: "If you do not
do this, I have but one more desire, and that is, if you leave their
lives in the hands of those men to be sacrificed--"

"What is that, sir?" Ford asked in a hurried tone.

"It is," said Jones, "that the Almighty will preserve my life to a
proper time and place, that I may testify that you have been timely
warned of their danger."

Jones then returned to the prison, but the guards drove him away. Going
to the hotel he witnessed the discharge of the troops, as the officer
had predicted, and shortly afterwards Governor Ford with the McDonough
militia, the most friendly to the Saints, departed for Nauvoo, leaving
the Carthage Greys, the most blood-thirsty of the troops, to guard the
jail. The plot was working admirably without a hitch in the proceedings.

"A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief"

John S. Fullmer and Stephen Markham, who had gone forth on errands,
were also refused admittance again to the jail, while John Taylor and
Willard Richards remained with their leaders. The day passed on, the
prisoners and their two friends spent the time in bearing testimony to
the truth of the Gospel, the divinity of the Book of Mormon, and in
writing to their friends. Almon W. Babbitt called at the jail in the
forenoon with a letter from Oliver Cowdery. Shortly after three o'clock
there was excitement among the guards.

At this hour Elder John Taylor sang the hymn "A Poor Wayfaring Man of
Grief." When he had finished, the Prophet asked him to sing it through
once more, which he did. At four o'clock the guard was changed. At five
o'clock the jailer, Mr. Stigall, suggested that the prisoners retire to
the cell below, where they would be safer.

The Martyrdom

Shortly after five o'clock there was a rustling at the outer door
of the jail and a cry of surrender, and the discharge of three or
four firearms. Dr. Richards glanced out of the window and saw about
one hundred armed men around the door. Many of them had their faces
blackened. It is said the guard elevated their guns and boisterously
threatened the mob, but took good care to fire over their heads. The
mob encircled the building and some of them rushed past the guard
up the flight of stairs, burst open the door and began their work
of death, while others fired through the windows. Joseph, Hyrum and
Elder Taylor had their coats off. The Prophet sprang for his coat to
get a six barreled pistol which Cyrus Wheelock had given him, and
Hyrum reached for a single barrel pistol that had been left by John
S. Fullmer. They all then braced themselves against the door, Elder
Taylor armed with a heavy walking stick of Elder Markham's and Dr.
Richards with Elder Taylor's cane. In an instant a ball whistled up the
stairway, and Joseph Smith, John Taylor and Willard Richards sprang
to the left of the door, and tried to knock aside the guns of the
ruffians. Hyrum Smith retreated back and in front of the door, snapping
his pistol, when a ball struck him on the left side of the nose. He
fell on his back saying: "I am a dead man!" As he fell on the floor
another ball from the outside entered his left side, and passed through
his body with such force that it completely broke to pieces the watch
he wore in his vest pocket. At the same instant another ball grazed his
breast, entered his throat, and passed into his head, while another
was fired into his leg. A shower of bullets was pouring into the room.
Joseph reached around the door casing and discharged his six shooter
into the passage, some barrels missing fire, while Elders Taylor and
Richards continued to parry the muskets which were sticking through
the door. When Hyrum fell, the Prophet said: "Oh, dear brother Hyrum!"
Seeing there was no safety in the room, and without doubt thinking to
spare his other companions, he turned calmly from the door, dropped his
pistol on the floor, and sprang into the window. Two balls pierced him
from the door, and one entered his right breast from without. He fell
outward into the hands of his murderers, exclaiming: "O Lord, my God!"
With a cry that he had jumped from the window, the assassins who were
in the building rushed down the stairs. Elder Taylor was also severely
wounded; four balls piercing his body, one ball struck his watch as he
attempted to jump from the window, throwing him back into the room.

When the ruffians left the building, Elder Richards who had
miraculously escaped, except that a ball grazed his ear, started for
the door. Elder Taylor called to him; he returned and carried the
wounded man upstairs into the "dungeon" and stretched him on the floor.
Covering him with a bed, he said: "This is a hard case to lay you on
the floor, but if your wounds are not fatal, I want you to live to tell
the story." He then returned to the room below, expecting the next
moment to be shot.

Terror of the Mob

After accomplishing their deed of blood, terror seized the hearts of
the assassins who fled from the scene of their diabolical crime in
utmost confusion. Governor Ford, three miles out of Nauvoo, on his way
to Carthage, met George D. Grant and Constable Bettisworth hastening to
Nauvoo with the news of the martyrdom. With terror on his countenance,
he carried them back to Carthage, that they might not spread the awful
tale, until he should be at a distance beyond the vengeance which he
feared. Arriving at Carthage, he advised the citizens to flee for
their lives before the infuriated "Mormons" came to burn their town,
and suiting action to his words he fled with his posse towards Quincy.
Conscience-stricken and with the blood of prophets on his hands, he did
not stop until he arrived at Augusta, eighteen miles away.

Sorrow of the Saints

In the meantime word of the horrible tragedy was sent by Dr. Willard
Richards to Nauvoo. He said he had pledged his word to the frightened
citizens of Carthage, that no violence or vengeance would be attempted
by the Saints, and for the Saints to keep the peace and be prepared
for an attack from Missouri. Indeed, there was no thought of summary
vengeance by the Saints. With heads bowed down and hearts filled with
grief--for the greatest sorrow in all their history had come upon
them--they silently wept and prayed, leaving vengeance to Him who said,
"Vengeance is mine; I will repay!"

The Burial

The next day, June 28, 1844, the bodies of the martyred prophets were
taken to Nauvoo by Dr. Willard Richards, Samuel H. Smith and a guard of
eight soldiers sent by General Deming. On the 29th, they were interred
amidst the deep mourning of a stricken people.

Chapter 36

The Succession of the Twelve Apostles--Preparation to Leave Nauvoo


A Crisis in the Church

The martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith came as a terrible shock to
the members of the Church. The thought that the Prophet was to be
taken from them had not entered their minds, notwithstanding the many
predictions he had made regarding his approaching death. He was only in
his thirty-ninth year. His constitution was strong and he was possessed
of exceptional vitality. The Lord had saved him so many times from
perils and threatened death, that the Saints fully expected the same
power to shield him always.

His death brought about a crisis in the Church, for it was the first
disorganization of the presiding quorum of the Priesthood. Very little
thought had been given to the subject of succession in the Presidency,
even by the leading brethren, for such a contingency seemed to them
to be very remote. The revelations were clear on that point, but
there had been no occasion for consideration of the subject. In the
revelation on Priesthood, given to the apostles in 1835 (Doc. and Cov.
Sec. 107), the Lord said that the council of the apostles was equal
in authority with the First Presidency, and Joseph Smith stated that
its place was second only to the presidency of the Church, and where
there was no First Presidency, the apostles would preside. When the
Saints were left without the guiding hand of the Prophet, they were
in confusion, not fully understanding this order of the Priesthood.
Sidney Rigdon, first counselor to President Joseph Smith, had lost
the spirit of the work. Contrary to the direct command of the Lord in
a revelation (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 124:108-9) he moved his residence
to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he was of little assistance as
a counselor in the presidency. For many months before his death,
Joseph Smith had suspected Sidney Rigdon of being in league with his
enemies. The Prophet openly accused Sidney of being guilty of such
treacherous action, from which accusation he was not entirely cleared.
He had manifested much sympathy for John C. Bennett, the arch-traitor,
although he denied any direct communication with him. At the October
conference, 1843, the Prophet refused to sustain Sidney Rigdon as
a counselor, but through the merciful pleadings of Hyrum Smith and
others, he was sustained. On that occasion the Prophet said: "I have
thrown him off my shoulders, and you have put him on me; you may
carry him, but I will not." Amasa M. Lyman had been chosen to act as
a counselor in his stead. William Law, Joseph's second counselor, had
been excommunicated for apostasy, and was one of those who brought to
pass the martyrdom.

Sidney Rigdon's Attempt to be "Guardian to the Church"

Most of the apostles were in the Eastern States on missions at the time
of the martyrdom. Only two were at Nauvoo, and one of them seriously
wounded. As soon as Sidney Rigdon heard of the death of Joseph and
Hyrum Smith, he hastened to Nauvoo, where he arrived Saturday, August
3, 1844. Elders Parley P. Pratt and George A. Smith had arrived a few
days before. The apostles invited Sidney Rigdon to meet with them the
following morning, at eight o'clock at the home of John Taylor, where
they might discuss the affairs of the Church, which Sidney Rigdon
promised to do. Instead of doing so he met with William Marks and
a few others, and endeavored to lay plans for the appointment of a
trustee-in-trust and a "guardian" for the Church, before others of the
apostles could arrive. At ten o'clock a public meeting was held and
Sidney Rigdon preached declaring that a "guardian" must be appointed,
"to build up the Church unto Joseph," and stating that he, Sidney, was
the identical man spoken of by the ancient prophets to do the work they
had spoken of in prophecy. Another meeting was held in the afternoon,
at which Elder William Marks, president of the Nauvoo Stake, announced
that there would be a special meeting of the Church on Thursday,
August 8th, "for the purpose of choosing a guardian." Sidney Rigdon
had requested that the meeting be held on the 6th, but William Marks
announced it for the 8th, which was providential, for President Brigham
Young and most of the other apostles arrived in Nauvoo on the evening
of the 6th. The next morning the apostles held a council meeting at
the home of Elder Taylor. At four o'clock the apostles met with the
high council of Nauvoo and the high priests. Sidney Rigdon was invited
to express his views. He spoke at some length, relating a vision he
claimed to have had, and stating that there could be no successor to
Joseph Smith, but that the Church must be built up to him. He, Sidney,
had been called to be a spokesman to Joseph Smith, and he proposed to
be a guardian to the Church, if the people would receive him.

President Young's Remarks

President Brigham Young said he did not care who presided over the
Church, but one thing he would have to know and that was what the Lord
said about it. "Joseph conferred upon our heads," he said, "all the
keys and powers belonging to the apostleship which he himself held
before he was taken away, and no man or set of men can get between
Joseph and the twelve in this world or in the world to come. How often
has Joseph said to the twelve: 'I have laid the foundation and you must
build thereon, for upon your shoulders the kingdom rests.'"

The Special Meeting of Thursday, the 8th of August

Thursday, August 8, 1844, the special meeting called by William Marks
in behalf of Sidney Rigdon was held at 10 o'clock. Sidney Rigdon, from
a position in a wagon in front of the stand in the grove, addressed
the vast assembly for about one hour and a half. He presented himself
to them as a "guardian" for the Church, that it might be built up unto
Joseph Smith. The longer he talked, the more the people were convinced
that he was without the inspiration of the Lord, and they left the
meeting feeling that his was not the voice of the true shepherd.

Transfiguration of Brigham Young

At the close of the morning meeting, President Brigham Young, made a
few remarks and announced that there would be another meeting at 2
o'clock. At the appointed time a great multitude of Saints assembled.
The various quorums of the Priesthood were arranged in order before
the stand, and after the opening exercises President Brigham Young
addressed the congregation. He spoke with great power and the people
were convinced that the authority and power of presidency was with
the apostles. When he first arose to speak the people were greatly
astonished, for President Young stood transfigured before them and they
beheld the Prophet Joseph Smith and heard his voice as naturally as
ever they did when he was living. It was a manifestation to the Saints
that they might recognize the correct authority. Following his remarks
in the afternoon, Amasa M. Lyman, William W. Phelps and Parley P. Pratt
each spoke endorsing the remarks of President Young.

The Apostles are Sustained

After the other brethren had spoken President Young arose and was about
to put the question to the assembly whether or not they wanted Sidney
Rigdon for a leader and to be a "guardian" for the Church, but at the
request of Elder Rigdon the question of supporting the apostles as the
presiding quorum of the Church was presented first by President Young
as follows:

    "I will ask you as quorums: Do you want Brother Rigdon to stand
    forward as your leader, your guide, your spokesman? President
    Rigdon wants me to bring up the other question first, and that is:
    Does the Church want, and is it their only desire to sustain the
    twelve as the First Presidency of this people?

    "Here are the apostles, the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine
    and Covenants--they are written on the tablet of my heart. If the
    Church want the twelve to stand as the head, the First Presidency
    of the Church, and at the head of this kingdom in all the world,
    stand next to Joseph, walk up into their calling, and hold the keys
    of this kingdom, every man, every woman, every quorum is now put in
    order, and you are now the sole controllers of it.

    "All that are in favor of this, in all the congregation of the
    Saints manifest it by holding up the right hand."

There was a universal vote, after which President Young called for the
negative as follows:

    "If there are any of the contrary mind, every man and every woman
    who does not want the twelve to preside, lift up your hands in like

There were no hands raised, and President Young then remarked that
since the vote was unanimous it superseded the other question of
presenting Sidney Rigdon as "guardian" and also trying the vote by
quorums. In this manner the apostles, who were the rightful authorities
according to the revelations of the Lord, were sustained by the vote
of the people and by common consent, as the Lord had commanded that
all things should be done. The matter of succession was properly and
rightfully decided, and was now binding on the members of the Church.
At the close of the services the Saints returned to their homes, their
minds at rest, for they were, with very few exceptions, no longer in
doubt regarding the authority of the Priesthood and the presidency of
the Church.

Excommunication of Sidney Rigdon

Manifesting a bitter spirit and great disappointment, Sidney Rigdon
returned to Pittsburgh. However, before he left Nauvoo he gave
expression to his feelings declaring that the Church had not been led
by the Spirit of the Lord for a long time, and he refused to sustain
the apostles in their calling. A charge was made against him and his
case was presented before the high council, with Bishop Newel K.
Whitney presiding. After a lengthy hearing he was cut off the Church
by the unanimous vote of the council. His case was then presented to
the congregation of the Saints, and they sustained the action of the
high council, only ten persons voting in the negative. After his return
to Pittsburgh, he organized a church with officers after the order of
the Church of Jesus Christ. He published a paper and prophesied that
all who followed the apostles would go with them to destruction. He
gathered around him a few of the disaffected spirits from Nauvoo, but
his organization did not prosper and soon came to an end.

Action Against William Marks

At the October conference, 1844, the apostles were again sustained as
the presiding quorum of the Church by a united vote of the members.
When the name of William Marks, president of the Nauvoo Stake, was
presented, objection was raised and he was rejected, only two persons
voting to sustain him. He had favored the claim of Sidney Rigdon,
although he supported the apostles, but his spirit was no longer in
the work and he was found in rebellion. He later left the Church and
followed James J. Strang[1] and others, and was excommunicated.

Trial of the Murderers of Joseph and Hyrum Smith

In October, 1844, a grand jury selected by the Hancock County circuit
court, brought into court two bills of indictment against nine
individuals for the murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. The trial took
place in May, 1845, but proved to be nothing but a farce. The sentiment
throughout the country was so bitter against the Saints that no attempt
was made to obtain justice, which the governor had faithfully promised
them. The jurors were instructed by the court to bring in a verdict of
"not guilty," which was accordingly done. Yet every man in the place,
including the court and jury, knew that the defendants were among those
who committed the murder. The blood of the martyrs was left unavenged
to cry from the ground against their enemies, and with the blood of all
the martyrs, shall continue to cry until the Son of Man shall come "red
in his apparel" to take vengeance upon the ungodly.

Growth of the Work

After the question of the presiding quorum was decided, the Saints
settled down to their usual duties, and the progress of the Church
continued with greater strides than ever before. At the October
conference in 1844, a great deal of important business was transacted.
At that time and subsequently many brethren were ordained to the
ministry, a number of quorums of seventy were organized, and
missionaries were called to go to various parts of the United States
and abroad with the message of salvation. The building of the temple
was continued with renewed diligence, and prosperity was manifest in
the settlements of the Saints. On the 6th of December 1844, the last of
the thirty capitals on the temple was erected, and the following April,
the capstone was laid amidst solemn and enthusiastic services. Each
room was dedicated separately as it was finished, and ordinance work
for the Saints, as well as baptisms for the dead, were performed.

Mob Activities Renewed

The enemies of the Latter-day Saints thought that the murder of Joseph
and Hyrum Smith would be the end of "Mormonism." They rejoiced in
the accomplishment of their frightful deed of blood, and boasted of
the downfall of the Church. To their great surprise the blood of the
martyrs was the seed of the Church. The object they hoped to gain was
not attained; therefore their anger was rekindled against the Church.
Other leaders had arisen and the progress of the work was steady and
onward. Those who had caused the death of the Prophet and the Patriarch
now turned their attention to the destruction of the entire "Mormon"
people. Through their papers, the Warsaw _Signal_, Alton _Telegraph_,
Quincy _Whig_ and others, they circulated all manner of false reports.
They accused the Saints of theft and every other abominable crime in
order to stir up the populace against them. Schemes were launched
to provoke the "Mormons" to commit some overt act, that it might be
seized upon as a pretext to gain the aid of the officials of the state
under color of law; yet by the anti-"Mormons" the laws were constantly
broken without restraint. Their malicious and murderous threats passed
unnoticed so far as any check upon such actions was concerned.

Attitude of Governor Ford

During all the trouble Governor Thomas Ford went out of his way to
inform the Saints that they were bitterly hated, and that the great
majority of the citizens of the state rejoiced in the death of
Joseph and Hyrum Smith. Notwithstanding his bitterness, he made an
investigation of the charges circulated against the Saints and reported

    "On my late visit to Hancock County I was informed by some of their
    (the 'Mormons') violent enemies, that their larcenies had become
    unusually numerous and insufferable. They indeed admitted that but
    little had been done in this way in their immediate vicinity. But
    they insisted that sixteen horses had been stolen by the Mormons in
    one night, near Lima, in the County of Adams. At the close of the
    expedition, I called at this same town of Lima, and upon inquiry,
    was told that no horses had been stolen in that neighborhood, but
    that sixteen horses had been stolen in one night in Hancock County.
    This last informant being told of the Hancock County story, again
    changed the venue to another distant settlement in the northern
    edge of Adams County."

In his message to the legislature he said in reference to this subject:

    "Justice, however, requires me to say, that I have investigated
    the charge of promiscuous stealing, and find it to be greatly
    exaggerated. I could not ascertain that there were a greater
    proportion of thieves in that community, than in any other of the
    same number of inhabitants; and perhaps if the city of Nauvoo were
    compared with St. Louis, or any other western city, the proportion
    would not be so great."

The leaven of opposition, however, was at work, and the citizens
were aroused. Nothing but the departure of the "Mormon" people from
the state would satisfy their unjust and iniquitous demands. They
appealed to the governor to aid them in expelling the people who had
done nothing to provoke opposition, but who were unpopular because
of their faith. While the governor informed them he could take no
legal action warranting such expulsion, yet he privately advised the
Saints to depart peaceably towards the West, as the Prophet Joseph
Smith had contemplated doing, and there, said he, they could set up
an independent government of their own. So lacking was he in the
disposition to enforce the law and protect the innocent, that the
enemies of the Church were encouraged in their unlawful course.

Repeal of the Nauvoo Charter

The city charter of Nauvoo had proved a protection to the Saints, and
guaranteed safety against the plottings of the wicked. It was the aim
of the Nauvoo conspirators to cause its repeal. The first attempt to
do this, as we have learned, failed. Now, however, the opposition had
become so strong that the enemies of the Latter-day Saints accomplished
their purpose. The charter was repealed by the legislature in January,
1845. Some of the murderers of Joseph and Hyrum Smith sat in that body
and violently denounced the "Mormons," although it was well known that
their hands were stained with innocent blood. After the repeal of the
charter, and without hope of protection from the officers of the state,
the Saints were at the mercy of their enemies. The prediction of the
Prophet Joseph that after they had shed his blood they would seek the
lives of every soul in whom was found the testimony of the Gospel, was
literally fulfilled. The plots of the wicked were now turned against
President Brigham Young and the leading brethren, who were forced to go
into hiding from time to time.

Attacks Upon the Saints

In September, 1845, the scattered families of Saints were sorely
persecuted. Many were driven from their homes, which were burned.
Sheriff J. B. Backenstos endeavored to perform his duty, and took a
determined stand against mob law. For his pains he was arrested on the
charge of murder, as a mobber had been killed, but violence against the
"Mormons" was permitted to go unchecked. Governor Ford had promised
and pledged his word, that the murderers of the Prophet and Patriarch
should be brought to justice. When he appealed to the citizens of
Warsaw to sustain him in this pledge, they positively informed him that
they would do nothing of the kind. Similar answers were given by other
citizens, who not only took a stand in opposition to the trial of the
murderers, but brazenly appealed to the governor to give his aid in
expelling the "Mormons" from the state. That weak and pusillanimous
individual, by his subsequent actions, acknowledged his defeat and the
abdication of government in Illinois.

The Quincy Mass Meeting

September 22, 1845, a mass meeting was held in Quincy to take action
against the Saints. Their removal from Illinois was advocated. Those
who assembled fully understood that the Prophet Joseph Smith had
contemplated a removal to the West, and that plans were on foot early
in 1844 to send an exploring expedition out to locate a site for a new
home in the Rocky Mountains. A committee was appointed by this mass
meeting to wait upon the authorities of the Church and ascertain their
intentions regarding a removal from the state of Illinois, and to
impress upon the brethren that such a move was determined upon by the
citizens. Following the meeting the Quincy _Whig_ made this statement
in this boasted land of liberty:

    "It is a settled thing that the public sentiment of the State is
    against the 'Mormons,' and it will be in vain for them to contend
    against it; and to prevent bloodshed, and the sacrifice of many
    lives on both sides, it is their duty to obey the public will and
    leave the State as speedily as possible. That they will do this
    we have a confident hope and that too, before the next extreme is
    resorted to--that of force."

The Reply of the Saints

The committee appointed waited upon President Brigham Young and the
apostles, and acquainted them with the action of the mass meeting
and desired a reply. On the 24th, the reply was given in a written
communication. The persecutions of the Saints were mentioned and the
statement made that the "Mormons" had endeavored to live in peace
and desired to do so with all men. In relation to their removal they
answered as follows:

    "We would say to the committee above mentioned and to the
    Governor, and all the authorities, and people of Illinois, and the
    surrounding states and territories, that we propose to leave this
    country next spring, for some point so remote that there will not
    need to be any difficulty with the people and ourselves, provided
    certain propositions necessary for the accomplishment of our
    removal shall be observed, as follows, to wit:

    "That the citizens of this and surrounding counties, and all men,
    will use their influence and exertion to help us to sell or rent
    our properties, so as to get means enough that we can help the
    widow, the fatherless and the destitute to remove with us.

    "That all men will let us alone with their vexatious lawsuits so
    that we may have time, for we have broken no law; and help us to
    cash, dry goods, groceries, good oxen, beef-cattle, sheep, wagons,
    mules, horses, harness, etc. in exchange for our property, at a
    fair price, and deeds given at payment, that we may have means to
    accomplish a removal without the suffering of the destitute to an
    extent beyond the endurance of human nature.

    "That all exchanges of property shall be conducted by a committee,
    or by committees of both parties; so that all the business may be
    transacted honorably and speedily.

    "That we will use all lawful means, in connection with others,
    to preserve the public peace while we tarry; and shall expect,
    decidedly, that we be no more molested with house-burning, or any
    other depredations, to waste our property and time, and hinder our

    "That it is a mistaken idea, that we have proposed to remove in six
    months, for that would be so early in the spring that grass might
    not grow nor water run; both of which would be necessary for our
    removal. But we propose to use our influence to have no more seed
    time and harvest among our people in this country after gathering
    our present crops; and that all communications to us be made in

    "By order of the Council,"

    "Brigham Young,""President."

    "W. Richards.""Clerk."

Decision of the Quincy Citizens

The Quincy citizens accepted the proposition of the Church authorities
to move, but very graciously declined to make any promise to buy or to
assist in the purchase of the abandoned property of the Saints. Why
should they put themselves out to do such a thing, when the property
would naturally fall into their hands when it was abandoned?[2]

The Carthage Convention

On the 1st and 2nd of October another convention of citizens from
nine counties adjacent to Hancock, was held at Carthage. Resolutions
were adopted in which the "Mormons" were accused of depredations upon
the persons and property of the other citizens of Hancock County,
and adjudged guilty, in spite of the personal investigation of the
governor, himself unfriendly to the Latter-day Saints. Much bitterness
of spirit was manifested at this meeting, which decided that it was too
late to settle any difficulties between the "Mormons" and the other
inhabitants, and only one thing would suffice and that was the removal
of the "Mormons" from the state. They declared that the "Mormons" were
not being persecuted, but were suffering for their dishonest acts;
at the same time they declared that from "long acquaintance with the
old citizens of Hancock County," they could vouch for their "honor,
integrity, and strict observance of the laws of their country,"
notwithstanding it was universally known that these same citizens had
taken part in the assassination of Joseph and Hyrum Smith by mob force
and contrary to law; moreover, that these same law-abiding citizens
within the past few weeks had driven "Mormons" from their homes and
burned their houses to the ground; had forced them from their fields
where they had gone to gather crops; had whipped their men and stolen
their cattle without any protest. It appeared that the old citizens,
like the king, could do no wrong, if their depredations were committed
against the Latter-day Saints. A most regrettable feature in connection
with these troubles is the fact that O. H. Browning, Stephen A. Douglas
and others, who had defended the Prophet Joseph Smith, now gave their
influence to the mob and assisted in bringing to pass the expulsion of
the "Mormon" people from Illinois. Bitter feelings against the Saints
increased. Judges were intimidated, and even the officials of the state
dared not raise a voice in protest above a whisper, or invoke the
majesty of the law.

Duplicity of Governor Ford

The anti-"Mormons" of Illinois became impatient for the removal of
their enemies before spring arrived. Their agreements were violated,
and the Saints were not permitted to dwell in peace. Vexatious
lawsuits, based on falsehoods, were planted against the apostles to
embarrass them and hinder the progress of their work. Even Governor
Ford, fearing that the Saints would not leave the state within the
stipulated time, resorted to duplicity to force them from the borders
of Illinois. December 29, 1845, he wrote to Sheriff Backenstos stating
that indictments in the United States Court had been found against
the leading "Mormons" which would bring them for the first time in
collision with the United States. "If the 'Mormons' remain in the
state," he wrote, "a strong force will be ordered to Nauvoo by the
Secretary of War," and he thought the government at Washington would
interfere and prevent the "Mormons" from going west of the Rocky
Mountains, as many intelligent persons believed that they would there
join the British, and "be more trouble than ever." He thought that this
consideration was likely to influence the government. He later sent
word by Sheriff Backenstos that he had turned against the Saints and
Major Warren was making calculations to prevent their going away. In
his _History of Illinois_, Governor Ford admitted that he had resorted
to deceit to make the "Mormons" believe that they would be prevented
from going west, in order to hasten their departure.

President Young's Reply

Commenting on the governor's letter to the sheriff, President Young

    "Should Governor Ford's speculations and suppositions in relation
    to U. S. troops prove correct, and the government send a regular
    force to arrest us, we will run no risks of being murdered by them
    as our leaders have been; and as to fearing a trial before the
    courts, it is all gammon, for our danger consists only in being
    held still by the authorities while mobs massacre us, as Governor
    Ford held Joseph and Hyrum Smith, while they were butchered."

Loyalty to the Government

Answering the charge that when they got away from the borders of the
United States, the Latter-day Saints would join the forces of some
other nation which might be at war with the American Government--a
thought which rightfully might have been entertained after the
treatment the "Mormon" people had received within the borders of that
land--the high council and authorities of the Church replied:

    "We also further declare for the satisfaction of some who have
    concluded that our grievances have alienated us from our country,
    that our patriotism has not been overcome by fire, by sword, by
    daylight nor by midnight assassinations which we have endured;
    neither have they alienated us from the institutions of our country.

    "Should hostilities arise between the Government of the United
    States and any other power, in relation to the right of possessing
    the territory of Oregon, we are on hand to sustain the claim of
    the United States Government to that country. It is geographically
    ours, and of right; no foreign power should hold dominion there;
    and if our services are required to prevent it, these services
    will be cheerfully rendered according to our ability. We feel the
    injuries that we have sustained, and are not insensible of the
    wrongs we have suffered; still we are American."

Preparations to Leave Nauvoo

During the fall and winter months preparations went steadily on for
the removal of the entire body of the Latter-day Saints in the spring.
Work on the temple continued with increased diligence, as if there was
no thought of a removal, until that structure was completed. January
1, 1846, the work of finishing the assembly room for dedication was
nearing completion. The general conference of the Church was held in
the building in October, 1845, according to the commandment of the Lord
through Joseph Smith in October, 1841. In December, the ordinance work
in the temple was commenced, and thereafter the building was occupied
both day and night to afford the Saints the opportunity to receive
their endowments. This continued until most all of the Saints had
departed on their westward journey. May 1, 1846, after the majority
of the people had departed from the city, the temple was publicly
dedicated in the presence of about three hundred persons.

In the meantime every available building in Nauvoo had been converted
into a shop where wagons, harness and other necessary articles could
be manufactured for the journey. The timber for the wagons was cut
and brought to Nauvoo, where it was prepared and boiled in salt and
water or kiln dried. Teams were sent to various parts of the country
to procure iron; and blacksmiths, wheelwrights, carpenters and other
workmen were kept busy night and day. There was very little sale of
property because of the opposition of the citizens of the country, who
used their influence to discourage sales by making threats against the
new settlers as well as harassing the Saints.


1. James J. Strang, a man of some ability and commanding presence,
joined the Church shortly before the martyrdom. After the death of the
Prophet and Patriarch he claimed to have been chosen and appointed by
Joseph Smith as his successor. He exhibited a letter which purported to
have been written by the Prophet, in which such appointment was claimed
to be set forth. He gathered quite a following of the discontented
element at Nauvoo and established himself on Beaver Island, in Lake
Michigan, where later he was crowned "king." He was shot and killed by
one of his followers, and his organization soon afterwards crumbled
to pieces. Out of its fragments some years later there arose another
organization known as the "Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints," unto which there were gathered the majority of
those who had become disaffected and had been excommunicated from the

2. Dr. Conyers, in his _Hancock County Mob_, makes the following
comment on the action of the Quincy citizens:

    "The first one [resolution] in our opinion, is unique. They
    accepted and recommended to the people of the surrounding counties
    to accept an unconditional proposition to remove. But understand,
    Mr. Mormon, though we accept it and recommend the surrounding
    counties to do so likewise, [reprobate you, unconditionally] we do
    not intend to bring ourselves under any obligation to purchase your
    property, or to furnish purchasers; but we will be very kind and
    obliging, and will in no way hinder or obstruct you in your efforts
    to sell, provided, nevertheless this shall not be so construed as
    to prevent us from running off the purchaser. But we expect this
    small favor of you, viz., that you must dispose of your property
    and leave at the appointed time."

Part Five

The Settlement in the Rocky Mountains

Chapter 37

The Exodus from Nauvoo


The Abandonment of Nauvoo

Wednesday, February 4, 1846, the first of the Saints left Nauvoo and
crossed the Mississippi River on the journey to the West.[1] On the 6th
of February Bishop George Miller and a company with six wagons crossed
the river, and a few days later the work of ferrying the Saints to the
Iowa side was kept up day and night. Elder Parley P. Pratt left Nauvoo
on the 14th of February, and the following day President Brigham Young,
Willard Richards and George A. Smith with a large company of Saints
crossed the Mississippi on the ice and continued their journey about
nine miles to Sugar Creek, in Lee County, where a temporary camp was
formed for the exiles fleeing from Nauvoo.[2] President Young spent the
16th in organizing the camp into companies and Elder Heber C. Kimball
with another company arrived on the 17th. On the 18th President Young
and some of the brethren returned to Nauvoo to transact some necessary
business and give instruction to those who were left there in command.
Elder Joseph Young, president of the seventies, had been left at Nauvoo
to preside over the Saints who still remained. The exiles tarried on
Sugar Creek for some time where a number of council meetings were held
and the needs of the people were duly considered.

At the October conference in 1845, the members of the Church, on
suggestion of President Brigham Young, unanimously covenanted as
follows: "That we take all the Saints with us, to the extent of our
ability, that is, our influence and property." After the motion was
carried, President Young remarked: "If you will be faithful to your
covenant, I will prophesy that the Great God will shower down means
upon this people to accomplish it to the very letter." The members of
the Church had been constantly instructed to prepare for the journey
by laying up stores of provisions for many months. It was discovered
that many who had come to Sugar Creek were without supplies to last
them more than a few days, and this caused serious reflection and some
anxiety among the leading brethren. It was winter time and supplies
could not readily be obtained in the wilderness. However, those who
had, shared with those who were destitute, and the Lord blessed them in
their substance.

Conspiracy in Washington

While camped on Sugar Creek a letter was received by President Young
from Samuel Brannan, in which there was presented a proposition from
Amos Kendell, formerly Postmaster-General, A. G. Benson and others, to
use the Church authorities as their tools to secure land in California.
They represented to Brannan that there was a movement on foot to disarm
the Saints and prevent their movement towards the West. However, they
declared, the power was in their hands to avert the calamity, which
they would do on certain terms. Their terms were that when the Saints
arrived in California they would secure the lands and that every
alternate section should be deeded to this combination of conspirators.
They falsely represented that the President, James K. Polk, was a party
to the scheme. For their service these men promised that the Saints
should be permitted to travel to their destination without molestation,
and with the protection of the government. With righteous indignation
President Young and the Apostles refused to make reply.

Petition to the Governor of Iowa

On the 28th of February a petition was addressed to the governor of
Iowa, imploring his protection and influence in behalf of the Saints
while they passed through that territory, or remained temporarily
within its borders, to raise crops and to render assistance to those
who would follow after. No reply to this petition was received and the
Saints continued without aid or interference.

The Journey Resumed

March 1, 1846, camp was broken and the journey was resumed. The weather
was extremely cold and stormy, and a great number of the people were
without proper clothing and necessary shelter. Many of the wagons
were without covers, and others had covers which would not shed the
rain. Several members of the camps died from exposure and lack of
proper care. The roads were almost impassable because of the constant
storms.[3] At this time there were some four hundred wagons on the
road, heavily laden and without sufficient teams to permit of rapid
travel. In this condition the exiles continued their toilsome journey
over the plains of Iowa. By the latter part of April the great body of
the Latter-day Saints had left Nauvoo and were slowly wending their way
seeking a haven in the west.

Organization of the Camps

While encamped near the Chariton River on the east fork of Shoal Creek,
the organization of the camps was reduced to a more systematic order.
They were divided into companies of hundreds, fifties and tens, with
officers appointed to preside over each. The apostles were appointed
to take charge of divisions, and the camps were divided into two grand
divisions. Over one of these President Brigham Young had command.
He was also sustained as "president over all the camps of Israel."
Elder Heber C. Kimball was appointed to the command of the other
grand division. In addition to these officers there were appointed
a contracting commissary and a distributing commissary for each
fifty. The duties of the former were to agree on terms, prices, etc.,
concerning the purchase of provisions and necessities for the camp.
The latter were to distribute among the camps the grain and provisions
furnished for that purpose, judiciously and with singleness of heart.
This organization led to better discipline. The companies were more
susceptible to advice and counsel, and the principle of obedience
was more fully understood. Less selfishness was manifested among the
people, and a better spirit prevailed. Of necessity the regulations
in the camps were strict, yet the freedom and rightful privileges of
the Saints were safely guaranteed. Much of the dross had been left
behind, and the "fair weather friends," as they were called by Col.
Thomas L. Kane, had forsaken the tents of Israel and had sought the
tents of ease. In this manner the camps were purged of those who were
not faithful enough to face the perils and deprivations of the eventful
journey. Although there were difficulties and differences to be settled
from time to time, President Young was led to declare that he doubted
if there had ever been a body of people, since the days of Enoch,
who had done so little grumbling under such unpleasant and trying

Garden Grove

At the beginning of the journey about one hundred men, under command
of Colonel Stephen Markham, were selected as pioneers, to travel in
advance of the companies to build and repair the roads; also to seek
out temporary places for shelter where fields could be cultivated
and homes--humble though they, of necessity, would have to be--might
be provided for the exiles. The advance companies arrived at a place
on the east fork of Grand River, some one hundred and forty-five
miles west of Nauvoo, April 24, 1846. Here a temporary settlement
was selected which they named Garden Grove. Two days later a council
meeting was held and three hundred and fifty-nine laboring men were
reported in the camp. From these one hundred were selected to cut
trees and make rails; ten to build fences; forty-eight to build
houses; twelve to dig wells and ten to build bridges. The remainder
were employed in clearing land and preparing it for cultivation. Every
one was busy, and in a few days a respectable village, magic like,
had risen in the wilderness. A temporary organization was effected
with Samuel Bent as president, and Aaron Johnson and David Fullmer as
counselors. At this point President Young addressed the Saints saying
it would be necessary to leave some of their number here, because they
could not continue the journey, while the main body would push on and
"lengthen the cords and build a few more stakes," and so continue on
until they could all gather at the place appointed, and "build the
house of the Lord in the tops of the mountains."

Proposition to Explore the West

It was the intention of President Young and the apostles to fit out
a strong company of able-bodied men, unencumbered with families, and
send them to the Rocky Mountains, there to build houses and plant
crops, and prepare for the coming of the people as they were able to
gather from year to year. "Were matters to be so conducted," he said,
"none would be found crying for bread or destitute of clothing, but
all would be provided for, as designed by the Almighty. But instead of
taking this course the Saints have crowded on us all the while, and
have completely tied our hands by importuning and saying, 'Do not leave
us behind. Wherever you go, we want to go, and be with you;' and thus
our hands and feet have been bound, which has caused our delay to the
present time. And now hundreds at Nauvoo are continually praying and
importuning with the Lord that they may overtake us, and be with us."
An estimate of what would be required for a company of pioneers to take
such a journey was made and the project was considered, but subsequent
events prevented the undertaking until the following year.

Mount Pisgah

On the 18th of May President Young and several of the apostles reached
the middle fork of Grand River, some twenty-seven miles west of Garden
Grove. Here Parley P. Pratt with a company was found encamped. He had
called the place Mount Pisgah, and here it was decided to make another
settlement for the Saints. Several thousand acres of land were fenced
for cultivation, after the manner of the settlement at Garden Grove,
and this place became a resting place for the weary exiles for several
years while crossing the plains. Elder William Huntington was chosen to
preside with Elders Ezra T. Benson and Charles C. Rich as counselors.
The camps were now traveling through an Indian country, where there
were no roads, no settlements and only Indian trails. The spring rains
having ceased, however, greater progress was made although a road had
to be prepared all the way, and bridges built over all the streams.

At the Missouri River

On the 14th of June, President Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt
and others arrived on the banks of the Missouri, not far from Council
Bluffs, with their respective companies. The next day a council meeting
was held and it was decided to move back on to the bluffs where spring
water could be obtained, and they would be protected from Indians. The
Pottawattamie Indians were very friendly, and their chiefs showed the
Saints some favor. A ferry boat was built and on the 29th the companies
commenced crossing the river. About this time Elder Wilford Woodruff,
who had just returned from presiding over the British Mission, and
Elder Orson Hyde, who had been laboring in Nauvoo, joined the camp.

President Young was still very anxious to send an exploring company to
the Rocky Mountains in advance. The camps were called together, there
being about five hundred wagons on the ground and others on the way,
and President Young addressed them advising them of his desire to get a
company off for the Rocky Mountains. He feared, he said, that something
would happen to stop the movement, and was impressed that "everything
that men and hell could invent would be hatched up to prevent the camp
from making any progress." He spoke plainly on the subject and said
if the members of the Church should be blown to the four winds, and
never gathered again, he wished them to remember that he had told them
when and where to gather, and if they failed to do so to remember and
bear him witness in the day of judgment, that they had received such
information and advice.

A Call From the Government

June 26, 1846, Captain James Allen, of the United States army, arrived
at Mount Pisgah and had an interview with the brethren there. He was
the bearer of a message to the "Mormon" people making a requisition on
the camps for four or five companies of men, to serve as volunteers in
the war with Mexico, which had recently been declared. The brethren at
Mount Pisgah did not feel authorized to take any action, and therefore
advised Captain Allen to visit President Young and the apostles at
Council Bluffs. Captain Allen arrived at Council Bluffs on the 30th
day of June, and the following day met with the Church authorities
and presented his credentials for raising five hundred men. Such a
demand caused some surprise and a little dismay among the camps.
However, President Brigham Young declared that the volunteers would be
forthcoming. It was moved by Heber C. Kimball and seconded by Willard
Richards, that a battalion of five hundred men be raised, which was
carried unanimously at a meeting of the brethren of the camp who were
called together to consider the requisition. Consequently President
Young and Elder Kimball returned to Mount Pisgah to raise volunteers,
while letters were sent to Garden Grove and to Nauvoo bearing on
the subject. Monday, July 13, 1846, in obedience to the call of the
authorities, the camps of the Saints met on Mosquito Creek, where they
were addressed by President Young, Captain Allen and Colonel Thomas L.
Kane, who had arrived in the camp to be of service to the people. Four
companies of the battalion were raised on that and the following day,
and the fifth company a few days later.

An Important Council Meeting

July 16, a council meeting was held at the bluffs and Ezra T. Benson
was ordained an apostle in the stead of John E. Page, who had been
excommunicated. Elders Orson Hyde, Parley P. Pratt and John Taylor
were appointed to go to England to take charge of the affairs of the
Church in that land and set them in order. Reuben Hedlock and Thomas
Ward, who had been in charge, had been guilty of misconduct in the use
of funds and had been disfellowshipped. The same day four companies of
the battalion were mustered into service by their respective captains,
and on the 20th left for Fort Leavenworth in the service of the United
States. The fifth company left the following day, and the entire body
arrived at their destination August 1, 1846, numbering at the time five
hundred and forty-nine men.

President Young's Instructions to the Battalion

In giving instructions to the members of the battalion before their
departure, President Young requested that they prove themselves to be
the best soldiers in the service of the United States. He instructed
the captains to be fathers to their companies, and to manage the
officers and men by the power of the Priesthood. They should keep
neat and clean; teach chastity, gentility, and civility. No swearing
should be indulged in; no man was to be insulted, and they should avoid
contentions with Missourians, or any other class of people. They were
to take their Bibles and Books of Mormon with them, but were not to
impose their belief on others. They were advised to avoid card playing
and if they had any cards with them to burn them. If they would follow
the instructions given they would not be called on to shed the blood of
their fellow men, and after their labors were over, they probably would
be discharged within eight hundred miles of the proposed settlement of
the Saints in the Great Basin, where the next temple would be built in
a stronghold free from mobs.

Reasons for the Call for Troops

January 20, 1846, while the high council of Nauvoo was considering the
abandonment of that place and journeying to the Rocky Mountains, the
subject of sending an advance company was discussed. There had been
some talk of the government building block houses and forts along the
road to Oregon, and the matter was then before Congress. It was decided
at this meeting that "In the event of the President's recommendation to
build block houses and stockade forts on the route to Oregon becoming
a law, we have encouragement of having that work to do, and under
our peculiar circumstances, we can do it with less expense to the
government than any other people." Six days later Elder Jesse C. Little
was appointed to preside in the Eastern States, and was furnished a
letter of appointment in which the following occurs:

    "If our government shall offer any facilities for emigrating to the
    western coast, embrace those facilities, if possible. As a wise and
    faithful man, take every honorable advantage of the times you can.
    Be thou a savior and a deliverer of that people, and let virtue,
    integrity and truth be your motto--salvation and glory the prize
    for which you contend."

Acting on this advice Elder Little wrote an appeal to President Polk
in behalf of the Latter-day Saints, and afterwards called upon him and
also the vice-President and members of the cabinet. At the time of
his interview, June 1, 1846, word of the commencement of hostilities
between Mexico and the United States had reached Washington, and those
governments were in a state of war. The authorities in Washington
accepted the suggestion of Elder Little, thinking it might be opportune
to call upon the "Mormons" for volunteers. This was a very different
action than that hoped for by the authorities of the Church, as they
were looking for the opportunity to labor along the road toward Oregon
over which they were destined to travel. Nevertheless they had asked
for aid and now they were determined to carry through the proposition
of the government, hoping thereby that a blessing would be obtained
and some benefit accrue to them. In complying with the order from the
government over five hundred of their most vigorous young men were
taken from their camps to travel westward by another route thus greatly
weakening the camps.

Winter Quarters

The call of these able-bodied men for the battalion made it impossible
for the Saints in their weakened condition, to continue their journey
towards the West. It became necessary, therefore, for them to seek
quarters where they could prepare for the coming winter. Captain James
Allen secured from the chiefs representing the Pottawattamie tribes
their voluntary consent for the Saints to make the Indian lands an
abiding place as long as they should remain in that country. He also
wrote an open letter stating what he had done in this matter. The
Indian sub-agent also endorsed the letter which Colonel Thomas L. Kane
forwarded with a communication of his own, to the President of the
United States. Measures were taken to gather to this place all the
scattered Saints who were on the plains. Twelve men were chosen to form
a high council, and a site was chosen on the west bank of the Missouri
River for their settlement. A committee of twelve men was appointed to
arrange the temporary city into wards, over which bishops were chosen
to preside. During the summer hay was cut in sufficient quantities to
provide for their stock in the winter. Every family labored diligently
to construct some kind of a house in which they could find shelter,
although many of these were merely dugouts built in the side of the
hill. The place was named Winter Quarters and was laid out regularly
into streets. The Indians gave some trouble and it became necessary to
build a stockade around the town. Through kind treatment, President
Young and the Saints obtained the good will of most of the Indians, so
that they lived in comparative peace.

Major Harvey's Opposition

Major H. M. Harvey, the superintendent of Indian affairs and some
others, made trouble for the Saints. Mr. Harvey called on President
Young in November, and stated that he wished the Saints to move from
the lands belonging to the Indians, and complained that the people
were burning the Indians' wood. He said he had instructions from
the government to permit no settlers on the lands without authority
from Washington. President Young explained that the reason for the
encampment was due to the sudden demand of the United States for
troops, and if the government prevented them from continuing their
journey, some consideration and protection in return should be offered.
Later developments indicated that the opposition was instigated by
the enemies of the Saints. Through the intercession of J. K. Kane,
father of Colonel Thomas L. Kane, the government gave permission for
the exiles to remain where they were through the winter. Colonel Kane
proved himself a faithful friend to the Latter-day Saints, and was yet
to perform valiant service. He wrote to Elder Willard Richards, the
camp historian, stating that he was intending to secure a lease from
the government of the Omaha lands, on which some of the Saints had
located. "Trust me," he said, "it is not fated that my forces shall
depart before I have righted you at the seat of government, and have at
least assured to you a beginning of justice besides an end of wrong."

Activities at Winter Quarters

A gristmill was built at Winter Quarters; also a council house, where
meetings could be held. This was done as much for the sake of keeping
the people employed as it was for their convenience. During the winter
they suffered greatly. The scurvy broke out among them and continued
until potatoes were obtained from Missouri, and horse-radish was
discovered in an abandoned fort near the camp. Meetings were regularly
held and the spiritual as well as the temporal welfare of the refugees
was not neglected. Much of the time of the leading brethren was spent
in giving employment to the Saints and in devising means for the
continuance of the journey when the time should come in the spring for
them to move.

Mob Uprisings at Nauvoo

In the summer of 1846, hostilities were renewed against the members of
the Church who still remained in Nauvoo. The great body of the Saints
had left and only a remnant remained, composed of the poor, sick and
afflicted, who had been unable to get away. They were all anxious
to depart and were exerting all their energies to obtain means for
that purpose. President Young and the apostles also were doing all in
their power to aid them to depart. Notwithstanding their straitened
circumstances and their inability to move--which was due mainly to mob
violence they had suffered--their enemies became impatient at their
delay and continued their vicious persecution. The new citizens, who
had purchased property from the Saints, also came in for a share of the
bitterness of the mob.

Major Warren's Proclamation

Major W. B. Warren, who had been stationed in Hancock County with a
small force, took up his quarters at Nauvoo by order of the governor
and published a proclamation to the citizens of Hancock County
attempting to quiet their opposition, in which, in part, he said:

    "I have been in Nauvoo with my detachment a week, and can say to
    you with perfect assurance, that the demonstrations made by the
    'Mormon' population, are unequivocal. They are leaving the state,
    and preparing to leave, with every means that God and nature has
    placed in their hands. Five ferry boats are running at this place
    night and day, and many are crossing at Nashville and Fort Madison.
    This ought to be satisfactory.

    "The anti-'Mormons' desire the removal of the 'Mormons;' this is
    being effected peaceably, and with all possible dispatch. All
    aggressive movements, therefore, against them at this time, must
    be actuated by a wanton desire to shed blood, or to plunder. This
    course, I know, is deprecated by three-fourths of the anti-'Mormon'
    population, and must not be indulged in. I therefore exhort all
    good citizens to stay at home, with an assurance that they shall be
    duly advised of all movements which may take place, in which they
    feel interested.

    "A man near sixty years of age, living about seven miles from
    this place, was taken from his house a few nights since, stripped
    of his clothing, and his back cut to pieces with a whip, for no
    other reason than because he was a 'Mormon,' and too old to make
    successful resistance. Conduct of this kind would disgrace a horde
    of savages."

A proclamation of this kind, issued by one who was himself none too
friendly to the "Mormon" people, was without effect. At the time he
wrote, John McAuley and Levi Williams--the latter a Baptist preacher,
and one of the mob who took part in the murder of Joseph and Hyrum
Smith--with a strong force were preparing to gather under arms,
contrary to the proclamation of the governor to the effect that not
more than four persons with arms should assemble together, other than
the state troops. Though his force was small, Major Warren notified
these mobbers that he had law and moral force on his side and was able
to meet successfully any mob which could assemble in that county. He
advised the "Mormons" to go on with their preparations to cross the
river, as speedily as they could, and leave the fighting to him; if he
should be overpowered, then they could recross the river and defend
themselves and property.

Kidnapping of Phineas H. Young and Others

On the 11th day of July, eight of the citizens of Nauvoo went into
the country about eleven miles from Nauvoo, to harvest wheat. While
engaged in their work they were surrounded by a mob who ransacked their
wagons, seized their weapons, and then took them one at a time and
brutally beat them with hickory goads. Several of the mobbers engaged
in this were recognized, and two, John McAuley and a man named Brattle,
were arrested. While they were under arrest, a second party of five
"Mormons," Phineas H. Young, Brigham H. Young, Richard Ballantyne,
James Standing and James Herring, were waylaid and taken prisoners.
When they asked why they were treated in that manner the answer was
given that they had committed no offense, but they were "Mormons," and
were to be held as hostages for the safety of McAuley and Brattle.
They were held by their persecutors for fourteen days, several times
facing guns expecting to be shot, from which they were saved only by
interposition of Divine power. Attempts were made to poison them, and
they were most inhumanely treated. Finally they made their escape and
returned to Nauvoo.

The "Resistance of Law"

When the two mobbers were arrested a gun was found in the possession
of McAuley belonging to one of the harvesters. It was recognized and
seized by William Pickett, a non-"Mormon." For this action Pickett and
two others were arrested by the mobbers on a "warrant" for "stealing."
Pickett had incurred the hatred of the mob, and knowing that the charge
against him was only a trick to get him into their hands, he was not
inclined to yield. When John Carlin came from Carthage to arrest him,
Pickett asked if he would be guaranteed safety. Carlin answered no;
whereupon Pickett resisted arrest. Though later he went before the
magistrate at Green Plains, who issued the warrant, and was released.

The "resistance" by Pickett was the thing most desired by the mob, who
only wanted a pretext to attack Nauvoo. Now there had been a defiance
of law. "Nauvoo was in rebellion," and Carlin issued a proclamation
calling upon the citizens to come as a _posse comitatus_, and assist
him in executing the law. The citizens of Nauvoo petitioned the
governor for protection, for the mob forces were collecting under
command of James W. Singleton, assisted by J. B. Chittenden, N.
Montgomery, James King, J. H. Sherman and Thomas S. Brockman. The
governor very graciously sent Major Parker with a force of ten men, and
authorized him to take command of such forces as he could raise from
volunteers, and defend the city against mob attacks. There were very
few members of the Church in Nauvoo at the time, less than one hundred
and fifty men who were available for defense.

Counter Proclamations

Parker issued a proclamation calling upon the mobs in the name of the
state and by virtue of his authority, to disperse. Carlin and his crowd
answered by a counter proclamation, stating that they would consider
the government forces as a mob. Parker wrote to Singleton desiring a
compromise without shedding blood. Articles of agreement requiring all
the Saints to leave Nauvoo within sixty days, were drawn up and signed
by Singleton and Chittenden for the mob, and Major Parker and three
others for the government forces. In this manner Parker treated the
mobbers as his equals and agreed to their terms.

Threats Against the Saints

It appears that the object for which the mob forces were ostensibly
raised was entirely forgotten, and no more was heard of the resistance
of the officers by Pickett, but the attacking forces now determined
that all the "Mormons" should go. Singleton in his communication to
Parker said: "When I say to you, the 'Mormons' must go, I speak the
mind of the camp and the country. They can leave without force or
injury to themselves or their property, but I say to you sir, with all
candor, they shall go--they may fix the time within sixty days, or I
will fix it for them."

Attack Upon Nauvoo

These terms did not satisfy the mob. Sixty days was too long a time
for them to wait for the departure of the remnant of the "Mormons"
that they might plunder and rob, and besides they thirsted for blood.
Singleton and Chittenden withdrew from the command of the mob forces,
and wrote to Parker saying that the mob had rejected their treaty,
which they considered reasonable enough. Carlin, the constable,
thereupon placed Thomas S. Brockman in command, and gave orders for
the mob to march. Parker also withdrew from service and Major Benjamin
Clifford, Jr., took command of the government forces at Nauvoo by a
commission from Governor Ford. September 10, Brockman and his mob
approached Nauvoo. Many of the new citizens, seeing the danger they
were in, fled from the city, leaving but a small force of volunteers to
aid Major Clifford in the defense of Nauvoo. The defenders converted
some steamboat shafts into cannon and threw up some fortifications on
the north side of Mulholland street facing the mob. This small force
made a determined stand, although outnumbered two or three to one. On
the 10th, 11th and 12th, there was desultory firing on both sides. On
Saturday the 12th Brockman sent a communication "to the commander of
the 'Mormon' forces in Nauvoo," demanding a surrender and the delivery
of arms, to be returned as soon as the "Mormons" had crossed the river
and were out of the state. The same day Major Clifford replied stating
that there was no "commander of 'Mormon' forces" in that place; that
he was there "by order of the governor and commander-in-chief of the
Illinois militia to disperse your (Brockman's) forces in the name of
the people of Illinois." The reply continued: "So far I have acted on
the defensive, and for the sake of humanity; if for no other purpose, I
hope you will at once see the propriety and justice of dispersing your
forces. The armed force under your command is not necessary for any
lawful purpose in this city or county."

The Battle of Nauvoo

Upon receiving this reply, Brockman advanced upon Nauvoo, endeavoring
to gain entrance at the head of Mulholland street, the main street
of the city. He was driven back after a determined resistance by
the defenders of the place. The cowardly mob forces were somewhat
disconcerted at the sound of cannon in Nauvoo, for they thought the
besieged citizens were poorly armed, and that to enter the city would
be an easy thing to do. During the battle three of the defenders lost
their lives, namely, Captain William Anderson, his son, August L.,
a lad fifteen years of age, and David Norris. Several others were
wounded. It cannot be ascertained how many were killed on the side
of the mob, but a large number were wounded. The fighting continued
until the 16th, and the mob was repulsed four times. On the latter
day a treaty of surrender was entered into, through the agency of
a committee of citizens from Quincy, who were in sympathy with the
mob. This treaty which was signed by Andrew Johnson for the Quincy
Committee, Thomas Brockman and John Carlin for the mob, and A. W.
Babbitt, J. L. Heywood and J. S. Fullmer for the Latter-day Saints,
stipulated that the city of Nauvoo should surrender September 17, at
three o'clock p.m. The arms of the besieged were to be delivered up to
the "Quincy Committee," to be returned at the crossing of the river.
The citizens and property were to be protected from all violence. The
sick and helpless were to be protected and treated with humanity, and
the "Mormon" population was to leave the state as soon as they could
cross the river. There were provisions of minor importance, one of
which was that five men--including the trustees of the Church--were to
be permitted to remain in the city to dispose of property, free from
all molestation and violence. However, William Pickett, the man so much
wanted according to the first reports of the mob for resisting the law,
and on whose account the mob had gathered, was not to be one of this
committee, nor was he to remain in the city.

Valiant Defenders

Among those who took valiant part in the battles during the siege of
Nauvoo were the two Andersons, father and son, and David Norris, who
lost their lives. They belonged to a company known as the "Spartan
Band," because of the perilous situation in which they were stationed
in the defense of the city. Also "Squire" Daniel H. Wells, Captain
Andrew L. Lamereaux, William L. Cutler, Alexander McRae, Almon Fullmer,
Benjamin Whitehead, John E. Campbell and Curtis E. Bolton. In fact the
entire band of noble defenders are worthy of special mention, and their
names should be recorded among the true sons of liberty.[4]

The Violation of the Treaty

According to the agreement, the mob forces entered Nauvoo on the
17th, and in keeping with the usual mob spirit, failed to regard
their agreement. Immediately they commenced to drive the Saints from
the city, and treated some of the men in a most brutal manner. They
commenced their diabolical deeds by searching the wagons on the bank of
the river waiting to be ferried across, and ransacked their contents
taking all firearms and scattering the goods over the ground. Families
of the poor were ordered from the city at the point of the bayonet.
The sick were sorely abused, and even those who were engaged in the
burying of their dead were molested. They entered the temple, ascended
the tower and rung the bell, shouting and yelling, and giving vent to
filthy oaths in a fiendish manner. They plundered the homes of the
people, irrespective of whether they were members of the Church or
not. Colonel C. M. Johnson was sentenced to death, but his persecutors
could not agree on the manner of his execution and he escaped. With
such inhuman treatment, the members of the Church remaining in Nauvoo,
were forced across the Mississippi River in their poverty and distress.
Their condition was pitiable, but it could not move the hearts of the
mobs of Illinois. These outcasts camped on the bank of the river for
several days, where the Lord in his mercy fed them, as he did the
children of Israel, with a supply of quails, until help arrived from
the camps of Israel in the wilderness. As soon as they could leave they
bid farewell to the inhospitable boundaries of "civilization" and took
up their journey toward the west, there to build a city of refuge,
and find a haven of rest among the more tender-hearted savages of the


1. The same day two hundred and thirty-five members of the Church,
from branches in the New England and the Atlantic States, under the
direction of Samuel Brannan, sailed from New York for California.
They had chartered the ship "Brooklyn" at twelve hundred dollars per
month, the lessee to pay the port charges. They carried with them
farming implements of all kinds, blacksmith, carpenter and wheelwright
tools and fixtures, the necessary parts for two gristmills and sawmill
irons. They also carried text books on various subjects and many other
volumes. The press and type on which the _Prophet_--a paper published
by the Church in New York--was printed, and sufficient paper and other
things as would be needed to establish a new colony in their distant
home. They arrived at Yerba Buena, now San Francisco, Wednesday, July
29, 1846, having gone around Cape Horn and touched at the Hawaiian
Islands. On their arrival they found the American flag waving over the
fort the guns of which had saluted them on their entrance into the
bay. Three weeks earlier the United States Flag had been raised and
the country occupied in the name of the government. In January, 1847,
Samuel Brannan commenced publishing a newspaper at Yerba Buena called
the _California Star_, the first English paper published in California.

2. On the first night of the encampment of Sugar Creek nine infants
were born. The weather was inclement and extremely cold and the people
without proper shelter. Writing of these conditions, Eliza R. Snow,
the poetess, has said: "As we journeyed onward, mothers gave birth
to offspring under almost every variety of circumstances imaginable,
except those to which they had been accustomed; some in tents, others
in wagons--in rainstorms and in snowstorms. I heard of one birth which
occurred under the rude shelter of a hut, the sides of which were
formed of blankets fastened to poles stuck in the ground, with a bark
roof through which the rain was dripping. Kind sisters stood holding
dishes to catch the water as it fell, thus protecting the newcomer
and its mother from a showerbath as the little innocent first entered
on the stage of human life; and through faith in the Great Ruler of
events, no harm resulted to either.

"Let it be remembered that the mothers of these wilderness-born babies
were not savages, accustomed to roam the forest and brave the storm
and tempest--those who had never known the comforts and delicacies of
civilization and refinement. They were not those who, in the wilds
of nature, nursed their offspring amid reeds and rushes, or in the
recesses of rocky caverns; most of them were born and educated in the
Eastern States--had there embraced the Gospel as taught by Jesus and
his apostles, and, for the sake of their religion, had gathered with
the Saints, and under trying circumstances had assisted, by their
faith, patience and energies, in making Nauvoo what its name indicates,
"the beautiful." They had lovely homes, decorated with flowers and
enriched with choice fruit trees, just beginning to yield plentifully.

"To these homes, without lease or sale, they had just bade a final
adieu, and with what little of their substance could be packed into
one, two, and in some instances three wagons, had started out,
desertward, for--where? To this question the only response at that time
was, God knows" (_Women of Mormondom_, Tullidge, ch. 32).

3. It was not the intention of the Saints to leave Nauvoo until the
springtime had fully arrived. But the human fiends, who hated the
religion of the Saints and coveted their substance and property, were
not willing for them to wait. What cared they for the suffering and
exposure of an innocent people, driven from their homes and sheltered
by the broad canopy of heaven in the midst of winter? "We could have
remained sheltered in our homes," said President Brigham Young, "had
it not been for the threats and hostile demonstrations of our enemies,
who, notwithstanding their solemn agreements, had thrown every obstacle
in our way, not respecting either life, or liberty, or property; so
much so that our only means of avoiding a rupture was by starting in
mid-winter. Our homes, gardens, orchards, farms, streets, bridges,
mills, public halls, magnificent temple, and other public improvements
we leave as a monument of our patriotism, industry, economy,
uprightness of purpose, and integrity of heart; and as a living
testimony of the falsehood and wickedness of those who charge us with
disloyalty to the Constitution of our country, idleness and dishonesty"
(_Manuscript History of the Church_).

4. Daniel H. Wells, who had joined the Church August 9, 1846, after
the departure of most of the members of the Church, but who had always
been a true friend to the Prophet Joseph and Patriarch Hyrum Smith,
addressed the remaining members of the Church, while they were in the
hands of their enemies, as follows:

    "There is no use in the small handful of volunteers trying to
    defend the city against such an overwhelming force. What interest
    have the Saints to expect from its defense? Our interests are not
    identified with it but in getting away from it. Who could urge the
    propriety of exposing life to defend a place for the purpose of
    vacating it? I have been in the councils of Joseph and Hyrum and
    the twelve, and I know they were desirous that the Saints should
    leave the state and go westward. Have not the twelve and most of
    the Church gone, and is not their counsel for us to follow? Have
    not they told us that our safety was not in Nauvoo, but in our
    removal westward?

    "The trustees have no means with which to carry on the defense;
    they are already involved. Major Parker, who was sent by the
    governor to aid us, when he left, promised to raise men and return
    immediately to our assistance, but he has forsaken us, and is it
    not well known that the Quincy Committee was prepared to join the
    mob, if a treaty was not effected? Under these circumstances, I
    have thrown in my influence with the trustees for the surrender of
    Nauvoo upon the best terms we could get, and as being the best and
    only wise policy left for us to pursue.

    "Brethren, reflect, we have nothing to gain in defending Nauvoo,
    but everything to lose; not only property, but life also, is hourly
    in peril."

Chapter 38

The Mormon Battalion


Captain Allen's Circular

When Captain James Allen arrived in the Camps of the Saints, he issued
a "Circular to the 'Mormons,'" which read as follows:

    "I have come among you, instructed by Colonel S. W. Kearny, of
    the U. S. Army, now commanding the Army of the West, to visit the
    'Mormon' Camp, and accept the services for twelve months of four or
    five companies of 'Mormon' men who may be willing to serve their
    country for that period in our present war with Mexico; this force
    to unite with the Army of the West at Santa Fe, and be marched
    thence to California, where they will be discharged.

    "They will receive pay and rations, and other allowances, such as
    other volunteers or regular soldiers receive, from the day they
    shall be mustered into the service, and will be entitled to all
    comforts and benefits of regular soldiers of the Army, and when
    discharged, as contemplated, at California, they will be given
    gratis their arms and accoutrements, with which they will be fully
    equipped at Fort Leavenworth. Thus is offered to the 'Mormon'
    people now--this year--an opportunity of sending a portion of their
    young and intelligent men to the ultimate destination of their
    whole people, and entirely at the expense of the United States, and
    this advance party can thus pave the way and look out the land for
    their brethren to come after them.

    "The pay of a private volunteer is seven dollars per month, and the
    allowance for clothing is the cost price of clothing of a regular

    "Those of the 'Mormons' who are desirous of serving their country
    on the conditions here enumerated, are requested to meet me without
    delay at their principal camp at the Council Bluffs, whither I am
    now going to consult with their principal men, and to receive and
    organize the force contemplated to be raised.

    "I will receive all healthy, able men of from eighteen to
    forty-five years of age.

    "J. Allen, Captain 1st Dragoons."

    "Camp of the 'Mormons,' at Mount Pisgah, one hundred and thirty
    miles east of Council Bluffs, June 26th, 1846."

Scarcity of Able-Bodied Men

When this call came a great part of the young men of the ages required
were scattered over the plains. Many had gone to St. Louis and other
points for employment to obtain means to help them carry their families
to the west. All of the Saints were poor, and some in dire want. Those
who were able to travel were under the necessity of helping along the
weak, the aged and infirm, who could not be left behind. Among the
teamsters were found mere children, who had been forced into such
service because of the limited number of men.

The Equipment of the Battalion

At Fort Leavenworth the battalion was equipped.[1] They received one
tent for every six privates and were provided with flint-lock muskets,
a few cap-lock yauger rifles for sharp-shooting and hunting, and
other camp accoutrements. July 5, they drew their check for clothing,
forty-two dollars each, paid one year in advance. A goodly portion of
this money was sent back for the support of their families and the
gathering of the poor from Nauvoo. They also contributed to help Elders
Orson Hyde, Parley P. Pratt and John Taylor on their way to Great
Britain and Elder Jesse C. Little to return to his field in the Eastern
States. The paymaster was much surprised to see every man of the
battalion able to sign his name to the roll, whereas only about one out
of every three of the Missouri volunteers, who previously had received
their pay, could put his signature to the document.

Death of Colonel Allen

Captain James Allen, the recruiting officer for the battalion, was
selected by General Stephen W. Kearny, to take command of the "Mormon"
troops, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel of volunteers. At Fort
Leavenworth Colonel Allen was taken ill, and on the 12th of August,
ordered the battalion to take up its march while he remained for a few
days to recuperate, but on the 23rd, he died. He was much lamented
by the battalion members, for they had learned to love him for his

Lieutenant Smith in Command

After the death of Colonel Allen, the command devolved upon Captain
Jefferson Hunt, of Company "A." The promise had been made to President
Young, by Colonel Allen, that no officers would be chosen for the
battalion, except himself, outside of their ranks. On what authority
the promise was made, does not appear. However, shortly afterwards
Lieutenant A. J. Smith, of the regular army, was given command,
contrary to the wishes of the men. With Lieutenant Smith there came
Dr. George B. Sanderson, whom Colonel Allen had appointed to serve
with the battalion as surgeon. According to the journals of the men,
they were caused to suffer considerably because of the "arrogance,
inefficiency and petty oppressions" of these two officers. Sanderson
was from Missouri, and perhaps was none too friendly towards the
troops; however, the enforcement of discipline, to which they were
not accustomed, may have magnified the ill-treatment in their eyes
to some extent. The heat of the summer was excessive, their rations
were reduced, and through the drinking of brackish water, many were
taken with malaria. They had already become weakened from their long
marches across the plains of Iowa, in inclement weather, without proper
food and shelter, so that they were more susceptible to disease. Dr.
Sanderson prescribed calomel and arsenic, refusing to permit the men
to resort to their own simple remedies, and evincing skepticism in the
laying on of hands and their exercise of faith.

The Line of March

Their line of march from Fort Leavenworth had taken them across
the Kansas River and then westward to the Arkansas, which they
followed upstream for about one hundred miles. From that point they
journeyed southwest to the Cimarron River and passed near what is
now the junction of the states of Kansas, Colorado and Oklahoma, on
a southwesterly course to the old Spanish town of Santa Fe. From
Santa Fe their route was by way of the Rio Grande, southward near
the present city of El Paso, and thence to the west, through the
city of Tucson--which was deserted by its garrison as the battalion
approached--across the Gila and Colorado to San Diego.

The Families Ordered to Pueblo

As the battalion was leaving the Arkansas River, the commanding officer
gave orders that a number of families which had accompanied the troops
to that point, should be detached and sent to Pueblo, a Mexican town
situated at the eastern base of the Rocky Mountains. There was some
protest because it was contrary to a promise given at the beginning of
the march; but it was really a necessary action. For the families of
members of the battalion to travel with the companies was a hindrance
to the rapid progress they were called upon to make. Captain Nelson
Higgins and a guard of ten men were detailed to make the journey to
Pueblo. They departed September 16, 1846, and on the way one of their
number, Norman Sharp, was accidentally killed.

Colonel Cooke Takes Command

Leaving the Arkansas the battalion resumed its journey to Santa Fe. On
the 2nd of October they crossed Red River where they were divided into
two divisions the following day. The strongest and most able-bodied
men pushed on with all speed and arrived at Santa Fe on the 9th of
that month. Here they were received with a salute of one hundred guns
by Colonel Alexander Doniphan, the post commander. On October 12, the
second division arrived, and immediately afterward Captain Phillip St.
George Cooke, an officer of dragoons, succeeded to the command with
the rank of lieutenant-colonel, by appointment of General Kearny. The
appointment of Col. Cooke was another disappointment to the men, who
still hoped for the appointment of Captain Hunt; but they learned to
respect and honor this rugged officer who was a thorough soldier and
just and honorable. Lieutenant A. J. Smith remained with the battalion
as acting commissary, and Dr. Sanderson continued to administer his
calomel and arsenic to the men.

The Sick Sent to Pueblo

At Santa Fe a council of officers was held with Colonels Doniphan
and Cooke, and it was decided to send all the sick together with the
remaining women and children in the camp, to Pueblo for the winter,
with the privilege of journeying towards the main body of pioneers in
the spring, at government expense. Colonel Cooke detailed Captain James
Brown and Lieutenant Elam Luddington to take charge of this company
on the march to Pueblo. October 18, 1846, Captain Brown left Santa Fe
with nearly ninety men reported as incapable of undertaking the journey
to California because of physical ailments. Accompanying them were a
number of women and children. Sanderson, the physician, discharged
some of these men without pay or means to procure conveyance to the
states, whereupon Colonel Doniphan, in charge of the post, went to
Col. Cooke and countermanded the order with the statement that General
Kearny would never discharge a man under circumstances of that kind,
and ordered the men with the laundresses and others, to be sent to
Pueblo and to draw their pay. Their journey took them over a rough
country a distance of some two hundred miles. Several died on the way
and others succumbed after Pueblo was reached. They arrived November
17 and selected a place for winter quarters near the encampment of
Captain Higgins and a company of Saints who had previously arrived in
Pueblo from Mississippi, on their way to the Rocky Mountains. November
10, 1846, Lieutenant William W. Willis was also ordered back to Pueblo
with another company of sick--fifty-six men--from a point about one
hundred miles out from Santa Fe. They commenced their journey with one
wagon, four yoke of oxen, and rations barely sufficient to last them
five days, on a march of three hundred miles. After a most severe and
toilsome journey, in which they all suffered many privations and some
laid down their lives, the company arrived in Pueblo, in an emaciated
condition, December 24, 1846.

The March From Santa Fe

The march of the battalion from Santa Fe was taken up October 19,
1846. They had not traveled very far before they were reduced to the
extremity of using their poor oxen, which were barely skin and bones,
for food. Even their raw hides were cut in small pieces and made into
soup. At times they crossed deserts where water could not be found to
quench their thirst, and their tongues became swollen and their lips
parched until their strength failed them.

Colonel Cooke's Comment

Writing of the condition of the battalion when he took command, Colonel
Cooke made a report in the following words:

    "Everything conspired to discourage the extraordinary undertaking
    of marching this battalion eleven hundred miles, for the much
    greater part through an unknown wilderness, without road or trail,
    and with a wagon train.

    "It was enlisted too much by families; some were too old--some
    feeble, and some too young; it was embarrassed by many women; it
    was undisciplined; it was much worn by traveling on foot, and
    marching from Nauvoo, Illinois; their clothing was very scant;
    there was no money to pay them, or clothing to issue; their mules
    were utterly broken down; the quartermaster department was without
    funds, and its credit bad; mules were scarce. Those procured were
    very inferior, and were deteriorating every hour for lack of forage
    or grazing. . . .

    "With every effort, the quartermaster could only undertake to
    furnish rations for sixty days; and, in fact, full rations, of only
    flour, sugar, coffee and salt; salt pork only for thirty days, and
    soap for twenty. To venture without pack-saddles would be grossly
    imprudent, and so that burden was added."[2]

A Battle with Wild Bulls

A short distance northwest of the site of the present city of El Paso
the course of the march was towards the west. On the San Pedro River
they encountered herds of wild cattle, and were viciously attacked by
ferocious bulls. The troops had been ordered to travel with unloaded
guns, but now they were hastily forced to load without waiting the
command. These vicious animals, as if resenting the encroachment on
their domain, made a charge upon the camp. This constituted the only
fighting the troops were called upon to do on their long and toilsome
march. When the battle was over the casualties revealed a number of
gored mules and overturned wagons, and among the "enemy" perhaps some
sixty of the charging animals were killed. Resuming their journey they
camped on the 16th of December, near the Mexican pueblo of Tucson. On
their way they met three Mexican soldiers bringing a message from the
governor of Tucson to Colonel Cooke, informing him that he must pass
around the town, or else he would have to fight. Colonel Cooke was not
to be frightened by such an order. His route would take him through the
village, and hither he resumed his march. The following day he passed
through Tucson without meeting opposition, as the soldiers and a great
many of the citizens had fled on his approach. Before arriving at that
place he instructed his men that they came not to make war on Sonora,
and less still to destroy an important outpost of defense against
Indians. "But," said he, "we will take the straight road before us
and overcome all resistance, but shall I remind you that the American
soldier ever shows justice and kindness to the unarmed and unresisting?
The property of individuals you will hold sacred: the people of Sonora
are not our enemies."

The Journey From Tucson

Leaving Tucson, the battalion crossed an extensive desert, where, for
seventy-five miles, they were without water for their mules. By hard
marching they reached the Gila River and intersected General Kearny's
trail, which they had left 474 miles behind in the valley of the Rio
Grande. They were now in the land of the Pima and Maricopa Indians who
inhabited a fertile territory. These were a superior race of Indians
with peaceful tendencies, who spent their time tilling the soil, and
in weaving rather than bearing arms. While passing through these
villages Colonel Cooke remarked to Captain Jefferson Hunt that this
might be a good place for the settlement of the "Mormon" people. Hunt
proposed such a thing to the natives who received it favorably, and
this may have lent its weight to the colonizing of these valleys by the
Latter-day Saints in later years.

At this point they were met by pilots sent back by General Kearny
to conduct them to the Pacific coast. Most of the distance on the
remaining journey was over deserts with alternating stretches of
deep sand and miry clay. January 9, 1847, they crossed the Colorado,
near the junction of the Gila, and continued their march under great
difficulties over the coast range down the Pacific slope. January 27,
1847, they passed San Luis Rey, and two days later arrived at the San
Diego Mission where they located one mile below the Catholic mission,
and about five miles from the seaport town of San Diego, where General
Kearny had his quarters.

"Orders No. 1"

On the day after their arrival at San Diego, Colonel Cooke issued the
following orders, which were read to the men:

    "Headquarters 'Mormon' Battalion,"Mission of San Diego,"January 30,

    "(Orders No. 1.)

    "The Lieutenant-Colonel commanding, congratulates the battalion
    on their safe arrival on the shore of the Pacific Ocean, and the
    conclusion of their march of over two thousand miles.

    "History may be searched in vain for an equal march of infantry.
    Half of it has been through a wilderness where nothing but savages
    and wild beasts are found, or deserts where, for want of water,
    there is no living creature. There, with almost hopeless labor, we
    have dug deep wells, which the future traveler will enjoy. Without
    a guide who had traversed them we have ventured into trackless
    table-lands where water was not found for several marches. With
    crowbar and pick and axe in hand, we have worked our way over
    mountains, which seemed to defy aught save the wild goat, and
    hewed a passage through a chasm of living rock more narrow than
    our wagons. To bring these first wagons to the Pacific, we have
    preserved the strength of our mules by herding them over large
    tracts, which you have laboriously guarded without loss. The
    garrison of four presidios of Sonora concentrated within the
    walls of Tucson, gave us no pause. We drove them out, with their
    artillery, but our intercourse with the citizens was unmarked by a
    single act of injustice. Thus, marching half naked and half fed,
    and living upon wild animals, we have discovered and made a road of
    great value to our country.

    "Arrived at the first settlement of California, after a single
    day's rest, you cheerfully turned off from the route to this point
    of promised repose, to enter upon a campaign, and meet, as we
    supposed, the approach of the enemy; and this, too, without even
    salt to season your sole subsistence of fresh meat.

    "Lieutenants A. J. Smith and George Stoneman, of the First
    Dragoons, have shared and given invaluable aid in all these labors.

    "Thus, volunteers, you have exhibited some high and essential
    qualities of veterans. But much remains undone. Soon you will turn
    your attention to the drill, to system and order, to forms also,
    which are all necessary to the soldier.

    "By order,

    "Lieut. Col. P. St. George Cooke,

    "P. C. Merrill, Adjutant."

Duties on the Coast

For some time the battalion performed garrison duty at San Diego, San
Luis Rey and Los Angeles. While stationed at the latter place they were
called upon to guard the Cajon Pass, in the Sierra Nevada mountains,
against hostile Indians. At San Diego they were employed digging wells,
making brick and building houses. Their frugality and industry won
the admiration of the other troops, except the Missourians of General
Fremont's command, who endeavored to create prejudice against them.

The Discharge of the Battalion--Stevenson's Insult

July 16, 1847, all of the battalion at Los Angeles were mustered out of
service by Captain Smith. The time of their enlistment had expired and
the prophecy of President Brigham Young that they would not be called
upon to fight, had been fulfilled. Some of the men, at the request of
Colonel Stevenson, of the New York Volunteers, re-enlisted for six
months. Others might have done so, but he insulted them by saying:
"Your patriotism and obedience to your officers have done much towards
removing the prejudice of the government and the community at large,
and I am satisfied that another year's service would place you on a
level with other communities."

The Journey to Salt Lake Valley

On the 20th of July most of the members of the battalion, who did not
enlist, organized preparatory to going to the Rocky Mountains to the
gathering place of the Saints. They went by way of Sutter's Fort and
the Sacramento River, intending to follow Fremont's trail across the
Sierras. Near Lake Tahoe, they met Samuel Brannan and Captain Brown of
the Pueblo detachment who were on the way to California, and learned
that the pioneers had entered the Salt Lake Valley. Captain Brown
carried with him an epistle from the apostles advising all members of
the battalion who had no means, to remain in California for the winter,
and journey to the Salt Lake Valley in the spring. Acting on this
advice about one half of the members obtained employment at Sutter's
Fort, where they were employed at the time of the discovery of gold.
The others pushed on to the Salt Lake Valley where they arrived October
16, 1847.


1. The five companies of the battalion were commanded respectively as
follows: Company A, Jefferson Hunt; Company B, Jesse D. Hunter; Company
C, James Brown; Company D, Nelson Higgins; Company E, Daniel C. Davis.
Before they left Winter Quarters, a farewell ball was given them in
"Father Taylor's Bowery," where the afternoon was spent in dancing and
such merriment as the sadness of the approaching parting would admit.

2. _Conquest of New Mexico and California_, by P. St. George Cooke, p.

Chapter 39

The Pioneers


Revelation to President Brigham Young

January 14, 1847, the word of the Lord came to President Brigham
Young, at Winter Quarters, giving instructions for the guidance of
the camps of Israel on their journeyings to the west. The Saints were
to be organized into companies, with captains over hundreds, fifties
and tens, as the case had been while journeying across Iowa. These
companies were to be presided over by a president and two counselors,
under the direction of the Twelve Apostles, who were at the head of
all the camps of Israel. The Saints were to enter into a covenant "to
keep all the commandments and statutes of the Lord," and each company
was to bear an equal proportion of the responsibility in the care of
the widows, the fatherless, and the families of those who had gone into
the army. Every man was commanded to use his influence and property
to remove the body of the people to the place the Lord had designated
as a stake of Zion; and if they would do this they were to be blessed
abundantly in their substance and in their families. Moreover, they
were to prepare houses and fields for those who were to remain behind
that season, that they might prepare also for the journey.

Cheerfulness Commanded

"If thou art merry," the revelation read (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 136),
"praise the Lord with singing, with music, with dancing, and with
prayer of praise and thanksgiving. If thou art sorrowful, call on the
Lord thy God with supplication, that your souls may be joyful." During
their travels in the wilderness the exiled Saints had many hardships to
endure. The lack of necessary food, of clothing and other substance,
was lamentable. Yet, in the midst of poverty and distress, they were
happy for they were free from enemies and the persecutions of mobs.
They were going to a land of promise where they could dwell in peace,
and worship the Lord without fear of men. The Lord desired that they
should be cheerful and promised to bless them with his Spirit, in the
hour of their sorrow, if they would call upon him. That they might be
light of heart and filled with joy, the Lord commended music, singing
and dancing, if done in the spirit of reverence and prayer. It was the
custom, at the close of the day's journey, for the Saints to assemble
in the dance, or to have an informal concert; to relate reminiscences
and otherwise employ their time, that the cares and hardships of their
travel might be forgotten, and their burdens lessened which they were
forced to bear.[1] At the sound of the bugle, night and morning, all
assembled for prayer. The Sabbath day was strictly kept, and undue
levity was discountenanced in all the camps. They were commanded to be
honest, sober, unselfish and to "contend not one with another," but
always speak with edifying words.

The Pioneers

It was commanded in the revelation that a company be organized to
depart early in the spring, composed of a sufficient number of
able-bodied and experienced men, with teams, seeds and farming
utensils, to prepare for the planting of spring crops. As spring
approached preparations were under way for the departure of this
pioneer band, and for other companies, as the Saints were able, to
follow after. February 26, 1847, President Brigham Young met in council
with the members of the twelve who were at Winter Quarters and Bishop
Newel K. Whitney, William Clayton and Jedediah M. Grant. The object of
this meeting was to consider the appointment of a pioneer company and
their requirements for the journey. The matter of constructing boats,
the carrying of seeds, scientific investigations, the location of a
site for a city, the irrigation, cultivation and seeding of the land,
were all fully discussed. This is the first reference, so far as the
records show, of the discussion of irrigation, which President Young
and the brethren felt would be necessary for their sustenance in their
new home.

The Departure for the West

Elder Heber C. Kimball, under instructions from President Brigham
Young, moved out of Winter Quarters, April 5, 1847, with six wagons,
which he had equipped as a part of the pioneer company. They traveled
about six miles and camped, awaiting the arrival of the rest of the
company. On the 6th of April, the general conference was held in
Winter Quarters, and the following day President Young, with about
twenty-five wagons, traveled some ten miles and camped. From this
point the company which had assembled, continued their journey to the
Elkhorn River, where the information reached them that Elder Parley
P. Pratt had arrived at Winter Quarters from his mission to England,
and that Elder John Taylor was on the way. President Young decided to
return, with other members of the twelve, to receive Elder Pratt's
report of conditions in that foreign field.[2] A few days later Elder
John Taylor also arrived, bringing with him two thousand dollars in
gold, contributed by the Saints in Great Britain, to help the exiles
on their westward journey. He also had with him a number of scientific
instruments of great value, including two sextants, one circle of
reflection, two artificial horizons, and a number of barometers,
thermometers and telescopes.

Organization of the Pioneer Camp

Leaving Elders Pratt and Taylor--and later Orson Hyde who joined them
from England--in charge of the Saints at Winter Quarters, President
Young, with the other apostles, returned to the pioneer camp, which
had journeyed to a position twelve miles west of the Elkhorn, and some
forty-seven miles west of Winter Quarters. President Young's departure
from Winter Quarters was on the morning of April 14, 1847, and on the
16th, the pioneer camp was organized with captains of hundreds, fifties
and tens, as follows:

Captains of Hundreds: Stephen Markham and Albert P. Rockwood.

Captains of Fifties: Addison Everett, Tarlton Lewis, James Case, John
Pack, Shadrack Roundy.

Captains of Tens: Wilford Woodruff, Ezra T. Benson, Phineas H. Young,
Luke S. Johnson,[3] Stephen G. Goddard, Charles Shumway, James Case,
Seth Taft, Howard Egan, Appleton M. Harmon, John S. Higbee, Norton
Jacobs, John Brown, and Joseph Matthews.

The total number of souls in the camp was one hundred and forty-eight,
of whom three were women and two were children. The women were: Harriet
Page Wheeler Young, wife of Lorenzo D. Young; Clarissa Decker Young,
wife of Brigham Young; and Ellen Saunders Kimball, wife of Heber C.
Kimball. Three of the company were colored: Hark Lay, Oscar Crosby and
Green Flake, who had come west with the emigrants from Mississippi,
under command of John Brown in the summer of 1846. Originally the
pioneer company was composed of one hundred and forty-four men, but
one, Ellis Ames, was taken sick and returned to Winter Quarters soon
after the start. Two of the pioneers were not members of the Church.

Military Organization

In addition to the organization mentioned, on April 17, they were
also organized into a military camp with President Brigham Young as
lieutenant-general; Stephen Markham, colonel; John Pack and Shadrack
Roundy, majors; and the captains of tens, as formerly organized, to
hold similar rank in the military organization. Thomas Bullock was
appointed clerk of the camp, with some assistants, and Thomas Tanner,
captain of the cannon, with the privilege of choosing eight men to
assist him.

Division of the Watch

The captains of tens selected forty-eight men for a constant night
guard. They were divided into four watches to serve half a night at a
time. President Young and others of the twelve were among the members
of this guard. As there was danger of Indian raids, orders were given
that every man should keep by the side of his wagon and not leave it
except by permission, and he should carry a loaded gun always ready for
instant use.

Regulations of the Camp

Sunday, April 18, 1847, in the afternoon, President Young met with the
captains of the camp and decided on the details for the government of
the camp as follows:

    "At 5 o'clock in the morning the bugle is to be sounded as a signal
    for every man to arise and attend prayers before he leaves his
    wagon. Then the people will engage in cooking, eating, feeding
    teams, etc., until 7 o'clock, at which time the train is to move at
    the sound of the bugle. Each teamster is to keep beside his team
    with loaded gun in hand or within easy reach, while the extra men,
    observing the same rule regarding their weapons, are to walk by
    the side of their particular wagons to which they belong; and no
    man may leave his post without permission of his officer. In case
    of an attack or any hostile demonstration by Indians, the wagons
    will travel in double file--the order of encampment to be in a
    circle, with the mouth of each wagon to the outside and the horses
    and cattle tied inside the circle. At 8:30 p.m., the bugles are to
    be sounded again, upon which signal all will hold prayers in their
    wagons, and be retired to rest by 9 o'clock."

The Route of Travel

The line of travel taken by the pioneers was along the north bank of
the Platte River to Fort Laramie, and from there they crossed the
river, and continued over the Oregon trail up the Sweetwater and over
the Continental divide through the South Pass across Green River to
Fort Bridger. They then traveled to the southwest through Echo Canyon,
and East Canyon over Big and Little Mountain into Emigration Canyon,
and then to the valley of the Great Salt Lake.

On the south side of the Platte was the Oregon trail, but the pioneers
remained on the north bank where there was no trail, for reasons
expressed by Elder Wilford Woodruff as follows:

"We were convinced that it would be better for us as a company to cross
the river and take the old traveled road to Laramie as there was good
grass all the way on that side, while the Indians were burning it all
off on the north of the river where we were traveling. But when we took
into consideration the situation of the next company, and the thousands
that would follow, and as we were the Pioneers and had not our wives
and children with us--we thought it best to keep on the north side of
the river and brave the difficulties of burning prairies to make a road
that should stand as a permanent route for the Saints, independent of
the then immigrant road, and let the river separate the emigrating
companies that they need not quarrel for wood, grass, or water; and
when our next company came along, the grass would be much better for
them than it would be on the south side, as it would grow up by the
time they would get along; and the vote was called and it was unanimous
to go on the north side of the river; so the camp again moved on."

Measuring the Distance

The pioneers were anxious to know the distance of each day's travel and
the length of the entire journey. In order to obtain this information
they first resorted to guesswork, but this proved unsatisfactory.
They then tied a piece of cloth to a wheel of one of the wagons and
a man was placed on duty to count the revolutions. However, this was
tedious though accurate if the count was correctly kept. April 19
William Clayton suggested to Orson Pratt that a set of wooden cog
wheels might be attached to the wheel of a wagon to record the distance
automatically. The result was that an odometer was constructed on "the
principle of the endless screw" and was installed during the month of
May, after they were well along on the journey.

Dangers on the Way

The pioneers were under the necessity of keeping constantly on
the alert to protect themselves from attacks by Indians. They had
considerable anxiety while passing through the Pawnee tribes. At times
the brethren were fired upon. The Indians made several attempts at
night to creep into the camp, evidently to plunder and steal animals.
At one time before the camp was organized for the night they were
successful in stealing two of the best horses belonging to Dr. Willard
Richards and Jesse C. Little. The following day, April 27, a party was
sent out to search for the missing animals. They encountered a number
of Indians who endeavored to decoy them to a point where the brethren
would be in their power, but they were on the alert and well armed,
so the Indians dared not make an attack. As the brethren prepared to
return to camp the Indians fired upon them, whereupon the searching
party turned upon their foe, and the Indians hastily fled.

Not all of the Indians, however, were hostile. Generally they showed a
friendly spirit, but were ever ready to commit theft. The brethren at
times gave them a few articles such as powder, lead, flour and salt.

Correspondence on the Plains

On the 4th of May, after the camp had proceeded about two miles on
their way, they were met by a Frenchman, Charles Beaumont, a trapper
and fur trader, who was traveling eastward over the Oregon road with
a camp consisting of three wagons and nine men. He crossed the river
to find out who the pioneers were. During his interview he cheerfully
consented to carry letters back to the Saints, so the brethren wrote
some fifty or sixty letters and left them in his care. Other means of
communication with the later companies on the plains were adopted.
Posts were placed at prominent points along the road with writing on
them and letters were placed in improvised boxes with a notice on the
box. At other times they used whitened skulls of the buffalo. Over a
portion of the journey, especially from Fort Laramie, the pioneers
planted mile posts every ten miles as the distance was measured by
their odometer.

Scientific Observations

Astronomical observations were constantly taken. The temperature was
recorded daily, also the altitude as shown by barometrical pressure.
This was done under the able direction of Elder Orson Pratt, one of the
great scientists of his time.

Crossing of the Platte

At Fort Laramie the pioneers were forced to cross the Platte owing to
the fact that the north side of the river was impassable. They hired a
flatboat from a Frenchman, Mr. James Bordeaux, who was in charge of the
post. They paid him fifteen dollars for the accommodation. Mr. Bordeaux
treated the brethren very kindly, and informed them that Lilburn W.
Boggs, with a company of Missourians en route to Oregon, left the fort
but a short time before. These emigrants had endeavored to embitter
him against the "Mormons." The Missourians, he said, were constantly
quarreling and were great thieves. Bordeaux gave the pioneers
information regarding the route before them and said the Crow Indians
were troublesome and had lately run off all the horses and mules from
the fort.

The Mississippi Emigrants

Soon after the pioneers arrived at Fort Laramie they were joined by
a company of seventeen emigrants of the Mississippi Saints who had
wintered at Pueblo, where the sick detachments of the Mormon Battalion,
under command of Captains Brown and Higgins, were also stationed. They
had been at the fort two weeks awaiting the arrival of the pioneers.
These emigrants consisted of the members of the Crow and Therlkill
families, others being Archibald Little, James Chesney and Lewis B.
Myers. They had five wagons, one cart, eleven horses, twenty-four
oxen, twenty-two cows, three bulls and seven calves. From these
Mississippi Saints the pioneers obtained their first knowledge in many
months, of the battalion. Four of the pioneers, Amasa M. Lyman, Thomas
Woolsey, John H. Tippits, and Roswell Stevens, were sent to Pueblo on
horse-back and with mules, to take charge of the remaining body of the
Mississippians and conduct them to the Salt Lake Valley.

The Ferry at the Black Hills

From Winter Quarters to Fort Laramie the Pioneers had broken a new road
over the plains, which was destined to be traveled by the emigrating
Saints for many years. Subsequently the Union Pacific Railroad was
built along a great portion of the trail. Continuing their journey, the
pioneers arrived, Saturday, June 12, 1847, at the Black Hills, where
the Oregon road crossed the Platte, some one hundred and forty-two
miles from Fort Laramie. Here they overtook the Oregon emigrants,
including the Missourians. The pioneers had sent an advance company
three days before to prepare for the crossing of the river, with a
sole-leather skiff capable of carrying eighteen hundred pounds. These
brethren were employed in ferrying the emigrants over the river at the
rate of $1.50 for each wagon load, receiving their pay in flour, meal
and bacon, at Missouri prices. Their stock of provisions at this time
was in need of replenishing, and to have the privilege of ferrying
their old enemies from Missouri over the river at this price, gave them
some satisfaction. "It looked as much of a miracle to me," said Elder
Wilford Woodruff, "to see our flour and meal bags replenished in the
Black Hills, as it did to have the children of Israel fed with manna
in the wilderness. But the Lord has been truly with us on our journey,
and has wonderfully blessed and preserved us." The Missourians kept on
their way, quarreling, cursing and fighting among themselves, while the
brethren camped, as was their custom, on the Sabbath day. Monday, June
14, they commenced crossing the river, taking their wagons on light
rafts made of poles. It was concluded to leave several brethren at this
ferry, to help the oncoming emigrant trains for Oregon, in the hope
of earning enough to supply the pioneer company with provisions. For
this purpose Thomas Grover, John S. Higbee, Luke S. Johnson, Appleton
M. Harmon, Edmund Ellsworth, Francis M. Pomeroy, William Empey, James
Davenport and Benjamin F. Stewart, were detailed to remain.

Discouraging Reports

In this region of the country the pioneers were constantly meeting with
trappers and traders who were familiar with the Salt Lake Valley. They
all gave discouraging reports of that region and advised the Saints
to locate elsewhere. They spoke more favorably of the Cache, the Bear
and other valleys to the north. Among those giving this adverse advice
were Major Moses Harris, Thomas L. Smith and Colonel James Bridger.
The latter informed President Young that he deemed it unwise to bring
a large colony into the Great Basin until it was demonstrated that it
would be possible to raise grain there. He stated that he would give
a thousand dollars if he knew an ear of corn could ripen in Salt Lake
Valley. Undaunted by these unfavorable reports President Young with his
band of pioneers pushed on with great vigor.

The Meeting with Samuel Brannan

Wednesday, June 30, 1847, the pioneers arrived at the Green River.
The water was very high, with a swift current. After dinner the
brethren commenced making two rafts with which to cross the stream.
While they were at work Samuel Brannan came into the camp, having
come from San Francisco. He had traveled around Cape Horn, from New
York to California, with a company of emigrating Saints in the year
1846. Brannan and two others had braved the dangers of the mountains
through deep snows to reach the camp of the pioneers, having left on
the 4th of April. He brought with him several numbers of his paper,
_The California Star_, and the latest news of the Mormon Battalion. He
labored diligently to get President Young to continue on to California
and not remain in the barren wastes of the Rocky Mountains. President
Young, however, was following the inspiration of the Lord, and not
the wisdom of man. The Lord had pointed out to him--as he had to the
Prophet Joseph Smith in 1842--that the place of settlement for the
Latter-day Saints was in the "midst of the Rocky Mountains."

An Uninviting Country

It should be remembered that in 1847, the Salt Lake Valley was desolate
and uninviting. There was little vegetation save the stubby growth of
salt-grass, grease-wood and sage that covered the valley, and the few
willows and cottonwood trees that stood on the banks of the canyon
streams. At that time the Rocky Mountain region and a large part of the
plains to the east were little known. The few emigrants who had passed
through the Great Basin had made haste to get beyond and into the more
inviting parts on the Pacific coast. This vast inter-mountain country
was the haunt of the trapper and the hunter, to whom the possibilities
and resources of the arid west were not even a dream. The valleys of
the mountains had been occupied for upwards of twenty years by these
nomads of the desert, who wandered from place to place hunting and
trapping, content in the belief that the wild and primitive condition
which then prevailed must so remain forever.

As late as 1843, two years before the exodus, the opinion held by the
majority in the United States was that the whole territory of the Rocky
Mountains was not worth a "pinch of snuff." Such was the expression
made by Senator George H. McDuffie, of South Carolina, in the senate
that year. Discussing the settlement of Oregon, he said: "Who are to
go there, along the line of military posts, and take possession of the
only part of the territory fit to occupy--that part upon the sea coast,
a strip less than one hundred miles in width. Why, sir, of what use
will this be for agricultural purposes? I would not for that purpose
give a pinch of snuff for the whole territory. I wish to God we did not
own it."[4]

The inspiration which came to the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1842--and
even earlier and which was converted into reality by Brigham
Young--shines forth with increased lustre when placed in contrast with
the united opinions of all those who were familiar with the land in the
year 1847.

Arrival of the Battalion Members from Pueblo

July 1, 1847, the men commenced ferrying over Green River which was
continued until Saturday the 3rd. In the evening of Saturday, the
camp was called together and the men who desired to journey back
to meet their families who were on the plains and supposed to be
several hundred miles in the rear, were given that privilege. Five
volunteered to return. President Young, Heber C. Kimball and Willard
Richards accompanied the five brethren back to the ferry on Green
River. Here they saw a group of thirteen men, with horses and baggage
on the opposite side of the river ready to be ferried across. They
were members of the Mormon Battalion journeying from Pueblo. They
were given three cheers and President Young "led out in exclaiming
Hosannah! Hosannah! Give glory to God and the Lamb, Amen!" These
men were in pursuit of horse thieves who had stolen several of the
battalion horses, of which they had recovered all but one or two. They
reported to President Young that the Pueblo detachment of the battalion
was within seven days' march of the Green River. It was decided that
as the members of the battalion had not been discharged nor had they
received their pay, Samuel Brannan and Thomas S. Williams should return
with them to California to pilot them on the way. Brannan was greatly
disappointed at the decision of President Young to locate in the Salt
Lake Valley.

President Young and companions returned to the pioneer camp with twelve
of the members of the battalion, Sunday afternoon, July 4. One of the
soldiers, William Walker, had decided to accompany the five brethren
back to the camps of the Saints. Sunday was spent by the pioneers in
religious service under the direction of the bishops.

Orson Pratt's Vanguard

Monday, July 5, 1847, the company took up their march and arrived
at Fort Bridger on the 7th, where they camped. Here they repaired
the wagons and shod their horses, preparatory for the rough mountain
travel which would lead them to the end of their journey. July 9, they
continued on to the head of Echo Canyon, which was reached on the 12th.
At this place President Young was taken ill with mountain fever. He
ordered Elder Orson Pratt to take a company and precede the main body
of pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley. This advance company, consisting
of twenty-five wagons and forty-two men, traveled down Echo Canyon,
with instructions to look for the trail of the Reed-Donner party.[5]
This they found after some difficulty, for it was almost obliterated.
It was necessary for a detachment with proper tools to go on ahead
and construct a road for the wagons. From this point on to their
destination, they encountered the most difficult portion of the road
over which they traveled. They passed down into East Canyon and over
Big and Little Mountains into Emigration Canyon, which they named "Last
Creek." July 21, President Brigham Young sent Erastus Snow to meet
Orson Pratt with a message for him to bear northward after entering the
valley, and select the first convenient place for plowing and planting
seed. The reason for this apparent haste was that the season was well
advanced and every moment counted in the growing of their seed. Elder
Snow overtook Orson Pratt on the afternoon of the 21st and together
they entered the valley, with one horse between them. Seeing what
looked like a field of waving grain to the south, they first journeyed
in that direction only to find that they saw canes growing near the
banks of what is known today as Mill Creek. Remembering the words of
President Young, they retraced their steps and passed on to the north.
When near the mouth of Emigration Canyon, Erastus Snow discovered he
had lost his coat which was thrown over the saddle and he went back to
find it, while Orson Pratt continued on to the north to the present
site of Salt Lake City. The following day others of the advance company
entered the valley.

The Land Dedicated

July 23, they moved north and camped on what was subsequently known as
the Eighth ward square, now occupied by the Salt Lake City and County
Building. Orson Pratt called the camp together, dedicated the land and
invoked a blessing on the seed they were about to plant. The ground
was found so hard that the first attempt to plow was unsuccessful, and
several plow-points were broken. By placing a dam in the stream (City
Creek) they soaked the ground and in the course of a few days several
acres were plowed and planted. The season being so late nothing came of
their planting, save the garnering of potatoes about the size of a pea
or a walnut, which served for seed the following year and produced a
good crop.

"This is the Place"

On the 24th of July, 1847, President Brigham Young with the main body
of the pioneers, entered the valley. He was resting in a carriage
driven by Elder Wilford Woodruff and as they emerged from the canyon
and pulled up onto a ridge President Young, who was ill, requested
Elder Woodruff to turn his carriage around so that he could look upon
the valley. This was done, and President Young gazed in silence for a
few moments. Then with an expression of satisfaction, he said, "This
is the place, drive on." They entered into the valley and camped with
the members who had preceded them. They had found the promised land
and a resting place for their weary feet, where they could fulfil the
predictions of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and become a mighty people in
the midst of the Rocky Mountains.


1. Outcasts from "civilization," with little to eat and little to wear;
with few expressions of sympathy, and less help extended in their
direction, it was only natural that the Saints on the plains at times
would be despondent. President Young constantly labored to cheer and
strengthen them. Shortly before the departure of the Pioneer band, he
requested Elder William Clayton to write something that would encourage
the people. Within two hours Elder Clayton had written the following
remarkable hymn, and set it to the music of "All is Well," an old
English tune:

Come, come, ye Saints, no toil nor labor fear; But with joy wend your
way. Though hard to you this journey may appear, Grace shall be as your
day. 'Tis better far for us to strive Our useless cares from us to
drive; Do this, and joy your hearts will swell--All is well! All is

. . .

And should we die before our journey's through, Happy day! All is well!
We then are free from toil and sorrow, too; With the just we shall
dwell! But if our lives are spared again To see the Saints their rest
obtain, Oh, how we'll make this chorus swell--All is well! All is well!

2. Elders Orson Hyde, Parley P. Pratt and John Taylor had been sent to
England, after the exodus from Nauvoo, to set the British Mission in
order. Elders Reuben Hedlock and Thomas Ward, who were in charge, had
misappropriated the funds of "The Joint Stock Company," an organization
which had been formed for the purpose of assisting the Saints of the
British Isles to emigrate. The three apostles took charge of affairs
and soon had the mission again in a flourishing condition. Early in
1847, they again returned to the United States, Elders Pratt and Taylor
preceding Elder Hyde, who remained to install Elder Orson Spencer as
president of that mission. Elder Orson Spencer, a man of culture and
superior education, performed an excellent work and under his ministry
the mission flourished.

3. Luke S. Johnson, formerly of the council of the apostles, came to
Nauvoo in 1846 in a repentant spirit, and asked to be reinstated in the
Church. He was baptized and was forced to leave that place with the
body of the Saints. He was chosen as one of the pioneer band to come in
advance to the Salt Lake Valley. In the year 1858, he settled at St.
Johns, Tooele County, where he was ordained a bishop. He died in Salt
Lake City, December 9, 1861.

4. Congressional Globe, 27th Congress, 3rd Session, pp. 198-201.

5. The Reed-Donner party, comprised seventy-eight men, women and
children, under the direction of James F. Reed and George Donner, who
left Independence in May, 1846, for California. They came via Fort
Bridger, Echo and East Canyons through Emigration and westward through
the Salt Lake and Tooele Valleys, around the south end of Salt Lake.
Delayed by many misfortunes, they were caught in the snows in the
Sierras in the winter of 1846, where many of them perished. Near the
close of that year several of the ill-fated party put on snowshoes and
crossed to the Sacramento Valley for relief. A relief expedition was
sent back and found that the survivors had been living for weeks on
the flesh of their dead, like cannibals. Thirty-nine of the original
company had perished.

Chapter 40

In "the Land of Promise"


The First Sabbath in the Valley

July 25, 1847, was the Sabbath. It was a pleasant day, and at ten
o'clock the pioneers met in worship in the circle of their encampment.
Elders George A. Smith, Heber C. Kimball and Ezra T. Benson were the
speakers. They expressed gratitude for the blessings of the Lord
during their travels to this promised land. Not a soul had died on
the toilsome journey. In the afternoon another service was held and
the sacrament was administered. Elders Wilford Woodruff, Orson Pratt
and Willard Richards were the speakers at this service. The principal
address was given by Elder Pratt who took for his text Isaiah 52:7-8:
"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth
good tidings; that publisheth peace," etc. He stated that the
predictions of the prophets were now being fulfilled.

President Young's Advice

President Young was too feeble to make any extended remarks, but near
the close of the services he gave some very important advice. Elder
Wilford Woodruff made a synopsis of his remarks as follows: "He told
the brethren that they must not work on Sunday; that they would lose
five times as much as they would gain by it. None were to hunt on that
day; and there should not any man dwell among us who would not observe
these rules. They might go and dwell where they pleased, but should
not dwell with us. He also said that no man who came here should buy
any land; that he had none to sell, but every man should have his land
measured out to him for city and farming purposes. He might till it as
he pleased, but he must be industrious and take care of it." Later,
instructions were given that there should be no private ownership of
the streams, and only dead timber should be used for fuel, as trees
were none too plentiful and should be conserved. These regulations were
adopted by the community in justice to all, for it was expected that
within a very short time the Saints who were then on the plains--the
exiles from Nauvoo, some twenty thousand in number--and others coming
from various states and from Europe, would be gathered to the Rocky

Explorations of the Valley

Naturally the pioneers were impatient to explore the surrounding
country. Their first duty was to plant the seed they brought with
them. Plowing began on the 23rd and continued during the 24th. Monday
morning, July 26th, a number of exploring companies were sent out,
including the eight apostles in the camp and Elders Albert Carrington,
William Clayton, John Brown and Joseph Matthews. The two latter crossed
the river, which was called the Utah Outlet and later the Western
Jordan, and ascended the mountains on the west of the valley. They
reported, on their return, that the land on that side of the valley
was not as good as the land on the east side. Some of the brethren
penetrated some of the canyons where they found timber of good quality.
President Young, Wilford Woodruff and others of the brethren visited
the hot and also the warm springs at the north end of the valley, and
made some observations. Their explorations continued for several days.
On the 27th of July, they explored the Tooele Valley. On the way they
had a bath in the lake and were much surprised at the buoyancy of the
water. That night they camped at Black Rock and the following day they
traveled about ten miles south along the eastern base of the Oquirrh
Mountains, where, in the main, they found a barren country and very
little water. Orson Pratt ascended the mountain where he obtained a
view of Utah Lake, which he judged to be about twenty miles away.
Striking eastward across the valley they returned to camp. On this trip
they saw about one hundred goats, sheep and antelope. They returned
satisfied that the spot where the pioneers had camped was the best on
which their city could be built.

A Place for an Ensign

On the 26th, they also ascended the mountain above the hot springs
to get a better view of the surrounding country, and by aid of their
glasses were able to discern the Utah Outlet at the point of the
mountain, where it enters the Salt Lake Valley on the south. A number
of streams were also seen flowing from the mountains into the valley.
As they stood upon the mountain President Young remarked that it would
be a good place to lift up an ensign, referring to Isaiah's prophecy;
so they named it "Ensign Peak," by which name it has since been known.
In later years a flagstaff was placed upon it.

The Building of a City

After returning from their explorations on the 28th, a council was
held in the evening and it was decided to build a city. Some of the
brethren suggested that they explore further before deciding on a site
for a settlement. President Young replied that he was willing that they
should explore until they were satisfied, but every time a party went
out and returned he believed they would agree that this was the spot on
which they should locate.

It was decided that the city should be laid out in blocks of ten acres
each with streets eight rods wide running at right angles. The blocks
were to be divided into lots containing one and one-quarter acres each,
with exceptions in certain parts where the lay of the land would be
inconvenient for such arrangement. The houses were to be of uniform
distance from the street and only one house to a lot. "Upon every
alternate block four houses were to be built on the east, and four on
the west side of the square, but none on the north and south sides. But
the blocks intervening were to have four houses on the north and four
on the south, but none on the east and west sides. In this plan there
will be no houses fronting each other on the opposite sides of the
streets, while those on the same side will be about eight rods apart,
having gardens running back twenty rods to the center of the block."
Such was their description. There were to be four public squares of
ten acres each in various parts of the city. "Let every man," said
President Young, "cultivate his own lot and set out every kind of fruit
and shade tree and beautify the city." This plan was laid before the
camp and approved unanimously.

The Place for the Temple

During the westward journey the building of a temple was a constant
theme. On the evening of the 28th of July, President Young and the
apostles with Thomas Bullock, the clerk, walked from their camp
northward to a spot between the forks of City Creek, and there
President Young designated a site for the building of a temple. Waving
his hand he said: "Here is the forty acres for the temple, and the city
can be laid out perfectly square north and south, east and west."

Orson Pratt's Survey

The survey of the city was made by Orson Pratt. His line was on the
southeast corner of the Temple Block. Beginning at that point the city
was marked out into blocks of ten acres each. It was decided by the
brethren that instead of using forty acres for the site it would be
better to have that block conform in size with the others. According to
Orson Pratt's calculations, the latitude of the north boundary of the
Temple Block was 40 degrees, 35 minutes and 34 seconds. The longitude
was 111 degrees, 26 minutes and 34 seconds west of Greenwich. The
altitude was 4,300 feet above sea level. Later government observations
varied from these of Elder Pratt but slightly.

Arrival of the Battalion and Mississippi Members

In addition to the twelve members of the battalion and the advance
company of Mississippi Saints who came into the valley with the
pioneers,[1] the detachments of the battalion who wintered at Pueblo
under the command of Captain James Brown and Nelson Higgins, together
with the main body of the Mississippi Saints, entered the Salt Lake
Valley, under direction of Captain James Brown, July 29, 1847. This
increased the number in the camp to about four hundred souls. They
brought with them about sixty wagons, one hundred head of horses and
mules and three hundred head of cattle.

Immediately after their arrival the battalion members built a bowery,
the first structure in the valley in which public meetings could be
held with some degree of comfort, and the worshipers receive protection
from the excessive heat of the sun.

Renewal of Covenants

Having been unable to live in peace in former habitations because of
persecutions of wicked men, the Saints now rejoiced at the prospect
before them. It was proposed by President Young and the apostles that
they renew their covenants with the Lord and solemnly promise that
they would henceforth keep his commandments in this land where they
were free from religious persecution. In the humility and thankfulness
of their hearts for their deliverance, the apostles set the example.
August 6, President Young was baptized, and each of the apostles were
likewise baptized in turn. This was not done as an acknowledgment that
their former baptism was not efficacious, or that they had broken
covenants formerly received, but as an acknowledgment before the Lord
of their willingness to serve him henceforth and forever. To this
proposition all the camp of Israel said Amen, and the ordinance of
baptism was administered to all.

The First Births and Death in the Colony

The first birth in the pioneer camp was that of a daughter to John and
Catharine Campbell Steele, August 9, 1847. The father was a member of
the battalion and he and his wife had arrived in the camp but a few
days before. The child was named Young Elizabeth Steele, in honor of
President Brigham Young and Queen Elizabeth. Two days later the colony
was called upon to mourn because of the death of Milton H. Therlkill,
three years old, and son of George W. and Jane Therlkill, of the
Mississippi company. The child had wandered from the camp and was
drowned in City Creek. A few days later (August 15th) a daughter was
born to these same parents. This was the second birth in the colony.

The "Old Fort"

Three days after the Pioneers arrived in the valley, Indians of the
Ute and Shoshone tribes commenced visiting the camp, begging and
endeavoring to trade for guns and ammunition, and incidentally to steal
when opportunity afforded. On one occasion a fight ensued and the
Shoshones killed a Ute who had stolen one of their horses. President
Young instructed the Saints that they should trade no more with the
Indians, who were manifesting a spirit of jealousy because the pioneers
treated one tribe the same as the other.

As a means of protection against Indian raids and thefts, it was
decided to build a fort, or stockade, on one of the city ten-acre
squares. The site chosen is now known as Pioneer Park, three blocks
south and three west of the Temple Block. At a meeting held August
1, 1847, it was decided that the enclosure should be built of logs
and sundried bricks (adobes). The brethren immediately went to work
preparing the timbers and adobes for this purpose. August 10, work
started on the stockade. The walls were twenty-seven inches thick and
nine feet high on the outer side. It was built as a continuation of
huts joined together in rectangular form around the outside of the ten
acres on which it stood. The east side was built of logs, and the three
other sides of adobe walls. The roofs slanted but slightly inward,
and were made of brush covered with earth. Each house had a loop-hole
facing the outside and a door and windows facing the interior. The
main entrances, which were on the east and west sides of the stockade,
were carefully guarded by heavy gates which were locked at night.
In the winter and spring months the snow and rain caused the mud to
leak through the roofs, to the great discomfort of the inhabitants.
Wagon covers, and other articles which would shed moisture, were
utilized, to protect beds and bedding. Notwithstanding the discomforts
and inconveniences of life under such conditions, the Saints spent
many pleasant hours within the walls of their temporary homes. Two
additional blocks were joined to the original fort, one on the north
and one on the south, to accommodate later arrivals in the valley.
These were designated as the North Fort and the South Fort, and were
similar in construction to the first, or Old Fort, as it was called.
During the first winter, schools were taught in the fort by Julian
Moses and Miss Mary Ann Dillworth.

Captain Brown's Journey to the Coast

A question had arisen regarding the Pueblo detachment of the Mormon
Battalion. They were under orders to march to the Pacific coast,
but the term of their enlistment had expired. Should they go to the
coast to be mustered out of service, or should that duty be performed
by their company officers? After some deliberation it was decided
that they should be mustered out of service, and that Captain James
Brown with a small company should go to California and report to
the army officers there, and with a power of attorney from each of
the men, draw their pay. Captain Brown, with several members of the
battalion, departed for San Francisco, August 9, piloted by Samuel
Brannan. Brannan returned to California greatly disappointed because
President Young would not hearken to his counsel and continue on to
the coast, where he thought conditions for permanent settlement were
more favorable than the desolate valleys of the mountains. Captain
Brown carried with him a message from President Young to the battalion
members on the coast, advising all who had no families to remain in
California through the winter and obtain work, and in the spring come
to the Salt Lake Valley with their earnings. Captain Brown's company
went by way of the northern route and were accompanied as far as Fort
Hall, by Jesse C. Little, Joseph Matthews, John Brown and others, who
explored the Cache and Weber valleys. These brethren returned with
favorable reports.

Special Conference in the Valley

Sunday, August 22, 1847, a special conference was held in the Salt Lake
Valley. It was agreed to fence the city, and such portions of adjacent
lands as might be deemed proper for cultivation, thus affording
protection from cattle. "By this means," said President Young, "we can
raise thousands of bushels of grain next season for ourselves and also
some to sustain those who shall come after us. I would rather fence a
block of ten acres, and have a crop, than plant a hundred acres for the
cattle to destroy."

It was decided that a presidency and a high council be appointed to
preside over the Saints in the valley. Elder John Smith, uncle of the
Prophet Joseph Smith, who was at the time on the plains, was chosen as
president. President Young moved that "we call this place 'The Great
Salt Lake City, of the Great Basin of North America,'" and that the
post office be called "The Great Basin Post Office." Elder Heber C.
Kimball moved that the river running west of the settlement be called
"The Western Jordan." Some of the creeks were also named as follows:
City Creek, Red Butte Creek, Canyon Creek (afterwards Emigration Creek)
and Big Canyon Creek (Parley's Creek). Those streams farther to the
south were not named at that time.

At the close of the services Elder Heber C. Kimball remarked: "This is
a paradise to me, and one of the loveliest places I ever beheld. I hope
none of us will be left alive to pollute this land. I would rather die
than act as inconsistent as many have in times past."

The Return of the Pioneers

President Young felt great anxiety for the companies of Saints who
were on the plains wending their way to the valley. There was much to
be done in order to care properly for those who had already arrived,
protect them from hostile Indians and prepare for the coming winter
season. This labor required his attention and that of the leading
brethren for some days. However, it was deemed necessary that a company
start back at once to meet the oncoming immigrants. Monday, August 2,
1847, it was decided in a council meeting, that Elder Ezra T. Benson
with a company of horsemen should start back immediately. About noon
on that day this company departed. They carried instructions from
President Young to obtain the names of all who were in the several
camps, together with the number of wagons, horses, oxen and other
animals; also to ascertain the condition of the health and needs of
the immigrants, so that assistance might be rendered where necessary.
August 16 and 17, a company selected from the original pioneers and
battalion started back for this purpose. This company consisted
of seventy-one men, with thirty-three wagons, fourteen mules and
ninety-two yoke of oxen. It was divided into two divisions with Tunis
Rappleyee and Shadrach Roundy as captains. August 26, President Young
and the apostles started on their return to Winter Quarters. This
company consisted of one hundred and eight men, thirty-six wagons,
seventy-one horses and forty-nine mules. They passed a number of trains
on the way to the valley, totaling more than fifteen hundred men, women
and children, with five hundred and sixty wagons and five thousand
head of stock. Among these immigrants were Elders Parley P. Pratt and
John Taylor of the council of the apostles, who were in charge of the

President Young's Instructions and Blessing

President Young arrived at Winter Quarters, October 31, after an
eventful journey back across the plains. When the company arrived
within a mile of Winter Quarters, President Young called them together
and made the following remarks:

    "Brethren, I will say to the pioneers, I wish you would receive
    my thanks for your kindness and willingness to obey orders. I
    am satisfied with you; you have done well. We have accomplished
    more than we expected. The one hundred and forty-three men who
    started, some of them sick, are all well. Not a man has died; and
    we have not lost a horse, mule or ox, except through carelessness.
    The blessings of the Lord have been with us. If the brethren are
    satisfied with me and the Twelve, please signify it with uplifted
    hands. (All hands were raised.) I feel to bless you in the name of
    the Lord God of Israel. You are dismissed to go to your homes."

The company then drove into the town of Winter Quarters in order,
arriving about one hour before sunset. The streets of the town were
filled with eager people and the weary pioneers rejoiced once more to
behold their wives, children and friends.

Organization of a Stake of Zion

Sunday, October 3, 1847, the Saints in the Salt Lake Valley met in
conference and transacted business which had been proposed by President
Young and the apostles before their departure. "Uncle" John Smith, who
had been chosen before his arrival, was sustained as president of the
Salt Lake Stake of Zion, with Charles C. Rich and John Young as his
counselors. Members of the high council were also chosen as follows:
Henry G. Sherwood, Thomas Grover, Levi Jackman, John Murdock, Daniel
Spencer, Lewis Abbot, Ira Eldredge, Edson Whipple, Shadrach Roundy,
John Vance, Willard Snow and Abraham O. Smoot.

Charles C. Rich was also selected as chief military commander under the
direction of the stake authorities. Albert Carrington was selected to
act as clerk and historian of the city, and John Van Cott as marshal.

Population at the Close of 1847

The last company to enter the valley in 1847 arrived in October. The
several companies were listed by Thomas Bullock as follows: President
Young's pioneer company, 148; the Mississippi company, 47; Mormon
Battalion, 210; Daniel Spencer's company, 204; Parley P. Pratt's
company, 198; Abraham O. Smoot's company, 139; Charles C. Rich's
company, 130; George B. Wallace's company, 198; Edward Hunter's
company, 155; Joseph Home's company, 197; Joseph B. Noble's company,
171; W. Snow's company, 148; and Jedediah M. Grant's company, the last
of the season, 150. The total being 2,095 souls for the year.


1. It is quite generally understood that there were three women who
entered the Salt Lake Valley with the pioneers in July, 1847. The
fact has been overlooked by many that there were other noble women,
besides these three who accompanied President Young across the plains,
who braved the dangers and hardships of the journey to the west.
Among the Mississippi Saints who met the pioneers at Fort Laramie and
journeyed with them from that point into the Salt Lake Valley, were the
following: Elizabeth Crow, Harriet Crow, Elizabeth J. Crow, Ira Vinda
Exene Crow, Irmaninda Almarene Crow and Marilla Jane Therlkill.

Chapter 41

Organization of the Presidency--Church Activities


Activities on the Missouri

As soon as the apostles arrived at Winter Quarters they held council
meetings almost daily, which continued during the months of November
and December, for there was much to be done. The Saints had been
greatly blessed in their crops and a good and abundant harvest had
been gathered. Instructions were given that all the Church records
should be gathered and prepared for removal to the Salt Lake Valley.
The poor among the Saints were also to be gathered, and instructions
were given to the people at Garden Grove to move to Winter Quarters
in the spring. Elder Jesse C. Little was called again to preside in
the Eastern States and Elder John Brown, who had led the Mississippi
Saints to Pueblo, and later was one of the pioneers, was called to take
charge of the work in the Southern States. November 8, it was decided
to vacate Winter Quarters and move to the east bank of the Missouri,
and there make a settlement for the members of the Church who were not
able to continue to the west. All who could leave in the spring for the
west would be called upon to do so. Elder Hyde, who had been presiding
at Winter Quarters, reported that action had been taken against Bishop
George Miller and James Emmett, who, contrary to counsel, had moved to
Texas instead of continuing on to the Rocky Mountains. This action was
approved by the council of the twelve. Elder Orson Pratt was chosen
to go to England and preside in the British Mission and Elder Wilford
Woodruff to Canada. Some twenty-seven elders were called to various
mission fields. November 22, the brethren wrote a letter to Oliver
Cowdery, whose heart had softened, exhorting him to be baptized.

Organization of the First Presidency

From the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph and Patriarch Hyrum Smith
in 1844, until December, 1847, the Twelve Apostles, with President
Brigham Young at their head, were sustained as the presiding council
of the Church. On the return journey to Winter Quarters from the Salt
Lake Valley, the apostles conversed on the subject of reorganizing the
First Presidency. December 5, 1847, they met in council at the home of
Orson Hyde, on the east bank of the Missouri River, when this and other
important matters were considered. There were present at this meeting:
President Brigham Young, and Elders Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Orson
Pratt, Willard Richards, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith, Amasa M.
Lyman and Ezra T. Benson. Elders Parley P. Pratt and John Taylor were
in the Salt Lake Valley, and Lyman Wight, who had failed to accompany
the Church to the West, was in Texas. Elders Lyman and Benson had been
called into the council of the twelve to succeed William Smith and John
E. Page, who had been excommunicated because of insubordination and
rebellion against authority. Each of the brethren present expressed his
views in turn in relation to the matter of the First Presidency, after
which, on motion of Elder Orson Hyde, Brigham Young was unanimously
sustained as President of the Church "with authority to nominate" his
two counselors. He chose Elder Heber C. Kimball, as his first and
Willard Richards, as his second counselor. The choosing of Heber C.
Kimball, was the fulfilment of a prediction by the Patriarch Hyrum
Smith. In a patriarchal blessing given to Elder Kimball March 9, 1842,
Hyrum Smith said: "You shall be blessed with a fulness and shall be
not one whit behind the chiefest; as an apostle you shall stand in the
presence of God to judge the people; and as a prophet you shall attain
to the honor of the three." The following day they selected "Uncle"
John Smith to be "the Patriarch over the whole Church." Elders Orson
Hyde and Ezra T. Benson were appointed to go east and Amasa M. Lyman
to the north to procure means to help the Saints to emigrate the next
season. The apostles also ordained Luke S. Johnson an elder.

The Sustaining Vote of the Saints

A general conference of the Church on the Missouri was held December
24 to 27, 1847, on the Iowa side of the Missouri River. A large log
tabernacle had been constructed which would seat nearly one thousand
persons. On the last day of this conference the First Presidency,
Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards, chosen by the
apostles on the 4th of the month, were unanimously sustained by the
vote of the Saints. John Smith was also sustained as the "Patriarch
over all the Church." The action of this conference was subsequently
ratified by the members of the Church in Iowa and in the Salt Lake
Valley, at conferences held in April, 1848; and in the British Isles at
a conference held in Manchester, August 14, 1848.

The day before the conference convened (Dec. 23), a general epistle was
issued by the apostles to all the members of the Church, "dispersed
throughout the earth." This was a very important epistle portraying the
movements of the Church since the exodus from Nauvoo, and declaring the
intentions and prospects of the people for the immediate future. All
the members of the Church who had been driven from their homes were
instructed to gather to the site selected for their settlement in the
Great Basin. Others in the United States, Canada and Great Britain,
were likewise counseled to gather, as circumstances would permit. They
were to bring with them seeds of every kind--"everything that grows
upon the face of the whole earth that will please the eye, gladden the
heart, or cheer the soul of man." They were also to bring "the best
stock of beasts, birds and fowl," and tools of every kind. Advice in
relation to the building of Zion; the preaching of the Gospel; the
duties of parents; the building of the temple, and other matters of
grave concern to the members of the Church, were also set forth, for
their comfort and guidance, during those days of reconstruction and
great trial.

Kanesville--Pottawattamie County

Following the advice of President Young, the Saints residing at Winter
Quarters moved across the Missouri River to the Bluffs on the Iowa
side. This country was called the "Pottawattamie country," because
it was inhabited by a tribe of Indians by that name. These Indians
had been removed by the government, a few months before, to another
part, leaving the Saints in sole occupancy of the land. There were
no settlements within many miles of the Latter-day Saints. President
Young deemed it wise that the Saints should hold these lands for some
time, in the interests of immigration, and therefore many who were not
prepared to go west, and some who preferred to remain, made this place
their home.

The settlement established by them was in what was called "Miller's
Hollow." They named it "Kanesville," in honor of Colonel Thomas L.
Kane, who had been instrumental in securing for them privileges from
the government, and who had shown his friendship on many occasions.
Elder Orson Hyde, who was left in charge after the departure of
President Young and the majority of the Saints, published a paper, the
_Frontier Guardian_, which continued under his editorship for three
years. When the Saints residing there were instructed to join the main
body of the Latter-day Saints in the West, the paper was sold and the
members of the Church left their holdings for other people.

The Iowa Legislature in 1847, provided for the creation of counties in
the Pottawattamie country, whenever the judge of that district "should
decree that the public good required it." The Saints petitioned for a
county organization, and learned that the judge had already taken steps
in that direction. The County of Pottawattamie was therefore organized,
and was officered by members of the Church. Other settlers began to
arrive, after the Saints had made of the place a pleasant habitation.
When the call came for the members of the Church to "arise and come
home" in 1852, they deserted Kanesville and the name was soon changed
to Council Bluffs, by which name it has since been known.

President Young's Second Trip Across the Plains

During the month of May, 1848, preparations were made for the departure
of the main body of the Saints on the Missouri River. On the 9th of
that month the first company of twenty-two wagons departed and camped
on the Elkhorn. On the 26th, President Young left Winter Quarters
and took command of the camps and led them across the plains. This
was to be his last trip, for his duties henceforth were to be among
the settlements in the Rocky Mountains. During the month of June
Presidents Young and Kimball commenced their journey at the head of
camps consisting of over six hundred wagons and nearly two thousand
souls, with their accompanying goods and chattels. President Willard
Richards followed in the month of July with another camp of one hundred
and sixty-nine wagons and over five hundred souls. These camps traveled
in accordance with the regulations adopted at the beginning among the
pioneers. From this time forth, for many years, companies of Latter-day
Saints might be seen crossing the plains, coming from Europe and the
various states of the Union. Presidents Young and Kimball arrived
in the valley in September, and President Richards arrived early in
October, 1848.

Plague of the Crickets

The season was so far advanced when the pioneers arrived in the summer
of 1847 that little resulted from the planting, except to obtain some
seed potatoes. Their salvation depended on the success of their crops
in 1848. They had built three saw mills in the mountains and one grist
mill. Their planted fields consisted of five thousand one hundred and
thirty-three acres, of which nearly nine hundred acres were planted in
winter wheat. With the aid of irrigation all things looked favorable,
and it appeared that there would be a fruitful harvest. The Saints were
happy and their prospects were bright. They gave thanks to the Lord and
in humility desired to serve him. In the months of May and June they
were menaced by a danger as bad as the persecution of mobs. Myriads of
crickets came down the mountain sides into the valley, like a vast army
marshalled for battle, and began to destroy the fields. From one they
would pass on to another, and in a few moments leave a field as barren
as a desert waste. Something had to be done, or the inhabitants must
perish. The community was aroused and every soul entered the unequal
conflict. Trenches were dug around the fields and filled with water, in
the hope of stopping the ravages of the pest, but without result. Fire
was equally unavailing. The attempt was made to beat them back with
clubs, brooms and other improvised weapons, but nothing that man could
do was able to stop the steady onward march of the voracious crickets.
The settlers were helpless before them.

The Miracle of the Gulls

When all seemed lost, and the Saints were giving up in despair, the
heavens became clouded with gulls, which hovered over the fields,
uttering their plaintive scream. Was this a new evil come upon them?
Such were the thoughts of some who expected that what the crickets left
the gulls would destroy; but not so, the gulls in countless battalions
descended and began to devour the crickets, waging a battle for the
preservation of the crops. They ate, they gorged upon the pest, and
then flying to the streams would drink and vomit and again return to
the battle front. This took place day by day until the crickets were
destroyed. The people gave thanks, for this was to them a miracle.
Surely the Lord was merciful and had sent the gulls as angels of mercy
for their salvation.[1] Since that time the gull has been looked upon
by the Latter-day Saints almost as a sacred deliverer. Laws have been
passed for the protection of these birds, and the wanton killing of one
would be considered a crime of great magnitude.

The Feast of the Harvest

The first harvest in the valley was none too plentiful; however,
enough had been raised to tide over the season with the oncoming
and constantly increasing population. It is doubtful if ever since
then a harvest has filled the hearts of the people with such joy and
satisfaction. With thankful hearts, August 10, 1848, a public "harvest
feast" was celebrated in the valley. It had been demonstrated that
abundant crops could be raised with proper care and cultivation. Large
sheaves of wheat, rye, barley, and other products of the soil, were
placed on exhibition, and the people celebrated with music, song,
speeches, prayer and thanksgiving.

The Return of Oliver Cowdery

For some time the Spirit of the Lord had been striving with Oliver
Cowdery. Finally he decided to accept the admonition of the apostles
given November 22, 1847, and again unite with the Church. He came to
Kanesville with his family, in October, 1848, and asked to be received
as a member in the Church. He had been absent for over ten years. A
special conference was held October 21, 1848, at which Oliver Cowdery
arose and confessed the error of his ways and gave his testimony as

    "Friends and Brethren: My name is Cowdery, Oliver Cowdery. In the
    early history of this Church I stood identified with her, and one
    in her councils. True it is that the gifts and callings of God
    are without repentance; not because I was better than the rest of
    mankind was I called; but, to fulfil the purposes of God, he called
    me to a high and holy calling.

    "I wrote with my own pen the entire Book of Mormon (save a few
    pages), as it fell from the lips of the Prophet Joseph Smith, as
    he translated it by the gift and power of God, by the means of
    the Urim and Thummim, or, as it is called by that book, 'holy
    interpreters.' I beheld with my eyes, and handled with my hands,
    the gold plates from which it was transcribed. I also saw with
    my eyes and handled with my hands the 'holy interpreters.' That
    book is true. Sidney Rigdon did not write it. Mr. Spaulding did
    not write it. I wrote it myself as it fell from the lips of the
    Prophet. It contains the everlasting Gospel, and came forth to the
    children of men in fulfilment of the revelations of John, where he
    says he saw an angel come with the everlasting Gospel to preach to
    every nation, kindred, tongue and people. It contains principles of
    salvation; and if you, my hearers, will walk by its light and obey
    its precepts, you will be saved with an everlasting salvation in
    the kingdom of God on high. Brother Hyde has just said that it is
    very important that we keep and walk in the true channel, in order
    to avoid the sand-bars. This is true. The channel is here. The Holy
    Priesthood is here.

    "I was present with Joseph when an holy angel from God came down
    from heaven and conferred on us, or restored the lesser or Aaronic
    Priesthood, and said to us at the same time, that it should remain
    upon the earth while the earth stands.

    "I was also present with Joseph when the higher or Melchizedek
    Priesthood was conferred by holy angels from on high. This
    Priesthood we then conferred on each other, by the will and
    commandment of God. This Priesthood, as was then declared, is also
    to remain upon the earth until the last remnant of time. This Holy
    Priesthood, or authority, we then conferred upon many, and is just
    as good and valid as though God had done it in person.

    "I laid my hands upon that man--yes, I laid my right hand upon
    his head (pointing to Brother Hyde), and I conferred upon him the
    Priesthood, and he holds that Priesthood now. He was also called
    through me, by the prayer of faith, an apostle of the Lord Jesus

A few days later Oliver Cowdery appeared before the high council at
Kanesville and requested that he be received into the Church. His case
was considered and on motion of Elder Orson Hyde, who presided at
Kanesville, he was received by baptism. When Oliver appeared before the
high council on this occasion he said:

    "Brethren, for a number of years I have been separated from you.
    I now desire to come back. I wish to come humbly and to be one in
    your midst, I seek no station. I only wish to be identified with
    you. I am out of the Church. I am not a member of the Church, but
    I wish to become a member of it. I wish to come in at the door.
    I know the door. I have not come here to seek precedence, I come
    humbly, and throw myself upon the decisions of this body, knowing,
    as I do, that its decisions are right, and should be obeyed."

It was a sad occasion, yet a time of rejoicing to see the former
"Second Elder" of the Church with a contrite spirit desiring fellowship
in the Church, and the association of his former brethren. After
his baptism he desired to go to the Salt Lake Valley and then take
a mission to Great Britain. Before doing so he went to visit with
relatives in Missouri, and while there he was taken sick and died March
3, 1850. He died a happy man with the assurance that his sins had been
forgiven him.

The Beginning of New Settlements

Explorations of the surrounding valleys commenced as soon as the
pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley, for the purpose of discovering
suitable sites for other gathering places. In the fall of 1847,
Perrigrine Sessions, Samuel Brown and Hector C. Haight moved into the
valley north (Davis County) with herds of cattle. Sessions camped near
the spot where Bountiful was subsequently built, and there he lived
during the winter with part of his family, first in a wagon and then
in a hut. Later he built a permanent home which was the beginning of
Bountiful, formerly called Session's Settlement. Hector C. Haight went
a few miles farther north and made his camp near the present site of
Farmington, on Big Creek. Later he moved about three miles north on
Haight's Creek, where he built a cabin where he lived with one of his
sons during the winter of 1847-48. In 1848, Daniel Miller, Thomas
Grover, Jacob F. Secrist, William Smith and many others moved to the
north and became the first settlers of Bountiful, Farmington and other
towns in Davis County. Early in the year 1848, Captain James Brown,
who had returned from California, entered into negotiations with Miles
M. Goodyear, a trapper and trader, for the purchase of lands where
the present city of Ogden is built. There he located, calling the
place Brownsville. John S. Higbee and others located in Utah valley
in 1849. That same year John Rowberry led a company to Tooele Valley,
and Isaac Morley another to Sanpete Valley. In all these places
permanent settlements were established in that year. From this time on
colonization continued, under the direction of President Brigham Young,
and settlements began to spring up throughout the Rocky Mountains,
extending for hundreds of miles. The prophecy of Joseph Smith uttered
August 6, 1842, was realized.

Filling Vacancies in the Council of the Twelve

The organization of the First Presidency and the disfellowshipment of
Lyman Wight, left four vacancies in the council of the twelve. February
11, 1849, the First Presidency and apostles met in council at the homes
of Elder George B. Wallace to consider the filling of these vacancies.
President Young nominated Elders Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus
Snow and Franklin D. Richards for these positions, which nominations
were approved by the apostles. The following day at the home of Elder
Wallace, they were ordained.

The Salt Lake Stake

In the fall of 1847, the Saints in the Salt Lake Valley were organized
into a stake. It became necessary in 1849, to perfect that organization
and make certain changes. A meeting was called, February 13, 1849, for
that purpose. Elder Daniel Spencer was set apart as president of the
Salt Lake Stake, succeeding Patriarch John Smith, with David Fullmer
and Willard Snow as his counselors. A committee was appointed to lay
the city off into ecclesiastical wards, which later reported, and at
another meeting held on the 16th, the high council was organized and
officers chosen for quorums of the Priesthood. The following division
of the valley into wards was decided on: "South of the city and east
of the Jordan River, into four wards: Canyon Creek (Sugar House)
Ward, embracing the five-acre survey and all east of it; Mill Creek
Ward, embracing the ten-acre survey and all east of it; a third ward,
embracing the country between the ten-acre survey and the Cottonwood
Creek; and a fourth, embracing all south of the Cottonwood. West of the
Jordan: Canaan Ward; north of the city and east of the Jordan and the
lake, three wards." These wards included the settlements as far north
as Brownsville (Ogden). At another meeting held on the 22nd of the
month the city was divided into nineteen wards of nine blocks each.

The Perpetual Emigration Fund

Business of great importance was considered at the October general
conference of the Church in 1849. It was decided that the Church should
establish a "Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company," for the gathering
of the poor from the nations of the earth. The company was duly
incorporated and committees were appointed for the purpose of gathering
means for this fund, which were used in bringing great numbers of the
Latter-day Saints to the valleys of the mountains. This continued for
many years. Finally, in 1887, the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company
was disincorporated by the passage of the Edmunds-Tucker bill, and the
funds escheated to the government for the benefit of the common schools
of Utah. It was intended that those who were aided by this fund should
pay back into it the means advanced for their transportation to the
West, that others might be helped also to emigrate. In this way it
would be a perpetual and self-sustaining fund. Five thousand dollars
was the sum of the original contributions, and by its aid as many as
five hundred wagons were furnished some seasons to help the Saints
across the plains.

Increased Missionary Activity

At this same conference missionaries were called to go to various parts
of the earth as follows: Elder Charles C. Rich, to Southern California
(San Bernardino) to assist Amasa M. Lyman and to succeed him in that
field of labor; Addison Pratt, James Brown and Hyrum H. Blackwell, to
the Society Islands; Lorenzo Snow and Joseph Toronto, to Italy; Erastus
Snow and Peter O. Hansen, to Denmark; John Taylor, Curtis E. Bolton
and John Pack, to France; Franklin D. Richards, Joseph W. Johnson,
Joseph W. Young, Job Smith, Haden Church, George B. Wallace, John S.
Higbee and Jacob Gates, to England; and John E. Forsgren, to Sweden.
This was a wonderful undertaking and a remarkable trial of faith, in
the days of the poverty and adversity of the people, when the help of
all was needed to build up settlements and contend with the trials
and hardships of pioneer life in this western country. In the evening
of the 6th of October, the presidency set apart the brethren of the
apostles for their fields of labor, and the apostles set apart the
elders who were also called to various mission fields. In a very short
time all were on their way to carry the message of salvation to the
world, a duty the Lord has placed upon the elders of the Church, which
is second to no other. The inspiration of these calls is seen in the
fruitful harvest of souls which was gathered in England, Scandinavia
and other lands.

An Unexpected Harvest

The harvest of 1848 was hardly adequate for the needs of the Saints,
for their numbers had been greatly increased by immigration. The people
therefore were under the necessity of conserving to make ends meet.
They were placed on rations and were forced also to resort to the
digging of sego roots, and making greens from thistles and weeds to eke
out an existence. Their clothing was scant, and most of the men dressed
in buckskins, and all materials were made to do extra service. During
these stringent times, President Heber C. Kimball delivered a discourse
in which he uttered a remarkable prophecy. He said that within a short
time "states goods" would be sold in Salt Lake City cheaper than they
could be purchased in St. Louis or New York, and that the people would
be supplied with both food and clothing. Few, if any, who heard these
remarks, believed him. Such a thing in the far west, over a thousand
miles from the nearest settlements, where all goods had to be freighted
by team, seemed an impossibility. Yet the prophecy was literally

In the summer of 1849, gold seekers on their way to California,
commenced arriving in the Salt Lake Valley. Their animals were worn
out by the long and strenuous journey, for in their haste for gold,
these travelers had sacrificed all things, that they might make haste
to their destination. Now they were anxious to obtain fresh animals for
their tired ones, that they might hurry on their journey. To do this
they were willing to dispose of their goods at a great sacrifice. They
lightened their loads in the interest of speed and disposed of their
provisions, clothing and other materials, at a price below the cost of
the articles in the states at the time they started on their westward


1. September 13, 1913, a monument commemorating this event, was
unveiled on the Temple Block, Salt Lake City. The "Seagull Monument,"
as it is called, is the work of Mahonri M. Young, grandson of President
Brigham Young.

Chapter 42

Church Activities


A Provisional Government

When the first settlers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, they were
directed exclusively by Church authority. However, the people realized
that civil government must be inaugurated in their several settlements
after they were founded. As early as the fall of 1847 some municipal
officers were appointed, although no city government was effected at
that time. Before leaving Nauvoo, the authorities of the Church had
expressed the desire of organizing a civil government under the flag of
the United States. While on the plains they wrote to President James K.
Polk, under date of August 6, 1846, and "resolved" that as soon as they
were settled in the Great Basin they would petition the United States
for a territorial government, "bounded on the north by the British, and
south by the Mexican dominions, and east and west by the summits of the
Rocky and Cascade Mountains."

The First Political Convention

In February 1849, a call was issued for a political convention. The
people residing within the territory bounded by the Rocky Mountains,
the Republic of Mexico, the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Territory
of Oregon, were invited to assemble at Great Salt Lake City, March 5,
1849. On that date a convention was held, and Congress was petitioned
to organize the Territory of Deseret.[1] A constitution was adopted and
a provisional government was set up.

The Territory of Utah

Other petitions were also sent to Washington, asking for statehood,
but the government was not willing to grant all that the inhabitants
of the Great Basin desired. Enemies and bitter apostates lent their
aid to defeat the project. In September 1850, Congress passed a bill
for the organization of the territory of Utah, which was approved by
the President. The people preferred the name "Deseret,"[2] but gladly
accepted what was offered them.

Territorial Officers Appointed

In September 1850, President Millard Fillmore appointed the federal
officers for the territory of Utah. Brigham Young was appointed
governor, a position he had held in the "Provisional State of Deseret."
Broughton D. Harris, of Vermont, was appointed secretary; Joseph
Buffington, of Pennsylvania, chief justice; Perry C. Brocchus, of
Alabama, and Zerubbabel Snow of Ohio--the latter a member of the
Church--associate justices; Seth M. Blair, attorney; and Joseph L.
Heywood, United States marshal. The two latter were residents of Utah.
Judge Buffington declined and Lemuel C. Brandebury, of Pennsylvania,
was appointed in his stead. In addition to these officers there were
three Indian agents. Four of these federal officers were members of the
Church. The appointment of President Young as governor, was due to the
influence of Colonel Thomas L. Kane, the staunch and faithful friend of
the Latter-day Saints.

The "Run-Away Officials"

Three of these officials came to Utah filled with prejudice, and one,
at least (Judge Brocchus), hoped that he might be elected to office
and represent the territory in Congress. He had no desire to stay
in the West. Together with Chief Justice Brandebury and Secretary
Harris, he determined to leave again for the East, and preparations
were made toward that end. These men complained of the smallness of
their salaries, and Governor Young and other citizens petitioned
Washington in their behalf. Harris declared "that he had private
instructions designed for no eye but his own, to watch every movement
and not pay out any funds unless the same should be strictly legal,
and according to his own judgment." When he decided to return to the
East he also determined to take with him the funds which he had brought
for territorial purposes. An attempt was made to prevent this action
by legislative enactment, but he was sustained by the two judges, and
carried the funds back to St. Louis, where he deposited them with the
assistant treasurer of the United States. It was in September, 1851,
when these officials left the territory.

Their Report to Washington

The three run-away officials reported in Washington that they were
compelled to leave Utah on account of the lawless acts and seditious
tendencies of Brigham Young and the majority of the residents.[3] They
accused Governor Young with a waste of public funds--which they had
refused to let him have--and referred to the existence of "polygamy"
among the "Mormons."

Governor Young's Defense

Anticipating the accusations of these officials, because of threats
made before their departure, Governor Young wrote to President
Fillmore, September 29, 1851, setting forth his own course and the true
condition in the territory. This letter was augmented by others from
Jedediah M. Grant, mayor of Salt Lake City, who was then in the East,
and Col. Thomas L. Kane.[4] Daniel Webster, secretary of state, ordered
these officials to return to their posts or resign; so resign they did.

Their Places Filled

The places of these men were later filled. Lazarus H. Reed, of New
York, was appointed chief justice for Utah; Leonidas Shaver, associate
justice, and Benjamin G. Ferris, secretary. Secretary Ferris did not
remain in the territory very long, but the two justices were respected
by the people who held them in high esteem.

The Deseret Evening News

In each of the settlements of the Latter-day Saints, before coming to
Utah, they had endeavored to publish magazines and periodicals for the
benefit of the Saints. In keeping with this custom a small wrought-iron
Ramage handpress, was purchased in Philadelphia and brought across the
plains by one of the early companies. In 1850, this press was put to
use, and the first newspaper published in the Rocky Mountains made its
appearance in Salt Lake City. This was the _Deseret News,_ the first
number of which was published June 15, 1850, with President Willard
Richards as editor. It was a small quarto, issued weekly, and has since
grown into one of the influential daily papers in the inter-mountain

Announcement of the Plural Marriage Doctrine

August 28 and 29, 1852, a special conference was held in Salt Lake
City. One hundred and six elders were called to go on missions to
various fields, including the countries of Europe, Russia, India,
China, South Africa, Australia, Hawaii, and other islands of the sea,
as well as the states of the Union. On the second day the first public
announcement of the doctrine of plural marriage was declared. The
revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, dealing with the new
and everlasting covenant and including the doctrine of marriage for
eternity and "plural wives," was read. Elder Orson Pratt delivered the
first public discourse on this principle, dealing with the subject
from a scriptural standpoint. He emphasized the fact that the practice
of plural marriage among the Latter-day Saints was not to "gratify
the carnal lusts and feelings of man," but was to be practiced in
all holiness. Moreover, that there was but one who held the keys of
this power, and there were "bounds and restrictions" which the Lord
had set, and all who obeyed this law should be in harmony with the
law, receiving the sanction of the one who held the keys. Following
the discourse of Elder Orson Pratt, President Brigham Young made some
remarks dealing with the history of the revelation.

Laying the Corner Stones of the Salt Lake Temple

In February, 1853, ground was broken for the foundation of the Salt
Lake Temple. Wednesday, April 6, the corner stones were laid with
solemn and impressive ceremonies. This was the beginning of the most
costly and imposing temple yet to be erected by the Church, and was to
take forty years in the building. Other temples had been built, but
the Saints had not been granted the privilege of enjoying blessings in
them for any length of time. In this far western country, they hoped
to build undisturbed, and have the opportunity of receiving their
own blessings therein and also labor for their dead. It was at first
proposed to build the temple of sandstone from Red Butte Canyon, and a
wooden track was laid from the city to the canyon for the purpose of
hauling the rock. It was finally decided to build of granite, which was
found in abundance in Little Cottonwood Canyon, some eighteen or twenty
miles south-east of the city.

A Solemn Assembly

On the morning of April 6, 1853, thousands of Latter-day Saints
assembled in conference. President Young made a few introductory
remarks saying that in a few years "we may have a place sufficiently
large to accommodate the Saints, although, twenty-three years ago, the
Church was organized with only six members." The choir sang and prayer
was offered by Elder John Taylor. The procession then formed and moved
to the foundation of the temple. The general authorities of the Church
and the authorities of the Salt Lake Stake, took their places around
the foundation and the ceremonies of laying the corner stones proceeded.

Dedication of the Corner Stones

The First Presidency, with John Smith the patriarch laid the first or
south-east corner stone, according to the pattern given by the Prophet
Joseph Smith. Following this ceremony President Young delivered an
oration, and near the close he said:

    "We dedicate the south-east corner stone of the temple to the Most
    High God. May it remain in peace till it has done its work, and
    until He who has inspired our hearts to fulfil the prophecies of
    his holy prophets, that the house of the Lord should be reared
    in the 'tops of the mountains' shall be satisfied, and say it is

President Kimball then offered the prayer of dedication, and the
assembly gathered at the south-west corner stone, which was laid by the
Presiding Bishopric, followed by an oration by Bishop Edward Hunter,
and a prayer of dedication by Bishop Alfred Cordon. The north-west
corner stone was laid by the presidency of the high priests, and
President John Young of that quorum, delivered the oration. Elder
George B. Wallace offered the prayer of dedication. The last, or
north-east corner stone, was laid by the council of the twelve. Elder
Parley P. Pratt delivered an oration and the prayer of dedication was
offered by Elder Orson Hyde.

After benedictory remarks by President Young, the procession returned
to the Tabernacle and were dismissed.

President Young's Vision

In the afternoon service of that day, President Young spoke at length
in relation to temple building. In the course of his remarks he said:

    "I scarcely ever say much about revelations, or visions, but
    suffice it to say, five years ago last July [1847], I was here and
    saw in the spirit the temple not ten feet from where we have laid
    the chief corner stone. I have not inquired what kind of a temple
    we should build. Why? Because it was represented before me. I never
    looked upon that ground, but the vision of it was there. I see it
    as plainly as if it was in reality before me. Wait until it is
    done. I will say, however, that it will have six towers, to begin
    with, instead of one. Now do not any of you apostatize because it
    will have six towers, and Joseph only built one. It is easier for
    us to build sixteen, than it was for him to build one. The time
    will come when there will be one in the center of temples we shall
    build, and on the top, groves and fish ponds."[5]

Success in Foreign Mission Fields

The missionaries sent out to various parts of the earth in 1849 and
succeeding years, met with varied success. The Church membership
in the British Mission, before heavy emigration set in, was about
twenty-eight thousand souls. Outside of Great Britain perhaps the
greatest success in any foreign field fell to the lot of Erastus Snow
and his companions, who introduced the Gospel in Scandinavia. Many
branches were raised up, especially in Denmark, where Elders Snow,
Peter O. Hansen, George P. Dykes and John E. Forsgren were laboring.
Elder Forsgren carried the Gospel into Sweden and, later (1851) Hans F.
Petersen and Hans Peter Jensen, to Norway. In each of these countries
the elders were successful, although little headway was made in Sweden
until 1853, Elder Forsgren having been banished soon after his arrival
there. In Denmark, persecution raged, and several of the elders were
brutally treated, while in Norway they were cast into prison. Elders
John Taylor and companions in France were able to make some converts,
but found it to be a hard field. Elders Lorenzo Snow, Joseph Toronto
and Thomas B. H. Stenhouse, in Italy, found conditions similar to those
the elders encountered in France. Meeting with no success in Genoa,
they moved to the Protestant valleys of Piedmont, where a few were
baptized. Finally Elder Stenhouse was sent into Switzerland to open
the door for the Gospel there, where many were waiting to embrace the
truth. The elders in India made a number of converts, but principally
among the English, and branches of the Church were organized in that
land. The message of salvation was also successfully carried into
Australia, by John Murdock and Charles W. Wandell; into South Africa,
by Elders Jesse Haven, Leonard I. Smith and William Walker; Hawaii, by
Elder George Q. Cannon and companions. In China the mission opened by
Elders Hosea Stout, James Lewis and Chapman Duncan, was a failure, and
Elders Parley P. Pratt and Rufus Allen returned from South America,
they being unable, because of political disturbances, to get a foothold
there. Elders Addison Pratt, Benjamin F. Grouard, James Brown and
others, were banished from the Society Islands, and the native Saints
were sentenced to hard labor for holding meetings. Elders Pratt and
Grouard, with Noah Rodgers, who died crossing the plains in 1846, had
successfully introduced the Gospel in those and other islands of the
Pacific in the day of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

The Foundation for Future Labors

These early missionaries laid the foundation for the preaching of the
Gospel in many foreign lands, which has been continued since that
time with wonderful results. Thousands of honest converts have gladly
received the message of salvation, and with the spirit of gathering
resting upon them, have come to Zion, as the prophets foretold, with
songs of everlasting joy.

The Hand-Cart Immigration

The early companies arriving in the Salt Lake Valley came with oxen,
mules and horses and heavy laden wagons. The people, however, quite
generally were under the necessity of walking across the plains by
the sides of their wagons. It became apparent that other and cheaper
methods would have to be employed to accommodate the increasing
immigration. As early as 1851, the First Presidency suggested the use
of handcarts as a means of making the journey from Iowa westward. In
fact, there were in the Salt Lake Valley at that time some who had
crossed the plains in that manner, with comparative comfort and safety,
and this had led to the suggestion of general travel in hand-cart
companies. It was not until about the year 1856, however, that the
idea was impressed upon the foreign Saints, and then after repeated
suggestions. When they did take hold of it they entered into the spirit
of hand-cart transportation with enthusiasm. Especially was this
the case with the members of the Church in the British Isles. With
handcarts, the British Saints could make the journey from Liverpool to
Salt Lake City for about forty-five dollars, coming by way of Boston or
New York to Iowa City, where they were fitted out to cross the plains.
To those who were scarcely able to raise means, or who did not care
to be indebted to the Perpetual Emigration Fund Company, this was a
decided advantage.

The First Hand-Cart Companies

The first hand-cart companies to cross the plains were led by Edmund
Ellsworth and Daniel D. McArthur. Ellsworth's company, numbering 266
souls, left Iowa City, June 9, 1856. McArthur followed two days later
with a company of 220. A third and smaller company of Welsh Saints,
under command of Edward Bunker, left on the 23rd. The members of these
three companies pushed their hand-carts containing all their worldly
possessions, over the plains, the mountains, and through rivers and
streams, a distance of about thirteen hundred miles. A few deaths
among the aged and infirm occurred on the way, but these companies
all arrived in Salt Lake City in good condition and happy to be in
Zion. The companies of Ellsworth and McArthur arrived on the 26th of
September, having been delayed by the breaking down of hand-carts
which were built of unseasoned timber, and therefore could not stand
the strain and the excessive heat of the summer sun. They were met and
welcomed by the First Presidency and a large concourse of citizens,
with a brass band, at the foot of Little Mountain, in Emigration
Canyon, and were escorted into the city where they received a royal
welcome. These two companies arrived with ninety-six hand-carts, five
wagons, twenty-four oxen, four mules, and twenty-five tents. October
2, Captain Edward Bunker's company arrived without having had serious
loss, and were also met with enthusiastic welcome.

The Willie and Martin Companies

Two other companies with hand-carts were fitted out in the summer of
1856. The members of these companies were mainly from Great Britain and
Scandinavia. They arrived in Iowa City, the starting point, near the
end of June and in the fore part of July, where they discovered that
the tents and hand-carts for their use, were not provided. Consequently
they were delayed until these necessary articles could be manufactured,
or purchased. The delay was dangerous, for the season was advancing,
and the journey across the plains should not have been undertaken as
late as the middle of July, when the first company was prepared to
start. This company under the command of James G. Willie, left Iowa
City, July 15, and Florence [Winter Quarters], Nebraska, on the 19th of
August. They were followed by the second belated company, the fifth of
the season, under the command of Edward Martin, about two weeks later.

The Question of Traveling Considered

While at Florence, the question whether they should pursue their
journey from that point, or go into winter quarters, was discussed.
The majority were in favor of continuing on the way, although there
were dissenting voices, because of the lateness of the season and
the dangers the journey entailed.[6] Nevertheless the decision was
reached and they determined to go on rather than remain on the plains
through the winter. They fully hoped to reach Salt Lake City before the
chilling blasts of winter should overtake them. This was a fatal error,
but one, of course, unexpected by most of the companies, for the winter
season set in much earlier than usual that year, and was most severe.

The Babbitt and Margetts Tragedies

The fore part of this hand-cart journey passed pleasantly enough for
such a trip, except for the breaking down of carts and feelings of
anxiety because of Indian raids. The Cheyennes were on the warpath
and had made attacks on a number of preceding immigration trains. In
September, while the handcart companies were on the Platte, Almon
W. Babbitt, secretary of Utah, and a number of his camp who were in
advance were killed. They were on their way to Utah from Washington,
with a train of government property. A short time later Thomas Margetts
and wife; James Cody, wife and child, who were on their way to England,
were killed by the marauding Indians. News of these massacres did not
tend to lighten the hearts of the hand-cart immigrants, but it did
serve to make them more vigilant. Even then, they were deprived of many
of their cattle, which were stolen by the red men.

Disasters on the Way

Notwithstanding all the difficulties and dangers in their path, these
two companies pressed on with all possible speed. In the fore part
of their journey, they made favorable daily progress, but as they
continued, and the roads became more rough and repairs were constantly
necessary, their progress was delayed. Due to the lightness of their
hand-carts and the hasty manner in which they were constructed of
unseasoned wood, they began to fall to pieces before the companies were
well on the journey, and to repair them required time.

While they were on the Platte, in the middle of September, the first
frosts of the season were encountered, which increased in severity
day by day. September 30, Captain Willie's company arrived at Fort
Laramie--five hundred miles east of their destination--and the next day
continued on their way. From this point on they encountered the hardest
part of their travel, and winter was fast approaching. Their rations
were growing less, and restrictions were placed upon them. What was
worse, due to the loss of conveyances and the heavy grades they had to
climb when they reached the mountains, they had to discard a portion
of their burdens. Articles of clothing and bedding had to be left on
the way, that progress might be made. Improperly clad and with poor
shelter, they were exposed to the piercing winds and bitter cold of the
early winter storms. This caused them severe suffering, and many of the
more delicate were placed in untimely graves along the way, without
proper ceremony and in compelling haste. Under such adverse conditions
they were forced to push on, and wait not for anything, for emergency
demanded haste, lest the grim and merciless winter embrace them in the
grasp of death.

The sufferings of the advance company were repeated, but with greater
severity, by the one which traveled in the rear. The Martin camp was
composed of a larger number of women and children, and the inclement
season, augmented by the many other difficulties encountered, caused
greater loss of life in their ranks.

Extreme Suffering on the Sweetwater

On the Sweetwater, these immigrants encountered extreme winter weather
and heavy snows. Death had occurred frequently during these stages of
the journey. After one of these severe storms fifteen members of the
camp died in one day, while others were severely injured.

A Party to the Rescue

Through reports from returning missionaries who passed these hand-cart
companies on the way, President Brigham Young learned that they were
on the plains. Fearing for their safety, he organized relief parties
and sent them out with provisions, clothing and bedding to help them to
reach the valley. An advance guard of two young men, Joseph A. Young
and Stephen Taylor, was sent in a light wagon to inform the weary and
stricken travelers that relief was on the way. As these young men
approached the hand-cart company led by Captain Willie, they appeared
as angels of mercy. "More welcome messengers never came from the
courts of glory," said John Chislett, "than these two young men were
to us. They lost no time, after encouraging us all they could to press
forward, but sped on further to convey their glad news to Edward Martin
and the fifth hand-cart company, who had left Florence about two weeks
after us, and who it was feared, were even worse off than we were. As
they went from our view, many a hearty 'God bless you,' followed them."

"Martin's Ravine"

As the rescuers pressed on their way they discovered the Martin company
in a ravine, between the Platte and the Sweetwater. The place has been
designated "Martin's Ravine," and here the sufferers had made their
camp. They had about given up all hope and were ready to succumb to the
rigorous and persecuting winter, when word was received that relief
was coming. The joy that filled the hearts of the survivors--for death
had charged such heavy toll that the ravine was like an overcrowded
tomb--is beyond the power of mortal pen to write.

The Arrival in the Valley

With the help of the brethren, and the supplies from the valley, the
survivors of these two belated trains arrived in Salt Lake City in
November. Captain Willie's company entered the city on the 9th, and
Captain Martin's three weeks later. Out of Captain Willie's company of
between four and five hundred souls, seventy-seven had perished. Of the
Martin company about one-fourth of the five hundred and seventy-six who
started found graves along the way.

Later Hand-Cart Immigration

Other companies with hand-carts crossed the plains in subsequent years.
And from the Salt Lake Valley missionaries employed hand-carts to help
them to their distant fields of labor. Never again, however, was a
condition permitted to arise such as that which overtook the companies
under Captains Willie and Martin in the fall of 1856.

The Passing of Prominent Men

During the period covered in this chapter, several prominent elders of
the Church passed away. Oliver Cowdery, who at the incipiency of the
work, stood with the Prophet Joseph Smith as the second elder of the
Church, and who, with the Prophet, held the keys of this dispensation,
as they were received from holy angels, passed away. He died March 3,
1850, at Richmond, Missouri. Only a few months before his death [See
Chap. 41] he returned to the Church after an alienation of several
years. Presiding Bishop Newel K. Whitney, who was also among the first
to embrace the Gospel, died in Salt Lake City, October 13, 1850. He
joined the Church in Kirtland in 1831, and passed through the trying
scenes of Ohio, Missouri and Illinois. He was ordained to be the
second bishop of the Church, and after the death of Edward Partridge,
was sustained as the presiding bishop. In 1848 he led a company of
immigrants to the Salt Lake Valley. Two of his sons, Horace K. and
Orson K., were members of the pioneer band, but their father remained
at Winter Quarters, where his services were required during those
trying times. He was succeeded as presiding bishop by Edward Hunter in

March 11, 1854, Willard Richards, second counselor to President Brigham
Young, died in Salt Lake City. He was born in Massachusetts, in 1804,
and was baptized by Brigham Young, December 31, 1836. The following
year he accompanied Elder Heber C. Kimball and others to England and
assisted in the opening of that mission. After his companions returned,
he remained as one of the presidency of the British Mission, in which
capacity he was laboring when the apostles went to that land. Having
been called to the apostleship, he was ordained in Preston, England,
by President Brigham Young and other members of the council of the
apostles, April 14, 1840. He returned to the United States in 1841,
and became the private secretary to the Prophet Joseph Smith, and
was with him in Carthage prison at the time of the martyrdom. From
1842 until his death he was Church historian and recorder and at the
reorganization of the First Presidency, was selected by President Young
as his second counselor. In this position he was succeeded by Elder
Jedediah M. Grant, and as historian, by Elder George A. Smith.

"Uncle" John Smith, the presiding patriarch of the Church, died in Salt
Lake City, May 23, 1854. He was a man of tried integrity and had served
in the councils of the Church from the time of his baptism until his
death. He was among the first of the Prophet's relatives to receive the
truth and through his influence others were converted. He was succeeded
in the office of patriarch, by John Smith, eldest son of the Patriarch
Hyrum Smith.

Elder Orson Spencer, a man of superior education, who served the Church
faithfully and well as a missionary for many years, was called to the
other side of the veil, October 15, 1855, while at St. Louis. He had
presided in the British Mission during one of the critical periods in
that land.

Jedediah M. Grant, second counselor to President Brigham Young, died
in Salt Lake City, December 1, 1856, after a brief illness. He was
a young man of forceful character and had been identified with the
Church since 1833. He was a member of Zion's Camp in 1834; was chosen
among the first seventies, and in that calling filled a number of
successful missions throughout the United States. He passed through the
persecutions of Missouri and Illinois, and arrived in the Salt Lake
Valley, in charge of the last company to cross the plains in 1847.
He was the first mayor of Salt Lake City, and when he was called to
be a counselor to President Young, was serving as one of the first
council of the seventies. He was succeeded as a counselor in the First
Presidency by Elder Daniel H. Wells.

The Assassination of Parley P. Pratt

Another death, occurring May 13, 1857, was that of Elder Parley P.
Pratt of the council of the twelve. In the autumn of 1856, Elder Pratt
left Salt Lake City with a company of missionaries, and crossed the
plains. That winter he labored in St. Louis, Philadelphia, New York and
other cities in the East. In the spring of 1857, he was in Arkansas.
While there he attempted to assist a Mrs. Hector H. McLean, who was
a member of the Church, to obtain possession of her children, she
having separated from her husband because of drunkenness and cruelty.
McLean accused Elder Pratt of alienating the affections of his wife and
attempting to abduct the children. A trial was held, and Elder Pratt
was acquitted of the charge. Shortly afterwards, as he was journeying
from Van Buren County where the court was held, intending to join an
immigrant company for Utah, he was overtaken by McLean who plunged a
bowie knife in his side. After Elder Pratt had fallen from his horse,
McLean shot him with a pistol. The assassin was never punished for
the foul deed. In this manner died one of the greatest expounders
of the latter-day faith, a poet and writer, whose works survive and
have done much to bring many to a knowledge of the Gospel. Although
their author's voice has long been stilled, his work yet speaks with
convincing power.


1. Col. Thomas L. Kane advised the Saints to petition for statehood,
rather than for a territorial form of government, pointing out that
they would be permitted to govern themselves in a state government, but
in a territory they would likely be subject to outside politicians,
who would not be in sympathy with them, and perhaps their enemies. The
people took his advice, but were not successful in obtaining their
desire. Even under territorial regulations they should have been
granted self government, through the appointment of officials from
their own communities, but this proved to be the exception during
the long history of Utah as a territory. And with a few honorable
exceptions, the officers sent to them from other parts, were broken
down politicians and men to whom political office was tendered as a
debt for party service. Many of them were extremely bitter against the
Saints, and resorted to falsehood and misrepresentation, in order to
bring the majority of the inhabitants of the territory into disrepute
at Washington and throughout the nation. Under such conditions conflict
was constant and inevitable.

2. Deseret is a Book of Mormon term meaning "honey bee."

3. These "lawless acts and seditious tendencies," evidently had
reference to certain remarks made by President Brigham Young, in a
discourse in which he said the United States looked on scenes of
mobbing, driving, and murdering of Latter-day Saints in Missouri and
Illinois, without interference, or taking steps to correct the evil,
but by silence gave sanction to such proceedings. Moreover for a rebuke
administered to Judge Brocchus, who at a special conference of the
Church in September, 1851, was privileged to speak and accused the
leaders of the Church of disloyalty, and reflected upon the virtue of
the women of the Latter-day Saints.

4. Following is a letter from Col. Thomas L. Kane to President Fillmore
in defense of Governor Brigham Young:

    Philadelphia, July 11, 1851.

    _My Dear Sir_: I have no wish to evade the responsibility of
    having vouched for the character of Mr. Brigham Young, of Utah,
    and his fitness for the station he now occupies. I reiterate
    without reserve, the statement of his excellent capacity, energy,
    and integrity, which I made you prior to his appointment. I am
    willing to say I volunteered to communicate to you facts by which
    I was convinced of his patriotism, and devotion to the interest
    of the Union. I made no qualification when I assured you of his
    irreproachable moral character, because I was able to speak of this
    from my own intimate, personal knowledge.

    If any shadow of evidence can be adduced in support of the charges
    of your anonymous assailant, the next mail from Utah shall bring
    you their complete and circumstantial refutation. Meanwhile I am
    ready to offer this assurance for publication in any form you care
    to indicate, and challenge contradiction from any respectable

    I am, Sir, with high respect and esteem, your most obedient servant,

    Thomas L. Kane.

    The President.

5. _Millennial Star_ 15:488.

6. While the consideration of this momentous question was being
discussed the brethren were advised by Elder Levi Savage, who was
returning from a mission to Siam and Ceylon, that such a journey so
late in the season should not be undertaken, and it would be better to
go into winter quarters and wait until spring. He had been over the
route and knew the dangers they would likely encounter, but he was
overruled. According to the narrative of this fatal journey given by
John Chislett, when Elder Savage was overruled he said: "What I have
said I know to be true; but seeing you are to go forward, I will go
with you; will help all I can; will work with you, will rest with you,
will suffer with you, and if necessary, will die with you. May God in
his mercy bless and preserve us." These were noble sentiments worthy of
a place in the archives of time.

For a descriptive and comparatively full account of these journeyings
of the two belated pioneer companies of hand-carts, the reader is
referred to the _History of Utah_, by Orson F. Whitney, vol. 1:547.

Chapter 43

"The Utah War"


Political Changes

Chief Justice Lazarus H. Reed, after a short stay in Utah, resigned
because of ill-health, and returned to the East where he died in the
spring of 1855. He was succeeded as chief justice by John F. Kinney, of
Iowa, in 1854. After the close of the term of Judge Zerubbabel Snow,
William W. Drummond, of Illinois, was appointed associate justice.
Judge Leonidas Shaver died suddenly in Salt Lake City in June, 1855,
due to an abscess on the brain, and he was succeeded by George P.

Character of the Federal Judges

Chief Justice Kinney was a gentleman, and performed his duty faithfully
without partiality. The appointment of the two associate justices was
a calamity. Drummond was dishonest and licentious. He left his wife
and family in Illinois without means for their support, and brought
with him to the territory a common courtesan, whom he introduced as
his wife. This woman he honored with a place by his side while he sat
in court dispensing advice to the "Mormons" on morality. Judge Stiles
had been a member of the Church, but was excommunicated for immoral
conduct. Like most characters of that class, he became very abusive and
a bitter enemy of the Church. The corruption of Judge Drummond coming
to light, that individual left the territory in disgrace.

Falsehoods of Drummond and Stiles

March 30, 1857, Judge Drummond wrote a letter to the attorney general
of the United States, making false charges against Governor Young
and the "Mormon" people. He went to Carson County to hold court,
and then continued on to the coast never to return to Utah. In his
communication he declared that the records of the supreme court of Utah
had been destroyed; that Brigham Young had given his approval to this
treasonable deed, and with his knowledge it was done; that Brigham
Young, as governor, had pardoned "Mormon" criminals and imprisoned
innocent "Gentiles;" he had insulted federal judges; the American
Government had been traduced and men "insulted, harrassed and murdered
for doing their duty." He accused the "Mormon" people of the murder
of Almon W. Babbitt; of perpetrating the Gunnison massacre,[1] and of
the death of Judge Shaver, who died a natural death. He placed the
responsibility of these alleged crimes at the door of the authorities
of the Church.

Judge Stiles also filed an affidavit at Washington, affirming much
that Judge Drummond had said, and emphasizing the statement that the
court records and papers had been destroyed. Others also added to the
unrighteous accusations with the evil thought of bringing the Church
into disrepute. Among them were Indian Agent Garland Hurt, and W. M.
Magraw. The latter having been disappointed in losing the contract
to carry mail across the plains, which contract was awarded to Hiram
Kimball, a "Mormon," sought revenge by circulating falsehoods. He
stated that the civil laws of the territory were "overshadowed and
neutralized by the so-styled ecclesiastical organization, as despotic,
dangerous and damnable" as ever existed. Other, and even more serious
accusations, he forwarded in a communication to President Buchanan in
October, 1856.

Denial of False Charges

Curtis E. Bolton, deputy clerk of the supreme court of Utah, made
denial in his official capacity, of the Drummond charges. He stated
that the records and papers of the court were all intact. This denial
was speedily forwarded to the attorney general of the United States,
but was ignored in the face of the various statements of the lying

The Conspirators Demand Governor Young's Removal

At the time these falsehoods were sent to Washington, Governor Brigham
Young was serving his second term. At the close of his first term
as governor, Col. Edward J. Steptoe of the United States Army, was
appointed to that position. He declined, and with Chief Justice Kinney,
headed a petition, which bore the names of the federal officials,
army officers and prominent citizens in the territory, asking for the
reappointment of Governor Young. The petition bore fruit and President
Franklin Pierce continued Brigham Young in office. These conspirators
now endeavored to have him removed, and this desire was very largely
the underlying cause in their evil accusations.

"Buchanan's Blunder"

Accepting at their face value, without any investigation, the
inflammatory and lying charges of the enemies of Utah, President James
Buchanan determined on changing the governor, and also appointed
new judges. He further directed that an army must accompany the new
appointees, as a posse comitatus, to sustain the authority of these
officers, and suppress "rebellion" among the "Mormon" people.

It was announced through the war department that the "Mormons"
"implicitly obey their prophet from whose decrees there is no appeal."
Moreover, that they had aimed from the beginning to secede from the
Union, and had not "preserved even the semblance of obedience to
authority, only as it would benefit themselves." Such was the ignorance
of the authorities at Washington regarding Latter-day Saint affairs,
so soon after the loyal and remarkable feat performed by the Mormon
Battalion in the war which made their territory a part of the United
States. Such was to be the reward of this loyal people who would
sacrifice five hundred of their most capable men in the hour of their
greatest distress, at the call of their country. These expressions
from Washington were made in the face of the constant appeals by the
"Mormon" people for a form of government under the Stars and Stripes,
in spite of the evil treatment they had constantly received within
the borders of the United States; and, too, after their appeal to
the general government for redress of grievances was answered from
Washington, that their cause was just, but nothing could be done for

When appealing to Washington for redress, while they resided in
Illinois, they were advised by governors and leading statesmen to move
to Oregon, where they could set up a government of their own, free and
independent of all other earthly powers. Their reply to such advice
was, that they were American citizens, and where they went they would
take the flag of their country with them.

It appears from this distant date, that there were other motives
prompting the President of the United States in sending the flower of
the army into the "Mormon" country, ostensibly to suppress a rebellion
which did not exist, and aid in a rebellion soon to occur, which was
destined to divide the nation asunder. What-ever the motive, the army
was sent, and was kept in Utah for a number of years at the beginning
of a critical period of the nation's history.

Call of the Army

May 28, 1857, orders were issued from the war department for the
assembling of an army at Fort Leavenworth, to march to Utah as soon as
possible. All mail toward Utah had been stopped, and for some reason
the government conducted its campaign against that territory with great
secrecy. It was practically a declaration of war by the United States
against one of her dependent units, without investigation or just
cause--a thing without a parallel in the annals of our country. "It is
probable," states Bancroft, "that no expedition was ever dispatched by
the United States better equipped and provisioned than was the army of
Utah, of which the portion now under orders mustered about twenty-five
hundred men." Then he argues that the expedition was conducted in the
interests of the contractors. The men who secured the flour contract
netted in a single year the sum of one hundred and seventy thousand

How the Saints Learned of the Expedition

While all these warlike preparations were going on, the Saints in the
Rocky Mountains, dwelling in peace, were innocent of any threatened
invasion. The first information of such an expedition was received by
Elders Feramorz Little and Ephraim K. Hanks in February, 1857. They
had just arrived at Independence with mail, where they heard from
several parties who desired to secure contracts from the government
for handling the supply trains, that a movement was on foot against
Utah. They could hardly believe the rumors and reports that came to
their ears. Later Elder Abraham O. Smoot, on his way east with mail,
met Elder Little at Fort Laramie, from whom he heard the rumors.
Proceeding on his way, Elder Smoot met some troops and several trains
of government supplies. From his inquiries he received no satisfactory
answer as to their destination, only that they were bound for a
western post and that the supplies belonged to William H. Russell.
At Independence he learned from Mr. Russell that the destination of
the trains was Salt Lake City, and that government troops would soon
follow. He was also informed that Brigham Young had been superseded
as governor and that new federal officers had been appointed for
Utah. Gaining all the information he could, Elder Smoot commenced his
homeward journey, traveling leisurely at first, for fear of arousing
suspicion, but increasing his speed as he neared his destination. A
short distance east of Fort Laramie he met Orrin Porter Rockwell with
the east bound mail. To him he told his story and together they, and
Judson L. Stoddard, returned to the Salt Lake Valley, arriving on the
evening of July 23.

The 24th of July Celebration

When these brethren arrived they learned that President Brigham Young
and about twenty-six hundred people had gone to Silver Lake, at the
head of Big Cottonwood Canyon. There they expected to celebrate the
twenty-fourth--the tenth anniversary of the arrival of the pioneers
in Salt Lake Valley. On the morning of the 24th, Mayor Smoot of Salt
Lake City, Judson L. Stoddard, Judge Elias Smith and Orrin P. Rockwell,
started for the scene of the celebration. They arrived in the afternoon
in the midst of the ceremonies and the first view to attract their gaze
was the Stars and Stripes unfurled from two lofty peaks and some of the
tallest trees. With grave countenances these messengers bearing evil
tidings approached Governor Young and told their story. A council of
the brethren was called and the situation discussed. That evening the
assembly was informed by General Daniel H. Wells of the militia, that
an army was on its way to Utah. He gave instructions as to the manner
of the departure from the camp on the following morning. Early the next
day (25th) the people, so happy the day before, returned to their homes
with bowed heads and hearts filled with sadness.

The Decision of the Council

Twice in Missouri and once in Illinois had the Saints been driven from
their homes at the point of the bayonet, and that, too, by aid of state
authority. Their Prophet and Patriarch had been foully murdered by a
mob while under the pledge of protection of a governor of Illinois.
The Saints had been murdered and robbed while the nation looked on
without interference. And now there was coming to their distant home,
a body of troops organized and equipped by the President of the United
States. They were coming without warning and without valid excuse. Was
it not natural under all the circumstances for this people to feel that
once again they were to be butchered, robbed and driven--where, no one
could tell! Naturally they were aroused. Their backs were against the
wall. They must make a stand, and if to fight was the intention of
the troops, then fight it should be. They were determined to maintain
their inherent and constitutional rights. Conquered, they should not
be; if they were driven they should leave the land as desolate as they
found it. If the government of the United States desired to install
new officers, they could come in peace, and welcome. Such had always
been the attitude of the Latter-day Saints. They could only judge by
the experiences of the past what the designs of the army might be, for
no word had been sent them of its purpose. "Liars have reported that
this people have committed treason, and upon their misrepresentations
the President has ordered out troops to assist in officering the
territory," said President Young. "We have transgressed no law, neither
do we intend to do so; but as for any nation coming to destroy this
people, God Almighty being my helper, it shall not be." Such was the
decision of the councils of the Church. And where is the patriot whose
blood would not burn within his veins; whose heart would not beat for
freedom; who would not stand as this band of humble worshipers of the
Lord and Savior of mankind proposed to stand, if driven to the extreme?

Captain Van Vliet

In advance of the army there came to Utah Captain Stewart Van Vliet of
the commissary department. His object was to discover if forage and
fuel could be obtained for the troops while in the territory. As soon
as he arrived he obtained an interview with Governor Young. He was
treated with the greatest kindness and hospitality, and so he reported
to his superiors. However, he was informed that no hostile force would
be permitted to enter the Salt Lake Valley; there was an abundance of
every thing the troops would need, but not one thing would be sold to
them. Federal officers could come, if they came in peace, and would be
kindly and courteously received; but they could not bring an hostile

Captain Van Vliet's Report

In his report Captain Van Vliet said:

    "In the course of my conversation with the Governor and the
    influential men of the Territory, I told them plainly and frankly
    what I conceived would be the result of their present course. I
    told them that they might prevent the small military force now
    approaching Utah from getting through the narrow defiles and rugged
    passes of the mountains this year, but that next season the United
    States Government would send troops sufficient to overcome all
    opposition. The answer to this was invariably the same: 'We are
    aware that such will be the case; but when those troops arrive they
    will find Utah a desert. Every house will be burned to the ground,
    every tree cut down, and every field laid waste. We have three
    years' provisions on hand, which we will cache, and then take to
    the mountains and bid defiance to all the powers of the Government.'

    "I attended their services on Sunday, and, in course of a sermon
    delivered by Elder Taylor, he referred to the approach of the
    troops and declared they should not enter the Territory. He then
    referred to the probability of an overpowering force being sent
    against them, and desired all present who would apply the torch to
    their buildings, cut down their trees, and lay waste their fields,
    to hold up their hands. Every hand, in an audience numbering over
    four thousand persons, was raised at the same moment. During my
    stay in the city I visited several families, and all with whom
    I was thrown, looked upon the present movement of the troops
    towards their Territory as the commencement of another religious
    persecution, and expressed a fixed determination to sustain
    Governor Young in any measure he might adopt."

Good Resulting from the Visit

The sympathy of Captain Van Vliet was drawn out toward the people. He
admired their stand although careful of his expression as he was under
orders from the government. He was convinced that the people had been
misrepresented and lied about, and it is said he declared that if the
government made war upon the Saints, he would withdraw from the army.
However, he thought the government would send to Utah an investigating
committee. "I believe," said Governor Young, "God sent you here, and
that good will grow out of it. I was glad when I heard you were coming.
If we can keep the peace this winter, I feel sure that something will
occur to prevent the shedding of blood." The captain returned to
Washington and made his report to the secretary of war.

Johnston in Command

When the army was ordered to Utah the command was given to General W.
S. Harney, who was at the time in charge at Fort Leavenworth. Captain
Van Vliet called on him when returning to Washington after his visit
in Utah. The captain informed General Harney of the attitude of the
"Mormon" people and the conditions as they existed in the territory.
The general replied: "I am ordered there, and I will winter in the
valley, or in hell." Late in the summer the command was given to
Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston, with the rank of brevet brigadier

The Start for Utah

The vanguard of the troops, under Colonel E. B. Alexander, started from
Fort Leavenworth in July. 1857. With them traveled Alfred Cumming, of
Georgia, the newly appointed governor, and other federal appointees
for Utah. As the troops reached the South Pass, they were met by
Captain Van Vliet, who advised them not to attempt to enter the Salt
Lake Valley that winter, as no arrangements could be made for supplies
and they would have to fight their way through. Some of the young
officers, who were in advance, ignored the warning, and expressed the
thought that they were sufficiently able to force their way to Salt
Lake City--"that they could whip all Utah." The second regiment he met
was commanded by old officers, who considered the matter seriously and
expressed the thought that it was an imposition that they should be
sent out west "as a political movement to kill innocent people, or to
get killed.[2]"

Martial Law Proclaimed

After the departure of Captain Van Vliet from Salt Lake City, and while
the army was near the border of Utah, Governor Young proclaimed martial
law throughout the territory and notified Colonel Alexander of this
action. The militia was ordered to be held in readiness to repel any
attempted invasion, but instructions were given that no blood should
be shed, unless it was absolutely unavoidable. These instructions were
carefully followed and only once during the campaign were shots fired
with intent to kill, and these were fired by the government forces at a
detachment under command of Major Lot Smith, who had been sent out to
destroy their trains. When fired upon there was no retaliation by the
members of the militia.

General Wells in Echo Canyon

Following the proclamation of Governor Young, Lieutenant General
Daniel H. Wells of the Nauvoo Legion--the name by which the militia
was known--established headquarters at "The Narrows" in Echo Canyon, a
defile, rugged and steep, where a few men could hold an army. To this
point about twelve hundred and fifty men, from several companies of the
militia, were ordered to report, and maintain the pass by force of arms
against any attempted invasion.

Governor Young's Ultimatum

Colonel Alexander continued his march, as it was fully expected that
he would, and crossed the border of the territory. September 29,
General Wells forwarded to Colonel Alexander copies of Governor Young's
proclamation, a copy of the laws of Utah, and a letter from Governor
Young addressed to "The Officer commanding the forces now invading Utah
Territory." In this letter the following occurs:

    "By virtue of the authority vested in me, I have issued, and
    forwarded you a copy of my proclamation forbidding the entrance
    of armed forces into this Territory. This you have disregarded. I
    now further direct that you retire forthwith from the Territory,
    by the same route you entered. Should you deem this impracticable,
    and prefer to remain until spring in the vicinity of your present
    encampment, Black's Fork,[3] or Green River, you can do so in
    peace and unmolested on condition that you deposit your arms
    and ammunition with Lewis Robison, quartermaster general of the
    Territory, and leave in the spring, as soon as the condition of
    the roads will permit you to march; and should you fall short of
    provisions, they can be furnished you, upon making the proper
    applications therefor. General D. H. Wells will forward this, and
    receive any communication you may have to make."

In forwarding these communications General Wells declared that he was
determined to carry out Governor Young's instructions.

Colonel Alexander's Reply

Colonel Alexander made the only reply possible which was to the effect
that he would submit the communications to his superior officers and
"in the meantime," he added, "I have only to say that these troops are
here by order of the President of the United States, and their future
movements will depend entirely upon orders issued by competent military

Guerrilla Warfare

Following this correspondence General Wells determined on carrying out
his instructions. He ordered Major Joseph Taylor and others under his
command to annoy the troops; stampede their cattle; set fire to their
trains; burn the whole country before them and on their flanks; keep
them from sleeping by night surprises; blockade the road; but must
avoid strictly the taking of life. These instructions were faithfully
followed and Major Lot Smith with a company of mounted rangers
destroyed trains, ran off cattle and burned the grass, and otherwise
inflicted damage, but no blood was shed.

Arrival of General Johnston

Early in November, 1857, General Albert Sidney Johnston, with
additional troops and supplies, overtook the main body of the army on
Black's Fork. He was a capable and popular officer and soon enthused
the troops who had become dispirited because of their many reverses.
Their journey had not been a pleasant one, the Indians had run off
many of their cattle, and the "Mormon" mountaineers had harassed them,
had burned their trains of supplies, and destroyed the grass on which
their teams and cattle were dependent. But their troubles were only
beginning. Their haughty commander ordered a forward movement toward
Fort Bridger, disdaining to turn from the direct route through the

If "the stars in their courses fought against Sisera," in the days
of ancient Israel, surely the elements fought against Johnston's
army in the days of modern Israel. From their camp to Fort Bridger
was less than forty miles, but it was a barren desert. They found no
shelter from the winter winds, there was no fuel, except the sage, and
very little pasture for their animals. They commenced on the 6th of
November, and their trains, extending for many miles, were forced to
face the snow and sleet of the most severe winter weather. Their teams
were goaded until they dropped dead in their traces. Fifteen days they
were on the journey. Their cattle died for lack of food and exposure to
freezing weather. When they arrived they found that Bridger and also
Fort Supply, twelve miles away, had been burned by the militia.

The Forward March Abandoned

It became apparent that it would be impossible to reach the Salt Lake
Valley before the coming spring. With great reluctance and injured
pride the commander gave orders that the troops go into winter quarters
on Black's Fork. During the winter months Chief Justice Eckles, who
with other federal officers dwelt in the camp, organized a court,
without waiting to qualify, and indicted the leading men in Utah for
treason and rebellion.

Proclamation of Governor Cumming

Governor Cumming issued a proclamation to the people of the territory
in which he said: "I come among you with no prejudice or enmities,
and by the exercise of a just and firm administration I hope to
command your confidence. Freedom of conscience and the use of your
own peculiar mode of serving God are sacred rights, the exercise of
which is guaranteed by the Constitution, and with which it is not the
province of the government or the disposition of its representatives in
the territory to interfere." Let it be said to his credit that these
sentiments were sincere, and when he was established in his office
he was brave enough to execute justice as he saw it. He commanded
all armed bodies in the territory to disband and return to their
homes stating that disobedience would "subject the offenders to the
punishment due to traitors."

There was no disposition on the part of the militia to disband. Too
often had they been despoiled by mobs under guise of lawful troops.
They had stood enough and were determined to defend their homes, no
matter what were the accusations made against them.

The Mediation of Colonel Kane

At the beginning of the difficulties Governor Young sent a
communication to Colonel Thomas L. Kane, explaining the motives
in declaring martial law in Utah, and asking him to intercede at
Washington. This loyal friend of the "Mormons" did not fail. He
interviewed the President and offered his services as mediator between
the government and the people of Utah. His services were accepted and
he crossed the Isthmus of Panama, sailing from New York, and proceeded
from California to Utah, where he arrived in February, 1858. At the
time Congress was preparing to send reinforcements and money to carry
on the "war." Colonel Kane arrived, delicate in health, and wishing to
test the "Mormon" people appeared in Salt Lake City in disguise as "Dr.
Osborne." He received hospitable treatment and was welcomed warmly when
he became known. He reported the nature of his visit and reported that
Captain Van Vliet had proved himself a friend of the "Mormons" on his
return to Washington.

After a few days' rest Colonel Kane departed for the army camp on
Black's Fork to interview Governor Cumming. After severe trials and
adventures he arrived at the camp. Governor Cumming received him
cordially and agreed to place himself under his direction and go to
Salt Lake City without military aid. Such a step was strongly opposed
by General Johnston, who attempted to arrest Colonel Kane as a spy.
Governor Cumming felt insulted at the indignity offered and demanded
an explanation, which the commanding officer failed to give in a
satisfactory manner. The incident almost precipitated a duel between
General Johnston and Colonel Kane.

Governor Cumming Enters Salt Lake City--His Reception

Accompanied by Colonel Kane and two servants, Governor Cumming set
out for Salt Lake City. On the way they were met by an escort of Utah
cavalry. Arriving in the city he was received with a cordial reception
and was conducted to the home of William C. Staines, the territorial
librarian. President Young called on him and bid him welcome saying,
every facility that he might require for the efficient performance
of his administrative duties, would be at his command. The governor
wrote to General Johnston saying: "I have been everywhere recognized
as Governor of Utah; and so far from having encountered insults or
indignities, I am satisfied in being able to state to you, that in
passing through the settlements I have been universally greeted with
such respectful attentions as are due to the representative authority
of the United States in the territory."

The Governor's Report to Secretary Cass

After a thorough examination, and finding all the records of the courts
in perfect order, Governor Cumming wrote to Secretary of State Lewis
M. Cass informing him of the true conditions in the territory and of
the false reports which had stood as a foundation for the sending of an

The Exodus Toward the South

When Governor Cumming arrived in the city he discovered that many of
the inhabitants of that place and the settlements to the north, had
left their homes. Others were journeying toward the south. Where they
were bound he could not learn more than that they were "going south"
and driving their flocks and herds before them. He expressed the
belief to the government that the destiny of these people was Sonora
in northern Mexico. He regretted greatly that they felt it necessary
to move, but he could do nothing to persuade them to remain as long
as they were menaced by an army. Their experience in the past was too
bitter in this regard, and could not be forgotten.

"Our military force could overwhelm most of these poor people," wrote
the governor, "involving men, women, and children in a common fate,
but there are among the 'Mormons' brave men, accustomed to arms and
horses; men who could fight desperately as guerrillas: and who, if the
settlements are destroyed, will subject the country to an expensive and
protracted war, without any compensating results. They will, I am sure,
submit to 'trial by their peers,' but they will not brook the idea of
trials by 'juries' composed of 'teamsters and followers of the camp.'"

The Governor's Wife Pleads for the People

In the middle of May, Governor Cumming returned to Camp Scott, where
the troops were quartered. When he returned, his wife was with him. She
gazed upon the deserted homes--for the people had departed, leaving
only a guard to fire their property should the troops arrive in hostile
attitude. The good woman wept and pleaded with her husband to do
something to bring back the people. "Rest assured madam," said he, "I
shall do all I can. I only wish I could be in Washington for two hours;
I am sure I could convince the government that we have no need of

The Peace Commission

Through the good services of faithful friends--among whom Colonel
Thomas L. Kane stands out in bold relief--the government was persuaded
to send peace commissioners to Utah. These gentlemen were Governor
L. W. Powell of Kentucky and Major Ben McCullock of Texas. With them
came Jacob Forney, Indian Superintendent for Utah. They met with
Governor Cumming, Brigham Young and other prominent men, when the
whole situation was discussed. It was agreed that there should be no
opposition to Johnston's army passing through the city providing they
were not permitted to stop, but should pass on to make their camp at
least forty miles away.

Their Epistle to Johnston

An agreement having been reached, the commissioners addressed a
communication to General Johnston advising him of what had been done
and requesting him to make proclamation among his troops. The commander
was surprised at the decision, stating that the army would not trespass
upon the rights or property of the peaceable citizens. His men, many
of them, were greatly disappointed, for they were to be denied the
privilege of plunder for which they hoped and talked about as they
marched upon their way.

The Arrival of the Troops

June 26, 1858, the army under command of General Johnston, entered
the Salt Lake Valley through Emigration Canyon. They passed through
the city, now almost without inhabitants, and camped on the opposite
side of Jordan river. Colonel Cooke, as he rode through the streets of
the city, bared his head in honor of the valiant and loyal men of the
Mormon Battalion. Three days after their arrival the troops passed on
to the southwest and camped in Cedar Valley where they founded Camp
Floyd, named after the Secretary of War, and here was to be their scene
of action for several years to come.

The President's "Pardon"

On the 6th of April, President Buchanan signed a proclamation,
"offering to the inhabitants of Utah, who shall submit to the laws,
a free pardon for the seditions and treasons heretofore by them
committed; warning those who still persist, after notice of this
proclamation in the present rebellion against the United States, that
they must expect no further lenity." This document, which is quite
lengthy, was brought to Utah with the commissioners. The authorities
of the Church denied that they had been disloyal, and disputed the
statements in the President's proclamation. Nevertheless, they accepted
his pardon for driving off the cattle and burning the army trains,
which they stoutly maintained was done in self-defense; but the other
charges they fully denied.

The fact is that President Buchanan had been roundly scored in the
press, and by statesmen in our own country and abroad. The easiest
way out of it, for he had committed a great blunder, was to issue a
proclamation exonerating himself, and pardoning the "culprits" who
dared to maintain their rights against such overwhelming odds.


1. Captain John W. Gunnison, in charge of a party of topographical
engineers, was murdered by Indians, with a number of his party, near
Sevier Lake, in October 1853. The massacre was in revenge for the
killing of one Indian and the wounding of two others, by a company of
emigrants on their way to California. According to Indian practice the
next company that came along was attacked as a reprisal. At the time
of this deed of blood the Indians under Chief Walker were waging war
on the inhabitants of Utah, that event is known in historical annals
as "The Walker War." Captain Gunnison and companions were buried at
Fillmore, with respect and honor. The tragedy cast a gloom over all
the "Mormon" settlements, for the leader of this company of government
representatives was respected by all the people for his kindness and
friendly feeling.

2. Colonel Alexander, the ranking officer of the advance troops was a
kindly officer inclined towards establishing peace. Captain Van Vliet
had come in contact with the Latter-day Saints at Winter Quarters,
when they were on the plains. Another officer with these troops whose
sympathy and good will went out toward the "Mormons" was Colonel Philip
St. George Cooke, who led the Mormon Battalion in the Mexican War.
General Johnston was from the South, proud and haughty. He looked upon
the "Mormons" and spoke of them as "rebels" and was inclined to treat
them as such.

The spirit also prevailed among the troops that the "Mormons" were
their common prey, and they constantly, while on the march, boasted
with ribald jests, of what they would do when they arrived in Salt Lake
City. "We were well informed as to the object of the coming of the
army," said Elder John Taylor to Vice-President Schuyler Colfax, in
1869. "We had men in all their camps, and knew what was intended. There
was a continual boast among the men and officers, even before they left
the Missouri River, of what they intended to do with the 'Mormons.' The
houses were picked out that certain persons were to inhabit; farms,
property, and women were to be distributed. 'Beauty and Booty' were
their watchword. We were to have another grand 'Mormon' conquest, and
our houses, gardens, orchards, vineyards fields, wives and daughters
were to be the spoils."

3. Black's Fork and Green River mentioned here were at that time within
the borders of Utah, they are now in Wyoming, the corner in which they
are located having been severed from Utah in 1863 and 1868.

4. The question might be raised as to why Brigham Young would forward
a communication as governor, when another had been appointed. Governor
Young had not been notified that his successor had been appointed and
that successor had not qualified as governor.

Chapter 44

The Mountain Meadows Massacre


A Shocking Crime

While Captain Van Vliet was interviewing President Brigham Young, there
was occurring in the southwest corner of Utah--about three hundred
miles from Salt Lake City--the most horrible and shocking crime ever
perpetrated within the borders of the state. It was the massacre at
Mountain Meadows of a company of emigrants who were journeying to
southern California. This bloody and diabolical deed commenced at dawn,
September 7, 1857, and continued until the 11th, when the besieged
emigrants who survived the attacks, under promise of protection were
foully murdered.

It was the deed of enraged Indians aided by a number of white men, who
took vengeance into their hands for wrongs committed by a few of the
emigrants who were pronounced enemies of both whites and Indians.

It was a crime for which there can be no apology or excuse, a thing
treacherous and damnable in the extreme. But for the "Mormon" people
it was most unfortunate that it should happen at this particular
time. There were circulating throughout the nation many evil reports
concerning the Latter-day Saints. All manner of crimes and murders
occurring within a thousand miles of Utah, were charged against
them. Even the executive of the nation and other high officials were
countenancing these reports and aiding in their circulation. The army
was on the plains making its way to Utah to suppress alleged violation
of law and rebellion; and now, to add to the horror of the situation,
the report went forth that the "Mormons" had attacked and killed a
party of innocent people peacefully passing through their land. Thus
color was given to the falsehood that life and property of "Gentiles"
were unsafe within the Territory of Utah.[1]

It may be said without fear of successful contradiction, that there
was less crime committed in Utah during the days of pioneer life than
in any other similarly situated section of the country. California had
her vigilantes who executed judgment with swift vengeance, without
legal trial. Such was also the condition in other border states and
territories, and woe to the individual who incurred the wrath of the
powers who controlled. The "Mormon" people had been taught from the
beginning: "Thou shalt not kill." Murder, according to their teaching,
committed wantonly, was a sin for which there was no forgiveness in
this life, neither in the life to come. Next, and like unto it stood
sexual immorality. Both of these great sins were denounced by the
Saints most emphatically.

Crimes Falsely Charged to the Church Authorities

One thing most trying to the members of the Church was the attempt by
their enemies to charge Brigham Young and the leaders of the Church
with every wrong committed in the western country. These attempts led
Jacob Forney, Indian Agent in 1859, to write to Washington saying:

    "I fear, and I regret to say it, that with certain parties here
    there is a greater anxiety to connect Brigham Young and other
    Church dignitaries with every criminal offense than diligent
    endeavor to punish the actual perpetrators of crime."

How the Massacre Occurred

About the time the news arrived in Salt Lake City of the coming of
an army, there was passing through the city under command of Captain
Fancher, a company of emigrants from Arkansas and Missouri. This
company consisted of about thirty families, numbering one hundred and
thirty-seven persons. The Arkansas emigrants appeared to be respectable
and well-to-do. With them there traveled a rough and reckless company
calling themselves "Missouri Wild Cats," who conducted themselves in
keeping with the name. This company was advised by Elder Charles C.
Rich, one of the leaders of the Church, to take the northern route.
Had they done so they would have saved their lives. They went as far
as Bear River and then returned deciding to journey to the south. On
their way, it is alleged, the rougher element of the party abused the
people of the southern settlements through which they passed. They
tore down fences, destroyed property, insulted women, and otherwise
made themselves obnoxious. It is said, on reliable authority, that at
Fillmore they threatened to destroy the town, "and boasted of their
participation in the murders and other outrages that were inflicted
upon the 'Mormons' in Missouri and Illinois." At Corn Creek, fifteen
miles farther to the south, it was reported that they poisoned the
springs and also the body of an ox that had died. The carcass was eaten
by a band of Piute Indians and ten of their number died. Some of the
cattle of the settlers died from drinking of the poisoned springs. As
the cattle were fat, the owners "tried them up" for the tallow, and a
number of white persons were poisoned from the handling of the meat.
These "Wild Cats" expressed their pleasure at the coming of the army,
and threatened to stop at some convenient place and leave their women
and children, and return to assist the troops in killing every "Mormon"
there was in the mountains.

Just to what extent credence can be placed in these charges cannot be
determined. The fact remains, however, that they gave expression to
their hatred of the "Mormon" people, made many threats, and abused the
Indians along their way.

The Purchase of Supplies

It has been said that these emigrants could not purchase supplies in
Salt Lake City and the other settlements of the Saints, and had been
ordered away from Salt Lake City by President Young. This is not the
fact. President Young did not know they were in the city and first
heard of them after they had departed. Along the way they did obtain
supplies as they desired and as the Saints were able to impart to them,
as there is abundant evidence to show. They were well treated by most
of the settlers, and not until their own actions brought upon them the
ill will of the southern settlements was this attitude changed.

Word Sent to Brigham Young

So intense did the feeling become on the part of both the Indians and
the white population in the southern settlements that it was deemed
necessary to send a messenger to Governor Brigham Young to know what
should be done. Some of the people expressed the feeling that since the
emigrants had declared themselves as enemies they should be treated
as such, but the more sober minded maintained that they should be
permitted to continue their journey to the coast unmolested. James H.
Haslam carried a message from Colonel Isaac Haight, of the militia,
to Salt Lake City to obtain advice of Governor Young. In the meantime
it was agreed that every effort should be made to pacify the Indians
and prevent them from making an attack. Haslam left Cedar City in the
afternoon of Monday, September 7, and made all haste on horseback,
arriving in Salt Lake City on the morning of the 10th. He immediately
delivered his message, and Governor Young asked him if he could
undertake the return journey without delay. He said he could. "Go with
all speed, spare no horse flesh. The emigrants must not be meddled
with, if it takes all Iron County to prevent it. They must go free and
unmolested." This was the answer he received. Haslam, although he had
just finished a hard journey, immediately returned arriving in Cedar
City on the 13th with a written message from Governor Young to Colonel

The Answer Arrives Too Late

The message to Colonel Haight of the militia from Governor Young was as

    "In regard to the emigration trains passing through our
    settlements, we must not interfere with them until they are first
    notified to keep away. You must not meddle with them. There are no
    other trains that I know of. If those who are there will leave, let
    them go in peace."

Colonel Isaac C. Haight read the letter, and shedding tears replied:
"Too late, too late!" The morning (September 7) Haslam left to obtain
word from Governor Young, the work of death among the unfortunate
victims had commenced.

The Attack upon the Emigrant Train

Early in September the emigrant train of the Arkansas and Missouri
companies camped in the little valley known as the Mountain Meadows.
There they contemplated remaining for several days. In the meantime
their conduct had aroused the Indian tribes who now surrounded their
camp in hostile attitude. As near as can be ascertained, on the morning
of the 7th of September at the break of day, the attack upon the
emigrants began. At the first volley seven men were killed and sixteen
were wounded. The victims were taken unawares, but being well armed,
fought bravely for their lives and were successful in repelling the
attack. Several Indians were killed including two of their chiefs.
The Indians sent runners throughout the surrounding country calling
for reinforcements from among their tribes, and for John D. Lee,
who had been in close touch with Indian affairs as their farmer, to
come and lead them to victory. Lee hurried to the scene from his
home in Harmony, and seemed to partake of the frenzy of the redmen.
Later, other white men appeared upon the scene, having been lured
to the meadows, with the request that their services were needed in
burying the dead. Some of them remained, willingly or by coercion, to
participate in the massacre which followed.

The Surrender--Treachery of Their Captors

During the lull following the first attack, the emigrants formed
their wagons in a ring and threw up breastworks for their protection,
awaiting the onslaught which they knew was sure to come. Some time was
spent by the Indians and their white allies discussing the fate of the
unfortunate emigrants. The victims discovered that white men were in
league with the Indians, and this knowledge sealed their fate. It was
determined by those making the attack that no emigrant should live who
could tell the tale.

On the morning of Friday the 11th, Lee induced the emigrants to
surrender under promise of protection and conveyance to a place of
safety. They were led to a place where the Indians were in ambush,
and at a given signal a volley of shots rang out, both Indians and
white men participating in the outrage. Seventeen children of tender
years--ranging in age from a few months to seven years--were all that
were spared. These children were cared for by the settlers until
the government by act of Congress returned them to their friends in

A Bloody Oath

The white men who engaged in this horrible slaughter entered into a
league, by a strong and binding oath, that they would never reveal the
part they played in this gruesome tragedy. A false report was forwarded
to Governor Young. Lee also reported in person, laying the blame solely
to the Indians. Governor Young wept bitterly and was horrified at the
recital of the tale.

The Execution of Lee

For several years the facts relating to the tragedy were unknown,
but gradually the truth leaked out and an investigation was made of
the affair. John D. Lee was excommunicated from the Church with the
injunction from President Young that under no circumstances should
he ever be admitted as a member again. Action was also taken against
others as the truth became known. In later years Lee was convicted of
the crime and paid the penalty with his life. His execution took place
on the site of the horrid scene. Others who were implicated fled from
the territory and died fugitives. While they thus evaded the justice
which earthly tribunals might inflict, they still await the trial for
their crime before a Higher Court where justice never fails.


1. "It may as well be understood at the outset that this horrible crime
so often and so persistently charged upon the "Mormon" Church and its
leaders, was the crime of an individual, the crime of a fanatic of
the worst stamp, one who was a member of the "Mormon" Church, but of
whose intentions the Church knew nothing, and whose bloody acts, the
members of the Church, high and low, regard with as much abhorrence as
any out of the Church. Indeed, the blow fell upon the brotherhood with
threefold force and damage. There was the cruelty of it, which wrung
their hearts; and there was the strength it lent their enemies further
to malign and molest them. The "Mormons" denounce the Mountain Meadows
Massacre, and every act connected therewith, as earnestly and honestly
as any in the outside world. This is abundantly proved and may be
accepted as a historical fact. (Bancroft's _History of Utah_, p. 544)

Chapter 45

The Army in Utah


Demoralizing Effects of the Army's Presence

It was the part of wisdom for President Brigham Young and his
associates to insist on the camp of the army being far removed from
Salt Lake City. It was with reluctance that their commander complied
with that request, which was enforced by the peace commissioners. Very
little good came to the people of Utah from the presence in their
midst, of an armed force, with all its attendant camp followers. It is
true that the people benefited in a financial way. They were able to
dispose of their products for ready cash and clothing; but they could
have managed to live--as they did before the army came--without these
advantages, which, of course, they were ready to receive.

There was no debauchery, no immorality or fear of thieves breaking
in to steal, in the communities of the Latter-day Saints, before the
strangers to their faith came in. With the army all these attendant
evils were introduced. The worst element with the army was, of course,
the camp following--the freighters and hangers-on, who were not subject
to the rigid discipline of army regulation. Yet, much of the evil which
resulted, can be traced to subordinate officers and men of the ranks.
With many of these, moral rectitude was a thing unknown; and woe to the
foolish creatures who, like flies caught in a spider-web, were lured
into camp.

To add to the difficulties, many of the enlisted men filled their
term of service and were discharged. Usually they were in possession
of very little means, and if a balance of pay was due them, it was
soon squandered. Such characters flocked to Salt Lake City and other
towns, where they became a terror to the inhabitants. Because of this,
it became necessary to increase the police force of Salt Lake City,
at least four fold. Appeals were made to Governor Cumming to get him
to use his influence to have the discharged men marched beyond the
borders of the territory. The governor took the matter up with General
Johnston, with the result that the condition was relieved in this
respect to some small degree. However, the situation could not fully
be controlled by these officers, and as long as Camp Floyd (later
Crittenden) was occupied by the troops, demoralizing agencies were at
work, and the people were constantly in a state of agitation.

Governor Cumming's Report

In reporting affairs in Utah to the Secretary of State, Governor
Cumming made the following observations:

    "Persons unbiased by prejudice who have visited this Territory
    will, I think, agree in the opinion that a community is seldom
    seen more marked by quiet and peaceable diligence than that of the

    "After the passage of the army, hundreds of adventurers were
    attracted to these valleys, and met here some congenial spirits.
    Banded together for rapine and acts of violence, they have stolen
    large herds of horses and mules. Many of these men, maddened
    by intemperance, or rendered desperate by losses at the gaming
    table, or by various other causes, have shed each other's blood in
    frequent conflicts, and secret assassinations. These lawless and
    bloody deeds are committed by them almost daily with impunity, and
    when their atrocity and frequency shock the public mind, it has
    become the custom with a certain set of people to exclaim against
    the people of Utah; but it is an injustice to impute the acts of
    these desperadoes to the community in general. With an equal show
    of justice might they be attributed to the inhabitants of the
    States and Territories whence these men have so recently emigrated."

The New Federal Officers

Chief Justice Delano R. Eckels and the new secretary of the territory,
John Hartnett, arrived in Utah with the army. Jacob Forney, the
superintendent of Indian affairs, arrived with the peace commissioners,
and Judge Charles E. Sinclair and Attorney Alexander Wilson came near
the end of July. The third judge, John Cradlebaugh, did not arrive
until November. None of these officers were members of the Church.

After he had taken the oath of office, Chief Justice Eckels took up his
residence at Camp Floyd and Judge Sinclair made his headquarters in
Salt Lake City. Judge Cradlebaugh opened his court in Provo in March,
1859, although the seat of his district was Fillmore.

"Progress of Civilization"

The majority of the government officials sent to Utah during
territorial days came obsessed with the idea that the "Mormons" were
an unpatriotic and ignorant class of people, bound by blind obedience
to the will of a set of knaves who presided over them. When a new
government appointee came to Utah, usually he felt it incumbent upon
him to begin his labors with a lecture to the people on loyalty and
morality, and advise them to cast off the yoke of ignorance which
bound them. These would-be reformers at times gave expression to the
thought that they had brought civilization among the "Mormons" and were
endeavoring to reform them. At the time of the return to the east in
1858, of one official--who had been notoriously corrupt and immoral in
his conduct while in Utah--a number of the civil and military officers
and some non-"Mormon" merchants tendered him a dinner. In the course of
their hilarity they expressed the satisfaction he would feel in joining
his "family and friends in a moral and civilized community."

Such expressions as this led President Brigham Young, who was a
sorrowful witness of the scenes of debauchery and crime practiced by
some of these "reformers," to say to another retiring official who was
about to depart: "When you get back to the states, no doubt you will
be asked many questions about me. I wish you would tell them that I am
here, watching the progress of civilization."

That some of these individuals were sincere, there can be no question,
and they should have credit for honest conviction. However it was
impossible for them to see the situation from the "Mormon" viewpoint.
They came with pre-conceived ideas regarding the doctrines and
practices of the Latter-day Saints, and were greatly prejudiced against
them. Their prejudice stood in their own light so that they took no
trouble to investigate or try to understand. In most cases it was
sufficient to know that the "Mormons" were a peculiar people with a
strange belief, in conflict with the doctrines of other people.

Many of these officers, however, were insincere. They were guilty of
the very sins with which they accused the Latter-day Saints, and yet
they brazenly sat in judgment and condemned the Saints, while they,
themselves, were guilty of revolting crimes.

Attitude of the Judges

Chief Justice Eckels was given to drunkenness and was grossly immoral;
yet he felt it his duty to advise that indictments be issued against
the leaders of the Church for the practice of plural marriage. He did
not know just how to handle the situation, for there were no statutes
either in the territory or in the United States to punish such a thing.
Therefore he attempted to place the matter under the old Mexican law
which had no application in United States territory.

Associate Justice Sinclair, who was usually drunk, commenced his
duties on the bench by charging the grand jury of his court, to indict
ex-Governor Brigham Young, General Daniel H. Wells, and other "Mormon"
leaders, for treason, on the ground that President Buchanan's pardon,
"while a public act in the history of the country," yet it was a thing
of which his court could not "take judicial cognizance." United States
Attorney Alexander Wilson took a different view and so expressed
himself at length before the grand jury in open court, stating "that
there are now no acts of sedition, treason, or rebellion against the
government of the United States in this territory." For that reason he
would not present bills or bring action against any inhabitant of the
territory on such a charge.

Bitterness of Cradlebaugh

Judge Cradlebaugh manifested a very bitter spirit against the leaders
of the Church. When he opened court at Provo, he made a demand on
General Johnston for several companies of troops from Camp Floyd, and
a detachment was furnished him. The reason the judge gave for this
action was that the presence of the soldiers was necessary to preserve
the peace, and take care of the prisoners because there was no jail in
Provo. The real reason was a desire to insult the people of the town
and to intimidate witnesses before the court. Inside of two weeks there
were about one thousand men in arms surrounding the court house.

Protest of the Citizens

Instead of keeping the peace, the presence of the troops was a menace
to the peace of the town. Five hundred citizens righteously and
vigorously protested against the insult in an address to the mayor and
city council. They declared that their "feelings were aggrieved and
outraged" by the appearance of a military force surrounding the court
and infesting the halls of justice, and they considered it a "high
handed outrage, a direct infringement upon the rights of American
citizens and a gross violation of their liberties and municipal

The judge was informed by the mayor and city council of the petition
and was asked for the immediate removal of the troops beyond the city
limits. It was declared that their presence made it very difficult
for the officers of the city to preserve the peace. The judge refused
to listen to the appeal. Later another vigorous protest was made
by the city officials, who declared that soldiers had been caught
breaking into houses; they had engaged in drunken street brawls and had
otherwise disturbed the peace. However, Judge Cradlebaugh turned a deaf
ear to all appeals.

Governor Cumming's Proclamation

Governor Cumming visited Provo in the month of March, and to him an
appeal was made by the mayor and council. The governor could see
the situation for himself, and forwarded a communication to General
Johnston requesting him to withdraw the troops. General Johnston
refused to hearken to the request of the governor, on the grounds
that he was there to serve each of the coordinate branches of the
territorial civil government, and was subject to the judicial as well
as to the executive department. Upon this refusal of the commander of
the troops, Governor Cumming issued a proclamation protesting against
the presence of the military force which had been called to Provo
without his sanction and contrary to the instructions given him by
the government. Their presence, said the governor, had a tendency to
terrify the inhabitants and disturb the peace. All future movements
of the troops should be at his direction in accordance with his
instructions from Washington.

Result of the Conflict

The result of this conflict in authority was that Judge Cradlebaugh
and his associate, Judge Sinclair, sent a communication to the
attorney-general of the United States, Jeremiah S. Black, in relation
to the matter. Other letters were sent by Judge Eckels to the secretary
of state and by General Johnston to the secretary of war. The secretary
of state wrote to Governor Cumming for the facts which were furnished.
When the replies were received, the officious judges were rebuked and
given to understand that the armed forces in the territory were subject
to the command of the executive. Said the attorney general: "The
governor is the supreme executive of the territory. He is responsible
for the public peace. From the general law of the land, the nature of
his office, and the instructions he received from the state department,
it ought to have been understood that he alone had power to issue a
requisition for the movement of troops from one part of the territory
to another." He further stated that "the condition of things in
Utah made it extremely desirable that the judges appointed for that
territory should confine themselves strictly within their own official
sphere," and leave accusations to the district attorney, and arrests to
the marshal, who was responsible for the safe-keeping of criminals.

Attempt to Remove Governor Cumming

The rebuke from Washington was naturally very displeasing to the
judges, who were thus confined to the duties of their office. In Camp
Floyd there was manifestation of displeasure. A mass meeting was held
and an address was issued in which the "Mormons" were accused of
disloyalty and it was set forth that a great wrong had been done in
forcing the withdrawal of the troops from the protection of the courts.
The wrath of the disgruntled camp was also turned against Governor
Cumming, and the attempt was made to have him removed from office. This
might have been accomplished through the influence of General Johnston,
had not Colonel Thomas L. Kane once more come to the rescue.

Attack on President Young

When Judge Cradlebaugh organized his court at Provo, he expressed his
determination to investigate the Mountain Meadows massacre and other
crimes. This action would have been commendable if it had been taken
with a desire to execute justice, but it was a flagrant attempt to
connect President Young and the leading Church authorities with the
crime. He inferred that the guilty parties were among the leaders of
the Church and should be brought to justice. Later, accompanied by a
United States deputy marshal and a detachment of troops, he visited
southern Utah and collected what evidence could be obtained respecting
the Mountain Meadows massacre, leaving no stone unturned in the
endeavor to implicate President Brigham Young and others, in which
attempt he miserably failed. Nevertheless, to the grand jury he said:
"The very fact of such a case as that of the Mountain Meadows shows
that there was some person high in the estimation of the people, and
it was done by that authority; . . . and unless you do your duty, such
will be the view that will be taken of it. You can know no law but the
laws of the United States and the laws you have here. No person can
commit crimes and say they are authorized by higher authorities, and if
they have any such notions they will have to dispel them."

Cradlebaugh's Insult to the Jury

As the grand jury failed to act with the promptness he thought they
should, the judge dismissed them "as an evidently useless appendage
of a court of justice." This unjustifiable attack was resented by the
grand jury in a written protest.

In a spirit of anger the judge dismissed criminals who were before
his court awaiting trial on grave charges, giving for his reason the
following excuse:

    "When this people ('Mormons') come to their reason, and manifest a
    disposition to punish their own high offenders, it will be time to
    enforce the laws also for their protection. If this court cannot
    bring you to a proper sense of your duty, it can at least turn the
    savages in custody loose upon you."

Attempt to Capture President Young

Another attempt was made about this time to get President Young in the
toils of the law on a groundless charge. It appears that a number of
criminals at Camp Floyd plotted to rob the government. They hired a
young engraver in Salt Lake City to duplicate the plate used by the
quartermaster at Camp Floyd in drawing on the government at St. Louis
and New York. The work was done, but the fraud was detected, and a man
by the name of Brewer was arrested. He turned state's evidence and
threw the responsibility for the deed upon the engraver who had been
hired to do the work. As someone in the office of President Young had
furnished the paper on which the counterfeit notes were printed, the
army officers felt that they had a case against President Young, and
manifested their great pleasure at the prospect of implicating him. The
officers entered into a plot to secure his arrest. Thinking that an
attempt to take him openly would meet with resistance, the army was to
be ordered to Salt Lake City and the artillery was to make a breach in
the wall surrounding his premises, through which they would enter to
secure President Young a captive, and then carry him to Camp Floyd for

Governor Cumming's Stand

This plan was presented to Governor Cumming, who listened to the
plotters and examined their papers. "They rubbed their hands," said the
governor, "and were jubilant; they had got the dead wood on Brigham
Young. I was indignant, sir, and told them, By ----, gentlemen, you
can't do it! When you have a right to take Brigham Young, gentlemen,
you shall have him without creeping through walls. You shall enter
by his door with heads erect as becomes representatives of your
government. But till that time, gentlemen, you can't touch Brigham

The plotters were greatly disappointed and returned to Camp Floyd
threatening to act in opposition to the executive. Because of these
rumors, Governor Cumming ordered General Daniel H. Wells to be prepared
with the militia to repel any such attack. It was a courageous thing
for the governor to do in the face of the strong feeling of opposition
existing at Camp Floyd against President Young.

Departure of the Army

As long as the army remained in Utah, such conditions prevailed. In
February, 1860, General Johnston departed from Camp Floyd to go to
Washington. He went by way of California and the Isthmus of Panama.
Shortly after, he was found leading an army of the South against an
army of the North, in the war of the Rebellion, endeavoring to destroy
the Union. In the battle of Shiloh he was killed while commanding the
Confederate forces. In 1861, Camp Floyd, then called Fort Crittenden,
was abandoned.

Retirement of Governor Cumming

Governor Cumming departed from Utah in May, 1861, a short time before
his term of office expired, and returned to his old home in Georgia.
His departure was much regretted, for he had served the people
faithfully and well, discharging every obligation as he saw his duty,
without fear or favor of men. The people certainly had good reason for
regret, as his successors quite generally were men of a very different

The "Mormon" People and the Rebellion

The loyalty of the Latter-day Saints to the United States had
frequently been questioned by their enemies and those unacquainted
with them. When the war of the Rebellion broke out, the Saints again
manifested their loyalty to the Union. When the telegraph line across
the continent was completed, in October, 1861, President Brigham Young
was courteously tendered the privilege of sending the first message
from Salt Lake City. It was to the president of the telegraph company,
Mr. J. H. Wade, as follows:

    "Sir: Permit me to congratulate you upon the completion of the
    Overland Telegraph Lines west to this city, to commend the energy
    displayed by yourself and associates in the rapid and successful
    prosecution of a work so beneficial; and to express the wish that
    its use may ever tend to promote the true interests of the dwellers
    upon both the Atlantic and Pacific slopes of our continent.

    "Utah has not seceded, but is firm for the Constitution and laws
    of our once happy country, and is warmly interested in such useful
    enterprises as the one so far completed."

In making his reply, President Wade expressed gratitude to President
Young, that his, the first message to pass over the line, "should
express so unmistakably the patriotism and union-loving sentiments" of
himself and people.

In April, 1862, President Lincoln requested President Brigham Young
to raise a force of cavalry to guard the overland route, which was
promptly done. Before the request came, the offer was made by President
Young to protect that route.

Moreover, while many states were endeavoring to get out of the Union,
the "Mormons" were petitioning Congress to get in. This privilege of
state government was denied them. The denial was very largely due to
the hostile attitude of the new officials, Governor Stephen S. Harding,
and two of the territorial judges, Charles B. Waite and Thomas J.
Drake, who were decidedly unfriendly to the people of the territory.

Other reasons given were the general feeling of opposition to the faith
of the Latter-day Saints--especially against the practice of plural
marriage, and the belief, which still erroneously persisted, that they
were disloyal. "An un-American condition of affairs was supposed to
exist here," so writes Orson F. Whitney, "hostile to the Government
and subversive of morality and civilization. Priestcraft, polygamy,
and murder were thought to be the chief cornerstones of 'Mormonism.'
A union of Church and State was alleged. It was charged that the
'Mormon' people were under the sway of an ecclesiastical despotism
which 'overshadowed and controlled their opinions, actions, property,
and lives, penetrating and supervising social and business circles, and
requiring implicit obedience to the counsel of the Church, as a duty
paramount to all the obligations of morality, society, allegiance and


1. Whitney's _Popular History of Utah_, page 183.

Chapter 46

A Period of Strife and Bitterness


The "Anti-Bigamy Law"

Instead of granting statehood in answer to the petition of the
people of Utah, Congress passed an "anti-bigamy law" in opposition
to the practice of plural marriage. It was presented to the house of
representatives by Justin R. Morrill of Vermont, but was instigated
by Governor Harding and Judges Waite and Drake. The bill--the first
of the kind to be placed on the statutes--was signed by President
Lincoln, July 8, 1862. It defined plural marriage as bigamy, and
made the contracting of such a marriage punishable by a fine of five
hundred dollars and imprisonment for a term of five years. This law
was considered by many leading attorneys and others not "Mormons," as
being unconstitutional. It was not enforced, President Lincoln's policy
being to let the "Mormons" alone. Among the features which helped to
make it inoperative was the provision, aimed at the Church, forbidding
religious bodies in territories to hold real estate in value to exceed
fifty thousand dollars. An effort was made by Governor Harding, in
1863, to have Brigham Young punished under this law. He was taken
before Judge Kinney and placed under bonds, but the grand jury failed
to take action and the case was dropped.

Attempted Legislation Against the "Mormons"

The governor and two judges went even further in their desire to
obtain legislation effecting the citizens of Utah. They entered into
a conspiracy to have removed many powers vested in the loyal officers
and place them under federal control. Among these changes they proposed
that Congress limit the powers of the county courts to the probating
of wills, issuing titles of administration and guardianship; place in
the hands of the United States marshal the power to summon jurors as he
might think proper--a thing that would have proved very disadvantageous
to the Saints--and give the governor full power to appoint all the
officers of the militia, and designate the days when the companies
should drill. When this proposed legislation was presented in Congress
and it was learned who the authors were, it caused great indignation
in Utah. A mass meeting was held and the guilty officials were asked
to resign, which they refused to do. A petition was sent to Washington
asking for their removal and for the appointment of "good men in their
stead." A counter petition was sent from the companies of California
volunteers, who were stationed at the time in the valley. While the
people did not get all they asked for, the governor was removed and
James Duane Doty, superintendent of Indian affairs in the territory,
and a much better man, was chosen in his place.

The California Volunteers

Very soon after the departure of Johnston's army, the people of Utah
were inflicted with the presence of other troops. These were volunteers
from California and Nevada, about seven hundred strong, who were
detained in Salt Lake City, as they were on their way to the East to
take part in the Civil War. They were under the command of Colonel
(later General) Patrick Edward Connor, who greatly desired to take
active part in the war. He was a man whose loyalty to the United States
was of the highest order. When he was commanded to stay in Utah, he
was exceedingly disappointed. Secretary of War Edward Stanton--who
was extremely distrustful of the "Mormons"--stationed Colonel Connor
at Salt Lake City ostensibly to guard the telegraph and mail route,
but more particularly to watch the "Mormons." Connor established his
headquarters on the foothills east of Salt Lake City, naming the
place Camp Douglas, in honor of Stephen A. Douglas. He was extremely
prejudiced against the Latter-day Saints, and lost no occasion to
manifest his bitter feelings in public or in private; so obsessed was
he that "no good thing could come out of Utah." Every word, every
action of the "Mormons," was falsely interpreted; and provocation given
by him to antagonize the leaders of the Church whom he considered to be

The Union Vedette

Under his direction an anti-"Mormon" paper edited by Captain Charles
H. Hempstead was published at Camp Douglas and later in the city. It
was called the _Union Vedette_, the mission of which was to fight
"Mormonism." Connor also attempted to establish military rule instead
of civil authority, thus depriving the citizens of their rights.

Mining in Utah

To Patrick E. Connor is given credit for starting the mining industry
in Utah. His motives, however, were not entirely commendable. If he is
to be judged by his own words, his main purpose was not to "get gain"
or to increase the circulation of the precious metals, but to cause an
influx of "a large Gentile and loyal population sufficient by peaceful
means and through the ballot-box to overwhelm the Mormons by mere force
of numbers, and thus wrest from the Church--disloyal and traitorous to
the core--the absolute and tyrannical control of temporal and civil

He was acquainted with the fact that President Young had advised the
Saints to develop the industries of agriculture and establish needful
factories that they might be self-sustaining, and leave mining alone
for later consideration. This advice was very wise, for in the days of
pioneer life, and when the commonwealth was young, it was necessary
that the people be able to support themselves. They could not live on
gold and silver, but they could on the products of the soil; and they