Zion’s Camp in Missouri—Efforts at Arbitration—The Word of The Lord.
Governor Dunklin refuses to Reinstate the Saints on their lands.
Sunday, June 15. 1—Traveled twelve miles. While on the way Orson Hyde and Parley P. Pratt returned to us from Jefferson City, and reported that Governor Dunklin refused to fulfill his promise to reinstate the brethren on their lands in Jackson county on the ground of impracticability. 2
Arrival of Bishop Partridge in Camp.
We crossed the Chariton river at its mouth and encamped on the west bank. Bishop Partridge came into the camp from Clay county. We received much information from him concerning the hostile feelings and prejudices that existed against us in Missouri in all quarters, but it gave us great satisfaction to receive intelligence from him of the union and good feeling that prevailed among the brethren. We were in perils and threatened all the while, we were much troubled to get provisions, and had to live principally on corn meal, and were glad to get that. Here Dean Gould was baptized by Lyman Wight.
The Camp Crosses Grand River.
Monday, June 16. 3—Traveled to Grand river, ferried over it, and encamped on its bank. The ferryman intended charging seventeen dollars; the brethren said they would not pay it, but would sooner make a raft and ferry themselves over. He then agreed to take them over for twelve dollars which offer we accepted. This morning was excessively hot, no air stirring, and traveling in the thick woods, a thunder shower coming on, the brethren caught all the water they could on the brims of their hats, and not catching enough to satisfy their thirst, they drank out of the horse tracks.
Martin Harris Trifles with a Promise of God.
Martin Harris having boasted to the brethren that he could handle snakes with perfect safety, while fooling with a black snake with his bare feet, he received a bite on his left foot. The fact was communicated to me, and I took occasion to reprove him, and exhort the brethren never to trifle with the promises of God. I told them it was presumption for any one to provoke a serpent to bite him, but if a man of God was accidentally bitten by a poisonous serpent, he might have faith, or his brethren might have faith for him, so that the Lord would hear his prayer and he might be healed; but when a man designedly provokes a serpent to bite him, the principle is the same as when a man drinks deadly poison knowing it to be such. In that case no man has any claim on the promises of God to be healed. 4
Important Meeting at Liberty Court House.
On this day, June 16th, the citizens of Clay county, to the number of eight hundred or a thousand, among whom were the brethren, assembled at the court house in Liberty, in accordance with the request of Judge Ryland, expressed in his letter of the 10th instant, a deputation from Jackson county also attended the meeting and presented the following:—
Propositions of the people of Jackson county to the Mormons.
The undersigned committee, being fully authorized by the people of Jackson county, hereby propose to the Mormons, that they will buy all the land that the said Mormons own in the county of Jackson, and also all the improvements which the said Mormons had on any of the public lands in said county of Jackson, as they existed before the first disturbance between the people of Jackson and the Mormons, and for such as they have made since. They further propose that the value of said land and improvements shall be ascertained by three disinterested arbitrators, to be chosen and agreed to by both parties. They further propose, that should the parties disagree in the choice of arbitrators, then————is to choose them. They further propose, that twelve of the Mormons shall be permitted to go along with the arbitrators to show them their land and improvements while valuing the same, and such others of the Mormons as the arbitrators shall wish to do so, to give them information; and the people of Jackson hereby guarantee their entire safety while doing so. They further propose, that when the arbitrators report the value of the land and improvements, as aforesaid, the people of Jackson will pay the valuation, with one hundred per cent, added thereon, to the Mormons, within thirty days thereafter. They further propose, that the Mormons are not to make any effort, ever after, to settle, either collectively or individually, within the limits of Jackson county. The Mormons are to enter into bonds to insure the conveyance of their land in Jackson county, according to the above terms, when the payment shall be made; and the committee will enter into a like bond, with such security as may be deemed sufficient for the payment of the money, according to the above proposition. While the arbitrators are investigating and deciding upon the matters referred to them, the Mormons are not to attempt to enter Jackson county, or to settle there, except such as are by the foregoing propositions permitted to go there.
They further propose that the people of Jackson will sell all their lands and improvements on public lands, in Jackson county, to the Mormons, the valuation to be obtained in the same manner, the same per cent in addition to be paid, and the time the money is to be paid is the same as the above set forth in our propositions to buy; the Mormons to give good security for the payment of the money, and the undersigned will give security that the land will be conveyed to the Mormons. They further propose, that all parties are to remain as they are till the payment is made, at which time the people of Jackson will give possession.
Samuel C. Owens,
Thos. Hayton, Sen.,
S. V. Noland.
Stirring Incidents at the Liberty Meeting.
On presentation of the foregoing, Samuel C. Owens made a flaming war-speech, and General Doniphan replied on the side of peace.
The Rev. Mr. Riley, a Baptist priest, made a hot speech against the “Mormons,” and said, “The Mormons have lived long enough in Clay county; and they must either clear out, or be cleared out.”
Mr. Turnham, the moderator of the meeting, answered in a masterly manner; saying, “Let us be republicans; let us honor our country, and not disgrace it like Jackson county. For God’s sake don’t disfranchise or drive away the Mormons. They are better citizens than many of the old inhabitants.”
General Doniphan exclaimed, “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 critical instant, the cocking of pistols, and the unsheathing of other implements of death, denoted desperation. One moved “adjournment,” another cried “go on,” and in the midst of this awful crisis a person bawled in at the door, “a man stabbed !” The mass instantly rushed out to the spot, in hopes, as some said, that “a Mormon had got killed,” but as good luck would have it, only one Missourian had dirked another, (one Calbert, a blacksmith, had stabbed one Males, who had previously whipped one Mormon nearly to death, and boasted of having whipped many more). The wound was dangerous, but the incident appeared providential as it seemed as though the occurrence was necessary to break up the meeting without further bloodshed, and give the Saints a chance to consult what would be the most advisable thing to do in such a critical instant. They immediately penned the following answer to the propositions from Jackson county, presented by Mr. Owens et al.
Answer of the Mormons to the Proposition of the People of Jackson County.
Gentlemen—Your propositions for an adjustment of the difficulties between the citizens of Jackson county and the Mormons, is before us; and as explained to you in the court house this day, we are not authorized to say to you that our brethren will submit to your proposals; but we agree to spread general notice, and call a meeting of our people, the present week, and lay before you an answer as soon as Saturday or Monday next. We can say for ourselves, and in behalf of our brethren, that peace is what we desire and what we are disposed to cultivate with all men; and to effect peace, we feel disposed to use all our influence, as far as it will be required at our hands as free-born citizens of these United States; and as fears have been expressed, that we design hostilities against the inhabitants of Jackson county, we hereby pledge ourselves to them, and to the hospitable citizens of Clay county, that we will not, and neither have we designed, as a people, to commence hostilities against the afore said citizens of Jackson county, or any other people.
Our answer shall be handed to Judge Turnham, the chairman of the meeting, even earlier than the time before stated, if possible.
W. W. Phelps.
Wm. E. M’Lellin,
A. S. Gilbert,
N.B.—As we are informed that large numbers of our people are on their way removing to Jackson county, we agree to use our influence immediately to prevent said company from entering into Jackson county, until you shall receive an answer to the propositions aforenamed.
Reflections on the Jackson County Proposition.
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.
A Mobber’s Threat and God’s Vengeance.
The tempest of an immediate conflict seemed to be checked, and the Jackson mob to the number of about fifteen, with Samuel C. Owens and James Campbell at their head, started for Independence, Jackson county, to raise an army sufficient to meet me, before I could get into Clay county. Campbell swore, as he adjusted his pistols in his holsters, “The eagles and turkey buzzards shall eat my flesh if I do not fix Joe Smith and his army so that their skins will not hold shucks, before two days are passed.” They went to the ferry and undertook to cross the Missouri river after dusk, and the angel of God saw fit to sink the boat about the middle of the river, and seven out of twelve that attempted to cross, were drowned. Thus, suddenly and justly, went they to their own place. Campbell was among the missing. He floated down the river some four or five miles, and lodged upon a pile of drift wood, where the eagles, buzzards, ravens, crows, and wild animals ate his flesh from his bones, to fulfill his own words, and left him a horrible example of God’s vengeance. He was discovered about three weeks after by one Mr. Purtle. Owens saved his life only, after floating four miles down the stream, where he lodged upon an island, “swam off naked about day light, borrowed a mantle to hide his shame, and slipped home rather shy of the vengeance of God.”
Incidents of Insubordination in the Camp.
Tuesday, June 17.—At noon we crossed the Wakenda; it being high, we had to be ferried over. We were informed here that a party of men were gathered together on the Missouri river with the intention of attacking us that night. The prairie ahead of us was twenty-three miles long without any timber or palatable, healthy water. Some of the brethren wished to stop near the timber, and were about making arrangements to pitch their tents. We had but little provisions. I proposed to get some wood and water to carry with us, and go on into the prairie eight or ten miles. My brother Hyrum said he knew, in the name of the Lord, that it was best to go on to the prairie; and as he was my elder brother, I thought best to heed his counsel, though some were murmuring in the camp. We accordingly started. When Lyman Wight crossed the river he disapproved of our moving on to the prairie, upon which Sylvester Smith placed himself in the road, turned back all that he could by saying, “Are you following your general, or some other man?” and twenty staged behind with Lyman Wight. We drove about eight miles on the prairie and encamped out of sight of timber. The sun apparently went down, and rose again next morning in the grass. Our company had filled a couple of empty powder kegs with water; it tasted so bad we could not drink it, and all the water that we had was out of a slough filled with red living animals, and was putrid. About eleven o’clock Lyman Wight arrived with the company that had remained with him. I called them together and reproved them for tarrying behind, and not obeying my counsel, and told Lyman Wight never to do so again. He promised that he would stand by me forever, and never forsake me again, let the consequence be what it would; but Sylvester Smith manifested very refractory feelings. 5
The Prophet’s Illness.
Wednesday, June 18.—As Hyrum Stratton and his companion were taking up their blankets this morning, they discovered two prairie rattlesnakes quietly sleeping under them, which they carefully carried out of the camp. This day my health was so poor I left the affairs of the camp to the management of General Wight. Having no provisions, we traveled seventeen miles before breakfast, and I rode in Elder Kimball’s wagon. We crossed a slough half a mile wide through which most of the brethren were obliged to wade waist deep in mud and water. General Lyman Wight, who had traveled from Kirtland without a stocking on his foot, carried Brother Joseph Young through on his back. Our breakfast consisted entirely of corn meal mush, or hasty pudding. We had not meal enough in our company to make the mush of the consistence of good starch.
The Prophet’s Anxiety for the Safety of the Camp.
After our ten o’clock breakfast we passed on to within one mile of Richmond. We encamped in a very small prairie surrounded by a thicket of hazel brush. When I arrived where the camp had pitched their tents, and viewed our unsafe location, considering the danger of an attack from our enemies, I almost forgot my sickness, went some distance in the brush, bowed down and prayed my Heavenly Father to suffer no evil to come upon us, but keep us safe through the night. I obtained an assurance that we should be safe until morning, notwithstanding about fifty of the Jackson county mob crossed the Lexington Ferry that evening for the purpose of joining the Ray county mob and of making an attack upon us. All was quiet in the camp through the night. While the brethren were making their bed in Captain Brigham Young’s tent, one of them discovered a very musical rattlesnake which they were about to kill. Captain Young told them not to hurt him but carry him out of the tent, whereupon Brother Carpenter took him in his hands, carried him beyond all danger, and left him to enjoy his liberty, telling him not to return. 6
Threats of the Mob.
Thursday, June 19.—At daybreak, feeling that we were in a very unsafe situation, I counseled the camp to move forward without delay, and continued a lively march for about nine miles, when we stopped for breakfast. While passing through Richmond, Brother Luke Johnson observed a black woman in a gentleman’s garden near the road. She beckoned to him and said, “Come here, Massa.” She was evidently much agitated in her feelings. He went up to the fence, and she said to him, “There is a company of men lying in wait here, who are calculating to kill you this morning as you pass through.” We halted for breakfast on an eminence near a farm house. The owner furnished us with a large quantity of milk, which gave a great relish to our bacon and corn dodger, which our commissary had procured that morning. When we asked the price of his milk he replied: “He is a mean man that will sell milk; I could have let you have more, if I had known you had been coming.” He further said: “You have many enemies about here, and you may meet with some trouble; and it is a damned shame that every man can’t come up and enjoy his religion, and everything else without being molested.” It was near noon when we finished our breakfast, and we passed on in fine spirits, determined to go through and meet the brethren in Clay county. We traveled but a short distance when one wagon broke down, and the wheels ran off from others; and there seemed to be many things to hinder our progress, although we strove with all diligence to speed our way forward. This night we camped on an elevated piece of land between Little Fishing and Big Fishing rivers, which streams were formed by seven small streams or branches. 7
As we halted and were making preparations for the night, five men armed with guns rode into our camp, and told us we should “see hell before morning;” and their accompanying oaths partook of all the malice of demons. They told us that sixty men were coming from Richmond, Ray county, and seventy more from Clay county, to join the Jackson county mob, who had sworn our utter destruction.
During this day, the Jackson county mob, to the number of about two hundred, made arrangements to cross the Missouri river, above the mouth of Fishing river, at Williams’ ferry, into Clay county, and be ready to meet the Richmond mob near Fishing river ford, for our utter destruction; but after the first scow load of about forty had been set over the river, the scow in returning was met by a squall, and had great difficulty in reaching the Jackson side by dark.
A Timely Storm.
When these five men were in our camp, swearing vengeance, the wind, thunder, and rising cloud indicated an approaching storm, and in a short time after they left the rain and hail began to fall. 8 The storm was tremendous; wind and rain, hail and thunder met them in great wrath, and soon softened their direful courage, and frustrated all their designs to “kill Joe Smith and his army.” Instead of continuing a cannonading which they commenced when the sun was about one hour high, they crawled under wagons, into hollow trees, and filled one old shanty, till the storm was over, when their ammunition was soaked, and the forty in Clay county were extremely anxious in the morning to return to Jackson, having experienced the pitiless pelting of the storm all night; and as soon as arrangements could be made, this “forlorn hope” took the “back track” for Independence, to join the main body of the mob, fully satisfied, as were those survivors of the company who were drowned, that when Jehovah fights they would rather be absent. The gratification is too terrible.
Very little hail fell in our camp, but from half a mile to a mile around, the stones or lumps of ice cut down the crops of corn and vegetation generally, even cutting limbs from trees, while the trees, themselves were twisted into withes by the wind. The lightning flashed incessantly, which caused it to be so light in our camp through the night, that we could discern the most minute objects; and the roaring of the thunder was tremendous. The earth trembled and quaked, the rain fell in torrents, and, united, it seemed as if the mandate of vengeance had gone forth from the God of battles, to protect His servants from the destruction of their enemies, for the hail fell on them and not on us, and we suffered no harm, except the blowing down of some of our tents, and getting wet; while our enemies had holes made in their hats, and otherwise received damage, even the breaking of their rifle stocks, and the fleeing of their horses through fear and pain.
Many of my little band sheltered in an old meetinghouse through this night, and in the morning the water in Big Fishing river was about forty feet deep, where, the previous evening, it was no more than to our ankles, and our enemies swore that the water rose thirty feet in thirty minutes in the Little Fishing river. They reported that one of their men was killed by lightning, and that another had his hand torn off by his horse drawing his hand between the logs of a corn crib while he was holding him on the inside. They declared that if that was the way God fought for the Mormons, they might as well go about their business.
Care of Arms During the Storms.
Friday 20.—This morning I counseled the brethren to discharge all their firearms, when it was found we had nearly six hundred shots, very few of which missed fire, which shows how very careful the brethren had been in taking care of their arms during the storm.
The Visit of Col. Sconce to the Camp.
We drove five miles on to the prairie where we could procure food for ourselves and horses, and defend ourselves from the rage of our enemies. While camped here on Saturday the 21st, Colonel Sconce, with two other leading men from Ray county, came to see us, desiring to know what our intentions were; “for,” said he, “I see that 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, and was not able to reach you.” When he entered our camp he was seized with such a trembling that he was obliged to sit down to compose himself; and when he had made known the object of their visit, I arose, and, addressing them, gave a relation of the sufferings of the Saints in Jackson county, and also our persecutions generally, and what we had suffered by our enemies for our religion; and that we had come one thousand miles to assist our brethren, to bring them clothing, etc., and to reinstate them upon their own lands; and that we had no intention to molest or injure any people, but only to administer to the wants of our afflicted friends; and that the evil reports circulated about us were false, and got up by our enemies to procure our destruction. When I had closed a lengthy speech, the spirit of which melted them into compassion, they arose and offered me their hands, and said they would use their influence to allay the excitement which everywhere prevailed against us; and they wept when they heard of our afflictions and persecutions, and learned that our intentions were good. Accordingly they went forth among the people, and made unwearied exertions to allay the excitement. 9
Cholera Breaks out in the Camp.
Brother Ezra Thayre and Joseph Hancock are sick with the cholera. Thomas Heyes was taken today. Previous to crossing the Mississippi river I had called the camp together 10 and told them that in consequence of the disobedience of some who had been unwilling to listen to my words, but had rebelled, God had decreed that sickness should come upon the camp, and if they did not repent and humble themselves before God they should die like sheep with the rot; that I was sorry, but could not help it. 11 The scourge must come; repentance and humility may mitigate the chastisement, but cannot altogether avert it. But there were some who would not give heed to my words.
The brethren in Clay county wrote the committee of the Jackson mob the same day as follows:
Clay County, June 21, 1834.
Gentlemen—Your propositions of Monday last have been generally made known to our people, and we are instructed to inform you that they cannot be acceded to.
Honorable propositions to you are now making on our part, and we think we shall be enabled to deliver the same to you the early part of next week. We are happy to have it in our power to give you assurances that our brethren here, together with those who have arrived from the east, are unanimously disposed to make every sacrifice for an honorable adjustment of our differences, that could be required of free citizens of the United States.
Negotiations at the camp are now going on between some gentlemen of this county, and our brethren, which are calculated to allay the great excitement in your county. We are informed that the citizens of Jackson entertain fears that our people intend to invade their territory in a hostile manner. We assure you that their fears are groundless, such is not and never was our intention.
W. W. Phelps,
A. S. Gilbert,
W. E. M’Lellin,
TO S.C. Owens, and others of the Jackson committee.
June 22.—Brother Lyman Smith received a wound from the accidental discharge of a horse-pistol, from which he recovered in about three days.
Visit of Clay County Sheriff to the Camp.
Cornelius Gillium, the sheriff of Clay county, came to our camp to hold consultation with us. I marched my company in to a grove near by, and formed in a circle, with Gillium in the centre. Gillium commenced by saying that he had heard that Joseph Smith was in the camp, and if so he would like to see him. I arose and replied, “I am the man.” This was the first time that I had been discovered or made known to my enemies since I left Kirtland. Gillium then gave us instruction concerning the manners, customs, and dispositions of the people, and what course we ought to pursue to secure their favor and protection, making certain inquiries, to which we replied, which were afterwards published, and will appear under date of publication.
I received the following:
Revelation given on Fishing River, Missouri, June 22, 1834. 12
1. Verily I say unto you who have assembled yourselves together that you may learn my will concerning the redemption of mine afflicted people:
2. Beheld, I say unto you, were it not for the transgressions of my people, speaking concerning the Church and not individuals, they might have been redeemed even now;
3. 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,
4. And are not united according to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom;
5. 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;
6. And my people must needs be chastened until they learn obedience, if it must needs be, by the things which they suffer.
7. 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;
8. 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 on unto Zion, and will keep our moneys.
9. Therefore, in consequence of the transgressions of my people, it is expedient in me that mine Elders should wait for a little season for the redemption of Zion,
10. That they themselves may be prepared, and that my people may be taught more perfectly, and have experience, and know more perfectly concerning their duty, and the things which I require at their hands.
11. And this cannot be brought to pass until mine Elders are endowed with power from on high;
12. For behold, I have prepared a great endowment and blessing to be poured out upon them, inasmuch as they are faithful and continue in humility before me;
13. Therefore it is expedient in me that mine Elders should wait for a little season, for the redemption of Zion;
14. For behold, I do not require at their hands to fight the battles of Zion; for, as I said in a former commandment, even so will I fulfill—I will fight your battles.
15. Behold the destroyer I have sent forth to destroy and lay waste mine enemies: and not many years hence they shall not be left to pollute mine heritage, and to blaspheme my name upon the lands which I have consecrated for the gathering together of my saints.
16. Behold, I have commanded my servant Baurak Ale (Joseph Smith, Jun.,) to say unto the strength of my house, my warriors, my young men, and middle-aged, to gather together for the redemption of my people, and throw down the towers of mine enemies and scatter their watchmen;
17. But the strength of mine house have not hearkened unto my words;
18. But inasmuch as there are those who have hearkened unto my words, I have prepared a blessing and an endowment for them, if they continue faithful.
19. I have heard their prayers, and will accept their offering; and it is expedient in me, that they should be brought thus far for a trial of their faith.
20. And now, verily I say unto you, a commandment I give unto you, that as many as have come hither, that can stay in the region round about, let them stay;
21. And those that cannot stay, who have families in the east, let them tarry for a little season, inasmuch as my servant Joseph shall appoint unto them;
22. For I will counsel him concerning this matter, and all things whatsoever he shall appoint unto them shall be fulfilled.
23. And let all my people who dwell in the regions round about be very faithful, and prayerful, and humble before me, and reveal not the things which I have revealed unto them, until it is wisdom in me that they should be revealed.
24. Talk not of judgments, neither boast of faith, nor of mighty works, but carefully gather together, as much in one region as can be consistently with the feelings of the people;
25. And behold, I will give unto you favor and grace in their eyes, that you may rest in peace and safety, while you are saying unto the people, Execute judgment and justice for us according to law, and redress us of our wrongs.
26. Now, behold, I say unto you, my friends, in this way you may find favor in the eyes of the people, until the army of Israel becomes very great;
27. And I will soften the hearts of the people, as I did the heart of Pharaoh, from time to time, until my servant Baurak Ale (Joseph Smith, Jun.,) and Baneemy (mine Elders), whom I have appointed, shall have time to gather up the strength of my house,
28. And to have sent wise men, to fulfill that which I have commanded concerning the purchasing of all the lands in Jackson county that can be purchased, and in the adjoining counties round about;
29. For it is my will that these lands should be purchased, and after they are purchased that my Saints should possess them according to the laws of consecration which I have given;
30. And after these lands are purchased, I will hold the armies of Israel guiltless in taking possession of their own lands, which they have previously purchased with their moneys, and of throwing down the towers of mine enemies that may be upon them, and scattering their watchmen, and avenging me of mine enemies unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.
31. But firstly, let my army become very great, and let it be sanctified before me, that it may become fair as the sun, and clear as the moon, and that her banners may be terrible unto all nations;
32. That the kingdoms of this world may be constrained to acknowledge, that the kingdom of Zion is in very deed the kingdom of our God and His Christ; therefore let us become subject unto her laws.
33. Verily I say unto you, it is expedient in me that the first Elders of my Church should receive their endowment from on high in my house, which I have commanded to be built unto my name in the land of Kirtland;
34. And let those commandments which I have given concerning Zion and her law be executed and fulfilled, after her redemption;
35. There has been a day of calling, but the time has come for a day of choosing, and let those be chosen that are worthy;
36. And it shall be manifest unto my servant, by the voice of the Spirit, those that are chosen, and they shall be sanctified;
37. And inasmuch as they follow the counsel which they receive, they shall have power after many days to accomplish all things pertaining to Zion.
38. And again I say unto you, sue for peace not only to the people that have smitten you, but also to all people;
39. And lift up an ensign of peace, and make a proclamation of peace unto the ends of the earth;
40. And make proposals for peace unto those who have smitten you, according to the voice of the Spirit which is in you, and all things shall work together for your good;
41. Therefore be faithful, and behold, and lo, I am with you even unto the end. Even so. Amen.
2. This refusal of Governor Dunklin to reinstate the Saints on their lands in Jackson county must have been a severe blow to the hopes of Zion’s camp and the Saints scattered in Clay county. From the time of their expulsion from Jackson county the governor repeatedly said that the exiles had a right to be reinstated upon their lands, and had promised that he would call out the militia of the State to reinstate them whenever they were ready and willing to return. In his communication to Messrs. W. W. Phelps, Morley, et al., under date of Feb. 4, 1834 (see Ch. Hist. vol. I, p. 476) he said in answer to their petition to be reinstated: “One of your requests needs no evidence to support the right to have it granted; it is that your people be put in possession of their homes, from which they had been expelled. But what may be the duty of the Executive after that, will depend upon contingencies.” Even a few days before his interview with Messrs. Hyde and Pratt, in his letter to Colonel J. Thornton, under date of June 6th, he had said: “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 officer 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 privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states. Then we cannot interdict any people, who have a political franchise in the United States, from immigrating to this state, nor from choosing what part of the state they will settle in, provided they do not trespass on the property or rights of others.” (See p. 85.)
In the face of this and other utterances the position now assumed by Governor Dunklin was a manifestation of weakness truly lamentable.
4. How beautifully in harmony is this counsel with the words of the Savior to Lucifer when the latter took him up and stood him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said: “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (Matt. 4:6-7.) Moreover, in this last dispensation when the promise of the spiritual gifts was renewed to the Saints, including the promise that “the poison of a serpent should not have power to harm them”—yet, saith the Lord, “a commandment I give unto them, that they shall not boast themselves of these things, neither speak them before the world, for these things are given unto you for your profit and for salvation” (D&C 84:73).
8. Wilford Woodruff says that when the five men entered the camp there was not a cloud to be seen in the whole heavens, but as the men left the camp there was a small cloud like a black spot appeared in the north west, and it began to unroll itself like a scroll, and in a few minutes the whole heavens were covered with a pall as black as ink. This indicated a sudden storm which soon broke upon us with wind, rain, thunder and lightning and hail. Our beds were soon afloat and our tents blown down over our heads. We all fled into a Baptist meetinghouse. As the Prophet Joseph came in shaking the water from his hat and clothing he said, “Boys, there is some meaning to this. God is in this storm.” We sang praises to God, and lay all night on benches under cover while our enemies were in the pelting storm. It was reported that the mob cavalry who fled into the schoolhouse had to hold their horses by the bridles between the logs, but when the heavy hail storm struck them they broke away, skinning the fingers of those who were holding them. The horses fled before the storm and were not found for several days. It was reported that the captain of the company in the schoolhouse said it was a strange thing that they could do nothing against the Mormons but what there must be some hail storm or some other thing to hinder their doing anything, but they did not feel disposed to acknowledge that God was fighting our battles. (Wilford Woodruff’s note in Ms. History of the Church, Book A p. 332.)
9. It is said of the prophet Joseph that if he could but once get the attention even of his bitterest enemies his native eloquence, inspired by the truth and the pathos of his people’s sufferings, usually overwhelmed them; and in no instance was his triumph more marked than in the one just related.
12. D&C 105.