Minutes of the Important Conference of October 6th to 8th, 1844—The Church Set in Order—Duties of the Priesthood Expounded—Economics Considered
“Sunday, October 6, 1844.—From the Times and Seasons (p. 682).
October Conference Minutes
‘City of Nauvoo, Oct. 6, 1844.
Thousands having arrived on the ground by ten o’clock a.m. Elder Parley P. Pratt called the people to order. Singing by the choir—prayer by Elder Phelps. Some instructions were given by Elder Pratt, when President Brigham Young having arrived, arose to lay before the brethren the matters to be attended to during the conference.
The Discourse of President Brigham Young
The Reasons Given for Haste in Settling the Question of Leadership Before Convening the Conference.
‘This day’ [he said], ‘will be devoted to preaching and instruction, and we will attend to business tomorrow. If the Twelve could have had their desires when they returned home, they would have set their houses in order, and devoted themselves to fasting and prayer. It has not been the Twelve who desired to have business which pertains to this conference transacted previous, it was others who urged it on. Some elders who have known the organization of the church from the beginning, have faltered and become darkened. We feel to give the necessary instruction pertaining to the church, and how it has been led, etc. It is necessary that the saints should also be instructed relative to building the Temple, and spreading the principles of truth from sea to sea, and from land to land until it shall have been preached to all nations, and then according to the testimony of the ancients, the end will come. When the Lord commences to work upon the earth he always does it by revealing his will to some man on the earth, and he to others. The church is built up by revelation, given from day to day according to the requirements of the people. The Lord will not cease to give revelations to the people, unless, the people trample on his laws and forsake and reject him. I request that the Latter-day Saints may pray that we may have the outpouring of the Spirit that we may hear, and I wish them to pray for me that I may have strength, and that I may make every principle I speak upon so perfectly plain, that we may all understand as quick as when we talk together upon our daily matters.
The Church Led by Revelation.
Self-Guidance by Revelation.
‘This church has been led by revelation, and unless we forsake the Lord entirely, so that the priesthood is taken from us, it will be led by revelation all the time. The question arises with some who has the right to revelation? I will not ascend any higher than a priest, and ask the priest what is your right? You have the right to receive the administration of angels. If an angel was to come to you and tell you what the Lord was going to do in this day, you would say you had a revelation. The president of the priests has a right to the Urim and Thummim, which gives revelation. He has the right of receiving visits from angels. Every priest then in the church has the right of receiving revelations. Every member has the right of receiving revelations for themselves, both male and female. It is the very life of the church of the living God, in all ages of the world. The Spirit of Truth is sent forth into all the world to reprove the world of sin and unrighteousness, and of a judgment to come. If we were here today and had never heard this gospel, and a man was to come bounding into our midst, saying, he had come to preach the gospel, to tell us that God was about to restore the priesthood, and save the people, etc., it would be your privilege, and my privilege to ask God in the name of Jesus Christ, as individuals, concerning this thing, whether it was of God, and get a testimony from God that it was true, and this would be revelation. Let us take some of these old fathers for an example, they have heard the gospel, they have been baptized, etc., had hands laid on them for the gift of the Holy Ghost—he has got a family of children, he has been led all his days by his own spirit, but now begins to come to understand he has the right to bow before the Lord and receive instruction from God, from day to day, how to manage his family, his farm, his merchandise, and to govern all the affairs of his house. I will take some of my younger brethren who have received the gospel, they have been ordained an elder to hold the keys, etc. What is your privilege? It is your privilege to go and preach the gospel to the world, and to go by the power of the Holy Ghost, and you have no right to go without it. You have been ordained to go forth and build up the kingdom to a certain extent. No man ever preached a gospel discourse, nor ever will, unless he does it by revelation. You will do it by the Holy Ghost, or when you tell the history of the gospel, the gospel will not be there. It has got to be done by revelation or the gospel you have not got, and when you preach, the people will still be left without the gospel. There never was a prophet on the earth that dictated to the people, but he dictated their temporal affairs as well as spiritual. It is the right of an individual to get revelations to guide himself. It is the right of the head of a family to get revelations to guide and govern his family. It is the right of an elder when he has built up a church to get revelations to guide and lead that people until he leads them and delivers them up to his superiors. An elder will always be a little in advance of those whom he has raised up if he is faithful.’
He [President Young] next showed how the saints are delivered up in their progress from those who give them up to the high council, and from the high council to the prophet, and from the prophet to the son, the elder brother, and from the son to his father. (Then continued)—
The Keys of Leadership not Taken from Joseph.
‘Are the keys of the kingdom taken from Joseph? Oh no; well then he still lives. He that believes in Jesus as Joseph did, they will never die. They may lay down their lives, but they still hold the keys. You are not going to be led without revelation. The Prophet has stepped behind the veil and you have the right to obtain revelations for your own salvation. Who stood next to the Prophet when he was here. You have all acknowledged that the Twelve were the Presidents of the whole church when Joseph was not; and now he has stepped behind the veil, he is not here, and the Twelve are the Presidents of the whole church. When did Joseph become a Prophet? I can tell you, when he became an Apostle. 1Years and years before he had the right of holding the keys of the Aaronic priesthood, he was a Prophet, even before he was baptized. There has been a perfect flood of revelation poured from this stand all the time and you did not know it. Every spirit that confesses that Joseph Smith is a Prophet, that he lived and died a Prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true, is of God, and every spirit that does not is of anti-Christ.
The Test of Fellowship.
Hyrum Smith Ordained to Take the Prophet’s Office.
‘It is the test of our fellowship to believe and confess that Joseph lived and died a Prophet of God in good standing; and I don’t want anyone to fellowship the Twelve who says that Joseph is fallen. If you don’t know whose right it is to give revelations, I will tell you, It is I. There never has a man stood between Joseph and the Twelve, and unless we apostatize there never will. If Hyrum had lived he would not have stood between Joseph and the Twelve, but he would have stood for Joseph.—Did Joseph ordain any man to take his place? He did. Who was it? It was Hyrum, but, Hyrum fell a martyr before Joseph did. If Hyrum had lived he would have acted for Joseph, and then when we had gone up, the Twelve would have sat down at Joseph’s right hand, and Hyrum on the left hand. The Bible says God hath set in the church, first Apostles, then comes Prophets, afterwards, because the keys and power of the Apostleship are greater than that of the Prophets. Sidney Rigdon cannot hold the keys without Joseph, if he had held the keys with Joseph and been faithful he would have been with us. If the Twelve do not apostatize they carry the keys of this kingdom wherever they go.’
He [President Young] concluded by requesting all the brethren to tarry with us until all the business is through.
The meeting adjourned by blessing from Elder Heber C. Kimball, until 2 o’clock.
Elder John Taylor’s Discourse
Two o’clock p.m.—The meeting was opened as usual by singing; and prayer by Elder W. W. Phelps. After which Elder John Taylor arose and addressed the people. He said it was with peculiar feelings that he arose to address the congregation.
Adherence to Principles Given by Revelation.
Perpetuation of the Plan of Salvation.
‘This is the first general conference’ [he said], ‘that has been held, where your beloved Prophet and Patriarch are not present. When I look at the many difficulties and severe trials we have passed through it fills me with peculiar feelings. I feel happy to see that the people still seem determined to hold on to those principles which have been given to us through revelation. Nothing shall separate us from those principles which we have imbibed, neither life nor death. By the voice of Jehovah we have been sustained and will be sustained so long as we put our trust in him. We have not followed ‘cunningly devised fables’, but those principles which have come from God. So long as we are sustained and upheld by the arm of Jehovah, we shall stand: mobs may rage, and the rulers may imagine vain things; but God has said, touch not mine anointed and do my people no harm; and if harm does befall them, woe to that man by whom it comes. If our Prophets have been taken, they are gone to plead our cause before the Father. And if we are deprived of their persons, presence and counsel, that is no reason why we should be deprived of the counsel of God to direct us in all our movements whilst pressing on our journey here below. We are in possession of the same principles, the same priesthood, the same medium of communication and intelligence, and of those things which will not only secure our happiness here, but hereafter. When we speak of these matters, we speak of things which we know assuredly, and although our Prophet and Patriarch are taken, all things pertaining to our salvation will roll on and progress with as great rapidity, and can be as effectually secured and accomplished as if they (Joseph and Hyrum) were here themselves. God has secured to us those things in relation to our salvation which have been in his bosom since the world began. He has in his providence seen fit to call our brethren to himself; but he has left others to take their places, who can teach us principles and lead us to those things whereby we may ultimately be clothed with glory, honor, immortality, and eternal life. If we had built upon a false foundation we might have made a mistake in relation to our gathering together to be instructed; but we had not; our present revelations agree with the past. The prophets said that the people would gather together, ‘those who had made a covenant with God by sacrifice’, and the word and purpose of God must stand unchanged, they do not rest upon any mere casualty. Did the Prophet ever tell us that if a certain man should happen to die we should scatter abroad? No! no such thing ever emanated from the lips of God. We assembled together to fulfill the revelations of the Great Jehovah, to bring about the dispensation of the fulness of times, to build up a Zion to the Most High; that he might be glorified. We assembled here to bring about great events, to fulfill the things spoken of by the prophets and secure to ourselves an inheritance in the everlasting kingdom of God. Shall we then be led about by the foolish notions of any man? No! we will not, but we will accomplish those things which are commanded us. We will not be diverted from our course, though earth and hell oppose. Shall we fear the puny arm of man, or the prating of a wretched mobocrat? No! What have we to fear? We have nothing but God to fear.
Hopes of the Saints Beyond the Grave.
Expectation of Tribulation.
High Standing of the Saints of the New Dispensation.
To Build the Temple the First Duty.
‘It is true we have not much to live for, and if we have no hope beyond the grave we should be of all men most miserable. We are oppressed, and slandered and persecuted all the day long; all that I care for is to do the will of God, and secure to myself all those blessings which the gospel will warrant me. I have been brought to the gates of death, but I don’t fear it; I care nothing about it. You feel as I do in relation to these matters, for your conduct has proven it during the late difficulties. I know that the majority of the people are endeavoring to serve God with all their hearts, and are they not prepared to die? There is nothing in death we have to fear; it is not half as much to die as it is to be persecuted all the day long. Our great object then is to accomplish the thing that we set out for. When we gathered together we expected to meet tribulation; the elders that preached to you told you this or else they did not do their duty. We have been told there would be earthquakes in divers places, and pestilence, and war, and persecution, and distress, and famine. Do these things move us? If the bud is so bitter I wonder what the fruit will be. Don’t you expect to be worse off than you are now. John saw an innumerable company and wanted to know where they came from; it was told to him that they are they which came out of great tribulation. That is the path we have to tread. The scripture says: ‘woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you’; but that curse has never come upon us, for there are some few here and there who will not speak well of us. But “blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely for Christ’s sake.’ Do you think there is any more evil that they have not said? If there is, let it come. What is it that makes you to be evil spoken of? you used to have a good name and reputation where you resided; what is the reason you are now so much spoken against? You have dared to believe the gospel; you have dared to obey it; and that is the reason why the world hates you. I know there is not a better set of men than these by which I am surrounded; I know there is not a more virtuous set of people on the earth, and yet all manner of evil is spoken of you. Shall we cry and go mourning all day long? No, we will rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is our reward in heaven. I feel to rejoice; we have cause to rejoice for all manner of evil is spoken against us falsely, and I will say hallelujah, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. What did we know of God, of religion, of heaven or hell, until it was made known to us through this gospel? We knew nothing. Why are we taking so much pains to build that Temple? That we may fulfill certain ordinances, and receive certain endowments and secure to ourselves an inheritance in the eternal world. Every man, woman and child within the sound of my voice, are interested in the building of that Temple. We know very little as a people yet, we don’t know so much as the former day saints. The Savior said to his disciples, ‘whither I go ye know, and the way ye know’; but how many of you know the locality of the Savior and the way to go to him? I know there are some here who know how to save themselves and their families, and it is this which occupies their attention all the day long, and it was this which occupied the attention of our beloved Prophet. Abraham obtained promises through the gospel, from God, for himself and his posterity. There were some upon this continent who also obtained promises, in consequence of which the Book of Mormon came forth. The first thing we have got to do is to build the Temple, where we can receive those blessings which we so much desire. Never mind mobocrats, but let us do what God has commanded us. You that are living at a distance, don’t fear these cursed scoundrels; we are all in the hands of God; we are all the servants of God; and we are going forth to do the things of God.’
He [Elder Taylor] exhorted the saints to be virtuous, humble and faithful, and concluded by blessing the saints.
Baptism for the Dead and Tithing.
He said further, in relation to the baptisms for the dead, that it would be better for the saints to go on and build the Temple before we urge our baptisms too much. There are cases which require being attended to, and there are provisions made for them; but as a general thing he would advise them not to be in too great a hurry. He said one of the clerks had asked whether any should be baptized who had not paid their tithing; it is our duty to pay our tithing, one-tenth of all we possess, and then one-tenth of our increase, and a man who has not paid his tithing is unfit to be baptized for his dead. It is as easy for a man who has ten thousand dollars to pay one thousand, as it is for a man who has but a little to pay one-tenth. It is our duty to pay our tithing. If a man has not faith enough to attend to these little things, he has not faith enough to save himself and his friends. It is a man’s duty to attend to these things. The poor are not going to be deprived of these blessings because they are poor; no, God never reaps where he has not sown. This command is harder for the rich than the poor; a man who has one million dollars, if he should give one hundred thousand, he would think he was beggared forever. The Savior said, how hardly do they that have riches enter the kingdom of heaven.
Bishop Miller’s Remarks
Bishop Miller arose to say that on yesterday the bishops had to go in debt to get some wood to save some poor from suffering; and they wanted to take up a collection to pay the amount; he was opposed to taking up a collection in the congregation, but necessity required it on this occasion.
After the collection was taken up the conference adjourned until tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock.
Monday, October 7th, 1844, 10 o’clock, a.m.—Conference met pursuant to adjournment, and opened by singing, and prayer by Elder Parley P. Pratt, after which President Young arose to exhort the saints to keep their minds on the business before them, and not to be in a hurry to get away.
Sustaining of the Several Authorities of the Church
The first business that we shall attend to will be to present the several quorums before the conference, for the purpose of taking an expression of the brethren and sisters, whether they will sustain the officers according to their several appointments.
I shall therefore give way, and I am to hear motions and present them to the conference for their action: wherefore,
It was moved by Elder Heber C. Kimball, that we as a church endeavor to carry out the principles and measures heretofore adopted and laid down by Joseph Smith as far as in us lies, praying Almighty God to help us to do it. This motion was put to the conference by President Young and carried unanimously.
Policies of Joseph and Hyrum Smith Sustained by Vote.
President Young said by way of explanation that this is as much as to say that we receive and acknowledge Joseph Smith as a Prophet of God; being called of God and maintaining his integrity and acceptance until death.
Elder Heber C. Kimball then moved that we carry out all the measures of Hyrum Smith, a Prophet and Patriarch in the church, so far as in us lies [the power], by the help of God.
This motion was also carried unanimously.
President Young said, this is an acknowledgment that he lived approved of God and died a martyr for the truth.
Elder W. W. Phelps moved that we uphold Brigham Young the president of the Quorum of the Twelve, as one of the Twelve and the First Presidency of the Church.
This motion was duly seconded, and put to the church by Elder John Smith (Uncle of the Prophet) and carried unanimously.
Moved by President John Smith and seconded, that we receive Elder Heber C. Kimball as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.
Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder Orson Hyde as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.
Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder Parley P. Pratt as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.
Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder William Smith as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.
Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder Orson Pratt as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.
Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder John E. Page as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.
Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder Willard Richards as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.
Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder Wilford Woodruff as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.
Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder John Taylor as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.
Moved and seconded that we receive Elder George A. Smith as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.
Moved by Elder H. C. Kimball, that Elder Amasa Lyman stand in his lot. 2 The motion was seconded.
An Explanation by President Young.
President Young said by way of explanation that Elder Amasa Lyman is one of the Twelve, just in the same relationship as he sustained to the First Presidency. He is one in our midst and a counselor with us.
The motion was then presented and carried unanimously.
Moved and seconded, and after some discussion, carried unanimously that Elder Lyman Wight be sustained in his office to fill the place of Elder David W. Patten [martyred at Crooked River Battle, Missouri], but not to take his crown, for that, as the Lord has said, no man can take. 3
Elder Snow moved that George Miller be received as president of the high priests’ quorum. Carried unanimously.
President John Smith moved that William Marks be sustained in his calling as president of this [Nauvoo] stake.
Elder W. W. Phelps objected inasmuch as the high council had dropped him from their quorum.
Elder S. Bent explained and said the reason why the high council dropped Elder Marks, was because he did not acknowledge the authority of the Twelve, but the authority of Elder Rigdon.
Difference of Effect in Dropping Officers from Positions.
President Young said that a president of a stake could be dropped without taking his standing from him in the church. But not so with the First Presidency or the Twelve. A president of a stake is only called for the time being, if you drop him he will fall back into the high priests’ quorum.
The motion was then put, but there were only two votes. The contrary vote was put and carried by an overwhelming majority.
Elder H. C. Kimball moved that Elder John Smith stand as the president of this stake. Carried unanimously.
President Young then said, the Macedonia church must select their own man for a president, as Elder John Smith is coming here.
President John Smith moved that Elder Charles C. Rich be one of his council. Carried unanimously.
The High Council.
Moved and seconded, that S. Bent, James Allred, Dunbar Wilson, George W. Harris, Wm. Huntington, Sen., Newel Knight, Alpheus Cutler, Aaron Johnson, Henry G. Sherwood, Thomas Grover, Ezra T. Benson, and David Fullmer, be sustained as the high council. Carried unanimously.
The First Council of Seventy.
Elder H. C. Kimball moved that Elder Joseph Young stand as First President over all the quorums of the seventies. Carried unanimously.
Moved and seconded, that Levi W. Hancock be sustained as one of the Presidents of Seventies. Carried unanimously.
Moved and seconded, that Daniel S. Miles be sustained as one of the Presidents of Seventies. Carried unanimously.
Moved and seconded, that Zerah Pulsipher, be sustained as one of the Presidents of Seventies. Carried unanimously.
Moved and seconded, that Josiah Butterfield be cut of from the church. Carried unanimously.
President Young showed that it was because he had got a little money, and was lifted up.
Moved and seconded, that Henry Harriman be sustained as one of the Presidents of Seventies. Carried unanimously.
President Young said, that the Seventies [First Council] had dropped James Foster, and cut him off, and we need not take an action upon his case.
Moved and seconded, that Jedediah M. Grant take the place of J. Butterfield in the Quorum of Seventies. Carried unanimously.
Elder H. C. Kimball moved that N. K. Whitney stand as our first bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Carried unanimously.
Moved and seconded, that George Miller stand as second bishop. Carried unanimously.
Moved and seconded, that Samuel Williams retain his office as president of [in] the elders’ quorum. Carried unanimously.
Moved and seconded, that Jesse Baker and Joshua Smith be sustained as his counselors. Carried unanimously.
The Lesser Priesthood.
Moved and seconded, that Stephen M. Farnsworth retain his office as president of the priests. Carried unanimously.
Moved and seconded, that E. Averett retain his standing as president of the teachers. Carried unanimously.
Moved and seconded, that Jonathan H. Hale, Isaac Higbee, John Murdock, David Evans, Hezekiah Peck, Daniel Garns, Jacob Foutz, Tarlton Lewis, and Israel Calkins, be sustained as bishops in their several wards. Carried unanimously,
Elder Parley P. Pratt’s Discourse
President Young being fatigued gave place for Elder Parley P. Pratt, who got up to preach his ‘old sermon’, [not said in derision] viz.
President Young advised the saints to come after intermission prepared to tarry till evening if necessary. They [the authorities] have much instruction to give and want an opportunity to give it. He advised the saints to call and get Orson Pratt’s Mormon Almanac which is something new. After some few exhortations he closed the meeting till 2 o’clock by blessing.
A Rigdonite Excommunicated.
Two o’clock p.m.—Meeting opened by singing, and prayer by Elder John Taylor, after which Elder Taylor presented a communication from Mr. Small declaring his full faith in Elder Rigdon’s doctrine. Moved and seconded, that he be cut off from the church. Carried unanimously.
Elder Heber C. Kimball’s Discourse
Elder Heber C. Kimball addressed the congregation on the principles of salvation by the celestial law. He went on to show the order of the resurrection and that there are different orders or degrees, wherever death finds us the resurrection will take hold of us. ‘We desire to obtain a fulness of celestial glory, but many will be disappointed. It is for this that we pray every day that the Lord will spare our lives that we may obtain it. President Joseph Smith never rested till he had endowed the Twelve with all the power of the priesthood, because he was about to pass within the veil. He designed that we should give it to you and you cannot be saved without it. You cannot obtain these things until that house [The Temple] is built. I and my brethren are willing to do all that lays in our power to finish that house for your benefit, that you may go where Joseph is gone. We have got to carry out Joseph’s measures and you have got to assist us. When Jesus was upon the earth his time was spent in endowing the Twelve Apostles that they might do the things he had left undone and carry out his measures, and upon the same principle we carry out Joseph’s measures. We have no rest—don’t sleep half as much as you do. We need your prayers.
All Evil to be put Away.
‘It is necessary to put away all wickedness from our midst, all grogshops and bad houses. Drunkenness and such things will be our overthrow if we are ever overthrown. The best way to put these things away is to never frequent such places. It is necessary for us to put away all this frolicking and dancing over the blood of the Prophet, where it was drenched by the blood from the coffin. 4 When the Prophet had a dance at his house he said everything against it he could, and now men go and practice the same things. Shall we put these things away? I say yes. We have got an ungodly race here among us who are leading our young people away. They will open their doors and let men go in and say everything against the Twelve and the church they are capable of. I never frequent such places; I cast them far from me. Are you not under the same obligations and responsibility, ye elders, high priests, teachers, deacons and members?’
He then went on to show that the saints could not obtain the blessings they want until the Temple is finished. We want all to pay their tithing that they may receive the blessings.
President Young Presents a Patriarch
President Young arose and said that it had been moved and seconded that Asael Smith 5 should be ordained to the office of patriarch. He went on to show that the right to the office of Patriarch to the whole church belonged to William Smith 6 as a legal right by descent. Uncle Asael [however] ought to receive the office of [a] patriarch in the church.
The motion was put and carried unanimously.
The Principle of Tithing Expounded.
President Young wanted to say a few words on the principle of tithing. ‘There has been so much inquiry it becomes irksome: the law is for a man to pay one-tenth of all he possesses for the erecting of the House of God, the spread of the gospel, and the support of the priesthood. When a man comes into the church he wants to know if he must reckon his clothing, bad debts, lands, etc. It is the law to give one-tenth of what he has got, and then one-tenth of his increase or one-tenth of his time. A man comes and says he was sick six months and what is required of me? Why go and pay your tithing for the time you are able to work. Some say they have been preaching and want to know if that doesn’t pay their tithing? Well, it will if you want to have it so.’ He then went on to recommend the brethren not to sell their grain but to bring it into the city and store it, and not take it to Warsaw.
Reference to Lyman Wight’s and James Emmett’s Going Away.
He next referred to Lyman Wight’s going away because he was a coward, but he will come back and his company, and James Emmett and his company will come back. How easy would it be for the Lord if an army of mobs was to come within one mile of this place, to turn the northwest winds upon them and with snow, hail and rain, make them so that they would be glad to take care of themselves and leave us alone. He then referred to the Missourians when Joseph and others went to jail, snapping their guns at the brethren but they would not go off, etc. The Lord never let a prophet fall on the earth until he had accomplished his work: and the Lord did not take Joseph until he had finished his work, and it is the greatest blessing to Joseph and Hyrum God could bestow to take them away, for they had suffered enough. They are not the only martyrs that will have to die for the truth. There are men before me today who will be martyrs, and who will have to seal their testimony with their blood. I believe this people is the best people of their age that ever lived on the earth, the church of Enoch not excepted. We want you to come on with your tithes and offerings to build this Temple, and when it is finished we want you to spend a year in it and we will tell you things you never thought of.
The Twelve then proceeded to ordain Asael Smith as follows:
The Ordination of a Patriarch—Asael Smith
‘Brother Asael Smith in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, we lay our hands upon your head to ordain you to the office of Patriarch in this last Church of Jesus Christ, and we bestow upon you the keys and power, and the right and authority of blessing as a patriarch in the Church of Jesus Christ—and we say unto thee, thou shalt be a father to many. Thou shalt feel the Spirit of the Lord more than thou hast ever done before. Thy heart shall be enlarged, and it shall be thy delight to bless thy family, and thy posterity, and the fatherless and widow; and the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon you to predict upon the heads of those on whom you lay your hands, things that shall be hereafter even in the eternal world. We ask thee O Lord in the name of Jesus Christ that thou wouldst send thy Spirit upon this thy servant, that his heart may circumscribe the wisdom and knowledge of this world, and be enlarged so as to comprehend the things of eternity. We say unto thee, thou art blessed: thou art of the royal blood, and of thy lineage shall arise great and powerful men in the earth. We seal upon you the powers we have mentioned with the keys thereof upon your head in the name of Jesus Christ. Thou art the anointed of the Lord, one who shall stand in the latter days and be a pillar in the church of the living God, and one in whom the saints of God may trust to ask counsel. These blessings we seal upon you in the name of Jesus Christ: Amen.’
The Business of the Conference for October 8th Outlined
President Young then said, we want the conference to continue tomorrow for business. We want the high priests’ quorum together. President Miller will organize them on the right of the stand.
The Presidents of Seventies will organize all the seventies. We want to select a number of high priests to go through the states to preside over congressional districts. Then we want to have the elders’ quorum organized that we can take out of the elders’ quorum and fill up the seventies. We want all the seventies to be here and their presidents. We want them organized and begin to fill up the second quorum and then the third and the fourth to the tenth. The business of the day will be to ordain the Presidents of the Seventies and then fill the quorums of seventies from the elders’ quorums, and select men from the quorum of high priests to go abroad and preside.
The conference then adjourned until tomorrow at nine o’clock, by blessing from President John Smith.
Remarks of Elder John Taylor on Economic Policy To Be Inaugurated at Nauvoo
Tuesday Morning, October 8th, 1844.—Previous to opening the services of the day, Elder John Taylor made some remarks on our temporal economy. He proceeded to say that we have the means of wealth within ourselves.
‘We have mechanics of every description from every country; men who are capable of carrying through any branch of manufacture. We want capital to commence with; but it is not necessary to wait for a very large amount, for it is safer to go to work with small means, than with an immense sum; for a rich man is very apt to overlook himself, and for want of proper calculation often scatters his means without accomplishing any benefit to the community. We can be made rich by our own enterprise and labor. Look at Great Britain: how have they obtained it? They have obtained it by encouraging their own manufacturers. It is true the poor are oppressed there; but it is not the manufacturers that oppress the people. We are not going to start anything on a large scale; our calculation is to have the saints manufacture everything we need in Nauvoo, and all kinds of useful articles to send abroad through the states and bring money here. Franklin says, ‘time is money’, and we want to spend our time in something that is useful and beneficial. Since we came here we have labored under every disadvantage. We have purchased Nauvoo, and much of the surrounding country, which has taken all our money. We have no need now to purchase more land; we now want to hit upon a plan to enable you to take your hands out of your pockets and build work shops and other places of industry. We have silk weavers, and cotton weavers, and every kind of mechanics that can be thought of. We want these to come together, and we want those who have money to lay it out and find them work. We have men here who can take the raw silk and from that carry it through every process and manufacture the shawls and dresses our women wear. We want to purchase raw cotton and manufacture it into wearing apparel, etc. If we can manufacture cotton, silk and woolen goods, we can keep our money at home; we will encourage home manufacture, as the Quakers do. We want all the cutlers to get together and manufacture our knives and forks, etc, etc. I know that we, as a community, can manufacture every thing we need. But I must now desist as the time to commence meeting has arrived.’
Organization of the High Priests and the Seventy
Elder Heber C. Kimball now appeared and took charge of the meeting, which was opened by singing and prayer by Elder W. W. Phelps.
Elder George A. Smith moved that all in the elders’ quorum under the age of thirty-five should be ordained into the seventies’, if they are in good standing, and worthy, and will accept it. The motion was seconded and carried unanimously.
Elder Heber C. Kimball stated that President Joseph Young’s wife was very sick and he wished to have her blessed, that brother Young might tarry and perform the duties of his office, and if the congregation would bless her let them say amen, and all the congregation said, amen.
He then recommended all those elders who are under the age of thirty-five, and also all the priests, teachers, deacons and members, who are recommended to be ordained, to withdraw and receive an ordination into the seventies, which was done.
Special Mission Appointed to the High Priests
President Brigham Young then appeared and proceeded to select men from the high priests’ quorum, to go abroad in all the congressional districts of the United States, to preside over the branches of the church, as follows:
David Evans Joseph Holbrook
A. O. Smoot John Lawson
Edson Whipple Abel Lamb
Harvey Green J. H. Hale
J. S. Fullmer G. D. Watt
J. G. Divine J. W. Johnson
J. H. Johnson L. T. Coons
Lester Brooks J. L. Robinson
J. B. Noble Howard Coray
Rufus Fisher M. Sirrine
D. B. Huntington Pelatiah Brown
Jefferson Hunt E. H. Groves
Lorenzo Snow G. P. Dykes
William Snow Willard Snow
Noah Packard Wm. Felshaw
A. L. Tippets Winslow Farr
J. C. Kingsbury Shadrach Roundy
Jacob Foutz S. B. Stoddard
Peter Haws E. D. Woolley
Thomas Gates Solomon Hancock
Simeon Carter Abraham Palmer
Albert Brown James Brown
Levi Gifford R. McBride
Elijah Fordham W. D. Pratt
Edward Fisher Martin H. Peck
Franklin D. Richards Morris Phelps
Isaac Clark D. McArthur
J. S. Holman Archibald Patten
Wandell Mace L. H. Ferry
Charles Thompson Charles Crismon
John Murdock Lyman Stoddard
John Chase Arnold Stevens
A. L. Lamoreaux David Fullmer
E. T. Benson Joseph Allen
Thomas Grover Andrew Perkins
C. L. Whitney Daniel Carter
Addison Everett Wm. G. Perkins
Moses Clawson Graham Coltrin
William Parks D. H. Redfield
George Colson Titus Billings
H. W. Miller Harvey Olumstead
Isaac Higbee Daniel Stanton
Explanation of the Mission
President Young explained the object for which these high priests were being sent out, and informed them that it was not the design to go and tarry six months and then return, but to go and settle down, where they can take their families and tarry until the Temple is built, and then come and get their endowments, and return to their families and build up a stake as large as this.
President Young then selected from the elders’ quorums some to be ordained high priests, whose names for the want of room are omitted for the present.
He also selected a number more to go into the seventies after which the remainder of the morning was spent in calling out the several quorums of seventies, and giving charges to the several presidents.
Brother Joseph L. Heywood was ordained under the hands of Elder Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and Parley P. Pratt, to be a bishop to the church in Quincy, Illinois.
Previous to adjournment the Presidents of the Seventies ordained upwards of 400 into the quorums of the seventies, and the presidents of the high priests’ quorum ordained 40 into their quorum.
The meeting then adjourned until 2 o’clock p.m.
Instructions to Seventies and Elders
Two o’clock p.m.—Conference resumed business. Those presidents of the seventies who were present and had not received an ordination to the presidency over the seventies, were called out and ordained, under the hands of President Joseph Young and others.
The remainder of the afternoon was spent in filling up the quorums of seventies, and at the close, eleven quorums were filled and properly organized, and about 40 elders organized as a part of the twelfth quorum.
President Brigham Young then said that the elders young men who are capable of preaching, will be ordained; ‘but do not be anxious. You must now magnify your calling. Elders who go to borrowing horses or money, and running away with it, will be cut off from the church without any ceremony. They will not have as much lenity as heretofore. The seventies will have to be subject to their presidents and council. We do not want any man to go to preaching until he is sent. If an elder wants to go to preaching let him go into the seventies. You are all apostles to the nations to carry the gospel; and when we send you to build up the kingdom, we will give you the keys, and power and authority. If the people will let us alone we will convert the world, and if they persecute us we will do it the quicker. I would exhort all who go from this place to do right and be an honor to the cause. Inasmuch as you will go forth and do right you shall have more of the spirit than you have heretofore. We have had a good conference; we have had beautiful weather and no accidents; and if you will go and do honor to the Lord for this, say amen;’ and all the people said amen,
On motion the conference adjourned until the 6th of April next, at 10 o’clock a.m.
Meeting dismissed by prayer from Elder Heber C. Kimball,[Signed] Brigham Young, President.
Wm. Clayton, Clerk.’
At this conference there were about sixty brethren ordained high priests and four hundred and thirty ordained seventies.
Wednesday, 9.—A council of the Twelve was held at my house.
At a meeting of the trades called for the purpose of discussing the propriety of manufacturing instead of importing articles of common use in the city of Nauvoo,—John Taylor was appointed chairman and W. W. Phelps, secretary.
An Idustrial Committee Appointed.
Elders John Taylor, Orson Spencer and Phineas Richards were appointed a general committee to devise plans, and confer with the special committees of the several trades.”
1. This remark is a bit confusing because as a matter of fact Joseph Smith did not receive the Apostleship before he was baptized, for he was baptized on the visit of John the Baptist who restored the keys of the Aaronic priesthood May 15, 1829; and the restoration of the Apostleship came to him and Oliver Cowdery somewhat later, most likely sometime in June, 1829. But President Young had in mind the fact of Joseph Smith becoming a Prophet from the time when he received his First Vision of God the Father and of the Son, early in the spring of 1820 and this constituted him a witness for God and likewise a Prophet; but he did not become authoritatively a Prophet to the church until he had been made an Apostle; for as stated by St. Paul, the order of these officers in the church is—”God hath some in the church first apostles, secondarily prophets.” etc. (1 Cor. 12:28.)
2. Lyman “to stand in his lot”. It will be observed here that if Amasa M. Lyman had been accounted as one of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the quorum would have had thirteen in it instead of twelve. Elder Lyman had been ordained as an Apostle, and filled a vacancy that had been made by dropping Orson Pratt from the quorum before the death of the Prophet, but when Orson Pratt had been reinstated in his quorum, and the Prophet had decided that the action of the Twelve was illegal because it was not a majority that acted in the case, President Smith took Elder Lyman into the Council of the First Presidency and he was the Prophet’s counselor, and now he was made counselor to the Twelve. as he had been to the Prophet—hence “Lyman to stand in his lot”. (c. f. This History, vol. 5, ch. 13).
3. D&C 124:130.
5. This was the son of Asael Smith, brother of the Prophet Joseph’s father, who was the first Presiding Patriarch to the church. Asael Smith, here proposed as a patriarch in the church, was not made the Presiding Patriarch to the church, as that position was filled at this time by William Smith, the brother of Hyrum Smith, the martyr, who had succeeded his father Joseph Smith, known in our annals as Joseph Smith, Sen.
6. William Smith was subsequently ordained to be the Presiding Patriarch to the whole church. On this subject President Young says in hisMs. History under date of May 24, 1845: “The brethren present expressed their feelings towards Elder William Smith to which he responded. The twelve then laid their hands upon him and ordained him to be Patriarch to the whole church. There was a warm interchange of good feelings between William Smith and the Quorum” (History of Brigham Young, Ms. 1845, p. 84) But before he was sustained in that position by the church, which in the due order of events would have taken place at the October conference, 1845, his iniquitous life came fully to light and he was rejected by the conference both as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, and as Presiding Patriarch to the church. (See Minutes of the Conference for October 1845, Times and Seasons, vol. 6, p. 1009). On the 12th of October, 1845 he was excommunicated from the church (Ibid).