Campaign against Wickedness Both by the Church Authorities and the Nauvoo City Council—Villainy of Nauvoo’s Enemies
“Wednesday, January 1, 1845.—Accompanied by Elder Heber C. Kimball I went to Bishop David Evans’ ward south of Nauvoo City, and solemnized a marriage.
The following was written in council:
A Word to the Churches Abroad From the Twelve
(First Greeting of 1845)
‘The Twelve. feeling a great anxiety for the unity and prosperity of the whole church, and, more especially, for the benefit of the branches of the church abroad in the world, would, after mature deliberation, and as a matter of counsel, (approving of the course, management, and matter of the Times and Seasons and Nauvoo Neighbor), recommend that suitable pains and exertions be taken by both elders and members, to obtain these papers from Nauvoo. A unity of effort, to circulate these papers, not only among the saints, but among the people at large, will greatly facilitate the labors of the traveling elders, while it disseminates correct principles, sanctioned by the highest authorities in the church, and at the same time, opens a channel of communication, best calculated to win the good feelings of the community, while the affections, and zeal of the brethren, are harmonized, by the same doctrines, the same rules; and the same laudable purposes.
The kingdoms of the world continue and extend by division, but the saints can only expect to prevail by wisdom and counsel; we therefore, in connection with the union which prevails among the saints here, and for the prosperity of the branches abroad, and as a reward of merit to the honorable standing of the Times and Seasons and Nauvoo Neighbor, and for their unyielding energies in the cause of truth ‘through good and through evil report’, bespeak for them a liberal subscription and ready remittance. May light and liberality be equal.
We have just entered upon the threshold of a new year, and may our Father in heaven, have so much respect to his saints and people, as to bless the pure in heart, pure in purpose, and coworkers for the redemption of man, until the light from Zion extends round the globe and ‘all Israel shall be saved’; and then we can rejoice and say: it was good for us that we followed the counsel of the Lord.
Brethren, we greet you with peace, and may the Lord bless you with righteousness.
Done in council, this first day of January, 1845.[Signed] Brigham Young, President.’
Elder Orson Hyde wrote an article which was published in the Times and Seasons advising the saints in the east to beware of land speculators professing to be Latter-day Saints, who were trying to sell lands in Illinois for lands and other property in the east.
Elder Orson Hyde’s Letter of Caution: Beware of Deception!
‘Tidings have just reached us here [in Nauvoo] that certain men in the eastern countries, Ohio and other places, professing to be Latter- day Saints, are very busy in selling Illinois lands, and exchanging them for real estate and other property in the east. I would inform all the saints everywhere, that this operation is a field for greater and more extensive fraud than any other with which I am acquainted.
You may give some irresponsible, worthless creature a clear title to your homes in the east, with the expectation of finding good land here in exchange with a good title, etc., etc. But when you come, you may find your land in a swamp, in the middle of an extensive prairie, ten or fifteen miles from any timber. I will venture to give it as my opinion that those miserable speculators are knaves and villains; professing to be saints, and trying to help the church and build up the cause, when they have no license from the authorities of the church here.
I say again, beware of those ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’. Whenever any such operation is deemed beneficial to the saints by those who know and understand these things, some competent responsible person will be sent, duly authorized with documents from under the hands of the Twelve that reside in this city. Otherwise you may find to your sorrow that you will have to pay for your lands twice over before you get good titles. I therefore warn you, as a watchman of your interests, to hold on upon your homes until you know certainly what you are doing.[Signed] Orson Hyde.’
Settling in a New Country Discussed.
In company with Elders Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, George A. Smith, Willard Richards and Amasa M. Lyman. I spent the afternoon and evening, with our wives, at Hiram Kimball’s; had a pleasant time: the propriety of settling a new country was discussed.
Repeal of Nauvoo Charter Before Illinois Legislature.
Mr. Jacob B. Backenstos delivered a speech in the house of representatives, Springfield, against the senate bill for the unconditional repeal of the Nauvoo Charter, wherein he ably set forth the injuries and persecutions suffered by the citizens of Nauvoo.
Elder Parley P. Pratt’s Proclamation.
Elder Parley P. Pratt, having been appointed to the presidency of the eastern churches, published a proclamation to the saints in his presidency explaining the duties of his calling and the several duties of the officers and members under his special charge.
Thursday, 2.—Elders Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt and myself held a council at the Tithing Office with Bishops Newel K. Whitney and George Miller, Trustees and Alpheus Cutler and Reynolds Cahoon, Temple Committee: the object of the council was to inspire the Temple Committee with confidence and satisfaction.
First Preston Reunion of Elders and Saints.
Evening, in company with Elders Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor, and others I took supper with Dr. Willard Richards: sixteen of the brethren and sisters who first embraced the work in Preston, England, were present.
Friday, 3.——Elder Wilford Woodruff and accompanying missionaries landed in Liverpool having been twenty-five days at sea.
Work in Connecticut Extended.
Saturday, 4.—A conference was held in Hartford, Connecticut, at which thirty-six members were represented including six officers. Elder M. Sirrine presided.
Evening, I met with the city police at the Seventies’ Hall and gave them suitable instructions.
Discourses of Elders Young and Kimball Against Wickedness
Sunday, 5.—I went to the stand and addressed the saints on the necessity of having more order and putting down iniquity, and exhorted the brethren to rise up en masse, and put down the thieving, swearing, gambling, bogus-making, retailing spirituous liquors, bad houses, and all abominations practiced in our midst by our enemies, who, after they could not live among us any longer would go out to the world and publish that these things were practiced by us. I severely rebuked the civil authorities of the city for their want of energy in the discharge of their duty, and censured parents and guardians for not keeping their children from prowling round the streets at night; and remarked that if we did not as a people uproot such things, they would uproot us, and we would have to leave before we had done the things the Lord had commanded us to do. Elder Kimball followed me, treating on the same subject: a large congregation—pleasant day.
Movement of the Saints to California Considered.
Tuesday, 7.—I met in council with my brethren of the Twelve. The subject of sending a company to California was further discussed; also the propriety of sending to the branches of the church abroad for teams to help the expedition.
The Young Family Social Reunion.
Wednesday, 8.—I attended a meeting which was got up by my brother, Joseph Young, of all our relatives and connections. Elder Phineas Richards presided. Elder Phineas Richards, John Haven, myself, Joseph Young, Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor, John Smith and Lucy Smith, mother of the Prophet, severally addressed the meeting.
Evening, I met with the Twelve, bishops, high council, and city officials in relation to the election of city officers: the members of the Quorum of the Twelve present declined accepting any nomination.
The police held a meeting this afternoon; the Twelve and Father John Smith attended and partook of dinner with them: it was an agreeable and interesting time.
Friday, 10.—The Twelve, the Temple Committee, the surveyors (Sherwood and Ripley) and Bishop Whitney, Trustee, met with the Committee of the Nauvoo Manufacturing Association respecting erecting the contemplated dam in the Mississippi.
Lesser Priesthood Quorums Set in Order.
The lesser priesthood met at the Music Hall. Bishop N. K. Whitney presided. He stated the object of the meeting was to fill up the quorums in order that the saints might be visited by the lesser priesthood; he recommended that the bishops establish in their respective wards the manufacturing of palm leaf and straw hats, willow baskets and other business that children are capable of learning, that they may be raised to industrious habits; he further stated his determination to have a feast prepared for the poor that their hearts might be made to rejoice. Bishops Edward Hunter, Isaac Higbee and others made some very interesting remarks. Bishop Whitney gave the lesser priesthood a faithful charge in relation to ferreting out iniquity. Four priests and ten teachers were ordained.
Saturday, 11.—City council met and transacted much business. Passed an ordinance authorizing and licensing Brigham Young to run a ferry across the Mississippi at Nauvoo in place of Joseph Smith, martyred.
With Elders Taylor, Richards and Phelps, I spent the evening writing an epistle to the churches on the gathering.
Mission Projected for the Seventies.
Sunday, 12.—A general meeting of the seventies convened at their hall; I attended and informed them that the Twelve designed to select a number of experienced elders from among the quorums to take short missions through this state and Iowa, for the purpose of frustrating the designs of wicked and ungodly men, who are endeavoring to poison the minds of the people by misrepresenting us and circulating base and false reports about us as a people. There were a great many people who knew nothing about the true character of this church. From false reports many are led to suppose that we are all a set of thieves, blacklegs and bogus-makers, but we will undeceive them, that is, the honest in heart, who will listen to the elders sent among them. One hundred brethren were ordained into the seventies. The fifteenth and sixteenth quorums were organized.
Important Discourses by Elders Heber C. Kimball and Orson Pratt
Elder Heber C. Kimball preached to the saints in the Concert Hall on the subject of increase and expansion. Elder Orson Pratt advanced an idea pertaining to the magnitude of the planetary system, illustrative of the enlargement of the saints.
Elder Kimball and I attended the high priests’ quorum and selected fifty of the members to go on missions till April 1st in the surrounding counties.
Evening, attended prayer meeting.
Monday, 13.—The city council met in Brother W. Richards’ office, and adopted the following Preamble and Resolutions:
The Voice of Nauvoo
(Proceedings of the City Council)
‘It is with feelings of deep and inexpressible regret that we learn that the inhabitants of various parts of this state are seeking to accumulate all the real and supposed crimes of the whole community [of Nauvoo] for the secret or ostensible purpose of raising a tide of influence against the Mormon community that shall sweep them into irrecoverable ruin. This course of conduct, originating with our mortal enemies and gathering in its wake, other men that would revolt at the idea of lending a hand to oppress a long abused people that are struggling against foes within and foes without; [which] is at the present almost insupportable to our feelings. We have scarcely laid by our mourning weeds for murdered men, whom we promptly surrendered up to the state of Illinois for an equitable trial—And now we see in embryo another campaign to spill yet more blood and effect an utter extermination and massacre. We sought to rid our city of counterfeiters and blacklegs; these together with our foes without and within, had established a printing press of unparalleled rancor and malignity. But our efforts to obtain freedom from such vicious monsters cost us much tribulation and precious blood.
The impunity thus far granted the murderers by the senate and other authorities of the state of Illinois, has emboldened them and their apologists to set on foot a series of other exciting causes that they hope will either destroy this community, or prevent their criminals from being brought to punishment. We have not so much fear that our enemies will succeed in their fiendish designs against us, as we have that the peace and good order of the people of this state will be disturbed, and fearful anarchy and bloody misrule will ensue among those who listen to and countenance the fell designs of those who are stealing from quiet citizens of the state and palming upon them a spurious and false currency, and charging to the Mormons their own crimes. If they shall succeed, the citizens will be involved in continual larcenies, and neighborhood broils, and crimes, the end of which cannot now be foreseen. We deprecate such evils and calamities because we desire the good of all mankind; as the gratuitous labors of the greater portion of our citizens in spreading truth throughout the world under much poverty and suffering, abundantly prove.
As for us, our course is fixed, and while we are peaceable and loyal to the Constitution and laws of our country, and are ever willing to join hands with the honest, virtuous, and patriotic in suppressing crime and punishing criminals, we will leave our enemies to judge, whether it would not be better to make Nauvoo one universal burying ground, before we suffer ourselves to be driven from our hard-earned and lawful homes, by such high-handed oppression, and it may yet become a question to be decided by the community, whether the Mormons will, after having witnessed their best men murdered without redress, quietly and patiently, suffer their enemies to wrench from them the last shreds of their Constitutional rights; and whether they will not make their city one great sepulchre, rather than be the humble devotees at the shrine of mobocracy. But for the satisfaction of all concerned, we reiterate in the following resolutions, sentiments that we have always expressed in all places as occasion demanded:
Resolved: That the greater part of the thefts which have been complained of, are not, in our opinion, true in fact, but have been trumped up by inimical persons, in order to cover their aggressive doings, with plausibility, and entice honest and unwary citizens to unite with them in the same uncompromising hostility against this people.
Resolved; That we defy the world to substantiate a single instance, where we have concealed criminals, or screened them from justice; but, on the contrary, always have been, and now are, extremely anxious that they should be ferreted out and brought to justice; and to this end would esteem it a favor, that if any person should lose property, or have good and sufficient reason to suspect any place of containing apparatus for making bogus or counterfeit money, that such person would follow up, trace out, and make diligent search, for all such property and apparatus, and if they can trace it into this city, we pledge ourselves to assist them legally, to the extent of our abilities in so laudable an undertaking.
Resolved: That it is our opinion that very many scoundrels, such as thieves, robbers, bogus-makers, counterfeiters and murderers, have been induced from reports published in the Warsaw Signal, to flock into this county in order to carry on their evil practices, knowing that it would be immediately charged upon the Mormons, and thereby they escape—and although we think that the reports of thefts have been very much exaggerated, yet we know from dear bought experience that such things do exist, and further we doubt not there may be some such characters prowling in and about our city.
Resolved: That we are extremely anxious to ferret out and bring to justice, all such persons, if any, that are within the limits of our city, and for this purpose we have authorized our mayor to enlarge the police, to any number, not exceeding five hundred, and we also pledge ourselves to double our diligence, and call upon our citizens to assist in ridding our city and country of all such infamous characters.
Done, in council, this 13th day of January, 1845.[Signed] Daniel Spencer, Mayor.
W. Richards, Recorder.’
Meeting of the Citizens
‘At a large meeting of the citizens of Nauvoo, convened at the stand, on the 14th day of January, 1845, Daniel Spencer, mayor of the city, was called to the chair, and James Sloan appointed secretary; and Samuel Bent, Alpheus Cutler, Charles C. Rich, Phineas Richards, and David Fullmer, were appointed a committee, to draft a Preamble and Resolutions, expressive of the sense of this meeting on the proceedings of the city council, and for the action of this meeting. The committee retired and in a short time, returned the following, which were adopted unanimously:
‘Whereas, the city council of the city of Nauvoo, have presented to this meeting, a Preamble and sundry Resolutions setting forth the fact, that enemies to the people of this city, and as we believe, enemies to the common welfare of the people of this state, are attempting to get up an extensive popular excitement, prejudicial to this people and the country at large; and whereas said Resolutions set forth an unqualified reprobation of all unlawful and villainous conduct whether under the false color of Mormonism, or the real guise of mobbers, blacklegs, bogus-makers, thieves, ‘wolf hunters’, or murderers; therefore, we hereby express our perfect concurrence in the said Preamble and Resolutions.
And whereas, the Warsaw Signal, the Alton Telegraph, and the Quincy Whig, have been, as we believe, industriously engaged in circulating falsehood; disseminating discord, and the principles of mobocracy; and whereas, Mormon extermination, pillage, robbery, and murder, have received both countenance and apology in these scurrilous prints, as we believe; and whereas, the pen of murderers, as we believe, has occupied the columns of these papers in order to defend the cries of innocent blood that ascends to heaven for vengeance; and whereas, a large share of the thefts spoken of and blazed through the land, are wholly without existence when traced out, as appears not only from the instance recorded in the Governor’s Message concerning horse stealing, but from other similar instances, too numerous to mention; and whereas, it has been zealously reported, that much stolen goods could be traced to Nauvoo, and that no citizen could enter our city to search for thieves, and stolen goods, because the thief and goods would be screened from detection by the Mormon fraternity, and the person in search, would be in jeopardy of his life; and whereas, thieves and counterfeiters have in some instances fled to our city, either under the mistaken apprehension that we would screen them, or from a malignant design to palm upon us their own crimes, and thereby draw us under the lash of persecution; and whereas, it can be proved that individuals, in order to swell the list of Mormon depredations, have reported property to be stolen, which at another time they have acknowledged, they sold the same property and received pay; and whereas, bee yards have been robbed, the hives left at Mormon doors, to palm the theft upon us, when the honey has been found in the houses of our enemies; and whereas, an innumerable number of such infamous tricks have been played upon us, by our enemies, as we believe, for the purpose of blackening our character in the eyes of honest men; and whereas, our city is nightly infested with a set of outlandish men, who we believe, visit us for no good purpose, who do not appear to have any lawful business, but rather, as we believe, are endeavoring to scatter amongst us, their bogus and counterfeits, prostitute the virtue of the place, deposit stolen goods, or steal from us, and by every means in their power, sow the seeds of discord, strife, confusion, mobocracy, and murder, that in the end, they may uproot our beautiful city; and whereas, that in some instances, when the ministers of justice have visited our city, at the dark hour of midnight, for the purpose of making legal arrests, as they say; we believe what is reported us that they have employed runners to steal the saddles and bridles from their own horses, while in our city, for the purpose of damning us in the eyes of the community.
And whereas, the chief magistrate of this state, after a second and protracted visit to this city, and much pains taken to investigate the charge of promiscuous stealing, reports to the legislature as follows:
‘Justice, however, required me here 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.’
And whereas, the printing office of our open and avowed enemy Dr. Foster, was set on fire, in this city by himself, or by his instruction, as we believe, to fan the flame of mobocracy, which fire was only prevented by our vigilant police.
And whereas, we firmly believe, that our enemies in this city, have several times attempted to fire their own buildings and have only been prevented by the diligence of our officers—
Therefore, be it resolved, unanimously, that we will use all lawful means in our power to assist the public to prevent stealing and bogus-making, and bring the offenders to justice.
Resolved, that to prevent further depredations in our city, by lawless desperadoes from abroad, we approve the raising of 500 police by this city.
Resolved, unanimously, That we invite all honest men to watch closely their property, and arrest all thieves; and if they shall catch a thief in the act of stealing, challenge him to stand, and if he refuses so to do, and flees, so far as the Mormons are concerned, we will be satisfied if the owners of the property shall speedily send after him a writ of habeas corpus sealed with lead to arrest his progress, but after all, should the thief prove to be a mobocrat, alas! alas!! O what a pity!
Resolved, unanimously, That 50 delegates be sent to the surrounding country to inform the people of the designs of our enemies now concocting in their secret and public meetings, so that the honest part of the community, may unite with us, to prevent stealing and secure peace.
Resolved, That these proceedings be published in the papers at Nauvoo, with a request that other papers copy them.[Signed] Daniel Spencer, Chairman.
James Sloan, Secretary.’ 1
An Epistle of the Twelve to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in All the World, Greeting
As the purposes of God roll forth and the work of the Lord hastens to its accomplishment, it is necessary that we, as watchmen upon the towers of Zion, communicate with you from time to time, and put you in possession of such information as may be deemed necessary for your welfare, for the furtherance of the cause of God, and for the fulfilling of these great purposes which our heavenly Father has designed in the rolling forth of the dispensation of the fullness of times, ‘spoken of by all the prophets since the world was.’
Progress on the Temple Since the Prophet’s Death.
The Temple has progressed very rapidly since the death of our beloved Prophet and Patriarch. The diligence of those employed, and the willingness of the saints to contribute, have brought it to a state of forwardness, which has far exceeded our most sanguine expectations. You have already been informed that the capitals of the columns were all on; we have now to announce to you that by the time the spring opens we expect that every stone will be cut to complete the Temple, and it will not take long to lay them, when they are all prepared.
Great numbers of carpenters, masons, and other workmen are daily engaged in this arduous undertaking, so that not only is stone being prepared, but the sash, flooring, seats, and other things are progressing rapidly; and it is our design, if possible, so to rush the work forward that the building will be enclosed, and certain portions of it in that state of forwardness, so that we shall be prepared to commence giving the saints their endowments next fall; that the elders of Israel may be prepared by the power and spirit of the great Jehovah, to fulfill with dignity and honor, the great work devolving upon them to perform.
Difficulites Under Which the Work Had to be Carried on
We wish to inform you brethren that the work in which we are engaged is great and mighty, it is the work of God and we have to rush it forth against the combined powers of earth and hell, we feel it to be an arduous undertaking whilst you, many of you have been enjoying ease, prosperity, and peace at home. We have had to combat mobs and to wade through blood to fulfill the work devolving upon us, and you: we have been exerting our energies, expended our money; and employing our time, our labor, our influence, and means for the accomplishment of this purpose; and feeling confident dear brethren, that you would like to share with us the labor, as well as the glory, we make the following requests:
A Call for Help.
We wish all the young, middle aged, and able bodied men who have it in their hearts to stretch forth this work with power, to come to Nauvoo, prepared to stay during the summer; and to bring with them means to sustain themselves with, and to enable us to forward this work; to bring with them teams, cattle, sheep, gold, silver, brass, iron, oil, paints and tools; and let those who are within market distance of Nauvoo bring with them provisions to sustain themselves and others during their stay. And let all the churches send all the money, cloth, and clothing, together the raw material for manufacturing purposes; such as cotton, cotton yarn, wool, steel iron, brass, etc., etc., as we are preparing to go into extensive manufacturing operations, and all these things can be applied to the furtherance of the Temple.
Temporary Font in the Temple.
There was a font erected in the basement story of the Temple, for the baptism of the dead, the healing of the sick and other purposes; this font was made of wood, and was only intended for the present use; but it is now removed, and as soon as the stone cutters get through with the cutting of the stone for the walls of the Temple, they will immediately proceed to cut the stone for and erect a font of hewn stone. This font will be of an oval form and twelve feet in length and eight wide, with stone steps and an iron railing; this font will stand upon twelve oxen, which will be cast of iron or brass, or perhaps hewn stone. If of brass, polished; if of iron, bronzed;—upon each side of the font there will be a suite of rooms fitted up for the washings. In the recesses, on each side of the arch, on the first story, there will be a suite of rooms or ante-chambers, lighted with the first row of circular windows. As soon as a suitable number of those rooms are completed we shall commence the endowment.
Brethren, inasmuch as you have long desired blessings, come up to the help of the Lord, and help to forward the work that we are engaged in; for we trust that these rooms will be finished by the first of December next, so that you may enter therein and receive wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and the power of the priesthood, which you have so long desired; that you may be prepared to go forth to the nations of the earth and build up the kingdom in all parts of the world; gather up Israel, redeem Zion; rebuild Jerusalem; and fill the whole earth with the knowledge of God.
The Law of Tithing.
While upon this subject we would remind the brethren of their duty in tithing according to the laws, and commandments given through Joseph the Prophet, it is the duty of all saints to tithe themselves one-tenth of all they possess when they enter into the new and everlasting covenant; and then one-tenth of their interest, or income, yearly afterwards. If the brethren will attend to this strictly, and send up the sum by agents appointed by us, whose names you will see in this paper, then we shall hold ourselves responsible for all monies and properties delivered to those agents that the names of the several individuals who send their tithing by the legal agents may be entered upon the book of the Law of the Lord; if this is not attended to strictly by the branches of the church abroad, they may be disappointed when they find that they have sent their means by unauthorized agents, who have not made returns to the Trustees, and their names are not recorded as they would have been if they had harkened to counsel. On the subject of regular appointed agencies we would refer you to an article written by the Trustees, Bishops Whitney and Miller, and published in the Times and Seasons of December, 1844.
We would further say to the brethren that if there should be any of the churches to whom these agents do not come, let them send their means by honest men whom they may select from among themselves, and in whom they can place confidence; but we cannot be responsible for the conduct of any agents that we do not send, and can only give credit for that we receive. And as the churches abroad have been much imposed upon by designing men, without authority, we would warn them against such persons, and advise them not to pay their funds to traveling elders and others without a written authority from us to which shall be attached the private seal of the Twelve and their names published as above stated. Those men that we shall select for agents will be men of honor, men of integrity and respectability, in whom we can confide, and who are responsible, and able, and willing to enter into bonds for the faithful performance of their duty. This course will prevent those many impositions which have heretofore been practiced by villains wearing the garb of saints, and place the churches in a situation that they can forward their tithings with safety.
There is now in the city eight of the Twelve all in good health and spirits; our city is progressing, and the work of the Lord is rolling forth with unprecedented rapidity.
Thus, dear brethren, we have given you, in part, some of the measures and calculations, which we mean to carry into effect for your salvation, and for the furtherance of the salvation of the world. We have commenced a new year, and, as the Lord says; ‘All victory and glory is brought to pass unto you through diligence, faithfulness and prayers of faith,’ so we cannot but hope, that you will renew your exertions, your prayers, and your tithings, for the benefit of Zion, that she may arise and shine for the good of all people.
We cannot say everything in one short epistle, therefore, from time to time, as the Lord puts into our hearts instructions, we shall give them unto you: solemnly praying that you will increase your faith, double your diligence, walk by light and obedience, and be instant in season, to do the will of our Father in heaven:—Beware of ungodly men, who creep among you unawares; they are clouds without water, driven about by winds, and will finally be blown into outer darkness.
Our counsel to the traveling elders abroad is for them to return to Nauvoo by the 6th of April, to conference or as soon as possible afterwards, and before they leave, it will be necessary for them to ordain good and wise men to preside over the branches during their absence.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, a veneration for the names of the first Martyrs, first Elders, and first Prophets of the nineteenth century, inspire your hearts, to hear counsel, to keep counsel, to practice holiness, live the life of saints, and ‘die the death of the righteous, that your last end may be like his’.
Done in council, at Nauvoo, this 14th day of January, 1845.[Signed] Brigham Young, President.
Willard Richards, Clerk.’ 2
Wednesday, 15.—I went to the Temple, afterwards to the stone quarry; Brother Albert P. Rockwood reported sixty-two hands and six teams engaged today in the quarry.
Assignment of Missionaries.
Evening, went to the Seventies’ Hall. The brethren of the Twelve, the high council, Trustees-in-Trust, many high priests and seventies were present. The elders appointed on missions were assigned to their respective districts. Elder Kimball instructed the elders to be fathers and not masters, and to be wise in their requirements of tithing from the saints abroad. I gave some general instructions, and counseled the elders to gather all to Nauvoo who could leave their families and especially the young men to help complete the Temple. Heavy thunder, lightning and rain.
Thursday, 16.—I spent most of the day with Elder Kimball correcting his history.
Friday, 17.—Mr. Joseph A. Kelting, deputy sheriff of Hancock county published the following in the Times and Seasons (p. 775):
To the Public
‘Nauvoo, Jan. 17, 1845.
As much has been said concerning stealing and secreting property in this city, for the purpose of giving an impression abroad that Nauvoo was a grand depot for concealing stolen property, and that the Mormon community was concerned in it,—I will state, that so far as my knowledge extends, concerning the matter, I have ascertained that stolen property has been brought by way of Nauvoo, from the country, and then crossed over the Mississippi river to Iowa, and back into the territory some ten or twelve miles; where the thieves have some friends to conceal stolen property.
There seems to be a connection of these friends thirty or forty miles back into the country on this side of the river, who, with five or six in this city, seem to have a line for running stolen property through Nauvoo to the territory of Iowa; and I have good reason to believe that those in the country on this side of the river, those in the city, and those in the territory, are one clan, but they are not Mormons; nor have the Mormons any fellowship with them,
I have taken pains to go with a person from the country, with a writ, and have searched every house suspected, till the person was satisfied, and till I was satisfied myself that no such property, as claimed, was in the city.
I have good reason to believe that scoundrels stay in Nauvoo, and when stolen property comes into the city, they are ready to pass it on to the territory, and screen themselves under the cloak of Mormonism, in order that the Mormons may bear the blame. If people will satisfy themselves as I have done, they may find a depot in the regions of Iowa, containing the greater part of the property charged to the Mormons.
I would state further, that the Mormons had no agency in the searches I made, but that I made them, at the instance of men from the country, and that I spent three days in the territory of Iowa, searching into the facts and matters, and my statements are made up from personal observation.[Signed] Joseph A. Kelting,
Deputy Sheriff of Hancock County.’
Evening of Friday, 17.—Elder H. C. Kimball, John Taylor and George A. Smith met with me in my upper room: we counseled and prayed.”