Volume 4 Chapter 1
The Departure of the Twelve for England—Manifestation of God's Power in Healing the Sick at Commerce.
The Prophet's Literary Methods.
Friday, July 5, 1839.—I was dictating history, I say dictating, for I seldom use the pen myself. I always dictate all my communications, but employ a scribe to write them.
Saturday, 6.—I was at home reviewing the Church records.
Farewell to the Twelve.
Sunday, 7.—I was at the meeting held in the open air, at which a large assemblage was expected to listen to the farewell address of the Twelve, who were then about to take their departure on a most important mission, namely to the nations of the earth and the islands of the sea.
Elder John E. Page being the first of the Twelve present, opened the meeting by addressing a few words of an introductory nature; after singing and prayer, Elder Page delivered a very interesting discourse on the subject of the Book of Mormon, recapitulating, in short terms, the principles of a former discourse on the same subject, and afterwards proceeded to read portions from the Bible and Book of Mormon concerning the best criterions whereby to judge of the authenticity of the latter; and then went on to show in a very satisfactory manner, that no impostor would ever attempt to make such promises as are contained on pages five hundred forty-one, 1 and five hundred and thirty-four. 2 He then bore testimony.
After noon the meeting was again opened by prayer. Elder John Taylor spoke on the subject of this dispensation; the other angel which John saw, having the everlasting Gospel to preach, he then bore testimony of the truth of the Book of Mormon.
Elder Woodruff's address went chiefly to exhortation to the Saints; after which he also bore his testimony.
Elder Orson Hyde next came forward, and having alluded to his own late fall, 3 exhorted all to perseverance in the things of God, expressed himself one with his brethren, and bore testimony to his knowledge of the truth, and the misery of falling from it.
Elder Brigham Young made some very appropriate remarks, and also bore testimony to the truth of these things, and gave an invitation to come forward and be baptized, when three manifested their determination to renounce the world and take upon themselves the name of Jesus Christ. One brother was then confirmed; after which President Sidney Rigdon addressed the meeting in a very feeling manner. He showed that it must be no small matter which could induce men to leave their families and their homes to travel over all the earth amidst persecutions and trials, such as always followed the preaching of this Gospel. He then addressed himself to the Twelve and gave them some counsel and consolation as far as lay in his power; after which I requested their prayers, and promised to pray for them.
The meeting was large and respectable; a great number were present who did not belong to the Church. The most perfect order prevailed throughout. The meeting was dismissed about half-past five, when we repaired to the water, and the three candidates were baptized and confirmed.
The L.D.S. Hymn Book.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 8th, 9th and 10th of July.—I was with the Twelve selecting hymns, for the purpose of compiling a hymn book.
About this time much sickness began to manifest itself among the brethren, as well as among the inhabitants of the place, so that this week and the following were generally spent in visiting the sick and administering to them; some had faith enough and were healed; others had not.
Administration to the sick.
Sunday, 21.—There was no meeting on account of much rain and much sickness; however of the sick were this day raised up by the power of God, through the instrumentality of the Elders of Israel ministering unto them in the name of Jesus Christ.
Monday and Tuesday, 22nd and 23rd.—The sick were administered unto with great success, 4 but many remain sick, and new cases are occurring daily.
Discourses by the Brothers Pratt.
Sunday 28.—Meeting was held as usual. Elder Parley P. Pratt preached on the gathering of Israel. In the afternoon Orson Pratt addressed the Church on the necessity of keeping the commandments of God. I spoke, and admonished the members of the Church individually to set their houses in order, to make clean the inside of the platter, and to meet on the next Sabbath to partake of the Sacrament, in order that by our obedience to the ordinances, we might be enabled to prevail with God against the destroyer, and that the sick might be healed.
All this week chiefly spent among the sick, who in general are gaining strength, and recovering health.
Prayer Meeting for the Sick.
Sunday, August 4.—The Church came together for prayer meeting and Sacrament. I exhorted the Church at length, concerning the necessity of being righteous, and clean at heart before the Lord. Many others also spoke; especially some of the Twelve, who were present, professed their willingness to proceed on their mission to Europe, without either purse or scrip. The Sacrament was administered; a spirit of humility and harmony prevailed, and the Church passed a resolution that the Twelve proceed on their mission as soon as possible, and that the Saints provide for their families during their absence.
Letter to Isaac Russell, reproving him for issuing pretended revelations to the Saints.
Commerce, Hancock County, Illinois, 5th August, 1839.
Dear Sir:—I have been requested to write you on behalf of the Twelve, who are just on the eve of their departure for England, and inform you, that "this thing" which you have thought proper to write as a revelation "to the Church in Alston and the branches round about," to which you yourself administered, has "already come to the knowledge of the Churches" both here and elsewhere, and lest you should have any doubt concerning the fact, we send you a copy of your revelation to that Church.
I am sir, with all respect,
P. S.—Isaiah chap. I, 10th and 11th verses. 5 In my own behalf I wish to state that I sincerely wish that it may soon come to pass that you, sir, and all our friends at Far West may perceive that you are walking in the light of a fire, and sparks that you have yourselves kindled; and that you may turn around and fear the Lord, obey the voice of His servant, and thereby escape the sentence, "Ye shall lie down in sorrow."
To Mr. Isaac Russell, Far West, Missouri.
Conference in New Jersey.
Friday, 9.—A Conference was held at Brother Caleb Bennett's Monmouth County, New Jersey, Elder John P. Greene presiding. The New York and Brooklyn branches were represented by the President as being in good fellowship. There were represented at this conference the following branches, by Elder Ball, Shrewsbury, New Jersey, numbering twenty members; Montage, three; Minissink, New Hampshire, two; Albany, eight; Holliston, Massachusetts, sixteen; Elder Dunham represented Hamilton, Madison County, forty-six; Samuel James, Leechburg, Pennsylvania, forty.
Sunday, 11.—I attended meeting in the forenoon and heard a sermon by Parley P. Pratt. In the afternoon there was one baptized, and four were confirmed, namely, Brother Hibbard, his wife, little son, and daughter. The Sacrament was administered.
This week I spent chiefly in visiting the sick; sickness much decreased.
Sunday, 18.—Rode out in the forenoon. Orson Pratt preached upon the order and plan of creation. Three were baptized.
Afternoon: Three confirmed and one ordained an Elder.
This week I spent chiefly among the sick. The Church made a purchase of eighty acres from William White for four thousand dollars, lying directly north of the Hugh White purchase.
Sunday, 25.—I attended meeting. Sickness decreasing.
Thursday, 29.—Elders Parley P. Pratt and family Orson Pratt and Hiram Clark, started on their mission to England, in their own two-horse carriage—their route lying through Illinois, Indiana, and to Detroit, the capital of Michigan, situated near the head of Lake Erie, about five hundred and eighty miles distant.
Progress of the Work in England.
Saturday, 31.—The work is spreading in England. Elder Richards went to the Staffordshire potteries this day, and Presidents Joseph Fielding and William Clayton were visiting and setting in order many of the branches, and ordaining many to the ministry who are diligent in preaching as they have opportunity on the Sabbath in the surrounding villages.
Sunday, September 1.—I attended meeting, and spoke concerning some errors in Parley P. Pratt's writings. This week sickness much decreased.
Monday, 9, and the greater part of the week.—I spent in visiting the sick, and attending to the settlement of our new town. 6
The Prophet's Letter to Isaac Galland.—Nauvoo Affairs.
Commerce, Illinois, 11th September, 1839.
Dear Brother Galland:—We have had the great pleasure of receiving your favor of the 24th July; and learning thereby that you and your family had arrived at Chillicothe in safety and in health. We perceive that you have had a rather narrow escape from a serious accident; and doubtless the hand of the Lord is to be acknowledged in the matter, although unperceived by mortal eye. Time and experience will teach us more and more how easily falsehood gains credence with mankind in general, rather than the truth; but especially in taking into consideration the plan of salvation. The plain simple order of the Gospel of Jesus Christ never has been discerned or acknowledged as the truth, except by a few—among whom were "not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;" whilst the majority have contented themselves with their own private opinions, or have adopted those of others, according to their address, their philosophy, their formula, their policy, or their fineness may have attracted their attention, or pleased their taste. But, sir, of all the other criterions whereby we may judge of the vanity of these things, one will be always found true, namely, that we will always find such characters glorying in their own wisdom and their own works; whilst the humble Saint gives all the glory to God the Father, and to His Son Jesus Christ, whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light, and who told His disciples that unless they became like little children they could not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
As to the situation of the Church here, matters go with us as well as can reasonably be expected; we have had considerable sickness amongst us, but very few deaths; and as the greater part are now recovering we yet hope to have shelters provided before the winter shall set in.
Since you left here, we have purchased out all Mr. Hotchkiss' interest hereabouts. His farm we have laid out as an addition to our town, Nauvoo, and the town of Commerce we also hope to build up.
Some of the Twelve and others have already started for Europe, and the remainder of that mission we expect will go now in a few days. According to intelligence received since you left, the work of the Lord rolls on in a very pleasing manner, both in this and in the old country. In England many hundreds have of late been added to our numbers; but so, even so, it must be, for "Ephraim he hath mixed himself among the people." And the Savior He hath said, "My sheep hear my voice;" and also, "He that heareth you, heareth me;" and, "Behold I will bring them again from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth." And as John heard the voice saying, "Come out of her, my people," even so must all be fulfilled; that the people of the Lord may live when "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen."
There has quite a number of families gathered up here already; and we anticipate a continuance, especially as upon inquiry we have found that we have not had more than [the usual] ratio of sickness here, notwithstanding the trials we have had, and the hardships to which we have been exposed. Calculating as we do, upon the mercy and power of God in our behalf, we hope to persevere on in every good and useful work, even unto the end, that when we come to be tried in the balance we may not be found wanting.
With all good wishes and prayers for the temporal and eternal salvation of yourself and your family, as well as of all the honest in heart over the face of the earth,
We remain, sir, with sincerity,
Your friend and brother,
Joseph Smith, Jun.
Addressed to Isaac Galland, Esq., Kirtland, Geauga, County, Ohio.
Friday, 13.—I left home for Brother William Smith's place.
Brigham Young Starts on his Mission.
Saturday, 14.—President Brigham Young started from his home at Montrose, for England. His health was very poor; he was unable to go thirty rods to the river without assistance. After he had crossed the ferry he got Brother Israel Barlow to carry him on his horse behind him to Heber C. Kimball's where he remained sick until the 18th. He left his wife sick with a babe only ten days old, and all his children sick, unable to wait upon each other. I returned home this evening.
Sunday, 15.—I was visiting the sick.
Monday and Tuesday, 16 and 17.—Was engaged in arranging the town lots.
Departure of Elders Young and Kimball from Nauvoo.
Wednesday, 18.—Went to Burlington, Iowa Territory. Elders Young and Kimball left Sister Kimball and all her children sick, except little Heber; 7 went thirteen miles on their journey towards England, and were left at Brother Osmon M. Duel's, who lived in a small cabin near the railway between Commerce and Warsaw. They were so feeble as to be unable to carry their trunks into the house without the assistance of Sister Duel, who received them kindly, prepared a bed for them to lie on, and made them a cup of tea.
Thursday, 19.—I Returned this evening from Burlington.
Brother Duel carried Elders Young and Kimball in his wagon to Lima, sixteen miles, where another brother received them and carried them to Father Mikesell's near Quincy, about twenty miles; the fatigue of this day was too much for their feeble health; they were prostrated, and obliged to tarry a few days to recruit.
Friday and Saturday, 20 and 21.—At home attending to domestic and Church business.
Elders George A. Smith, Reuben Hedlock, and Theodore Turley started for England, and upset their wagon on the bank of the river, before they got out of sight of Commerce. Elders Smith and Turley were so weak they could not get up, and Brother Hedlock had to lift them in again. Soon after, some gentlemen met them and asked who had been robbing the burying ground—so miserable was their appearance through sickness.
Sunday, 22.—I presided at the meeting, and spoke concerning the "other Comforter," as I had previously taught the Twelve. 8
This week I spent in transacting various business at home, except when visiting the sick, who are in general recovering, though some of them but slowly.
Wednesday, 25.—President Young went to Charles C. Rich's; 26th, to Brother Wilber's; 27th, Brother Wilber carried Elders Young and Kimball to Pittsfield.
Items of Doctrine—the Prophet.
Sunday, 29.—Held meeting at my own house. After others had spoken I spoke and explained concerning the uselessness of preaching to the world about great judgments, but rather to preach the simple Gospel. Explained concerning the coming of the Son of Man; also that it is a false idea that the Saints will escape all the judgments, whilst the wicked suffer; for all flesh is subject to suffer, and "the righteous shall hardly escape;" still many of the Saints will escape, for the just shall live by faith; yet many of the righteous shall fall a prey to disease, to pestilence, etc., by reason of the weakness of the flesh, and yet be saved in the Kingdom of God. So that it is an unhallowed principle to say that such and such have transgressed because they have been preyed upon by disease or death, for all flesh is subject to death; and the Savior has said, "Judge not, lest ye be judged."
Monday, 30.—The fore part of this week I was at home preparing for Conference. Elders Young and Kimball went to Brother Decker's and Mr. Murray's, Sister Kimball's father.
Tuesday, October 1.—Elders Young and Kimball went to Brother Lorenzo Young's.
Thursday, 3.—I was in counsel with the brethren.
Friday, 4.—Lorenzo Young carried Elders Young and Kimball to Jacksonville.
Saturday, 5.—The friends and brethren conveyed the Elders of the British Mission to Springfield, where they were kindly treated and nursed, for they were yet very feeble.
I attended a general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Commerce, Hancock County, Illinois, of which the following are the minutes:
Minutes of Conference at Commerce, Illinois, October 6th, 7th and 8th, 1839.
The meeting was opened by prayer by President Joseph Smith, Jun., after which he was appointed President, and James Sloan Clerk of the conference, by a unanimous voice of the meeting. The President then spoke at some length upon the situation of the Church; the difficulties they have had to contend with; and the manner in which they had been led to this place; and wanted to know the views of the brethren, whether they wished to appoint this a stake of Zion or not; stating that he believed it to be a good place, and suited for the Saints. It was then unanimously agreed upon that it should be appointed a stake and a place of gathering for the Saints.
The following officers were then appointed—namely, William Marks to be President; Bishop Whitney to be Bishop of middle ward; Bishop Partridge to be Bishop of upper ward; Bishop Knight to be Bishop of lower ward; George W. Harris, Samuel Bent, Henry G. Sherwood, David Fullmer, Alpheus Cutler, William Huntington, Thomas Grover, Newel Knight, Charles C. Rich, David Dort, Seymour Brunson, Lewis D. Wilson, to be the High Council; who being respectfully called upon accepted their appointment.
It was then voted that a stake of the Church be established on the west side of the river, in Iowa Territory; over which Elder John Smith was appointed President; Alanson Ripley, Bishop; and Asahel Smith, John M. Burk, Abraham O. Smoot, Richard Howard, Willard Snow, Erastus Snow, David Pettigrew, Elijah Fordham, Edward Fisher, Elias Smith, John Patten, Stephen Chase, were elected High Council. Don C. Smith was elected to be continued as President of the High Priesthood [High Priest's quorum]. Orson Hyde to stand in his former office, [an Apostle] and William Smith to be continued in his standing, [in the quorum of the Twelve.]
Letters were then read respecting the absence of members on account of ill health. It was voted that Harlow Redfield be suspended until he can have a trial; and in the meantime that he should not act as president of a branch, or preach.
Voted that John Daley, James Daley, and Milo Andrus retain their station in the Church. Voted that Ephraim Owen's confession for disobeying the Word of Wisdom be accepted.
Brothers Edward Johnston, Benjamin Johnston, Samuel Musick, John S. Fullmer, Jabez Lake, Benjamin Jones, Henry Our Bough, Reddin A. Allred, George W. Gee, Jesse McIntyre, James Brown, Henry Miller, Artemas Johnson, Joseph G. Hovey, Robert D. Foster, Fields B. Jacaway, Zadok Bethers, William Allred, William B. Simmons, William W. Edwards, Sen., William H. Edwards, Jun., Hosea Stout, Thomas Rich, Allen J. Stout, Esaias Edwards, John Adams, Daniel Miller, Simeon J. Comfort, Graham Coltrin, William Hyde, Andrew Henry, Reddick N. Allred, Eli Lee, Hiram W. Mikesell and Thomas S. Edwards were appointed Elders of the Church, who all accepted of their appointment, with the exception of Thomas S. Edwards.
John Gaylord was admitted into the Church upon his confession. Abel Casto was confirmed by the laying on of hands.
The meeting then adjourned until Sunday morning; after which six were baptized by Joseph Smith, Jun. The assembly was very large.
The conference met on Sunday morning, the 6th, pursuant to adjournment at eight o'clock A.M., when Samuel Williams, Reuben Foot, Orlando D. Hovey, Tunis Rappleyee, Sheffield Daniels, Albert Milner, David B. Smith, Ebenezer Richardson, Pleasant Ewell, and William Helm were appointed Elders of the Church, and were ordained under the hands of Reynolds Cahoon, Seymour Brunson, Samuel Bent and Alpheus Cutler.
After some remarks from the President respecting order, and decorum during conference, Elder Lyman Wight spoke concerning the duties of Priests and Teachers. President Joseph Smith, Jun., then addressed the conference, in relation to appointing a Patriarch, and other matters connected with the well being of the Church.
Having now got through the business matters, the President proceeded to give instruction to the Elders respecting preaching the Gospel, and pressed upon them the necessity of getting the Spirit, so that they might preach with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; to be careful in speaking on those subjects which are not clearly pointed out in the word of God, which lead to speculation and strife.
Those persons who had been baptized, were then confirmed, and several children received blessings by Elders Cutler, Bent, and Brunson. Elder Lyman Wight then addressed the meeting on the subject of raising funds by contribution, towards paying for the lands which had been contracted for as a settlement for the Church, after which contributions were received for that purpose.
Judge Elias Higbee was appointed to accompany Presidents Joseph Smith, Jun., and Sidney Rigdon to the city of Washington.
The meeting then adjourned until Monday morning.
Conference met on Monday morning, October 7th, pursuant to adjournment.
The President spoke at some length to the Elders, and explained many passages of Scripture. Elder Lyman Wight spoke on the subject of the resurrection, and other important subjects; when he offered the following resolution, which passed unanimously;
Resolved: That a new edition of Hymn Books be printed immediately, and that the one published by D. W. Rogers be utterly discarded by the Church.
Elder Ezra Hayes was then put upon trial for teaching doctrine injurious to the Church, and for falsehoods, which were proven against him; his license was taken from him, and he required to give satisfaction to those whom he had offended.
Charges having been preferred against Brother Rogers, it was agreed that the case be handed over to the High Council.
Asahel Perry made application to be received into fellowship, and was voted into his former standing.
After having referred the business not gone into, to the High Council, the President then returned thanks to the conference for their good attention and liberality, and having blessed them in the name of the Lord, the conference was dismissed.
The next conference was appointed to be held on the sixth day of April next.
Tuesday, 8.—After conference, this week I was mostly engaged in attending to the general affairs of the Church, and principally about home.
Friday, 11.—This evening, Elders Young, Kimball, George A. Smith, Hedlock, and Turley started from Springfield, traveled eight miles on their journey, and stayed with Father Draper.
Saturday, 12.—The Elders of the British Mission left Father Draper's and pursued their journey toward Terre Haute.
Death of John Young, Brigham Young's Father.
This day President Brigham Young's father, John Young, Sen., died at Quincy, Adams County, Illinois. He was in his seventy-seventh year, and a soldier of the Revolution. He was also a firm believer in the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ; and fell asleep under the influence of that faith that buoyed up his soul, in the pangs of death, to a glorious hope of immortality; fully testifying to all, that the religion he enjoyed in life was able to support him in death. He was driven from Missouri with the Saints in the latter part of last year. He died a martyr to the religion of Jesus, for his death was caused by his sufferings in the cruel persecution.
Sunday, 13.—I attended meeting in the grove. The assembly was small on account of the cold weather.
Tuesday, 15.—In the afternoon I went to Quincy in company with Brother Hyrum Smith, John S. Fullmer, and Bishop Knight. Quite a number of families moving into Commerce.
Thursday, 17.—The brethren arrived at Terre Haute. Brothers Smith, Hedlock, and Turley stopped at Brother Nahum Milton Stow's.
Hardships of the Elders of the British Mission.
In the evening Doctor Modisett went down to see the brethren, and appeared to be very much affected to see them so sick, and having to lie upon the floor on a straw bed that had been put in to the wagon at Springfield, by the brethren, for Elder Young to lie on, as he was not able to sit up when he left there. When the doctor returned home, he told Elders Young and Kimball, he could not refrain from shedding tears to see the brethren going upon such a long mission, and in such suffering circumstances. Elders Young and Kimball said they thought the doctor might have relieved them from "their suffering and indigent circumstances upon their long mission," for he told them in the course of the evening, that his taxes in that place amounted to over four hundred dollars, besides having other property to a great amount.
Elder Kimball was very sick; he stopped with Brother Young at Doctor Modisett's. In the evening Doctor Modisett gave Elder Kimball about forty drops of morphine, saying it would relieve him of his distress, and probably he would get a nap. In about fifteen minutes Brother Kimball complained of feeling very strange; he rose from his seat and would have fallen, but Brother Young caught him and gently eased him to the floor, where he lay for some time; and it was by faith and the close attention of Brother Young and the family that his life was preserved through the night.
Friday, 18.—Brothers Smith, Hedlock, and Turley went on their journey.
Saturday, 19.—The High Council appointed for the Stake of the Church in Iowa, met at Asahel Smith's, Nashville, and organized; John Smith, President; Elias Smith, Clerk; Reynolds Cahoon and Lyman Wight were chosen Counselors to President John Smith, and approved by the Council. Council organized according to number. 9
Minutes of the Nauvoo High Council, 20th October, 1839.
The members of the High Council elected at the October conference, met and organized at W. D. Huntington's, where Harlow Redfield was restored to fellowship; and voted that this High Council disfellowship any and all persons that shall hereafter carry over or ferry across the river, any people or freight to the injury of said ferry from Commerce to Montrose.
Voted that the Horse Boat be repaired from the moneys received on sale of lots in Nauvoo, and that D. C. Davis be master of said ferry boat for the ensuing year.
Voted that Joseph Smith, Jun., and his family be exempt from receiving in future such crowds of visitors as have formerly thronged his house; and that the same be published in the Times and Seasons.
Voted, that this Council disfellowship any and all persons who shall knowingly suffer and allow any animal (subject to their control) to destroy the crops, fruit, or plants of the earth belonging to any other person or persons, and to their injury, and that this resolution be published in the Times and Seasons.
Adjourned until tomorrow evening.
High Council met pursuant to adjournment, and voted that President Joseph Smith, Jun., go as a delegate to Washington; and that if he went he should have a recommend from the Council.
Voted that James Mulholland be Clerk for the land contracts, when needed by President Smith; that Joseph Smith, Jun., be treasurer of said Church, and James Mulholland sub-treasurer.
Voted that Henry G. Sherwood should set the price upon, exhibit, contract and sell town lots in Nauvoo, when needed, and report his doings to Presidents Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith, for their approval, and that five hundred dollars be the average price of lots, 1.e., none less than two hundred dollars, nor more than eight hundred dollars.
Voted that the High Council meet every Sunday evening at Dimick Huntington's; that D. C. Davis have thirty dollars per month for his services as ferryman; and that these proceedings be published in the Times and Seasons.
[Signed] Henry G. Sherwood, Clerk.
Tuesday, 22.—Brother James Modisett took Elders Young and Kimball in his father's carriage and carried them twenty miles to the house of Brother Addison Pratt; from thence they were carried by Elder Almon W. Babbitt to Pleasant Garden, and put up with Brother Jonathan Crosby. Elder Almon Babbitt was preaching in that region with good success; he had baptized five.
Saturday, 26.—Brother Babbitt took Elders Young and Kimball ten miles on their way to Father Scott's.
King Follett, the last of the brethren in bonds in Missouri, had his trial and was set free some time previous to this day.
Sunday, 27.—John Scott took Elders Young and Kimball on their way fifteen miles, some part of it in the rain; they were yet very feeble, and put up at a tavern in Belville, and when the stage coach came along, took passage, and rode night and day to Willowby, near Kirtland.
The High Council of Nauvoo voted that the Clerk's fees of James Mulholland be thirty dollars per month; that the treasurer pay Vinson Knight one hundred and fifty dollars, for the Iowa side of the ferry at Montrose as per charter.
Voted, that Sister Emma Smith select and publish a hymn-book for the use of the Church, and that Brigham Young be informed of this action and he not publish the hymns taken by him from Commerce; and that the Council assist in publishing a hymn-book and the Times and Seasons.
Monday, 28.—The High Council voted to build a stone house at Upper Commerce, to be used for boarding; that Elder Oliver Granger be requested to assist with funds to print the hymn book; that Samuel Dent, Davison Hibbard, and David Dort be trustees for building the stone schoolhouse in contemplation; and that Alpheus Cutler and Jabez Durphy be the architects and building committee for said house.
Voted, to finish the office of President Joseph Smith, Jun.
Voted, that the recommends drawn by Elder Sherwood, recommending, constituting, and appointing Joseph Smith, Jun., Sidney Rigdon, and Elias Higbee, delegates for the Church, to importune the President and Congress of the United States for redress of grievances, be signed by this Council.
4. "In consequence of the persecutions of the Saints in Missouri, and the exposures to which they were subjected, many of them were taken sick soon after their arrival at Commerce, afterwards called Nauvoo; and as there was but a small number of dwellings for them to occupy, Joseph had filled his house and tent with them, and through constantly attending to their wants, he soon fell sick himself. After being confined to his house several days, and while meditating upon his situation, he had a great desire to attend to the duties of his office. On the morning of the 22nd of July, 1839, he arose from his bed and commenced to administer to the sick in his own house and door-yard, and he commanded them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to arise and be made whole; and the sick were healed upon every side of him.
"Many lay sick along the bank of the river; Joseph walked along up to the lower stone house, occupied by Sidney Rigdon, and he healed all the sick that lay in his path. Among the number was Henry G. Sherwood, who was nigh unto death. Joseph stood in the door of his tent and commanded him in the name of Jesus Christ to arise and come out of his tent, and he obeyed him and was healed. Brother Benjamin Brown and his family also lay sick, the former appearing to be in a dying condition. Joseph healed them in the name of the Lord. After healing all that lay sick upon the bank of the river as far as the stone house, he called upon Elder Kimball and some others to accompany him across the river to visit the sick at Montrose. Many of the saints were living at the old military barracks. Among the number were several of the Twelve. On his arrival the first house he visited was that occupied by Elder Brigham Young, the President of the Quorum of the Twelve, who lay sick. Joseph healed him, then he arose and accompanied the Prophet on his visit to others who were in the same condition. They visited Elder Wilford Woodruff, also Elders Orson Pratt, and John Taylor, all of whom were living in Montrose. They also accompanied him.
"The next place they visited was the home of Elijah Fordham, who was supposed to be about breathing his last. When the company entered the room, the Prophet of God walked up to the dying man and took hold of his right hand and spoke to him; but Brother Fordham was unable to speak, his eyes were set in his head like glass, and he seemed entirely unconscious of all around him. Joseph held his hand and looked into his eyes in silence for a length of time. A change in the countenance of Brother Fordham was soon perceptible to all present. His sight returned, and upon Joseph asking him if he knew him, he, in a low whisper, answered 'Yes.' Joseph asked him if he had faith to be healed. He answered, 'I fear it is too late; if you had come sooner I think I would have been healed.' The Prophet said 'Do you believe in Jesus Christ?' He answered in a feeble voice, 'I do.' Joseph then stood erect, still holding his hand in silence several moments; Then he spoke in a very loud voice, saying, 'Brother Fordham, I command you, in the name of Jesus Christ, to arise from this bed and be made whole.' His voice was like the voice of God, and not of man. It seemed as though the house shook to its very foundations. Brother Fordham arose from his bed, and was immediately made whole. His feet were bound in poultices which he kicked off; then putting on his clothes he ate a bowl of bread and milk and followed the Prophet into the street.
"The company next visited Brother Joseph Bates Noble, who lay very sick. He also was healed by the Prophet. By this time the wicked became alarmed and followed the company into Brother Noble's house. After Noble was healed, all kneeled down to pray. Brother Fordham was mouth, and while praying he fell to the floor. The Prophet arose, and on looking around he saw quite a number of unbelievers in the house, whom he ordered out. When the room was cleared of the wicked, Brother Fordham came to and finished his prayer.
"After healing the sick in Montrose, all the company followed Joseph to the bank of the river, where he was going to take the boat to return home. While waiting for the boat, a man from the West, who had seen that the sick and dying were healed, asked Joseph if he would not go to his house and heal two of his children who were very sick. They were twins and were three months old. Joseph told the man he could not go, but he would send some one to heal them. He told Elder Woodruff to go with the man and heal his children. At the same time he took from his pocket a silk bandanna handkerchief, and gave to Brother Woodruff, telling him to wipe the faces of the children with it, and they should be healed; and remarked at the same time: 'As long as you keep that handkerchief it shall remain a league between you and me.' Elder Woodruff did as he was commanded, and the children were healed, and he keeps the handkerchief to this day.
"There were many sick whom Joseph could not visit, so he counseled the Twelve to go and visit and heal them, and many were healed under their hands. On the day following that upon which the above-described events took place, Joseph sent Elders George A. and Don Carlos Smith up the river to heal the sick. They went up as far as Ebenezer Robinson's—one or two miles—and did as they were commanded, and the sick were healed." Leaves from my Journal, (Wilford Woodruff) Ch. 19.
"Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks. Walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow."
6. This has reference to the Hotchkiss purchase which had just recently been laid out as part of the rapidly growing town of Nauvoo. It constituted the north west part of the city, extending some distance along the river front, and back on to the height of land overlooking the river bottom.
7. The departure of these two Elders upon their mission to England is worthy of a more extended notice. A brother by the name of Charles Hubbard sent a boy with a team to take them a day's journey on their way. Elder Kimball left his wife in bed shaking with ague, and all his children sick. It was only by the assistance of some of the brethren that Heber himself could climb into the wagon. "It seemed to me," he remarked afterwards in relating the circumstance, "as though my very inmost parts would melt within me at the thought of leaving my family in such a condition, as it were, almost in the arms of death. I felt as though I could scarcely endure it." "Hold up!" said he to the teamster, who had just started, "Brother Brigham, this is pretty tough, but let us rise and give them a cheer." Brigham, with much difficulty, rose to his feet, and joined Elder Kimball in swinging his hat and shouting, "Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah, for Israel!" The two sisters, hearing the cheer came to the door—sister Kimball with great difficulty—and waved a farewell; and the two apostles continued their journey, without purse, without scrip, for England.
9. That is to say, to quote from the revelation establishing the High Council—"Whenever an High Council of the church is regularly organized, * * * it shall be the duty of the Twelve Counselors to cast lots by numbers and thereby ascertain, who of the Twelve shall speak first, commencing with number one, and so in succession to number twelve."—D&C 102.