Inauguration of Endowment Ceremonies—Perfidy and Exposure of John C. Bennett—His Resignation as Mayor of Nauvoo—Epistle of the High Council to the Saints.
Tuesday, May 3, 1842.—Passed the day mostly with my family.
Inauguration of Endowment Ceremonies.
Wednesday, 4.—I spent the day in the upper part of the store, that is in my private office (so called because in that room I keep my sacred writings, translate ancient records, and receive revelations) and in my general business office, or lodge room (that is where the Masonic fraternity meet occasionally, for want of a better place) in council with General James Adams, of Springfield, Patriarch Hyrum Smith, Bishops Newel K. Whitney and George Miller, and President Brigham Young and Elders Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards, instructing them in the principles and order of the Priesthood, attending to washings, anointings, endowments and the communication of keys pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood, and so on to the highest order of the Melchisedek Priesthood, setting forth the order pertaining to the Ancient of Days, and all those plans and principles by which any one is enabled to secure the fullness of those blessings which have been prepared for the Church of the First Born, and come up and abide in the presence of the Eloheim in the eternal worlds. In this council was instituted the ancient order of things for the first time in these last days. And the communications I made to this council were of things spiritual, and to be received only by the I spiritual minded: and there was nothing made known to these men but what will be made known to all the Saints of the last days, so soon as they are prepared to receive, and a proper place is prepared to communicate them, even to the weakest of the Saints; therefore let the Saints be diligent in building the Temple, and all houses which they have been, or shall hereafter be, commanded of God to build; and wait their time with patience in all meekness, faith, perseverance unto the end, knowing assuredly that all these things referred to in this council are always governed by the principle of revelation. 1
Thursday, 5.—General Adams started for Springfield, and the remainder of the council of yesterday continued their meeting at the same place, and myself and Brother Hyrum received in turn from the others, the same that I had communicated to them the day previous. The city of Hamburg, the commercial emporium of Germany, was destroyed by fire, about this time.
Friday, 6.—I attended the Legion officers’ drill in the morning, and visited Lyman Wight, who was sick.
Saturday, 7.— The Nauvoo Legion was on parade by virtue of an order of the 25th of January, 1842, and was reviewed by Lieutenant-General Joseph Smith, who commanded through the day. One year since, the Legion consisted of six companies; today of twenty-six companies, amounting to about two thousand troops. The consolidated staff of the Legion with their ladies, partook of a sumptuous dinner at the house of the commander-in-chief, between one and three o’clock, p.m. The weather was very fine. In the afternoon the Legion was separated into cohorts, and fought an animated sham battle; the first cohort under the command of General Wilson Law, the second under General Charles C. Rich. At the close of the parade, Lieutenant-General Joseph Smith delivered a most animated and appropriate address, in which he remarked “that his soul was never better satisfied than on this occasion.” Such was the curious and interesting excitement which prevailed at the time, in the surrounding country, about the Legion, that Judge Douglas adjourned the circuit court, then in session at Carthage, and came with some of the principal lawyers, to see the splendid military parade of the Legion; upon notice of which being given to General Smith, he immediately invited them to partake of the repast prepared as above.
General John C. Bennett’s Perfidy.
In addition to this quotation, I would remark that the day passed very harmoniously, without drunkenness, noise or confusion. There was an immense congregation of spectators, and many distinguished strangers expressed much satisfaction. But one thing I will notice: I was solicited by General Bennett to take command of the first cohort during the sham battle ; this I declined. General Bennett next requested me to take my station in the rear of the cavalry, without my staff, during the engagement; but this was counteracted by Captain A. P. Rockwood, commander of my life guards, who kept close to my side, and I chose my own position. And if General Bennett’s true feelings toward me are not made manifest to the world in a very short time, then it may be possible that the gentle breathings of that Spirit, which whispered me on parade, that there was mischief concealed in that sham battle, were false; a short time will determine the point. Let John C. Bennett answer at the day of judgment, “Why did you request me to command one of the cohorts, and also to take my position without my staff, during the sham battle, on the 7th of May, 1842, where my life might have been the forfeit, and no man have known who did the deed?
The following diagram shows the position in which the Legion was drawn up:
Earthquakes in St. Domingo.
A violent shock of an earthquake is reported to have been experienced at the island of St. Domingo, at twenty minutes past seven, p.m. It was also felt at St. Marc, Gonaives, and Cape Haytien, and at various places from Port-au-Prince, to the base of the Rocky Mountains, comprising a distance of 1,500 miles. At Santiago de Cuba the cathedral and several extensive buildings were prostrated. About ten thousand persons were killed at Cape Haytien.
Sunday, 8.—Attended meeting at the grove, and heard Elder Rigdon preach.
After meeting many persons were baptized, some in the font, others in the river.
Eighty persons killed and as many wounded, by an accident on the Paris and Versailles railroad, the carriages being consumed by fire, and their passengers roasted alive.
Monday, 9.—Spent the day with my family.
Tuesday, 10.—Transacted a variety of business at the store, printing office, &c.
The Work in England.
By letter from Elder Levi Richards, dated at Liverpool, we learn that the work is progressing in the north of England, namely, Carlisle, Brampton, Burnstones, Alstone, and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where he has been laboring for a few weeks.
Wednesday, 11.—Called with my clerk at Brother Joseph W. Coolidge’s to examine a new cabinet for the Temple Recorder’s office; also called at Bishop Knight’s; dictated several letters and other items of a business nature.
Thursday, 12.—Dictated a letter to Elder Rigdon concerning certain difficulties, or surmises which existed and attended the meeting of the Female Relief Society, the house being filled to overflowing. There was a heavy thunderstorm at the close of the meeting.
Friday, 13.—Received a letter from Sidney Rigdon in reply to mine of yesterday.
Spent most of the day in my garden and with my family.
Dictated the following letter to Horace R. Hotchkiss, Esq.
The Prophet’s Letter to Horace R. Hotchkiss.—Explaining why the Former had taken Advantage of the Bankrupt Law.
Dear Sir—I proceed without delay to give a hasty reply to yours of the 12th ultimo, just received. My engagements will not admit of a lengthy detail of events and circumstances which have transpired to bring about that state of things which now exists in this place, as before you receive this you will probably be apprised of the failure of myself and brethren to execute our designs in paying off our contracts, or in other words, that we have been compelled to pay our debts by the most popular method; that is by petitioning for the privilege of general bankruptcy, a principle so popular at the present moment throughout the Union.
A pressure of business has been sufficient excuse for not giving you earlier notice, although it could have been of no real use to you, yet I wish you to understand our intentions to you and your company, and why we have taken the course we have. You are aware, sir, in some measure of the embarrassment under which we have labored through the influence of mobs and designing men, and the disadvantageous circumstances under which we have been compelled to contract debts in order to our existence, both as individuals and as a society, and it is on account of this as well as a pressure on us for debts absolutely unjust in themselves, that we have been compelled to resort to the course we have [taken] to make a general settlement, and this we deferred to the last moment, hoping that something would turn in our favor, so that we might be saved the painful necessity of resorting to such measures, to accomplish which, justice demanded a very different course from those who are justly our debtors, but demanded in vain.
We have been compelled to the course we have pursued, and you are aware, sir, that all have to fare alike in such cases. But, sir, you have one, yea, two things to comfort you; our faith, intention and good feeling remain the same to all our creditors, and to none more than yourself; and secondly, there is property sufficient in the inventory to pay every debt, and some to spare, according to the testimony of our solicitors, and the good judgment of others; and if the court will allow us some one for assignee, who will do justice to the cause, we confidently believe that yourself and all others will get their compensation in full, and we have enough left for one loaf more for each of our families. Yes, and I have no doubt you will yet, and in a short time, be enabled to have your pay in full, in the way I have before proposed, or some other equally advantageous, but money is out of sight, it might as well be out of mind, for it cannot be had.
Rest assured, dear sir, that no influence or exertion I can yet make shall be wanting to give you satisfaction, and liquidate your claims, but for a little season you are aware that all proceedings are staid; but I will seek the earliest moment to acquaint you with anything new in this matter.
I remain, sir, with sentiments of respect, your friend and well-wisher,
Interview with Sidney Rigdon.
In the evening I walked with Elder Richards to the post office, and had an interview with Elder Rigdon concerning certain evil reports put in circulation by Francis M. Higbee, about some of Elder Rigdon’s family, and others; much apparent satisfaction was manifested at the conversation, by Elder Rigdon; and Elder Richards returned with me to my house.
Moral Improvement of Nauvoo.
Saturday, 14.—I attended city council in the morning, and advocated strongly the necessity of some active measures being taken to suppress houses and acts of infamy in the city; for the protection of the innocent and virtuous, and the good of public morals; showing clearly that there were certain characters in the place, who were disposed to corrupt the morals and chastity of our citizens, and that houses of infamy did exist, upon which a city ordinance concerning brothels and disorderly characters was passed, to prohibit such things. It was published in this day’s Wasp.
I also spoke at length for the repeal of the ordinance of the city licensing merchants, hawkers, taverns, and ordinaries, desiring that this might be a free people, and enjoy equal rights and privileges, and the ordinances were repealed.
After council, I worked in my garden, walked out in the city, and borrowed two sovereigns to make a payment.
Brother Amos Fielding arrived from Liverpool.
It was reported in Nauvoo, that ex-Governor Boggs of Missouri had been shot.
Branch Organization for Philadelphia Authorized.
I granted the petition of J. B. Nicholson, and about seventy other members of the Church in Philadelphia, for the organization of a branch of the Church in the north part of the city, dated April 22nd, and my doings were sanctioned by the Twelve, who at the same time silenced Elder Benjamin Winchester for not following counsel.
Sunday, 15.—Attended meeting at the stand.
News of the attempted assassination of Governor Boggs was confirmed by general report, and was mentioned on the stand.
General Conference in England.
A general conference was held in the new Corn Exchange, Manchester, England, President Parley P. Pratt presiding. There were present at the opening of the conference, High Priests, 14; Elders, 50; Priests, 64; Teachers, 37; Deacons, 8. The representation of the Church was as follows:
Manchester Conference represented by Charles Miller, consists of 1,531 members, 36 Elders, 79 Priests, 50 Teachers, 19 Deacons, and includes the branches of Manchester, Duckinfield, Bolton, Stockport, Pendlebury, Whitefield, Heatons, Eccles, Oldham, Rochdale, Leeds, Radcliffe, Bridge and Blakely.
Liverpool Conference, represented by John Greenhow, consists of 570 members, 23 Elders, 26 Priests, 21 Teachers, 10 Deacons, and includes the branches of Liverpool, Warrington and Newton, St. Helens, Isle of Man, Wales, and York.
Preston Conference, represented by Elder Struthars, consists of 665 members, 16 Elders, 22 Priests, 15 Teachers, 3 Deacons, and includes the branches of Preston, Penworthen, Longton, Southport, Farrington, Hunter’s Hill, Kendal, Brigsteer, Holme, Lancaster, and Euxton Birth.
Clitheroe Conference represented by Thomas Ward, consists of 325 members, 15 Elders, 23 Priests, 17 Teachers, 6 Deacons, and includes the branches of Clitheroe, Chatburn, Waddington, Downham, Blackburn, Burnley, Accrington, Ribchester, Chaidgley, and Grindleton.
London Conference, represented by Lorenzo Snow, consists of 400 members, 14 Elders, 32 Priests, 7 Teachers, 8 Deacons, and includes the branches of London, Woolwich, Bedford, Wybosson, Thorncut, Honeydon, Irchester, and Waddon.
Macclesfield Conference, represented by James Galley, consists of 238 members, 8 Elders, 23 Priests, 14 Teachers, 9 Deacons, and includes the branches of Macclesfield, Congleton, Bollington, Middlewich, Northwich and Plumbley.
Birmingham Conference, represented by J. Riley, consists of 309 members, 11 Elders, 18 Priests, 12 Teachers, 5 Deacons, and includes the branches of Birmingham, Great’s Green, West Broomwich, Oldbury, Allchurch, Dudley, Wolverhampton, and Ashby Wolds.
Staffordshire Conference, represented by Alfred Cordon, consists of 507 members, 25 Elders, 54 Priests, 23 Teachers, 14 Deacons, and includes the branches of Hanley, Burslem, Stoke, Newcastle, Baddaley Edge, Bradley Green, Knutton Heath, Lane End, Audlem, Prees, Tunstall, Leek, Longport, Tittensor Heath, Doncaster, Sheffield and Brampton.
Garway Conference, represented by John Needham, consists of 197 members, 2 Elders, 12 Priests, 7 Teachers, 2 Deacons, and includes the branches of Garway, Abergavenny, Monmouth, Keven, Orcop, and Euyasharrold.
Cheltenham Conference, represented by Theodore Curtis, consists of 540 members, 8 Elders, 22 Priests, 12 Teachers, 4 Deacons, and includes the branches of Newbury Hill, Rock Hill, Earl’s Common, Pinvin, Dounton Beaucamp, Edge Hills, Little Dean, Woodside, Ponsett, Killcott, Frogsmarsh, Red Marley, Bran Green, Apperley, Deerhurst, Cheltenham, Norton, and Bristol.
Froom’s Hill Conference, represented by William Kay, consists of 1,101 members, 24 Elders, 56 Priests, 24 Teachers, 12 Deacons, and includes the branches of Moor End’s Cross, Ridgway Cross, Dun’s Close, Old Storridge, Broomyard’s Downs, Clifton, Widbourn, Brinesteed, Woofren Common, Ashfield, Malvern Hill, Palle House, Callwell, Ledbury, Shaken Hill, Lugwardine, Marden, Bushbank, Leominster, Ball Gate, Coom’s Move, Stoke’s Lane, Froom’s Hill, Stanley Hill, Easthampton, and Worcester Broad Heath.
Edinburgh Conference, represented by George D. Watt, consists of 271 members, 13 Elders, 19 Priests, 7 Teachers, 3 Deacons, and includes the branches of Edinburgh, Wemyss, and Sterling.
Glasgow Conference represented by John McAuley, consists of 564 members, 22 Elders, 30 Priests, 26 Teachers, 15 Deacons, and includes the branches of Glasgow, Thorny Bank, Shaw, Toll Cross, Airdrie, Renfrew, Paisley, Johnson, Bridge of Weir, Kilbirnie, Bonshill, Greenock, Brechenney, Nelson, Campsie and Ayr.
Brampton Conference, represented by Richard Benson, consists of 171 members, 6 Elders, 11 Priests, 7 Teachers, 2 Deacons, and includes the branches of Carlisle, Brampton, Alston, and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Irish Conference, represented by David Wilkie, consists of 71 members, 1 Elder, 1 Priest, 2 Teachers, 1 Deacon, and includes the branches of Hillsborough, and Crawfoot’s Burn.
Bradford and York, represented by Henry Cuerden, consists of 54 members, 1 Elder, 4 Priests, 2 Teachers, 1 Deacon.
Total connected with the Church at the present time, in England, Ireland, and Scotland, members, 7,514; Elders, 220, Priests, 421; Teachers, 110.
Monday, 16.—I was transacting business at the store until 10 o’clock a.m. Then at home. In the afternoon at the printing office, in council with Brothers Young, Kimball and Richards and others.
I published in this day’s Times and Seasons the following fac-simile from the Book of Abraham. 2
Attitude of the Press.
Several of the most widely circulated papers are beginning to exhibit “Mormonism” in its true light. The first out of a fac-simile from the Book of Abraham, has been republished both in the New York Herald and in the Dollar Week Bostonian, as well as in the Boston Daily Ledger, edited by Mr. Bartlett; together with the translation from the Book of Abraham.
Tuesday, 17.—I was about home, and at the office through the day. In the evening went to Brother John Snyder’s to see Clark Leal, of Fountain Green, concerning a quarter section of land.
Affidavit of John C. Bennett.
State of Illinois, city of Nauvoo, personally appeared before me, Daniel H. Wells, an Alderman of the said city of Nauvoo, John C. Bennett, who being duly sworn, according to law, desposeth and sayeth, that he was never taught anything in the least contrary to the strictest principles of the Gospel, or of virtue or of the laws of God or man, under any circumstances, or upon any occasion, either directly or indirectly, in word or deed, by Joseph Smith, and that he never knew the said Smith to countenance any improper conduct whatever either in public or private; and that he never did teach to me in private that an illegal, illicit intercourse with females, was under any circumstance justifiable, and that I never knew him to so teach others.
John C. Bennett.
Sworn to and subscribed before me, this 17th day of May, A.D. 1842.
Daniel H. Wells, Alderman.
John C. Bennett resigned the office of mayor of Nauvoo.
Wednesday, 18.—Rode on horseback, accompanied by Dr. Richards and Clark Leal, to John Benbow’s, and searched out the N.E. quarter of section 15, 6 N. 8 W. and contracted for the refusal of the same, at three dollars per acre; dined at Brother Benbow’s, visited Brother Sayer’s, &c., which, with business at the different offices, closed the day.
There was a general representation of the branches in the Eastern States, at a conference of the Church at New York.
Resignation of Bennett as Mayor of Nauvoo.
Thursday, 19.—It rained, and I was at home until one o’clock; when I attended a special session of the city council. John C. Bennett having discovered that this whoredoms and abominations were fast coming to light, and that the indignation of an insulted and abused people were rising rapidly against him, thought best to make a virtue of necessity, and try to make it appear that he was innocent, by resigning his office of mayor, which the council most gladly accepted; and Joseph Smith was elected mayor of the city of Nauvoo by the council, and Hyrum Smith vice-mayor.
While the election was going forward, I received and wrote the following revelation:
Verily thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Joseph, by the voice of my Spirit, Hiram Kimball has been insinuating evil, and forming evil opinions against you, with others; and if he continue in them, he and they shall be accursed, for I am the Lord thy God, and will stand by thee and bless thee. Amen.
This I threw across the room to Hiram Kimball, one of the councillors. After the election, I spoke at some length concerning the evil reports which were abroad in the city concerning myself, and the necessity of counteracting the designs of our enemies, establishing a night watch, &c., whereupon the council resolved that the mayor be authorized to establish a night watch, and control the same.
William Smith was elected councilor in place of Joseph Smith, elected mayor; George A. Smith councilor, in place of Hugh McFall, removed from the city.
On account of the reports in circulation in the city this day, concerning the ex-mayor, and to quiet the public mind, before the council closed, I asked John C. Bennett if he had aught against me, when Dr. Bennett arose, before the council and a house filled with spectators, and replied:
Statement of John C. Bennett before the City Council.
I know what I am about, and the heads of the Church know what they are about, I expect; I have no difficulty with the heads of the Church. I publicly avow that any one who has said that I have stated that General Joseph Smith has given me authority to hold illicit intercourse with women is a liar in the face of God. Those who have said it are damned liars; they are infernal liars. He never either in public or private gave me any such authority or license, and any person who states it is a scoundrel and a liar. I have heard it said, that I would become a second Avard, by withdrawing from the Church, and that I was at variance with the heads, and would use an influence against them, because I resigned the office of mayor. This is false, I have no difficulty with the heads of the Church, and I intend to continue with you, and hope the time may come when I may be restored to full confidence, fellowship, and my former standing in the Church, and that my conduct may be such as to warrant my restoration, and should the time ever come that I may have the opportunity to test my faith, it will then be known whether I am a traitor or true man.
I then said to him, “Will you please state definitely whether you know anything against my character, either in public or private?” General Bennett replied, “I do not. In all my intercourse with General Smith, in public and in private, he has been strictly virtuous.”
I then made some pertinent remarks before the council, concerning those who had been guilty of circulating false reports, &c., and said:
Let one twelve months see if Brother Joseph is not called for, to go to every part of the city to keep them out of their graves; and I turn the keys upon them from this hour, if they will not repent and stop their lyings and surmisings, let God curse them, and let their tongues cleave to the roofs of their mouths.
Charges Against Robert D. Foster.
Friday, 20.—Charges having been preferred against Robert D. Foster, by Samuel H. Smith before a special council, for abusive language towards Samuel H. Smith; also for abusing the marshal of the city, I spent the day in council, and such was the proof against Foster, I had considerable labor to get him clear, even after his confession, which I desired to do, hoping he would amend.
Saturday, 21.—I spent the day with the High Council of Nauvoo, investigating the case of Robert D. Foster, Chauncey L. Higbee and others.
Sunday, 22.—I spent the day mostly at home. In looking at the papers, I discovered the following in the Quincy Whig:
Assassination Of Ex-Governor Boggs Of Missouri.
Lilburn W. Boggs, late governor of Missouri, was assassinated at his residence in Independence, Missouri, by an unknown hand, on the 6th instant. He was sitting in a room by himself, when some person discharged a pistol loaded with buckshot, through an adjoining window, three of the shots took effect in his head, one of which penetrated the brain. His son, a boy, hearing the report of the pistol, ran into the room in which his father was seated, and found him in a helpless situation, upon which he gave the alarm. Footprints were found beneath the window, and the pistol which gave the fatal shot. The governor was alive on the seventh, but no hopes are entertained of his recovery. A man was suspected, and is probably arrested before this. There are several rumors in circulation in regard to the horrid affair; one of which throws the crime upon the Mormons, from the fact, we suppose, that Mr. Boggs was governor at the time, and in no small degree instrumental in driving them from the state. Smith, too, the Mormon Prophet, as we understand, prophesied, a year or so ago, his death by violent means. Hence, there is plenty of foundation for rumor. The citizens of Independence had offered a reward of $500 for the murderer.
I went to the editor’s office, and inserted the following in the Wasp:
Nauvoo, Illinois, May 22, 1842.
Dear Sir:—In your paper (the Quincy Whig) of the 21st instant, you have done me manifest injustice in ascribing to me a prediction of the demise of Lilburn W. Boggs, Esq., ex-governor of Missouri, by violent hands. Boggs was a candidate for the state senate, and, I presume, fell by the hand of a political opponent, with “his hands and face yet dripping with the blood of murder;” but he died not through my instrumentality. My hands are clean, and my heart pure, from the blood of all men. I am tired of the misrepresentation, calumny and detraction, heaped upon me by wicked men; and desire and claim, only those principles guaranteed to all men by the Constitution and laws of the United States and of Illinois. Will you do me the justice to publish this communication? and oblige,
Yours respectfully,[Signed] Joseph Smith.
An Epistle of the High Council of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Nauvoo, to the Saints scattered abroad, Greeting:
Dear Brethren:—Inasmuch as the Lord hath spoken, and the commandment hath gone forth for the gathering together of His people from Babylon, that “they partake not of her sins, and receive not of her plagues;” it seemeth, “good unto us, and also to the Holy Ghost” to write somewhat for your instruction, in obeying that commandment. That you have no need that we exhort you to the observance of this commandment, is evident; for you yourselves know that this is that which was spoken by the Lord, in the parable of the tares of the field, who promised, that in the harvest he would say to the servant “gather the wheat into my barn;” the signs of the times proclaim this—the end of the world; and thus admonish us to the performance of this duty. “Yet notwithstanding the Spirit testifieth of these things, and you desire with great anxiety to gather with the Saints; yet are many of you hindered even to this day;” so that to will to obey the commandment is present; but how to perform, you find not. Feeling, therefore, the responsibility binding on you to observe the statutes and commandments of the Lord, and living in the midst of a generation that are ignorant of what the mind of the Lord is concerning His people, and of the things that belong to their peace; we are well aware of the embarrassments under which many of you labor in endeavoring to obey the laws pertaining to your salvation. It is then no marvel that in this day when darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the people, that this generation who know not the day of their visitation, nor the dispensation of the fullness of times in which they live, should mock at the gathering together of the Saints for salvation, as did the antediluvians at the mighty work of righteous Noah, in building an ark in the midst of the land, for the salvation of his home by water; seeing then that such “blindness hath happened to the Gentile world, which to them is an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation,” and that of God, think it not strange that you should have to pass through the like afflictions which all your brethren the saints in all ages have done before you; to be reviled, persecuted, and hated of all men, for the name of Christ and the Gospel’s sake, is the portion which all saints have had to partake, who have gone before you. You then can expect no better things than that there be men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the truth, who will evil entreat you, and unjustly despoil you of your property and embarrass you in pecuniary matters, and render it the more difficult to obey the command to gather with the Saints; pretending to do God’s service, “whose judgment now lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”
But, brethren, with all these considerations before you, in relation to your afflictions, we think it expedient to admonish you, that you bear, and forbear, as becometh Saints, and having done all that is lawful and right, to obtain justice of those that injure you, wherein you come short of obtaining it, commit the residue to the just judgment of God, and shake off the dust of your feet as a testimony of having done so.
Finally, brethren, as it is reported unto us, that there be some who have not done that which is lawful and right, but have designedly done injury to their neighbor or creditor by fraud, or otherwise, thinking to find protection with us in such iniquity; let all such be warned and certified, that with them we have no fellowship, when known to be such, until all reasonable measures are taken to make just restitution to those unjustly injured. Now, therefore, let this epistle be read in all the branches of the Church, as testimony, that as representatives thereof, we have taken righteousness for the girdle of our loins, and faithfulness for the girdle of our reins, “and that for Zion’s sake we will not rest; and for Jerusalem’s sake we will not hold our peace, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof, as a lamp that burneth.”
Your brethren and servants in the kingdom and patience of Jesus.
Austin Cowles, Presidents.
Charles C. Rich,
George W. Harris,
William Huntington, Sen.,
Henry G. Sherwood,
Samuel E. Bent,
Lewis D. Wilson,
Attest: Hosea Stout, Clerk.
May 22, 1842.
1. This is the Prophet’s account of the introduction of the Endowment ceremonies in this dispensation, and is the foundation of the sacred ritual of the temples. There has been some controversies as to the time when these ceremonies were introduced into the Church. A sect styling itself the “Re-organized Church,” even goes so far as to claim that these ceremonies were not introduced into the Church by the Prophet Joseph Smith at all, but on the contrary claim that they had their origin with Brigham Young and the Apostles who followed him in the migration from Nauvoo to Great Salt Lake valley in Utah. The evidence, however, against such claims, is overwhelming. First, the statement of the Prophet in the text above. Second, a previous allusion to the same thing in his remarks at Nauvoo, on the 6th of January, 1842. (See History Of The Church, Vol. 4. p. 492.) Third, the same ceremonies are referred to in the Revelation of Jan. 19, 1841, in which washings, anointings, conversations, statutes, judgments, etc., are explicitly referred to. (History Of The Church, Vol. 4, p. 277.) In addition to this evidence also, Ebenezer Robinson, associate editor of the Times and Seasons when that periodical was founded by Don Carlos Smith and himself, and who at the death of Don Carlos Smith, 1841, became editor-in-chief of that periodical, and so continued until the 15th of March, 1842—declares that such ceremonies as are alluded to in the text were inaugurated by special action of the Prophet as early as 1843. Mr. Robinson subsequently left the Church, but when in 1890, the aforesaid self-styled “Re-organized church” persisted in claiming that Joseph Smith the Prophet did not inaugurate these Temple ceremonies, he published an article in the magazine he was then conducting, called The Return, in which he bears emphatic testimony to the effect above stated, namely, that all these ceremonies were introduced into the church by the Prophet Joseph smith at least as early as 1843. [See The Return, Vol. 2, No. 4, p. 252.]
2. The facsimile referred to will be found on page 525 of Vol. 4 of this History, where it is published in connection with an explanation of the various figures on the plate and preceding the Prophet’s translation of the Book of Abraham, taken from the Times and Seasons.