Provisions for the Enlargement of the Municipal Government of Nauvoo—Sundry Activities of the Prophet—Keys of Knowledge by Which Angelic Administrations May Be Known—The Prophet’s Parable, “The Lions of the Press.”
Monday, January 30, 1843.—Spent the day at home until six in the evening, when I presided in the city council, where much business was transacted, the most important of which was a bill reported by a committee, [providing for the enlargement of the municipal government of Nauvoo.] [The enactment provided for certain officers in addition to those named in the charter; namely, city engineer, market master, weigher and sealer of weights and measures, a fire warden in each ward of the city, a sexton and police officer to act under the direction of the mayor as captain of the watch, and a supervisor of streets and allies. It also provided for the preservation of good order in the city, keeping clear streets and alleys, defining nuisances and providing against them. Providing for the prevention of fires, defining the duties of the city watch, and providing for a public market place, etc., etc.—Editors.]
Tuesday, 31.—At home all day. A severe snowstorm.
Thursday, February 2, 1843.—Spent the day at home. The weather extremely cold.
Towards evening I rode on to the hill to enquire about the caucus which was held there the previous evening Davidson Hibbard presiding, and Brother Benjamin L. Clapp, chief speaker, reporting that Joseph and Hyrum had attempted to take away the rights of the citizens, referring to the election of the last city council. I corrected the error and returned home.
“The Spirit maketh intercession for us with groanings and cannot be uttered.” It would be better thus:—”The Spirit maketh intercession for us with striving which cannot be expressed.”
Friday, 3.—This morning, read German; at eleven, walked out in the city; returned at a quarter past twelve; read proof of “Doctrine and Covenants,” which is now being stereotyped.
Brother John Mayberry sent me a cow to assist in bearing my expenses at Springfield.
Saturday, 4.—At home till one o’clock in the afternoon, when I attended the general city election caucus at the Temple, where all things were amicably settled and mutual good feelings restored to all parties. Brother Clapp made a public confession for the speech which he made at a former caucus.
I returned home at about four o’clock, and was visited by Amasa M. Lyman. I told him that I had restored Orson Pratt to the quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and that I had concluded to make Brother Amasa a counselor to the First Presidency.
In the evening presided in the municipal court.
Sunday, 5.—At home, reading German.
Result of City Election.
Monday, 6.—Spent the forenoon at the election of mayor, aldermen and councilors for the city, to serve during the next two years, at Brother Hyrum Smith’s office. Dined at home. One o’clock, afternoon, Thomas Moore came in and enquired about a home. I blessed him and said, God bless you for ever and ever! May the blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob rest upon you for ever and ever; and may you sit on thrones high and lifted up, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
When I returned to the election, Joseph Smith was elected mayor by unanimous vote. Orson Spencer, Daniel H. Wells, George A. Smith, and Stephen Markham were elected aldermen. Hyrum Smith, John Taylor, Orson Hyde, Orson Pratt, Sylvester Emmons, Heber C. Kimball, Benjamin Warrington, Daniel Spencer, and Brigham Young were elected councilors.
A Stolen Record Secured.
Tuesday, 7.—This forenoon attended a council of the Twelve Apostles at the house of President Brigham Young. This afternoon I sent a search warrant to Hyrum Kimball’s for the purpose of obtaining a book of patriarchal blessing; given by Father Joseph Smith, which was stolen from Far West. The warrant was issued on the affidavit of Jonathan H. Holmes, and the book obtained. In the evening Hyrum Kimball came to my house for an explanation, and I informed him that the book was the property of the Church; that it had been stolen, and after passing through various hands, had been secured by Oliver Granger, while acting as agent for the Church at Kirtland, and should have been given up by him. I have since been informed that Sister Sarah, Hyrum Kimball’s wife, had procured the book of her brother, son of Oliver Granger, for the purpose of returning it to the Church; but, being under a pledge to her brother not to give up the book until he had seen her again, she had neglected to mention it to me.
Elder Parley P. Pratt arrived home from England this evening.
A Prophet not Always a Prophet.
Wednesday, 8.—This morning, I read German, and visited with a brother and sister from Michigan, who thought that “a prophet is always a prophet;” but I told them that a prophet was a prophet only when he was acting as such. After dinner Brother Parley P. Pratt came in: we had conversation on various subjects. At four in the afternoon, I went out with my little Frederick, to exercise myself by sliding on the ice.
The public papers say that Point Petre, in Guadaloupe, was totally destroyed, and ten thousand persons supposed to have been killed by an earthquake.
Thursday, 9.—Part of the forenoon I spent at the Masonic Hall, conversing with Mr. Rennick, of Keokuk, and trying to effect a settlement with him. He promised to let me have some notes on a paper maker in Louisville, towards paying me, and then went off contrary to promise. I also had a conversation with Master Nye, and read several letters, one from Judge Young, and directed the following in reply:
Joseph Smith to Hon. R. M. Young (U.S. Senator)—Payment of Loan, and Nauvoo Postoffice Matters.
Hon. R. M. Young, City of Washington:
Dear Sir:—I have this day received your favor of the 7th ult., covering one from John C. Walsh, and barely state in this, that I shall despatch a messenger immediately to Quincy, to deposit the $500 in the hands of General Leach, according to your instructions; but seeing that I had little time to lose, I concluded to send this by the first mail to inform you of my intentions. My next, in which I shall enclose General Leach’s receipt, together with my obligations, will be mailed at Quincy, and may be expected three days after you receive this.
I shall not be able to obtain George Miller’s name as security, he being at this time several hundred miles north of Nauvoo, and is not expected back until spring. I can, however, obtain the signature of Mr. Edward Hunter, late from Chester county, Pennsylvania, who owns about twenty thousand dollars worth of property in this vicinity, and probably as much more in the east, which I presume will be entirely satisfactory to Mr. Walsh, instead of Mr. Miller. Judge Higbee’s name will be on the obligations.
When you receive this, you may expect the other three days later. All the difference will be the time required to go from here to Quincy and do the business.
Some time ago, a petition, signed by the principal inhabitants of this city, praying the postmaster-general to remove the present Nauvoo postmaster and appoint another in his stead, was put in the hands of C. A. Warren, Esq., of Quincy, with a request that he would hand it to you about the time you left for Washington. We have not yet heard whether Mr. Warren handed it to you or neglected to do so, but we feel extremely anxious to learn something on the subject, as the citizens generally are suffering severely from the impositions and dishonest conduct of the postmaster and those connected with the postoffice in this city. The petition was accompanied by some affidavits, proving that letters had frequently been broken open, money detained, and letters charged twice over, &c, &c., at this office, the repeated occurrence of which circumstances caused the people to be anxious for an immediate change. It will be seen by the petition, that I was nominated for the office. I can only say that, if I receive the appointment, I shall do my utmost to give general satisfaction. Whoever may be appointed, it is necessary, in my estimation, to have it done as soon as circumstances will possibly admit.
Accept, sir, of my sincere acknowledgments for past favors, which are not forgotten, and accept of the best wishes and sincere thanks of yours respectfully,
By William Clayton, his agent.
Spent most of the day in conversation with Parley P. Pratt and others.
Three Grand Keys by which Good or Bad Angels or Spirits may be Known—Revealed to Joseph the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, February 9, 1843.
There are two kinds of beings in heaven—viz., angels, who are resurrected personages, having bodies of flesh and bones. For instance, Jesus said, “Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 2nd. The spirits of just men made perfect—they who are not resurrected, but inherit the same glory. When a messenger comes, saying he has a message from God, offer him your hand, and request him to shake hands with you. If he be an angel he will do so, and you will feel his hand. If he be the spirit of a just man made perfect, he will come in his glory; for that is the only way he can appear. Ask him to shake hands with you, but he will not move, because it is contrary to the order of heaven for a just man to deceive; but he will still deliver his message. If it be the devil as an angel of light, when you ask him to shake hands he will offer you his hand, and you will not feel anything; you may therefore detect him. These are three grand keys whereby you may know whether any administration is from God.
Items of the Prophet’s Experience.
A man came to me in Kirtland, and told me he had seen an angel, and described his dress. I told him he had seen no angel, and that there was no such dress in heaven. He grew mad, and went into the street and commanded fire to come down out of heaven to consume me. I laughed at him, and said, You are one of Baal’s prophets; your God does not hear you; jump up and cut yourself; and he commanded fire from heaven to consume my house.
When I was preaching in Philadelphia, a Quaker called out for a sign. I told him to be still. After the sermon, he again asked for a sign. I told the congregation the man was an adulterer; that a wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and that the Lord had said to me in a revelation, that any man who wanted a sign was an adulterous person. “It is true,” cried one, “for I caught him in the very act,” which the man afterwards confessed, when he was baptized.
A conference was held at Boylston Hall, Boston, when fourteen branches of the Church in Boston and the vicinity were represented, comprising seven hundred and ninety-three members, thirty-three elders, forty-three lesser officers, most of whom had been raised up in about fifteen months. Elder George J. Adams, E. P. Maginn, Erastus Snow, Erastus H. Derby, and others, took active parts in the conference.
Interview with John. B. Cowan.
Friday, 10.—After conversation with Mr. John B. Cowan, and others, I reviewed the history of the mob in Hiram, Portage county, Ohio, on the 25th of March 1832, and my first journey to Missouri. At three o’clock, afternoon, attended a council of the Twelve Apostles at my house. Of the Twelve there were present Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor, George A. Smith and Willard Richards. I requested that all business be presented briefly and without comments, and told the council that I had an interview with Mr. Cowan this morning; that he was delegated by the inhabitants of Shokoquon (which is twenty miles above this place on the river) to come to Nauvoo, and petition that “a talented Mormon preacher take up his residence with them, they would find him a good house and give him support, and with liberty for him to invite as many ‘Mormons’ to settle in that place as may please so to do.” Council decided that Brother John Bear go and preach to them.
I suggested that a general meeting be called in the city in relation to the postoffice and other things, and instructed the council to call Elder George J. Adams to Nauvoo, with his family, and to say that he is ordered to come by the First Presidency, and that he preach no more till he comes.
Case of Oliver Olney.
At five o’clock, I opened a mayor’s court at my house, when John D. Parker, deputy sheriff, presented Oliver Olney before the court for stealing goods from the store of Moses Smith on the 23rd of January, when Olney declared before the court that he had been visited many times by the Ancient of Days; that he sat with him on the 9th, 10th and 11th of last June, and should sit in counsel again with him on Tuesday next; that he had had a mission from him to the four quarters of the world; that he had been and established the twelve stakes of Zion, and had visited them all, except one in the south; that he had suffered much for two or three years for want of clothing; that he despised a thief, except when he stole to clothe himself; that he opened the store of Moses Smith on the 23rd of January, and took out the goods then present (several hundred pieces) hid them in the cornfield, and carried them home from time to time, under the same roof with Mr. Smith, and that no one knew anything about the robbery but himself.
Olney was once a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but had been cut off a considerable time previous. He declared that the Church never taught him to steal; and I have written his voluntary confession here, that others may take warning and behave themselves in such a manner that they shall not be cut off the Church; for if they are the Spirit of the living God will depart from them, and they may be left to a worse spirit of delusion and wickedness than even Oliver Olney, who never saw the Ancient of Days nor anything like him. But on the testimony presented, I bound him over to the next circuit court for trial, in the sum of five thousand dollars; and for want of bail, he was committed to Carthage jail.
Saturday 11.—This day had an interview with Elder Rigdon and his family. They expressed a willingness to be saved. Good feelings prevailed, and we again shook hands together.
The Prophet on Pay for Public Service.
At ten o’clock attended the city council. I prophesied to James Sloan, city recorder, that it would be better for him ten years hence, not to say anything more about fees; and addressed the new council, urging the necessity of their acting upon the principle of liberality, and of relieving the city from all unnecessary expenses and burdens, and not attempt to improve the city, but enact such ordinances as would promote peace and good order; and the people would improve the city; capitalists would come in from all quarters and build mills, factories, and machinery of all kinds; new buildings would arise on every hand, and Nauvoo would become a great city. I prophesied that if the council would be liberal in their proceedings, they would become rich, and spoke against the principle of pay for every little service rendered, and especially of committees having extra pay for their services; reproved the judges of the late election for not holding the polls open after six o’clock, when there were many wishing to vote.
Dr. Robert D. Foster took an active part in electioneering for the opposition ticket and obstructing the passage to the polls. The council elected James Sloan, city recorder; Henry G. Sherwood, Marshal; William Clayton, treasurer; approved W. W. Phelps as mayor’s clerk; Dimick B. Huntington, William D. Huntington, Lewis Robison and John Barker, constables; Alanson Ripley, surveyor; James Allred, supervisor of streets; Dimick B. Huntington, coroner; James Sloan, notary public; Theodore Turley, weigher and sealer; H. G. Sherwood, market master; W. W. Phelps, fire warden; Sidney Rigdon, city attorney; and Samuel Bennett, market inspector for the city.
A board of health was established, to consist of Joseph Smith, William Law, William Marks and Samuel Bennett.
Nauvoo Market Place Proposed.
The council resolved that a market be established in the city. It was proposed to build two markets. But I told the council that if we began too large, we should do nothing; we had better build a small one at once, to be holden by the corporation; and that if that would support itself, we could go on to build another on a larger scale; that the council should hold an influence over the prices of markets, so that the poor should not be oppressed, and that the mechanic should not oppress the farmer; that the upper part of the town had no right to rival those on the river. Here, on the bank of the river, was where we first pitched our tents; here was where the first sickness and deaths occurred; here has been the greatest suffering in this city. We have been the making of the upper part of the town. We have located the Temple on the hill, and they ought to be satisfied. We began here first; and let the market go out from this part of the city; let the upper part of the town be marketed by wagons, until they can build a market; and let the first market be established on the rising ground on Main Street, about a quarter of a mile north of the river. Council continued through the day.
Mother came to my house to live.
Elders Young and Richards wrote George J. Adams, notifying him to come to Nauvoo, according to the decision of the council, and answer to the charges of adultery which had been preferred against him, before the First Presidency.
The Prophet on “Millerism.”
Sunday, 12.—Seven or eight young men came to see me, part of them from the city of New York. They treated me with the greatest respect. I showed them the fallacy of Mr. Miller’s data concerning the coming of Christ and the end of the world, or as it is commonly called, Millerism, 2 and preached them quite a sermon; that error was in the Bible, or the translation of the Bible; that Miller was in want of correct information upon the subject, and that he was not so much to blame as the translators. I told them the prophecies must all be fulfilled; the sun must be darkened and the moon turned into blood, and many more things take place before Christ would come.
Monday, 13.—Elder Rigdon came in early in the morning, and gave a brief history of our second visit to Jackson county, Missouri. I then read awhile in German and walked out in the city with Elder Hyde, returning at twelve o’clock. Brother John C. Annis called for counsel. The marshal called, and informed me that Mr. Rollison was trying to get the postoffice, and that Dr. R. D. Foster was the first to sign the petition. I gave instruction about a bond for a part of a lot to Brother John Oakley. A quarter before four, went to the printing office with Brother W. W. Phelps.
I spent the evening at Elder Orson Hyde’s. In the course of conversation I remarked that those brethren who came here having money, and purchased without the Church and without counsel, must be cut off. This, with other observations, aroused the feelings of Brother Dixon, from Salem, Massachusetts, who was present, and he appeared in great wrath.
I received the following communication:
Rigdon’s Suggested Petition as to Nauvoo Postmaster.
To the Hon. Mr. Bryant, Second Assistant Postmaster-General:
We, your petitioners, respectfully beg leave to submit that as an attempt is now, by certain individuals, being made to place the postoffice in this place into the hands of William H. Rollison, a stranger in our place, and one whose conduct since he came here, has been such as to forbid our having confidence in him; and we do hope and pray, both for ourselves, and that of the public, that he may not receive the appointment of postmaster in Nauvoo, Illinois, but that the present postmaster may continue to hold the office.
Brother Joseph Smith, if the foregoing can have a number of respectable subscribers, I believe Rollinson cannot get the office. I should like to have it so as to send it on Sunday’s mail. Respectfully,
Tuesday, 14.—Sent William Clayton to Quincy, and by him deposited five hundred dollars with General Leach, for Mr. Walsh, for land which lies between my farm and the city, agreeable to my letter to Judge Young.
Read proof of the “Doctrine and Covenants” with Brother Phelps. Read in German from half-past nine to eleven, forenoon. Had the stove removed from the large room in my house into a small brick building which was erected for a smoke house, designing to use it for a mayor’s office, until I could build a new one. Had much conversation with Mr. Cowan and various individuals.
Sold Dr. Richards a cow.
Wednesday, 15.—This morning I spent some time in changing the top plate of the office stove, which had been put together wrong. Read a libelous letter in the Alton Telegraph, written to Mr. Bassett, of Quincy, concerning Judge Pope, Mr. Butterfield, and the ladies attending my late trial at Springfield; and published the following letter in the Times and Seasons:
Joseph Smith’s Parable—the Lions of the Press.
Sir:—Ever since I gave up the editorial department of the Times and Seasons, I have thought of writing a piece for publication, by way of valedictory, as is usual when editors resign the chair editorial. My principal remarks I intend to apply to the gentlemen of the quill, or, if you please, that numerous body of respectable gentlemen who profess to regulate the tone of the public mind in regard to politics, morality, religion, literature, the arts and sciences, &c., &c.,—viz., the editors of the public journals; or, if you please, I will designate them the lions of the forest. This latter cognomen, sir, I consider to be more appropriate because of the tremendous noise that they make when they utter their voice.
It came to pass that, as I went forth like a young fawn, one day, to feed upon the green grass in my pasture, an ass saw me and brayed, and made a great noise, which a neighboring lion hearing, roared, even as a lion roareth when he beholds his prey. At the sound of his voice, the beasts of the field were alarmed, and the lions in the adjoining jungles pricked up their ears and roared in their turn; and behold all the lions of the forest, alarmed by their noise, opened their mouths and uttered forth their voice, which was as the roaring of a cataract, or as the voice of thunder; so tremendous was their roaring, that the trees of the forest shook, as if they were shaken by a mighty wind, and all the beasts of the forest trembled as if a whirlwind were passing.
I lifted up mine eyes with astonishment when I heard the voice of the lions, and saw the fury of their rage. I asked, is it possible that so many lords of the forest, such noble beasts should condescend to notice one solitary fawn that is feeding alone upon his pasture, without attempting to excite either their jealousy or anger? I have not strayed from the fold, nor injured the trees of the forest, nor hurt the beasts of the field, nor trampled upon their pasture, nor drunk of their streams. Why, then, their rage against me? When lo! and behold! they again uttered their voices, as the voice of great thunderings, and there was given unto them the voice of men; but it was difficult for me to distinguish what was said among so many voices; but ever and anon I heard a few broken, incoherent sentences like the following: “Murder! Desolation! Bloodshed! Arson! Treason! Joe Smith and the Mormons! Our nation will be overturned! The impostor should be driven from the state! The fawn will be metamorphosed into a lion—will devour all the beasts of the field, destroy all the trees of the forest, and tread under foot all the rest of the lions!”
I then lifted up my voice and said, Hear me, ye beasts of the forest! and all ye great lions, pay attention! I am innocent of the things whereof ye accuse me. I have not been guilty of violating your laws, nor of trespassing upon your rights. My hands are clean from the blood of all men, and I am at the defiance of the world to substantiate the crimes whereof I am accused; wherefore, then should animals of your noble mien stoop to such little jealousies, such vulgar language, and lay such unfounded charges at the door of the innocent?
It is true that I once suffered an ass to feed in my pasture. He ate at my crib and drank at my waters; but possessing the true nature of an ass, he began to foul the water with his feet, and to trample under foot the green grass and destroy it. I therefore put him out of my pasture, and he began to bray. Many of the lions in the adjoining jungles, mistaking the braying for the roaring of a lion, commenced roaring. When I proclaimed this abroad many of the lions began to enquire into the matter. A few, possessing a more noble nature than many of their fellows, drew near, and viewing the animal found that he was nothing more than a decrepit, broken down, worn out ass, that had scarcely anything left but his ears and voice.
Whereupon many of the lions felt indignant at the lion of Warsaw, the lion of Quincy, the lion of Sangamon, the lion of Alton, and several other lions, for giving a false alarm, for dishonoring their race, and for responding to the voice of so base an animal as an ass. And they felt ashamed of themselves for being decoyed into such base ribaldry and foul-mouthed slander. But there were many that lost sight of their dignity, and continued to roar, although they knew well that they were following the braying of so despicable a creature.
Among these was a great lion, whose den was on the borders of the Eastern Sea. He had waxed great in strength. He had terrible teeth, and his eyes were like balls of fire. His head was large and terrific, and his shaggy mane rolled with majestic grandeur over his terrible neck. His claws were like the claws of a dragon, and his ribs were like those of a Leviathan. When he lifted himself up, all the beasts of the field bowed with respectful deference; and when he spake, the whole universe listened; and the cinders of his power covered creation. His might, his influence, were felt to the ends of the earth. When he lashed his tail, the beasts of the forest trembled; and when he roared, all the great lions and the young lions crouched down at his feet. 3 This great lion lifting up himself and beholding the fawn afar off, he opened his mouth, and, joining in the common roar, uttered the following great swelling yelp:—
“Joe Smith in Trouble.—By a letter which we published on Sunday, from Springfield, Illinois, it appears that Joe Smith, the great Mormon Prophet, has at last given himself up to the authorities of Illinois. He is charged with fomenting or conspiring to assassinate Governor Boggs, of Missouri, and is demanded by the functionary of that state of the governor of Illinois. Joe has taken out a writ of habeas corpus, denying the fact, and is now waiting the decision of the court at Springfield. This will bring Joe’s troubles to a crisis. In the meantime, why does not Joe try his power at working a miracle or two? Now’s the time to prove his mission, besides being very convenient for himself.”
When I heard it, I said, “Poor fellow! How has thy dignity fallen! and how has thy glory departed? Thou that once ranked among the foremost of the beasts of the field, as the lord of the forest!—even thou hast condescended to degrade thyself by uniting with the basest of animals, and to join in with the braying of an ass.”
And now, friend B., allow me to whisper a word in thine ear. Dost thou not know that there is a God in the heavens that judgeth—that setteth up one and putteth down another, according to the counsel of his own will? That if thou possessest any influence, wisdom, dominion, or power, it comes from God, and to him thou art indebted for it? That he holds the destiny of men in his power, and can as easily put down as he has raised up? Tell me, when hast thou treated a subject of religious and eternal truth with that seriousness and candor that the importance of the subject demands from a man in thy standing, possessing thy calling and influence? As you seem to be quite a theologist, allow me to ask a few questions. Why did not God deliver Micaiah from the hands of his persecutors? Why did not Jeremiah “work a miracle or two” to help him out of the dungeon? It would have been “very convenient.” Why did not Zachariah, by a miracle, prevent the people from slaying him? Why did not our Savior come down from the cross? The people asked Him to do it; and besides, He had “saved others, and could not save Himself, so said the people. Why did He not prove His mission by working a miracle and coming down? Why did not Paul, by a miracle, prevent the people from stoning and whipping him? It would have been “very convenient.” Or why did the Saints of God in every age have to wander about in sheep-skins or goat-skins, being tempted, tried, and sawn asunder, of whom the world was not worthy? I would here advise my worthy friend, before he talks of “proving missions,” “working miracles,” or any “convenience” of that kind, to read his Bible a little more, and the garbled stories of political demagogues less.
I listened, and lo! I heard a voice, and it was the voice of my Shepherd, saying, Listen, all ye lions of the forest; and all ye beasts of the field, give ear. Ye have sought to injure the innocent, and your hands have been lifted against the weak, the injured, and the oppressed. Ye have pampered the libertine, the calumniator, and the base. Ye have winked at vice, and trodden under foot the virtuous and the pure. Therefore hear, all ye lions of the forests: The Lord God will take from you your teeth, so that you shall no longer devour. He will pluck out your claws, so that you can no longer seize upon your prey. Your strength will fail you in the day of trouble, and your voice will fail, and not be heard afar off; but mine elect will I uphold with mine arm, and my chosen shall be supported by my power. And when mine anointed shall be exalted, and all the lions of the forest have lost their strength, then shall they remember that the Lord he is God.
I copy the following from the public prints:—
Horrors of a British-Chinese War.
An English officer, writing to his friend in England, from Ching Keang Foo, says—”I never saw such loss of life and property as took place here: we lost officers and men enough, but it is impossible even to compute the loss of the Chinese; for when they found they could stand no longer against us, they cut the throats of their wives and children, or drove them into wells and ponds, and then destroyed themselves. In many houses there were from eight to twelve bodies, and I myself have seen a dozen women and children drowning themselves in a small pond the day after the fight. The whole of the city and suburbs are a mass of ruins: whole streets have been burnt down.” Oh, the horrors of Christian warfare!
About one o’clock in the afternoon I started for Shokoquon, with Mr. John B. Cowan and Elders Orson Hyde and Parley P. Pratt, in sleighs. When we came on the prairie, it was so extremely cold, I proposed to Mr. Cowan to wait till tomorrow; but he chose to go forward, and we arrived in safety at Mr. Rose’s, where we had supper; and in the evening I gave a long exposition of Millerism. That night I slept with Mr. Cowan.
1. See D&C 129.
2. Millerism here referred to is the sum of the doctrines taught by William Miller, an American religious zealot who emphasized in his religious teachings the Millennial Reign of Christ on earth, which reign, he declared, as early as 1831, would commence in the year 1843. His predictions were based largely upon computations of time on the prophecies of Daniel and the Book of Revelation. After the great disappointment which came to his followers in 1843, they abandoned all attempts at fixing the date on which the second advent of Christ would take place, but otherwise continued to believe in the doctrines advocated by Mr. Miller. “There are several divisions or sects of Adventists, the principal of which are the Advent Christians, the largest; the Seventh-day Adventists, much smaller, but more compactly organized; and the Evangelical Adventists, the smallest. The members of the first two believe in the final annihilation of the wicked, which those of the third reject. The second observe the seventh day as the Sabbath, and believe in the existence of the spirit of prophecy among them; they maintain missions in various parts of the world, and a number of institutions at Battle creek, Michigan, their headquarters.”—Century Dictionary.