State of Affairs in Nauvoo, Willard Richards—A Political Trick, Illinois State Register—Burden of the Prophet’s Ministry, Discourse—Enlargement of Mormonism, “Boston Bee”—The Prophet on Politics, Discourse—Movements of the Apostles.
Thursday, July 13, 1843.—I was in conversation with Emma most of the day, and approved of the revised laws of the Legion.
The Legion authorized the issuing of Legion scrip to the amount of $500.
Shadrach Roundy returned from Springfield, and reported that the Governor had gone to Rock River; and he therefore left the affidavits in the care of Judge Adams. Brother Roundy had started with an old decrepit animal, and rode him all the way there and back again. He also reported that General Moses Wilson, of Missouri, had started from Jacksonville for Washington City.
Elders Ezra T. Benson, Q. S. Sparks and Noah Rogers preached at Cabbotville, Mass. While Elder Rogers was preaching, some person threw stones through the windows, and one hit Elder Benson on the thigh. The mob threw stones at them which flew like hail, when they left the room, but did not injure the brethren.
Friday, 14.—Spent the day at home. I was visited by a number of gentlemen and ladies who had arrived from Quincy on a steamboat. They manifested kind feelings.
Elder Jonathan Dunham started on an excursion to the western country.
Saturday, 15.—Spent the day at home. Weather very hot.
A shower this morning wet the ground one inch.
At six p.m. went with my family and about one hundred others on a pleasure excursion on the Maid of Iowa, from the Nauvoo House landing to the north part of the city, and returned at dusk.
A theatrical performance in the evening by Mr. Chapman.
Sunday, 16.—Preached in the morning and evening at the stand in the Grove, near the west of the Temple, concerning a man’s foes being those of his own household.
“The same spirit that crucified Jesus is in the breast of some who profess to be Saints in Nauvoo. I have secret enemies in the city intermingling with the Saints, etc. Said I would not prophesy any more, and proposed Hyrum to hold the office of prophet to the Church, as it was his birthright.
“I am going to have a reformation, and the Saints must regard Hyrum, for he has the authority, that I might be a Priest of the Most High God; and slightly touched upon the subject of the everlasting covenant, showing that a man and his wife must enter into that covenant in the world, or he will have no claim on her in the next world. But on account of the unbelief of the people, I cannot reveal the fullness of these things at present.”
Elders Brigham Young and Wilford Woodruff preached at the house of Father Hewitt in Cincinnati. Afterwards went to Kentucky to attend an appointment at the Licking Branch. Elders Wilford Woodruff and George A. Smith afflicted with the influenza, politically called “the Tyler gripe.”
Monday, 17.—At home with my brother Hyrum, conversing on the Priesthood. Called at the office once, and in the evening visited the performance of Mr. Chapman in the court room.
Elders Brigham Young and Wilford Woodruff preached at Collins Pemberton’s near Licking River, and blessed eight children.
Tuesday, 18.—I was making hay on my farm.
Elder Willard Richards wrote the following to President Brigham Young:
Letter of Willard Richards to Brigham Young—Detailing Current Events at Nauvoo.
By this time, I suppose you would like to hear a word from the city of the prophets. I forgot to hand you your introduction to General James Arlington Bennett; therefore I enclose it in this. Don’t forget to remember me to the General and his delightful family most warmly, together with Mrs. Richards (read, seal and deliver, if it suits you.) As you passed our office on the 7th, I discharged my last charge of powder and ball over your heads: had no occasion to reload since; all is peace.
Saturday, 8. Municipal court session, to compare minutes of the habeas corpus trial and make ready for the press.
Sunday, 9. Beckenstos and Esquire Patrick returned from Springfield, when Reynolds, Mason, &c., started from Carthage for Springfield in the stage. They crowded Beckenstos out, so he borrowed a team, and when they arrived at Springfield. Beckenstos had been there six hours, seen the friends, and Governor, &c. The Governor had sent Mr. Breman, a special agent, to Nauvoo to learn the facts, as reports said, “the Mormons had rescued Jo,” &c. Reynolds petitioned for a posse to retake Jo. Governor would not grant it, but waits the return of his agent. Reynolds started for Missouri. At St. Louis, 10th inst. he published a garbled account in the Old School Democrat. Esquire Southwick was in St. Louis, and refreshed Reynolds’ memory by a reply, on the 12th inst., same paper. Governor manifested every feeling of friendship; wanted affidavits similar to those on trial, and would quash the writ. Joseph gave a sweet conciliatory discourse at the stand, expressive of good feeling to all men. This eve, Shadrach Roundy started for Springfield with affidavits.
Monday, 10. Preparing minutes of trial for publication.
Tuesday, 11. Platted my ground for a house.
Wednesday, 12. Warsaw Message published an extra to circulate correct information concerning the “Mormons” and they have given it correctly. George J. Adams and Hollister returned from Springfield. Popular opinion is going in our favor. General Wilson of Missouri was visiting his brother near Jacksonville, when news of the Governor’s inaction to Reynolds arrived, and he started immediately for Washington city (report says). Also that General Clark, or some famous military chief from Missouri, has been taking a survey of Nauvoo City. Do you believe it? Bah! It is more generally believed that Ford will quash the writ, issue no more, and Missouri will make no further attempts only by mob. Distance is but short between this and Upper Missouri. Is it? Bah!
13th. Roundy returned from Springfield this p.m., less than four days. Governor gone to Rock River visiting; ten days or two weeks absence: left the affidavits with General Adams.
14th-15th. Sun hour high p.m., president and family and private secretary and family, and about one hundred more went on board the steamboat Maid of Iowa at Nauvoo House, and went up to north part of city and back. At dusk, evening, a theatre in the store chamber; Mr. Chapman and suite, actors. Rain this morning; wet the ground one inch.
Sunday, 16th. Joseph preached all day; a.m., 27th chap. Matthew &c. Did not hear him. Man’s foes, they are of his own house; the spirit that crucified Christ; same spirit in Nauvoo; referred particularly to—I won’t say who; was it Brother Marks? Did not say. Brother Cole? Did not hear the sermon; why ask me. Nothing new; same as when you left. The spirit was against Christ because of His innocence; so in the present case. Said he would not prophesy any more; Hyrum should be the prophet; (did not tell them he was going to be a priest now, or a king by and by;) told the Elders not to prophesy when they went out preaching.
17th. Theatre again. 18th. And again this eve. I am writing for your eye.
18th. Evening, Bishop Miller arrived with 157,000 feet of lumber, sawed shingles, &c., about 170,000 feet in all. He says it was all sawed in two weeks and brought down in two more; says he has bought all the claims on those mills for $12,000 payable in lumber at the mills in three years, one third already paid for. Two saws did this job. Chance for as many mills as they may have a mind to build, and every saw can run five thousand feet per day, year round. Two saws now running, can deliver 157,000 every fortnight. All that is wanting is hands. I understand the Maid of Iowa starts for Black River, Thursday. Bishop feels well. No investigation of Nauvoo House books yet. Clayton tells me today the committee do not want a clerk, and Joseph says little about it. Showers all around us; little rain here. Joseph is on the prairie haying today. Wind blowing from all quarters for four days past. More calm after a shower. Good hay weather. Vegetation is drying with drought—dying, Brother Orson, if you want to criticise.
Proceedings of court to the end of Hyrum’s affidavit were published in the last Neighbor and Times and Seasons, to be continued in the next, all in pamphlet when finished. Shall mail paper for you and the brethren in New York, where I will direct this. I have said nothing about Brothers Kimball and Pratt, and Woodruff, and Smith, and Page, &c., &c.; but you will understand this is a kind of family letter, I suppose. Brother Woodruff’s paper arrived, but no line, no letter from St. Louis. I have seen most of the widows since you left. Sister Young is well; was afflicted on Saturday with cholera morbus; called the Elders and right up again. Sisters Kimball is well. Sisters Woodruff is well, and I believe all the Sisters be’s well; Sisters Pratt and Smith and all.
19th. I send by this mail six papers to Brother Woodruff, same direction. Just met Hyrum in the street; said to him, I am writing to the brethren, has our new prophet anything to say to them? “Give my respects to them.” Elders Taylor’s and Hyde’s best compliments, with success. Great many loves to you all; mine particularly to all the brethren.
Yours for ever,
A shower of rain in the p.m. The son of James Emmett, aged eight years, killed by lightning while standing in his father’s doorway in Bain Street.
To show the spirit of the times, although I do not vouch for the accuracy of the statements, I copy from the Illinois State Register:
Was the Arrest of the Prophet a Political Trick?
The public is already aware that a demand was lately made upon the Governor of this State for the arrest of Joseph Smith, and that a writ was accordingly issued against him. We propose now to state some of the facts, furnishing strong ground of suspicion that the demand which was made on the Governor here, was a manoeuvre of the Whig party.
1. A letter was shown to a gentleman of this city, by the agent of Missouri, from the notorious John C. Bennett to a gentleman in one of the western counties of that State, urging the importance of getting up an indictment immediately against Smith, for the five or six year old treason of which he was accused several years ago.
2. This charge had been made once before, and afterwards abandoned by Missouri. It is the same charge on which Smith was arrested and carried before Judge Douglas and discharged two years ago. After that decision, the indictment against Smith was dismissed and the charge wholly abandoned.
3. But in the letter alluded to, Bennett says to his Missouri agent, Go to the Judge, and never leave him until he appoints a special term of the court; never suffer the court to adjourn until an indictment is found against Smith for treason. When an indictment shall have been found, get a copy, and go immediately to the governor, and never leave him until you get a demand on the governor of Illinois for Smith’s arrest; and then dispatch some active and vigilant person to Illinois for a warrant, and let him never leave the governor until he gets it; and then let him never come back to Missouri without Smith.
4. A special term of the circuit court of Daviess county, Missouri, was accordingly called on the 5th day of June last. An indictment was found against Smith five years old. A demand was made and a writ issued, as anticipated, by the 17th of the month.
5. Bennett, it is well known, has for a year past been a mere tool in the hands of the Whig junto at Springfield. He has been under their absolute subjection and control, and has been a regular correspondent of the Sangamo Journal, the principal organ of the Whig party. He has been a great pet of both the Journal and the junto, and that paper has regularly announced his removal from place to place, until latterly and within the last year has published more of his writings than of any other person except the editor.
6. Cyrus Walker, a short time after his nomination as the Whig candidate for Congress, in the 6th district, made a pilgrimage to Nauvoo, for the purpose of currying favor with the Mormons and getting their support. But in this he was disappointed, as it appeared that many of the Mormons were disposed to support the Democratic candidate. Cyrus went home disappointed and dejected; and it was generally believed that, failing to get the Mormon vote, he would be beaten by his Democratic opponent.
7. Let it be also borne in mind that the treason of which Smith was accused was five or six years old; that it had been abandoned as a charge by Missouri; that the circuit court of that State sat three times a year; that Smith was permanently settled at Nauvoo, no person dreaming that he would leave there for years to come; that they might have waited in Missouri for a regular term of the court, if the design was simply to revive a charge of treason against Smith, with a perfect assurance that he would always be found at home, and be as subject to arrest at one time as another. But this delay did not suit the conspirators, as it would put off an attempt to arrest Smith until after the August election.
Let it be borne in mind also that the agent of Missouri, after he had obtained the custody of Smith at Dixon, refused to employ a Democratic lawyer, and insisted upon having a Whig lawyer of inferior abilities, simply upon the ground, as he stated, that the Democrats were against him.
Let it also be borne in mind that Cyrus Walker, the Whig candidate for Congress, miraculously happened to be within six miles of Dixon when Smith was arrested, ready and convenient to be employed by Smith to get him delivered from custody; and that he was actually employed, and actually did get Smith enlarged from custody; and withal, let it be remembered that John C. Bennett is the pliant tool and pander of the junto at Springfield; and that he was the instigator of an unnecessary special term in Missouri, on the 5th day of June last, for the purpose of getting Smith indicted.
We say, let all these facts be borne in mind, and they produce a strong suspicion, that the whole affair is a Whig conspiracy to compel a Democratic governor to issue a writ against Smith, pending the Congressional election, so as to incense the Mormons, create a necessity for Walker’s and perhaps Browning’s professional services in favor of Smith, to get him delivered out of the net of their own weaving, and thereby get the everlasting gratitude of the Mormons and their support for the Whig cause.
Thursday, 20.—I furnished Bishop Miller with $290 for the expedition to the Pinery.
Friday, 21.—Rode to the farm with my daughter Julia.
The Maid of Iowa sailed for the Pinery in Wisconsin, with Bishop Miller, Lyman Wight and a large company, with their families.
Lieutenant-Colonel John Scott was elected Col. 1st, Reg., 2nd cohort of the Nauvoo Legion, to fill the vacancy of Col. Titus Billings, resigned.
Saturday, 22.—I rode out in my buggy in the evening.
Sister Mary Ann Holmes was brought to my house sick. She has been confined to her bed for upwards of two years.
Elders Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff, and George A. Smith left Cincinnati at eleven a.m. on board the Adelaide, for Pittsburg.
Elder Kimball dreamed that he was at work in a pottery, where there was a large amount of clay drawn together: he examined it and found it to be yellow, rotten stuff of no account; and he thought it was easier to go to the clay bank and get new clay, which would make better vessels; but, after awhile he concluded to work up this clay into vessels, which when made proved to be rotten; which is a representation of the people of Cincinnati.
Sunday, 23.—Meeting at the stand. I preached. I insert a brief synopsis of the discourse, reported by Dr. Willard Richards:
Discourse—Burden of the Prophet’s Ministry—Friendship.
I commence my remarks by reading this text—Luke 16:16:—”The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.”
I do not know that I shall be able to preach much; but, with the faith of the Saints, may say something instructive. It has gone abroad that I proclaimed myself no longer a prophet. I said it last Sabbath ironically: I supposed you would all understand. It was not that I would renounce the idea of being a prophet, but that I had no disposition to proclaim myself such. But I do say that I bear the testimony of Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy.
There is no greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. I discover hundreds and thousands of my brethren ready to sacrifice their lives for me.
The burdens which roll upon me are very great. My persecutors allow me no rest, and I find that in the midst of business and care the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Although I was called of my Heavenly Father to lay the foundation of this great work and kingdom in this dispensation, and testify of His revealed will to scattered Israel, I am subject to like passions as other men, like the prophets of olden times.
Notwithstanding my weaknesses, I am under the necessity of bearing the infirmities of others, who, when they get into difficulty, hang on to me tenaciously to get them out, and wish me to cover their faults. On the other hand, the same characters, when they discover a weakness in Brother Joseph, endeavor to blast his reputation, and publish it to all the world, and thereby aid my enemies in destroying the Saints. Although the law is given through me to the Church, I cannot be borne with a moment by such men. They are ready to destroy me for the least foible, and publish my imaginary failings from Dan to Beersheba, though they are too ignorant of the things of God, which have been revealed to me, to judge of my actions, motives or conduct, in any correct manner whatever.
The only principle upon which they judge me is by comparing my acts with the foolish traditions of their fathers and nonsensical teachings of hireling priests, whose object and aim were to keep the people in ignorance for the sake of filthy lucre; or as the prophet says, to feed themselves, not the flock. Men often come to me with their troubles, and seek my will, crying, Oh, Brother Joseph, help me! help me! But when I am in trouble, few of them sympathize with me, or extend to me relief. I believe in a principle of reciprocity, if we do live in a devilish and wicked world where men busy themselves in watching for iniquity, and lay snares for those who reprove in the gate.
I see no faults in the Church, and therefore let me be resurrected with the Saints, whether I ascend to heaven or descend to hell, or go to any other place. And if we go to hell, we will turn the devils out of doors and make a heaven of it. Where this people are, there is good society. What do we care where we are, if the society be good? I don’t care what a man’s character is; if he’s my friend—a true friend, I will be a friend to him, and preach the Gospel of salvation to him, and give him good counsel, helping him out of his difficulties.
Friendship is one of the grand fundamental principles of “Mormonism”; [it is designed] to revolutionize and civilize the world, and cause wars and contentions to cease and men to become friends and brothers. Even the wolf and the lamb shall dwell together; the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf, the young lion and the fatling; and a little child shall lead them; the bear and the cow shall lie down together, and the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall play on the cockatrice’s den; and they shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountains, saith the Lord of hosts. (Isaiah.)
It is a time-honored adage that love begets love. Let us pour forth love—show forth our kindness unto all mankind, and the Lord will reward us with everlasting increase; cast our bread upon the waters and we shall receive it after many days, increased to a hundredfold. Friendship is like Brother Turley in his blacksmith shop welding iron to iron; it unites the human family with its happy influence.
I do not dwell upon your faults, and you shall not upon mine. Charity, which is love, covereth a multitude of sins, and I have often covered up all the faults among you; but the prettiest thing is to have no faults at all. We should cultivate a meek, quiet and peaceable spirit.
Have the Presbyterians any truth? Yes. Have the Baptists, Methodists, &c,, any truth? Yes. They all have a little truth mixed with error. We should gather all the good and true principles in the world and treasure them up, or we shall not come out true “Mormons.”
Last Monday morning certain brethren came to me and said they could hardly consent to receive Hyrum as a prophet, and for me to resign. But I told them, “I only said it to try your faith; and it is strange, brethren, that you have been in the Church so long, and not yet understand the Melchisedek Priesthood.”
I will resume the subject at some future time.
It is contrary to Governor Ford’s oath of office, to send a man to Missouri, where he is proscribed in his religious opinions; for he is sworn to support the Constitution of the United States and also of this State, and these constitutions guarantee religious as well as civil liberty to all religious societies whatever.
The Thirty-eighth Vexatious Lawsuit.
Monday, 24.—This morning I had a long conversation with Mr. Hoge, the Democratic candidate for Congress. I showed him the corruption and folly of the governor’s sending an armed force to take me, &c., and told him this made the 38th vexatious lawsuit against me for my religion.
Exhibition of Divine, the Fire King, in the court room.
Settled with William and Wilson Law. They were $167 in my debt, for which William Law gave his note.
Tuesday, 25.—During this day I signed Nauvoo Legion scrip, a copy of one of which I insert:
Nauvoo Legion, July 25, 1843.
No. 406. This certificate will be received by the Nauvoo Legion, as one dollar in payment of debts due the Legion, and redeemable by the Paymaster-General on demand, with any moneys in the treasury.
Wilson Law, Major General,
Joseph Smith, Lieutenant-General.
John S. Fullmer, Paymaster-General.
Being sick, I lay on my bed in the middle of the room, visited by Dr. Willard Richards.
Elder Noah Rogers administered to Sister Webster at Farmington, Connecticut, who had been unable to walk for several years past.
Wednesday, 26.—Sister Webster arose from her bed this morning and walked.
I copy from the Boston Bee:
Sir:—In my last I touched upon the vested rights of the city of the Saints, as they appear upon the face of the charter; and it may be proper hereafter to go into the merits of that document, for I hold the maxim good that the “Union is interested in the Union;” but at the present time I have another subject on the tapis, which more immediately concerns the wise and honest portions of the American people. I reason from facts, no matter who may cry, “hush!” as to “Mormonism” and the “disgrace” which the State of Missouri inherits from her barbarous treatment and unlawful extermination of the Mormon people.
The great day has already been ushered in, and the voice of the Mormon is not only heard setting forth his own rights and preaching the Gospel of the Son of God in power and demonstration incontrovertible from revelation, in every city and hamlet in our wide-spread American Free States; but other realms and kingdoms hear the same tidings; even the Indians, Australia, Pacific Islands, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany and the Holy Land, where God Himself once spoke, have heard a Mormon; and all this in the short space of twelve or fourteen years; yea, and measures have been taken that Russia may hear the “Watchman cry.”
Now, sir, “what has been done can be done.” I shall not be surprised if the Mormons undertake to cope with the world. Virtue and truth are twin sisters of such winning charms, that honest men of every nation, kindred and tongue will fall in love with them; and what hinders the Mormons, with the Bible in one hand and humanity in the other, from Mormonizing all honest men? Nothing. The meaning of “Mormon,” the Prophet Joe says, is “More good;” and no matter where it is the Mormons will have it; and if they cannot obtain it by exertion in the world, they will merit it by faith and prayer from the “old promise” of “ask and ye shall receive.”
But do not think that I, even I, have been Mormonized by what I write for I say nay; though I am willing to admit—and all men of sense will do the same—the more light, the more truth; the more truth, the more love; the more love, the more virtue; the more virtue, the more peace; the more peace, the more heaven—what everybody wants. The Mormons believe rather too much for me. I can’t come it.
Another word on Missouri. When her constitution was framed, they commenced the preamble as follows: “We, the people of Missouri, &c., by our representatives in convention assembled at St. Louis on Saturday, the 12th day of June, 1820, do mutually agree to establish a free and independent Republic,” &c. Independent Republic! Well, some of the subsequent acts prove the truth of it, and as the broad folds of the constitution often conceal more than meets the eye: not withstanding it is the aegis of the people to keep lawmakers and lawbreakers within and without bonds, let us quote from the 13th article of the aforesaid constitution, the 3rd paragraph: “That the people have a right peaceably to assemble for their common good, and to apply to those vested with the powers of government for redress of grievances; and that their right to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state cannot be questioned.” This otherwise right of gun-fence was made, as I have earned, for breachy Indians, but was used by Governor Boggs as a sine quo non, pointed with steel and burning with brimstone, to exterminate the Mormons. Truly we may ask, what is right and what is law contrary to the constitution? The Legislature of Missouri acknowledged the exterminating order of Boggs as constitutional, and appropriated more than $200,000 to pay the drivers and robbers, and I may as well say, mobbers of the Mormons, for services rendered the State in 1838. O Gladius! O Crumena! Viator.
Shower of rain at noon.
Thursday, 27.—I drove through the city with Father Morley in my carriage.
Movements of Brigham Young, et al.
The Adelaide run aground on the sand bar. Elders Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff and George A. Smith were set ashore and each took coach for Pittsburg, where they arrived at six o’clock: went to the Temperance Hall, and unobserved heard Elder John E. Page preach against the sects. Here they met with Elders Heber C. Kimball and Orson Pratt.
Friday, 28.—I was at home sick, and was visited by Father Morley.
At noon James Sloan, the recorder, brought the desk containing city and Church books and papers to the mayor’s office, as he was about to go on a mission to Ireland.
The Twelve met at Richard Savary’s. Elder Young inquired concerning the proceedings of the Twelve in Cincinnati; found that Elders Kimball, Pratt and Page had held a conference, organized the church, and then left for Pittsburg.
Unwisdom of Elder Page.
Elder Page stayed a few days and overruled what had been done, and reorganized the church, but the church was left in no better situation. Elder Young reproved Brother Page for undoing alone what three of the quorum had done together. He also alluded to my instructions to be gentle and mild in their teachings, and not to fight the sects any more at present, but to win the affection of the people.
In the evening they met at Jeremiah Cooper’s house. Elders Young, Kimball and Smith addressed the Saints, numbering seventy-five.
Politica Debate, Hoge vs. Walker.
Saturday, 29.—I rode up to the Temple and sent a copy of certificate of trustee, and Granger’s power of attorney to Reuben McBride, Kirtland. Walked up to near the lodge room, met my brother Hyrum and had a conversation about Henry G. Sherwood. There was a political meeting at the Temple, when Mr. Joseph P. Hoge, candidate for Congress, addressed the citizens for three hours, and was replied to in short by Mr. Cyrus Walker.
Council of the Twelve met in the evening at Brother Savary’s to teach the Elders. Elder Young said:
Views of Brigham Young on Presidency.
A man should, in the first place preside over himself, his passions, his person, and bring himself into subject” to the law of God; then preside over his children and his wife in righteousness; then he will be capable of presiding over a branch of the Church. But many Elders are contending about presiding over churches, when they are not capable of presiding over themselves or the least child they have.
The first principle of our cause and work is to understand that there is a prophet in the Church, and that he is at the head of the Church of Jesus Christ on earth.
Who called Joseph Smith to be a prophet? Did the people or God? God, and not the people called him. Had the people gathered together and appointed one of their number to be a prophet, he would have been accountable to the people; but inasmuch as he was called by God, and not the people, he is accountable to God only and the angel who committed the gospel to him, and not any man on earth. The Twelve are accountable to the prophet, and not to the Church for the course they pursue; and we have learned to go and do as the prophet tells us. 1
Conference met in Utica, New York. Elder John P. Greene in the chair. Four branches were represented, containing 7 elders, 5 priests, 6 teachers, 2 deacons, and 159 members; 1 elder, 2 priests, 1 teacher and 1 deacon were ordained.
Illness of the Prophet.
Sunday, 30.—I was very sick, my lungs oppressed and overheated, through preaching last Sunday; and called for my brother Hyrum and William Law, and Willard Richards to lay on hands and pray for me.
Elder John Taylor preached in the morning. After preaching, President Marks called a special conference to appoint recorders for baptism for the dead. Elder Sloan having started on his mission to Ireland, Willard Richards was appointed General Church Recorder; and Joseph M. Cole, George Walker, Jonathan H. Hale, and J. A. W. Andrews, recorders for the baptisms for the dead. In the afternoon clerks met to organize and prepare for their duties.
Brothers Wilford Woodruff and George A. Smith preached in the morning, John E. Page and Orson Pratt in the afternoon, and Heber C. Kimball and Brigham Young in the evening, in the Temperance Hall in Pittsburg.
Conference in Michigan.
A conference was held in Briton, Michigan, when Mephibosheth Sirine was chosen president. Nine branches were represented, comprising 5 elders, 6 priests, 7 teachers, 1 deacon, and 225 members.
Monday, 31.—My health improving, I went to the prairie, sold one hundred acres of land, and called at my farm. Wrote to General Adams.
The following is from Elder Woodruff’s journal under this date:
Enterprises in Pittsburg, 1843.
Our quorum assembled and walked over Pittsburg. We first visited Mr. Curling’s glass works, and saw them at work through each branch. We saw them make pressed, stamped and plain tumblers, large jars, &c. We next went on the bluff above the city, and had a view of the new basin that is to contain the water to be forced into it from the Alleghany river to water the city. From this place we had a fair view of the city below. It truly sends forth its columns of smoke and blackness that arise from the coal fires which propel the numerous engines that are the mainspring of all the foundries, manufactories and works of the great city of Pittsburg.
We then descended the hill and visited the city water works or reservoir. The building is 150 feet long, 110 feet wide, and contains two engines of 200 horse power each, to drive a force pump to force the water from the Alleghany river into the basin on the bluff, to supply the wants of the citizens. The whole cost of this building, reservoir, and basin was $200,000. The building is after the Roman order. The whole architecture, design, making and finishing the building, was executed by Elder Charles Beck, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We visited every branch of the Miltonberger’s iron works; saw the iron form the keel of an iron steam ship of war, 140 feet long. The vessel is designed to navigate Lake Erie.
Tuesday, August 1, 1843.—I was very sick at home in the morning. At four p.m. I rode up to the Temple and complained to the clerks that Mr. Hamilton had got a tax title from the sheriff on one of my city lots. Mr. Bagby, the collector, came up in the midst of our conversation and when asked about it denied all knowledge of it. I told him that I had always been ready to pay all my taxes when I was called upon; and I did not think it gentlemanly treatment to sell any of my lots for taxes; and I told him that he was continually abusing the citizens here. Bagby called me a liar, and picked up a stone to throw at me, which so enraged me that I followed him a few steps, and struck him two or three times. Esquire Daniel H. Wells stepped between us and succeeded in separating us. I told the Esquire to assess the fine for the assault, and I was willing to pay it. He not doing it, I rode down to Alderman Whitney, stated the circumstances, and he imposed a fine which I paid, and then returned to the political meeting. Bagby stayed awhile, muttering threats against me. I went home, commenced to work awhile, but soon was very sick.
Received a private communication from a Mr. Braman, stating that the writ was returned to the governor and killed.
Hyrum and Hoge called at the office, when Hoge acknowledged the power of the Nauvoo Charter habeas corpus.
Esquire Walker gave a stump speech at the stand until dusk, and was immediately replied to by Esquire Hoge for over two hours, having lit candles for the purpose to hear them politically castigate each other.
The Twelve visited Alleghany City. Elders Young, Page and Kimball preached in the evening.
The Temple is progressing steadily. The walls of the noble edifice continue to rise, and its completion is looked forward to with great interest and anxiety by many.
All kinds of improvements are going on rapidly in Nauvoo and vicinity. Houses are going up in every direction in the city and farms are being inclosed without. “The wilderness” will soon “blossom as the rose.”
Elder Luman A. Shurtliff writes that he has traveled in the New England States, and recently baptized twenty persons.
Wednesday, 2.—I was a little easier today and rode out to Jacob Baum’s to borrow money. In the evening conversing with Dr. J. M. Bernhisel.
A subscription has been got up to build a house for Elder Willard Richards, to which I subscribed a city lot. The brethren subscribed $25 cash, 10 cords of stone, 30 bushels of lime, 105 days work, $59 in work, 15,900 bricks, glass, lumber and other materials, together with a quantity of produce. I hope the day is not far-distant when my clerk will have a comfortable house for his family.
Thursday, 3.—Elder Beck of Pittsburg having paid $48 for the passage of six of the Twelve Apostles to Baltimore, they started this morning and rode all day and night over the Alleghany mountains in the stage
I continued unwell. I received $800 in specie, and a $200 note from Benjamin Meginness for one hundred acres of land.
Friday, 4.—My health improving, I rode out to the farm. In the evening went with Emma to visit Elder Cahoon, where I met my brother Hyrum and his wife.
Saturday, 5.—Elders Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, John E. Page, Wilford Woodruff and George A. Smith arrived in Philadelphia at 4 a.m., having traveled four hundred and thirty miles in forty-eight hours by stage, railroad and steamboat. A very severe storm of wind and rain raged in Philadelphia in the evening, doing immense damage.
Sunday, 6.—Meeting at the stand. Elder Parley P. Pratt preached on testimony.
When he closed, I told the people I would preach my sermon next Sunday, I was not able today; but I would now speak on another subject—viz., the election.
The Prophet’s Attitude on Politics.
I am above the kingdoms of the world, for I have no laws. I am not come to tell you to vote this way, that way or the other. In relation to national matters, I want it to go abroad unto the whole world that every man should stand on his own merits. The Lord has not given me a revelation concerning politics. I have not asked Him for one. I am a third party, and stand independent and alone. I desire to see all parties protected in their rights. As for Mr. Walker, he is the Whig candidate, a high-minded man. He has not hung onto my coat tail to gain his election, as some have said. I am going to give a testimony, but not for electioneering purposes. Before Mr. Walker came to Nauvoo, rumor came up that he might become a candidate. Said I—He is an old friend, and I’ll vote for him. When he came to my house, I voluntarily told him I should vote for him. When I made him acquainted with the ordinances of Nauvoo, in relation to writs of habeas corpus, he acted in accordance therewith on my testimony. The rascals (Reynolds and Wilson) took Walker’s and Montgomery’s security when I was arrested. Walker made Reynolds come to me and beg my pardon for the abuse he gave me; and through his means and influence the pistols were taken from the rascals. He (Walker) withdrew all claim to your vote and influence if it would be detrimental to your interests as a people.
Brother Hyrum tells me this morning that he has had a testimony to the effect it would be better for the people to vote for Hoge; and I never knew Hyrum to say he ever had a revelation and it failed. Let God speak and all men hold their peace. I never authorized Brother Law to tell my private feelings, and I utterly forbid these political demagogues from using my name henceforth and for ever. It is my settled opinion that if Governor Ford erred in granting a writ against me, it is an error of the head, and not of the heart; and I authorize all men to say I am a personal friend of Governor Ford.
The cap to Parley’s sermon is this—Every word that proceedeth from the mouth of Jehovah has such an influence over the human mind—the logical mind—that it is convincing without other testimony. Faith cometh by hearing. If ten thousand men testify to a truth you know, would it add to your faith? No. Or will ten thousand testimonies destroy your knowledge of a fact? No. I don’t want any one to tell I am a prophet, or attempt to prove my word.
I prophesy in the name of God Almighty, they [the Saints] shall bear off the palm.
Hyrum Smith explained at some length concerning the election.
Emma started to St. Louis to transact some business for me, it not being prudent for me to go to Missouri.
Meeting of the Twelve Apostles in Philadelphia.
The quorum of the Twelve Apostles in Philadelphia held a meeting in the Canaanite Church. About three hundred Saints were present. Meeting was opened by Jedediah M. Grant, and President Brigham Young addressed the congregation at considerable length. He said that a man or woman may ask of God, and get a witness and testimony from God concerning any work or messenger that is sent unto them; but if a person asks for a thing that does not concern him, such as governing the Church, as a member of the Church inquiring concerning the duty of a presiding Elder, what the prophet or the Twelve ought to do, &c. he will not get an answer. It he does it will not be from God. He also remarked that if any in the Church had the fullness of the Melchisedec Priesthood, he did not know it. For any person to have the fullness of that priesthood, he must be a king and priest. A person may have a portion of that priesthood, the same as governors or judges of England have power from the king to transact business; but that does not make them kings of England. A person may be anointed king and priest long before he receives his kingdom.
In the evening Elder Orson Pratt preached, and was followed by Elder George A. Smith. (Above from Wilford Woodruff’s Journal.)
Monday, 7.—Election of Representatives to Congress and state and county officers, the Democratic ticket prevailing in Nauvoo by an overwhelming majority.
Tuesday, 8.—The Twelve in Philadelphia went out on a pleasure excursion on the Delaware river, with about one hundred and fifty of the Saints. They went down to Glouster Point and spent the day in various innocent amusements.
Wednesday, 9.—I rode out to my farm with a gentleman.
Thursday, 10.—Rode through the city with my brother Hyrum.
Friday, 11. It is with regret that we announce the death of our respected brother, General James Adams, of Springfield. He joined the Church some time ago in the above place, and had come to Nauvoo for the purpose of arranging matters preparatory to his removal to this place. He was attacked by the cholera morbus, and died on Friday night, the 11th instant. He has left an amiable family and a large circle of acquaintances, by whom he was greatly respected, to mourn his loss. Peace to his ashes!
Saturday, 12.—Emma returned from St. Louis. I was sick at home. Robert D. Foster having on Monday last been elected school commissioner, and George W. Thatcher, clerk of county commissioner’s court, they went to Carthage to give bonds and take oath of office. When before the court, Harmon T. Wilson, John Wilson, Franklin J. Morrill and Prentice, and twelve or fifteen others, came in armed with hickory clubs, knives, dirks and pistols, and told the court they must not approve the bonds [of the above officers elect] or swear them into office; if they did blood would be spilt; and pledged their word, honor and reputation, to keep them out of office and put down the Mormons. The bonds, however, were accepted, and the mob gave notice of a meeting of the anti-Mormons of Hancock county for Saturday next, to consider about the Mormons retaining their offices.
Elder Willard Richards was sworn into office as recorder of the city of Nauvoo.
1. The principle in the above in the main is doubtless correct, but side by side with the principle there set forth should be considered the principle that modifies it somewhat, namely, the principle of common consent and the voice of the people in the government of the Church. The Lord will call whom He sees proper to call to His priesthood; and so far they are amenable to Him alone for the discharge of the duties of the priesthood. But when in the exercise of the factions of the priesthood or its offices it comes to presiding over the Church or any of the branches or departments thereof, that can only be with the consent of those over whom they preside (see Doctrine and Covenants, sec. 20:65, 66; Ibid sec. 26:2; Ibid. sec. 107:22). It is evident and a well settled principle that in these relationships to the Church, the officers of the Church, even the President thereof and the apostles, as well as all others, are amenable to the Church, else why the doctrine of the revelations that there is not any person belonging to the Church who is exempt from the law of the Church, and that inasmuch as even the president of the high priesthood, who is also the president of the Church, (Doc. and Cov. sec. 107) shall transgress, he shall be had in remembrance before the common council of the Church (Presiding Bishopric) assisted by twelve counselors of the high priesthood; that court is competent to try him, even the president of the Church; “and their decision upon his head shall be an end of controversy concerning him. Thus none shall be exempt from the justice and the law of God.” The Church, in other words is greater than any man in it (Doc. and Cov. sec. 107; 81-84).