The Prophet on the Life and Character of Judge Elias Higbee—Life and Resurrection—Explanation of Election Day Troubles—Governor Ford’s Refusal to Play into the Hands of Missouri—Anti-Mormon Agitation at Carthage—Elder Jonathan Dunham’s Report of His Western Explorations.
Sunday, August 13, 1843.—I went to the stand on Sunday morning, August 13, 1843, and preached on the death of Judge Higbee, a synopsis of which was reported by my clerk, Dr. Willard Richards.
The Prophet’s Remarks at the Funeral of Judge Higbee.
Brethren And Sisters, you will find these words in 2 Peter 3:10, 11:—”But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.”
I am not like other men. My mind is continually occupied with the business of the day, and I have to depend entirely upon the living God for every thing I say on such occasions as these.
The great thing for us to know is to comprehend what God did institute before the foundation of the world. Who knows it? It is the constitutional disposition of mankind to set up stakes and set bounds to the works and ways of the Almighty.
We are called this morning to mourn the death of a just and good man—a great and mighty man. It is a solemn idea that man has no hope of seeing a friend after he has lost him. But I will give you a more painful thought. It is simple; for I never design to communicate any ideas but what are simple; for to this end I am sent. Suppose you have an idea of a resurrection, etc., etc., and yet know nothing at all of the gospel, nor comprehend one principle of the order of heaven, but find yourselves disappointed—yes, at last find yourselves disappointed in every hope or anticipation, when the decision goes forth from the lips of the Almighty. Would not this be a greater disappointment—a more painful thought than annihilation?
Had I inspiration, revelation, and lungs to communicate what my soul has contemplated in times past, there is not a soul in this congregation but would go to their homes and shut their mouths in everlasting silence on religion till they had learned something.
Why be so certain that you comprehend the things of God, when all things with you are so uncertain. You are welcome to all the knowledge and intelligence I can impart to you. I do not grudge the world all the religion they have got: they are welcome to all the knowledge they possess.
The sound saluted my ears—”Ye are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant” (Hebrews 12, 22, 23, 24). What would it profit us to come unto the spirits of the just men, but to learn and come up to the standard of their knowledge?
Where has Judge Higbee gone?
Who is there that would not give all his goods to feed the poor, and pour out his gold and silver to the four winds, to go where Judge Higbee has gone?
That which hath been hid from before the foundation of the world is revealed to babes and sucklings in the last days.
The world is reserved unto burning in the last days. He shall send Elijah the prophet, and he shall reveal the covenants of the fathers in relation to the children, and the covenants of the children in relation to the fathers.
Four destroying angels holding power over the four quarters of the earth until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads, which signifies sealing the blessing upon their heads, meaning the everlasting covenant, thereby making their calling and election sure. When a seal is put upon the father and mother, it secures their posterity, so that they cannot be lost, but will be saved by virtue of the covenant of their father and mother.
To the mourners I would say—Do as the husband and the father would instruct you, and you shall be reunited.
The speaker continued to teach the doctrine of election and the sealing powers and principles, and spoke of the doctrine of election with the seed of Abraham, and the sealing of blessings upon his posterity, and the sealing of the fathers and children, according to the declarations of the prophets. He then spoke of Judge Higbee in the world of spirits, and the blessings which he would obtain, and of the kind spirit and disposition of Judge Higbee while living; none of which was reported.
Remarks by President Joseph Smith, on Sunday afternoon, August 13, 1843, reported by Dr. Willard Richards:
The Prophet’s Explanation of Election Day Troubles.
President Joseph Smith complained of the citizens of Nauvoo. He reproved some young men for crowding on to the ladies’ seats on the meeting ground, and laughing and mocking during meeting; and, as mayor, he instructed the marshal to keep that portion of the grove clear of young men. “The city is enlarging very fast. We have many professedly learned men in this city, and the height of their knowledge is not to know enough to keep in their place.”
He then complained of the treatment he had received from Walter Bagby, the county assessor and collector, who has exercised more despotic power over the inhabitants of the city than any despot of the eastern country over his serfs. I met him, and he gave me some abusive language, taking up a stone to throw at me: I seized him by the throat to choke him off. He then spoke of Esquire Daniel H. Wells interfering when he had no business, and of the abuses he received at the election on the hill. They got a constable by the name of King. I don’t know what need there was of a constable. Old Father Perry said, “Why, you can’t vote in this precinct.”
King took me by the collar and told me to go away. (All our wrongs have arisen under the power and authority of Democracy; and I have sworn that this arm shall fall from my shoulder, and this tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth before I will vote for them,) unless they make me satisfaction, and I feel it sensibly. I was abused and neglected at the ground, and there was not a man in the crowd to say, “This is Brother Joseph, or this is the Mayor.” He then spoke of the grog shops, and the disturbance of the crowd in the street by Moeser’s grocery. I have been ferreting out grog shops, groceries, and beer barrels. I have warned the rum and beer dealers to be scarce after this time, and the peace officers to watch the grog shops and give me seasonable notice of any disorder. If they are conducted as they have been, I will rip them up.”
He then sat down, but resumed—”I had forgotten one thing. We have had certain traders in this city, who have been writing falsehoods to Missouri; and there is a certain man in this city who has made a covenant to betray and give me up to the Missourians, and that, too, before Governor Carlin commenced his persecutions. That man is no other than Sidney Rigdon. This testimony I have from gentlemen from abroad, whose names I do not wish to give.
I most solemnly proclaim the withdrawal of my fellowship from this man, on condition that the foregoing be true; and let the Saints proclaim it abroad, that he may no longer be acknowledged as my counselor: and all who feel to sanction my proceedings and views will manifest it by uplifted hands.
There was a unanimous vote that Sidney Rigdon be disfellowshiped. and his license demanded.
The Twelve Apostles held meetings in various parts of Philadelphia.
Monday, 14.—Rode out at nine a.m. At home at one p.m. In the evening, attended the funeral of Lydia Walker, who died at my house yesterday.
I copy from the State Register as follows:—
A Post-Election Denial of Governor Ford Menacing the Citizens of Nauvoo.
We have seen and heard a statement that Governor Ford had delayed making a decision upon the demand of Missouri for the militia to arrest Joseph Smith, until after the election, so as by intimidation to compel the Mormons to vote the Democratic ticket.
The authors of this desperate and reckless slander take counsel from their own corrupt hearts, and judge others by a knowledge of what they would do in like case. No doubt but that they would do this, and more too, if necessary, to secure the success of their party; and hence their readiness to believe evil of others.
If, however, they had been in the least degree inclined to judge correctly, they would have gone, as we have done, to the records of the secretary’s office, where they would have ascertained that all these suspicions were groundless, and that the governor had actually decided not to call out the militia eleven days before the election.
The following letters we copy from the records in the office of the secretary of state:—
Official Documents Proving that Governor Ford Decided not to Call out Militia to Arrest Joseph Smith Previous to Late Election.
Executive Department, Springfield,
Illinois, July 26, 1843.
To his Excellency, Thomas Reynolds, Governor of Missouri:—
Sir:—The demand of Joseph H. Reynolds, Esq., the agent appointed by you to receive Joseph Smith, Jr., for a detachment of militia to assist in retaking said Smith, has been duly considered by me; and I now, at the earliest moment, after coming to a conclusion on the subject, proceed to lay before you the result of my deliberations.
The request for a military force is declined. The reasons which have influenced me in coming to this determination will be furnished to you at large, as soon as I can obtain leisure to do so.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully
Your obedient servant,
Executive Department, Springfield,
Illinois, August 14, 1843.
To his Excellency, Thomas Reynolds, Governor of the State of Missouri:
Sir,—On the 26th day of July last, I had the honor to inform you by letter that, after full consideration, I had come to the conclusion to decline ordering out a detachment of the militia to assist in retaking Joseph Smith, Jr., who was said to have escaped from the custody of the Missouri agent; and in that letter I engaged to furnish you with my reasons at large for coming to that determination.
It appears that an indictment was found, at a special term of the Daviess Circuit Court, Missouri, held on the 5th day of June last, against Smith for treason. Upon this indictment, the governor of Missouri issued a requisition to the governor of this state, demanding the arrest and delivery of Smith. A writ was thereupon duly issued by me for the apprehension and delivery of Smith as demanded. This writ was put into the hands of an officer of this state to be executed. The officer to whom it was directed immediately arrested Smith, and delivered him to Joseph H. Reynolds, the agent of Missouri, appointed to receive him. The writ has been returned to me as having been fully executed.
After Smith was delivered into the hands of Mr. Joseph H. Reynolds, it is alleged that he was rescued from his custody by the Municipal Court of the city of Nauvoo.
Affidavits on both sides of the question have been filed before me, and I also have additional information on the subject contained in a report of Mr. Brayman, Esq., a special agent appointed by myself to investigate and collect facts in relation to the whole matter.
The undisputed facts of the case are, that Smith was arrested near Dixon, in Lee county. He was immediately delivered over to Mr. Reynolds. Smith immediately brought an action against Mr. Reynolds for false imprisonment, and held him to bail in the sum of $400. Mr. Reynolds being in a strange country and unable to give bail, was taken into custody by the sheriff of Lee county and held as a prisoner, whilst Reynolds held Smith as his prisoner.
The parties finally concluded to get out writ of habeas corpus, and try the legality of the imprisonment in each case. The writs were accordingly issued, returnable before the nearest judicial tribunal in the circuit in which Quincy is situated; and thereupon all parties proceeded in the direction of Quincy, Smith being in the custody of Reynolds and Reynolds himself in the custody of the sheriff of Lee county.
On the road, during their progress, they were met by parties of the citizens of Nauvoo, some or most of whom are said to have been members of the Nauvoo Legion, though there is no evidence that they appeared in a military capacity. There was no exhibition of arms of any description, nor was there any military or warlike array, nor was there any actual force used, though Mr. Reynolds testifies that he felt under constraint, and that Smith, soon after meeting the first parties of Mormons, enlarged himself from his custody.
Mr. Reynolds also testifies (and there can be no doubt of the fact) that he was taken to Nauvoo against his will.
But whether he was taken there by the command of Smith and his friends, or by the voluntary act of the sheriff of Lee county, who had him in custody, does not appear by any testimony furnished by Mr. Reynolds. The affidavit of the sheriff has not been obtained, though there is an evidence on the other side to show that the sheriff of Lee county voluntarily carried Mr. Reynolds to the city of Nauvoo, without any coercion on the part of any one.
After arriving at Nauvoo, a writ of habeas corpus was issued by the Municipal Court of that city, and Mr. Reynolds was compelled by the authority of the court to produce Mr. Smith before that tribunal. After hearing the case, the court discharged Smith from arrest.
There is much other evidence submitted; but the foregoing is the material part of it to be considered on the present occasion.
Now, sir, I might safely rest my refusal to order a detachment of militia to assist in retaking Smith upon the ground that the laws of this state have been fully exercised in the matter. A writ has been issued for his apprehension. Smith was apprehended and was duly delivered by the officer of this state to the agent of the state of Missouri appointed to receive him. No process, officer, or authority of this state has been resisted or interfered with. I have fully executed the duty which the laws impose on me, and have not been resisted either in the writ issue for the arrest of Smith or in the person of the officer appointed to apprehend him. If there has been any resistance to any one, it has been to the officer of Missouri, after Smith came to his custody; and everything had been done on my part which the law warranted me in doing.
Another objection to ordering a detachment of militia, arises out of the militia laws of this state, the forty-third section of which is as follows:—
“Whenever it may be necessary to call into actual service any part of the militia of this state, on a requisition by the executive of the United States, on an actual or threatened invasion of this state, or any of the neighboring states or territories of the United States, the commander-in-chief shall forthwith demand from each division a detachment in proportion to the strength thereof, except as hereinafter excepted, which order shall be delivered by a special messenger to the several commandants of divisions, specifying the number demanded from each division, the time and place of rendezvous, if ordered to march; and if the same be detached under any particular act of the United States, to endorse the same on such order: Provided that whenever the safety of any of the frontier settlements in this state shall, in the opinion of the governor, require it, he may exempt the militia in such settlements from being called into service, and make such further provision for the defense as the necessity of the case may require; which exemption shall be expressed in his orders to commandants of the divisions, who, together with the commandants of brigades, regiments, battalions, and companies, shall govern themselves accordingly. And provided, also, that such militia men may be required to serve as spies on their own frontiers; and that, on actual invasion or any extreme emergency, the commander-in-chief, commandants of divisions, brigades, battalions, and companies, may call on the whole or any part of the militia under their respective commands, as the nature of the case may require; who shall continue in service, if necessary, until the militia can be regularly called out.”
The governor has no other authority, in calling out the militia, than that which is contained in this section; by which it appears that there must be either a requisition from the president, an actual or threatened invasion, or some extreme emergency, to warrant the governor in exercising this power. No one of these contingencies has arisen. There has been no requisition from the president; there has been no actual or threatened invasion of the state; nor is this such an extreme emergency as is contemplated by the law.
If we allow that force was exhibited and threatened to compel your agent to carry his prisoner before the municipal court of Nauvoo, that the court there took cognizance of the cause without jurisdiction and against the consent of your agent, it would amount at most to a riot; and to a resistance of authority in a single case, and that, too, under color of law and legal process. To constitute an extreme emergency, so as to justify a call for the militia, there ought, in my opinion, to be something more than a mere illegal act—something more than a design to resist the law in a single instance. The design ought to be general, as in treason, rebellion, or insurrection; in which cases a universality of design is essential to constitute the offense.
If a person resist a constable or sheriff, or other officer charged with the execution of process, with an intention to resist the law in that particular instance, such an act is a misdemeanor at most, is indictable as such, and may be met by the posse comitatus. But something more than a mere misdemeanor must have been contemplated by the law. It would seem to me that it could never have been intended that the governor should call out the militia in every case, where a constable or sheriff may be resisted; and even in a case of a riotous resistance it would not be an extreme emergency without some military array, some warlike show, or some threatened resistance to the government itself.
In this case, there has been no warlike array in the proceedings of Smith and his friends, no exhibition of arms, and no actual force of an illegal character. Mr. Reynolds was not subjected to illegal imprisonment. He was arrested on lawful process; and although that process may have been wrongfully obtained, yet his arrest was not riotous or unlawful, but according to the forms of law. Mr. Reynolds continued in the custody of the sheriff, by virtue of that process, until he was taken to Nauvoo; and although he was taken to that city against his will, and was by that means compelled to take his prisoner there, yet was he taken by lawful process, by an authorized officer who acted, so far as I have any evidence, freely and voluntarily, in so doing. In no one aspect of the case can I consider the present an extreme emergency, warranting a call for the militia according to the provisions of law in this state.
Thus, sir, I have stated to you the principal reasons which have influenced me in refusing to order a call of the militia. To my mind they are entirely satisfactory, and I hope they will meet with the approval of your Excellency and the citizens of Missouri.
I have the honor to be
Your Excellency’s most obedient servant,
Tuesday, 15.—Went in the evening to see Mr. La Forest exhibit feats of strength.
Wednesday, 16.—At ten a.m., attended the funeral of General James Adams, who was buried with Masonic honors.
I sent Sidney Rigdon’s affidavit to Governor Ford.
Thursday, 17.—I held mayor’s court through the day, and tried several suits.
Elders Parley P. Pratt and Orson Hyde started from Nauvoo for Boston, via Chicago.
Elder J. M. Grant wrote me a letter reporting the church in Philadelphia to be in a prosperous condition.
Friday, 18.—Conversed with Mr. Swartout, of Quincy, and bought from him thirteen quarter-sections of land. Visited the lumber yard.
Elders Young and Kimball visited Mount Holly, New Jersey.
Saturday, 19.—”Great Meeting of Anti-Mormons!” At a public meeting of the citizens of Hancock county, without distinction of party, held at the Court House in Carthage, in pursuance of previous notice, on Saturday, the 19th of August, A.D. 1843.
Anti-Mormon Meeting at Carthage.
Major Reuben Graves was called to the chair, and William D. Abernethy appointed secretary. The object of the meeting was then stated by Valentine Wilson in an animated address. The meeting was afterwards addressed by Walter Bagby and also by Hiram Boyle, of Adams county.
On motion of F. J. Bartlett, a committee of nine was appointed by the chair to draft and report resolutions for the action of the meeting.
F. J. Bartlett, Walter Bagby, Valentine Wilson, G. M. Swope, R. T. Madison, J. A. Beebe, John Wilson, Henry Hunter, and John Cameron were appointed that committee.
After a short absence the committee submitted the following:
Your committee respectfully requests to be excused from making a formal report at this time, owing to the short time allowed them and the importance of the business that has called us together, and ask to be discharged from further duties and recommend that a committee of six be appointed to draft resolutions and make a report to an adjourned meeting.
Whereupon the following gentlemen were appointed to compose that committee,—viz.:
Walter Bagby, F. J. Bartlett, Stephen Owen, Stephen H. Tyler, Valentine Wilson and Joel Weston.
The meeting then adjourned to meet again at this place on the 6th of September next, at one o’clock p.m.
Reuben Graves, Chairman.
W. D. Abernethy, Secretary.
Sunday, 20.—I was at home all day. My brother Hyrum preached at the stand, and Sidney Rigdon read a copy of a letter to show the people that he was not guilty of treachery.
Monday, 21.—I received a letter from Mr. Patrick, covering one from Mr. J. Hall, of Independence, Missouri, breathing hard things against us as a people. I gave instructions to have them copied with some additional remarks, and sent to Governor Ford. The following is a copy of the letter, with the comments of the Neighbor thereon.
Letter of J. Hall, Missouri, on the Recent Arrest and Trial of the Prophet.
Independence, Mo., July 23, 1843.
My Dear Old Friend:—Your letter dated on the 12th, and mailed on the 14th instant, is just at hand; and not being able to answer your questions correctly or advise you judicially, in relation to the Rockwell case until after I see him and some other of my friends, I will postpone that part of this letter until tomorrow, and in the meantime will say such things as I can write about without much reflection.
Sheriff Reynolds, upon his return gave me his compliments from you and for the first time I learned that you resided in Illinois. He also gave a narrative of his adventures in your state, which was anything but favorable, either to the reputation of your people or yourself, as a law abiding people or a profound or honest lawyer. Certainly there can be but little virtue in the community, and little honesty in the officers or the law, who will trample upon the forms of justice, the laws of the country and bid open defiance to both in the manner that Sheriff Reynolds informs us that you acted with him, after his arrest of the Mormon Prophet. That the state courts have a right upon a writ of habeas corpus to investigate the legality of all imprisonment within their respective chartered limits, whether such imprisonment is by the authority of the United States or of a state, no sound lawyer, perhaps, will doubt; but it is equally certain that no court upon such a writ has any right to go beyond the forms and the prima facia evidence of the case. If the officers of courts and the community are so corrupt as to disregard their own laws and trample them under their feet, and liberate their criminals in defiance of law, then it appears to me that the power of self government is extinct; if Illinois by her own authority, cannot capture the prophet, it will be but a small matter to raise volunteers enough here to raze the city of Nauvoo to the ground; if Illinois fails to deliver up Jo Smith, there will be something serious between the two states. Missouri will have Jo Smith for trial or impose as powerful restrictions as the Constitution will allow upon the intercourse of the citizens of Illinois in Missouri. If the governor of Illinois is so imbecile as to allow his warrant to be disregarded by the Mormons, and permit the Prophet to go at large, then let him be impeached, and a new, honorable, energetic man be placed in his stead. I have it from a high source that Missouri will hold the whole state responsible for the treatment of our messenger, and for the delivery of the Prophet. Had you liberated the Prophet by a regular writ of habeas corpus without mistreating our Reynolds, I should have gloried in my acquaintance with you; but to have done it in the manner it was done reflects no honor either on yourself, your people, or your government. The Mormons are only a lawless banditti, and I fear the pestilence has contaminated the whole community; and if Reynolds’ opinion be correct, yourself among the rest, Holy Jo was not afraid of the “injustice of our people;” it is the just punishment and their violated laws that he fears.
I will now give you an impartial opinion of the prejudices against Rockwell here, and my opinion of his guilt. There is not a man in this community but believes him guilty. There is a chain of circumstances against him so strong that no rational man can doubt his guilt. I was at Boggs’ house two minutes after the deed; it is in sight of mine; and the incidiousness of the offense renders it difficult to restrain the citizens from hanging him up without judge or jury. So far, however, we have succeeded in quelling it; but should he be discharged upon trial, the power of man cannot save him. (More tomorrow.)
Editorial Comments of the “Nauvoo Neighbor” on the Foregoing Letter. 1
The foregoing letter was sent from J. Hall, of Independence, Missouri, to a respectable lawyer of Dixon, Illinois, and by him with an explanatory letter enclosed and forwarded to General Smith of this city; and after retaining copies, it was thought advisable to forward both the originals to Governor Ford for his consideration. By this proceeding it is not to be understood that the citizens of Nauvoo fear that “volunteers from Missouri will raze Nauvoo to the ground.” There is too much honor and patriotism in Illinois to allow such a barbarous and disgraceful transaction; but it was done to apprize his Excellency of the mode and manner of doing business in cases of emergency in Missouri, and to show his Excellency how much responsibility he and the state were under in case the Prophet should not be delivered up on the requisition of Missouri, where, according to the nicest calculations of the famous lawyer Hall, taking Rockwell’s case for a sample, if he were discharged upon his trial, “the power of man could not save him!”
As to the non-intercourse, or “restrictions” which Missouri may assume or inflict over the citizens of Illinois, we have nothing to say. The Latter-day Saints have seen Boggs’ signature to such a bill as that and many know the penalty.
There is little need of comment on Mr. Hall’s famous letter; for to us it seems to be of itself a comment that makes honesty, virtue and common sense blush, and law, liberty and republicism shudder! We appeal to the liberal-minded and proud-hearted Americans, whether such a spot upon the withering character of Missouri could be removed, any more than an African could be washed white, or a wolf be possessed of the innocence of a lamb, unless the Lord interfered.
Talk of justice in Missouri! You might as well make a burning limekiln or coal-pit an ice-house or hospital! The ice would melt and the sick would suffocate, the power of man could not save them! No wonder a negro could be burned alive in Missouri! No wonder a criminal could be taken out of jail and murdered while the sheriff held a respite in his hand, in Missouri; and no wonder that a Mormon will not risk his life in Missouri; the power of man could not save him, even if discharged by what is styled a court of justice.
To glance at the whole without recurring to the many crimes of the people of the state, officially or unofficially, whether it be feeding prisoners on human flesh, or taking them out of jail and lynching them without mercy, to help justice beforehand, or whether it be Boggs’ exterminating order or even the present hint at restriction and assumption ofresponsibility, we are apt to believe that the good sense and virtue of the citizens of Illinois in general and the Mormons especially like the old experienced rat will shun Missouri as a whitened heap under which there is mischief concealed.
Mary Ann Young, daughter of Elder Brigham Young, died, aged six years and eight months, of dropsy around the heart.
Elders Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and George A. Smith arrived in New York.
Tuesday, 22.—Held mayor’s court, and fined Stephen Wilkinson for selling spirits without a license.
We constantly hear rumors that the people of Carthage are determined to raise a mob to drive the Mormons out of the state.
My brother Hyrum has gone to Plymouth.
Wednesday, 23.—I attended mayor’s court and tried several suits.
Sent George J. Adams to Augusta to procure some articles for the temple.
Elders Orson Pratt and Wilford Woodruff arrived in New York, accompanied by Elders Jedediah M. Grant and James Sloan.
Thursday, 24.—Engaged in land business, selling and making titles of land and settling with several individuals.
Friday, 25.—My brother Hyrum in the office, conversing with me about the new revelation upon celestial marriage.
Rain in gentle showers through the day, being the first of any amount that has fallen in Nauvoo since the 1st of June. The earth has been exceedingly dry, and the early potatoes nearly destroyed. Corn has been stunted in its growth and even vines much injured by the drouth.
Saturday, 26.—Six hundred houses destroyed by fire in Kingston, Jamaica; estimated damage, $1,500,000.
The U.S. Steam frigate Missouri destroyed by fire.
Elder Jonathan Dunham returned from his exploring excursion west. The following is extracted from his journal:
Extracts from Journal of Elder Jonathan Dunham while Engaged on an Exploration in the Western Country. 2
Saturday, July 16, 1843.—Stayed all day at Zarahemla; all night at Mr. Hawley’s
Sunday, 17.—Miss Daniels finished my tent, &c. Left Hawley’s at twelve o’clock, went fifteen miles and camped for the night. In the morning our horses were gone; we hunted for them some time before we found them.
18th July.—Left the camp at seven o’clock; traveled all day; came within sixteen miles of the agency. Camped on the prairie.
Tuesday, 19.—Left the camp at six o’clock; passed the agent’s house, half-past twelve. Came to Sugar Grove creek; stopped, rested our horses, took dinner, &c., at two o’clock p.m.; stopped at dark on Mesquito creek, and stayed all night.
Wednesday, 20.—Started at six o’clock; traveled thirty miles; fell in with the Sac Indians, who had been to the old Sac village after corn. At night they got drunk and fought. We encamped at dark, and stayed all night in the timber, on a bluff bank of the Des Moines river.
Started late in the morning of Thursday, 21st. We traveled until twelve o’clock: stopped in the round flat of the Des Moines river (here another drunken Indian frolic which lasted all the afternoon); left the ground at half-past two p.m. and went thirteen miles; came within twenty miles of the garrison troops, or Sac settlement, and encamped on the edge of the prairie.
Friday, 22nd July.—Left for the Sac village; at noon we got parted from each other, and the Indians got drunk and quarreled; and Captain Joe would not go any further. He lay down, was mad, and I could not get him to go. So I left him and went towards the Sac village. Stayed all night at the trading house.
Saturday morning, 23rd July.—Came to the Sac village, and waited for Captain Joe to arrive with his party.
Sunday, 24.—Stayed at the Sac waiting for my pilot, who was sick and lame in one knee, so that he could not travel.
Monday, 25.—This morning at Wapamuneto’s; stayed until noon of Tuesday, 26th; then Neotanah, my guide came, and we started off immediately for Missouri; stayed on the prairie all night.
Wednesday, 27.—Traveled until noon; baited our horses; no water; we had nothing to eat; continued our journey; it rained all the afternoon; stayed all the night in the prairie; lay in the wet grass.
Thursday, 28.—Started on our journey this morning early. Saw in the forenoon a herd of elk. The Indian went up the hollow to shoot one, while I held the horses out of sight of the elk. He crawled in the grass some fifty or sixty rods, and snapped four times at them when they were lying down; he could not get his gun off. The elk ran off a rifle shot and looked at him. He broke his gun to pieces on the ground and threw it away down the hill, and came back to me swearing mad. Went on until three o’clock, then baited our horses and prepared for a shower that was apparently nigh at hand. We went until sundown, then pitched our tents in the grass; and such rain and thunder and lightning I never before witnessed. Lay all night in the rain. Our tent blew over.
Friday, 29th July.—We dried our things by the fire, and then went on about twenty-five miles; came to a village of the Pottawatamies about sunset: found nobody at home; went into the house of my guide; his wife was dead, and his son and wife gone to the north on a buffalo hunt. We made a fire, and got something to eat. Late in the night there came four Indians and one old squaw; they brought some jerked venison and some half-boiled corn.
Saturday morning, 30th July.—We were sent for to the chief’s house. We went. The Indians, squaws and children came from every quarter to see the man that had come with Neotanah. Breakfast was ready for us as soon as we came in. This was the first time that I ever ate at a wigwam amongst little and great, when the vituals relished as it did at this time; but this is easily accounted for: hunger will make anything that is eatable taste good. Stayed all day at the chief’s house. My rifle seemed to be the great wonder amongst all Indians and squaws; it went the rounds, from one to another, as if it had been one of the seven wonders of the world. This Indian town stands on the creek called the Pottawatamie Tour-se-pas. This creek is from three to eight rods wide, is deep, and often flows its banks. Its length is sixty miles and it enters into the Missouri river, thirty miles from Pottawatamie town.
Sunday, 31.—Nothing this day transpired worth mentioning. About three o’clock p.m. a delegate from the Pottwatamie tribe returned from Iowa river, where he met in council with two of the Sioux and one Winnebago. He said the distance from the Pottawatamies to is five hundred miles.
Monday, 1st August, 1843.—This day I spent in looking up the creek for a mill seat, and found one and two beds of iron ore.
Tuesday, 2.—This morning the chief of the warriors brought me two cat fish, and left them in the wik-a-up where I stayed. I cooked half of one of them, and it eat very good. The Indians all are very kind to me, more so than I could expect. This tribe is somewhat scattered, through the timber up and down the creek; but the main village or town stands on an eminence that overlooks the whole of the rest of the Indian habitations. It appears to be a healthy habitation. The water is good and the climate wholesome. Some considerable timber, though no very great sawing timber, except bass wood, black walnut, some cottonwood. This tribe have been here for six years from Rock river.
The Pottawatamies this side of the Missouri river, they say, will number 2,000 men, women and children. Thirty-four miles from the Pottawatamie town to the Council Bluffs, 200 miles south lies Fort Leavenworth; and about the same distance southeast lies Far West. One hundred miles north is a buffalo country, where the Pottawatamies hunt and catch buffalo.
Wednesday, August 3.—Council met at two o’clock. They own five millions of acres of land. Last annuities, the number was 1,552 souls. Council arose at sunset, when the decision was made that Neotanah should conduct me back again to the agency in Iowa, on the nearest and most convenient route. The head chief was to conduct me home; but in council a messenger arrived and brought news that the superintendent of the annuities had arrived at the garrison, Leavenworth, and the middle of August he would visit the chiefs at Council Bluffs to pay them their money. Be said he was very sorry that he could not conduct me to Nauvoo; he wanted to see the place and the people. The interpreter appeared very friendly indeed, and regretted much that he could not go with me home; but said he would visit Nauvoo in the spring, as early as the weather and streams of water would permit.
Thursday, 4.—This morning I discovered a little dissatisfaction in some, which began to cause a division, that the same Indian that conducted me to their nation should conduct me back again.
The Pawnees on the head of the Big Platte, 150 miles from Council Bluffs.
About the 7th of July, (1843) the Sacs, 600 men, came against the Pawnees, 160. They fought from daylight until noon, killed sixty Sioux and about sixty-two of the Pawnees. The missionary went upon the bluff and saw the battle. They offered no abuse to the whites.
Friday, 5.—Nothing of note passed.
Saturday, 6.—This day I took dinner with a friend, who had just come from the buffalo hunt. His daughter cooked a johnny cake and got some tea; had sugar a plenty, and buffalo meat. This, for the first time that I had seen any corn meal, was pounded in a mortar, and the finest sorted out and baked; but the manner in which it was wet up and shortened was a caution to the hogs. But this all passed over very well. I have no reason to complain, for they did the best they knew how. Severe hunger made all things relish well that was eatable for dogs.
Sunday, 7.—Went down the creek to make some arrangements about returning home. Saw some new Indians, and had to go and dine with them; then, after dinner, went up town and stayed all night.
Monday, 8.—Went about eight or ten miles after wild honey; found two trees, got the honey, and returned home by dark the same day.
Tuesday, 9.—This morning had breakfast of honey, and buffalo meat dried and smoked; then, in about one hour and a half, boiled corn and elk bone broth was served up. This was a great dish amongst the Lamanites; but not so good a dish for me as I have seen in past days in my own land and amongst my own people.
On the 8th instant a great feast was held at the Black Chief’s, called the buffalo feast, or after the buffalo hunt was over; and all returned in safety and all their labors crowned with success. An address was delivered by a subordinate speaker because the chief was very ill. This address or sermon was lengthy and delivered in great oratorical style. At the end of the last sentence the congregation responded a loud amen; then they commenced eating as the feast was prepared already. After the feast the singers commenced to sing, and sang three songs, the dances commenced at a loud whoop from the war chief. After dancing was passed off the priest offered up a prayer to the Great Spirit for giving them good hunting. The congregation then dispersed.
Wednesday, 10.—Another feast was prepared for the lower town, who were absent at the first feast. This last feast held all night, or the dance continued all night.
Thursday, 11.—I went to the lower town and visited them: they also were very friendly. The town is situated on the east bank of the river, about three miles below the middle town, and the middle town about one mile below the upper town. The head chief lives in the middle town and one chief in each of the other towns.
Friday, 12.—All was still and quiet, nothing going on worthy of notice; all busy about their employment. The old men were lying on their couches and smoking their pipes; the old women were making sacks in which to gather their corn and beans and potatoes: the young women were making mats to sleep on and weaving wampum belts for the warriors; the young men were constantly riding from town to town visiting and playing cards and gambling continually after the return from their buffalo hunt, which lasted fourteen days.
When a hunter rides out for elk or deer, and returns with the spoils, he rides to the door of his wigwam, where he finds his wife sitting at work, and a kettle of corn and beans and a little buffalo meat or bones broken, or elk meat, all ready for him. If not quite done, she steps to the next door and returns with his wooden bowl and ladle full. The Indian throws off at the door his meat in a great hurry, unharnesses his horse, lies down on some skins or blankets and eats his food prepared for him, enough for four white men.
The meat is left in charge with the squaw. He has no more care of it. He has done his part in getting the meat and bringing it to his house. The squaws then prepare and dry or smoke the meat. This they call jerking the meat, so that it will not spoil. Meat prepared this way is dried in the blood, and will keep year after year if not eaten before. Nothing of notice occurred through the day.
I spent the forenoon in the town. In the afternoon I went to see the Indian who was appointed by the council to conduct me home. He was gone to the lower town on a drunken frolic. I stayed until he came home, which was a little before sunset. I then returned to my place of lodging. Soon after I had got to bed or laid down upon my blanket, I heard the beating of a drum. An Indian came in, or came to the door and said that we must all attend the feast or dance. At an instant each one caught a bowl and ladle, and ran for the place of gathering. I went with the crowd, though not equipped. I had no bowl or ladle, but was made welcome as though I was an Indian with the rest. A place was prepared for me to sit or lie down as I chose; and as they all lay down, I laid down with the rest, between two large warriors, who soon commenced smoking their pipes. The music was continually playing. After smoking was past, the war chief began to dance, and was followed by his braves with a hideous yell as each fell into the dance. They passed around the room three or four times, and then they were joined by the squaws. They all and each one performed their parts well that was assigned them, from the least to the greatest; and I think better time kept by those that danced I never saw before. All was solemn and silent as though they were going to be burnt at the stake,—except, when the chief gave the whoop, they all answered with a yell that would reach the very heavens. This dance continued about one hour while the supper was preparing. They then all took supper; and after supper, commenced dancing again as usual. This performance lasted until about three o’clock in the morning when all went quietly to their homes.
The next morning, the chief sent for me to take breakfast with him. I immediately went. The two little girls were cooking, frying flour pancakes. The chief’s wife was busily engaged attending on her sick child in s small booth built for that purpose out at the door. These cakes above mentioned, fried by those little girls, were just scorched a little on either side, and the middle was dough. As it was those cakes and sweetened water was a good breakfast.
Saturday morning, 13.—This morning the chief told me that in consequence of being used in the manner I was, in coming to visit them, they had come to the conclusion that they would not let the same Indian go back with me that came with me, and that they had selected in the first council, but after more investigation, they concluded to make a new selection of men that would be more respectable and could do honor to their nation, and have authority to act for the tribe; and it would be satisfactory to the whole nation, as the nation was much displeased with the conduct of Neotanah, and in council gave him a severe flogging, and said that he was not fit to go anywhere amongst the whites. They seemed to express much regret and feeling of sorrow that I had received such treatment from one that pretended to be a friend and an honorable man of the Pottawatomies, for they consider themselves honorable men.
While I now write, I have seven of the most honorable in the tribe around me—the head chief and his counselors. One of them is aged, his head is silvered over with age; while in his prime none could endure more fatigue, none whose constitution was stronger than his: but now he says, he is soon to go and shake hands with the great Shaminyto (that is, God) that had made him, and had given him strength to hunt, and in war to fight his enemies. Here the old man would show the wounds received in battle, in fighting for his nation, his wife and little ones. He said he had never fought but on the defensive. Ninety-eight years, as near as be can remember, he has seen; and now, he says, he wants to know how the Mormons worship the great Shaminyto different from what he did; if the best way, he wanted to get into it before he went on his journey to see the great Shaminyto.
Sunday, 14.—There is no day known amongst these Indians. Every day is alike unto them. They have no day of the month, neither day of the week. All things move on one day after another. They count their months by moons, and twelve moons make a year. They can tell how many years they have lived in the west, and most of them can tell how old they are, &c.
Monday, 15.—This morning the Indians arrived from Missouri, and brought an interpreter, and one to go to the East or to the Mississippi, to conduct me home and to see the big chief. Council is to sit at nine o’clock this morning; but in consequence of the head chief’s child to be buried this morning, council will be called immediately after dinner. The afternoon was spent in business matters, writing, preparing for the journey to Nauvoo.
Tuesday, 16.—This morning I went to see a squaw that was bitten last night by a rattlesnake twice upon the top of her left foot. She was in great pain all night, her foot and leg very much swollen. In the afternoon the Indians all met for worship and to prepare for drawing the blankets and money. They were as merry as bees in a hive, old and young, from the grey head to the suckling on a board. They had their meeting until one o’clock in the morning. Danced and prayed and preached some.
Wednesday, 17.—They commenced again the worship about sunrise, dressed in the richest and best style possible, except some few who were employed in cooking for the rest. Here I will notice that the most profound silence and good order that I ever saw in any congregation whatever, small or great, was observed. All that is wanting to make them the happiest people in the world is the Gospel, a perfect knowledge of it, and to feel its power. Their sectarian creeds and ceremonies would go to the moles and bats soon. Although they labor with as much energy of body and mind, and have as much zeal as the shaking Quakers, yet it is heathen worship, like all other sectarian societies. Their idea of the Supreme Being is much more consistent than many of the holy enlightened sectarians; for the Indians believe in the Great Shaminyto as having body and parts like unto a man.
Thursday, 18.—This morning, we started for Nauvoo. A long and tedious journey to perform lay before us. We had no compass to steer our course by: the sun rising in the morning was our principal guide. Our course was due east. This course we intended to follow as near as we could.
The place we left, Belle Vue, or Mosquito Creek, is in the same latitude as Nauvoo. Therefore on our return, our course must be east; and this direction we followed until we came to the Keosoqua, on the Des Moines river. We traveled fifteen miles unto another Indian village, stayed all night; and in the morning a council was called, and we stayed all day.
Friday, 19.—At the village we got some provisions cooked, and the chief’s brother was sent as a delegate from the band. Our company now consisted of four Indians, one squaw, one interpreter, and myself, seven in number. The interpreter was a white man, half English and half French, formerly from Canada; and since the last war has lived with the Pottawatamies; married a squaw, sister to the chief where we now are. We came to the conclusion to stay all day on Friday, because two of our horses went back to where we first started.
Saturday, 20th of August.—Left the village at ten o’clock. Traveled all day until dark. Encamped on the battle-ground where the Sioux and Pottawattamies and sixteen of the Oneidas fought. I took up one of their blankets to ride on. We started this morning as soon as it was light enough to see to follow the trail.
Sunday, 21.—Came to the Naama river, or creek, at twelve o’clock. Stopped and took dinner on a high bank. On this stream, on either side, is a quantity of timber. Where we crossed is a beautiful mill seat, &c. Traveled until dark, and encamped in the weeds all night.
Monday, 22.—We started at daybreak; went until twelve o’clock; stopped on the east bank of White Breast Creek and took dinner. Here we found plenty of red plums, though not fully ripe; but my comrades dined heartily upon them. This was a good hit for me: when we came to eat dinner they could eat but little. By this means I made out to get nearly enough to satisfy hunger, for I had eaten nothing since the night before. We passed on until we came to English creek. stayed all night.
Tuesday, 23.—Started about sunrise without breakfast. Traveled until two o’clock. Crossed the Des Moines river at Eddyville. There I bought a loaf of wheat bread, a loaf of sweet cake and an apple pie, and went up on the side hill to the Indian Spring, and there we all took dinner. And this was a dinner indeed, good enough for the king. I thought the best that I ever ate in may life; but being so extremely hungry, it was delicious, &c. Came ten miles; stayed all night at Mosquito creek; got two ears of green corn apiece and roasted them.
Wednesday, 24.—This morning we started at day-light, then ten miles from the old agency of the Sacs and Fox. We traveled twenty-five miles beyond the agency, which made thirty-five miles, then encamped for the night. Here we bought some bacon and half a loaf of warm wheat bread.
Thursday, 25.—This morning some rain and showery. We took a bite and then started for Nauvoo city; traveled until sunset, then camped in the woods about twelve miles from Nauvoo. We killed one grey squirrel, and eat a little dry buffalo meat, and lay down in the rain all night.
In the morning we got a few potatoes and boiled them. I killed two grey squirrels and the squaw burned off the hair and boiled them.
Friday, 26.—We traveled all day in the rain, and at night reached the Mississippi river, and encamped on the bank, above the Potter house.
I have seen much delightful country, but the prospect for bee hunting is not as good as I could wish.[N. B. The names of places and distances were procured from the Indians and are not accurate.]
Minutes of a Meeting of the Twelve in New York City.
Meeting opened by prayer.
President Young arose and addressed the meeting in an interesting manner upon the subject of the gathering, the building of the Nauvoo House and Temple. He spoke of the Priesthood, and said that it was a perfect system of government.
In the afternoon the conference reassembled; and Elder Kimball spoke in parables—Gather in the wheat and the tares, thrash the wheat and the mill will blow away the chaff. He said an elder could get a people together and could get them to receive the work, if he did not whip the sects so much. He compared such elders to a shepherd who would call up a buck and a flock of sheep and hand them a little salt; and just as they begin to eat, hit him with a club across the head, and the sheep will run away.
Elder George A. Smith followed and bore testimony of the work. Spoke of the elders spending their time in speaking about mysteries and speculating about things beyond the grave which they did not understand. Advised them to wait till God revealed hidden mysteries to them before they undertook to preach them to the people. * * * * Elder Smith counseled the elders to be wise enough to let such things alone, in other words to tell the good things of the kingdom which we have received and do understand, and wait patiently until the Lord takes off the veil of darkness. He spoke of the collegiate education he received from President Joseph Smith which was to preach short sermons and make short prayers, which had done him much good in life.
President Brigham Young said the scriptures had been mystified to that degree that the greatest divines of the day are as ignorant as the dumb ass concerning the things of God; comparatively they don’t know their right hand from their left. We try to revere the scriptures and to make them so simple that the people can understand them. Place a man in this room who is ignorant of science, and take everything out that he can see and then ask him if there is anything in the room. He will say, No, only we two. I tell him there are millions of live animals in the room—that we even breath them; and I will show him by the aid of the microscope that there are live animals in a drop of water, which appear to be eight feet long; but he won’t believe it until he sees it through the magnifying glass. So with the unbeliever in revelation He does not believe in God, in angels or in spirits, because he cannot see them; but let him have spiritual glasses, or obey the commandments of God, get the Spirit of God, and then he can see the truth.
Answer: Yes, if they wish, they may make laws to stick their fingers into their eyes; but it is like the man who habituated himself to sticking his fingers into a knot-hole in a board partition every morning, until custom compelled him to do it; for having omitted it one morning he felt so curiously at the breakfast table, that he could not eat. He then bethought himself, went and put his finger into the knot-hole and returned with a good appetite, and ate a hearty breakfast. 3
Elder Young said that if elders or high priests are so situated that they cannot get word from the Prophet or the Twelve Apostles, they may get a revelation concerning themselves. The Twelve may get a revelation in any part of the world concerning the building up of the kingdom, as they have to establish it in all parts of the world. So any person can ask the Lord for a witness concerning himself, and get an answer, but not to lead the Church: that belongs to the head of the Church.
Conference met at half-past ten o’clock, according to adjournment. Meeting opened by singing. Prayer by Elder Jedediah M. Grant. The congregation was then addressed by Elder Wilford Woodruff from 2 Peter 1:20, 21: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
If the prophecies that had been fulfilled were fulfilled literally, in like manner would those prophecies which are still unfulfilled be fulfilled literally. The gathering of the Saints, the building up of Zion, the gathering of the Jews, the rebuilding of Jerusalem, the establishing of the Church and kingdom of God in the last days, and the preaching of the Gospel to aIl the world are events looked for by the Latter-day Saints. And notwithstanding these things are unpopular, and not looked for or believed in by the world, yet we feel encouraged to persevere and press forward in assisting to accomplish these great and glorious things, with a firm belief that they will as truly be brought to pass and perfected as those things were which were prophesied in ancient days. He also bore testimony of the truth of the Book of Mormon, Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and of Joseph Smith being a prophet of God.
Elder Kimball gave his testimony, when the meeting took a recess for two hours.
In the afternoon, after Elder John E. Page had addressed the meeting, Elder George T. Leach was appointed to preside over the Church in New York, in place of Elder L. R. Foster, who was about to remove to Nauvoo. After which several children were blessed, and the meeting adjourned until evening; at which time Elder Orson Pratt addressed the people in an edifying manner concerning the Book of Mormon, its history, what it was, &c.; that it was a history of nearly one-half of the globe, and the people that inhabited it; that it gave a history and names of cities that have been of late discovered by Catherwood and Stephens; that it spoke for the establishing of our government; and what is more highly interesting, it reveals its final fate and destiny; so that, by reading the Book of Mormon, you can clearly see what will befall this nation, and what will be its final end. 4
In that book you will find recorded the pure principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as taught by Himself on the continent of America, so plain that no two persons could disagree as to the points of doctrine set forth. He then bore testimony of the truth of Joseph Smith being a prophet of God, and that the Book of Mormon was true; also that the Church of the Latter-day Saints was the Church of God. He spoke about two hours; and after he closed five children were blessed, and then the people were dismissed.
August 27.—I attended meeting at the stand at ten a.m., and made a few remarks; the following report of which is by Dr. Willard Richards:
Address of the Prophet—Sidney Rigdon’s Status—The Priesthood Expounded.
Two weeks ago today something was said about Elder Sidney Rigdon, and a vote was taken to disfellowship him and to demand his license, on account of a report brought by Elder Hyde from Quincy.
He [President Smith] then read a letter from Thomas Carlin to Sidney Rigdon as follows:
Quincy, Illinois, August 18, 1843.
Dear Sir:—Yours of the 15th instant was received, but noting time to answer it by return mail. You say that a Mr. Orson Hyde, on board of the steamboat Anawan a short time since, was told by an officer of the boat that a Mr. Prentice, in the vicinity of Quincy, said that some person in high standing in the Church of Latter-day Saints in this place (Quincy) had an interview with you (me) said he would use all the influence that his circumstances would admit of to have Joseph Smith arrested and delivered into the hands of the Missourians, &c. This interview is said to have taken place at the time the first warrant was issued against Smith, and since the last warrant was issued, that the same person had written to you, (me) or had an interview with you, giving the same assurances. It has been publicly said in this town that I (Sidney Rigdon) was the person who had this interview or interviews and correspondence with you. Now, sir, it gives me pleasure to be perfectly able to disabuse you. I have not seen you to my recollection, nor had any correspondence with you, until the present, since 1839; and in all the intercourse I have had with you I have always looked upon you as one of the most devoted followers of Joseph Smith and one of the pillars of the Church of Latter-day Saints. I never sought through the aid of any person to entrap Joseph Smith. A faithful discharge of my official duties was all that I attempted or desired.
Your obedient servant,
Thomas Carlin.[He, President Smith] then resumed: The letter is one of the most evasive things, and carries with it a design to hide the truth. Has any man been concerned in a conspiracy to deliver Joseph Smith to Missouri? If so, who?
He then read the 7th chap. Hebrews. Salem is designed for a Hebrew term. It should be Shiloam, which signifies righteousness and peace: as it is, it is nothing—neither Hebrew, Greek, Latin, French, nor any other language.
I say to all those who are disposed to set up stakes for the Almighty, You will come short of the glory of God.
To become a joint heir of the heirship of the Son, one must put away all his false traditions.
I prophesy and bear record this morning that all the combined powers of earth and hell shall not and cannot ever overthrow or overcome this boy, for I have a promise from the eternal God.
If I have sinned, I have sinned outwardly; but surely I have contemplated the things of God.
Respecting the Melchizedek Priesthood, the sectarians never professed to have it; consequently they never could save any one, and would all be damned together. There was an Episcopal priest who said he had the priesthood of Aaron, but had not the priesthood of Melchizedek: and I bear testimony that I never have found the man who claimed the Priesthood of Melchizedek. The power of the Melchizedek priesthood is to have the power of “endless lives;” for the everlasting covenant cannot be broken.
The law was given under Aaron for the purpose of pouring out judgments and destructions.
The sectarian world are going to hell by hundreds, by thousands and by millions.
There are three grand orders of priesthood referred to here.
1st. The King of Shiloam. (Salem) had power and authority over that of Abraham, holding the key and the power of endless life. Angels desire to look into it, but they have set up too many stakes. God cursed the children of Israel because they would not receive the last law from Moses.
The sacrifice required of Abraham in the offering up of Isaac, shows that if a man would attain to the keys of the kingdom of an endless life; he must sacrifice all things. When God offers a blessing or knowledge to a man, and he refuses to receive it, he will be damned. The Israelites prayed that God would speak to Moses and not to them; in consequence of which he cursed them with a carnal law.
What was the power of Melchizedek? ‘Twas not the Priesthood of Aaron which administers in outward ordinances, and the offering of sacrifices. Those holding the fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood are kings and priests of the Most High God, holding the keys of power and blessings. In fact, that priesthood is a perfect law of theocracy, and stands as God to give laws to the people, administering endless lives to the sons and daughters of Adam.
Abraham says to Melchizedek, I believe all that thou hast taught me concerning the priesthood and the coming of the Son of Man; so Melchizedek ordained Abraham and sent him away. Abraham rejoiced, saying, Now I have a priesthood.
Salvation could not come to the world without the mediation of Jesus Christ.
How shall God come to the rescue of this generation? He will send Elijah the prophet. The law revealed to Moses in Horeb never was revealed to the children of Israel as a nation.
Elijah shall reveal the covenants to seal the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers.
The anointing and sealing is to be called, elected and made sure.
“Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like unto the Son of God, abideth a priest continually.” The Melchizedek Priesthood holds the right from the eternal God, and not by descent from father and mother; and that priesthood is as eternal as God Himself, having neither beginning of days nor end of life.
The 2nd Priesthood is Patriarchal authority. Go to and finish the temple, and God will fill it with power, and you will then receive more knowledge concerning this priesthood.
The 3rd is what is called the Levitical Priesthood, consisting of priests to administer in outward ordinance, made without an oath; but the Priesthood of Melchizedek is by an oath and covenant.
The Holy Ghost is God’s messenger to administer in all those priesthoods.
Jesus Christ is the heir of this Kingdom—the only begotten of the Father according to the flesh, and holds the keys over all this world.
Men have to suffer that they may come upon Mount Zion and be exalted above the heavens.
I know a man that has been caught up to the third heavens, and can say, with Paul, that we have seen and heard things that are not lawful to utter.
Fifteen minutes past one, closed my address.
Sidney Rigdon said: “I never saw Governor Carlin but three times, and never exchanged a word with any man living on the subject. 5 I ask pardon for having done anything which should give occasion to make you think so.”
In the evening I attended council and prayer meeting with my brother Hyrum, Newel K. Whitney, Willard Richards, William Law and William Marks.
Monday, 28.—I was visited by a deputation of Pottawattamie Indians.
Tuesday, 29.—Elder Brigham Young paid a visit to James Arlington Bennett, Arlington House, Long Island, and baptized and confirmed him next day.
I held a mayor’s court and tried several cases. Erastus H. Derby was bound over to keep the peace for six months. Previous to the close of the trial he gave up his license as an elder to the Church Recorder.
Wednesday, 30.—The Nauvoo Neighbor publishes an article from the Boston Bee, upholding the chartered rights of Nauvoo.
Thursday, 31.—I commenced removing into the Nauvoo Mansion.
(END OF VOLUME V.)
4. This statement of Elder Orson Pratt’s views is doubtless faulty. The Book of Mormon does not predict what will befall our nation, The United States, nor “its final end.” But it contains a conditional prophecy in relation to the two American continents. These continents are a promised land. They are given, according to the Book of Mormon, primarily to the descendants of the Patriarch Joseph, son of Jacob, as an inheritance, but the Gentile races are also given an inheritance in them with the descendants of Joseph. The whole land, however, is dedicated to righteousness and liberty and the people who possess it, whether of the house of Israel or Gentile must be a righteous people and worship “the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ.” In that event God stands pledged to preserve the land and the people thereof, free from bondage of all other nations, and to bless them with very great and peculiar blessings, guaranteeing to them freedom and peaceful possession of the land forever. If the Gentile races shall observe these conditions they and their children are to share in the blessings of the land in connection with the descendants of the Patriarch Joseph. But if they depart from justice, reject righteousness and Jesus Christ, then judgments of destruction decreed in the Book of Mormon, will overtake them until they are wasted away. This is the decree of God respecting the western hemisphere, and is one of the important messages that the Book of Mormon has to deliver to the present generation. See Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 1:5-12; alsoEther 1:42; 3 Nephi 20:14-20; 3 Nephi 20:27, 28; 3 Nephi 21:11-25; also “New Witness for God Vol. 3, pp. 314-323. But it will be seen that these prophecies are conditional, and therefore cannot be held to be predictions of what the final end of our nation, the United States and other nations of the American continents, will be, since it yet remains to be demonstrated whether they will abide or violate the conditions upon which they may possess the continents perpetually.
Erratum: At page 504 a line is omitted in the third paragraph, forth line. This should be inserted after the word “commanded;”—and because they did none other thing than that which they were commanded—