The Story of Continued Progress of the Church in Nauvoo, in Europe and in the United States—Plea for the Return of James Emmett’s Company
“Saturday January 18, 1845.—I called at Elder Willard Richards’ and left some correspondence: proceeded to the Temple.
Sunday, 19.—The seventies met at their hall. Presidents for the sixteenth and seventeenth quorums were set apart; fifty persons were ordained. Afternoon the high priests’ quorum met; President George Miller preached on the subject of Intemperance. In the evening I met the police and instructed them in their duties.
Monday, 20.—I called on Elder Willard Richards and found him engaged on the History.
Tuesday, 21.—Forenoon, with Elders Kimball and Richards at the Historian’s Office. Wrote a letter to my brother, Phineas H., with counsel for the saints in Kirtland to come to Nauvoo, that all who have faith in the latter-day work may be united with us in building the Temple.
Evening, I met in council with Elders Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, George A. Smith and Amasa M. Lyman; we wrote to Elder Jedediah M. Grant, Philadelphia, counseling him to forward all the young men and other available help he could to build the Temple.
Wednesday, 22.—Forenoon, Elder Orson Pratt wrote a letter, in behalf of the council, to Elder Parley P. Pratt. Afternoon, I went to the Historian’s Office accompanied by Elders Kimball and Taylor. The letters to Elders Grant and Pratt were read and approved. A copy of Elder Pratt’s letter was sent to Wm. Smith.
Evening, accompanied by my wife I attended a party at Brother Woodruff’s, Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor, George A. Smith, W. W. Phelps and their wives were present.
Elder Elias Smith received a letter from A. W. Babbitt, Springfield, Ill., with the information that he was before the Legislative House Committee on Banks and Corporations pertaining to the bill for the unconditional repeal of the Nauvoo Charter. Jacob A. Davis made a strong anti-Mormon speech before said committee and presented them with a full file of the Nauvoo Neighbor containing the ordinances passed by the city council. Mr. Backenstos was also before the committee and pleaded like an apostle for the rights of his constituents. The committee inquired of Mr. Babbitt as to ‘bogus-making’—spiritual wife doctrine—and whether he believed in [Joseph] Smith’s revelations. He had made two speeches before the committee, but believed they would recommend the passage of the bill. 1
Thursday, 23.—I wrote to Elder Ezra T. Benson: called at the Trustees Office; went to the Temple; called at Elder Richards’, Kimball’s, Taylor’s and Hyde’s. Found Brother John Scott at my house who said Brother Aaron Smith had just returned from Appanoose and said Wilson Law was there lecturing to the mob; counseling them to drive the ‘Mormons’ from Nauvoo before the Temple was done or they never could.
Friday, 24.—Elders Heber C. Kimball and N. K. Whitney were at my house. Elder Orson Hyde returned from St. Louis, Mo.
The plasterers finished plastering the Concert Hall. This building is thirty feet by fifty and eleven feet high. The ceiling is arched and has sounding jars. It has been built amidst difficulty and discouragement in consequence of poverty, and has cost nearly one thousand dollars: much of the burden has laid on the Trustees, Stephen H. Goddard, Wm. F. Cahoon, and Wm. Clayton.
Saturday, 25.—I went to the Temple this morning, thence with Elder Kimball, my brother Joseph, and Marshal Jon. C. Wright, to Brother Richards’ office.
High Priest’ Hall Contemplated.
Sunday, 26.—I attended the regular meeting of the high priests’ quorum at the Masonic Hall. George Miller presiding, who introduced the subject of building a hall for the use of the quorums of high priests one hundred and twenty feet long by eighty wide, and about thirty-three feet high. I asked all that were in favor of having such a hall built, and were willing to do something towards building it, and not merely look on and see their brethren build it, to raise their hands; all hands were raised. I told them such a building as had been proposed would not cost less than fifteen thousand dollars. Two years ago or even one year ago we had not a public hall in this city. The room in Brother Joseph’s store was the only one where a congregation could convene. A year ago last fall I said to the seventies that if I were as strong and numerous a body as they were, I would go to work and put up a building that I might have a place to worship in. They put up their building, but the plan being altered, at the suggestion of Brother Hyrum, they had to wait for timber and could not finish it that season. Should the high priests commence the erection of the building proposed, next fall will come and even winter and the quorum will still be without a place to meet in, and probably the next season would pass away before it could be finished. I proposed to the quorum to finish off the upper story of the Temple in which they could receive their washings and anointings and endowments instead of undertaking a building from the commencement: this proposition was received by unanimous vote.
Elder Heber C. Kimball preached in the Concert Hall.
News of Nauvoo’s Charter Being Repealed.
The seventies met in their hall. President Joseph Young presiding, James M. Munroe expressed his willingness to teach the seventies English grammar. Elder George A. Smith spoke on the benefits arising from education; he said the saints should improve and be diligent in acquiring knowledge, this people and their gathering together has been made a political question, and we are a bone for all the world to pick at; Lawyer Babbitt had written that the legislature had repealed the city charter of Nauvoo, and there was a great rejoicing among the priests at their victory.
Admonitions by President Joseph Young.
President Joseph Young spoke of the importance of being able to speak correctly. He lectured the youth who joined the quorums as to obedience; said, if he knew of a man belonging to these quorums stealing we would be cut off the church and published in the Neighbor. The saints had always taught honesty, virtue and uprightness—the lives of thousands were jeopardized by rascals and hypocrites, who would call you brother and pilfer your property; such were neither fit to be called saints nor decent human beings, they would go to hell. The names of several suspected of stealing were mentioned. James Dunn was cut off, two members were called in question for drunkenness.
Evening, I attended prayer meeting.
Monday, 27.—Attended to sending off fifty missionaries and forwarding letters to Elders Parley P. Pratt, Wm. Smith and J. M. Grant. Elder Kimball preached the funeral sermon of Sister Perrygrine Sessions.
Evening, at Dr. Richards’ office; I dictated a letter to Joshua Grant and heard several articles read.
I insert minutes of meeting of the Presidents of Seventies:
Minutes of Seventies Council
‘Meeting opened by singing and prayer. President Joseph Young spoke upon the lack of wisdom and economy of the members of this church. As an example he quoted the teaching of a certain elder, a president of one of the quorums, who told the people he considered the Twelve Apostles to be God to us. This sentiment expressed to many was not only dangerous to the community, but was calculated to jeopardize the lives of the Twelve. The same allusion was made to Joseph, and the reply of the mob was, well if Jo Smith is their God we will kill their God, and so they did, and it may be so with the Twelve. The brethren should speak and act in wisdom for their own sake as well as for the truth’s sake. There are brethren in these quorums and even presidents who are connected with a body of those consecrating thieves, who pretend to say that they have a right to consecrate from the Gentiles, but such will steal from their brethren as well as others.
Several elders spoke on the subject, expressing their sense of the propriety of expelling said members from the church and publishing their names.
The clerk, Elder John D. Lee, said that some of the brethren were probably too hasty in their decision according to his view of the matter. He considered that if the elders acted with discretion they must not be excited nor influenced by passion and remarked that did the elders possess the power of Jehovah in their present weak condition in less than twenty-four hours the earth would be depopulated, especially should the elders be vested with that power in turns, for what would be spared by one would likely be destroyed by another.
Forebearance With Sinners as Some May Repent.
President Brigham Young arose and said, ‘When men have come into our midst who were as corrupt as the devil himself, many have supposed it would have been better to have cut their throats with a feather and exposed their sink of corruption, and let them go to hell where they belonged, than to have borne with them as Brother Joseph Smith did; but this course would meet with a conflicting argument. To stop a man in his career would be taking away his agency. Cain was permitted to live, peradventure, he might repent of his wickedness, and redeem a portion of his time, and thereby obtain a glory and salvation, though not a full salvation; and this is the reason that Brother Joseph bore so long with Jackson 2 and others, that peradventure they might, notwithstanding they had been guilty of murder and robbery, come to the waters of baptism through repentance, and redeem a part of their allotted time. If they were cut off from the earth they might with propriety come up in the day of judgment and say we took away their agency, which if we had let alone, they would have repented of their sins and redeemed a part of their time. The presidents of seventies should be men of wisdom and know how to save men instead of destroying them; for example let a hot-headed president stand at the head of a quorum and let some of the members of his quorum be overtaken in a fault, it would make no difference how small or great the offense might be, the first steps that would be taken (instead of going in a private manner, as a prudent reflecting president should and teach the guilty the law of redemption, bind up the breach and thereby save a soul from ruin) would be to have the offense made public—have the accused arraigned before the quorum in order to ferret out the crime, thus increasing the wound, especially if it should be an interruption between a man and his wife; the offense having become public, confidence is lost, not only in the accused, but the parties concerned lose confidence in each other, their reputation sinks, consequently despair rushes into the troubled soul, who is thus rashly treated and he or they suppose they have not a friend on earth, consequently imagine it is useless for them to try to redeem their former standing, and in fact instances have been known of individuals under like circumstances giving up to intoxication and finally become the most miserable dissipated and abandoned wretches on earth; whereas, had wisdom been used, the soul might have been reclaimed and saved by casting the mantle of charity around them and thereby covering up a multitude of sins. This is what is meant by the mantle of charity that Paul speaks of [covering a multitude of sins].
We should be charitable, liberal, patient and forbearing with each other and above all never blast each others’ characters, rather hide each others faults with the mantle of charity; for when but few know your faults they seem but few, but expose them and they become multitudes.’
U.S. Land Grant Sought in Michigan.
Tuesday, 28.—I met in council with Elders Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor, John E. Page, Bishops Whitney and Miller, Reynolds Cahoon and Elias Smith, when was read a letter from Wm. P. Richards, Esq., Macomb, McDonough county, Illinois, to Bishop George Miller suggesting the propriety of petitioning congress for a grant of land twenty-four miles square in the pineries or other uninhabited portions of public domain to be set apart as a reserve for the saints, with power to make our own local arrangements, and enact laws not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States. This he considers necessary in consequence of the irreconcilable feelings of the public in relation to us as a religious body: his communication with the correspondence thereon was published in the Neighbor.
Backenstos Reports Prejudice in Illinois Legislature.
Wednesday, 29.—I called at Elder Richards’ office with Elder Kimball and Thomas Kingston and read a letter 3 from J. B. Backenstos informing us of the strong prejudice entertained by the members of the legislative assembly and the determined spirit evinced to repeal the Nauvoo City Charter; also informing us that John Dougherty, senator from Union county, openly justified the murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and that the senate had discharged from arrest Jacob C. Davis, one of their number, who was indicted for murder. Mr. Backenstos had appealed to the sense of justice, equal rights, patriotism and humanity possessed by the members of the house of representatives in vain. His colleague Mr. Babbitt and himself had done their duty.
Afternoon, attended council.
Evening, I assisted Brother Kimball to prepare his Journal for the press, and blessed his child, Brigham Willard.
Legality of Repeal of Nauvoo Charters Questioned.
Thursday, 30.—Attended council with the authorities of the city, pertaining to the action of the legislature in repealing the City Charter. The council agreed to have the city election go on tomorrow, not knowing whether the governor would pass or veto the bill. A committee was appointed to confer with legal gentlemen in relation to the legitimacy of the legislature repealing a charter granted for the term of perpetual succession.
* * *
Friday, 31.—Elders Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor, Willard Richards and W. W. Phelps engaged in writing letters to eminent jurists, inquiring as to the constitutionality of the action of the Illinois legislature in repealing the City Charter of Nauvoo.
Received a letter from Elder Parley P. Pratt in relation to the prosperity of the church under his care, [i.e. N. Y.] and the great demand for Books of Doctrine and Covenants and Hymn Books.
A meeting was held in the Seventies’ Hall, for the purpose of forming a Mercantile and Mechanical Association, Elder John Taylor, chairman. Twelve trustees were elected to control the association, viz. Daniel Garn, Samuel Bent, Shadrach Roundy, Charles C. Rich, John D. Lee, L. N. Scovil, Joseph Worthen, Joseph Horn, Hosea Stout, Edward Hunter, Gustavus Williams and Charles A. Davis.
Bishops Whitney and Miller, Trustees-in-Trust for the church published the following:
Agents Appointed for Receiving Donations and Tithing for Building the Temple
‘To Whom It May Concern: This certifies that the following named elders have been appointed by the proper authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, agents to collect donations and tithings for the Temple in Nauvoo and for other purposes; and have complied with all necessary requirements by entering into bonds to our entire satisfaction. We hope they will be received as such by all people wherever they may travel. [Then follow the names of 46 elders so appointed].
We hope also that the brethren will have confidence in them, inasmuch as we hold ourselves responsible to credit on the Book of Law of the Lord, for all donations put into their hands, to the names of the donors on their tithing.
Inasmuch as this is a very good opportunity, and inasmuch as we feel very anxious that all should double their exertions in order to finish the building of the Temple the next season, that the saints may receive their endowments; we hope the saints universally will embrace the opportunity, and donate liberally, that they may the more speedily receive their reward, for great things depend on our finishing the building of the Temple with speed.’
Saturday, February 1, 1845.—At ten a.m. I met with Elders John Taylor, Willard Richards, Orson Spencer, George Miller, W. W. Phelps and L. R. Foster in committee to complete the letters to eminent jurists [i. e. on legality of the repeal of the Nauvoo Charter].
Sunday, 2.—I preached in the Concert Hall, to a crowded assembly. Elder Orson Hyde preached in the Masonic Hall. Elder Heber C. Kimball preached at Brother Gully’s at candle light; Father John Smith and Bishop Miller made a few remarks.
The seventies met at their hall in the evening, Elders George A. Smith, Joseph Young and others preached; several were ordained into the quorums, and several presidents were set apart for the eighteenth quorum. I spent the evening at home with my family.
City Election in Nauvoo.
Monday, 3.—The following officers were elected without a dissenting vote (about 900 votes polled):
Mayor: Orson Spencer.
Aldermen: Daniel Spencer, N. K. Whitney, George W. Harris and Charles C. Rich.
Councilors: David Fullmer, John Pack, George Miller, W. W. Phelps, Jonathan C. Wright, Samuel Bent, Phineas Richards, James Sloan and Edward Hunter.
I received the following communication from the attorney-general of the state of Illinois:
A Friendly Letter from Josiah Lamborn, State Official
‘Springfield, 28th Jan., 1845.
You and I were slightly acquainted heretofore, though I presume you have forgotten me. During my sojourn here this winter, I have carefully watched the progress of events and particularly so in reference to your friends and fellow citizens of Nauvoo. Throughout all the persecutions and abuses which have been heaped upon you, though I have been far removed from any political or pecuniary influence which might bias my mind; yet I have always considered that your enemies have been prompted by religious and political prejudices and by a desire for plunder and blood, more than for the common good. By the repeal of your charter and by refusing all amendments and modifications our legislature has given a kind of sanction to the barbarous manner in which you have been treated.
Your two representatives exerted themselves to the extent of their abilities in your behalf, but the tide of popular passion and frenzy was too strong to be resisted. It is truly a melancholy spectacle to witness the lawmakers of a sovereign state condescending to pander to the vices, ignorance and malevolence of a class of people who are at all times ready for riot, murder and rebellion. You had many true friends here. Most of the intelligent gentlemen out of the legislature felt that you were an injured and an outraged people. The members living nearest to your city and having better means of information than those living remotely, sustained and defended you to the last. The opposition was made up of the body of the whig party, together with such demagogues of the other party as could be cajoled and bamboozled by the whigs.
There is now presented to the house a new charter for your city. It is referred to a select committee. What its fate may be no man can tell. Your senator, Jacob C. Davis, has done much to poison the minds of members against anything in your favor. He walks at large in defiance of law, an indicted murderer. If a Mormon was in his position the senate would afford no protection, but he would be dragged forth to the jail or to the gallows or to be shot down by a cowardly and brutal mob.
All you have to do is to be quiet, submissive to the laws and circumspect in your conduct. Heap coals of fire on their heads by humility and kindness, and my word for it, there will be a mighty reaction in the public sentiment, which will ultimately overthrow all your enemies. The sober second thought of the people will always be fight, and heaven will protect you against all the assaults of a corrupt and bloodthirsty rabble.
Excuse me for attempting to give you advice. I do not wish to interfere with your affairs or to dictate in any way to your minds. My motives are those of friendship springing warm from my heart and the same which would control in relation to all mankind.
Yours, etc.[Signed] Josiah Lamborn.
Tuesday, 4.—I met in council with the authorities of the church. Afternoon, Elder Kimball visited Mother Smith.
Thursday, 6.—I preached in the Concert Hall to a large congregation on the occasion of the death of Alonzo W. N. Whitney.
Friday, 7.—A meeting was held of the Council of the Trades Association. Elders John Taylor, George A. Smith and Amasa M. Lyman attended.
Sunday, 9.—Elder Kimball and I preached at Brother Horner’s Mill; had a good meeting with the brethren: many came to hear us.
Seventy’s Quorums to be Purged of Wickedness.
Meeting at the stand: Elders John Taylor and George A. Smith preached on the necessity of the people sustaining themselves by home productions and their industry; manufacturing their own clothing and being united and keeping such good order that the repeal of the city charters would be no injury to the community.
Afternoon, high priests’ quorum met.
Seventies met in their hall. President Joseph Young said he meant by the assistance of the great God to cut off all liars, swearers, bogus-makers and bogus-circulators and endeavor to purify the bodies of the seventies from filth and wickedness. Seven presidents were set apart, and thirty members ordained for the nineteenth quorum. Elder Amasa M. Lyman addressed the meeting on the subject of order.
The branch at Quincy, Illinois, held a conference. There were represented one hundred members, including nine high priests, one seventy, twelve elders and two priests, one teacher and one deacon.
Monday, 10.—Meeting of the Presidents of Seventies at early candle light. After the business before the meeting was attended to, I instructed the elders on the subject of revelation; showing how the Lord dealt with his children in revealing to them here a little and there a little, as they were capacitated to receive, comprehend and improve upon, named baptism for the dead in which the Lord first revealed the principle, then the order. Elders John E. Page and George A. Smith bore testimony.
Tuesday, 11.—Elders Kimball, Page, Taylor, Smith, Lyman and myself met with the Trades Committee.
Afternoon, attended meeting at Elder Taylor’s with a Committee of the Agricultural and Manufacturing Society. It was proposed that the citizens be invited to subscribe twelve thousand days work, which it was estimated would put a sufficient dam in the Mississippi to propel machinery.
Mr. John C. Elliott, one of the murderers of Joseph and Hyrum Smith was arrested by John Kay.
With other items, I wrote Elder Woodruff the following:
President Young’s Letter to Elder Woodruff in England
‘It will rejoice your heart to hear that we have a remarkable mild winter, clear and pleasant, no snow, and peace in the city, as it does ours to live here and enjoy it. Though the papers report a total repeal of the Nauvoo Charter by a large majority in both houses, we remain undisturbed, and city affairs go on as usual. We expect to appeal to the U. S. court.
The stone is nearly hewn for the Temple; a stone font is about to be erected, the woodwork is progressing rapidly under a temporary roof in the basement story, and we hope to commence the endowments next fall or early in the winter. We will not send many elders to England until after the endowment.
You will please call at Stationer’s Hall, London, the first opportunity, and get or by some means procure a copy of the ‘copyright of the Book of Mormon’ and safely keep it until further notice. The saints are more engaged than ever to finish the Temple, and it is desirable that tithings be forwarded from all branches at the earliest safe conveyance.
The different quorums are becoming perfected in their several organizations, by which means the elders are learning their duty. Union, love and peace were never more universal among the saints at Nauvoo, than at the present time. Brother Willard is convalescent, collecting materials for history and much regrets the absence of Elder Woodruff’s Journals.’
Wednesday, 12.—Mr. Elliott was examined before justices Aaron Johnson, Daniel H. Wells, Isaac Higbee and committed to Carthage jail to await his trial at the next term of the circuit court.
Thursday, 13.—I met in council with the Twelve and others. With Elders Willard Richards, George A. Smith, and others, I spent the evening at Elder Kimball’s: had a good time.
Brethren Arrested at Yelrome on False Pretenses.
Friday, 14.—Father Morley arrived from Yelrome near Lima, Adams county, bringing word that five of the brethren there had been arrested charged with larceny; he says that property had been concealed on their premises and recovered by a search warrant, on the principle ‘those that hide can find’. These proceedings were had to produce excitement, and a warrant is said to be out for Father Morley. I met with the Twelve and others and prayed for the deliverance of these brethren. Father Morley was counseled to remove his family to Nauvoo and Solomon Hancock was appointed to preside over that branch. Dr. John M. Bernhisel was appointed a Traveling Bishop to visit the churches. Some conversation ensued on the subject of sending six brethren with Brother Lewis Dana to the west and especially to Texas.
Saturday, 15.—A conference was held in Lipsey, Tuscaloosa county, Alabama. Five branches were represented containing one hundred and forty-one members, including twenty-four officers, A. O. Smoot, presided.
Died—in Nauvoo, Asa Works, Sen., aged eighty-three years, after a sickness of six months.
A Soldier of the American Revolution Dies.
He served his country as a soldier in the American Revolution; was in the battles of Bennington and Monmouth, in the latter of which he received a wound in his left arm between the shoulder and elbow,—underwent a great deal of hardship, privation and hunger in helping to gain American independence.
In the year 1838, he emigrated to Far West, Missouri, at which place he was called to witness the violation of that liberty he fought to obtain. He endured with the Latter-day Saints all the persecution and suffering inflicted upon them in 1838 and 9 in Missouri; and since that time has lived in exile in the state of Illinois. Brother Asa Works was the father of my first wife, Miriam.
Sunday, 16.—Elder Amasa M. Lyman preached in the Masonic Hall. The seventies from the first to the eighth quorums met in their hall. Elder Zerah Pulsipher preached. Elder George A. Smith preached to the high priests: three persons were ordained high priests. Evening, I attended prayer meeting at the Trustees’ Office.
Monday, 17.—Meeting of the Presidents of Seventies. Measures were adopted to facilitate the building of President Joseph Young’s house.
Tuesday, 18.—The Board of the Mercantile and Mechanical Association met at the Masonic Hall and proceeded to organize.
I attended a council at President John Smith’s, and ordained Wm. Perkins bishop of Macedonia and Andrew H. Perkins his counselor.
Thursday, 20.—I called at Elder W. Richards office with Elders Joseph Young, George A. Smith and Amasa M. Lyman. I heard a recital of the Haun’s Mill Massacre by my brother Joseph: afterwards went to the Temple.
Friday, 21.—I preached at Brother Robert Pierce’s on the occasion of the funeral of Brother Morris Whitesides.
Saturday, 22.—I attended meeting of the high council in the Seventies’ Hall: a full quorum present.
Sunday, 23.—I preached at Hiram Kimball’s, Elders Heber C. Kimball and George A. Smith administered the sacrament: had a good meeting.
Meeting of seventies in their hall. Elders P. B. Lewis made a few remarks. President Joseph Young spoke of the principle of receiving revelation from God.
Meeting at Bishop Hale’s. Elder Dunham preached, followed by Mother Smith, who gave a recital of the persecutions endured by her family, in establishing the church, and exhorted the brethren and sisters to bring up their children in the way they should go; there were meetings held in the Concert and Masonic Halls.
Afternoon, high priests quorum met, Elder Kimball preached.
Evening, the Twelve Apostles and others met in council and for prayer.
Monday, 24.—In company with Elders Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, Amasa M. Lyman, George Miller, William Clayton, George D. Grant, E. D. Woolley, John Kay and John L. Smith I went to Macedonia; we were armed with forty-six rounds, loaded pistols,
After the company partook of refreshments, we met at Brother Benjamin F. Johnson’s and enjoyed a pleasant evening; Brother Kay sang a number of songs.
Evening, the Presidents of Seventies met in their hall. The charges against James Carrol and Hiram Gates, were investigated and they were expelled from the church. The brethren agreed to trade with those merchants who sustained good order and honored the laws of the city.
Tuesday, 25.—I spent the day in Macedonia, settling the church business with Elder B. F. Johnson. The company from Nauvoo dined at Elder Wm. G. Perkins’.
Premonitions of President Young.
Afternoon, visited the saints. Evening. Elders Orson Pratt, Amasa M. Lyman, George Miller and I preached. Chatted at Brother Johnson’s till after midnight. I told the brethren that all was not right and that we would have some of the brethren from Nauvoo before daybreak; George D. Grant and John Kay agreed to watch during the night. A rumor having reached Nauvoo that Elder Kimball and I were in Carthage jail, Elders John E. Page, John Taylor, Willard Richards, George A. Smith, and Charles C. Rich, met in Nauvoo at Elder Taylor’s and investigated the report, and though they did not believe it, they deemed it prudent to dispatch Brother Hosea Stout and seven of the old police to Macedonia, as a protection for us.
President John Smith very sick, several of the Twelve administered to him.
Friends Arrive—Not the Mob.
Wednesday, 26.—Brother Hosea Stout and company arrived in front of Brother Johnson’s house; we at first thought it was the mob, but when Wm H. Kimball cried out Father don’t you know me’, we immediately recognized the brethren and had a joyful meeting; they brought us word of the rumor which had arisen in Nauvoo from two suspicious persons who had been at Brother Turley’s inquiring for Elder Kimball and me.
At ten a.m. we started for Nauvoo, twenty-three of the brethren from Macedonia accompanying us through the timber about seven miles when we halted and Howard Egan recited a negro sermon; I made a few remarks by way of counsel to the Macedonia brethren and blessed them in the name of the Lord; they returned home; we proceeded and arrived in Nauvoo about three p.m.
Thursday, 27.—This morning in company with Elders George A. Smith, John E. Page, Willard Richards and John Taylor I proceeded to the bank of the river, in the lower part of the city, the site of the contemplated dam and in presence of about one hundred individuals consecrated the ground by prayer; Elder John E. Page being mouth. I made a few remarks.
Delegation Appointed to Visit James Emmett’s Company in the Wilderness.
The Twelve Apostles, Trustees, mayor, aldermen and councilors met in council. Moses Smith represented the condition of the company led into the wilderness by James Emmett. After mature deliberation on the situation and condition of James Emett’s company, it was unanimously voted that Elder Amasa M. Lyman visit them, and that he choose a companion to accompany him. Voted that Elder Orson Pratt write a fatherly epistle in behalf of this council and Elder Orson Spencer assist him: Elder Lyman chose Elder Daniel Spencer to accompany him.
The following is a copy of the letter written:
The Council’s Letter Written to James Emmett and Company
‘Nauvoo, February 27, 1845.
To James Emmett & Company,
Dear Brethren: We, the Twelve and some other of the authorities of the church, being in council assembled, send unto you this epistle by the hand of our beloved, trustworthy and faithful brother Amasa M. Lyman, whom we have counseled to visit you, and give you instruction for your good and salvation.
Though our counsel has been lightly esteemed and disregarded by Brother Emmett, yet we verily believe there are those among you who have been honestly and sincerely deceived by his vain pretenses and misrepresentations. We labored long and faithfully to persuade Brother Emmett to hearken to the counsel of his friends to whom were committed the power, authority and keys for the salvation of Zion and the redemption of her children together with the keys of endowment for the lifting up and exaltation of the heirs of promise—the remnant of Joseph—but our counsels, our persuasions, our entreaties, and all our labors with him were in vain. He still persisted in his course and has led you forth from our midst and separated you from the body and like a branch severed from a tree you must and will perish together with your posterity and your progenitors unless you are engrafted again thereon before you wither and die; and because we know your unfortunate condition, and because we feel for your safety as a kind father feels for his tender offspring we therefore stretch out our arms to you and would feign welcome you to the bosom of our counsels and rescue you from the vortex of ruin and destruction into which you will inevitably and irrecoverably plunge yourselves by continuing to hearken to the counsels of one who will not regard the advice and counsel of the proper authorities of the kingdom of God.
Do you wish, dear brethren, to see the house of our God built up, adorned, and prepared according to the commandment and pattern given? Do you wish to enter into its sacred courts and receive your washings and anointings, and the keys of knowledge and power? Do you desire the eternal seal of the priesthood placed upon your head by which your progenitors for ages past and your posterity for endless generations to come shall be secured to you in a covenant that is everlasting? Do you desire to take part with the servants of God in teaching, civilizing, saving and exalting the Lamanites? And, in fine, do you desire to stand forth with the servants of God and in the majesty and strength and greatness of the everlasting priesthood rescue the earth from violence, oppression and wickedness and seal all things unto the end of all things that the saints alone may have dominion.
All of you are ready to answer yes, and respond with a hearty affirmative. But remember that there is but one way by which you can realize or partake of these things; it is by hearkening to our counsel in all things; and for this reason we send unto you Brother Amasa [M. Lyman], who will counsel you in all things according to the mind and will of God, according to the circumstances in which you are placed.
If Brother Emmett will receive our advice and continue so to do, it shall yet be well with him, but if not we say in the name of the Lord that it shall be ill with him and all that follow him.’
Evening, called on Father John Smith, who was still sick; united with the brethren and prayed for him: he felt blessed.
Friday, 28.—I went to the Temple and visited the Trustees, and counseled with them pertaining to business: all things going on well.
Saturday, March 1, 1845.—I met with the “General Council’ 4 at the Seventies Hall. We decided to send nine brethren westward, to search out a location for the saints; many eloquent speeches were made on the present position of affairs: had a good meeting, which continued all day.
The high council met: no business.
The overflowing of rivers in the north of China submerged whole provinces with populations respectively larger than some of the second class kingdoms of Europe. When the waters receded thousands of corpses were left on the ground. Upwards of seventeen millions of human beings who have escaped from the inundations have spread over the adjacent provinces, beggared of all things and crying for bread.
Sunday, 2.—At home—unwell. Elders Heber C. Kimball and John E. Page preached in the Music Hall. The seventies and their families met in their hall. Elders Luman A. Shurtliff, Hiram Dayton, and Joseph Young preached.
Evening, visited Father John Smith and the mother of the Prophet.
Monday, 3.—I accompanied Elder Heber C. Kimball at his request on to the hill to transact some business: returned home quite sick and went to bed.
Evening, the Presidents of Seventies met, and investigated the characters of several of their members. The choir had a concert at the Music Hall; Elders Taylor and Kimball addressed the assembly spiritedly.
Tuesday, 4.—Continued sickly. General Council met at Seventies Hall; Elder Kimball presided; the subject of the western mission was discussed.
Thursday, 6.—Elders Kimball and Richards called on me this evening. I sat up a little and felt better.
Friday, 7.—I walked over to my brother Joseph’s: felt considerably better. I had no doctor in my sickness, but the Lord, my wife, and the laying on of hands of the elders.
Saturday, 8.—I rode up to the Temple. High council met—no business—adjourned.
Sunday, 9.—I attended council with Elders Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor, George A. Smith, N. K. Whitney and George Miller, most of the day; afterwards met with the high priests’ quorum and preached. Evening, attended seventies meeting and addressed the brethren.
Elder Wilford Woodruff attended conference at Preston, England. Five hundred and five members were represented.
Monday, 10.—Forenoon, with Elders Kimball and Richards. Afternoon, Elders George A. Smith assisted Elder Richards to get out historical items.
Tuesday, 11.—I attended the General Council. The subject of writing to Governor Ford; also the present movements of the mob were discussed. It was considered best for those who are hunted with writs to go on missions; as the policy of commencing a mob persecution has always been to get out vexatious writs in order to provoke resistance to the form of legal authority and thereby produce a collision between us and the state; so that we may, if possible, evade the blow until we can finish the Temple and the Nauvoo House. It was also decided that the workmen on the walls of the Temple commence work tomorrow.
Wednesday, 12.—The sheriff is here with writs for several of the brethren. He says that the mob have sent messengers to the governor to inform him that the Mormons have resisted the officers and requesting him to order aposse comitatus to come and take Brackenbury: Mr. Brackenbury was a witness against the murderers of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.
Wm. Marks left town suddenly.
A dreadful earthquake occurred in the city of Mexico at fifty-two minutes past three p.m., which caused a great amount of suffering and great destruction of property.
Thursday, 13.—Several brethren accompanied Mr. Brackenbury to Augusta.
Friday, 14.—I attended meeting in the Masonic Hall and proposed that deacons be appointed to take care of the poor, in every neighborhood, with bishops at their head: agreed to meet the bishops and their counselors at the Masonic Hall on Monday morning to organize.
Brother A. P. Rockwood recorded the following:
‘For the three and a half years that I have been in charge of the Temple quarry, with from twenty to one hundred and fifty hands, Brother Moses Horn has been the first person that has met with an accident by blasting. During this time there has been burned, according to my judgment, about one hundred casks of powder. Brother Horn had retired to the usual distance while blasting; he was struck on the head by a stone weighing one and a half pounds which fractured his skull; we immediately conveyed him home, sent for Dr. Bernhisel and other physicians, who pronounced the wound mortal: he died in three hours.’ ”
President Young in writing a letter (May 3, 1844) to Reuben Hedlock, president of the European Mission at the time, said to him: “The kingdom is organized; and although as yet no bigger than a grain of mustard seed, the little plant is in a flourishing condition and our prospects brighter than ever. Cousin Lemuel is very friendly [referring to the Indians] and cultivating the spirit of peace and union in his family very extensively.” 5
Again in a discourse under date of July 8, 1855, 6 President Young said: “As was observed by Brother Pratt [this morning] that kingdom [i. e. of God] is actually organized and the inhabitants of the earth do not know it. If this people know anything about it, all right; it is organized preparatory to taking effect in the due time of the Lord, and in the manner that shall please him. As observed by one of the speakers this morning that kingdom grows out of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but it is not the church; for a man may be a legislator in that body which will issue laws to sustain the inhabitants of the earth in their individual rights and still not belong to the Church of Jesus Christ at all. And further though a man may not even believe in any religion it would be perfectly right, when necessary, to give him the privilege of holding a seat among that body which will make laws to govern all the nations of the earth and control those who make no profession of religion at all; for that body would be governed, controlled and dictated to acknowledge others in those rights which they wish to enjoy themselves. Then the Latter-day Saints would be protected, if a kingdom of this kind was on the earth, the same as all other people.”
The late President George Q. Cannon while editor of the Juvenile Instructor 7 said:
“We are asked, Is the Church of God, and the Kingdom of God the same organization? and we are informed that some of the brethren hold that they are separate.
This is the correct view to take. The Kingdom of God is a separate organization from the Church of God. There may be men acting as officers in the Kingdom of God who will not be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On this point the Prophet Joseph gave particular instructions before his death, and gave an example, which he asked the younger elders who were present to always remember. It was to the effect that men might be chosen to officiate as members of the Kingdom of God who had no standing in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Kingdom of God when established will not be for the protection of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints alone, but for the protection of all men, whatever their religious views or opinions may be. Under its rule, no one will be permitted to overstep the proper bounds or to interfere with the rights of others.”
Undoubtedly all this has reference to the time spoken of by St. John in Revelation when he said: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever.” 8
However it is proper to note that sometimes these terms “the Church of Christ,” “the Kingdom of God” and “the Kingdom of Heaven” are used interchangeably in the scriptures and hence the confusion in these terms sometimes obtains.
2. This was a desperate character who appeared in Hancock county about the time the “Mormon” troubles approached a climax in the life of the Prophet. Jackson was supposed to be implicated in the murder of the Prophet. (See this History, vol. 6, pp. 149, 521, 560).
4. “General Council is the Council of Fifty.” This is the footnote in President Young’s Ms. History. This council of Fifty is the legislature of the kingdom of God which includes the church. (For treatise see Note at end of chapter.)
8. Rev. 11:15.