Volume 5 Chapter 22


Forms of Credentials of the Twelve—Conference at Manchester, England—Death of Judge Elias Higbee—”The Purpose of Gathering,” A Discourse by the Prophet.


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Thursday, June 1, 1843.—Presided in the city council, which passed “An ordinance to establish a ferry across the Mississippi river at the city of Nauvoo.”

And also passed “An ordinance respecting mad dogs and other animals.”

I addressed the council, and criticized James Sloan’s account current charging for room, candles, fuel, etc., etc., as extras. Willard Richards, Newel K. Whitney, and William Clayton [were engaged] all day preparing papers for the settlement of the Lawrence estate.

I gave the following recommend to Elder Brigham Young.

Credentials of Brigham Young.

To all Saints and Honorable Men of the Earth, Greeting:

Dear Brethren And Friends:—I, Joseph Smith, a servant of the Lord, and trustee-in-trust for the Temple of the Lord at Nauvoo, do hereby certify that the bearer hereof, Brigham Young, an elder and one of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has deposited with me his bond and security, to my full satisfaction, according to the resolution of the conference held in this city on the 6th day of April last.

He, therefore, is recommended to all Saints and honorable people as a legal agent to collect funds for the purpose of building the Nauvoo House and Temple of the Lord. Confident that he will honor this high trust, as well as ardently fulfill his commission as a messenger of peace and salvation, as one of the Lord’s noble men, I can fervently say, May the Lord clear his way before him and bless him, and bless those that obey his teaching, wherever there are ears to hear and hearts to feel. He is the friend of Israel, and worthy to be received and entertained as a man of God; yea, he has, as had the ancient apostles. The good word, even the good word that leadeth unto eternal life.

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Wherefore, brethren and friends, while you have the assurance of the integrity, fidelity and ability of this servant of the living God, and trusting that your hearts and energies will he enlivened and deeply engaged in the building of those houses directed by revelation for the salvation of all Saints, and that you will not rest where you are until all things are prepared before you. and you are gathered home with the rest of Israel to meet your God, I feel strong in the belief and have a growing expectation that you will not withhold any means in your power that can be used to accomplish this glorious work.

Finally, as one that greatly desires the salvation of men, let me remind you all to strive with godly zeal for virtue, holiness, and the commandments of the Lord. Be good, be wise, be just, be liberal; and above all, be charitable, always abounding in all good works. And may health, peace and the love of God our Father, and the grace of Jesus Christ our Lord be and abide with you all, is the sincere prayer of your devoted brother and friend in the everlasting Gospel,

Joseph Smith
City of Nauvoo, June 1, 1843.

Similar letters were given to Elders Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, Orson Hyde, Wilford Woodruff and George A. Smith.

Signed a conveyance of Eric Rhodes’ bonds to Joseph Smith to William Clayton.

Gave a letter of instruction to George J. Adams, who is to accompany Elder Orson Hyde on his mission to Russia.

Elders Addison Pratt, Benjamin F. Grouard, Knowlton F. Hanks and Noah Rogers started on their mission for the Society Islands at two p.m., on the steamer Sarah Ann, for St. Louis.

The quorum of the Twelve Apostles met in council in my office, to make arrangements to start on their mission to collect funds for the Temple and Nauvoo House.

Friday, 2.—Closed the contract whereby I gave two notes for $1,375, and became half owner of the steamboat Maid of Iowa. Continued in the office with Captain Dan Jones most of the morning, which was very rainy.

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In the afternoon rode out in the city to invite several friends to take an excursion on Maid of Iowa tomorrow, and had a long conversation with a Presbyterian minister.

Outrages were committed in Wales on public property, under an organized band called “Rebecca and her daughters.”

An Excursion on the Mississippi.

Saturday, 3.—This morning, I, with my family and a large company of brethren and sisters, started for Quincy, on a pleasure voyage on the steamboat Maid of Iowa, had a fine band of music in attendance, and arrived there at about one p.m.

The accounts of the Lawrence estate were presented to the probate judge, to which he made objections, when a new account was made out by William Clayton, which we made oath to, when the accounts were accepted by the probate judge.

At five p.m. started on our return, but tied up at Keokuk, at one a.m. on account of a severe storm until daylight, when we started home and were glad to arrive in Nauvoo at seven a.m. of the 4th.

Sunday, 4.—At ten a.m. I engaged in conversation with Mr. De Wolf, a clergyman of the Episcopal order, who was much of a gentleman.

Minutes of a Conference Held at Manchester, England, June 4, 1843.

A conference was commenced in the New Corn Exchange, Manchester, and by adjournment moved into the large room at Hayward’s Hotel, Bridge street. The assembly was large, although the weather was unfavorable.

Elder Thomas Ward was president, and William Walker, clerk. President Ward and Elders Hiram Clark and Amos Fielding preached giving excellent teachings on the plan of salvation, and the Lord’s Supper. There were present six high priests, fifty-eight elders, sixty-four priests, forty teachers, ten deacons.

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The representations of the churches being next called for, the following statements were made:

The sacrament was administered in the afternoon.

Monday, 5.—The following persons devoted themselves to the work of the ministry—viz., Osmond Shaw, Thomas Shaw, Samuel Downes, Elders William Speakman and George Eyres.

The following persons were then ordained elders—viz., R. Cowen, T. Pratt, Samuel Downe, John Williams, Peter McCue, Joseph Walker, and Levi Rigg.

Priests: J. Flint, Joseph Smith, J. Nightingale, J. Lee, Thomas Jackson, Samuel Wells, Charles Turner, Christopher Riding, George Robinson.

Teachers: George Hewitt, Thomas Jennings.

Elder Barradale was appointed to preside over Cheltenham branch; Elder Rudd, over the Nottingham circuit; Elder Pritchard, to labor in Derbyshire; Elder Speakman, with Elder Robert Parker, in the Bradford conference; Osmond Shaw, Addingham, Yorkshire; Elder George Eyers, in Lincolnshire and Hull, in connection with Elder Henry Cuerdon and Elder Samuel Downes, in Derbyshire, with Elder Hibbert.

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Tuesday, 6.—I rode out to the Prairie Farm.

Earthquake occurred in Java, destroying Nias and burying its inhabitants in the ruins.

The total national debt of Europe is estimated at $10,499,710,000. A century ago the European treasury was comparatively unencumbered.

Wednesday, 7.—Concluded a settlement with J. W. Coolidge. Gave him a deed for city lot.

Visited Elias Higbee, who was very sick.

John Workman and a company of 30 Saints, mostly his own family, arrived from Tennessee.

Thursday, 8.—This morning, about daybreak, Elder Elias Higbee died at his residence near the Temple. 1

We copy the following from page 315 of the Law of the Lord— 2

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Judge Elias Higbee.

He has been sick only five days of cholera morbus and inflammation, which produced mortification, and his death was unexpected by all. His loss will be universally lamented, not only by his family, but by a large circle of brethren who have long witnessed his integrity and uprightness, as well as a life of devotedness to the cause of truth. He has endured a great share of persecution and tribulation for the cause of Christ, both during the Missouri troubles and other times. On the 6th day of October, 1840, he was appointed one of the committee to build the Temple in Nauvoo, which office he maintained during his life. In that station he has shown a disposition to do right at all times, and always manifested a great anxiety for the prosperity of the Temple as well as the work at large. He has left a large family to mourn his departure; but he is gone to his rest for a little season, even until the morning of the resurrection, when he will again come forth and strike hands with the faithful, and share the glory of the kingdom of God for ever and ever.

Emma was sick.

In the afternoon, rode out on horseback; called on Willard Richards, who was at work in his garden; asked him who gave him leave to occupy that lot. He answered, “Your honor?” When I replied, “You are perfectly welcome to it, so far as I am concerned; ” then continued my journey to the prairie.

Friday, 9.—Rode out to show Mr. Lewis some lots in the city.

Continued most of the day with Emma, who was very sick.

Saturday, 10.—At home. Brothers Livingston and Goodrich, from Peterboro, New Hampshire, visited me about establishing a cotton factory in Nauvoo.

City council met and passed “An ordinance to regulate the rates of toll at the ferry in the city of Nauvoo,” which is published in the Neighbor.

Several petitions were presented to repeal the hog law, which were rejected.

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The court-martial ordered an arsenal to be built in the city of Nauvoo, for the security of the public arms; and also ordered Brigadier-General Charles C. Rich to organize the 2nd battalion, 1st regiment, 2nd cohort, into a regiment of light infantry, to be the 5th regiment, 2nd cohort.

To show the wickedness and rascality of John C. Bennett and the corrupt conspiracy formed against me in Missouri and Illinois, I insert the following under date of the letter:—

Letter of Samuel C. Owens to Governor Ford—Informing the Latter of an Indictment Against Joseph Smith.

Independence, Mo., June 10, 1843.

To His Excellency Governor Ford.

Sir:—For the last three months I have been corresponding with Dr. John C. Bennett relative to one certain Joe Smith, Mormon Prophet, etc., of your state. In several of Dr. Bennett’s letters to me, he informs me that my name is known to you. Taking this for granted authorizes me without hesitation to write you full upon a subject that the people of this part of our state feel themselves vitally interested in.

At the last term of the Circuit court of Daviess county, an indictment was found by the grand jury of said county against Joseph Smith for treason against this state. The necessary papers are now on their way to Governor Reynolds, who, on the receipt thereof, I have no doubt, will make a requisition on you for the apprehension and delivery of said Smith to the bearer, Mr. Joseph Reynolds, who goes as a special agent to attend to this business; and I am in hopes that, so soon as the proper papers come to hand, you will take that course that will secure this imposter and have him delivered over to Mr. Reynolds.

Dr. Bennett further writes me that he has made an arrangement with Harmon T. Wilson, of Hancock county (Carthage, seat of justice) in whose hands he wishes the writ that shall be issued by you to be put. From the tenor of his letters I am induced to believe that he has made the same suggestions to you. The only wish of the people of this state is, that this man, Joseph Smith, may be brought to that justice which the magnitude of his crime merits.

Respectfully your obedient servant,

Sam. C. Owens,

[Commander in-chief of the mob in Jackson county].

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A steamship of iron, called the Great Britain, was built at Bristol, England, at a cost of 90,000 pounds. She has six masts, and is 320 feet in length on deck, and is said to be the largest vessel that has been built since the days of Noah.

Sunday, 11.—Ten a.m., meeting at the stand.

The following report is from the journals of Elders Willard Richards and Wilford Woodruff:—

The Prophet’s Discourse—The Purpose of the Gathering of Israel.

A large assembly of the Saints met at the Temple stand. Hymn by the choir. Prayer by Elder Parley P. Pratt, and singing.

President Joseph Smith remarked—”I am a rough stone. The sound of the hammer and chisel was never heard on me until the Lord took me in hand. I desire the learning and wisdom of heaven alone. I have not the least idea, if Christ should come to the earth and preach such rough things as He preached to the Jews, but that this generation would reject Him for being so rough.”

He then took for his text the 37th verse of 23rd chapter of Matthew—”O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them which are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.”

This subject was presented to me since I came to the stand. What was the object of gathering the Jews, or the people of God in any age of the world? I can never find much to say in expounding a text. A man never has half so much fuss to unlock a door, if he has a key, as though he had not, and had to cut it open with his jack-knife.

The main object was to build unto the Lord a house whereby He could reveal unto His people the ordinances of His house and the glories of His kingdom, and teach the people the way of salvation; for there are certain ordinances and principles that, when they are taught and practiced, must be done in a place or house built for that purpose.

It was the design of the councils of heaven before the world was, that the principles and laws of the priesthood should be predicated upon the gathering of the people in every age of the world. Jesus did everything to gather the people, and they would not be gathered, and He therefore poured out curses upon them. Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed. All must be saved on the same principles.

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It is for the same purpose that God gathers together His people in the last days, to build unto the Lord a house to prepare them for the ordinances and endowments, washings and anointings, etc. One of the ordinances of the house of the Lord is baptism for the dead. God decreed before the foundation of the world that that ordinance should be administered in a font prepared for that purpose in the house of the Lord. “This is only your opinion, sir,” says the sectarian. * * * * *

If a man gets a fullness of the priesthood of God, he has to get it in the same way that Jesus Christ obtained it, and that was by keeping all the commandments and obeying all the ordinances of the house of the Lord.

Where there is no change of priesthood, there is no change of ordinances, says Paul, if God has not changed the ordinances and the priesthood. Howl, ye sectarians! If he has, when and where has He revealed it? Have ye turned revelators? Then why deny revelation?

Many men will say, “I will never forsake you, but will stand by you at all times.” But the moment you teach them some of the mysteries of the kingdom of God that are retained in the heavens and are to be revealed to the children of men when they are prepared for them, they will be the first to stone you and put you to death. It was this same principle that crucified the Lord Jesus Christ, and will cause the people to kill the prophets in this generation.

Many things are insoluble to the children of men in the last days: for instance, that God should raise the dead, and forgetting that things have been hid from before the foundation of the world, which are to be revealed to babes in the last days.

There are a great many wise men and women too in our midst who are too wise to be taught; therefore they must die in their ignorance, and in the resurrection they will find their mistake. Many seal up the door of heaven by saying, So far God may reveal and I will believe.

All men who become heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ will have to receive the fullness of the ordinances of his kingdom; And those who will not receive all the ordinances will come short of the fullness of that glory, if they do not lose the whole.

I will say something about the spirits in prison. There has been much said by modern divines about the words of Jesus (when on the cross) to the thief, saying, “This day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” King James’ translators make it out to say paradise. But what is paradise? It is a modern word it does not answer at all to the original word that Jesus made use of. Find the original of the word paradise. You may as easily find a needle in a haymow. Here is a chance for battle, ye learned men. There is nothing in the original word in Greek froze which this was taken that signifies paradise; but it was—This day thou shalt be with me in the world of spirits: then I will teach you all about it and answer your inquiries. And Peter says he went and preached to the world of spirits (spirits in prison, I Peter, 3rd chap., 19th verse), so that they who would receive it could have it answered by proxy by those who live on the earth, etc.

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The doctrine of baptism for the dead is clearly shown in the New Testament; and if the doctrine is not good, then throw the New Testament away; but if it is the word of God, then let the doctrine be acknowledged; and it was the reason why Jesus said unto the Jews, “How oft would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”—that they might attend to the ordinances of baptism for the dead as well as other ordinances of the priesthood, and receive revelations from heaven, and be perfected in the things of the kingdom of God—but they would not. This was the case on the day of Pentecost: those blessings were poured out on the disciples on that occasion. God ordained that He would save the dead, and would do it by gathering His people together.

It always has been when a man was sent of God with the priesthood and he began to preach the fullness of the gospel, that he was thrust out by his friends, who are ready to butcher him if he teach things which they imagine to be wrong; and Jesus was crucified upon this principle.

I will now turn linguist. There are many things in the Bible which do not, as they now stand, accord with the revelations of the Holy Ghost to me.

I will criticize a little further. There has been much said about the word hell, and the sectarian world have preached much about it, describing it to be a burning lake of fire and brimstone. But what is hell? It is another modern term, and is taken from hades. I’ll hunt after hades as Pat did for the woodchuck.

Hades, the Greek, or Shaole, the Hebrew: these two significations mean a world of spirits. Hades, Shaole, paradise, spirits in prison, are all one: it is a world of spirits.

The righteous and the wicked all go to the same world of spirits until the resurrection. “I do not think so,” says one. If you will go to my house any time, I will take my lexicon and prove it to you.

The great misery of departed spirits in the world of spirits, where they go after death. is to know that they come short of the glory that others enjoy and that they might have enjoyed themselves, and they are their own accusers. “But,” says one, “I believe in one universal heaven and hell, where all go, and are all alike, and equally miserable or equally happy.”

What! where all are huddled together—the honorable, virtuous, and murderers, and whoremongers, when it is written that they shall be judged according to the deeds done in the body? But St. Paul informs us of three glories and three heavens. He knew a man that was caught up to the third heavens. Now, if the doctrine of the sectarian world, that there is but one heaven, is true, Paul, what do you tell that lie for, and say there are three? Jesus said unto His disciples, “In my Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, and I will come and receive you to myself, that where I am ye may be also.”

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426Any man may believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and be happy in that belief, and yet not obey his commandments, and at last be cut down for disobedience to the Lord’s righteous requirements.
A man of God should be endowed with wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, in order to teach and lead the people of God. The sectarian priests are blind, and they lead the blind, and they will all fall into the ditch together. They build with hay, wood, and stubble, on the old revelations, without the true priesthood or spirit of revelation. If I had time, I would dig into hell, hades, shaole, and tell what exists there.

There is much said about God and the Godhead. The scriptures say there are Gods many and Lords many, but to us there is but one living and true God, and the heaven of heavens could not contain him; for he took the liberty to go into other heavens. The teachers of the day say that thy Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God, and they are all in one body and one God. Jesus prayed that those that the Father had given him out of the world might be made one in them, as they were one; [one in spirit, in mind, in purpose]. If I were to testify that the Christian world were wrong on this point, my testimony would be true.

Peter and Stephen testify that they saw the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God. Any person that had seen the heavens opened knows that there are three personages in the heavens who hold the keys of power, and one presides over all.

If any man attempts to refute what I arm about to say, after I have made it plain, let him beware.

As the Father hath power in Himself, so hath the Son power in Himself, to lay down His life and take it again, so He has a body of His own. The Son doeth what He hath seen the Father do: then the Father hath some day laid down His life and taken it again; so He has a body of His own; each one will be in His own body; and yet the sectarian world believe the body of the Son is identical with the Fathers.

Gods have an ascendancy over the angels, who are ministering servants. In the resurrection, some are raised to be angels; others are raised to become Gods.

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These things are revealed in the most holy place in a Temple prepared for that purpose. Many of the sects cry out, “Oh, I have the testimony of Jesus; I have the Spirit of God: but away with Joe Smith; he says he is a prophet; but there are to be no prophets or revelators in the last days.” Stop, sir: The Revelator says that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy; so by your own month you are condemned. But to the text. Why gather the people together in this place? For the same purpose that Jesus wanted to gather the Jews—to receive the ordinances, the blessings, and glories that God has in store for His Saints.

I will now ask this assembly and all the Saints if you will now build this house and receive the ordinances and blessings which God has in store for you; or will you not build unto the Lord this house, and let Him pass by and bestow these blessings upon another people? I pause for a reply.

Rev. De Wolf Preaches at Nauvoo.

At half-past two p.m., I introduced to the congregation Mr. De Wolf, a clergyman of the Episcopal church, and requested the attention of the congregation in his behalf. He read the 6th chapter of Hebrews, and then kneeled and prayed, dressed in his black clerical gown, which excited some curiosity among some of the Saints. After the choir sang a hymn, he preached from Hebrews, 6th chapter, 1st and 2nd verses, touching on such principles only that are acknowledged and received by the Church. In his closing remarks he observed—”I may never meet you all again this side of the eternal world; but I will appoint a meeting—i. e. when the Lord Jesus shall descend with his angels to call the dead from their graves, and sit in judgment on all the world.”

Conference at Lima.

A conference was held at Lima, and the branch reorganized, under the direction of Elder Heber C. Kimball; Isaac Morley, President; Walter Cox and Edwin Whiting, counselors; Gardiner Snow, bishop; Clark Hallet and Henry Dean, counselors; William Woodland, Solomon Hancock, James C. Snow, James Israel, Edmond Durfee, Daniel Stanton, Moses Clawson, Joseph S. Allen, Philip Garner, Henry Ettleman, Reuben Daniels, and Horace Rawson, high council; James C. Snow, clerk of the branch.

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During the appointing of the high council, Elder Kimball made some general remarks upon the Word of Wisdom.

Heber C. Kimball on the Word of Wisdom.

He commenced by saying that he always despised a penurious principle in any man, and that God despised it also; for he was liberal and did not look at every little thing as we do. He looked at the integrity of the heart of man. He said some would strain, nip and tuck at the Word of Wisdom, and at the same time they would turn away a poor brother from their door when he would ask for a little meal for his breakfast. He compared it to the man that was stretched upon the iron bedstead; if he was too long, they would cut him off; if he was too short, they would stretch him out. And again, he said, it made him, think of the old Indian’s tree, which stood so straight that it leaned a little the other way, and the best way was to stand erect.

In the after part of the day he renewed the subject by saying that he did not wish to have any one take any advantage of what he had said, for he spoke in general terms; but said he had always obeyed the Word of Wisdom, and wanted every Saint to observe the same. He said that, when he was in England, he only taught it once or twice in public, and the Saints saw his example and followed it. So likewise when the elders go to preach, if they will observe the Word of Wisdom, all of those will whom they bring into the kingdom; but if they do not, they cannot expect their children will, but they will be just like themselves; for every spirit begets its own. Neither will such elders be able to do much good; for the Holy Ghost will not dwell in them, neither will the Father nor the Son; for they will not dwell where the Holy Ghost will not, and neither of them will dwell in unholy temples.

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He said that he wanted wise and honorable men to fill responsible offices who were worthy. He then closed his subject by recommending the Saints to observe the counsel of President Morley. He made some very appropriate remarks with regard to the Temple and Nauvoo House.

Elder William Curtis was appointed to go with Elder Aaron M. York to the State of Maine.

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1. He was son of Isaac and Sophia Higbee, born 23rd October, 1795, in Galloway, Gloucester county, New Jersey. In 1803, removed with his parents to Clermont county, Ohio. At the age of 22 he married Sarah Ward, and removed to Cincinnati. He received the gospel in the spring of 1832, and in the summer of the same year went to Jackson county, Missouri, where he was baptized, and returned to Cincinnati, and was ordained an elder under the hands of his brother, Isaac Higbee, 20th February, 1833. Arrived in Jackson county with his family in March, and was driven by the mob to Clay county in the fall of 1833; ordained a high priest under the hands of Amasa M. Lyman, by order of the high council in Clay county. 26th March, 1835, started on a mission, preaching the gospel through the states of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Arriving at Kirtland, he labored on the Temple until it was finished, and received his endowment therein. In the spring of 1836, returned to his family in Missouri; removed them to Caldwell County, where he was appointed County Judge.

Judge Higbee was also appointed to go with the Prophet to Washington to plead the cause of the

Saints before Congress, and perhaps will be chiefly remembered for his earnest but temperate zeal in their cause; also for the courage and judgment he manifested before the Senate Committee on Judiciary, before which the hearing was had. The case was conducted by Judge Higbee, practically alone. See his reports to the Prophet, Vol. 4, pp. 81-91. His course approved, Ibid. p. 96.

2. The “Law of the Lord” is a manuscript Book kept personally by the Prophet, wherein, with other specially valuable documents, he recorded character sketches and the good deeds of the faithful Saints; also the blessings he pronounced upon them. See this Vol., pp. 108, 124-128.