Volume 5 Chapter 3


Correspondence between the Prophet and Governor Thomas Carlin—Anent John C. Bennett’s Character—Phrenological Charts of the Prophet et al.—The Government of God.


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Wednesday, 29.—I held a long conversation with Francis M. Higbee. Francis found fault with being exposed, but I told him I spoke of him in self defense. Francis was, or appeared, humble, and promised to reform.

Heard the recorder read in the Law of the Lord; paid taxes; rode out in the city on business, with Brigham Young.

My clerk, Willard Richards, being about to leave me for a season, committed the business of my office to Elder William Clayton, who had been engaged with him for a few weeks past.

Thursday, 30.—In the forenoon, spent some time with C. A. Warren, Esq., from Quincy, and others, in the private office, and in the afternoon was in the court martial, giving testimony concerning John C. Bennett, who was cashiered.

Letter of Governor Thomas Carlin to Joseph Smith—Anent John C. Bennett.

Quincy, June 30, 1842.

Dear Sir:—I received by the last mail, your letter of the 24th instant, in which you have thought proper to give me a statement of charges against the conduct and character of General John C. Bennett; I can say that I regret that any individual should so far disregard his obligations to his God, and to his fellow man, as to condescend to the commission of the crimes alleged in your letter to have been perpetrated by General Bennett. It is, however, in accordance with representations of his character, made to me more than two years since, and which I then felt constrained to believe were true, since which time I have desired to have as little intercourse with him as possible. No resignation of his commission as major-general of the Nauvoo Legion has reached me.

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Some weeks since I read a short note from him, stating that you had reason to believe that a conspiracy is getting up in the state of Missouri, for the purpose of mobbing the Mormons at Nauvoo, and kidnapping you, and take you to that state, and requested to be informed in case of such mob, whether you would be protected by the authorities of this state, etc. To which I replied; that as all men were held amenable to the laws, so in like manner the rights of all would be protected, and the dignity of the state maintained, to the letter of the constitution and laws. The above is, in substance, the contents of his note to me, and my reply to him, having destroyed his letter, as I considered it of no use, should it be retained.

You state that you have heard that I have of late entertained unfavorable feelings towards you (the Mormons) as a people, and especially so with regards to yourself, &c., &c. If this should be true, you would be pleased to know from me the reasons of such hostile feelings.

In reply, I can in truth say that I do not entertain or cherish hostile or revengeful feelings towards any man or set of men on earth; but that I may have used strong expressions in reference to yourself, at times when my indignation has been somewhat aroused by repeated admonitions of my friends (both before and since the attempt to assassinate Ex-Governor Boggs) to be upon my guard; that you had prophesied that Boggs should die a violent death, and that I should die in a ditch, all this, however, if true, I looked upon as idle boasting until since the assassination of Boggs, and even since then, in reference to myself, I cannot view it in any other light, because whatever your feelings may have been towards Boggs, the mere discharge of an official duty on my part, enjoined upon me by the constitution and laws of this state, and of the United States, could not possibly engender feelings of such deep malignity. Be assured that this matter gives me no uneasiness, nor would the subject now have been mentioned, had you not requested a reply to your inquiries.

I have seen your denial published in the Wasp, of the prediction, attributed to you, of the death (or assassination) of Governor Boggs; be that true or false, nothing has contributed more towards fixing the belief upon the public mind, that you had made such prediction, than the repeated statements of a portion of your followers, that the manner of his death had been revealed to you, and their exultation that it needs must be fulfilled.

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In reference to your request, to be advised how you should act, in case a mob should come upon you, I should feel very much at a loss to recommend any course for you to adopt, other than the resort to the first law of nature, namely, to defend your own rights; because, were I to advise a quiet submission on your part, I could not expect that you would fold your arms, and silently look on, whilst those rights were violated and outraged, as long as you have the power to protect them. I, however, have not the most distant thought that there exists, at present, any real cause for the apprehension of a mob coming upon you, otherwise I should feel it my duty to endeavor to arrest it.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Thomas Carlin.

To General Joseph Smith.

I received a letter from Horace R. Hotchkiss, of which the following is a copy:—

Letter of Horace R. Hotchkiss to Joseph Smith—On the Prophet taking Advantage of the Bankrupt Act.

Fair Haven, May 27, 1842.

Rev. Joseph Smith:

Dear Sir:—Yours, notifying me of your application for the benefit of the bankrupt act, is at hand. I regret very much the step you have taken, as I am fearful it will have a most disastrous influence upon your society, both commercially and religiously; you have, however, probably weighed the subject with sufficient care to arrive at a correct decision.

You will oblige me by stating, immediately upon the receipt of this letter, your precise meaning, in saying, that “all your creditors would fare alike.” It is, as you will see, important for me to know the course taken with my notes, and also the position in which we stand to each other.

You have my bond for certain lands, or rather you have my bond that you shall have a deed to certain lands upon the payment of notes specified in said bond. I wish to know exactly how this bond stands in your inventory. Of course, it cannot stand as a title to the property; but I want to know the disposition which is to be made of it.

Possibly some arrangement might be made between us at once; still I do not know how Mr. Tuttle and Mr. Gillet will view the subject.

Yours, &c.,

Horace R. Hotchkiss.

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To which I wrote the following answer:—

Letter of Joseph Smith to H. R. Hotchkiss—Reply to Above.

Nauvoo, June 30, 1842.

H. R. Hotchkiss, Esq.:

Dear Sir:—Yours of the 27th May has been received, which I shall now briefly answer. In regard to my application for the benefit of the bankrupt act, there was no other course for me to pursue than the one I have already taken; and, as I have said before, all my creditors will have to fare alike. Your papers are inventoried along with all the other property.

The influence this step may have upon our society, either commercially or religiously, is a matter we cannot stop to consult, as we had no alternative left. We have been compelled to pursue this course on account of the extreme pressure of the times, which continued to bear harder upon us, until we took the step we have.

A great pressure of business prevents writing more at the present, you will, therefore, excuse a short communication.

I remain yours respectfully,

Joseph Smith

Friday, July 1.—Elder Willard Richards left Nauvoo for New England.

Saturday, 2.—Rode out in the city with my clerk, Mr. Clayton, to look at some lots; afterwards rode to Hezekiah Peck’s, accompanied by Emma and others.

In this day’s Wasp, I find the following:—

Mr. Editor:

Sir:—I take the liberty to inform you that a large number of persons in different places have manifested a desire to know the phrenological development of Joseph Smith’s head. I have examined the Prophet’s head, and he is perfectly willing to have the chart published. You will please publish in your paper such portions of it as I have marked, showing the development of his much-talked-of brain, and let the public judge for themselves whether phrenology proves the reports against him true or false. Time will prove all thing, and a “word to the wise is sufficient.”

Yours respectfully,

A. Crane.

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A Phrenological Chart of Joseph Smith the Prophet by A. Crane, M.D., Professor of Phrenology.


Amativeness—11, L. Extreme susceptibility; passionately fond of the company of the other sex.

Philoprogenitiveness—9, L. Strong parental affection, great solicitude for their happiness.

Inhabitiveness—5, F. Attached to place of long residence; no desire to change residence.

Adhesiveness—8, F. Solicitous for the happiness of friends, and ardent attachments for the other sex.

Combativeness—8, L. Indomitable perseverance, great courage; force, ability to overpower.

Destructiveness—6, M. Ability to control the passions, and is not disposed to extreme measures.

Secretiveness—10, L. Great propensity and ability to conceal feelings, plans, &c.

Acquisitiveness—9, L. Strong love of riches, desire to make and save money.

Alimentativeness—9, L. Strong relish for food; keen and severe appetite.

Vitativeness—4, M. or S. Indifference to life; views the approach of death without fear.


Cautiousness—7, F. Provision against prospective dangers and ills, without hesitation or irresolution.

Approbativeness—10, L. Ambition for distinction; sense of character; sensibility to reproach, fear of scandal.

Self-esteem—10, L. High-mindedness, independence, self-confidence, dignity, aspiration for greatness.

Concentrativeness—7, F. Can dwell on a subject without fatigue, and control the imagination.


Benevolence—10, L. Kindness, goodness, tenderness, sympathy.

Veneration—6, F. Religion, without great awe or enthusiasm; reasonable deference to superiority.

Firmness—10, L. Stability and decision of character and purpose.

Conscientiousness—8, L. High regard for duty, integrity, moral principle, justice, obligation, truth, &c.

Hope—10, L. Cheerfulness, sanguine expectation of success and enjoyment.

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Marvelousness—10 L. Wonder, credulity, belief in the supernatural.

Imitation—5, M. Inferior imitative powers; failure to copy, describe, relate stories, &c.

Prepossession—8, L. or F. Attached to certain notions; not disposed to change them, &c.

Ideality—9, L. Lively imagination; fancy, taste, love of poetry, elegance, eloquence, excellence, &c.


Admonition—8, F. or M. Desirous to know what others are doing; ready to counsel, and give hints of a fault or duty, &c.

Constructiveness—7, F. Respectable ingenuity, without uncommon skill, tact or facility in making, &c.

Tune—5, F. or M. Love of music, without quickness to catch or learn tunes by the ear.

Time—11, V. L. Distinct impressions as to the time when, how long, &c.

Locality—11, V. L. or L. Great memory of place and position.

Eventuality—11, V. L. Extraordinary recollection of minute circumstances.

Individuality—10, L. Great desire to see; power of observation.

Form—10, F. Cognizance, and distinct recollection of shapes, countenances, &c.

Size—11, N. L. or F. Ability to judge of proportionate size, &c.

Weight—9, V. L. L. F. Knowledge of gravitation, momentum, &c.

Color—9, F. or M. Moderate skill in judging of colors, comparing and arranging them.

Language—6, F. Freedom of expression, without fluency or verbosity; no great loquacity.

Order—9, L. Love of arrangement, everything in its particular place.

Number—7. Respectable aptness in arithmetical calculations, without extraordinary talent.


Mirthfulness—10, L. Wit, fun, mirth, perception and love of the ludicrous.

Causality—9, L. Ability to think and reason clearly, and perceive the relation of cause and effect.

Comparison—11, V. L. Extraordinary critical acumen; great power of analysis.

There are four temperaments. The lymphatic or phlegmatic, in which the secreting glands are the most active portion of the system, produces both corporeal and mental languor, dullness, and inactivity. The sanguine in which the arterial portion of the system is most active, gives strong feelings and passions, and more ardor, zeal, and activity, than of strength or power. The bilious, in which the muscular portion predominates in activity, produces strength, power, and endurance of body, with great force and energy of mind and character. The nervous, in which the brain and nervous system are most active, gives the highest degree of activity, with clearness of perception and of thought, but less endurance. Sharp and prominent organs denote activity; smooth and broad ones intensity and strength.

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Explanation of the Chart.

The written figures opposite the organs and ranging in a scale from 1 to 12, indicate the various degrees in which the respective organs are developed in the head of the individual examined; thus 1, 2 indicate that the organ is very small or almost wholly wanting; 3, 4 means small, or feeble, and inactive; 5, 6 moderate or active only in a subordinate degree; 7, 8, full or fair, and a little above par; 9, 10, large, or quite energetic, and having a marked influence upon the character; 11, 12, mean very large, or giving a controlling influence, and extreme liability to perversion. The size of the brain, combinations of the faculties and temperament of the individual, may be indicated in the same manner as the degrees of the faculties or organs.

The initials V. L. denote very large, L. large, F. full, M. moderate, S. small, V. S. very small.

I give the foregoing a place in my history for the gratification of the curious, and not for [any] respect [I entertain for] phrenology.

The following communication was sent to the Wasp:

To The Citizens Of Hancock County.

As a people, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are found “more sinned against than sinning.” In political affairs we are ever ready to yield to our fellow citizens of the county equal participation in the selection of candidates for office.

We have been disappointed in our hopes of being met with the same disposition on the part of some of the old citizens of the county—they indeed seem to manifest a spirit of intolerance and exclusion incompatible with the liberal doctrines of true republicanism.

At the late anti-Mormon convention, a complete set of candidates, pledged to a man to receive no support from, and to yield no quarters to, “Mormons,” are commended to all the citizens of this county for their suffrages!

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As a portion of the said citizens of Hancock, we embrace the opportunity to decline this ticket for the want of reciprocity in its terms, and honesty and intelligence in the character of some of its candidates.

If the old citizens of the county are still desirous of equal participations with us in the choice of candidates, we are ready to co-operate with them. If independent gentlemen possessing the requisite qualities, capacity and integrity, will announce themselves, they will receive the united support of our people in the county.

The time for holding a convention seems to have already gone by—there is time enough for the friends of justice and fair play to elect a ticket to be announced in the independent manner we have suggested. Let the gentlemen who have the courage to oppose the spirit of dictation, which governed the anti-Mormon convention candidates show themselves, and we will exercise enough, on the terms proposed in this article, to ensure complete success.

Joseph Smith.

Sunday, 3.—This morning I preached at the grove to about 8,000 people. The subject matter of my discourse was from the Prophet Daniel’s saying, that in the last days the God of heaven would set up a kingdom, &c.

In the afternoon I heard Brother Hyrum preach at the grove.

The steamer Edna collapsed her flues at the mouth of the Missouri river; more than sixty persons were badly scalded. A proof among many similar that the waters of the West are cursed, as saith the Lord in a revelation. 1

Parade of the Legion.

Monday, 4.—The Legion appeared on parade under command of Brigadier-General Wilson Law, ranking officer of the line. Lieutenant-General Smith reviewed the Legion at 11 a.m., and continued in command through the day, which was somewhat unpleasant, yet an immense number of spectators were present, including the passengers of three steamers from the neighboring cities and villages.

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At the close of the day General Smith expressed his entire satisfaction in an animated speech, in which he illustrated the design of the organization of the Legion, viz., to yield obedience to the institutions of our country, and protect the Saints from mobs, after which leave was given for strangers to address the Legion, when General Swanzey, of Iowa, expressed his friendly feelings towards Nauvoo, and his gratification at the good discipline of the Legion.

Mrs. Emma Smith and the ladies of other distinguished officers accompanied their companions on the parade. A few Lamanites were present, and there was but little drinking. Two individuals were fined $10.25 for offering whisky for sale.

Tuesday, 5.—Attended court-martial and city council; an ordinance in relation to public shows and exhibitions was passed.

The following was also passed:—

An Ordinance in Relation to Writs of Habeas Corpus.

Sec. 1. Be it, and it is hereby ordained by the city council of the city of Nauvoo, that no citizen of this city shall be taken out of the city by any writs without the privilege of investigation before the municipal court, and the benefit of a writ of habeas corpus, as granted in the 17th section of the Charter of this city. Be it understood that this ordinance is enacted for the protection of the citizens of this city, that they may in all cases have the right of trial in this city, and not be subjected to illegal process by their enemies.

Joseph Smith, Mayor.

Passed July 5, 1842.

James Sloan, Recorder.

Wednesday, 6.—Transacted business in the city, and rode to La Harpe with Emma.

Expedition to the Pineries

Two keel boats, sloop-rigged, and laden with provisions and apparatus necessary for the occasion, and manned with fifty of the brethren, started this morning on an expedition to the upper Mississippi, among the pineries, where they can join those already there, and erect mills, saw boards and plank, make shingles, hew timber, and return next spring with rafts, for the Temple of God, Nauvoo House, &c., to beautify the city of Nauvoo, according to the Prophets.

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Thursday, 7.—Weather very cool at Nauvoo, thermometer at six degrees.

Saturday, 9.—I rode on the prairie with Brothers Clayton and Gheen to look at some land. Dined on my farm; hoed potatoes, &c., and in the afternoon returned to the city and transacted a variety of business.

I find the following phrenological chart of my clerk, Elder Willard Richards, of the quorum of the Twelve, by A. Crane, M.D.:—

Phrenological Chart of Willard Richards.


Amitiveness—8, F. Very partial to the opposite sex; generally reciprocated by them.

Philoprogenitiveness—7, F. Interested in the happiness of children; fond of their company.

Inhabitiveness—7, F. Attached to place of long residence; no desire to change residence.

Adhesiveness—11, V. L. Passionately and devotedly attached to lovers and friends.

Combativeness—7, F. Great powers of exertion and sustaining under opposition and difficulties.

Destructiveness—6, M. Ability to control the passions, and is not disposed to extreme measures.

Secretiveness—10, L. Great propensity and ability to conceal feelings, plans, &c.

Acquisitiveness—8, F. Frugality and industry, without much of the miserly, penurious, or stingy feeling.

Alimentativeness—S, F. A good appetite, but not excessive, partiality for a variety of rich hearty dishes.

Vitativeness—7, L. Strong desire to exist; contemplates death as the greatest misfortune.


Cautiousness—Discretion, carefulness, anxiety, apprehension, &c.

Approbativeness—10, L. Ambition for distinction; sense of character, sensibility to reproach, fear of scandal.

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Self-esteem—10, L. High-mindedness, independence, self-confidence, dignity; aspiration for greatness.

Concentrativeness—7, F. Can dwell on a subject without fatigue, and control the imagination.


Benevolence—9, L. Kindness, goodness, tenderness, sympathy.

Veneration, 7, F. Religion without great awe or enthusiasm; reasonable reference to superiority.

Firmness—9, L. Stability and decision of character and purpose.

Conscientiousness—8, L. High regard for duty, integrity, moral principle, justice, obligation. truth, &c.

Hope—7, F. Reasonable hopes, a fine flow of spirits; anticipation of what is to be realized.

Marvelousness—6, F. Openness to conviction without blind credulity; tolerably good degree of faith.

Imitation—10, F. A disposition and respectable ability to imitate, but not to mimic or to act out.

Prepossession—8, L. or F. Attached to certain notions; not disposed to change them, &c.

Ideality—10, L. Lively imagination; fancy, taste, love of poetry; elegance, eloquence, excellence, &c.


Admonition—9, F. or M. Desirous to know what others are doing; reads to counsel and give hints of a fault or duty, &c.

Constructiveness—8, L. Great mechanical ingenuity, talent and skill.

Tune—8, F. or M. Love of music. Without quickness to catch or learn tunes by the ear.

Time—8, F. or M. Indistinct notions of the lapse of time, of ages dates and events, &c.

Locality—11, V. L. or L. Great memory of places and position.

Eventuality—9, L. Retentive memory of events and particulars.

Individuality—10, L. Great desire to see; power of observation.

Form—8, F. Cognizance and distinct recollection of shapes, countenances, &c.

Size—11, V. L., L. or F. Ability to judge of proportionate size, &c.

Weight—6, M. S. or V. S. Deficient balancing power; failure in equilibrium.

Color—11, V. L. or L. Great power of recollecting and comparing colors.

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Language—7, F. Freedom of expression, without fluency or verbosity; no great loquacity.

Order—10, L. Love of arrangement; everything in its particular place.

Number—9, L. Quickness, facility, and correctness in calculating figures.


Mirthfulness—10, L. Wit, fun, mirth; perception and love of the ludicrous.

Causality—11, L. Ability to think and reason clearly, and perceive the relations of cause and effect.

Comparison—10, L. A discrimination; power of illustration, ability to perceive and apply analogies, &c.—[See explanation of numbers, etc. to my chart].

Sunday, 10.—Attended meeting at the stand. Elder Woodruff preached. My health was not good. At home in the afternoon.

Monday, 11.—In the morning, transacting business with Mr. Hunter. In the afternoon, at the printing office reading the papers, and bought a horse of Harmon T. Wilson, which I named Joe Duncan.

Tuesday, 12.—At the court room in consultation about Bennett.

Bishop Miller and Erastus Derby started for Quincy and Missouri.

Attended city council. An ordinance was passed regulating auctions; also provision was made for publishing the Legion laws, &c., &c.

Mobs, riots, earthquakes, tumults and distress of nations, are common. In England the manufacturers are reducing the wages of the laborers, and turn-outs and starvation follow.

The Asiatic cholera has appeared again in India.

Friday, 15.—It was reported early in the morning that Elder Orson Pratt was missing. I caused the Temple hands and the principal men of the city to make search for him. After which, a meeting was called at the Grove, and I gave the public a general outline of John C. Bennett’s conduct.

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The people met again in the afternoon, and were addressed on the same subject by Brother Hyrum and Elder Kimball. I then stated that I had heard that Edward and D. Kilbourn were engaged with John C. Bennett to bring a mob on the city, from Galena, and asked Edward Kilbourn, who was present, if it was so? To which Mr. Kilbourn replied at some length, and denied the charge.

Elder Pratt returned in the evening.

I find an editorial, in the Times and Seasons, on the government of God as follows:—

The Government of God.

The government of the Almighty has always been very dissimilar to the governments of men, whether we refer to His religious government, or to the government of nations. The government of God has always tended to promote peace, unity, harmony, strength, and happiness; while that of man has been productive of confusion, disorder, weakness, and misery.

The greatest acts of the mighty men have been to depopulate nations and to overthrow kingdoms; and whilst they have exalted themselves and become glorious, it has been at the expense of the lives of the innocent, the blood of the oppressed, the moans of the widow, and the tears of the orphan.

Egypt, Babylon, Greece, Persia, Carthage, Rome—each was raised to dignity amidst the clash of arms and the din of war; and whilst their triumphant leaders led forth their victorious armies to glory and victory, their ears were saluted with the groans of the dying and the misery and distress of the human family; before them the earth was a paradise, and behind them a desolate wilderness; their kingdoms were founded in carnage and bloodshed, and sustained by oppression, tyranny, and despotism. The designs of God, on the other hand, have been to promote the universal good of the universal world; to establish peace and good will among men; to promote the principles of eternal truth; to bring about a state of things that shall unite man to his fellow man; cause the world to “beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks,” make the nations of the earth dwell in peace, and to bring about the millennial glory, when “the earth shall yield its increase, resume its paradisean glory, and become as the garden of the Lord.”

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The great and wise of ancient days have failed in all their attempts to promote eternal power, peace and happiness. Their nations have crumbled to pieces; their thrones have been cast down in their turn, and their cities, and their mightiest works of art have been annihilated; or their dilapidated towers, of time-worn monuments have left us but feeble traces of their former magnificence and ancient grandeur. They proclaim as with a voice of thunder, those imperishable truths—that man’s strength is weakness, his wisdom is folly, his glory is his shame.

Monarchial, aristocratical, and republican governments of their various kinds and grades, have, in their turn, been raised to dignity, and prostrated in the dust. The plans of the greatest politicians, the wisest senators, and most profound statesmen have been exploded; and the proceedings of the greatest chieftains, the bravest generals, and the wisest kings have fallen to the ground. Nation has succeeded nation, and we have inherited nothing but their folly. History records their puerile plans, their short-lived glory, their feeble intellect and their ignoble deeds.

Have we increased in knowledge or intelligence? Where is there a man that can step forth and alter the destiny of nations and promote the happiness of the world? Or where is there a kingdom or nation that can promote the universal happiness of its own subjects, or even their general well being? Our nation, which possesses greater resources than any other, is rent, from center to circumference, with party strife, political intrigues, and sectional interest; our counselors are panic stricken, our legislators are astonished, and our senators are confounded, our merchants are paralyzed, our tradesmen are disheartened, our mechanics out of employ, our farmers distressed, and our poor crying for bread, our banks are broken, our credit ruined, and our states overwhelmed in debt, yet we are, and have been in peace.

What is the matter? Are we alone in this thing? Verily no. With all our evils we are better situated than any other nation. Let Egypt, Turkey, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Germany, England, China, or any other nation, speak, and tell the tale of their trouble, their perplexity, and distress, and we should find that their cup was full, and that they were preparing to drink the dregs of sorrow. England, that boasts of her literature, her science, commerce, &c., has her hands reeking with the blood of the innocent abroad, and she is saluted with the cries of the oppressed at home. Chartism, O’Connelism, and radicalism are gnawing her vitals at home; and Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and the east are threatening her destruction abroad. France is rent to the core, intrigue, treachery, and treason lurk in the dark, and murder, and assassination stalk forth at noonday. Turkey, once the dread of European nations, has been shorn of her strength, has dwindled into her dotage, and has been obliged to ask her allies to propose to her tributary terms of peace; and Russia and Egypt are each of them opening their jaws to devour her. Spain has been the theater of bloodshed, of misery and woe for years past. Syria is now convulsed with war and bloodshed. The great and powerful empire of China, which has, for centuries resisted the attacks of barbarians, has become tributary to a foreign foe, her batteries thrown down, many of her cities destroyed, and her villages deserted. We might mention the Eastern Rajahs, the miseries and oppressions of the Irish; the convulsed state of Central America; the situation of Texas and Mexico; the state of Greece, Switzerland and Poland; nay, the world itself presents one great theater of misery, woe, and “distress of nations with perplexity.” All, all, speak with a voice of thunder, that man is not able to govern himself, to legislate for himself, to protect himself, to promote his own good, nor the good of the world.

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It has been the design of Jehovah, from the commencement of the world, and is His purpose now, to regulate the affairs of the world in His own time, to stand as a head of the universe, and take the reins of government in His own hand. When that is done, judgment will be administered in righteousness; anarchy and confusion will be destroyed, and “nations will learn war no more.” It is for want of this great governing principle, that all this confusion has existed; “for it is not in man that walketh, to direct his steps;” this we have fully shown.

If there was anything great or good in the world, it came from God. The construction of the first vessel was given to Noah, by revelation. The design of the ark was given by God, “a pattern of heavenly things.” The learning of the Egyptians, and their knowledge of astronomy was no doubt taught them by Abraham and Joseph, as their records testify, who received it from the Lord. The art of working in brass, silver, gold, and precious stones, was taught by revelation, in the wilderness. The architectural designs of the Temple at Jerusalem, together with its ornaments and beauty, were given of God. Wisdom to govern the house of Israel was given to Solomon, and to the judges of Israel; and if he had always been their king, and they subject to his mandate, and obedient to his laws, they would still have been a great and mighty people—the rulers of the universe, and the wonder of the world.

If Nebuchadnezzar, or Darius, or Cyrus, or any other king possessed knowledge or power, it was from the same source, as the Scriptures abundantly testify. If, then, God puts up one, and sets down another at His pleasure, and made instruments of kings, unknown to themselves, to fulfill His prophecies, how much more was He able, if man would have been subject to His mandate to regulate the affairs of this world, and promote peace and happiness among the human family!

The Lord has at various times commenced this kind of government, and tendered His services to the human family. He selected Enoch, whom He directed, and gave His law unto, and to the people who were with him; and when the world in general would not obey the commands of God, after walking with God, he translated Enoch and his church, and the Priesthood or government of heaven was taken away.

Abraham was guided in all his family affairs by the Lord; was conversed with by angels, and by the Lord; was told where to go, and when to stop; and prospered exceedingly in all that he put his band unto; it was because he and his family obeyed the counsel of the Lord.

When Egypt was under the superintendence of Joseph it prospered, because he was taught of God; when they oppressed the Israelites, destruction came upon them. When the children of Israel were chosen with Moses at their head, they were to be a peculiar people, among whom God should place His name; their motto was: “The Lord is our lawgiver; the Lord is our Judge; the Lord is our King, and He shall reign over us.” While in this state they might truly say, “Happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.” Their government was a theocracy; they had God to make their laws, and men chosen by Him to administer them; He was their God, and they were His people. Moses received the word of the Lord from God Himself; he was the mouth of God to Aaron, and Aaron taught the people, in both civil and ecclesiastical affairs; they were both one, there was no distinction; so will it be when the purposes of God shall be accomplished: when “the Lord shall be King over the whole earth,” and “Jerusalem His throne.” “The law shall go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”

This is the only thing that can bring about the “restitution of all things spoken of by all the holy Prophets since the world was”—”the dispensation of the fullness of times, when God shall gather together all things in one.” Other attempts to promote universal peace and happiness in the human family have proved abortive; every effort has failed; every plan and design has fallen to the ground; it needs the wisdom of God, the intelligence of God, and the power of God to accomplish this. The world has had a fair trial for six thousand years; the Lord will try the seventh thousand Himself; “He whose right it is, will possess the kingdom, and reign until He has put all things under His feet;” iniquity will hide its hoary head, Satan will be bound, and the works of darkness destroyed; righteousness will be put to the line, and judgment to the plummet, and “he that fears the Lord will alone be exalted in that day.” To bring about this state of things, there must of necessity be great confusion among the nations of the earth; “distress of nations with perplexity.” Am I asked what is the cause of the present distress? I would answer, “Shall there be evil in a city and the Lord hath not done it?”

The earth is groaning under corruption, oppression, tyranny and bloodshed; and God is coming out of His hiding place, as He said He would do, to vex the nations of the earth. Daniel, in his vision, saw convulsion upon convulsion; he “beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit; “and one was brought before him like unto the Son of Man; and all nations, kindred, tongues, and people, did serve and obey Him. It is for us to be righteous, that we may be wise and understand; for none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand, and they that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars for ever and ever.

As a Church and a people it behooves us to be wise, and to seek to know the will of God, and then be willing to do it; for “blessed is he that heareth the word of the Lord, and keepeth it,” say the Scriptures. “Watch and pray always,” says our Savior, “that ye may be accounted worthy to escape the things that are to come on the earth, and to stand before the Son of Man.” If Enoch, Abraham, Moses, and the children of Israel, and all God’s people were saved by keeping the commandments of God, we, if saved at all, shall be saved upon the same principle. As God governed Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as families, and the children of Israel as a nation; so we, as a Church, must be under His guidance if we are prospered, preserved and sustained. Our only confidence can be in God; our only wisdom obtained from Him; and He alone must be our protector and safeguard, spiritually and temporally, or we fall.

We have been chastened by the hand of God heretofore for not obeying His commands, although we never violated any human law, or transgressed any human precept; yet we have treated lightly His commands, and departed from His ordinances, and the Lord has chastened us sore, and we have felt His arm and kissed the rod; let us be wise in time to come and ever remember that “to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” The Lord has told us to build the Temple and the Nauvoo House; and that command is as binding upon us as any other; and that man who engages not in these things is as much a transgressor as though he broke any other commandment; be is not a doer of God’s will, not a fulfiller of His laws.

In regard to the building up of Zion, it has to be done by the counsel of Jehovah, by the revelations of heaven; and we should feel to say, “if the Lord go not with us, carry us not up hence.” We would say to the Saints that come here, we have laid the foundation for the gathering of God’s people to this place, and they expect that when the Saints do come, they will be under the counsel that God has appointed. The Twelve are set apart to counsel the Saints pertaining to this matter; and we expect that those who come here will send before them their wise men according to revelation; or if not practicable, be subject to the counsel that God has given, or they cannot receive an inheritance among the Saints, or be considered as God’s people, and they will be dealt with as transgressors of the laws of God. We are trying here to gird up our loins, and purge from our midst the workers of iniquity; and we hope that when our brethren arrive from abroad, they will assist us to roll forth this good work, and to accomplish this great design, that “Zion may be built upon righteousness; and all nations flock to her standard;” that as God’s people, under His direction, and obedient to His law, we may grow up in righteousness and truth; that when His purposes shall be accomplished, we may receive an inheritance among those that are sanctified.

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Saturday, 16.—Rode on the prairie with my clerk, to show some land to Brother Russell from New York; dined with my farmer, Brother Cornelius P. Lott, and hoed potatoes.

The Prophet Charged with Being Accessory to the Assault on Ex-Governor Boggs of Missouri—Correspondence with Governor Carlin—The Character of John C. Bennett—Prophecy that the Saints Would Be Driven to the Rocky Mountains.

Sunday Morning, July 17, 1842.—Attended meeting at the Grove; was sick and tarried at home the remainder of the day.

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1. See Doctrine and Covenants 61:14-29. Also see an article in the Improvement Era, September number, 1903, “The fulfillment of prophecy, the Testimony of the Floods.”