Ancient Ruins in America, Book of Mormon Evidence—The Prophet on the U. S. Constitution and the Bible—Misrepresentations Corrected—Letter to the U. S. Presidential Candidates—The Prophet’s Address to the Saints.
Tuesday, October 10, 1843.—My brother Hyrum was appointed, by the voice of the Spirit, one of the Temple Committee, in place of Judge Elias Higbee, deceased.
I spent the day in council with J. and O. C. Skinner and the Rhodes’ about the sale of land, and appointed William Clayton to buy the property.
Wednesday, 11—I was at home this morning. In the afternoon I went with my brother Hyrum, William Law, and our wives, to Brother John Benbow’s.
The following is from the Times and Seasons:—
Every day adds fresh testimony to the already accumulated evidence on the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. At the time that book was translated, there was very little known about ruined cities and dilapidated buildings. The general presumption was that no people possessing more intelligence than our present race of Indians had ever inhabited this continent; and the accounts given in the Book of Mormon concerning large cities and civilized people having inhabited this land were generally disbelieved and pronounced a humbug. Priest, since then, has thrown some light on this interesting subject. Stephens, in his “Incidents of Travels in Central America,” has thrown in a flood of testimony, and from the following statements it is evident that the Book of Mormon does not give a more extensive account of large and populous cities than those discovered demonstrate to be even now in existence.—Ed.]
(Article from the Texas Telegraph, October 11.)
We have been informed by a gentleman who has traversed a large portion of the Indian country of Northern Texas, and the country lying between Santa Fe and the Pacific, that there are vestiges of ancient cities and ruined castles or temples on the Rio Puerco, and on the Colorado of the West.
He says that on one of the branches of the Rio Puerco, a few days’ travel from Santa Fe, there is an immense pile of ruins that appear to belong to an ancient temple. Portions of the walls are still standing, consisting of huge blocks of limestone regularly hewn and laid in cement. The building occupies an extent of more than an acre. It is two or three stories high, has no roof, but contains many rooms, generally of a square form, without windows; and the lower rooms are so dark and gloomy that they resemble caverns rather than the apartments of an edifice built for a human habitation.
Our informant did not give the style of architecture, but he believes it could not be erected by Spaniards or Europeans, as the stones are much worn by the rains, and indicate that the building has stood many hundred years. From his description, we are induced to believe that it resembles the ruins of Palenque or Otulum.
He says there are many similar ruins on the Colorado of the West, which empties in the Californian sea. In one of the valleys of the Cordilleras traversed by this river, and about four hundred miles from its mouth, there is a large temple still standing, its walls and spires presenting scarcely any traces of dilapidation; and were it not for the want of a roof, it might still be rendered habitable. Near it, scattered along the declivity of a mountain, are the ruins of what must have been once a large city.
The traces of a large aqueduct, part of which is, however, in the solid rock, are still visible. Neither the Indians residing in the vicinity nor the oldest Spanish settlers of the nearest settlements can give any account of the origin of these buildings. They merely know that they have stood there from the earliest periods to which their traditions extend.
The antiquarian who is desirous to trace the Aztec or the Toltec races in their migrations from the northern regions of America may find in their ancient edifices many subjects of curious speculation.
Thursday, 12.—Prayer-meeting in my room. We prayed for William Marks, who was sick.
I sent William Clayton to Lathrop, to borrow $50, that I might be able to redeem $5000 worth of property, which was published to be sold today at Rhodes’; but Lathrop refused. He also went to Eli Chase’s, but was refused by him. I was grieved that the brethren felt so penurious in their spirit, although they professed to be guided by the revelations which the Lord gives through me. On my afterwards giving a pledge that I would repay the $50 in forty-eight hours, Lathrop lent the money and enabled me to redeem the land.
I received the following from H. R. Hotchkiss:
Letter—H. R. Hotchkiss to Joseph Smith.
New York, 27th September, 1843.
Rev. Joseph Smith.
Dear Sir,—I see by the newspapers that there has been a meeting of citizens at Carthage relative to the Mormons, and that several severe resolutions have been passed condemning the conduct of the Mormons. Knowing how little I can rely upon public rumor upon such subjects, I have taken the liberty of applying directly to you for correct information, and solicit as a particular favor that you will communicate at your earliest convenience the facts in the case.
Of course I feel an interest in the prosperity of Nauvoo, and an interest also in the success of the Mormon enterprise, and a deep interest in the welfare of your people; and the more so, certainly, as their pecuniary interest is identified with my own. I make this frank acknowledgment, because it is always best for men of sense to talk as they mean. I should, however, be solicitous for a successful termination of your great enterprise, had I not one dollar invested in Nauvoo, because the complete triumph of energetic exertions is always gratifying to all business men.
Your obedient servant,
Horace R. Hotchkiss.
I wrote this reply:—
Letter—Joseph Smith to H. R. Hotchkiss.
Nauvoo, Ill., Oct. 12, 1843.
Dear Sir,—Your letter of the 27th ult. is at hand, soliciting information concerning the “Carthage resolutions.” In answer to your very candid inquiry and interest relative to our welfare, brevity will suffice. Unprincipled men and disappointed demagogues, with here and there an “untamed sucker,” composed that disgraceful and disgracing as well as mobocratic assemblage; and I feel proud to say that patriots and honest men generally frown upon such audacious proceedings as beneath the dignity of freemen. It is to be hoped that public opinion will continue to spurn at such doings, and leave the actors to fester in their own shame.
With the smiling prospects around us at present, success seems certain; and, with the blessings of Jehovah, we shall reap the reward of virtue and goodness. I go for the good of the world; and if all honest men would do so, mean men would be scarce. You are at liberty to use this to counteract falsehoods as you may deem proper.
Respectfully, I am your obedient servant,
Friday, 13.—First severe frost at Nauvoo this season. Ice on the water.
At home; made arrangements to prepare provisions for the workmen in the pinery. From ten, A.M. to three, P.M., presided in municipal court, on habeas corpus in favor of Charles Drown, to be delivered from the custody of Samuel Waterman. The prisoner being sick, adjourned the case to the 16th.
In the afternoon, trying a span of grey horses in the carriage.
Dr. Turner, a phrenologist, came in. I gratified his curiosity for about an hour by allowing him to examine my head.
I was engaged settling accounts with D. S. Hollister.
Location of the mind.
Saturday, 14.—In the morning, at home, having a long conversation with a physiologist and mesmerizer. I asked them to prove that the mind of man was seated in one part of the brain more than another.
Sat in City Council till one, P.M., which passed “An Ordinance concerning the inspection of flour,” and appointed William E. Horner inspector of flour for the city of Nauvoo.
Sunday, 15.—Cool, calm, and cloudy. At eleven, A.M., I preached at the stand east of the Temple. The following synopsis was reported by Dr. Willard Richards:—
The Prophet on the Constitution of the United States and the Bible—Temporal Economies.
It is one of the first principles of my life, and one that I have cultivated from my childhood, having been taught it by my father, to allow every one the liberty of conscience. I am the greatest advocate of the Constitution of the United States there is on the earth. In my feelings I am always ready to die for the protection of the weak and oppressed in their just rights. The only fault I find with the Constitution is, it is not broad enough to cover the whole ground.
Although it provides that all men shall enjoy religious freedom, yet it does not provide the manner by which that freedom can be preserved, nor for the punishment of Government officers who refuse to protect the people in their religious rights, or punish those mobs, states, or communities who interfere with the rights of the people on account of their religion. Its sentiments are good, but it provides no means of enforcing them. It has but this one fault. Under its provision, a man or a people who are able to protect themselves can get along well enough; but those who have the misfortune to be weak or unpopular are left to the merciless rage of popular fury.
The Constitution should contain a provision that every officer of the Government who should neglect or refuse to extend the protection guaranteed in the Constitution should be subject to capital punishment; and then the president of the United States would not say, “Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you,” a governor issue exterminating orders, or judges say, “The men ought to have the protection of law, but it won’t please the mob; the men must die, anyhow, to satisfy the clamor of the rabble; they must be hung, or Missouri be damned to all eternity.” Executive writs could be issued when they ought to be, and not be made instruments of cruelty to oppress the innocent, and persecute men whose religion is unpopular.
I cannot believe in any of the creeds of the different denominations, because they all have some things in them I cannot subscribe to, though all of them have some truth. I want to come up into the presence of God, and learn all things; but the creeds set up stakes, and say, “Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further;” which I cannot subscribe to.
I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers. Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors. As it read, Gen. 6:6, “It repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth;” also, Num. 23:19, “God is not a man, that he should lie, neither the Son of man, that he should repent;” which I do not believe. But it ought to read, “It repented Noah that God made man.” This I believe, and then the other quotation stands fair. If any man will prove to me, by one passage of Holy Writ, one item I believe to be false, I will renounce and disclaim it as far as I promulged it.
The first principles of the Gospel, as I believe, are, faith, repentance, baptism for the remission of sins, with the promise of the Holy Ghost.
Look at Heb. 6:1 for contradictions—”Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection.” If a man leaves the principles of the doctrine of Christ, how can he be saved in the principles? This is a contradiction. I don’t believe it. I will render it as it should be—”Therefore not leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”
It is one thing to see the kingdom of God, and another thing to enter into it. We must have a change of heart to see the kingdom of God, and subscribe the articles of adoption to enter therein.
No man can receive the Holy Ghost without receiving revelations. The Holy Ghost is a revelator.
I prophesy, in the name of the Lord God of Israel, anguish and wrath and tribulation and the withdrawing of the Spirit of God from the earth await this generation, until they are visited with utter desolation. This generation is as corrupt as the generation of the Jews that crucified Christ; and if He were here to-day, and should preach the same doctrine He did then, they would put Him to death. I defy all the world to destroy the work of God; and I prophesy they never will have power to kill me till my work is accomplished, and I am ready to die.
I will now speak a little on the economy of this city. I think there are too many merchants among you. I would like to see more wool and raw materials instead of manufactured goods, and the money be brought here to pay the poor for manufacturing goods. Set our women to work, and stop their spinning street yarns and talking about spiritual wives.
Instead of going abroad to buy goods, lay your money out in the country, and buy grain, cattle, flax, wool, and work it up yourselves.
I proclaim, in the name of the Lord God Almighty, that I will fellowship nothing in the Church but virtue, integrity, and uprightness.
We cannot build up a city on merchandise. I would not run after the merchants. I would sow a little flax, if I had but a garden spot, and make clothing of it.
The temporal economy of this people should be to establish and encourage manufactures, and not to take usury for their money. I do not want to bind the poor here to starve. Go out into the country and into the neighbouring cities, and get food, and gird up your loins, and be sober. When you get food, return, if you have a mind to.
Some say it is better to give to the poor than build the Temple. The building of the Temple has sustained the poor who were driven from Missouri, and kept them from starving; and it has been the best means for this object which could be devised.
Oh, all ye rich men of the Latter-day Saints from abroad, I would invite you to bring up some of your money—your gold, your silver, and your precious things, and give to the Temple. We want iron, steel, spades, and quarrying and mechanical tools.
It would be a good plan to get up a forge to manufacture iron, and bring in raw materials of every variety, and erect manufacturing establishments of all kinds, and surround the rapids with mills and machinery.
I never stole the value of a pin’s head, or a picayune in my life; and when you are hungry don’t steal. Come to me, and I will feed you.
The secret of masonry is to keep a secret. It is good economy to entertain strangers—to entertain sectarians. Come up to Nauvoo, ye sectarian priests of the everlasting Gospel, as they call it, and you shall have my pulpit all day.
Woe to ye rich men, who refuse to give to the poor, and then come and ask me for bread. Away with all your meanness, and be liberal. We need purging, purifying and cleansing. You that have little faith in your Elders when you are sick, get some little simple remedy in the first stages. If you send for a doctor at all, send in the first stages.
All ye doctors who are fools, not well read, and do not understand the human constitution, stop your practice. And all ye lawyers who have no business, only as you hatch it up, would to God you would go to work or run away!”
Monday, 16.—At home nearly all day, attending to family concerns.
Went to municipal court, and adjourned hearing of the case 1 to the 17th.
Tuesday, 17.—Went to municipal court. The prosecutor not appearing, court ordered that the prisoner be discharged.
Wednesday, 18.—Pleasant and comfortable day.
Fifteen deaths have occurred during the past week in the city.
The Prophet’s Visit to Macedonia.
Thursday, 19.—Warm and pleasant day. The water has risen about two feet in the Mississippi, and is still rising.
About noon, started for Macedonia, in company with Brother William Clayton. Arrived there about sundown, and I stayed at Brother Benjamin F. Johnson’s for the night.
Friday, 20.—In the evening I gave instructions to Benjamin F. Johnson and others in relation to the blessings of the everlasting covenant and the sealings of the Priesthood.
Elder John P. Greene returned from a Mission to the State of New York, with about 100 emigrants, some of them from Pennsylvania, who joined his company on the way.
Warm, smoky day, with strong wind, very dark evening.
Saturday, 21.—We left Macedonia, and arrived home about two P.M. Pleasant cool day.
Sunday, 22.—Meeting at the stand. Elder Rigdon preached half-an hour on “Poor Rich Folks.”
I remained at home all day, and held a prayer-meeting at my house at two, P.M.; twenty-four persons present.
Labors of Apostles in the East.
Elders Young, Kimball, and George A. Smith returned from their mission to the Eastern States, having, in connection with Elders Orson Pratt and Wilford Woodruff, visited the branches in Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine; held conferences, set in order the churches collected tithings for the Temple and subscriptions for the Nauvoo House, baptized many, and stirred up a general system of gathering among the Saints in the Eastern countries. They have been absent nearly four months, and have accomplished a good work. I was very glad to see them, and blessed them in the name of the Lord. Elders Daniel Spencer and Bradford Elliot also returned from their missions, and quite a respectable number of Saints came in their company.
Pleasant, cool day.
Monday, 23.—Those of the Twelve who returned from the East yesterday visited me through the day, and paid over the means they had received for the Temple and the Nauvoo House. I immediately gave directions to send to St. Louis for groceries and different articles necessary for the Temple and the workmen thereon.
Hyrum Smith Appointed on Temple Committee.
This morning President Hyrum Smith entered upon the duties of his office, having previously been appointed by the voice of the Spirit to supply the place of the late Elias Higbee, deceased, as one of the Temple Committee. On his arrival at the Temple he was greeted by a hearty welcome from those engaged on the works, and the universal feeling is that great good will result from this appointment.
The day cloudy, with strong east wind.
Tuesday, 24.—William W. Phelps and Colonel Dunham started for Springfield to see the Governor, and endeavor to obtain from him the quota of State arms which belong to the Legion.
Morning warm and pleasant; afternoon wind west by north. At four, a little rain, accompanied by snow, for the first time this fall.
Wednesday, 25.—Ice one-third of an inch thick on small bodies of water. Cloudy and cold day.
In the evening settled the taxes for the Temple and Nauvoo House.
Eleven deaths in the city reported this week.
Friday, 27.—I was at home and received a visit from Bishop George Miller and Elder Peter Haws, who have just returned from their trip to Mississippi and Alabama.
Many emigrants have arrived in Nauvoo the last few weeks.
Prayer-meeting at my house in the evening.
Saturday, 28.—Cold east wind. At home all day.
Sunday, 29.—Meeting at the stand, south side of the Temple, from eleven, A.M. to two, P.M. Elders Brigham Young and John Taylor preached. Dr. Willard Richards called for a collection of $8, to buy a new book in which to record history, which sum was made up.
At nine, A.M., Elders Richards, Miller and Haws ordained William C. Steffey (who was going to Texas on business,) an Elder.
Two, P.M., prayer-meeting in my house; twenty-five present. I gave instructions on the priesthood.
Monday, 30.—At nine, A.M., went to mayor’s court, and adjourned it for one week.
Twelve, noon, attended a court in the office, when the parties agreed to leave their difficulty to be settled by the arbitration of Brother Flagg.
I received $300 from Brother Spencer, and immediately paid it to Dr. Robert D. Foster.
On account of the cold weather, most of the masons have discontinued the work on the Temple.
Tuesday, 31.—At nine, A.M., Mr. Moore was brought before me for a breach of city ordinance, which was proved, and I fined him $5.
I rode out with Hyrum in the carriage to the prairie, returning about three, P.M. Snow on the ground this morning; cold east wind, and rain all day.
Wednesday, November 1, 1843.—In the evening there was a prayer-meeting in the mansion; twenty-nine present.
Thursday, 2.—Sitting in council with Hyrum, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, John Taylor, William Law, and William Clayton, at ten, A.M., on the subject of the following letter from Joseph L. Heywood:—
Letter: Joseph L. Heywood to Joseph Smith.
Quincy, October 23, 1843.
Gen. Joseph Smith.
Dear Sir,—In a conversation with Colonel Frierson. of this place, a short time since, he expressed, in very warm terms, feelings of sympathy for the wrongs yourself and brethren suffered in Missouri, as well as his sense of the vindictive feelings the authorities of that State still manifest towards you personally.
Mr. F. has not yet had the pleasure of a personal acquaintance with yourself, although he says he had the pleasure of meeting your lady at her sister’s residence on Rock River. Mr. F. has been written by the Hon. B. Rhett, of S. Carolina, upon the subject of the Persecution: and Mr. F. thinks, of all men, he would be the best qualified to present a petition in our behalf; and says, should such an arrangement meet your approbation, he will use his influence in favor of a petition; and says he knows of some honorable men in Missouri who, he has no doubt, are anxious to wipe off the stain that rests upon them, by [making] some just reparation.
I submit, by permission of Mr. F., a copy of a letter he has written to a distinguished citizen of South Carolina, together with a circular put out confidentially by the friends of Mr. Calhoun, of S. C., whom with my present feelings I should cheerfully support for our next President, and who, I have no doubt would be preferred, by the brethren to Mr. Van Buren.
If the plan suggested of memorializing Congress should meet your approbation, please inform me. Colonel Frierson promises his aid in such an event, and says he would go to Nauvoo and assist in arranging papers relative to such a step. Please accept my assurances of love and esteem for yourself and family, and a prayer that wisdom from on high may direct you in your deliberations.
I remain your brother in Christ,
Jos. L. Heywood.
Letters to Candidates for Presidency of the U.S. Decided upon
We agreed to write a letter to the five candidates for the Presidency of the United States, to inquire what their feelings were towards us as a people, and what their course of action would be in relation to the cruelty and oppression that we have suffered from the State of Missouri, if they were elected.
The Twelve Apostles published the following in the Times and Seasons:—
An Epistle of the Twelve, to the Elders and Churches Abroad.
On our late mission to the Eastern States, we discovered that the publications at Nauvoo were very little patronised by the Saints and branches in the various sections of the country where we passed, while the common newspapers of the day received a liberal support by those who pretend to “hunger and thirst after righteousness.” We feel justified, therefore, in reprobating such a course as detrimental to the general good of the whole Church, that shows a lack of charity in the Elders.
“Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”
Nauvoo at present is the seat of the First Presidency, the place of the gathering for all Saints, and the great center of the world for pure religion, revelation, truth, virtue, knowledge, and everything else preparatory to the coming of the Son of Man. The best news, the best people, and the best plan of salvation must be there. Wherefore,
Resolved unanimously that the traveling Elders are hereby instructed to use due diligence in obtaining subscribers for the Times and Seasons and Nauvoo Neighbor, and forward the pay by safe hands to the publishers at Nauvoo, that the Saints and the world may receive “line upon line and precept upon precept, here a little and there a little,” together with such extracts of translations and revelations as the Presidency of the Church may direct, for the edification of the whole body of the Church in righteousness.
Done in council at Nauvoo, Nov. 2nd, 1843.
Brigham Young, President of the Twelve.
Willard Richards, Clerk.
Friday, 3rd.—I continued in council all day.
Died at sea, Elder Knowlton F. Hanks. The following extract is from a letter of Addison Pratt, one of the Pacific Islands missionaries:—[Under this date there is inserted in the Prophet’s History a long letter from Elder Addison Pratt of the Pacific Island mission, describing in great detail the last illness, death and burial at sea of Elder Knowlton F. Hanks. Elder Hanks died of consumption; and of the death the Prophet remarks: “Elder Hanks is the first Elder who has died at sea while on a foreign mission. He was a faithful Elder, cut off by consumption in the flower of his days.”]
Saturday, 4.—Elders Richards and Taylor were with me at the Mansion, assisting writing letters.
Wrote to John C. Calhoun as follows:—
President Smith’s Letter to John C. Calhoun, and other Presidential Candidates.
Hon. John C. Calhoun.
Dear Sir,—As we understand you are a candidate for the Presidency at the next election; and as the Latter-day Saints (sometimes called “Mormons,” who now constitute a numerous class in the school politic of this vast republic,) have been robbed of an immense amount of property, and endured nameless sufferings by the State of Missouri, and from her borders have been driven by force of arms, contrary to our national covenants; and as in vain we have sought redress by all constitutional, legal, and honorable means, in her courts, her executive councils, and her legislative halls; and as we have petitioned Congress to take cognizance of our sufferings without effect, we have judged it wisdom to address you this communication, and solicit an immediate, specific, and candid reply to “What will be your rule of action relative to us as a people,” should fortune favor your ascension to the chief magistracy?
Most respectfully, sir, your friend,
and the friend of peace, good order,
and constitutional rights,
In behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Similar letters were written to Gen. Lewis Cass, Hon. Richard M. Johnson, Hon. Henry Clay, and President Martin Van Buren. To Mr. Van Buren’s letter I added the following:—
Post Script to Van Buren.
Also whether your views or feelings have changed since the subject matter of this communication was presented you in your then official capacity at Washington, in the year 1841, and by you treated with a coldness, indifference, and neglect, bordering on contempt.
Elder Wilford Woodruff arrived at Nauvoo with paper for the use of the printing office.
Sunday, 5.—Rode out with mother and others for her health.
The Prophet poisoned.
At dinner I was taken suddenly sick; went to the door and vomited all my dinner, dislocated my jaw, and raised fresh blood, and had many symptoms of being poisoned.
In the evening a prayer-meeting in the hall over the store.
Mr. Cole having kept a school in the hall for some time, the noise proved a nuisance for the clerks in the history office, and I gave Dr. W. Richards orders to tell Mr. Cole he must find some other room in which to teach school, as the room is needed for councils.
Meeting at the stand. Elder Rigdon preached.
Work in the British Mission.
Received a letter from Reuben Hedlock, dated Liverpool, October 16. He informs me there is a great call for preaching, and many Elders are wanted throughout the British Isles. Much opposition. The Saints are anxious to have the Starcontinue its publication, as 1,600 copies are circulated.
Also received a letter from Hyrum Clark, giving a partial account of the business affairs of the emigration and publishing offices.
Monday, 6.—Domestic affairs kept me busy in the morning, and in the afternoon listened to William W. Phelps giving a relation of his visit to the governor, which amused me.
It has been very cool for some days past.
Elder Erastus Snow arrived with a company from Massachusetts.
The Prophet’s Anxiety concerning the History of the Church.
Tuesday, 7.—Mr. Cole moved the tables back into the hall, when Richards and Phelps called to report that the noise in the school disturbed them in the progress of writing the History. I gave orders that Cole must look out for another place, as the history must continue and not be disturbed, as there are but few subjects that I have felt a greater anxiety about than my history, which has been a very difficult task, on account of the death of my best clerks and the apostasy of others, and the stealing of records by John Whitmer, Cyrus Smalling and others.
Preliminary Steps to Publish in Nauvoo Edition of Doctrine and Covenants.
The quorum of the Twelve—viz., President Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor, George A. Smith, and Willard Richards, assembled in the mayor’s office, and voted to raise $500 to get paper, &c., to print the Doctrine and Covenants. Also voted that Parley P. Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, and John Taylor be a committee to borrow or get the money, and that President Young go along with them.
Wednesday, 8.—From nine to eleven, A.M., had an interview with Richards and Phelps, read and heard read part of my history, then attended to settling some accounts with several individuals. In the afternoon, I examined a sample of fringe designed for the pulpits of the Temple; and from two to three, conversed with Phelps, Lewis, John Butler and others.
The Neighbor has the following:—
We know that statements made by the Carthage mob in their resolutions, as published in the late Warsaw Message,were false. We also felt convinced that the parties themselves were apprized of that fact, and that it was a thing generally understood by the public; and therefore we did not trouble ourselves about it. But having the following testimonies and affidavits sent us for publication, we insert them for the information of those who may not have had opportunities of informing themselves relative to this subject.
State of Illinois,
Lee County. ss.
We the undersigned citizens of the town of Dixon, county of Lee, State of Illinois, being duly sworn according to law, depose and say that we have seen the article entitled “Statement of facts connected with the arrest of Joseph Smith and his discharge therefrom,” published in the Warsaw Message of the date of 15th of July, A.D. 1843; and have also seen an editorial article in the same number of said paper, in which it is stated that said statement of facts was furnished by E. Southwick, one of Mr. Smith’s attorneys in said case; and that we know the fact stated in that statement—to wit, that Reynolds, for a considerable length of time immediately after his arrival at Dixon, did peremptorily refuse to allow Smith a private interview with his counsel; and that said Reynolds did expressly state that no conversation could be had with Smith by his attorneys, unless he, Reynolds, was present at such conversation.
The length of time which such refusal to allow said private conversation continued, was, in the belief of these deponents, at least one hour; and that such private conversation was not permitted by Reynolds, until after being informed by at least two of these deponents (Messrs. Dixon and Sanger) that such private interview must be allowed Mr. Smith, as that was a right he had guaranteed to him by law.
John Dixon, J. D. Mccomsay,
Isaac Robinson, J. Albert Helfenstein,
L. P. Sanger, S. G. Patrick,
Sworn and subscribed to before me at Dixon, this 29th day of July, 1843.
Frederick R. Dutcher,
Justice of the Peace for Lee County, Ill.
We, the undersigned, state under oath that we traveled in company with Joseph H. Reynolds, the agent of the State of Missouri, from Dixon to Nauvoo, at the time he had Joseph Smith in custody with the intention of taking him to Missouri, between the 26th of June last and the 1st instant; and that the Mormons, friends of Mr. Smith, who met us on said journey, before we arrived at Nauvoo, conducted themselves, so far as we could perceive and were able to judge, with the strictest propriety; and to our knowledge made use of no means of intimidation towards either H. T. Wilson or said Reynolds; but, on the contrary, several of them, and said Smith among that number, pledged themselves that said Wilson and Reynolds should be personally safe; and that said Mormons, none of them as we could perceive, were armed, so far as was discernible; and further, that the statement made in the Old School Democrat of the 12th instant, over the signature of T. H. Reynolds, that he and said Wilson were disarmed soon after they were arrested on the trespass suit commenced against them by said Smith, and that their arms were not returned to them until after the said Smith’s discharge at Nauvoo, was incorrect. And in relation to this, these deponents say that said Wilson and Reynolds were arrested on said action of trespass at Dixon, on Saturday morning, the 24th of June last. That they were not disarmed by the sheriff of Lee county, who had them in custody, nor by any other person, until the following day, at Paw-paw Grove, thirty-two miles distant from Dixon; and that the arms of said Wilson and Reynolds were restored to them by the said sheriff of Lee county, who had them in custody for default of bail, at their (Wilson and Reynolds’) own request, while on the journey from Dixon to Nauvoo, before the company had arrived within at least eighty miles of Nauvoo.
J. D. Mccomsay,
L. P. Sanger,
S. G. Patrick.
Sworn and subscribed to before my, at Dixon, this 29th day of July, A.D. 1843.
Frederick R. Dutcher,
Justice of the Peace.
To the Editor of the Warsaw Message:
Gentleman:—It appears from an article in your paper of the 15th of July under the editorial head, that there is a question of veracity therein raised, between Mr. H. T Wilson and myself, relative to the proceedings had after the late arrest by him of Joseph Smith. Now, in order that the public may no longer be deceived in the premises, be pleased to publish, together with this note, the above affidavits, that the charge of falsehood may attach where it properly belongs.
Very respectfully yours,
Dixon July 29, 1843.
I wrote to the Times and Seasons:—
Communication of President Joseph Smith to the Saints.
Messrs. Taylor and Woodruff:
It has been so long since I addressed the Saints through the medium of the Times and Seasons, that I feel confident that a few words from my pen, by way of advice, will be well received, as well as a “waymark” to guide the “faithful” in future. I was sorry to learn, by your remarks upon the resolutions of the “Twelve” concerning your papers, which appeared not long since, that many of the Saints abroad were more apt to patronize the common newspapers of the day than yours, for the important reason that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the words of eternal life, and your paper, as it has hitherto done, must continue to publish such portions of them for the benefit of the Saints and the salvation of mankind as wisdom shall from time to time direct.
Freedom is a sweet blessing. Men have a right to take and read what papers they please; “but do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” It certainly is no more than just to suppose that charity begins at home; and if so, what must such as profess to be Saints think, when they patronize the splendor of Babylon and leave the virtue of Zion to linger for want of bread?
Beside which, if virtue is justified rather than vanity, the best of everything calculated to happify man and dignify society will—yea, must be in Nauvoo. And as the new commandment given anciently was to love one another, even so the works of the Saints at home and abroad will bear its own testimony whether they love the brethren.
In all the world the Times and Seasons is the only paper that virtually sustains, according to the forms of Scripture and prophecy, “Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists,” and revelations. And what shall be said of him that, like the “Levite,” passes on the other side of the way, when we behold men who “have borne the heat and the burden of the day” struggling against the popular opinions of a vain world, the burlesque of a giddy throng, the vulgarity of a self-wise multitude, and the falsehoods of what may justly be termed the “civilized meanness of the age,” and not lending a helping hand? The 25th chapter of Matthew contains the simple answer.
Now, let me say once for all, like the Psalmist of old, “How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” “As the precious ointment upon the head that ran down upon Aaron’s beard, that went down to the skirts of his garments, as the dew of Hermon that descended upon the mountains of Zion,” is such unity; for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore!” Unity is power; and when the brethren as one man sustain the Times and Seasons, they sustain me, by giving a spread to the revelations, faith, works, history and progress of the Church. The brethren who conduct the paper have been appointed to that important station, because they are worthy and well qualified; and what a blessed sign of a faithful friend to God and man is it to see the charity of a brother support his brethren, as an evidence that he means to pass from death into life?
Many of the articles which appear in the Times and Seasons are extracts of revelations, translations, or are the united voice of conferences, which, like “apples of gold in pictures of silver,” are treasures more than meat for the called, chosen and faithful among the Saints, and should be more than drink to those that hunger and thirst after righteousness. As Nauvoo is rising in glory and greatness, so shall I expect to see the Times and Seasons increase in circulation by the vigilance of the Elders and Saints, so as to be a herald of truth and a standard of pure and undefiled religion. Finally, men and brethren, when you support my friends, you support me. In the bonds of the new and everlasting covenant,
I am your humble servant,