Volume 4 Chapter 5
Affairs of the Saints before United States Senate—General Conference of the Church at Nauvoo—Action of the Church with Reference to Senate Committee's Report—Mission to Palestine.
Friday, 6.—Attended the meeting of the High Council of Iowa, at Brother Elijah Fordham's, Montrose.
Extract from the Minutes of the Iowa High Council.
President Joseph Smith, Jun., addressed the Council on various subjects, and in particular the consecration law; stating that the affairs now before Congress was the only thing that ought to interest the Saints at present; and till it was ascertained how it would terminate, no person ought to be brought to account before the constituted authorities of the Church for any offense whatever; and [he] was determined that no man should be brought before the Council in Nauvoo till that time, etc., etc. The law of consecration could not be kept here, and that it was the will of the Lord that we should desist from trying to keep it; and if persisted in, it would produce a perfect defeat of its object, and that he assumed the whole responsibility of not keeping it until proposed by himself. 1
He requested every exertion to be made to forward affidavits to Washington, and also letters to members of Congress. The following votes were then passed:
First—That this Council will coincide with President Joseph Smith, Jun.'s decision concerning the consecration law, on the principle of its being the will of the Lord, and of President Smith's taking the responsibility on himself.
Second—That a committee of three be appointed, consisting of Wheeler Baldwin, Lyman Wight, and Abraham O. Smoot, to obtain affidavits and other documents to be forwarded to the city of Washington.
Third—That the clerk of this Council be directed to inform Judge Higbee, that it is the wish of this Council that he should not, upon any consideration, consent to accept of anything of Congress short of our just rights and demands for our losses and damages in Missouri.
Sunday, 8.—I attended the Council of Nauvoo, at Brother Granger's.
President Brigham Young preached in Columbia Hall, New York.
Monday, 9.—Elders Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, George A. Smith, and Reuben Hedlock, sailed from New York on the Patrick Henry for Liverpool.
Fifth Letter of Elias Higbee to the Prophet—the Affairs of the Saints at Washington.
Washington, March 9th, 1840.
Dear Brother:—I expected, by this time, that we would be through with our business, but the chairman of the committee gave notice last week, he should call it [the committee's Report] up today in the Senate; through Mr. Young's having gone to Philadelphia, it will not be called up until his return, which will be on next Thursday, according to the information that I have obtained relative to this matter. If the resolution is passed, as annexed to the Report, I shall get my papers and leave the city.
I have written some letters to Brother Rigdon, which it seems he did not get. Brother Samuel Bennett writes that Brother Rigdon left Philadelphia for the Jerseys on the 5th instant. He [Rigdon] stated that he expects me to come there to go with him home, and that he would write me soon on the subject. I shall write for him to make the necessary arrangements. He says Dr. Ell's family left about a week ago for Commerce. Also that the Church there numbers about one hundred; and Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Brother Kimball, Brother Brigham Young, George A. Smith, and Brother Hedlock were to sail from New York to England on the 7th instant.
As I have lately written several letters to you, I shall bid adieu, not to write again until after the Senate acts upon our business. Mr. Robinson says he has sent you a report; notwithstanding, I shall enclose another for you.
I have changed my place of boarding in consequence of Mrs. Richey's breaking up house-keeping, and going to Baltimore. I am busy here at chimney corner preaching.
Yours as ever in the bonds of everlasting love,
To President Joseph Smith, Jun., Commerce, Illinois.
P. S.—Lest my previous letters should not come to hand, I merely say that I have been before the committee three days, and done all in my power to effect the object of our mission; have spoken my mind freely on the subject; and feel to have a conscience void of offense towards God in this matter. The subscription of which the report makes mention, was on condition that they could not lawfully do anything for us; after examination we were to submit and wait until the Great Disposer of human events shall adjust these things, in that place where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest (this I think is nearly the sentiment though perhaps not the very words); and I for one hope and pray the time will soon come when they will not trouble us in the west, as they have hitherto done.
There is a man here on whom I occasionally call, who owns two printing presses and much type, reading our books, I will with the assistance of God, get him to come to the west as soon as possible with his press, that you may set him to printing the truth. He told me, if we had any printing to do, he would do it cheap, and even go to the west if necessary.
Give my respects to Porter Rockwell, Dr. Foster, and also all the household of faith.
Friday, 13.—Jacob K. Potts and Levi Stilley made affidavit before William Oglesby, J. P., that they witnessed the massacre at Haun's mill on the 30th of October, 1838, confirming the statements already written in this History. Potts had two balls shot into his right leg.
Sunday, 15.—The High Council of the Church at Nauvoo voted that the First Presidency superintend the affairs of the ferry between Nauvoo and Montrose.
Monday, 16.—Elder John Taylor wrote from Liverpool:
Extract from Elder John Taylor's Letter—Affairs in British Mission.
I told you about our coming to Liverpool. The first time I preached came forward [for baptism]. We have been baptizing since: last week we baptized nine, we are to baptize tomorrow, but how many I know not. The little stone is rolling forth. One of the brethren dreamed he saw two men come to Liverpool; they cast a net into the sea and pulled it out full of fishes: he was surprised to see them pick the small fish out first and then the large. Well, if we get all the fish I shall be satisfied.
Brother Woodruff has lately left the Potteries and has gone to another neighborhood, and is making Methodist preachers scarce. He baptized 32 persons in one week—13 of them were Methodist preachers. Elder Clark is preaching and baptizing in and about Manchester. The latest account from Elder Turley, he was well, preaching and baptizing in the Potteries. Elder Willard Richards is very busy at this period, in visiting and setting in order the branches of the Church in Preston, Clithero, and all the regions round about, and holding correspondence with the Elders abroad.
Judge Elias Higbee's Course at Washington Approved.
The High Council met at my house in Nauvoo, and resolved that Robert B. Thompson write a letter to Judge Higbee at Washington, approving his course and giving him certain names (for which see Thompson's letter), that he may order subpoenas for them as witnesses in the suit now before Congress, namely, the Latter-day Saints versus the State of Missouri, for redress of grievances.
Letter of R. B. Thompson to Elias Higbee, Announcing the Approval of the Church Authorities of the Latter's Course at Washington.
Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois,
March 17th, 1840.
Elias Higbee, Esq.
Dear And Honored Sir:—It is with the greatest pleasure I sit down to write to you at this time, to inform you of the situation and state of the Church as regards the object of your mission.
Since President Joseph Smith returned we have been favored with several communications from you, giving a statement of the proceedings before the committee, etc. On Monday evening last, your letters were read to a large concourse of our brethren, and other persons who were assembled to hear the same; and I must say that the greatest satisfaction was manifested by the assembled multitude, with the noble stand and straightforward and honorable course which you had pursued; and before the assembly separated, a vote of thanks to you was unanimously agreed upon. I can assure you that, from the feelings there, as well as upon other occasions, [expressed] there is not only a disposition, but a fixed determination, to uphold you in your righteous cause and sustain you in your efforts to obtain redress for the injuries which the Saints have borne from their unfeeling oppressors, and in bringing their case before the authorities of the nation.
In the evening the High Council assembled at the house of President Joseph Smith, Jun., and took your letters into consideration, when it was unanimously resolved that a letter should be written to you approving the measures which you were taking. The High Council likewise send you a list of the names of such persons as they think will testify to such facts as you want to substantiate. The names are as follows:
Alanson Ripley, William Chapplin, Francis Higbee, Ira Mills, Lyman Wight, Oliver Olney, Tarlton Lewis, Hyrum Smith, Edward Partridge, Seymour Brunson, Parley P. Pratt, Samuel Bent, Thorit Parsons, Porter Rockwell, King Follett, George A. Smith, Isaac Laney, Stephen Markham, Harvey Redfield, Thomas Grover, Ellis Eames, Amanda Smith, Chapman Duncan, Lyman Leonard, Smith Humphrey, Alma Smith, Erastus Snow, Zebediah Robinson, John M. Burk, Orson Hyde, Rebecca Judd, Charles C. Rich, Heber C. Kimball, Henry G. Sherwood, William Seyley, Elias Smith, Dr. Isaac Galland, Sidney Rigdon.
There probably may be others, who may occur to your mind, whom you can send for if you think necessary. We should feel glad if you had the assistance of Presidents Smith and Rigdon at this critical time, while you have to contend with Jamieson, Linn [and others]. However I hope you will go forth in the strength of the Lord, and that truth will prevail. And I would say, "Twice is he armed who hath his quarrel just." The principles, sir, for which you contend are true; they are principles of justice, of humanity, of the Constitution, and the eternal principles of righteousness.
Although mankind may depart from those principles and be swayed by popular prejudices, and undue influences; yet at the same time, that man who contends for the same, although he cannot always carry his point, or convince at all times partial and interested judges—the gem or light of truth may be darkened, and its brilliancy for a while hid—yet when the Son of Righteousness shall arise, and disperse the darkness and mist of superstition and bigotry; when the true light shines, then shall it shine with all its glorious splendor and shed forth its luster with a brilliancy upon its advocates as shall altogether surpass the equipage and glories of those who are now in power.
Robert B. Thompson.
Letter of Horace R. Hotchkiss to Sidney Rigdon and Joseph Smith, Jun.—Inquiring Concerning the Progress Made Before Congress.
Fair Haven, March 17th, 1840.
Reverends Sidney Rigdon and Joseph Smith, Jun.:
Gentlemen:—I some time since addressed a letter to Mr. [Joseph] Smith at Philadelphia, to which I have received no reply; and was in that city two or three weeks ago, but not being able to hear anything of Mr. Smith, I suppose he must of course have left; and with the hope of still reaching you, I now send to Washington. I should have written you long before, and indeed very often this winter, but my health has been miserable; and since my return from Philadelphia, I have been confined to my house.
I beg you to inform me how you are progressing with your petition before Congress, and its probable result; whether you have any friends in the House or in the Senate, who will bring forward your case, and advocate it in sincerity, and persevere in your behalf with skill and ability until something is accomplished. Milk and water friends in Congress are good for nothing. They must be true, have talents, be zealous, or else they will be detrimental rather than advantageous to you.
Should you, gentlemen, and Judge Higbee, come as far east as this, it will afford [me] much gratification to have you take up your quarters at my house. I did intend to see you at Washington, but my health will not now permit.
With much respect, yours,
Horace R. Hotchkiss.
Sixth Letter of Elias Higbee to the Prophet—Affairs of the Saints at Washington—Papers Withdrawn.
Washington City, March 24th, 1840.
Dear Brother:—Our business is at last ended here. Yesterday a resolution passed the Senate, that the committee should be discharged; and that we might withdraw the accompanying papers, which I have done. I have also taken a copy of the memorial, and want to be off for the west immediately. I have not gotten a letter from President Rigdon, although I have frequently written to him. I have received a letter from Brother Bennett, stating that he was in the Jerseys, and that he was calculating to have me come that way and go home with him; and also that he had business which he wanted me to attend to at the office here. When he last wrote, he stated that as yet he had no money to get home with, and I hardly know what course to take in regard to the matter. If I do not receive a letter in two or three days, I design leaving for Philadelphia or the west.
There is one honest Quaker-looking sort of a man here, by the name of William Green, (instead of John Green, as I stated in a letter to Brother Robinson), who has two iron printing presses, with other things necessary, that would come to Commerce, provided you could find work for him, and inform him of the same. How much work there is to do I know not; therefore merely write that if such a man and establishment are wanted, you could easily obtain them, or would know where they could be obtained. He believes as much in our religion as any other, but not much in any.
Yours in the Lord,
P.S.—I would just observe, that information has reached this place, through some of the newspapers, that you have come out for Harrison. It is said that the information came by some gentlemen who obtained it from you, whilst in your company in passing through the state of Indiana. Another paper states that 1,000 houses are to be built in Commerce this season, which I hope is the truth.
I would just observe (on the subject of our business) I am sorry Judge Young had not insisted on the motion to print our papers, as it would have been opposed; then a speech from Clay and Mr. Preston would have been brought forth, as I have since learned: but I think it was a trick of the Missouri Senators to slide it along without making a noise, by its going to the committee as it did. Judge Young says he was anxious to have it brought before the committee, but seemed disposed to let it slide along easily, rather than run the risk of its being refused.
If he had let those speeches been made, almost every one would have read them; which would have shamed Missouri, (if there is any shame in her), and waked up the whole country, so that by another year Congress would do something for us. But there is no need of crying for spilt milk. I have done all I could in this matter, depending on the good judgment of Judge Young to legislate for us to the best advantage. I am inclined, however, to think if it was an error, it was one of the head, and not of the heart.
Mr. Hotchkiss, of Fair Haven, Connecticut, has addressed a letter to yourself, Brother Rigdon and myself, which seems to be written with much good feeling. He desires to know concerning our business here, inviting us to make his house our home, should we travel in that region. He writes that his health is very bad. I have been talking with Mr. Steward concerning a memorial, requesting him to bring it before the House; he has promised to do so if he can. He says he will talk with some of the members respecting it. I have answered Mr. Hotchkiss' letter this day, and sent him the report of the committee.
At this time the work of the Lord is spreading rapidly in the United States and England—Elders are traveling in almost every direction, and multitudes are being baptized.
Letter of Horace R. Hotchkiss to Joseph Smith, Jun.—Offering Tract of Land for Sale.
Fair Haven, 1st April, 1840.
Reverend Joseph Smith, Jun.:
My Dear Sir:—After writing you at, and then going to, Philadelphia, and not finding you, I addressed a letter to Washington City, and received a reply from Judge Higbee, by which I first learned of your return to Illinois; and at the same time I got the committee's report upon your application to Congress for redress of the outrages perpetrated upon your people by the Missourians. I am not, I must confess, much disappointed in the result; as I know the vacillating, fawning character of many in both houses of Congress; and these are not their worst traits either, for they not only lack the moral courage to do right, but will do what they know to be positively wrong, if they can make political capital by it; and will abandon you, me, or any one else, with perfect indifference, and heartless treachery, if by doing it they can obtain governmental favor, or political preferment. If we should not put our faith in princes, it appears most emphatically true that we should repose no confidence in politicians. The idea conveyed in the report, that exact justice will be meted to you by the judicial tribunals of Missouri, is too preposterous to require comment. It is indeed a new doctrine, that we should apply to robbers, or their supporters, to condemn themselves, to restore the valuables they have stolen, and to betray each other for the murders they have committed.
I do not believe (though I am sorry to say it) that you will ever receive a just or honorable remuneration for your losses of property, or any reparation for the personal indignities, privations and sufferings which your people have sustained in Missouri. The greatest reliance you have for regaining your wealth is in the honorable conduct of your people—their pure morals—their correct habits—their indefatigable industry—their untiring perseverance—and their well-directed enterprise. These constitute a capital which can never be shaken by man, and form the basis of all that is great in commercial influence, or in the attainment of pecuniary power.
Judge Higbee informs me that Mr. Rigdon is probably in New Jersey. It would have afforded me much pleasure to have seen you all at my house, and it was my intention to spend some time at Washington while you were there; but my health has been so very infirm, that it has prevented me from executing nearly all the arrangements I had proposed for myself for the last eight months.
Knowing the additions constantly joining your society, it has occurred to me that some of them may be unprovided with farming lands, and I mention at this time, that I am interested in a tract of about 12,000 acres of very choice lands, consisting of timber and prairie, fifteen or twenty miles from Springfield, upon which Mr. Gillett and several other families are settled and cultivating most excellent farms. It is one of the best neighborhoods in the state.
I do not know what my co-partners in this tract would say about disposing of what remains unsold of the tract, (say eight to nine thousand acres,) but I should be disposed to sell upon reasonable terms, provided from twenty to forty families, valuable for their prudence, industry, and good habits, from your society, can be found to form a small colony of practical farmers. I am also interested with the same gentlemen in lands near Rock River, in Henry and Mercer counties, and believe this would, on many accounts, be another extremely desirable place or location for a colony of your people. I have said nothing to those owning with me relative to this subject, but suppose they would be governed materially by two considerations; namely, the characters of the purchasers, and the fact of their being actual settlers or not.
If you think two small colonies of the right sort can be formed from your society, you will oblige by informing me at your earliest opportunity. The price of the balance in the tract near Springfield, including an average proportion of timber, and an average proportion of prairie, I should think $4.50 per acre. None of the prairie alone has been sold for less than three dollars, and some at three and a half; and I am confident that four and a half dollars for timber and prairie is very low, and especially as a credit, except for a small amount, would be extended to purchasers. The other tract is nearly all prairie, but the finest selection of that region. It is probably worth three and a half dollars per acre.
As my paper is out, I have only room to request my respects presented to all friends at Commerce. I beg you to tell the editor of the Times and Seasons, that as soon as my health allows me to go to the bank, I shall send him $10.
Your obedient servant,
Horace R. Hotchkiss.
Letter of Sidney Rigdon to the Prophet.
At James Ivans', New Jersey,
April 3rd, 1840.
Brother Joseph Smith, Jun.
Dear Sir:—I thought I would occupy a portion of this morning in writing to you. By a letter received from Brother Higbee yesterday, I have learned that the Senate has decided that they have no constitutional right to interfere in the case between us and the people of Missouri; and refer us to the courts for redress; either those of Missouri or the United States. Now I am confident, that there is but one person in Missouri that we can sue with safety, and that is Boggs, and he is known to be a bankrupt, and unable to pay his debts; that if we should sue him, we will have the cost to pay, as he has nothing to pay it with. We are therefore left to bear the loss without redress, at present.
Judge Higbee is on the way home, and has been for ten days. He obtained money from Judge Young, to what amount I cannot say, but he will be able to tell you when he gets home. The Judge continues his friendship, and is ready to accommodate with money, whenever called for. Surely he is a friend indeed, and ought never to be forgotten.
I am up to this time without means to get home, but I have no uneasiness about it. I shall doubtless get means as soon as my health will admit of my going. My health is slowly improving, and I think if I have no relapse, I will be able to leave for home some time in the month of May, &c.
Arrival of Brigham Young and Associates in England.
Monday, April 6.—Elders Young, Kimball, Pratt, Smith, and Hedlock landed in Liverpool, on the first day of the eleventh year of the Church, after a tedious passage of twenty-eight days, during sixteen of which they encountered head winds, and one severe storm of three or four days; and a great portion of the time the decks were covered with water—all of which tended to increase sea-sickness and suffering.
At the time of sailing President Young's and Elder Kimball's health was very poor. George A. Smith had the ague for six days in succession. When the ship left her moorings the shore resounded with the songs of the Saints, who had come down to bid them farewell; they unitedly sang "The gallant ship is under weigh," 2 until out of hearing. The brethren occupied three berths in the forecastle, taking what was called a steerage passage. With the exception of Elder Kimball, not one of them had ever been to sea, and the sailors called them "land lubbers." The ship being loaded with flour and cotton, they were packed in a small compartment with about 100 or 120 passengers, being a motley mixture of English, Welsh, Irish, and Scotch, who were returning home from America to visit their friends, or had got sick of "Yankeedom" and were leaving for "sweet home."
They had scarcely been at sea twelve hours before the whole of them were prostrated by sea-sickness. George A. Smith vomited up his ague. 3 Brother Brigham Young, although confined to his berth by sea—sickness during the entire journey, was unable to vomit.
On coming into the Mersey the ship cast anchor in order to wait for the tide, when a small boat put off from the shore. Brothers Young, Kimball, and Parley P. Pratt went in it to the landing. On reaching the quay, Brother Young shouted hosannah three times, which he had promised to do whenever he should land on the shores of Old England. The brethren then went to No. 8 Union Street, Liverpool, where they procured bread and wine in order to partake of the Sacrament.
Elders Orson Pratt and George A. Smith, and Reuben Hedlock stayed on board to look after the baggage. About three p.m., Brother Young sent a small boat for them, and the boatmen piloted them to the same place, where they all met together, partook of the Sacrament, and returned thanks for their safe deliverance.
When they landed they were almost penniless. Two or three of them had sufficient to buy hats for those who needed them the worst.
Minutes of the General Conference of the Church.
At a General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, held in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, on the sixth day of April, A.D. 1840, agreeable to previous appointment, Joseph Smith, Jun., was called upon to preside over the meeting, and Robert B. Thompson was chosen clerk.
The Conference was then opened by prayer by Elder John E. Page.
The President rose, made some observations on the business of the Conference, exhorted the brethren who had charges to make against individuals, and made some very appropriate remarks respecting the pulling the beam out of their own eye, that they may see more clearly the mote which was in their brother's eye.
A letter was read from presidents of the Seventies, wishing for an explanation of the steps, which the High Council had taken, in removing Elder F. G. Bishop from the quorum of the Seventies to that of the High Priests, without any other ordination than he had when in the Seventies, and wished to know whether those ordained into the Seventies at the same time F. G. Bishop was, had a right to the High Priesthood, 4 or not. After observations on the case by different individuals, the president gave a statement of the authority of the Seventies, and stated that they were Elders and not High Priests, and consequently Brother F. G. Bishop had no claim to that office. It was then unanimously resolved that Elder F. G. Bishop be placed back again into the quorum of the Seventies.
On motion, resolved that the Conference adjourn until two o'clock.
Conference met pursuant to adjournment. Prayer by Elder Joseph Young.
Elder Thomas Grover presented charges against Brother D. W. Rogers for compiling a hymn-book, and selling it as the one compiled and published by Sister Emma Smith; secondly, for writing a private letter to New York City, casting reflections on the character of Elder John P. Greene; and thirdly, for administering medicine unskilfully, which had a bad effect.
On motion, resolved, that, as Brother Rogers is not present, his case be laid over until tomorrow.
Elder John Lawson then came forward and stated, that in consequence of some difficulty existing in the branch of the Church where he resided, respecting the Word of Wisdom, fellowship had been withdrawn from him, and also from Brother Thomas S. Edwards. After hearing the particulars, on motion, resolved, that John Lawson and Thomas S. Edwards be restored to fellowship.
Elder Orson Hyde addressed the Conference at some length, and stated that it had been prophesied, some years ago, that he had a great work to perform among the Jews; and that he had recently been moved upon by the Spirit of the Lord to visit that people, and gather up all the information he could respecting their movements, expectations, &c., and communicate the same to this Church, and to the nation at large; stating that he intended to visit the Jews in New York, London, and Amsterdam, and then visit Constantinople and the Holy Land.
On motion, resolved, that Elder Orson Hyde proceed on his mission to the Jews, and that letters of recommendation be given him, signed by the President and Clerk of the Conference.
Elder John E. Page then arose, and spoke with much force on the subject of Elder Hyde's mission, the gathering of the Jews, and the restoration of the house of Israel; proving, in a brief but convincing manner, from the Bible, Book of Mormon, and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, that these things must take place, and that the time had nearly arrived for their accomplishment.
Adjourned until tomorrow morning, nine o'clock.
Tuesday morning, April 7.
Conference met pursuant to adjournment. A hymn was sung by the choir, and the throne of grace was addressed by Elder Caleb Baldwin.
Brother D. W. Rogers' case was then called up, and after many observations and explanations, it was on motion resolved, that D. W. Rogers be forgiven, and the hand of fellowship be continued towards him.
Conference adjourned for one hour, and met pursuant to adjournment. A hymn was sung by the choir, followed by prayer by Elder Reynolds Cahoon.
The President called upon the Clerk to read the report of the First Presidency and High Council, with regard to their proceedings in purchasing lands, and securing a place of gathering for the Saints. The report having been read, the President made some observations respecting the pecuniary affairs of the Church, and requested the brethren to step forward, and assist in liquidating the debts on the town plot, so that the poor might have an inheritance.
The President then gave an account of their mission to Washington City, the treatment they received, and the action of the Senate on the Memorial which was presented before them. The meeting then called for the reading of the Memorial, and the report of the Committee on Judiciary, to whom the same was referred, which were read.
On motion, resolved that a committee of five be appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the sentiments of this Conference in reference to the report. On motion it was resolved, that Robert D. Foster, Orson Hyde, John E. Page, Joseph Wood, and Robert B. Thompson compose said committee, and report to this Conference.
Resolved, that this meeting adjourn until tomorrow morning.
Wednesday morning, April 8.
Conference met pursuant to adjournment. A number were confirmed who had been baptized the previous evening. Prayer by Elder Marks.
The Committee appointed to draft resolutions on the report of the Senate Committee of the Judiciary were then called upon to make their report. Robert B. Thompson of the Committee then read the
Whereas, we learn, with deep sorrow, regret, and disappointment, that the Committee on the Judiciary to whom was referred the Memorial of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly called "Mormons"), complaining of the grievances suffered by them in the state of Missouri, have reported unfavorably to our cause, to justice, and humanity;
Therefore Resolved 1st: That we consider the report of the Committee on Judiciary, unconstitutional, and subversive to the rights of a free people, and justly calls for the disapprobation of all the supporters and lovers of good government and republican principles.
Resolved, 2ndly: That the Committee state, in their report, that our Memorial aggravates the case of our oppressors, and at the same time say, that they have not examined into the truth or falsehood of the facts mentioned in said Memorial.
Resolved, 3rdly: That the Memorial does not aggravate the conduct of our oppressors, as every statement set forth in said Memorial was substantiated by indubitable testimony; therefore we consider the statements of the Committee, in regard to that part, as false and ungenerous.
Resolved, 4thly: That that part of the report referring us to the justice and magnanimity of the state of Missouri for redress, we deem it a great insult to our good sense, better judgment, and intelligence, when numerous affidavits, which were laid before the Committee, prove that we could only go into the state of Missouri contrary to the exterminating order of the Governor, and consequently at the risk of our lives.
Resolved, 5thly: That after repeated appeals to the constituted authorities of the state of Missouri for redress, which were in vain, we fondly hoped that in the Congress of the United States, ample justice would have been rendered us; and upon that consideration alone, we pledged ourselves to abide their decision.
Resolved, 6thly: That the exterminating order of Governor Boggs is a direct infraction of the Constitution of the United States, and of the state of Missouri; and the committee in refusing to investigate the proceedings of the Executive and others of the state of Missouri, and turning a deaf ear to the cries of widows, orphans, and innocent blood, we deem no less than seconding the proceeding of that murderous clan, whose deeds are recorded in heaven, and justly call down upon their heads the righteous judgments of an offended God.
Resolved, 7thly: That the thanks of this meeting be tendered to the citizens of the state of Illinois, for their kind, liberal, and generous conduct towards us; and that we call upon them, as well as every patriot in this vast Republic, to aid us in all lawful endeavors to obtain redress for the injuries we have sustained.
Resolved, 8thly: That the thanks of this meeting be tendered to the delegation of Illinois, for the bold, manly, noble, and independent course they have taken in presenting our case before the nation, amid misrepresentation, contumely, and abuse, which were heaped upon us in our suffering condition.
Resolved, 9thly: That the thanks of this meeting be tendered to Governor Carlin of Illinois, Governor Lucas of Iowa Territory, for their sympathy, aid, and protection; and to all other honorable gentlemen who have assisted us in our endeavors to obtain redress.
Resolved, 10thly: That Joseph Smith, Jun., Sidney Rigdon, and Elias Higbee, the Delegates appointed by this Church to visit the City of Washington, to present our sufferings before the authorities of the nation, be tendered the thanks of this meeting for the prompt and efficient manner in which they have discharged their duty; and that they be requested, in behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout the world, to continue to use their endeavors to obtain redress for a suffering people. And if all hopes of obtaining satisfaction for the injuries done us be entirely blasted, that they then appeal our case to the Court of Heaven, believing that the Great Jehovah, who rules over the destiny of nations, and who notices the falling sparrows, will undoubtedly redress our wrongs, and ere long avenge us of our adversaries. 5
On motion, Resolved, That the report of the committee on the Judiciary, as well as the foregoing Preamble and Resolutions, be published in the Quincy papers.
On motion, Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to investigate the recommendations of those persons who wish to obtain an ordination to the ministry, and ordain such as are thought worthy; and that Elders Bent, Wood, and Hyde compose said committee.
Resolved, That this meeting feel satisfied with the proceeding of the Presidency with regard to the sales of town property, &c., and that they are requested to continue in their agency.
Resolved, That this meeting adjourn for one hour.
Conference met pursuant to adjournment.
After singing the President arose and read the 3rd chapter of John's Gospel, after which, prayer was offered by Elder Erastus Snow.
The President commenced making observations on the different subjects embraced in the chapter [previously read] particularly the 3rd, 4th, and 5th verses, illustrating them with a very beautiful and striking figure, and throwing a flood of light on the subjects brought up to review. He then spoke to the Elders respecting their mission, and advised those who went into the world to preach the Gospel, to leave their families provided with the necessaries of life; and to teach the gathering as set forth in the Holy Scripture. That it had been wisdom for the most of the Church to keep on this side of the river, that a foundation might be established in this place; but that now it was the privilege of the Saints to occupy the lands in Iowa, or wherever the Spirit might lead them. That he did not wish to have any political influence, but wished the Saints to use their political franchise to the best of their knowledge.
He then stated that since Elder Hyde had been appointed to visit the Jews, he had felt an impression that it would be well for Elder John E. Page to accompany him on his mission. It was resolved that Elder John E. Page be appointed to accompany Elder Orson Hyde on his mission, and that he have proper credentials given him.
It was then resolved, that as a great part of the time of the Conference had been taken up with charges against individuals, which might have been settled by the different authorities of the Church, that in future no such cases be brought before the Conferences.
The Committee on ordinations reported that they had ordained thirty-one persons to be Elders in the Church, who were ordained under the hands of Alpheus Gifford 6 and Stephen Perry, which report was accepted.
Fredrick G. Williams presented himself on the stand, and humbly asked forgiveness for his conduct, [while in Missouri], and expressed his determination to do the will of God in the future. His case was presented to the Conference by President Hyrum Smith, when it was unanimously
That Fredrick G. Williams be forgiven, and be received into the fellowship of the Church.
It was reported that seventy-five persons had been baptized during the Conference, and that upwards of fifty had been received into the quorum of Seventies.
President Hyrum Smith dismissed the assembly. After he had made a few observations, the Conference was closed, under the blessings of the Presidency, until the first Friday in October next.
Joseph Smith, Jun.,
1. This is the record of a very important action. The law of consecration and stewardship, with which the action deals, was given to the church by revelation (D&C 42). Its fundamental principle is the recognition of God as the possessor of all things, the earth and the fullness thereof. It is His by right of proprietorship. He created it and sustains it by His power. This recognized, it follows that whatsoever man possesses in it, he holds as a stewardship merely. These principles the Saints were called upon to recognize and act under in the establishment of Zion in Missouri; and apparently the Saints in Iowa were disposed to undertake the same order of things in the settlement they were then making, until stopped by the Prophet. The action of the Prophet in this instance demonstrates the elasticity in church government, and law. The Lord, who commanded to move forward, may also command a halt. He who said take neither purse nor scrip when going to preach the Gospel (Matt. 10:10) may later say, under other circumstances, "He that hath a purse let him take it, and likewise his scrip" (Luke 22:35-36). So, too, in other matters. The Lord commanded the colony of Lehi that there should no man among them "have save it be but one wife, and concubines ye shall have none;" yet reserved the right to command His people otherwise should the accomplishment of His purposes require it (Book of Mormon, Jacob 2:24-30).
The gallant ship is under weigh
To bear me off to sea,
And yonder floats the streamer gay
That says she waits for me.
The seamen dip the ready oar,
As rippled waves oft tell,
They bear me swiftly from the shore:
My native land, farewell!
I go, not to plough the main,
To ease a restless mind,
Nor yet to toil on battle's plain,
The victor's wreath to find.
'Tis not for treasures that are hid
In mountain or in dell,
'Tis not for joys like these I bid
My native land, farewell!
I go to break the fowler's snare,
To gather Israel home;
I go the name of Christ to bear
In lands and isles unknown.
And soon my pilgrim feet shall tread
On land where errors dwell,
Whence light and truth have long since fled,
My native land, farewell!
I go, an erring child of dust,
Ten thousand foes among,
Yet on His mighty arm I trust.
Who makes the feeble strong.
My sun, my shield, forever nigh.
He will my fears dispel,
This hope supports me when I sigh,
My native land, farewell!
I go devoted to His cause,
And to His will resigned;
His presence will supply the loss
Of all I leave behind.
His promise cheers the sinking heart
And lights the darkest cell,
To exiled pilgrims grace imparts;
My native land, farewell;
I go, it is my Master's call,
He's made my duty plain,
No danger can the heart appall
When Jesus stoops to reign.
And now the vessel's side we've made,
The sails their bosoms swell.
Thy beauties in the distance fade,
My native land, farewell!
6. Alpheus Gifford was born in Adams township, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, August 28, 1793. At the age of eighteen, having scarcely sufficient learning to enable him to read the Bible, he commenced preaching the Gospel, not for hire, but for the salvation of souls. In 1817, he married Anna Nash, who bore him seven sons and three daughters. In the spring of 1831, hearing of the doctrines taught by Joseph Smith he made diligent inquiry and found they were scriptural and was baptized and ordained a priest; he brought home five books of Mormon which he distributed among his friends; he was then living in Tioga County, Pennsylvania. Soon after he went to Kirtland, Ohio, to see the Prophet Joseph Smith and the brethren, when he was ordained an elder; he was accompanied by his brother Levi, Elial Strong, Eleazer Miller, Enos Curtis, and Abraham Brown, who were baptized. On returning to Pennsylvania he preached and baptized many, among whom was Heber C. Kimball. The gifts of the Gospel were enjoyed by many, signs followed those who believed; devils were cast out; the sick were healed; many prophesied; some spake with new tongues; while others interpreted the same. Mr. Calvin Gilmour, with whom Brother Gifford had previously been associated in preaching, heard him speak in tongues and interpret. Gilmour declared he understood the languages and that they were interpreted correctly, and that he knew Gifford had no classical learning; but that he would rather be damned than believe in Mormonism.
In June 1832, Brother Gifford started for Missouri; traveled to Cincinnati and wintered there with a few saints who bad been baptized by Lyman Wight. He arrived in Jackson county, Missouri, in March, 1833, where he preached extensively; he was driven with the Saints from that county in the fall of that year. He removed to Clay county, enduring the persecution incident upon settling in, and final expulsion from, the same. He went to Kirtland, Ohio, and attended the dedication of the Temple and received the ordinances there administered. He returned to Missouri and was driven with the Saints to Far West, Caldwell county. In the winter of 1839, he was driven from Missouri. He located in the Morley settlement near Lima, Illinois, and subsequently five miles above Nauvoo, where he died December 25, 1841. (Addenda, Ms. Church History, Book "C" 2. Also page 404.)