The Baptist church at Nelson had been formed as early as July 30th, 1808. It lived in peace and usefulness until the Disciples appeared, but troubles speedily arose on that score. There is reason to believe that Mr. Rigdon was the chief fomenter of these troubles. They came to a head on the 27th of January 1827, on which date was formed what was known as the Mantua and Hyrum church, that consisted at first of only nine members, and Mr. Rigdon is believed to have been its father and founder. At any rate he was its first preacher, and served the body in that capacity as his occasions would permit until May 24, 1828, before any other officers were set apart. His exertions were successful in the addition of 18 persons to the community during the first year; during the second year they flourished so highly that on the 18th of April 1829, a separate church could be organized at Hiram consisting of thirty-nine members; it is possible that Mr. Rigdon was the presiding spirit on this occasion as upon the former one, which had fallen out on the 27th of January, 1827.
When he returned from New York in January 1830, bringing in his train the young prophet, the church at Hiram would naturally turn to their friend and father in God to receive counsel at his lips. The way to the hearts of the Disciple community at Hiram was opened wide to welcome his approaches (Hayden, p. 221). In that part of the country he made an easy conquest of the family of the Snows, who were zealous members of the Disciple community. Oliver Snow was the father of the family; his daughter Eliza R. Snow has reflected credit upon the cause of Sidney in the character of the poetess of Mormonism: She was joined by one of her sisters also (Hayden, p. 240). His son Lorenzo Snow has been among the most prominent and successful laborers in the vineyard of Mormonism, attaining to the dignity of an apostle and assistant counselor to the Presidency of the church (Tullidge, Life of Brigham Young, Supplement, pp. 20-5). Erastus Snow, one of his kinsmen heard in the New England residence whence the family took their origin of the glories of the Millennial church, and in due time came from St. Johnsbury, Vermont, to cast in his fortunes with the movement (Tullidge, as above, pp. 75-6). Zeruobabel Snow, another member of the tribe figured prominently as an Associate Justice of the Territory of Utah (Stenhouse, pp. 275, 278).
The Johnson family of Hiram were likewise devoted to the cause of Sidney, and supplied several assiduous promoters of it, among whom may be mentioned the names of the father, John Johnson, and of his sons, Luke and Lyman, both of whom subsequently were raised to the
apostolical dignity. Ezra Booth, a prominent and able minister of the Methodist church, who had been long employed upon the Circuit, was also one of the converts at Hiram, and last, but not least, came Symonds Ryder the pastor of the Disciples Church of the town. There was good foundation for the claim that was entertained to the effect that the Millennial church would swallow up all the other churches of the community (Hayden, p. 221).
But the check which Joseph and Sidney received in the canoe on the waters of the Missouri River had broken down the faith of Mr. Booth, who was present to witness the casualty. At his return to Ohio on the first of September he went directly to his home at Hiram and began to exert his influence to corrupt the faith of Symonds Ryder. Success shortly crowned this enterprise; Mr. Ryder had been elevated to official position in virtue of a revelation delivered on the 7th of the previous June (D.&C., 52, 37). When his commission came to hand a few days afterward the faith of the young pervert had sustained a shock by reason of the circumstance that his name was spelled wrong in two instances (Hayden, p. 252). Orthography was never one of Joseph's excellencies, and Mr. Ryder's name was rendered Simonds Rider, instead of Symonds Ryder, as he ordinarily wrote it. That the Holy Spirit should commit a blunder about items of detail like this, excited in his mind a suspicion that it was possible for him to trip in respect to larger matters. Mr. Booth dextrously employed this occurrence to draw Mr. Ryder away
from the fellowship of Sidney's admirers. The change had not occurred a moment too soon; President B. A. Hinsdale, who resided for a period in Hiram, and had the best of opportunities for becoming acquainted with the facts affirms that "a large number of the citizens of Hiram had given in their adhesion to the doctrines of Smith and Rigdon, but the efforts of Ryder and Booth went far to stay the tide and lead back those who had been swept away on its current" (Hayden, p. 252).
The dangerous influence and activity of Booth and Ryder were speedily perceived at Kirtland. Measures were immediately concocted for the purpose of giving them battle on the field which they had chosen. Possibly as the result of a council of war, it was arranged that Joseph should go in person to oppose his splendid tact and ability against their arguments and persuasions. He set forward to accomplish this mission on Monday the 12th of September (Tullidge, Life of Joseph, p. 121). The day before at the meeting of the faithful he had honored the assembly with a parting revelation (D.&C., Sect. 64).
After the lapse of a few weeks in which he had found time to establish himself comfortably in the mansion of John Johnson, who it is suspected had been the principal agent in suggesting the present campaign and carrying it into execution, Joseph opened the conflict about the first of October with his salutatory revelation at Hiram (D.&C., Sect. 65). He had all the work that he cared to undertake. Ezra Booth had been induced by one of his former brethren, a presiding elder of the Methodist
church, the Rev. Ira Eddy, to put pen to paper and give an account of his experiences among the Mormons. The letters that he composed in a very pleasant English style were being published from week to week in the Ohio Star, a newspaper which is believed to have existed at Hiram or at some town in the immediate vicinity (Howe, p. 175).
The effect of these letters must have been very discouraging indeed, especially when Mr. Booth came to supply a relation of the cowardice of Sidney and Joseph in the farce of the canoe scene. Among his printed utterances there is to be found no indication of the fact that Mr. Smith joined issue with Booth, but it would be a marvel if in private he did not resort to the business of blackening the character of his adversary, since he possessed a remarkable capacity for work of that kind.
But the prophet's lot was in a measure relieved by a couple of converts who would do very well to take the place of those whom he had lost. Samuel H. Smith and Reynolds Cahoon having been appointed as yoke fellows on the journey to Missouri (D.&C., 52, 30), laid their course by accident through the township of Orange in Cuyahoga county, where they had the luck of turning the silly head of a certain William E. McLellin, who was a clerk in a store at this place (Lucy Smith's Life of Joseph, p. 195). McLellin was a native of Tennessee (Compendium of Doctrines, p. 253), and was considered a valuable acquisition. With the aim of firmly securing him Joseph made a visit to Orange a little over a month after settling in Hiram and had a revelation for the individual advantage
of the young man (D.&C., Section 66). He was soon brought to Hiram, for purposes of display, and to render what assistance he might in the struggle that was going forward with Ryder and Booth (Lucy Smith, pp. 201-202).
The other convert was the celebrated Orson Hyde. Mr. Hyde was born at Oxford, Connecticut, on the 4th of January 1805, and by consequence was in the 27th year of his age. His earliest religious connection was among the Methodists, but when Sidney came to Kirtland with the ancient gospel for the remission of sins, young Hyde accepted the message and availed himself of the benefits of the baptism (Tullidge, Life of Brigham Young, Supplement, pp. 69-70). His zeal for the new light was every way exemplary; he became a preacher and was honored with the privilege of attending Rigdon on some of his numerous tours in the interests of the Disciples' cause. A glimpse of his evangelistic labors is supplied in the history of Mrs. Warren Smith, of Amherst in Lorraine county, the seat of a Disciple community with which the youthful P. P. Pratt is believed to have been connected, and which speedily was reduced to the complexion of a Mormon community. Mrs. Smith relates:
At eighteen years of age I was married to Warren Smith; we had plenty of this world's goods and lived comfortably and happily together, nothing of particular interest transpiring until Sidney Rigdon and Orson Hyde came to our neighborhood preaching Campbellism. I was converted and baptized by Rigdon (Heroines of Mormondom, pp. 86-87).
It being a point of extreme concern among the Disciples of that date that the preacher should obtain a livelihood by the labors of his own hands without any charges against the churches for his support, Mr. Hyde had sought employment as a clerk in the merchant shop of Gilbert and Whitney at Kirtland, which had now become an institution of the Millennial church by reason of the perversion of both the partners. Mr. Hyde in due season opened his eyes to behold the clearer "new light" of Mormonism, and was immersed a second time for the remission of his sins on Sunday the 2d of October, 1831 (Tullidge, Life of Joseph, p. 121). Both of these were accessions to boast of, and it was easily possible for the prophet to assert that they supplied very well the loss of Ryder and Booth.
But the disclosures made by the latter in the Ohio Star newspaper, still continued to appear, and were exceedingly painful to endure. Joseph, who understood the value and the art of scenic effect, concluded it would be of good uses to try what could be accomplished in that way towards impressing the minds of the townsmen of Hiram. The last Conference had been held at the house of Joshua Lewis in the new settlement of the Colesville Branch, twelve miles west of Independence, on the 4th of August. The time was drawing nigh for the assembling of another Conference, not in Kirtland but preferably in Hiram. It was announced for the first of November, and the brethren came from all quarters to stand about their prophet and make it a distinguished occasion. The Spirit had likewise been called, and
was present in tremendous force supplying Mr. Smith with no fewer than five distinct revelations, namely Sections 67, 68, 69, 1, and 133 of Orson Pratt's edition of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. It seemed as if the heavens had come down to commune with men at Hiram. Beyond any question Joseph was holding his own, if he was not also gaining ground against the attacks of Booth and Ryder.
Just at this period when every nerve was strained to the utmost tension, there came to distract his energies an ugly fire from the rear. Mr. Rigdon had been left behind to hold the fort at Kirtland while the prophet went down to contend with the foe at Hiram (Early Scenes in Church History, p. 79). It was as little as could have been expected that he would keep quiet and mind his own affairs. The trouble was occasioned by a passage found in one of Joseph's revelations that was given shortly after the return from Missouri. Mr. Smith was not then bold enough to enter a positive demand that the church should build a house for him to reside in. The command which he had delivered to that effect on the 4th of February 1831, must have excited an amount of unfavorable comment. It is easy to conceive that the single passage "it is meet that my servant Joseph Smith, jun., should have a house built in which to live and translate" (D.&C., 41, 7), might have caused a number of people to stumble. Joseph had thereby learned a lesson in modesty and simplicity. By consequence when he returned from Zion he approached the business in a more gingerly fashion. Following is the
exact language in which he thought it prudent to express himself near the close of August, 1831: "Let my servants Joseph Smith, jun., and Sidney Rigdon, seek them a home as they are taught through prayer by the Spirit" (D.&C., 63, 65). Naturally Mr. Rigdon would wrestle with the spirit every day and hour touching that issue. After Joseph went away to Hiram on the 12th of September, he would consider that his chances of obtaining a new house were much improved, but the months of autumn wore slowly away. November had come and not a single beam was yet laid; he went up to the Conference at Hiram in the first of the month in a more or less irascible frame of mind. Returning thence to Kirtland his patience at last came to an end; winter was at the door: his opportunity had passed away; it was clear that the brethren had no clear sense of his dignity and value.
He resolved to bring them to terms at once. One Sunday in November when the congregation had assembled, expecting as usual the appearance of Sidney to minister in holy things, he failed to show himself in time. They waited for him; possibly a messenger was dispatched to inform him that he was expected. At length he came forward oppressed by a towering rage. Instead of entering the pulpit, he paced the floor and vented his irascible temper, announcing that "the keys of the kingdom were taken from them, and that they would never have them again until they built him a new house" (Lucy Smith, p. 205).
A truly amusing farce must have followed this declaration, in case the testimony of eyewitnesses can be credited. Many of the
sisters and a portion of the brethren were thrown into hysterics. Among the former, Mrs. Howe, the excellent wife of E. D. Howe, the earliest and best historian of Mormonism, was especially prominent, and Lucy Smith on more than one occasion mentions the agitation of the good lady.
Philo Dibble says that "word went abroad among the people immediately that Sidney was going to expose Mormonism" (Early Scenes in Church History, p. 80). There was much hazard of such a catastrophe. The temper of Mr. Rigdon was highly wayward; if he had become sufficiently enraged it is easily possible that he would have dismissed all considerations, and made a clean breast of the secrets of the plot. But he had some concern for his own reputation, and above all a sharp fear of Joseph.
At the earliest moment tidings were carried to Hiram, relating the lofty conduct of Sidney (Lucy Smith, p. 205. Early Scenes, p. 80). Joseph perceived that no common peril was at hand, and showed his usual promptness in dealing with it. Entering Kirtland the excitement was found to be so considerable that the Disciples church in which they were still accustomed to worship, would not contain the crowds that wished to hear him. It was given out that he would address the multitudes in a large barn, which it was believed would supply accommodations for all that might attend (Early Scenes, p. 80). Sidney was not present, but the wife of Apostle Thomas B. Marsh supplied him an account of the proceedings (Early Scenes, p. 80).
Joseph rose up to the hight of the occasion, informing his brethren that Sidney had no kind of control over the keys of the kingdom, it was his own exclusive and indefeasible office to hold these, both in this world and the next (Lucy Smith, p. 206). Philo Dibble also reports that he added "I can contend with wicked men and devils-yes with angels. No power can pluck these keys from me, except the power that gave them to me; that power was Peter James and John" (Early Scenes, p. 80).
Quiet was restored. Joseph was only halfway angry with Sidney. He sympathised with the demand for a new house, and would have been glad to have one himself. Moreover, he was not displeased that the incident had fallen out to his personal advantage and to the injury of Mr. Rigdon. But he was constrained to treat Rigdon with consideration. He had a secret which it was exceedingly desirable that he should keep inviolate. There would be uncommon embarrassment if the irascible temper of the man were excited to a point where he might surrender all kind of regard for his own good name and for the advantage of the church. Joseph therefore reasoned with his compeer regarding the desire he felt to inhabit a new house. He likely allowed it was a just and proper desire, and that the faithful owed him a debt of that color; but he did not comprehend the necessity of producing a volcano by which everything in sight was placed in jeopardy.
The prophet's resources were inexhaustible. At the Hiram Conference
it had been resolved that the book of Joseph's revelations should be published from the squalid press which William W. Phelps had come east to carry back to Zion (Tullidge, p. 123). The prophet had even prepared them for publication and laid them before the conference with an additional revelation in which any member of the body was challenged to produce a revelation of his own that should be worthy to compare with the meanest of the collection (D.&C., 67, 1-9), a feat which had been only a few hours previously attempted by McLellin (Mackay, p. 68). An abundant revenue was expected from this venture; Joseph proposed to grant Sidney a full share of it, so that he might be in a situation to build a new house out of his own pocket, without calling upon the liberality of the church.
A publishing company was accordingly formed on the spot, consisting of Joseph Smith, jun., Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, John Whitmer, Sidney Rigdon and William W. Phelps, who should enjoy the exclusive privilege of fingering the proceeds of the work in question, except it should fall out that these were even more abundant than might be required to meet the necessities of the members of the corporation (D.&C., Section 70).
But it was not considered safe to leave Sidney at Kirtland, where his uncontrollable temper might any day produce a fresh explosion. Joseph made arrangements for his removal to Hiram, where it would be possible to have him always under his eye and thumb, as also to supply him with a sufficient amount of labor to amuse his leisure and to keep his head cool (D.&C., Section 71). Mr. Smith proposed to accomplish this
laudable purpose by carrying Rigdon with him on various missions in the vicinity of Hiram (D.&C., 71, 1-6); it is also probable that he had a thought of engaging Mr. Rigdon in a public debate with Booth or Ryder (D.&C., 71, 7, 8). But the labor of preaching abroad was irksome to Joseph; it was much more agreeable to his feelings to impose these duties upon other people than to perform them himself. On the 10th of January 1832, he therefore obtained a second revelation in which the enterprise of translating the New Testament was resumed at the point where it had been left off when they departed on the journey to Zion last June (D.&C., Sect.73).
Everything went forward smoothly until the session of the next Conference, which befell at Amherst, Lorraine county, on the 25th of January, 1832, where Sidney, Parley and Orson had prepared the way before the Mormons by assiduous labors in behalf of the Disciples (D.&C., Sect. 75).
The custom did not prevail in the church of reducing visions to writing. They were often received and freely described, but they were seldom brought to paper. On the 16th of February, however Sidney and Joseph were favored with "A vision" of so much consequence that it was duly set down and promoted to a position among the revelations of the prophet (D.&C., Sect. 76). This "Vision" was devoted to a further development of the Swedenborgian features of Mormonism. While his hand was in that business, Joseph gave his attention to the Book of Revelation. Emanuel Swedenborg was in the custom
of supplying "Arcana" regarding various topics of interest to his thoughts, but this Latin title was somewhat above the simplicity of Joseph, and he summarily translated Swedenborg's word into "Keys." Between the 1st and 20th of March 1832, he supplied a collection of these "Keys" for the advantage of students of John's Revelation (D.&C., Sect. 77). A considerable selection of Swedenborgian peculiarities may also be inspected among those "Keys."
The saints in Missouri were now beginning to occasion a degree of annoyance, and Joseph felt constrained to turn his attention to their affairs (D.&C., Sect. 78). He even went so far as to plan a visit which he proposed that himself, Sidney Rigdon and Newel K. Whitney should shortly make to Independence (D.&C., 78, 9), for the purpose of correcting the evil tendencies that had come to his notice there.
To appearance Joseph was steadily and perhaps rapidly gaining ground against his adversaries Booth and Ryder; by the existing aspect of affairs it would not be many months before Hiram would acknowledge that the prophet was complete master of the situation and of the town as well. Ryder and Booth must have begun to lose heart and hope; it would be indispensable to alter their methods if they expected to get quit of the presence and power of the Mormon church in their community. Mr. Booth had dropped several hints in his series of letters to the Ohio Star newspaper, relating to the clear and unquestionable lack of physical courage on the part of Smith and Rigdon. That suggestion fell upon fruitful soil; it sprang up and came to ripeness on the
night of Saturday the 25th of March 1832. At a late hour of the night Joseph and Sidney were surprised, taken from their beds, and treated to a generous dress of tar and feathers. The account which Mr. Smith has left of this transaction is suspected to be full of amusing exaggerations; he was never in the least peril of life or limb (Lucy Smith, pp. 203-204). It was good policy to make the most of anything that bore the semblance of persecution; his fears enlarged the aspect of the few harmless strokes that fell upon him. His body was scarcely bruised and he was able to officiate in the school house where his followers assembled the next day.
Mr. Smith accused the Disciples of having a large share in this farce, claiming to have identified in the crowd his old associate Symonds Ryder. One M'Clentic, who he declares was the "son of a Campbellite minister" is also assigned to a leading role; likewise Pelatia Allen Esq., another distinguished member of the Disciples' church, is affirmed to have excited the mob to screw their courage to the sticking place by the present of a barrel of whiskey (Mackay, p. 71). In short Joseph was inclined to lay most of the blame upon the Disciples. Possibly this may have been the real state of the case; just as possibly it may have been nothing better than an expression of the passion and prejudice that had been engendered by several months of sharp rivalry.
Whoever was entirely or even largely responsible for this expedient, there can be no question of the fact that it worked very smoothly. Joseph
and Sidney were apt to try the virtues of flight whenever the sight of danger appeared even afar off; they were of the type known in later Mormon annals as "pulpit braves"; they were exceedingly chary of ever afterwards risking their precious persons within the precincts of Hiram town.
In the course of a letter which he put to paper in February 1868, nearly six and thirty years after the occurrence, Symonds Ryder reports that "some who had been dupes of the deception determined not to let it pass with impunity; and accordingly, a company of citizens was formed from Shalersville, Garrettsville and Hiram, in March 1832, and proceeded to headquarters in the darkness of the night and took Smith and Rigdon from their beds and tarred and feathered them both, and let them go. This had the desired effect, which was to get rid of them. They soon left for Kirtland" (Hayden, p. 221).
Ah, Symonds Ryder! That coating of tar and feathers was a confession of defeat and of helpless weakness. If there had been a possibility to put the adversaries to flight by any honest method you would have scorned to have resort to this unworthy measure. The fact that Shalersville and Garrettsville as well as Hiram were seats of Disciple churches, encourages the suspicion that Joseph might have been correct in attributing the outrage that had fallen upon him chiefly to the exertions of members of that communion. If Joseph and Sidney had possessed a sufficient amount of courage to return to Hiram and pose in the character of confessors and martyrs it is likely that no power in existence could have broken
the spell which they would have laid upon the town. In that event the history of Hiram might have been sadly altered; it would not have become in 1850 the seat of the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute, and consequently would not have enjoyed the honor of a connection with the name and memory of President Garfield. The rescue was accomplished by means of a coating of tar and feathers; but it was the narrowest possible escape; none but a man in that state of despair which is next of kin to madness would have been willing to risk a venture of this complexion.
It may be remembered that William W. Phelps had left Missouri to return to the east along with the other elders who followed the prophet's train on the 9th of the preceding August. He had been appointed the Lord's printer in Zion, and it is likely went as far as Canandaigua, New York, to fetch the old ramshackle press which he had offered to sell for one hundred and fifty dollars, to procure a sufficient amount of means to pay a small debt for which he had been clapped up in jail (Howe, p. 275). It is believed that Joseph received notice of his return with the press to Independence about the first of October (Tullidge, p. 135).
At an informal meeting of several brethren on the 11th of October, which Tullidge unadvisedly represents to have been a Conference (Tullidge, p. 122), it was proposed that Mr. Cowdery, who had now become a sort of understrapper for Phelps (D.&C., 57, 13), "should carry the commandments and revelations to Independence, Missouri, for printing, and that the prophet was to prepare them for publication" (Tullidge, p. 123). Hitherto they had been handed about for the most part in manuscript,
and special injunctions were on record to the effect that certain portions of them should not be permitted to come to the knowledge of the outside world (D.&C., 45, 72). But the temptation to see how he might appear in print was stronger than the express commands of the spirit, and Joseph took very kindly to the project. He had the copy all in readiness at the time appointed for the next Conference, and immediately laid it before the brethren (D.&C., 67, 4). Nay he had done more than had been suggested, in the way of preparing what he designated as "A Preface, or instruction unto the Book of Commandments" (Book of Commandments, Chapter 1). In Mr. Orson Pratt's edition, "the Lord's Preface to this Book," appears as Section 1, and no hint is given there of the purpose which Section 1 was originally intended to serve. But the Book of Commandments and the fourth European Edition of the Book of Doctrine & Covenants, Liverpool, 1854, leave no room for doubt regarding the business. The latter gives the date of this preface as Nov. 1, 1831 (p. ix).
It has been considered of good uses to supply the above brief relation of the origin of the first edition of the work under review which originally bore the title of Book of Commandments. At the same conference were given three other revelations -- five in all -- one of which was called the Appendix for the reason that it was intended to serve in that capacity to the Book of Commandments. By a stupid lack of council on the part of Orson Pratt, the Appendix has been transferred from its rightful position as Section 70,
to a place at the end of his edition where it passes as Section 133. It is said to have been delivered on the 3d of November, 1831 (Fourth European Edition, p. ix).
But for the purposes now chiefly in sight, the third of the revelations that was delivered during the November Conference at Hiram is of most consequence. It bears the title of Section 68 in the edition of Mr. Pratt, and ordains more than one important change in the constitution and government of the Mormon community.
It has already been signified how according to the plan which Joseph had conceived in January and February 1831, there was provision made for only one bishop in the "Church of Christ." In accordance with this plan Edward Partridge had been appointed Bishop; Sidney Gilbert was his agent in Zion, while Newel K. Whitney occupied that dignity at Kirtland. If this arrangement had been carried to completion it is plain that Mr. Partridge would have been very powerful in the hierarchy, with an agent in every place where a Mormon church might chance to spring up.
But the shrewdness of the prophet had now at length made him aware that this was too soft and strong a place for Edward Partridge. That person had given evidence that he possessed a mind of his own and some remnants of a conscience of his own (Howe, pp. 200-201). In Missouri he had even been insolent enough to suggest that the Lord's revelator might be unwise (Howe, p. 202), and to affirm that beyond any question he was lazy (Howe, p. 200). In brief Edward was both out of favor
and in suspicion (D.&C., 64, 17). Joseph decides to clip his plumage and remove the peril of rivalry at his hands. This enterprise was accomplished in the following neat and masterly fashion:
There remaineth hereafter, in the due time of the Lord, other bishops to be set apart unto the church, to minister even according to the first (D.&C., 68, 14).Here was a total defeat for Mr. Partridge; instead of being as heretofore in complete control of the secular concerns of the "Church of Christ," he was now to descend very far indeed. By the above provision he was placed very nearly upon the same level as the bishop of the poorest handful of believers at the farthest corner of the world. The change was to be effected "in the due time of the Lord" so that all the blame of meddling with the power and station of Mr. Partridge might be laid upon the will of a higher power. Perhaps it was by means of a wink of the prophet that the church at Kirtland speedily took the hint, and incontinently elected and ordained Newel K. Whitney, who hitherto had been nothing better than bishop's agent, to the dignity of an independent Bishop and rival of Partridge. It is amusing to observe the gracious unction with which Mr. Smith approved this conduct when shortly afterwards his occasions brought him up from Hiram to Kirtland (D.&C., 72, 2. 3. 8. 9).
It is well known that the Book of Mormon contemplated only three grades of officers, namely, apostles or elders, priests and teachers.
When in the month of June 1830, Mr. Smith was laying down what he called the "Articles and Covenants of the Church of Christ," he added upon his individual authority the office of deacon (D.&C., 20, 39). On the 9th of February 1831 he added the office of Bishop (D.&C., 41, 9). These were all the officers which had been taken account of in any written revelation. But the crowd of apostles had increased far beyond the number twelve that were originally counted on (D.&C., 18, 27). In fact these dignitaries were now become as thick as blackbirds in June; it was no longer any special distinction to be ordained an apostle or elder.
By reason of that evil it had occurred to the mind of Mr. Smith that it would be appropriate to found a new office which it would be possible to prevent from being over crowded. Accordingly, at the meeting that was held in Kirtland on the 6th of June to arrange the anabasis to Missouri, the business of ordaining High priests was inaugurated (Howe, pp. 133-139), but not a syllable touching this transaction was breathed forth in any of the written revelations of the prophet until the meeting of the Conference at Hiram, where the proceeding was condoned by divine authority (D.&C., 68, 15).
Originally the Mormon scheme contemplated nothing beyond the restoration of the Aaronic priesthood. All that is said in the History of Joseph Smith concerning the mention of a Melchisedek priesthood as early as the 15th of May 1829 (Pearl of Great Price, pp. 70-1), must be set down as confusion of memory. Nothing
of the sort could have been suggested as early as May 1829, for the reason that nothing of the sort was conceived of until May 1831, when it was perceived to be important to supply a new rank of authority and dignity in the place of the apostelate which had now become so common as to be no longer a desirable position. The High-priestly station would be considered as something still more exalted if it could be asserted that it was connected with a priesthood yet more conspicuous than the Aaronic priesthood, this being the only one that up to the present moment had been recognized or dreamed of in the "Church of Christ."
At the outset the gradation of the hierarchy was in a state of confusion; none others were then recognized as members of the Melchisedek priesthood except those who were ordained to be High-priests. That was the understanding of Ezra Booth, who was in every sense a competent eyewitness (Howe, p. 180). It was also the conception of Joseph himself, for he employs the phrases "First Presidency of the Melchisedek Priesthood," and "Presidency of the High-priesthood" as interchangeable and as if they were practically synonymous (D.&C., 68, 15; compare 81, 2).
The High-priest by virtue of his membership in the Melchisedek priesthood was represented to be the superior of the Bishop (D.&C., 68, 19). The latter officer had not yet been admitted to the honors and the emoluments of the Melchisedek priesthood; this favor was accorded
to him, however, on the 22nd of September 1832 (D.&C., 84, 29, 30). On the other hand he was ignominiously degraded from that station and thrust down to the lower Aaronic priesthood on the 28th of March 1835 (D.&C., 107, 15). Thus it appears that the inspiration of the prophet was too infirm to avoid palpable contradictions. But it is likely there was good reason for this contradiction to be found in the growing sentiment regarding the importance of elevating the spiritual above the temporal side of churchly existence.
Another blow at the power of Edward Partridge may be perceived in the circumstance that it was now provided that he should be ordained by no other hand than by that of the First Presidency of the Melchisedek Priesthood (D.&C., 68, 19) and also that in case of misdemeanor he should be tried by the same authority (D.&C., 68, 22, 23). Hitherto Mr. Smith had been somewhat afraid to tackle Partridge, because of the fact that the Bishop might be skilful enough to procure a trial before the elders of the church, and it was not wholly certain that such an ordeal would fall out just as he might desire. By the new arrangement the right of being heard by the Elders of the church was denied to Bishops, and they were thereby rendered more dependent upon the good will of the First Presidency.
At the moment of establishing the "Church of Christ," Mr. Smith had provided for himself nothing more than the spiritual functions and authority of "a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church through the will of God the Father, and the
grace of Jesus Christ" (D.&C., 21, 1). He candidly supposed that this purely spiritual position would supply all the authority that the exigencies of his career might require. Subsequent experience had convinced him that a merely spiritual officer has a sad time in the effort to wrestle with hard head Bishops, such as Partridge had shown himself to be. In the Conference at Hiram he corrected that blunder by according to the head of the "Church of Christ" secular as well as a spiritual prerogatives; he made him the "First President of the Church," or what amounted to the same thing the "First Presidency of the Melchisedek Priesthood" (D.&C., 68, 15-22). In this character his right to put a finger in every pie that might be constructed anywhere within the limits of the community would be clear and indisputable; he had become its foremost secular as well as its foremost spiritual officer.
The reader should have a care against the mistake that may be easily committed of supposing that the office of the "First Presidency" was introduced prior to the period passed at Hiram; the mention of the "Presidency" at Section 48, 6, is spurious, not being found in the original edition, for the reason that no such dignity as the "First Presidency" had been invented as early as March 1831, the date when Section 48 was issued. At that time the Bishop was conceded to be supreme in the control of the temporal concerns of the community. Likewise the mention of that fine array of dignitaries that occurs at Section 20, 65-67 is spurious, for the reason that it had not been formed or even conceived as early as June 1830, when Section 20 was produced. Another instance of this kind is found at
Section 27, 5, where Moroni has been surreptitiously introduced to usurp the merits and honors of Nephi. Originally it was not Moroni, but the prophet Nephi who was sent to reveal the Book of Mormon to Mr. Smith (Lucy Smith, p. 81), but in the year 1838 he found it convenient to interpolate the name Moroni into the accounts which he supplied of the occurrence, so that at the present time the achievement of Nephi is seldom heard of.
The labor of centralizing the power of the church was further advanced during the Conference at Hiram, by means of a blow against the slight measure of independence which the local churches had up to that time been able to retain. They were now degraded from the station of churches to the far lower position of "Stakes of Zion" (D.&C., 68, 25, 26). This nomenclature it will be recalled was founded upon a ridiculously literalistic interpretation of Isaiah 54, 2.
Once more, to the publishing company which had been organized at Kirtland for the purpose of pacifying Mr. Rigdon, was conceded a special power over the Bishop; it was every way desirable that Joseph and his associates of that organization should have unrestricted access to any supplies of money that by whatever process might come into the hands of this official, and the design in question was established by the following provision:
Let my servants who are appointed as stewards over the literary concerns of my church, have claim for assistance upon the
bishop or bishops, in all things, that the revelations may be published, and go forth unto the ends of the earth, that they also may obtain funds which will benefit the church in all things (D.&C., 72, 20, 21).There can be no question that Joseph had a fine eye for personal advantage. It is an occasion for regret that he has been so often conceived in the light of a vulgar zealot. He was one of the most precious rascals, one of the shrewdest manipulators, that has been produced anywhere. Whoever will be at pains to study his conduct and character with minute attention and a tolerable degree of candor, must be persuaded that there have been few such masterful leaders of men.
But the necessities of the publishing company did not promise to supply as large a hold upon the treasures of the company as it was desirable to possess. The Book of Commandments would speedily be issued at a comparatively small cost, after which it was expected that it would pay its own charges and bring in a small surplus to be divided among the members of the favored corporation. But this would be a very small booty in comparison with the cartloads of fools pence which it was anticipated would come into the keeping of the Bishop in Zion. Joseph's palm was itching to carry a generous portion of these treasures also, and it is both of interest and amusement to observe the process by which he went about to compass that desire.
Between the first and 20th of March 1832, he organized a second closed corporation consisting of Newel K. Whitney, Sidney Rigdon and himself (D.&C., 78, 9), under the sounding title of the "order of Enoch." It will be remembered that Joseph himself claimed to be the patriarch Enoch, who after walking with God for many ages had in these last days gained his consent to come down from the skies and walk among men for a season. This "order of Enoch" was intended "for the purpose of establishing the poor" (D.&C., 78, title), and was otherwise called "the order of the church for the benefit of the poor" (D.&C., 92, title). Cowdery and Martin Harris were later received into membership (D.&C., 82, 11), and also the well to do steam doctor, Frederick G. Williams (D.&C., Sect. 92).
The acknowledged purpose of this "order of Enoch" was "to manage the affairs of the poor in all things pertaining to the bishopric, both in the land of Zion and the land of Kirtland" (D.&C., 82, 12). This arrangement would give the prophet another desirable recourse against the Bishops. As one might anticipate the only poor for which the "order of the Church for the benefit of the poor" showed any special interest were their own precious selves. A dividend was declared to the various members on the 23d of April 1834, by means of which Sidney Rigdon was presented with a residence and a tannery (D.&C., 104, 20); Martin Harris obtained a lot of land (D.&C., 104, 24); Frederick G. Williams a place of residence, and a share in a printing office; Oliver Cowdery a lot of land and another share
of the same printing office (D.&C., 104, 27-9); Newel K. Whitney got some houses for residence, a mercantile establishment and an ashery (D.&C., 104, 30-41), and Joseph Smith the lot of land upon which the Kirtland temple was builded as also the place which had been supplied through the stupid liberality of Williams and Philo Dibble as a residence for his father and mother (D.&C., 104, 43). In order that any further claims of Joseph might not be estopped by the above dividend it was in his case carefully provided that "this is the beginning of the stewardship, which I have appointed unto him, for a blessing upon him and his father" (D.&C., 104, 44).
This iniquitous "order of Enoch" is said to be still in existence at Salt Lake City (Stenhouse, pp. 501-3).
While this "Appendix" did not in any regard alter the doctrines that had been hitherto embraced in the "Church of Christ" it laid unaccustomed emphasis upon the Millennial feature of these doctrines. In the progress of it there are several interesting allusions to Mr. Campbell's favorite notion "that the captivity of Israel was in all its prominent features a type of the present state of the Christian world" (Christian Baptist, p. 311). That gentleman's conviction represented the saints as being "yet in Babylon" (Christian Baptist, p. 309), which was but another title for the existing religious communities of a different name from that which his own church preferred. It has been signified how much he enjoyed to exhort Christians of other names to
"depart from Babylon and return to Jerusalem," the latter being a sort of euphemism for the Disciples of Christ.
Mr. Smith in this place imitates the "Bethany dialect" by insisting that the saints shall "go out of Babylon and gather to Zion" (D.&C., 133, 4, 5, 7, 14). If Mr. Campbell was made aware of the exact manner in which the Mormons were following his footsteps even in the minutest particulars, it must have been an occasion of grievous annoyance to his mind. The very phrases which he had coined with infinite care, and loved as dearly as it is possible for any parent to love a child, were as coolly appropriated by Mr. Rigdon and his people as if they possessed an inalienable right to them. In fact they sometimes dared even to go beyond Mr. Campbell. He was fond of representing his movement in the character of a "Reformation... the Current Reformation," by way of distinction from that which Luther had inaugurated. It was a thing of the past and had quite run its course; but the "Current Reformation" was a thing of the present and would never cease to be a power in the earth. In keeping with such a vain conceit the friends of Mr. Campbell would sometimes allow themselves the liberty of assigning to their chief a position at the side of Luther if not above the dignity which the German Reformer sustains (Richardson, Memoirs of A. Campbell, 2, pp. 41, 42).
But Sidney went farther than that absurd extreme. The movement in which he at present found himself engaged was more than a "Reformation" --
it was a "new Dispensation," and a niche was accordingly provided for Joseph that was far above Luther's elevation; he was honored with a position at the side of Jesus Christ. The most effective ridicule that was ever inflicted upon the pretensions of Mr. Campbell came from the ranks of these his slavish imitators. It was indeed a cruel fate that they exposed him to; one can hardly avoid to feel sympathy in the anguish it must have produced, in case the poor man was ever unhappy enough to become accurately acquainted with the facts.
In the "Appendix" it was promised that the ten lost tribes would speedily break away from the mountains of ice which confined them at the north pole, and make their way to Zion in Missouri, bringing rich treasures to the poverty stricken Mormons there (D.&C., 133, 26-33), while at the same moment the Jews should gather to Jerusalem in Palestine (D.&C., 133, 35).
Many other points of a like tenor were touched in the "Appendix," to say nothing of a divine justification of the change from the former policy of secrecy to that which the prophet was just now entering upon in the publication of the revelations (D.&C., 133, 60, 61).
Swedenborg had given himself the labor to compose a work in which he revealed the "Arcana" of the Book of Revelation. It has been intimated already that Joseph was not equal to this Latin word; in his language it was rendered by the English word "Keys." During the Hiram period he concluded to supply for his own use
a "Key to John's Revelation" (D.&C., Sect. 77). In this is nothing of special interest from a doctrinal point of sight beyond the fact that he there reproduces the conceit which had been borrowed from Swedenborg in the translation of the second chapter of the Book of Genesis regarding the spiritual element existing in the animals of the lower orders of creation. For example, he inquires:
"2 Question -- What are we to understand by the four beasts, spoken of in the same verse?"
"Answer -- They are figurative expressions, used by the Revelator John, in describing heaven, the Paradise of God, the happiness of man, and of beasts, and of creeping things, and of fowls of the air; that which is spiritual, being in the likeness of that which is temporal; and that which is temporal being in the likeness of that which is spiritual; the spirit of man in the likeness of his person, as also the spirit of the beast, and every other creature which God has created."
The reader who desires to consult a fuller discussion of these ideas and their origin is referred to the Third Chapter of the present Book, where the topic of Swedenborgiana is handled.
The most considerable doctrinal change that is attributed to the Hiram period was the practical abolition of hell and endless torments. No tenet is defended with greater breadth and vigor in the Book of Mormon than the existence and eternity of penal suffering.
Whoever is at pains to consider the almost countless attacks which in that volume are made against both the doctrine of Universalism and also of Restorationism must be persuaded that Mr. Rigdon had been called to endure the fortunes of many a joust with these people, who at that season were represented in considerable numbers upon the Western Reserve. Joseph also had apparently shared a number of discussions with Martin Harris, who was of the faith of the Restorationists, touching this article of the Book of Mormon and of his own belief. In the month of March 1830, probably fearing that Martin's Restoration tenets were likely to prevent him from casting in his fortunes with the "Church of Christ" the prophet had gone to the extent of procuring a special revelation to cure him of that heresy (D.&C., 19, 3-13). A little later, in the months of April and June 1830, it is easy to believe that during the progress of his efforts to convert the Universalist Joseph Knight, sen., and his family at Colesville, New York, Mr. Smith had found occasion for the use of all the little store of knowledge concerning eschatology that he had in possession.
In the month of September 1830, Joseph exhibited the first sign of yielding to the judgment of Harris and Knight upon this point, by the following words that occur in one of his revelations:
Wherefore I will say unto them, depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. And now behold, I say unto you, never at any time have I declared from my own mouth that they
should return, for where I am they cannot come, for they have no power; but remember that all my judgments are not given unto men (D.&C., 29, 28-30).The above is believed to resemble an act of preparation for a new revelation at some future time when he should be able to declare from the mouth of the Lord a doctrine which should be in better harmony with the wishes of Messrs. Harris and Knight.
The tendency in the direction of Restorationist opinions may have been hastened by the accession of Edward Partridge in December 1830. It is admitted that Partridge had joined the Mormons from the ranks of the Disciples, but it must also be remembered that he had previously been a communicant among the Restorationists (Tullidge, p. 113). If Edward still carried in his heart any remnants of this preference of old days, which is conceived to be a likely supposition, it would be especially grateful to him if Joseph were discovered to be leaning in that direction. Accordingly on the 16th day of February 1832, after Joseph and Sidney had enjoyed ample occasion to calculate all the facts involved, the Lord came forth with the judgment which had been virtually promised at D.&C., 29, 30. The pair were at Hiram town, engaged in the translation of the New Testament which on the 10th of the preceding month they had been commanded to resume (D.&C., 73, 3). The translation of the gospel of Matthew had been completed at Kirtland, before they set out for Missouri on the 19th of the preceding month of June. Since renewing the task on the 10th of January
1832, they had completed the gospels according to Mark and Luke and were diligently engaged upon the gospel according to John, when upon the 16th of February they encountered John 5, 19: "And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation." This was considered a favorable opportunity to discharge their minds of the burden they had so long experienced, and "A Vision" was duly obtained from the Lord (D.&C., Sect. 76). That course was likely chosen for the purpose of allowing to Sidney such a share in the business as would unalterably commit him as well as Joseph to the new departure. Revelations were by this time understood to be the peculiar preserve of the prophet, and if Mr. Rigdon was to join him and be made responsible for the tenet of Restorationism, this end could only be effected by the process of "A Vision," which it was competent for any other brother to be honored with.
After the customary words of introduction, it was announced that none but apostate Mormons were sons of perdition, who should suffer eternal torments with the devil and his angels (D.&C., 76, 31-37). Except them all the others who should be so unfortunate as to be sent to hell would be redeemed and come forth "in the due time of the Lord, after the sufferings of his wrath." This "due time" was understood to be the resurrection of the dead at the last day (D.&C., 76, 39-48). The somersault was complete; the Book of Mormon was dishonored; the wishes of Harris, Partridge and Knight had obtained a brilliant triumph.
To one who carefully considers the tenor of D.&C., 76, 39-40, it will appear that it was not Universalism but Restorationism which was here embraced by Joseph and Sidney. Universalism would have left behind no place of torment even for impenitent Mormons; but it was the special care of the leaders that a receptacle of that kind should be adjusted. For apostates there was no forgiveness in this world nor in the next (D.&C., 76, 43-44).
In accordance with this new tenet of Mormonism the phraseology of Mormon theology was sensibly changed; it now became customary to deliver people over to "the buffetings of Satan until the day of redemption" (D.&C., 78, 12; 82, 21; 104, 9-10). It may not be without interest to bring forward the circumstance that when Mr. Rigdon himself was excommunicated at Nauvoo on the 8th of September, 1844, he was not consigned to eternal burnings, which were the rightful portion of all apostates, but was tenderly "delivered over to the buffetings of Satan until he repent" (Stonehouse, p. 207).
But the two visionaries at Hiram town were not content with the changes they had wrought in hell; they immediately took in hand the project of tinkering with the heavens also. Here they had direct recourse to Swedenborg. The "Swedish seer" had provided for three separate heavens; Joseph and Sidney now did the same (D.&C., 76, 96-9). Swedenborg invented for his highest or in most heaven the title of "Divine celestial"; his second heaven was known as the "Divine spiritual"; his third or lowest heaven as the "Divine natural heaven" (Heaven and Hell, n. 31).
The Mormon leaders imitated this nomenclature as closely as they dared. Their highest heaven was christened the "celestial heaven" in exact accordance with the example of Swedenborg; the middle heaven which Swedenborg had named "the Spiritual heaven," they denominated "the terrestrial heaven"; the lowest heaven designated by Swedenborg as "the natural heaven," they christened "the telestial heaven." This last word was especially coined for the occasion, with the design of obtaining a word that should be worthy to keep company with "celestial" and "terrestrial."
It was easier to organize and to give names to these three heavens than it was found to be to stipulate what classes of person should be assigned to the one and the other of them. This latter was an enterprise of considerable delicacy; it was not performed without a certain degree of confusion.
As would be naturally expected the Mormons immediately took exclusive possession of the first or "celestial" heaven (D.&C., 76, 50-70).
To a place in the second or "terrestrial" heaven were assigned children who die in infancy and the heathen world who according to the oft repeated assurances of the Book of Mormon would be saved because they had died without any knowledge of Christ or of God's law (D.&C., 76, 72). Here also the spirits in prison to whom Christ preached when he descended into the place of departed spirits will find a resting place (D.&C., 76, 73). The sectarian world also, who although honorable men of the earth had been blinded by the craftiness of others, would
also come to the "terrestrial" heaven (D.&C., 76, 75-80). In view of the intense opposition that was experienced by the Mormons at the hands of the "sects" this was a distinguished concession to the members of the "sects." But the blessing of a place in the "terrestrial" heaven is not an indisputable benefit of the "sectarian world"; in another part of the same revelation these are also assigned a place in the "telestial" or lowest heaven, by which means a degree of confusion is introduced into the subject (D.&C., 76, 99-101). It would be well worth the labor of that portion of the community who oppose the Mormons to investigate the point with a degree of minuteness as to which of these two heavens would be their real future home. In as much as the Mormons are to have exclusive possession of the first heaven, it would be a pleasant favor to the Gentiles to be certified that they were to follow hard after them, and not to be degraded to the lowest heaven.
Liars, sorcerers, adulterers and whoremongers would also come to the telestial heaven (D.&C., 76, 103). It seems however to be expected they should reach that goal by way of the wrath of God on earth and of the vengeance of penal fires, whence in the due time of the Lord they should be delivered (D.&C., 76, 104-107). Those who denied the Spirit, were also expected to come to the "telestial" heaven by the same warm route (D.&C., 76, 82-85).
It was in the progress of this revelation that the doctrine of a plurality of Gods was for the first time mooted. The Mormons in
the "celestial" heaven were graciously assured that they would be raised to the dignity of Gods (D.&C., 76, 58). This was one of the worst exhibitions of that literalism that is such a deplorable feature of Mormonism. The idea was probably derived by Sidney and Joseph from such passages as Psalms 82, 1: "God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods." It must have been considered as a dear triumph of exegesis, and a truly wonderful discovery out of the holy scriptures. The passage at 1 Cor. 8, 5, was perhaps also shamefully misapplied to the purpose in hand. The literalism which Mr. Rigdon had inherited from the Disciples was carrying him and his followers into more preposterous extremes every day.
The last doctrinal change that was effected during the Hiram period has already been incidentally mentioned. Evidently there was a conflict between the Methodist preferences of Joseph and the Disciple convictions of Sidney, touching the point of infant baptism. Sidney triumphed there, and it was firmly prescribed in the "Articles and Covenants of the Church of Christ" that "no one can be received into the church of Christ, unless he has arrived unto years of accountability before God and is capable of repentance" (D.&C., 20, 71). At that moment Mr. Smith only required, in compliment to his Methodist views, that infants should be brought before the church in order that the hands of the elders might be laid upon them (D.&C., 20, 70).
He now advances a step farther and accurately establishes
the date when children should arrive at the age of accountability. Following are the provisions he added in that direction:
"Inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her Stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the son of the living God, and of baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands when eight years old, the sin be upon their parents; for this shall be a law unto the inhabitants of Zion, or in any of her Stakes which are organized, and their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old and receive the laying on of hands (D.&C., 68, 25-27).Undoubtedly this was a decided improvement upon the system of the Disciples of Christ. It looks like joint work. The child is in no peril from lack of baptism for the remission of sins prior to the eighth year of his age, for he has not yet come to years of accountability. At the close of his eighth year however, he passes the boundary and the "church of Christ" kindly steps in with baptism as a shield against every kind of peril from sin. The attenuated faith and repentance of the "ancient gospel" might easily be compassed by a child of that degree of ripeness, and it was a splendid benefit to be sure that his sins were duly remitted at the first moment when it should become possible for him to commit any sins.
Another decided improvement in this connection was effected by the Mormons
upon the theological system of the Disciples. Both parties alike advocate the same "Law of Pardon," which as is well known, consists of faith, repentance, baptism, remission, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. But the Disciples are unfaithful to their principles in the case of persons who have been once baptized and admitted to a place in the church. For these one of the most important items of the "Law of Pardon" is forevermore neglected and contemned; they receive the remission of sins committed after the date of their baptism without any rebaptism whatever. Thus it happens that for the believer the item of baptism in the "Law of Pardon" falls into abeyance. The Mormons respect the "Law of Pardon" far too highly to permit it to be broken and dishonored in that fashion; they apply it about as rigidly to cleanse away the sins of those who have already entered the "church of Christ" as in the case of persons who are just now for the first time seeking admission to the "church of Christ." They have the courage of their convictions; they are consistent and greatly more logical than the Disciples. During the "Reformation" which occurred in Utah in the years 1856-7 it is reported that almost the entire population of the Territory were rebaptized for the remission of sins committed after the first baptism that had been received by those staunch advocates of the "ancient gospel" (Stenhouse, pp. 292-297).
The last freak of literalism that remains to be noticed in connection with the sojourn at Hiram relates to the practice of anointing, which is at first suggested in speaking of the ceremony of ordination (D.&C., 68, 20, 21). It was borrowed from the usages of the Old Testament priesthood, but in strict accordance with the Disciple maxim, "where the Scriptures speak, we speak." If this was an abuse of that maxim, it must be said in extenuation of Smith and Rigdon's conduct that the maxim was liable to abuse, and even invited to such excesses in virtue of the circumstance that it was unlimited by any clause or curtail of any kind.
The business of "anointing" which was here commenced, afterwards attained to immense proportions (D.&C., 124, 39); it is at present a decidedly prominent feature of Mormon church life.
From the above survey it must appear that the months passed at Hiram, Ohio, were every way fruitful of changes; in no similar length of time have the Mormon polity and theology suffered a larger number of prominent and permanent alterations. It is not easy to affirm how large an influence was exerted by Mr. Rigdon in the way of suggesting and inaugurating these improvements, but the impression is well founded that in respect to the theology Sidney was always the principal figure in the "church of Christ."
"Let my servant Ahashdah [Newel K. Whitney] and my servant Gazelam, or Enoch [Joseph Smith, jun.] and my servant Pelagoram [Sidney Rigdon] sit in council with the saints which are in Zion; otherwise Satan seeketh to turn their hearts away from the truth, that they become blinded and understand not the things which are prepared for them" (D.&C., 78, 9-10).In brief words, Joseph would have gone up to Zion for his plunder within a short season even if nothing untoward had befallen him at Hiram. Shortly after the mob had accomplished its labors Sidney withdrew to Warren, Ohio (Lucy Smith, pp. 206-7). It is possible that the Brooks family had not yet felt
themselves constrained to repudiate himself and his wife and children, and he was likely in Warren to seek a place where the latter could remain during the period of his intended absence. Joseph withdrew to Kirtland where he committed his wife Emma to the care of William Cahoon and Frederick G. Williams until he should return (Lucy Smith, p. 207).
On Monday the 2d of April, Smith and Whitney set forward and joined Rigdon at Warren; the entire "order of Enoch" as at present constituted was on the way to the spot where they might hope to make a rich booty. They went as far as Wheeling, Virginia, by land, and embarking there, proceeded by means of steamboat conveyance to Independence (Tullidge, p. 140). They arrived on Tuesday the 24th of April. Two days later, on Thursday the 26th of April, was assembled the second Conference in Zion, which was the eighth Conference that had been held since the "church of Christ" was founded. It was the exact interval for such a convocation, since the last one previous to the present had been held at Amherst, Ohio, on the 25th of the preceding January. For the first time since he began to play the role of prophet, Joseph was here defeated before an assembly of his own brethren; in his account of the occasion he therefore takes pains to degrade the meeting from the dignity of a Conference by denominating it merely a "general Council of the Church" (Tullidge, p. 140).
At the outset affairs went forward much to his liking. After inventing at the Hiram Conference the new position of
"Presidency of the High-priesthood," or which was the same thing, "Presidency of the Melchisedek Priesthood," he had shown the necessary address to cause himself to be elected to that station by the next Conference at Amherst. The present Conference in Zion gratified his feelings very kindly by confirming that action. Mr. Smith says:
"On the 26th (of April 1832) I called a general council of the Church, and was acknowledged as the President of the High-priesthood, according to a previous ordination at a conference of High-priests, elders and members, held at Amherst, Ohio, on the 25th of January 1832. The right hand of fellowship was given to me by the Bishop, Edward Partridge, in behalf of the church. The scene was solemn, impressive and delightful" (Tullidge, p. 140).That point having been carried with so much ease and unction, Joseph considered it was a favorable opportunity to come forward with a revelation touching those harpies of the iniquitous "order of Enoch." The brethren had just now held a decidedly warm "love feast," in which all bickerings of former days were hushed to silence (D.&C., 82, 1; compare Scraps of Biography, p. 73), and nothing seemed likely to come in the way of the venture he had in hand.
But the "new commandment" (D.&C., 82), found no favor at all; it was altogether too plain a case of plunder and rascality. When he first organized the "order of Enoch," Joseph had recommended it to popularity by appealing to the dearest wish of the Mormon heart, namely that their Theocracy might "stand independent above all other
creatures beneath the celestial world" (D.&C., 78, 14). He intimates that he urged this same consideration at the Conference in Zion (Tullidge, p. 141). In that encounter, however, Massachusetts shrewdness was more than a match for Vermont knavery; Edward Partridge could discover no kind of connection between cause and effect. There was no ground anywhere to believe that the independence and success of the Theocracy would be promoted by a confederation of vampyres like the "order of Enoch" daily gloating upon its vitals. Whitney might join the conspirators in his character as Bishop at Kirtland, and give them what assistance he had under his command, to plunder the brethren in Ohio, but Mr. Partridge had a heart to sympathize with the sacrifices and sufferings of the faithful in Missouri; he would afford his countenance to no such infamous fraud. Joseph was compelled to turn away without accomplishing his nefarious design. Referring to his defeat a few months later he says:
"Verily, I say unto you all those to whom the kingdom has been given, from you it must be preached unto them, that they shall repent of their former evil works, for they are to be upbraided for their evil hearts of unbelief; and your brethren in Zion for their rebellion against you at the time I sent you" (D.&C., 84, 76).That is the proper word for the transaction; Edward Partridge and his counsellors in Missouri, were so much shocked by the rapacity of the leaders of the movement that he rebelled against their authority and openly defied them. It is hardly possible that Mr. Rigdon after engaging in this
conspiracy could have still retained any large portion of the sincerity which he is believed to have possessed while he was engaged in the labor of editing the Book of Mormon. Evil communications had now corrupted his morals, almost beyond recognition.
Joseph did not anticipate this ugly result; he had come to Missouri with the halo of martyrdom about his temples, and it was confidently believed that in the freshness of their enthusiasm for the men who had just been dressed with a coating of tar at Hiram, it would not be in the hearts of the faithful to deny them any request. On the contrary, as soon as the revelation concerning the "order of Enoch" was brought forward on the 26th of April (D.&C., Section 82), the trouble began. Mr. Smith considered it would be possible to overcome it by exertion; consequently he spent the 27th of April in trying to accomplish that design. He relates:
"On the 27th we transacted considerable business for the salvation of the saints, who were settling among a ferocious set of mobbers, like lambs among wolves. It was my endeavor to so organize the Church that the brethren might eventually be independent of every incumbrance beneath the celestial kingdom, by bonds of mutual friendship and love" (Tullidge, pp. 140-141).He urged his plea of an independent theocracy all day long, and spoke of the ferocity of the wolves who prowled around the camp of Israel. Nothing would avail; the brethren justly conceived that the
prophet was the most ferocious of all the wolves they had to encounter. They would not hear a syllable touching the claims of the "order of Enoch."
At the close of the day Joseph gave up the struggle and retired twelve miles into the country to pay a visit among his friends of the Colesville Branch, and of the "Whitmer settlement," who were established about three miles distant from the Colesville people on the borders of the Lamanites. Here he remained for two days, returning to Independence on the 30th of April (Scraps of Biography, p. 73).
In this interval his reflections convinced him that he had perpetrated a shameless offence alike against decency and his brethren, the rebellious spirit that was abroad among them clearly threatened the overthrow of his authority. Perceiving that it was indispensable that he should quickly yield to their wishes if he desired to retain the slightest remnant of his influence, Joseph called them together again on the 30th of April, and for the moment surrendered the "order of Enoch" entirely. Not a word was said concerning their infamous raid upon the treasure of Zion; the position of Edward Partridge was fully conceded to the effect that these monies were constituted a fund called the "Fellowship," after the nomenclature of the Disciples and the Sandemanians. Upon this "Fellowship" it was not even hinted that the "order of Enoch" had any claims. On the contrary the prophet obtained a revelation which opened for quite a different class of people the way of access to it (D.&C., Sect. 83).
Here he supports the cause of widows and orphans with a degree of unction that is both edifying and amusing. It was a bitter position, but he must swallow it or suffer ruin: "Women have claim on their husbands for their maintenance, until their husbands are taken and if they are not found transgressors they shall have fellowship in the church...And the storehouse shall be kept by the consecrations of the church, and widows and orphans shall be provided for as also the poor" (D.&C., 83, 2, 6). There was the end of all the glowing plans and hopes of the wolves of Enoch, for the present time at least.
Being foiled in the main purpose of his visit the prophet now turned his mind to the interests of his publishing company, out of which it was reasonable to expect that a small revenue might accrue to the members. It had already been duly arranged in one of the revelations that the servants of the Lord "who are appointed as stewards over the literary concerns of his church should have claim for assistance upon the bishop or bishops in all things" (D.&C., 72, 20). As this appeared to be a concern of general utility, and not like the previous proposal, a scheme of private rapacity, Bishop Partridge was inclined to consider it; arrangements were speedily effected to issue an edition of the Book of Commandments and of the Hymn Book which Emma Smith the elect lady had long since been divinely instructed to prepare (Scraps of Biography, p. 73).
By the 6th of May peace was sufficiently restored for Joseph and Sidney to allow themselves to give the parting hand to the saints in Zion. If one is careful to observe with candor the conduct of
Mr. Smith in the unlucky crisis which he had provoked in Zion, it is believed he will perceive one of the qualities of the born ruler of men. He recognized the precise point where it was essential to surrender his own preferences, beat a retreat and bide his time. If he had pushed his intention after the fashion which Sidney would have observed under similar circumstances, and which that person had observed a short while previously when he desired to have a house builded at Kirtland, a breach might have followed that would have been fatal to his interests; no amount of diplomacy could have availed to heal it up. His instincts for government were of a high order; they convinced him that his only safety was to be found in receding from the iniquitous project he had in his head; he laid it promptly aside for a more convenient season.
The journey to Kirtland was prosecuted by means of public stage coach conveyance by way of St. Louis, Missouri, Vincennes and New Albany, Indiana, where it is suspected that the "order of Enoch" intended to enter one of the Ohio river steamers, which would fetch them to Wheeling or Wellsville, whence the distance that remained might be traversed by land. A few miles before they reached New Albany, the horses that were attached to the coach became unmanageable, ran away, and Bishop Whitney being thrown out of the vehicle suffered a fracture of the bones of one of his legs (Tullidge, p. 141).
He was carried to the nearest inn, which chanced to be that of Mr. Daniel D. Porter, situated in the village of Greenville, about ten
miles from New Albany, in the northwest angle of Floyd county, Indiana (Lucy Smith, p. 207).
Mr. Rigdon quitted their company there and went forward to Kirtland (Tullidge, p. 141), leaving Joseph to nurse the patient, who was detained by the casualty about four weeks (Lucy Smith, p. 207). In the interval of enforced leisure the prophet, concluding he might accomplish somewhat in the way of enlightening the benighted citizens of the "Hoosier state," undertook a little missionary work upon his own responsibility, and probably began to speak in swelling words regarding the signs which should "follow them that believe," such as casting out devils, speaking with new tongues, taking up serpents without injury, and "if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them" (Mark 16, 17, 18).
Village inns of that time were commonly haunted by a crowd of wags; it is possible that Joseph committed himself very far in their presence, even going to the extent of boasting that he was proof against every kind of weapon, and that poison would do him no injury. They concluded to accept his challenge and arrange an experiment. One day at dinner it some way fell out that a liberal amount of tartar emetic got mixed in the prophet's soup bowl, and the crowd of idlers waited about to observe the result. The result was not long in producing itself; Joseph describes it as follows:
"One day when I arose from the dinner table, I walked directly to the door and commenced vomiting
most profusely. I raised large quantities of blood and poisonous matter, and so great were the contortions of my muscular system, that my jaw was dislocated in a few moments. This I succeeded in replacing with my own hands, and I then made my way to brother Whitney (who was on his bed), as speedily as possible. He laid his hands on me and administered in the name of the Lord, and I was healed in an instant, although the effect of the poison had been so powerful as to cause much of the hair to become loosened from my head (Tullidge, p. 141).It is easy to conceive that while this process was going forward tidings of the success of the practical joke had gone all over the villages, and the mirth of the people was uncontrollable. Joseph entered no appeal to justice for redress or protection; he had made a fool of himself and apparently was content to bear the jests of all who met him.
The wags of Greenville had reckoned without their host; the young man with whom they were dealing was the superior of the shrewdest among their number. No sooner had he turned his back upon them than he changed that potion of tarter emetic into the virulent poison which figures in the extract cited just above. His recovery, which was the most natural occurrence in the world, was now metamorphosed into a first class miracle. The agile prophet made capital out of the casualty, not simply at Kirtland, but as far as the ends of the earth. In England, Scotland, Germany and Scandinavia people have been found who cursed this rude practical joke as a dastardly attempt upon the life
of the Lord's anointed; his recovery from the nausea which it produced has been brought forward in all quarters as a first class miracle to demonstrate the divine power and authority of the prophet of the "New Dispensation."
At the earliest moment in which Bishop Whitney was ready for the road, the couple said their adieu to Mr. Porter and the village of Greenville, Indiana; they arrived at Kirtland before the end of June 1832 (Tullidge, p. 142).
At the time Joseph, Sidney and Newel left Zion, all matters of hardness and misunderstanding were settled and buried (as they supposed) and you gave them the hand of fellowship; but afterwards, you brought up all these things again in a censorious spirit, accusing Brother Joseph in rather an indirect way of seeking after monarchical power and authority (New Jerusalem -- a tract issued by Orson Pratt, Liverpool, Oct. 1, 1849 -- p. 11).A somewhat acrimonious correspondence was begun between Zion and Kirtland even before Joseph had found time to reach the latter place; the first letter that is mentioned in the series was sent by John Corrill under date of the 2d of June, 1832 (New Jerusalem, p. 11).
After the arrival of Joseph he provided his family a home (Lucy Smith, p. 207), where with the aid of Sidney the labor of translating the Scriptures which had been interrupted since the 25th of March, was prosecuted with as much energy as he could bring to bear
(Tullidge, p. 142 and p. 806). The regular date for the next Conference was about the first of August, but owing to the circumstance that few of the apostles who had been sent forth on missions from Amherst in January, had returned home, the meeting went by default until the 22d and 23d of September, when six of them had appeared and the ninth Conference was opened at Kirtland (D.&C., 84, 1). In the revelation procured for that occasion Zion was especially reminded of the rebellion which had been enacted there in the preceding April (D.&C., 84, 76), and they were all alike laid under condemnation. It is likely that a deal of crimination and recrimination had passed by post, before Joseph was prepared to refer to the holy city in the fashion observed in the following words:
"And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received, which vanity and unbelief hath brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all; and they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say but to do that which I have written, that they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father's kingdom, otherwise there remaineth a scourge and a judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion; for shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land? Verily I say unto you, Nay" (D.&C., 84, 54-59).
After the ninth Conference adjourned, Joseph enjoyed a brief respite from the strife. Bishop Whitney had received a general appointment with a special application. The general appointment was conveyed in these words:
"And the bishop, Newel K. Whitney, also should travel round about and among all the churches, searching after the poor to administer to their wants by humbling the rich and the proud" (D.&C., 84, 112).The special application was given in the following shape:
"Nevertheless, let the bishop go unto the city of New York also to the city of Albany, and also to the city of Boston, and warn those people of those cities with the sound of the gospel, with a loud voice, of the desolation and utter abolishment which await them if they do reject these things" (D.&C., 84, 114).In other words the time had come nigh when the keeper of the Lord's storehouse perceived that his supply of merchantable commodities was running low, and that it was prudent to concert measures for replenishing the stock against the winter. Joseph went with him to assist in the labor of "searching after the poor to administer to their wants, by humbling the rich and the proud" (Tullidge, p. 142). Sidney Gilbert, agent of the Bishop in Zion, may also have been one of the party (Tract, New Jerusalem, p. 12).
The earliest injunction set forth in the "Law" for the government of the theocracy enjoined: "Thou shalt contract no debts with the world" (Book of Commandments, Chapter XLIV, 55).
After the trouble with Edward Partridge anent the purchase of the landed estate in Thompson, during the month of March 1831 (Howe, p. 201), it has been shown how the definiteness of this provision appears to have been modified, so that the "Law" should read: "Thou shalt contract no debts with the world, except thou art commanded."
Then Gilbert and Whitney had succeeded in getting the storehouse in Zion and the storehouse in Kirtland under organization a further change was enacted which consisted of expunging entirely the above item of the "Law." The following was substituted in the place of it:
"Behold it is said in my laws, or forbidden to get in debt to thine enemies; but behold it is not said at any time, that the Lord should not take when he please, and pay as seemeth him good: wherefore as ye are agents, and ye are on the Lord's errand; and whatever ye do according to the will of the Lord, is the Lord's business, he hath set you to provide for his saints in these last days, that they may obtain an inheritance in the land of Zion" (D.&C., 64, 27-30).Mr. Smith had gone to the east with Mr. Whitney to render what aid he could in the way of purchasing a winter stock of merchants goods upon credit. It is likely the pair were successful; the credit system was shockingly abused at that time. But it is not likely that the Lord obtained the desirable privilege suggested above "to pay as seemeth him good." The bills were falling due by the 8th of March 1833, and the Lord's storehouse showed signs of being in a
condition of financial embarrassment. Joseph did what he might to relieve the pressure by the process of revelation, but it is not known how far his success extended. The method he adopted is set forth in the following allusion to the subject:
"And let the bishop search diligently to obtain an agent, and let it be a man who has got riches in store-a man of God and of strong faith; that thereby he may be enabled to discharge every debt; that the storehouse of the Lord may not be brought into disrepute before the eyes of the people" (D.&C., 90, 22, 23). It is not related which one of the brethren who had riches in store was silly enough to offer himself upon this altar of sacrifice.
The prophet continued in the east until the 6th of November; a few hours before his return to Kirtland a son was born to whom he gave the name of Joseph Smith, the 3d (Tullidge, p. 306). This gentleman is at present recognized as the President of the Reorganized or anti-polygamous branch of the church, and worthily governs it with no traces of his father's ability or knavery. When he had time to look about him the prophet was made sensible that the breach between Kirtland and Zion had become every way broader than was to be observed when he went away. The revelation of September 22d and 23d had been received in very ill part by the brethren in Missouri, and they seemed to be approaching a state of acerbity where it would be impracticable to exercise any control over them.
On the 27th of November, one and twenty days after reaching Kirtland,
he addressed a letter to William W. Phelps in which occurs what has since been elevated to the dignity of a revelation and numbered Section 85 of Orson Pratt's edition of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants (Tullidge, pp. 807-9). This passage contained the hardest kind of doctrine and rendered the aspect of affairs much more threatening.
The law of consecration had been duly announced in the so-called "Law" of the theocracy (D.&C., 42, 30-4). Its requirement have been described in their place in the preceding pages. That law could never be executed at Kirtland; it was perceived to be impossible to induce men of property who entered the "church of Christ," to surrender their possessions into the hand of the bishop, and in return to receive only a deed for a trifling "inheritance" or "stewardship" of twenty or thirty acres of land which might not be equal in value to one tenth of the estate which they were required to alienate. Perceiving this lack of obedience to the law of consecration, Joseph had later added a stipulation to the effect that "according to the law, every man that cometh up to Zion must lay all things before the bishop" (D.&C., 72, 15).
The design of the "order of Enoch" in their visit to Zion during the month of April 1832, was to enjoy the delights of fingering the chiefest portion of the funds which by the process of "consecration" had come into the hands of Bishop Partridge. This scandalous conduct of the leaders of the "church of Christ" had operated to bring
the law of consecration under a cloud of suspicion, not to speak of odium. In brief it appears to have been generally neglected if not despised.
On receiving intelligence of that condition of affairs, Joseph in his letter to Phelps of November 27, decided to speak a word in favor of the law of consecration, and to do what lay within his reach to procure the enforcement of it. Beginning by a reference to Apostle John Whitmer, who in the character of the Lord's clerk had been dispatched to Zion in company with Oliver Cowdery during the autumn of the year 1831 for the distinctly avowed purpose to prevent the latter from filching the funds which he was intrusted to convey to the brethren there (D.&C., Sect. 69) Mr. Smith gives due notice that he should be required to keep an exact history of the progress of events there, and in particular a General Church Record. In this place he was to set down the names of "all those who consecrate properties, and receive inheritances legally from the bishop" (D.&C., 85, 1). The moment this injunction was announced the passions of the people of Zion were astir; they immediately began to forecast the period when they should be honored by another visit from the "order of Enoch," for the purpose of robbing the bishop's treasury.
As if to punish those who had neglected, if not despised, the law of consecration, Mr. Smith further declared:
It is contrary to the will and commandment of God, that those who receive not their inheritance by consecration
agreeably to his law, which he has given that he may tithe his people to prepare them against the day of vengeance and burning, should have their names enrolled with the people of God; neither is their genealogy to be kept, or to be had where it may be found on any of the records or history of the church; their names shall not be found, neither the names of the fathers, nor the names of the children, written in the book of the law of God, saith the Lord of Hosts (D.&C., 85, 3-5).
The above was an extreme if not a revolutionary measure, and started no end of indignation among the faithful. It amounted to an expulsion from the "church of Christ," of all those persons who had not seen fit to surrender their possessions that they might in return accept from the bishop the small pittance which he was entitled by the instructions under which he acted to bestow upon them. Zion was practically in a state of rebellion. In his Journal, Newell Knight thus refers to an occurrence which is believed to have been occasioned by this high-handed performance:
"Brother Joseph, from time to time sent copies of revelations to me for the benefit of the branch over which I presided (Colesville Branch), in common with all the Saints in Zion. On reading one of these to the Branch my aunt [Electa Peck, who had not consecrated her earthly store arose and contradicted the revelation, saying it must be taken in a spiritual light. She went to such a length that I felt constrained to rebuke her by the
authority of the Priesthood. At this she was angry, and from that time sought to influence all who would listen to her. The result was a division of feeling in the Branch, and her husband partook of her spirit until he became so enthusiastic, that he went from Branch to Branch, crying, "Hosanna! glory to God! Zion is redeemed, and blessed is he that bringeth good tidings to the people" (Scraps of Biography, pp. 73-4).Evidently the more influential portion of the community in Zion were heartily sick of the dominion of Joseph, and looked forward with enthusiasm to his overthrow. The epistle directed to Phelps had scarcely been sent abroad before the entire mass of dissatisfaction that had been accumulating since the infamous visit of the "order of Enoch" was set aflame. Apostasy which had already begun to be observed (D.&C., 85, 2, 11), must have begun to show its head with still more confidence.
Sidney Gilbert, the bishop's agent, sat down on the 10th of December and wrote a letter to Kirtland, which was understood
shining lights of the community (Tract, New Jerusalem, p. 12).
The tenth Conference of the "church of Christ" was opened at Kirtland on the 27th of December 1832, under the most inauspicious circumstances. Joseph was almost persuaded that it would be necessary to cut loose from Zion, and disown the holy city; he was seriously meditating of the policy of setting up for himself in Kirtland, and of excommunicating the men of Missouri. Accordingly he brings forward in the revelation he prepared for the occasion a command that the Kirtlanders should erect a house for their own use, against the time when they should have no access any farther to the place which he had established at Independence (D.&C., 88, 119).
To a casual observer of the course of events it now appeared that Mr. Rigdon was on the point of obtaining his cherished wish that the center of the church should abide at Kirtland instead of removing to Missouri. The rebellion of Zion gave much promise of permanently dividing the Mormon movement, and leaving the Missouri section of the fraternity to their fate. It would have been fortunate for our country if such a consummation could have been effected.
On the 11th of January 1833 the prophet began to forge his thunderbolts. The letter which Phelps had sent him under date of the 15th of
December 1832, demanded a response. He seated himself in one of his wiliest moods to compose it on the 11th of January 1833, and the result was a document that was well calculated to assuage the bitterness of the controversy. In the course of it he remarks:
Though our brethren in Zion indulge in feelings towards us, which are not according to the requirements of the new covenant, yet we have the satisfaction of knowing that the Lord approves of us, and has accepted us, and established his name in Kirtland for the salvation of the nations; for the Lord will have a place from whence his word will go forth in these last days in purity; for if Zion will not purify herself so as to be approved of in the sight all things in his sight he will seek another people; for his work will go on until Israel is gathered, and they who will not hear his voice must expect to feel his wrath (Tract, New Jerusalem, p. 10).It will be observed that the prophet here intimates that Kirtland would be the holy city in case Zion continued to exhibit a rebellious disposition. That kind of appeal to the sentiment of jealousy between the two locations was very artful and it had been ably reinforced by the command of December 27th enjoining that a house should be erected in Kirtland. The suggestion that the Lord might cast off Zion for her iniquities was likewise suited to convince the men in authority there that they were not quite so independent as they had conceived. If Mr. Smith should send forth a revelation announcing that the faithful must "gather" in Ohio, while it might be in contradiction with his previous utterances it would go far to reduce the price of real estate at Independence.
Not content with the representations he had set forth in his epistle of the 11th of January, Joseph also called a council of twelve High-priests who chanced at the moment to be sojourning at Kirtland, on the 14th of January 1833, and caused them to indite an epistle in which the hints advanced in that performance were duly elaborated and enforced (Tract, New Jerusalem, pp. 11-13). When these documents were received in Missouri, Phelps, Partridge, Gilbert, Corrill and other leaders were brought to a stand. It was clear that Joseph still had much power to injure them and the community of Zion. Accordingly a special council of High-priests was called for the purpose of considering the crisis, and a much more moderate tone was adopted. The communications of Joseph and of the High-priests at Kirtland were laid before the meeting, and debated at considerable length. The result of the conference was very gratifying to the prophet. The men of Zion returned a reply that must have been conceived in a spirit of conciliation, and he was for the moment rescued from the consequences of his folly in proposing the infamous "order of Enoch," and pressing it upon them.
Shortly after the session of the High-priests, a solemn assembly was called in Zion where pains were taken that a sincere and humble repentance should be manifested (Tullidge, p. 145). It was truly a narrow escape which the prophet here effected from the consequences of a rebellion that his own rapacity had brought into existence. Tidings of the repentance of Zion were likely received at Kirtland
with a joy that was mingled with many fears. It was a hollow truce; Joseph could acquire no right confidence in its merits or stability.
In the earliest revelation that he produced after being made aware of the news, Mr. Smith refers to the situation in the following suspicious fashion: "Behold I say unto you that your brethren in Zion begin to repent, and the angels rejoice over them; nevertheless I am not well pleased with many things, and I am not well pleased with my servant William E. McLellin, neither with my servant Sidney Gilbert; and the bishop also and others have many things to repent of; but verily I say unto you, that I the Lord will contend with Zion, and plead with her strong ones, and chasten her until she overcomes and is clean before me: For she shall not be removed out of her place. I the Lord have spoken it. Amen" (D.&C., 91, 34-37).
It was not many days however before the power of Joseph over Zion was established by a bond that should never be broken. That excellent service was accomplished for him by none of his friends but by his enemies. If these could have contained themselves in patience for another twelvemonth, it is not probable that Mormonism would have been able to cut any kind of figure in the annals of our country. It would have fallen to pieces, stranded by the rivalry between Kirtland and Zion, between Edward Partridge and the prophet.
On the 6th of April 1833 the faithful in Zion, whose
numbers had now been swelled by immigration to a figure near twelve hundred, met together at the ferry on the Big Blue River to celebrate the third anniversary of the birth of the "church of Christ" (Scraps of Biography, p. 75). It is more than possible that several orators came forward to entertain the audience with language and expectations that were silly and unwise to be vented in public or elsewhere. The Gentiles who attended gave strict heed to all the wild things that came to their ears, and, in consequence, their fears were much excited. They went abroad to communicate the dangerous purposes which the Saints had publicly avowed at the celebration, and to stir up the minds of the settlers.
This was not an easy enterprise. The public of a new country are eager to welcome immigrants, and little inclined to engage in any measure that looks unfriendly to their interests. A meeting of the former settlers of Jackson county, in the limits of which Independence is situated, was assembled before the close of the month of April 1833, to consider the incendiary utterances of their Mormon neighbors. They were so little disposed to become excited that the cooler heads among the citizens were successful in the task of inducing the convocation to separate without establishing any definite conclusion. Those who were present at the celebration on the Big Blue, seem to have been so pronounced in their conviction that measures of defence should be immediately devised, and the opposition against their wishes was so determined that the meeting is said by Newel
Knight to have ended in disorder (Scraps of Biography, p. 75).
From that instant, however, there was never any more question regarding Joseph's unlimited authority over the Saints in Zion. His enemies had done him a better service than he would have been able by any means to accomplish for himself; every Mormon in Missouri and elsewhere now gathered with intense enthusiasm around the prophet.
The crisis was past by; the greatest peril that ever befell the "church of Christ" had been dexterously averted by the aid of its enemies.
The genealogy of the Melchisedek priesthood had already been set forth in outline in the progress of the "Vision" that was conveyed to Joseph and Sidney. Following are the exact terms of the allusion made to it:
"Priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchisedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son" (D.&C., 76, 57).Minute details are now supplied by which it appears that while Aaron stood at the head of a priesthood that was called after his own name, his brother Moses was at the same moment the head of the Melchisedek
priesthood, which he had derived from Jethro, through whose line it was traced backward as far as Abraham. This patriarch in turn had derived it from Melchisedek to whom it had by lineal process descended from Noah. It had come to Noah by the same process from Enoch, who in his turn traced it up as far as Abel, upon whom it had been conferred by Adam the first man. Adam however, had obtained it from the Only Begotten Son (D.&C., 84, 6-24).
The past at least was secure, but when it became desirable to trace the descent of the Melchisedek priesthood from Moses downward, the trouble began. It was surmounted by an achievement that resembled a miracle; owing to the hardness of the Jewish nation the Lord was pleased to remove Moses from the earth, and he could not avoid to carry his priesthood along with him (D.&C., 84, 25). But the Melchisedek priesthood, though removed from the earth was preserved in safety until the time when it could be restored through the agency of Jesus Christ (D.&C., 84, 28). After the ascension of Jesus, it remained in the earth until the appearance of the "great apostasy," at which time it is suggested that it was "hid with Christ in God" until it was finally restored in the person of Mr. Smith and his leading adherents (D.&C., 86, 9-10).
The apostolate or eldership had by this date become so much overcrowded that it was no longer worthy of remark among the chosen dignities of the "church of Christ." Joseph now undertakes to rescue
it from contempt by exalting it above the eldership, and by rendering the office synonymous with the High-priesthood; henceforth the High-priests alone were to be considered as Apostles (D.&C., 84, 63).
This experiment likewise failed. That it might be a success it was indispensable to limit the High-priests to the number twelve. But that limitation was not accomplished; the ranks of the High-priesthood in their turn were shortly overcrowded, and the prophet thereby lost the chance he seems to have had so close to his heart.
The former provisions requiring missionaries to travel without scrip or purse were now renewed and sharpened (D.&C., 84, 76. 86). The rapacity of Mr. Smith became particularly apparent by the command that was here added to the effect that the wretched missionaries should not be suffered to get the benefit of the poor pittance which compassionate persons might bestow upon them for the relief of privations that would be inevitable while they were on the road. He declares:
"Verily I say unto you, it is expedient that every man who goes forth to proclaim mine everlasting gospel, that inasmuch as they have families, and receive monies by gift, that they should send it unto them or make use of it for their benefit as the Lord shall direct them, for thus it seemeth me good. And let those who have not families, who receive monies, send it up unto the Bishop in Zion, or unto the Bishop in Ohio, that it may be consecrated for the bringing forth of the revelations and the printing thereof, and for establishing Zion" (D.&C., 84, 103-4).
And yet himself and the various members of the publishing company and of the "order of Enoch" could prate with exceeding unction touching the duty of preserving an "equality" (D.&C., 70, 14; 78, 5). This "equality," however, was later interpreted to signify that the different members of the "order of Enoch" should have an equal claim upon the properties of the "church of Christ" (D.&C., 82, 17), which being interpreted signified that it was the duty of the robbers to effect a fair division of the spoils.
Mormon writers are disposed to applaud a so-called "prophecy on war" that belongs to this period. On the 25th of December 1832, when every idler who could procure a good box for a rostrum was predicting the Secession struggle which befell in the United States about thirty years later, Mr. Smith was also moved to open his mouth. The quarrel concerning nullification was at its height, and thousands were foretelling just the things which occurred to him (D.&C., Sect. 87). If this performance had been given to the press at the moment when it was produced, there would be more reason to believe that it had not been tampered with; it did not see the light until many years after the date in question. Over against it may be placed another prophecy that turned out to be a wretched failure. After the cholera had ceased its ravages in New York in the year 1832, the prophet predicted that it would show itself again in 1833, but the pestilence was not sufficiently
accommodating to come to the aid of his veracity; the prediction failed utterly (Howe, p. 132). If it had fallen out successfully it would also have obtained a brilliant position among the various revelations of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, but when some time afterward the members of the First Presidency came to make a selection of the revelations of the Lord, the [vaccination?] regarding the cholera, that did not come to time in 1833, was duly suppressed.
One of the most noteworthy changes of the perilous period was a scheme for the gradation of the various offices which had already been invented and introduced into the "church of Christ." It fell out unhappily indeed, but it must be remembered that it is the fortune of human plans to be considerably modified by the urgency of subsequent events and circumstances. The numerous questions of precedence that must have been started on every hand were settled by the following stipulations:
"And again, the offices of elder and bishop are necessary appendages belonging unto the High-priesthood. And again, the offices of teacher and deacon are necessary appendages belonging to the lesser priesthood, which priesthood was confirmed upon Aaron and his sons" (D.&C., 84, 29, 30).By the above it may be observed that the effort to distinguish between the unity of the apostolate and the eldership, is further prosecuted through the expedient of rendering the eldership a simple
"appendage" of the High-priestly office, which had recently been made synonymous with the apostolate. Attention has already been called to the circumstance that while in this citation, the bishopric was placed under the Melchisedek priesthood, it was subsequently sent down to head the list of dignitaries in the Aaronic priesthood (D.&C., 107, 15). The organization of these priesthoods with their several grades of officers reveals some entertaining pranks of that principle of literalism which Mr. Campbell had so carefully instilled into the mind of Mr. Rigdon. It is true that these fantastic arrangements were widely different from any applications that were advocated by the Disciples, but it was natural that differences of detail should occur. Sidney had as good a right to determine just where the scriptures speak as Mr. Campbell could boast, and he employed that right to his heart's content.
Towards the close of the year 1832 when a separation between Zion and Kirtland had become very likely, Joseph began to survey his resources, and perceived that his situation was unfavorable. In the event a conflict should be precipitated there were about twelve hundred of his followers in Missouri, while only about thirty families of them remained in Kirtland (Lucy Smith, p. 214). It would have been easily possible for the faithful in Missouri to snap their fingers in his face, and defy him to the utmost.
In order to gain a [coign] of vantage from which it would be in his power to
defend himself, he resolved to find an excuse to collect the leading men of the community about him at Kirtland. He therefore issued a command enjoining all those elders who had already returned from the missionary labors which had been laid upon them by the Amherst Conference to tarry in Kirtland (D.&C., 88, 70). But there were others still who had not yet come home to make a report of their labors; a fair pretext was desired to summon them also to the side of their sorely pressed leader. It was chosen in the project of erecting a "school of the prophets," where the brethren might obtain much needed instruction touching the proper manner of prosecuting their labors: "call a solemn assembly, even of those who are the first laborers in this last kingdom" (D.&C., 88, 70).
No dignitaries of inferior grade and influence were desired; the hospitalities of thirty families at Kirtland would not have been sufficient to entertain too large a crowd. Consequently Joseph adds: "verily, I say unto you, let those who are not the first elders continue in the vineyard until the mouth of the Lord shall call them" (D.&C., 88, 85). If objections were heard to the effect that wolves might enter in and despoil the flocks which the traveling elders had collected with so much care, the Lord interposed with a promise for the emergency: "Behold and lo, I will take care of your flocks, and will raise up elders and send unto them. Behold, I will hasten my work in its time; and I give unto you who are the first laborers in this last kingdom, a commandment that you assemble yourselves" (D.&C., 88, 72-4).
Several times over, these first laborers were enjoined to tarry quietly at Kirtland, and prosecute their studies in the "school of the prophets" (D.&C., 88, 70, 84).
The young prophet was full of resources; if it had proceeded to the point of a pitched battle with Zion, he would not have been at a total disadvantage after he had succeeded in collecting all the foremost spirits about his own person.
Matriculation in the "school of the prophets" consisted in the ceremony of washing feet (D.&C., 88, 74, 139). It had become perfectly apparent to Joseph, if not to Sidney also, that the Master washed the feet of the disciples, and his literalism decided to speak with the scriptures in this point also. To his credit be it allowed, however, that he did not insist upon the washing of feet as an oridinance of public worship; it was originally instituted, as he claimed, to be the ceremony of initiation into the "school of the prophets" (D.&C., 88, 139-141), and was intended to be confined to that circle.
It is in this connection that Joseph employs the expression, "John's testimony" to signify the gospel according to John (D.&C., 88, 141). To the casual reader this expression would indicate nothing unusual; but the student of the subject is aware that this word "testimony," in the plan of gospel is one of the chosen flowers of Mr. Campbell's boasted "language of Canaan." A comparison of Mr. Campbell's translation of the New Testament with that performed by Sidney and
Joseph displays much similarity in respect to the point of usage, here cited. The only variation occurs where Mr. Campbell writes the "testimony of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John"; Sidney has there placed the "testimony of St. Matthew." These minute coincidences often carry more significance than matters of great moment.
At the institution of the office of bishop, Mr. Smith had given to that officer a couple of counselors (D.&C., 42, 71). The same fashion was observed after the establishment of the First Presidency. Already before the beginning of the perilous period in the hisory of the "church of Christ." Frederick G. Williams, the steam doctor, had been promoted to the position of counselor to the Presidency (D.&C., 81, 1, 2). It is not known at what time or under pressure of what influence Mr. Rigdon was fingered for the station of first counselor, but he was duly established in it on the 8th of March, 1833 (D.&C., 90, 21). These three persons held the presidency not only of the "church of Christ," but of the "school of the prophets" likewise (D.&C., 90, 6, 7). Sidney and Frederick are said to have received ordination to their position on Monday the 18th of March 1833, which was made a high occasion by means of splendid visions of the Lord (Handbook of Reference, p. 42).
The curriculum of disciplines to be taught in the above named "school of the prophets" was quite extensive; Joseph sets it down in the following terms:
And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom; teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed
more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand; of things both in the earth and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of nations, and the judgments which are on the land, and a knowledge also of countries and kingdoms, that ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you (D.&C., 88, 77-80).The "school of the prophets" was organized on the 16th or 17th of January 1833 (Tract, New Jerusalem, p. 13), by a process of wholesale bathing by the hands and feet (Tract, New Jerusalem, p. 12). For want of a better place it was kept in the upper room of the prophet's own house, which in the month of July 1883, was still occupied by Mr. McFarland, the worthy blacksmith of Kirtland, as a place of residence. Lucy Smith declares that the occasion was marked by a tremendous outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Lucy Smith, pp. 207-8). Mr. Howe supplies the following specimen of the instructions that were delivered in this singular school:
Another seceder from this delusion, relates that he was present on a certain occasion, in an upper room in Kirtland, where were assembled from fifteen to twenty Elders and High Priests. After sundry exhortation by the priests, the
prophet himself arose, and with much earnestness, warned his followers to be zealous and faithful in their duties, saying, "It is our privilege to see God face to face-yes, (says he) I will prophecy unto you in the name of the Lord, that the day will come when no man will be permitted to preach unless he has seen the Lord-people will ask each teacher, 'have you seen the face of the Lord,' and if he say nay, they will say, away with this fellow, for we will have a man to teach us that has seen the face of the Lord.'" After a short pause, he added, "the Lord is willing we should see his glory today, and all that will exercise faith, shall see the Lord of Glory." They then concluded to spend the day in fasting and prayer. Each one kept his seat with his eyes closed, and his body inclined forward. Soon after Joseph says, "Sidney (Rigdon,) have you seen the Lord?" He answered, "I saw the image of a man pass before my face, whose locks were white, and whose countenance was excedingly fair, even surpassing all beauty that I ever beheld." Then Joseph replied, "I knew you had seen a vision but would have seen more were it not for unbelief." Sidney confessed his faith was weak that morning. Hiram Smith said he had seen nearly the same as Sidney, which was pronounced by Joseph to be the Redeemer of the world. Upon this, R. Cahoon fell upon his knees, holding his hands in an erect position. In fifteen or twenty minutes he arose and declared he had seen the temple of Zion, filled with disciples, while the top was covered with the glory of the Lord, in the form of a cloud. Another one
then placed himself in the same position, but saw no vision, his faith being weak...(Howe, pp. 135-136).A further specimen of the instructions conveyed to the "school of the prophets" may be consulted in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, Section 89, where the famous "Word of Wisdom" is displayed. In that place (89, 1) the institution is designated as "the Council of High -priests," a form of address which was not unusual at the outset (Tract, New Jerusalem, pp. 11-13). It was from the circumstance that Joseph had kept his chief man about him in that capacity from the close of the ninth Conference on the 23d of September, until the opening of the tenth Conference on the 27th of December, at which time his inginuity supplied him with a new expedient to keep their minds engaged and also with the new title "school of the prophets," which corresponded to their changed employment.
He there declares in terms: "The spirit and the body is the soul of man" (D.&C., 88, 15).
From this position the conclusion would naturally be obtained that the soul could not be in possession of itself, or in any sense a real soul after it might dissolve its connection with the body at the moment of death. In the interval between death and the resurrection it would be nothing but a desembodied spirit.
It is a marvel that Joseph did not go forward from this assertion to maintain the vagary of those who conceive that the soul "sleeps" during the interval between death and the resurrection, but his attention was diverted to other concerns and passing over a conclusion that lay very near to the ground where he was then standing, he contents himself with the remark that "the resurrection of the dead is the redemption of the soul" (D.&C., 88, 16). If he had permitted himself to discuss the condition of the soul prior to its redemption by means of the resurrection of the body there is little room to question that he might have fallen into the customary maxims of the sect of "soul-sleepers."
Not quite five years after the date given above another one of the followers of Mr. Campbell found it agreeable to extend the literalism of his teacher into disquisitions of that nature. This was the celebrated John Thomas, an Englishman and a doctor of medicine, who had entered the ranks of the "current reformation" with a considerable flourish of trumpets. The cogitations of that person shortly led him to the same convictions as Joseph Smith had advanced touching the relation of soul and body. A discussion was finally excited between Dr. Thomas and Mr. Campbell, which continued through portions of the years 1837, 1838 and 1839. The former became a pronounced advocate of Materialistic notions, and broached the tenet of "soul sleeping" for that portion of the departed spirits who might have been favored with the opportunity
of hearing the gospel during the period of their sojourn with the body, while infants, idiots and heathen were consigned to the fate of total annihilation.
Those who sympathized with the views of Dr. Thomas were soon separated from the number of Mr. Campbell's supporters, and formed a sect of their own under the title of Christadelphians. In various portions of this country and of England scattered churches of that communion may be found; the Christadelphians were the second sect that sprung from the Disciples of Christ, the Mormons being the first both in the order of time and of prominence.
Though it did not occur to the mind of Joseph Smith to proceed as far as Dr. Thomas afterward went in respect to the tenet of "soul-sleeping" he nevertheless outstripped him in another direction. In the period now under review his materialism flourished to the remarkable extent of identifying the light which flows from the sun with the light of truth and of the Holy Spirit. That extraordinary correlation of forces was announced in the following language: "For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatever is truth is light, and whatever is light is spirit, even the spirit of Jesus Christ; and the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world" (D.&C., 84, 45, 46).
In another passage he describes his meaning more clearly: "Which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun
and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made. As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made... And the light which now shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; which light proceedeth from God to fill the immensity of space" (D.&C., 88, 7, 8 and 11, 12). That was a bolder flight than Dr. Thomas is known to have ventured into the empyrean of Materialism.
In a previous portion of the present volume there has been occasion to mention the signs of out-growing the "ancient gospel" which Mr. Smith exhibited during the perilous period of the "church of Christ." In the character of a guardian admitter of the Methodist faith and practice he is supposed to have experienced certain pangs of feeling when Sidney took an uncompromising position against the practice of infant baptism. Joseph had contented himself at the outset by substituting in the place of that rite the custom of infant consecration, and the provision that all young people should be immersed at eight years of age, the moment when they were conceived to arrive at the age of accountable existence; but he still hoped to return to the Methodist usage. By way of taking the first step in that enterprise he now degrades the "ancient gospel" to the level of a merely "preparatory gospel." Consigning it to the charge of the inferior, Aaronic priesthood, he also obtains a distinct revelation to the purpose that John the Baptist who came to abolish the "preparatory
gospel" and make way for the introduction of the Melchisedek priesthood in the person of Christ, "was baptized while he was yet in his childhood, and was ordained by the angel of God at the time he was eight days old unto this power" (D.&C., 84, 26-28). The said ordination hardly occurred before the baptism of John the Baptist, so that according to Joseph he submitted to that sacrament in the very first days of his earthly existence.
But Mr. Smith did not have wit enough to manage the business of introducing a new system of theology; besides it was a perilous enterprise to have one gospel for the Melchisedek priesthood and require the Aaronic priesthood to stand fast by the "ancient gospel" of the Disciples. Consequently the project of overthrowing the foundation which Sidney had laid in the beginning was never prosecuted any farther. On the contrary the "ancient gospel" is reaffirmed in very correct terms in the progress of the same deliverance which threatened to remand it to a place in the background. For example: "And as I said unto mine apostles I say unto you again that every soul who believeth on your words and is baptized by water for the remission of sins, shall receive the Holy Ghost" (D.&C., 84, 64).
It was likewise in the perilous period that the sacerdotal pretensions of the priesthood first rose to the height which they have ever since maintained. Not only was it true that outside of the "church of Christ" there is no salvation at least in the celestial
heaven, but even inside of the church the only chance of salvation was in connection with the sacred rites administered by the holy order of the priesthood. This doctrine is affirmed in the following language: "And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God; therefore in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest; and without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of God is not manifest to men in the flesh; for without this no man can see the face of God and live" (D.&C., 84, 19-22).
The customary extravagant Millennialism which had descended from Mr. Walter Scott through Rigdon to Mr. Smith is again declared and affirmed in the time now under review (D.&C., 88, 87-116). But for this evil leaven of Mr. Scott's it is not likely that the "church of Christ" would ever have posed in the character of the Millennial Church, and there would have been nothing of that Millennial "gathering" which has added so large an amount of embarrassment to the Mormon problem.
Hell is still reserved in this period for the behoof of apostates from the "church of Christ" according to the provisions that were set forth in the progress of the famous "Vision" of February 16th, 1832 (D.&C., 84, 41). Nevertheless, Mr. Smith remained in some doubt, as to the
right place for unbelievers; in one passage he assigns them also to a home in the nether regions (D.&C., 84, 42). In another passage, however, he recalls that fierce sentence and concedes them a right to be received into either the terrestial or the telestial heaven, the celestial heaven being under peremption for the benefit of good Mormons (D.&C., 88, 21). It must be conceded that this was a liberal concession in favor of the comfort of Christian people who might be attached to other communions than his own.
Mormon theology makes a boast of the clearness with which it understands where will be the location of heaven. In one of their hymns the faithful are instructed to sing:
So doubtful its location -- neither on land nor sea,
But I've a Heaven upon the earth --
The land and home that gave me birth.
The changes in Christian life and practice which occurred at this period are worthy of consideration. Under this head the custom of washing feet has been incidentally cited, in connection
with an account that was given of the organization of the "school of the prophets." Another usage that was prescribed for the "school of the prophets" seems to have been derived from Joseph's acquaintance with the habits of Methodist ministers at the moment when they are about to introduce the public worship of God. Speaking of the duties and carriage of the teacher of the "school of the prophets," Mr. Smith sets forth the following stipulation: "And when he cometh into the house of God...let him offer himself in prayer upon his knees before God, in token or remembrance of the everlasting covenant" (D.&C., 88, 130-131).
In the so-called "word of wisdom" (D.&C., Section 89), several injunctions relating to the conduct of the faithful in private life are laid down, not however, by way of "commandment or constraint." Among these may be found certain articles of good advice to the effect that it is well to abstain from wine or strong drink except such as may be offered at the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Strong drink should not be used internally but only externally even for medicinal purposes (D.&C., 89, 4-7).
There is likewise a prohibition of tobacco, except when externally applied for the relief of bruises and for sick cattle (D.&C., 89, 8). The prophet appears to have given his voice against the practice of tasting such hot drinks as tea and coffee: "hot drinks are not for the body or belly" (D.&C., 89, 9). In respect of diet he almost
went to the extremes of vegetarian feeders; flesh of beasts and fowl, might be used indeed, but "only in times of winter, or of cold and famine" (D.&C., 89, 10-13). Even the "wild animals that run or creep on the earth" were not to be molested, except upon such extraordinary occasions as those just now cited (D.&C., 89, 14, 15).
While strong drinks were forbidden, such "mild drinks" as are brewed from barley could be enjoyed without blame (D.&C., 89, 17).
The translation of the New Testament writings, which it has been shown was begun in the spring of 1830 at Kirtland was completed on the 2d of February 1833 (Remy and Brenchley, vol. 1, 284). The labor on the Old Testament was not so severe; it was completed by the beginning of July 1833 (Stenouse, pp. 44-5). An allusion to the completed New Testament volume is believed to be given in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. It was a pretty flower of the "language of Canaan" to designate the New Testament as the "Living Oracles," that being the legend which Mr. Campbell inscribed upon the cover of his own translation. Joseph seems to have had this usage in mind on the 9th of March 1833, when in the progress of a revelation he declares:
"Through you shall the oracles be given to another; yea even unto the church" (D.&C., 90, 4). Only a few verses farther on reference is had to the work that was then being performed on the Old Testament, which shows that
the above date found himself and Sidney engaged upon a version of the prophets (D.&C., 90, 13). The labor of translating the prophets, however, is supposed to have been nearing its conclusion, for the reason that on this same 9th of March 1833, a second revelation was obtained that it would not be required to translate the Apochrypha (D.&C., Sect. 91). The task of translating was not yet accomplished by the 6th of May 1833, as may be gathered from Doctrine and Covenants, 93, 53.
Brigham Young was born on the first of June, 1801, in Whittingham, Windham county, Vermont, the ninth in the list of eleven children of a very poor and to appearance shiftless family. His opportunities were such as might be anticipated under these untoward circumstances; he enjoyed only eleven days of school training in his whole lifetime. According to his own statement his parents removed from Vermont when he was about eighteen months of age (Stenhouse, p. 648), which would fix the event about the close of the year 1803. That was their second venture in the state of New York; they had tried it once before without success; their daughter Rhoda was born in Platauva District New York in the year 1789 (Mrs. Waite, The Mormon Prophet And His Harem, Chicago, 1868, p. 12), after which they returned to Middlesex county Massachusetts, from whence they had emigrated.
The Youngs appear to have been endowed with a large measure of religious
genius of the vulger sort. The parents were attached to the Methodist church (Tullidge, Life of Brigham Young, p. 77), and their children seem to have been decidedly impressible that way. With the possible exception of John Young, the eldest son, all of the boys were likely preachers of one grade or another, before they were perverted to Mormon tenets. John Young was acting in the character of sexton of a Methodist chapel, and from the circumstance that he had the right of granting or declining permission for it to be opened for the accommodation of traveling gospelers it is conceived that he might have been likewise a local Methodist preacher (L. D. Young's Narrative in Fragments of Experience, Salt Lake City, 1882, p. 33). The second son, Joseph Young, was publicly proclaiming the Methodist faith in Canada at the time when Brigham became convinced of the truth of Mormonism in the year 1831 (Lucy Smith, p. 176). Phineas Howe Young was the pastor of a Methodist church, and had enjoyed grace enough to work a miracle of healing in that character (Remy, vol. 1, p. 413). By the "Narrative" of Lorenzo Dow Young it is clear that his own chief business was that of preaching, for a period of several years before the Book of Mormon was issued (Fragments of Experience, p. 31-33).
Brigham Young joined the Methodist church in the 22d year of his age, namely in the latter part of the year 1822 or the earlier portion of the year 1823 (Death of President Brigham Young, with a Brief Sketch of his Life and Labors, Salt Lake City, 1877, p. 3). Mr. Ira Bond, a venerable Mormon at Kirtland, who had known him intimately
during his Methodist period informed me in the summer of 1883, that Brigham was recognized as a preacher in all that part of the country where his residence was kept. The worthy gentleman was enthusiastic in his reminiscences of Brigham's powers in the business of exhortation, assuring me on more than one occasion that he was "a powerful exhorter." It is likely that he held the position of an "exhorter" in the Methodist church at a time when it was customary to issue licenses for that purpose. The entire force of the male members of the household was available in the service of religion, and most of it could be employed with effect in the pulpit.
Moreover one of the sisters -- which one is not known -- had early married Mr. John P. Greene, who is everywhere acknowledged to have been a Methodist preacher (Lucy Smith, p. 161). It is therefore evident that the family had a decided talent for religion.
In the latter portion of the year 1803 the Youngs removed for the second time into the state of New York, and by the statement of Brigham Young settled in the township of Sherburne on the northern border of Chenango county (Mrs. Waite, as above, p. 12). Brigham likewise asserts that they settled in the adjoining township of Smyrna (Stenhouse, p. 648). This contradiction, it is believed, can be reconciled by representing that the family settled at first in Sherburne and later removed into Smyrna township. They were situated in the latter place at the birth of Lorenzo Dow Young on the 19th of October 1807 (Fragments, p. 22).
They kept their place in Chenango county until the 11th
of June 1814, on which date the mother of the family, Nabby Howe Young departed this life (Fragments, p. 23). Shortly afterwards the father "broke up housekeeping" and entered upon the occupation which for a number of years he appears to have followed with more vigor and skill than any other he ever undertook, namely the occupation of hanging upon the skirts of his more fortunate and perhaps more industrious sons-in-law.
The first one that he afflicted in that way was Mr. John P. Greene. This gentleman was residing at the moment in Cayuga county; L. D. Young, then a boy of nearly seven years, and perhaps others of the children were sent to Mr. Greene's, while the father and the rest of his tribe followed shortly afterwards. In the winter of 1815-16 the elder Young had taken up some land (Fragments, p. 23). Brigham is authority for the statement that it lay in the township of Genoa, in Cayuga county (Stenhouse, p. 648); but Lorenzo D. Young asserts that in the fall of 1815 they settled for a season in Tyrone, Schuyler county. Other authorities affirm that he married the widow Brown of Tyrone (Juvenile Instructor, vol. 16, p. 64). Whether in Genoa or in Tyrone, Brigham was employed during the winter of 1815-6 in the labor of assisting his father to clear for cultivation a body of timbered land (Fragments, p. 23).
In 1817, when he was sixteen years of age, Brigham was permitted to begin business upon his own account; he learned and pursued the trade of a carpenter and painter (Death of Brigham Young as above, p. 3). As already recited he became a member of the Methodist church in 1822. James Little who had married his sister Susannah
(Tullidge, Life of Brigham Young, Supplement, pp. 44-5), resided in Aurelius township, Cayuga county, and it is possible that the young carpenter often found a place in the bosom of the family, as did his brother Lorenzo D. (Fragments, p. 24). On the 24th of October 1824, Brigham married Miss Miriam Works of that township (Tullidge, p. 77).
His sister Fanny had also married a certain Mr. Roswell Murray (H. C. Kimball's Journal, Salt Lake City, 1882, p. 86). The Youngs had not failed to honor Mr. Murray with their attentions, although his place was at a considerable distance from Cayuga county; L. D. Young, after marrying his wife at the residence of John P. Greene, who in the year 1821, was situated in Watertown, Jefferson, county shortly went to live with Mrs. Murray (Fragments, pp. 27-28).
Miss Vilate Murray, who with her parents was living in Victor Township, Ontario county, was fortunate enough in the autumn of 1823 to contract a marriage with Mr. Heber Chase Kimball, a prosperous potter who was in the adjoining township of Mendon, Monroe county (Tullidge, Life of Brigham Young, Supplement, p. 2). To appearance the Youngs were thrilled by this brilliant success. Where the carcass is there will the eagles be gathered together; the whole tribe now began to drift towards the townships of Victor and Mendon. Brigham's father had apparently long since led the way (Tullidge, Life of Brigham Young, p. 77), and in the year 1829 he also followed suit (Stenhouse, p. 649).
Brigham declares that upon leaving Cayuga county in the year 1829 he removed to Mendon, Monroe county (Stenhouse, p. 649), a statement which is believed to indicate that he affected rather the communion of Mr. Heber Chase Kimball, his nephew by marriage; his brother-in-law Mr. Murray it has been shown, resided in Victor township of Ontario county. But before the arrival of Brigham in 1829 the Youngs, upon an occasion that has not been transmitted, had secured a precarious footing in the township of Canandaigua, Ontario county, which lies adjoining to Manchester township that has been made famous as the place where the Smiths held their residence. Phineas and Lorenzo Dow Young had resided there, but had left the place before the advent of Brigham. This event occurred in the year 1830, perhaps very near the moment when the Book of Mormon was delivered from the press and the "church of Christ" was founded (Stenhouse, p. 649). Brigham says:
"I then moved to Mendon, Monroe county, and in 1830 removed from thence to No. 9 Canandaigua, into a small house owned by Jonathan Mack, situated on the west side of the road opposite to where Mr. Mack then lived... There are five brothers of us in the following order -- John, Joseph, Phineas H. myself and Lorenzo D. The two former never lived in No. 9. Phineas H. and Lorenzo D. did live there, but removed long before I came."By the above showing it seems possible to conclude that Phineas Howe and Lorenzo Dow Young may have been settled at No. 9 Canandaigua at the time when in September 1827 the manuscript of the Book of Mormon
was by Mr. Rigdon delivered up to Joseph Smith. The entire section of country was rife with the tidings and it is not impossible that they also observed the progress of affairs with interest.
It is not known where Phineas H. and Lorenzo Dow resided upon their removal from No. 9 Canandaigua; the latter however records that in November 1829 he went to live at a place called "Hector Hill" (Fragments, p. 33), which cannot be found upon the map of New York, state but is believed to be situated in the township of Hector, Schuyler county. In 1830, when the Book of Mormon had already appeared, Phineas Howe was living in Victor township, Ontario county (Tullidge, Life of Brigham Young, Supplement, p. 2).
On the contrary Brigham resided at No. 9 Canandaigua, until the beginning of the year 1832 (Stenhouse, p. 649). Within that period of two years the entire Young family, with the sons-in-law included, would seem to have enlisted under the banners of the Millennial church. The process of this conversion is not as definitely recorded as might be desired, but upon a view of all the facts it is considered indispensable to follow the account supplied by Lucy Smith, as being more trustworthy than that which the Young family have supplied.
Joseph is suspected to have enjoyed excellent information regarding the points where it would be of use to send agents to dispose of the newly published Book of Mormon. He had a nest of adherents in Livonia township, Livingston county, which is situated adjoining to Ontario County, where he was operating. Prominent among these was a certain Esquire Beaman. Lucy Smith gives allusion to
this gentleman already in the account she bestows of the efforts that were put forth by his enemies to rob her son of the manuscript of the Book of Mormon, shortly after it had been committed to his providence in the year 1827. Her language is as follows:
Soon afterwards a man by the name of Beaman came in from the village of Livonia, a man in whom we reposed much confidence, and who was well worthy of the same. Joseph told him of his apprehensions of a mob being there that night and that they must prepare themselves to drive them away; but that the first thing to be attended to was to secure the Record and the breastplate. In view of this it was determined that a portion of the hearth should be taken up, and that the Record and breastplate should be burried under the same, and then the hearth relaid to prevent suspicion (Lucy Smith, p. 114).It was perfectly natural that after the "Record" had been put to press in 1830 measures should be expressly contrived to provide a person who had exhibited such a lively degree of interest, with a copy of it. Accordingly at the earliest practicable moment, the prophet's brother, Samuel Harrison Smith, was directed to take a number of the Books of Mormon, and go on a mission to Livonia, to preach and to make sale of the books if possible (Lucy Smith, p. 160).
She further adds: "On the thirtieth of June, Samuel started on the mission to which he had been set apart by Joseph" (p. 160).
Conceding that the above date is correct the record that comes from the pen of Phineas Howe Young must be discredited. That person says:
"In April 1830, as I was on my way home from the town of Lima (just north of Livonia in Livingston county), where I had been to preach, I stopped at the house of a man by the name of Tomlinson. While engaged in conversation with the family, a young man came in, and, walking across the room to where I was sitting, held a book towards me, saying, 'There is a book, sir, I wish you to read.' The thing appeared so novel to me that for a moment I hesitated, saying, 'pray, sir, what book have you?' 'The Book of Mormon, or, as it is called by some, the Golden Bible.' 'Ah, sir, then it purports to be a revelation?' 'Yes,' said he, 'it is a revelation from God'" (Tullidge, Life of Joseph, p. 146).But not only is the date incorrect; the facts are also apocryphal. Lucy [Smith] reports that when her son Samuel had completed his labors as well as he could in Livonia township, he had in mind to visit the adjoining township of Bloomfield in Ontario county, which was distant about eight miles from the spot where he was abiding in Livonia. Lucy Smith calls it by the name of "Bloomington" but there is no such name on the map of New York state. Evidently she intended to write Bloomfield, which would measure about eight miles from the village of Lavonia. The object of young Smith in turning his steps towards Bloomfield was to visit the Rev. John P. Greene, the Methodist
minister, and brother-in-law of Brigham Young. He was on such terms with Mr. Greene, that he expected, and perhaps even requested him to carry about to his various appointments for preaching service, a subscription paper for the sale of the Book of Mormon (Lucy Smith, pp. 161-2). This expectation was fulfilled by Mr. Greene, who instructed Samuel Harrison to call again after the lapse of a fortnight, when he would report what measure of success he had experienced in the character of an agent for the work. At the appointed season Samuel did as he was bidden, and was accompanied on the journey by his father and mother, who went as far as Livonia to pay their respects to the saints who dwelt in that village. They passed a night at the house of their old friend Esquire Beaman, and their son went forward to Bloomfield the next morning (Lucy Smith, p. 162).
This account bears a finer show of verisimilitude than that of Phineas Young. It also indicates that a portion of the Young family were interested in the Book of Mormon from the outset; several of its members were likely converts to the pretensions of Mr. Smith before the appearance of the Book of Mormon. That is conceived to be the true reason why a Methodist preacher should have been willing to undertake the extraordinary labor of hawking it about the country by the aid of a subscription paper. It is indeed, asserted that he achieved no great success in that enterprise, but the very circumstance that he was willing to have his official and private name associated with it is matter for serious reflection.
Furthermore, the student will hardly fail to be impressed by the fact that the entire Young family went into the Mormon church, and that they did not stand upon the order of their going, but went at once. A result of that kind it is believed could not have been attained without a more or less lengthy course of previous preparation and discipline. Joseph probably had communications, whether direct or indirect, with this household, prior to the year 1830. He knew of their existence and favor; he understood exactly what he was engaged about when he sent his brother Samuel to carry the Book of Mormon to Mr. John P. Greene.
By the representations of Lucy Smith (pp. 175-6), it was Mrs. John P. Greene, who had the honor of deciding the wavering balance of her husband's mind in favor of Mormonism. Both of them were soon baptized, perhaps by some of the Mormons who belonged to the nest which existed at Livonia. Afterwards they gave the Book to Phineas Young in the adjoining township of Victor, and he is reported to have commenced the work of preaching it as soon as he had read it, and to have brought it to the attention of his father, brothers and sisters (Tullidge, Life of Joseph, p. 146).
The first of these whom he was enabled to pervert is believed to have been his sister Fanny Murray, who together with her husband Roswell Murray, likewise of the township of Victor, was speedily gathered into the fold. Not long afterward their son-in-law,
Mr. Heber C. Kimball, of Mendon township in Monroe came nigh to hear the new evangel, and immediately accepted it (Tullidge, Life of Brigham Young, Supplement, p. 2). These events are supposed to have occupied the period from July to December 1830.
Brigham did not immediately partake of the excitement that stirred the minds of those members of his family who resided at Victor, Bloomfield and Mendon, for the reason, perhaps, that owing to his close engagement at No. 9 Canandaigua, upon the task of constructing a new house for Mr. Jonathan Mack, he was too much occupied to come entirely within the current of family influence. But during the autumn of 1830 he got leisure enough to hear the "ancient gospel" at the hands of Elders Alpheus Gifford and Elial Strong (Death of Brigham Young, as above, p. 3). It is allowed that Brigham has fixed the date of this occurrence a year later in the autumn of 1831, but there are considerations which seem to compel the inquirer to place it in the autumn of 1830.
Those considerations are derived from the "Narrative" of his brother Lorenzo Dow Young. This person relates that during his sojourn at "Hector Hill," supposed to be in Schuyler county, in February 1831, "my father, my brothers Joseph and Brigham and Heber C. Kimball came to my house. They brought with them the Book of Mormon. They were on their way to visit some Saints in Pennsylvania" (Fragments, p. 33). It is not possible that Lorenzo was mistaken regarding this date for he represents how he himself embraced Mormonism during the year 1831 and passed the winter of 1831-1832 in the city of Pittsburgh on his way to Kirtland (Fragments, p. 33),
and the winter of 1832-3 at Beardstown and West Union, Pennsylvania (Fragments, p. 41). The only time that was available for Brigham to have accomplished the above journey to visit the Saints of Columbia, Pennsylvania, was in the month of February 1831, since February 1832 and February 1833 were both passed by Lorenzo at Pittsburgh and the vicinity of Pittsburgh.
It is of practical consequence to establish the above date, for the reason that at the period when the visit to the Saints in Pennsylvania was made, Brigham had already heard the Mormon elders and to all intents was a convert to Mormon tenets. Tullidge relates: "In January 1832 [Lorenzo says it was February 1831] in company with Phineas Young and Heber C. Kimball, Brigham visited a branch of the Church at Columbia, Pennsylvania, and returned deeply impressed with the principles of Mormonism" (Life of Brigham Young, p. 78).
The real reason why these minute inquiries are prosecuted may be found in the fact that they fix the date of Brigham's baptism. That event occurred on the 14th of the April which followed the above journey to Pennsylvania; that is, he was baptized on the 14th of April 1831, and not as himself has erroneously stated on the 14th of April, 1832 (Tullidge, as above, p. 78). This section of Brigham's life needs therefore to be reconstructed so as to represent that he heard the Mormon elders in the autumn of the year 1830, while he was situated at No. 9 Canandaigua; that in January or February 1831 he went to commune with the elect in Columbia, Penn.; that immediately
afterward he made a journey to Canada for the purpose of conferring with and converting his brother, the Methodist preacher Joseph Young, and that shortly after his return from Canada he was baptized by Elder Eleazer Miller on the 14th of April, 1831.
Lorenzo Dow Young also signifies that in May 1831, Elder Gifford came to "Hector Hill," where himself and his brother John Young were living and they both became practically perverts to the "church of Christ" (Fragments, pp. 33-5), although the former was not actually baptized until the summer of 1831, when he was on his way "gathering" with the faithful to the feet of the prophet (Fragments, pp. 35-6). This service was performed for him by his well beloved John P. Greene, who already in the summer of 1831 was the pastor of a Mormon church, about eight miles from his residence which at that date was situated in Avon, a township adjoining to Livonia in Livingston county (Fragments, pp. 35-6).
Thus it appears that by the summer of 1831, all of the male members of the Young family, and the females likewise, so far as their history can be traced had cast in their lot with the Saints. They rushed pell-mell into the fold. That is a suspicious occurrence; it could harldy have befallen without some kind of previous understanding and preparation.
It remains to investigate as far as they may be indicated the influences which operated so strongly upon the household, and it is believed made them Mormons in feeling long before they became Mormons
in fact. There are two sources, either of which it is conceived might have supplied motives to this course of action; possibly both of them combined to effect the singular result.
One of these is the Knight family. These were neighbors of the Youngs in their Vermont home. Brigham Young was born in Whittingham, Windham county, Vermont, on the first of June 1801; Newell Knight was born just a few miles away in Marlborough of the same county on the 13th of September 1800. In the year 1803 the Youngs immigrated to Chenango county, New York; in the year 1809 the Knights did the same thing (Scraps of Biography, pp. 46-7). It is possible that these two households were acquainted in Vermont; it is even possible that the Knights were induced to select Chenango county, on their removal to New York, through the representations and persuasions of the Youngs. After they had both become established in Chenango county their relations would be still more intimate; these would not be broken off by the removal of the Knights in the year 1811 to the adjoining county of Broome (Scraps, p. 47).
In the year 1825 when Mr. Stowell began to work his silver mind in Chenango county, and Joseph Smith was figuring there in the character of a treasure-seeker, it is not impossible that the Youngs in their Cayuga home were some way made acquainted with what was transpiring so near the seat of their former residence. Who can say that Stowel as an intimate friend of Joseph Knight, sen., was not personally known to them? It is not impossible that in some of their repeated journeys from Broome and Chenango counties to the home of
Joseph in Ontario, these two simpletons might not have passed a night with their long time friends and neighbors, especially as the Youngs lived convenient to the road upon which they were traveling, and something like midway of the journey. It is even conceivable, that when Knight and Stowel came from their homes to be present when the "Record" was delivered to Joseph on the 22d of September (Lucy Smith, pp. 105-13), that they lodged with the Youngs in Cayuga and gave them a circumstantial account of the entire transaction. In this way it was easily within the reach of these quondam citizens of Chenango county to become informed of occurrences which had so much interest for their respected friends in that quarter of the world.
The second of the above sources of influence may be perceived in Livonia township, Livingston county, where the worthy Esquire Beaman was heart and soul in favor of Joseph, and well persuaded of the verity of the Book of Mormon. The propagandism of the Livonia circle is suspected to have been active. It may easily have extended to the adjoining township of Bloomfield where John P. Greene was now situated, and to Victor township, where lived Fanny Young Murray and her husband Roswell Murray as well as the miracle-working Methodist preacher Phineas Howe Young. Both Bloomfield and Victor were within the boundaries of Ontario county and it was no difficult enterprise to hear the echoes of Joseph's doings in Manchester township. From Victor and Bloomfield the infection would spread by a perfectly natural process
to Mr. Heber C. Kimball, a son-in-law of the Murrays, in Mendon township, Monroe county. Whatever may be the right explanation of it, there can be no question of the fact that the Young family were "ripe and ready" for the Book of Mormon when it appeared.
After his own baptism on the 14th of April 1831, Brigham was permitted shortly to witness the immersion of his wife Miriam Works Young. According to his own statement a large portion of the year 1830 and the whole of 1831 were passed in laboring on the dwelling of Jonathan Mack of No. 9 Canandaigua (Stenhouse, p. 649). Perhaps it was nothing but the secrecy of their movements which prevented him from enjoying the advantage of a personal interview with Sidney and Joseph, when in December 1830 they went to the city of Canandaigua for the purpose of conferring with Mr. William Wines Phelps (Howe, p. 274).
Leaving No. 9 in the early portion of the year 1832 (Stenhouse, p. 649), Brigham seems to have employed his time in preaching the new evangel in the townships of Genesee, Avon and Lima in Livingston county (Tullidge, Life of Brigham Young, Supplement, p. 3). In the midst of this employment his wife died on the 8th of September 1832 (Death of Brigham Young, p. 3), and he immediately felt himself drawn to visit the prophet in Kirtland Ohio (Tullidge, Life of Brigham Young, p. 78). Already his brothers Lorenzo and Phineas were as far as Pittsburgh on the way to that goodly land; his brother-in-law John P. Greene had quite reached the place and was prepared to greet him with the gift of tongues when he should himself arrive (Stenhouse, p. 44). This event befell in the month of November 1832 (Stenhouse, as above);
on the journey, Brigham had the benefit of the company of his brother Joseph and of his nephew-in-law, Mr. Kimball. The party were received with much cordiality.
It has been related how Mr. Smith was reduced to the necessity of putting down the gift of tongues and other gifts of the spirit that were dangerously rife in Kirtland upon his arrival there in January 1831. He was justly apprehensive that these displays would grow to a size sufficiently large to overthrow his own pretensions to the position of Revelator; they were a menace to his primacy. But in the period which had elapsed since these tongues were stilled the ascendancy of the prophet in spiritual matters had been much strengthened. He had no longer any special occasion to fear rival there; it was his business concerns alone that were at the moment giving him annoyance, and alienating the affections of the Saints in Zion. They were complaining at nothing but the organization and pretensions of the "order of Enoch," and at the monarchical arrogance of the prophet.
Brigham Young had come under the influence of Elder Alpheus Gifford in New York. This person and Elder Elial Strong are said to have the honor to have first proclaimed in his hearing the riches of the "ancient gospel." Mr. Gifford, it appears, was seized with a certain facility in the use of tongues (Turner, Mormonism in All Ages, p. 39). Brigham and his brother-in-law John P. Greene, by dint of contact with Gifford had caught from him the gift of tongues. In the delights of the first meeting with the prophet it was natural that this gift should be displayed; on the evening after the visitors'
arrival Joseph desired Brigham to lead in the worship of the household. He became so warm in his devotions that the power of ordinary address failed him; he fell into the art he is believed to have acquired from elder Gifford, and which, likely, was common vogue among the Mormon circles of Livingston county, New York. Mr. John P. Greene also joined the chorus (Stenhouse, p. 44).
Remembering the degree of sternness with which Mr. Smith had repressed the gift of tongues in the previous year and also a short while previously when Alpheus Gifford then sojourning at Kirtland had planned it (Turner, p. 39), his brethren now crowded about him to inquire what might be his opinion of the art which Brigham had acquired from Gifford. It is possible that he felt embarrassed; he would be dubious concerning the propriety of setting all tongues loose again. On the other hand it would be very ungracious in the presence of an enthusiastic disciple who had just now performed a laborious journey for the purpose of beholding the face of the prophet and moreover was of commanding presence and authority to declare that his gift of tongues was bestowed by the devil. Consequently Brigham says: "he told them it was the pure Adamic language. Some said to him they expected he would condemn the gift, but he said, "No; it is of God" (Tullidge, Life of Joseph, p. 147).
The designation of "Adamic language" was derived by Joseph from his own translation of the Book of Genesis, which it will be remembered himself and Sidney had accomplished in New York. He there delivers himself as follows: "And then began these men to call upon the name of the Lord; and the Lord blessed them; and a book of remembrance
was kept in the which was recorded in the language of Adam, for it was given unto as many as called upon God, to write by the Spirit of inspiration" (Genesis 6, 5). Mr. Smith intended by the above remark to affirm that as Mr. Young had called upon God it was given to him not merely to write but also to speak the "Adamic language." The point has been duly recorded that Brigham lived long enough to become disgusted with the gift of tongues (Stenhouse, p. 650, note).
But he was not then disgusted with the "Adamic language." Before many weeks every month was full of it (Howe, pp. 132-8). The Council of High-Priests in their epistle to the Saints of Zion under date of January 14th, 1833 testified that "the gifts are beginning to break forth so as to astonish the world, and even believers marvel at the power and goodness of God. Thanks be rendered to his holy name for what he is doing" (Tract, New Jerusalem, p. 13). By the above recital it will appear that the gift of tongues among the Mormons is the gift of Alpheus Gifford, through Mr. Brigham Young.
After a week of enjoyment in Kirtland Brigham returned to New York, and went thence to Canada with his brother Joseph, where they proclaimed the "ancient gospel" during the winter. He returned in February 1833 to marry Mary Ann Angel of Livingston county. In the autumn of 1833 himself and Heber C. Kimball "gathered" to Kirtland (Tullidge, Life of Brigham Young, Supplement, p. 3).
Sidney did not dream of the handwriting on the wall when Brigham appeared about the middle of November 1832, but it was clear none the less, and in the course of time became very plain.
continue reading on: p. 776