It has been already shown how in the month of June 1832 (Handbook of References, Salt Lake, 18 p. 42) a monthly periodical, entitled the "Evening and Morning Star" had been started at Independence, by Mr. W.W. Phelps. The same gentleman also had the honor of commencing another journal of a weekly issue entitled the "Upper Missouri Advertiser," which however lasted
only a brief period and perhaps by this time was already defunct (Mackay, p.71). The "Evening and Morning Star" for the month of June 1833 contained an ill-advised article entitled "Free People of Color" in which persons of that class were invited to emigrate from Illinois and cast in their lot with the fortunes of Zion. It is apparent to those who have any familiarity with the sentiments that prevailed in a slave-holding state like Missouri that a firebrand of this kind would hardly fail to set matters aflame.
The press of the citizens' party speedily brought a direct public attack against the Saints in the form of a broadside that carried the caption, "Beware of False Prophets," which was raised to the importance of a campaign document and distributed from house to house (Mackay, p. 74). In addition the Mormons were insulted and misused wherever a convenient opportunity was offered, and neighborhood meetings were convened in different portions of Jackson county (Mackay, p. 74).
Finally on Saturday the 20th of July 1833, the excitement had been raised high enough to hold a public meeting at Independence that was attended by four or five hundred citizens. This meeting set forth an address to the people at large, and enacted a series of resolutions for the benefit of the saints exclusively. These declarations were of the following tenor:
"Henceforth no Mormon shall enter the county of Jackson for the purpose of establishing a residence there; those now settled in the county must give a pledge of their intention within a brief period of removing beyond its limits, as the price of freedom from personal violence and business disaster; the "Star" newspaper must be closed immediately, and the business of printing within the county discontinued forever, and all other stores and shops belonging to Mormons must close their business and depart; the leaders of the party are required to employ their influence and authority to prevent any further immigration on the part of their brethren from other sections; violent measures would be employed in case peaceable representations should be found ineffectual" (Mackay, p. 75).A committee consisting of the chairman and twelve of the most prominent members of the assembly were deputed to confer with the chief men of the Mormon society, for the purpose of making them acquainted with the tenor of the above resolutions, and receiving any reply which these might have to propose. Two hours later the gentlemen of the committee went forward and reported that they had performed the task assigned, and found that Messrs. Partridge, Phelps and Gilbert were unwilling to commit themselves without first enjoying an opportunity to consult the wishes of their brethren, both in the states of Missouri and of Ohio (Scraps, p. 77-8). This delay was considered to be unreasonable, and it was immediately resolved to give the
Saints a taste of the seriousness of their purposes, by demolishing the "Star" printing office, which was also the residence of Mr. Phelps and his family, and taking possession of the press and materials. Phelps was wise enough to avoid showing himself, as also Gilbert and other prominent characters, but Bishop Edward Partridge and Elder Charles Allen unhappily came within the reach of the enraged multitude. They were both carried to the public square of the town and regaled with a coating of tar and feathers (Mackay, p. 76).
The meeting did not adjourn sine die; on the contrary it adjourned only until Tuesday the 23d of the month, for the purpose of again bringing the Mormon leaders to the test. This time they found them inclined to yield and to accept any terms that the citizens were of a mind to impose. The committee of citizens held an interview with Oliver Cowdery, W. W. Phelps, Wm. E. McLellin, Edward Partridge, Lyman Wight, Simeon Carter, Peter and John Whitmer and Harvey Whitlock of which a formal memorandum was committed to writing and reported to the body (Howe, pp. 142-3). The points agreed upon between the opposing forces were to the effect that the gentlemen whose names have been just now recited should each and all of them remove themselves and their families from the borders of Jackson county on or before the first day of the ensuing January; that they should employ their influence to induce all their brethren, likewise to remove as soon as possible -- one
of them by the first of January and the other half by the first of April 1834; that they should resort to advice and all other means in their power to prevent any more of their society from entering the county; that Gilbert and his clerk John Corrill should be permitted to remain longer than the balance of the society for the purpose of winding up the business concerns of the society, provided that the former should sell out his present stock of merchandise without attempting to replenish it by means of fresh importation; that the "Star" was not again to be republished, nor any other press set up in the county; that in case they removed their families before the first of January 1834, it would also be permitted to Messrs. Partridge and Phelps to come and go at will in order to transact the business of their brethren, and that no violence should be exhibited as long as the Mormons appeared to be engaged in good faith upon the effort to execute the conditions of the above stipulations.
When the result here described had been achieved the citizens were content and tranquility was restored, each party looking forward to the first of January 1834 with anxious interest for the developments that might then or previously befall.
The first news that Joseph obtained of these hostile demonstrations is believed to have reached him by due course of mail at Kirtland on the 2d of August. He is conceived on that date to have received an account of the occurrences of the 20th of July, together
with other items of interest from Zion, upon the strength of which he procured the revelation that is marked Section 97 in the edition of Orson Pratt. This revelation appears to indicate the prophet was not sorry to be informed of the trouble that had chanced to the men of Zion, for owing to the stubborn rebellion with which these had confronted himself and the "order of Enoch" in the months that had elapsed since his visit of April 1832, he felt that among them were many who "must needs be chastened" (D.&C., 97, 6). But there were other reasons besides the gratification of a vindictive passion, why Mr. Smith should be pleased to learn that Zion was brought low; the persecution which they were now called to experience would go farther to unite them to himself and his fortunes than any other agency that could be devised. In the midst of the enthusiasm which he was convinced it would arouse he replied to the threats of the citizens meeting of July 20th by quietly giving order for the immediate erection of the temple whose corner stone he had enjoyed the honor to lay at Independence in August 1831 (D.&C., 97, 10, 11). His agility is well displayed by the promise that if the faithful in Zion went about this enterprise with light hearts and accomplished it with speed, that the place would "prosper, and spread herself and become very glorious, very great and very terrible, and the nations of the earth would honor her, and say 'surely Zion is the city of our God, and surely Zion cannot fall, neither be moved out of her place, for God is there and
the hand of the Lord is there, and he hath sworn by the power of his might, to be her salvation and her high tower" (D.&C., 97, 18-20).
Nevertheless it was of good uses to strike a blow against the rebels who had come nigh to accomplishing the ruin of the "church of Christ" only a few months before. Therefore he gives these to understand that they do not belong to the true Zion, which consists of the pure in heart alone, and that the afflictions of the place have flowed from no other cause than the wickedness of the people who had risen up against the Lord's anointed (D.&C., 97, 21-28).
Immediately after the occurrences that fell out on the 23d of July Mr. Cowdery was dispatched post-haste to Kirtland that he might give his chief a full account of them (Mackay, p. 77). He must have arrived about the 5th of August. When Mr. Smith had heard the whole story, he got a revelation for the 6th of August 1833 in which his tune was entirely changed (D.&C., Sect. 98). He was a born coward, though much inclined to play the bully when no peril was at hand. After listening to what Oliver had to communicate touching the fierceness and determination of the Missourians, he proceeded to discourse upon the boundaries that existed between the powers of his Theocracy and those of the civil state. The line that lies between church and state has often been debatable ground; it is not apparent that Joseph was able to cast any light upon the subject.
He says to the distressed in Zion:
"And now verily I say unto Zion concerning the laws of the land, it is my will that my people should observe to do all things whatsoever I command them; and that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind and is justifiable before me; therefore I the Lord justify you and your brethren of my church in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land; and as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than these cometh of evil. I the Lord make you free, therefore ye are free indeed; and the law also maketh you free" (D.&C., 98, 4-7).While his theocratical arrogance is in a measure veiled at this point, it is apparent that he regards and represents the church as standing far above the state. It could however, "befriend that law which is the constitutional law of the land," and so permit where it could not avoid such an evil as the existence of the state government. This was a concession of large dimensions for a Mormon to enact; and yet it would be entirely unsatisfactory to the citizens of Missouri, who would be exasperated when they perceived their state government to be patronized in such a lofty style. Besides it distinctly intimated that the church would not befriend the unconstitutional treatment that had been bestowed on its members in Jackson county. For the rest, Joseph counsels, for his brethren, patience and endurance. Their enemies had now come against them once, but they must be still and permit them to come the second and the third time, and omit to lift a hand for their
own protection until they had begun to despoil them for the fourth time (D.&C., 98, 23-30). Even in that event it would be of merit to spare the enemy, but in case the brethren should cut them down they would be justified in the act (D.&C., 98, 31).
It was exceedingly prudent to impart such counsels; if the prophet had pursued an opposite course it would have been easily possible to stir the fanaticism of his followers to such an extent as to provoke disastrous reprisals. The conduct that was here advised was well calculated to win the friendship of the governor and of all the people of Missouri, who were not, like the citizens of Jackson county, directly concerned in the issues at stake.
It is believed that in this same meeting to which was promulgated the above revelation of the 6th of August, a decision was reached, in view of the recent destruction of the "Evening and Morning Star" at Independence, to replace it by the publication of the "Latter Day Saints Messenger and Advocate" at Kirtland (Mackay, p. 77). That was a chance which Joseph must have regarded with complacency. During the rebellion of the previous winter he had become sensible that Zion had been suffered to become too important; a check upon its power was eminently desirable, so that in case it should depose the prophet he might not be entirely without support and resources. With this purpose in mind he had collected about him the principal elders and entertained them in the improvised "school of the prophets" all winter.
In pursuit of the same line of policy the "Council of High Priests" at that moment otherwise known as the "school of the prophets" were induced on the 23d of March 1833, to provide for the purchase of land at Kirtland, for the purpose of erecting that place into a "Stake of Zion" (Remy and Brenchley, vol. 1, p. 284), and on the 6th of May Joseph himself confirmed that transaction by making arrangements for the "work of laying out and preparing a beginning and foundation of the city of the Stake of Zion, here in the land of Kirtland" (D.&C., 94, 1). Likewise on the 4th of june 1833, he announces, "it is expedient in me that this Stake that I have set for the strength of Zion should be made strong" (D.&C., 96, 1).
The "school of the prophets" met at first in the upper story of the prophet's dwelling house (Lucy Smith, p. 207). On the 27th of December 1832 he obtained a revelation that a school house for their benefit should be erected (D.&C., 88, 119). By the close of the ensuing summer that enterprise was well advanced, and upon the testimony of Lucy Smith, the edifice was also designed for the accommodation of the few worshippers who still remained in Kirtland (Lucy Smith, p. 209). Indeed at the date when the order was given Joseph had no thought of ever requiring any other structure in Kirtland. But when his plans had been changed and he perceived the advantages of retaining the arcana of the church in Kirtland, Mr. Smith took the position that the aforesaid schoolhouse was not the structure that was designed in his revelation of December 27th, 1832, but
that the house which had there been commanded was a far more important edifice. Accordingly, on the first of June 1833, he deftly changed front and said to his people:
"ye have sinned against me a very grievous sin, in that ye have not considered the great commandment in all things, that I have given unto you concerning the building of mine house, for the preparation wherewith I design to prepare mine apostles to prune my vineyard for the last time, that I may bring to pass my strange act, that I may pour out my spirit upon all flesh" (D.&C., 95, 3,4).The believers were taken by surprise. They conceived that they were engaged in fulfilling the Lord's command in the erection of the schoolhouse, but they now perceived that they were in error. In a word the project to render Kirtland a sort of balance against the influence of Zion seemed to require that the former place should be distinguished by a larger house than the single room for the "school of the prophets." On the 6th of May 1833, he had also given orders for the construction "of an house for the Presidency, for the work of the Presidency in obtaining revelations, and for the work of the ministry of the Presidency, in all things pertaining to the church and kingdom" (D.&C., 94, 3). In addition to this there was to be erected "an house unto me for the work of the printing of the translation of my scriptures, and all things whatsoever I shall command you" (D.&C., 94, 10).
It will be apparent that Mr. Rigdon's long felt hopes of remaining at Kirtland were in a fair way of being realized. The "House of the Lord," the "House of the Presidency" and the "House of the United order for Printing" would render Kirtland a centre which Joseph could not remove from and the Missourians could not despise.
Mr. Smith had not been content with the manner in which Phelps had performed his task as editor of the "Star" periodical. In the postscript of a letter under date of January 11, 1833, he had remarked to Phelps: "we wish you to render the Star as interesting as possible, by setting forth the rise progress and faith of the church, as well as the doctrine; for if you do not render it more interesting than at present, it will fall, and the church suffer a great loss thereby" (Tract, New Jerusalem, p. 11). Now that he had made arrangements to set up a printing press in Kirtland it would be desirable that the chief journal of the "church of Christ" should issue from that point. When the citizens of Jackson county put an end to the "Star," it was a kind service to Joseph in the struggle that was going forward to obtain an equilibrium between Zion and Kirtland. The latter would gain a not inconsiderable item by sending forth the "Latter Day Saints Messenger and Advocate." This is the earliest occasion in the history of the Mormon people where the term Latter Day Saints was employed. It referred to the antithesis that was believed to exist between the saints who flourished prior to the "great apostasy" that was given out
to have commenced in the Fourth contury of the Christian era, and the Mormons who rose up just at the close of the fourteen centuries of darkness that had brooded upon the earth. The saints before the "great apostasy" were styled "Former Day Saints" (Lectures on Faith, vol. III, p. 26); the only saints who came after the "great apostasy" are the Latter Day Saints.
It must be remembered that Joseph had no very earnest sympathy with the faithful in Zion. He was suspicious of their loyalty and did not mind if they were slightly pummeled by the brawny fists of the Missourians. Moreover, there was no immediate occasion for action; by the terms of the treaty his brethren would not be required to depart from Jackson county before the first of January ensuing. Neither they nor himself had a thought that they would ever move at all. Accordingly it was toward the last of September 1833 before anybody arrived from Kirtland to assist the people of Zion in their straits (Scraps, p. 79). It was Joseph's duty to go in person, but his courage was hardly equal to such a venture; on the contrary he found it important that Sidney and himself should go on a mission to the east and north, notwithstanding the fact that he was never a lover of such work. The twain began their journey in September 1833; Harrison Burgess heard the prophet proclaim for the first time in his life in that month at Springfield, Erie county, Pennsylvania (Labors in the Vineyard, Salt Lake, 1884, p. 66). They were in no hurry,
but chiefly intent to kill time; the 12th of October found them no farther away than Perrysburgh, Cataraugus county New York (D.&C., Sect. 100). On the 17th of October they arrived at the house of Freeman Nickerson, Mount Pleasant Canada (Lydia Knight's History, Salt Lake, 1883, p. 21). Remaining there eight days the prophet immersed fourteen people constituted "a branch," ordained Mr. Nickerson to preside over it, and on the 25th of October crossed lake Erie on his way back to Kirtland (Lydia Knight, p. 22). He arrived there on the 4th of November (Remy and Brenchley, vol. 1, p. 288, note).
It was hardly anything else than cowardice that prevented Joseph from going in person to Missouri for the purpose of supporting his afflicted followers. The enterprise of erecting the "House of the Lord," as the Kirtland structure was designated, was upon his hands, but it was of no such large consequence as the call that came from Zion. Before leaving home in September he had directed Orson Hyde and John Gould to undertake the mission which properly belonged to himself and Sidney Rigdon, and these arrived among the Saints in the latter part of September "with counsel and instruction from Brother Joseph" (Scraps, p. 78). So much concerned was Joseph for the safety of Hyde and Gould that he obtained a revelation concerning their
welfare at Perrysburgh, New York, on the 12th of October: "Thy brethren, my servants Orson Hyde and John Gould, are in my hands, and inasmuch as they keep my commandments they shall be saved" (D.&C., 100, 14).
In pursuance of instructions which they had brought from Kirtland, Gould and Hyde advised the Mormons to present an appeal for redress and protection to his Excellency David Dunklin, the capable and worthy Governor of Missouri (Scraps, p. 79). Phelps and Hyde were selected to bear this petition; they delivered it in Jefferson City on the 8th of October (Remy and Brenchley, p. 288). Governor Dunklin received the envoys with courtesy, but pleading the momentary absence of his legal adviser, the Attorney General, he excused himself from immediately returning a formal answer (Scraps, p. 79). That reply was given on the 19th of October (Remy and Brenchley, p. 288), and was of much comfort to the Saints. His excellency advised the Mormons to go before the proper authorities and make oath that their lives were threatened, or they believed them to be threatened, averring that upon the receipt of this intelligence it was the duty of such civil officer to cause the offenders to be apprehended, and bind them to keep the peace. He did not feel entire confidence that the above expedient would fall out to satisfaction, but it was the ordinary method of proceeding and he considered it would be proper to make a test whether it were possible to execute the laws. If it should turn out to be impossible, the result should be reported to
himself, when the way would be opened for other proceedings (Scraps, p. 79).
Pending these negotiations, the Saints had engaged the services of four eminent lawyers from the adjoining county of Clay, namely, Messrs. Wood, Rees, Doniphan, and Atchison, for which they paid a fee of one thousand dollars (Scraps, pp. 79-80). But the Mormon question had become a question of Missouri state politics. Governor Dunklin and his friends were thoroughly in favor of employing all the resources of the Commonwealth for the purpose of defending their civil and religious rights. On the other hand Lieutenant Governor Lilburn W. Boggs was a citizen of Jackson county (Mackay, p. 76), and it would be very pleasant for him to unseat Governor Dunklin and receive the succession at the next general election. His hatred of the Mormons was also intense and honest, and he had no scruples in pushing the issue against them to the fore. He believed he would be doing the state some service in case he was able to procure their expulsion from its territory. Consequently he is suspected to have directed if he did not incite the movements of the citizens' party (Remy and Brenchley, p. 291).
The compact which the citizens had made with leaders of the Mormons on the 23d of July, provided that one half of their body should quit the county of Jackson on the first of January 1834, and if that agreement was to be observed in good faith, it was time that the Saints were making preparations for the exodus. Instead of making
ready to depart they were making ready to remain, and had enlisted the Governor and his adherents together with several eminent lawyers to render them all possible assistance to accomplish that intention. Lieutenant Governor Boggs, who now perceived it was time to act, if he would succeed in his project of overcalling Governor Dunklin, is believed to have given the signal to remove the restraints which had previously kept the citizens from inflicting violence. On the night of the 31st of October the ball was opened; a company estimated at about 150 men attacked the Whitmer settlement, situated twelve miles to the west of Independence, unroofed ten of the houses, maltreated the inmates, and carried terror to the hearts of the Saints (Early Scenes, p. 82).
To appearance it was also the intention of the mob to assault the Saints collected at the mill on the night of the first of November, but finding that these were in readiness to award them a suitable reception the project was abandoned. Two scouts who drew nigh to inspect the situation, and sought to cover their business under the pretext of seeking laborers for hire were recognized and arrested, not however before one of them had obtained a chance to strike Mr. Parley P. Pratt a blow on the head with the weapon he carried in his hand (Early Scenes, p. 82).
Foiled in their scheme against the peace and security of the Colesville Branch, the mob now turned to prowl about the country and arrest the faithful wherever they might perceive them to be unprotected; so that it became necessary for the Colesville Branch to send parties to the assistance of such as were reported to be in distress (Scraps, p. 80). One of these parties of relief consisting of seventeen men were encountered by a detachment of the mob and considerably worsted; several of their number were made prisoners at the deserted Whitmer settlement (Early Scenes, p. 82). The Mormons enraged by this reverse collected reinforcements, and again ventured to attack the marauders at the Whitmer settlement, at nightfall on the evening of the 4th of November (Early Scenes, p. 83; compare Remy and Brenchley, vol. 1, p. 289). The advantage in this combat remained with the Saints; they slew H. L. Brazeale a young lawyer of Independence and Thomas Linville (Scraps, p. 30; Early Scenes, p. 83), routed the enemy and chased them more than a mile. On their own side they suffered the loss of one Barber, "the first man in this dispensation who was martyred for the truth's sake," and Mr. Philo Dibble received a slight flesh wound, which disabled him for only a few days; he reports himself as being convalescent on the ninth day afterwards, so that he was able to dress himself and go abroad to witness the meteoric shower which fell on the morning of November 13th, 1833 (Early Scenes, pp. 84-5).
Hitherto the people of Jackson county had not been thoroughly aroused, but when the tidings of the battle of the 4th went abroad, almost every man of them flew to arms for the purpose of avenging the blood of Linville and Brazeale (Scraps, p. 83).
While the events above recited were proceeding on the Big Blue River, twelve miles away, the people of Independence were likewise engaged in paying their respects to such of the Mormons as chanced to be domiciled in that place. They had sacked and razed the house of Phelps, the Lord's printer on the 20th of the preceding July; they now gave the same kind of attention to the Lord's store house, that was kept by Sidney Gilbert, the well known agent of Bishop Partridge (Scraps, p. 82). Deciding to take out a warrant of arrest against a certain McCarty, one of the citizens engaged in this project, they approached the officers of the peace only to find the authority of the law completely set at defiance; neither Justice Weston nor Justice Silvers would consent to act in the premises. Consequently two of the brethren were dispatched to Lexington with instructions to obtain it there; but while these were gone upon their journey, McCarty improved the time by causing a number of the foremost Saints to be cast into prison under the charge of false arrest. This fate chanced to Messrs. Gilbert, Phelps, McLellin, and apparently to Isaac Morley and John Corrill (Scraps, pp. 82-3). By the terms of the law of Missouri it was competent for the citizens
of any county to arm themselves and parade for military duty within the limits of their own county; the people of Jackson county therefore did not require the commands of the Governor of the state before it would be lawful for them to organize the militia of the county (Howe, p. 175). At the suggestion of Lieutenant Governor Boggs they hastened to avail themselves of this privilege, by means of which what had just now been a lawless mob was converted into a lawful military organization (Remy, vol. 1, 289 and p. 291).
As soon as the Mormons outside of Independence heard of the imprisonment of their brethren in the town they resolved to go to their rescue. It must have been on the morning of the 5th of November when Lyman Wight, who had collected about his standard something like a hundred men showed himself within a mile of Independence, where he halted and sent forward for information. He speedily became aware that he was not confronted by the mob, but by the regular militia of Jackson county under the command of Colonel Pitcher, their lawful commander. Naturally perceiving that his brethren in the jail were not in such peril as had been reported, he kept his camp in the forest all the balance of the day. Thereupon Colonel Pitcher dispatched a message requiring Mr. Wight and his people to lay down their arms, inasmuch as they were bearing them against the legally constituted forces of Jackson county. It is likewise claimed that he assured Wight that in case his party surrendered their arms the militia under his
own command would do the same thing, and peace would be restored. It is not clear whether that is true or otherwise, but Wight accepted the offer and surrered into the hands of Colonel Pitcher, fifty one guns, one sword, and one pistol, which were likely all the arms that appeared in his command (Scraps, p. 84). In case Pitcher assumed a definite obligation to disarm the Jackson county militia under his command, it is clear that he did not fulfill it, possibly for the reason that he was unable to control his troopers. No sooner were these made aware of the now defenceless condition of the Mormons, than they became much bolder than they had previously displayed themselves and began the labor of driving the unfortunates in all directions (Scraps, p. 84). Remy and Brenchley report the organization of what appears to have been a military commission, at Liberty in Clay county, perhaps at the instigation of Messrs. Rees, Wood, Doniphan and Atchison, the counsel of the accused, in which it was decided that Colonel Pitcher should be tried by court martial for this unmilitary conduct (vol. 1, 292). It is not reported whether any farther proceedings were had under that head; the name of Colonel Pitcher is not found in the lists of captains who rode to the Mormon wars in later years.
On the night of the 5th and 6th of November the Saints were everywhere in motion, some traveling in one direction, others another, but all intent on finding the nearest way to the borders of Jackson
county, where they might hope to escape the rage of their pursuers. A portion of them took refuge to the southward in Cass county; others journeyed eastward into Lafayette county; others laid their path towards Ray county, lying north of the Missouri River, but the great body of the community entered Clay county, likewise north of the river adjacent to Ray. They were greeted with nothing that resembled a welcome anywhere except in Clay county. Those who settled in Cass, then styled Van Buren county, were speedily driven away and forced to seek shelter among their brethren in Clay (Scraps, p. 88). The case of those in Lafayette county was substantially similar (Mackay, p. 78); in fact the Mormons were highly unwelcome everywhere outside of Clay county. The reason for this difference in their reception is apparent; the favor they obtained in Clay was lawful interest on the fee of one thousand dollars which the brethren had bestowed upon Messrs. Doniphan, Atchison, Wood and Rees. These gentlemen had so assiduously manipulated the public sentiment of the community that the citizens of Clay were ready to extend open arms to their afflicted clients. They richly earned their retainer, and deserve to be mentioned with every mark of respect.
Reaching the Missouri River on the 7th of November several days were occupied by the Mormons in the labor of crossing over, and establishing themselves under temporary conditions for the winter season. The gentlemen who were of their legal counsel in Clay county appear to have immediately directed
the minds of leading brethren to such measures as it would be proper for them to observe in order to get their grievances properly represented before Governor Dunklin, who had already committed himself in their favor. Messrs. Phelps, Gilbert and McLellin went forward and made affidavits setting forth the details of their usage at the hands of the people of Jackson county, and forwarded the same by private express to his Excellency, who immediately ordered that a court of inquiry should be convened in Jackson county, for the purpose of bringing the offenders to justice (Scraps, pp. 85-6). Meanwhile the Saints received distinguished edification from the remarkable meteoric shower that appeared on the morning of the 13th of November; it was almost universally interpreted in their own favor, as the judgment of Heaven against the sinners who had driven them forth from Zion (Remy and Brenchley, vol. 1, 292).
On the 21st of November, Mr. Wells, the Attorney General, sent a very satisfactory reply to the communication which at the probable suggestion of their counsel had been recently expressed to the Governor. This officer assured them that in case they wished to return to their homes the military force of the state of Missouri should be at their service for protection, and that in case they were disposed to organize their own people into military companies the Governor would issue to the said companies arms, in the place of those which
[were] handed over to Colonel Pitcher (Remy and Brenchley, vol. 1, pp. 291-2).
Judge J. F. Ryland at that time presiding over the 5th judicial district of the state, likewise expressed himself in a similar strain, declaring in addition his purpose to "investigate the causes of the recent disturbance, and take steps to punish the guilty and screen the innocent" (Scraps, p. 86).
The excitement and confusion of the exodus was so great that it was inconvenient to send messengers immediately to acquaint the prophet with what had transpired. Lyman Wight and Parley P. Pratt were deputed for that service (D.&C., 103, 29); they arrived on the 25th of November (Remy and Brenchley, vol. 1, p. 293). Joseph was unprepared for such tidings; they were much too bloody for a natural coward like himself. Apparently for the purpose of gaining time he professed that he was not content with the accounts that had been conveyed by Pratt and Wight, and wrote seeking correct information and also for documents (Scraps, p. 88).
The white feather was so apparent that the faithful at Kirtland began to suspect the prophet was incompetent for the position he was holding. Possibly it was a too open suggestion of that color, which brought about the personal conflict between Joseph and D. P. Hurlbut, for which the latter had the prophet arrested on a charge of assault and battery, that was heard for the space of three days before a magistrate's court in the old Methodist church of Painesville
(Letter of James A. Briggs, counsel for Hurlbut, in New York Tribune, January 31, 1886).
Martin Harris also appears to have had his suspicions aroused to the effect that the prophet was inferior to his position. By consequence he began to relate a number of stories touching the drinking habit of Mr. Smith during the period when Martin was engaged as his secretary at Harmony New York in the year 1828; indeed he even went to the length of calling Joseph's inspiration in question affirming that himself knew what was contained in the Book of Mormon prior to its translation, while the translator was not so wise as that until after the work had been performed. Furthermore, Martin affirmed that Mr. Smith was not of suitable dignity for a prophet of the Lord, and in particular was a trifle fonder of wrestling and boxing than might well comport with his exceptional station (Remy and Brenchley, pp. 294-5).
In fact Mr. Smith got a notion that his life was in peril of assassination, and during the winter of 1833-4 caused a guard to be established nightly for the protection of it (Tullidge, Life of Brigham Young, Supplement, p. 9).
Finally however, on the 16th of December 1833, the pressure became too strong to resist; Joseph was forced to issue a revelation for the benefit of the distressed Saints of Missouri (D.&C., Section 101). This important document first appeared as a handbill that was printed at the
press of the "Latter Day Saints Messenger and Advocate," which was situated in the lane running westward from the "House of the Lord," and presided over by Oliver Cowdery as editor and Frederick G. Williams as proprietor (Howe, p. 147 and p. 230).
In this handbill, copies of which are related to have been sold for as much as a dollar apeice, Joseph represents that the Lord is engaged in punishing Zion for her rebellion and other acts of disobedience (D.&C., 101, 1-8; 39-42). He declares that the Lord has been slow to hear them because they have been slow to hearken to him (v. 7), which seems to indicate that Sidney and himself still remembered the cold reception which had been extended to the "order of Enoch" in April 1832.
Nevertheless the Lord will be merciful and Zion shall not be removed out of her place (vv. 9-21); by consequence he exhorts the different churches of his communion to continue the gathering towards Zion and her stakes (vv. 22; 63-69). These are also encouraged to send forward the pecuniary means required to purchase the whole of Jackson county and of the adjoining counties (vv. 70-75); therefore Sidney Gilbert should not sell his storehouse, nor should any others of the faithful alienate their private "inheritances" (vv. 96-101). The distressed brethren were instructed to offer petitions to the Judge, the Governor and the President, all of whom were duly warned of the disastrous results of neglecting to intervene (vv. 76-95); and by means of a parable Zion was
both reproved and assured of the approach of a military expedition, which should establish them in their homes and rights (vv. 43-62).
The court of inquiry which his Excellency, Governor Dunklin had so readily promised was delayed for a brief space at the request of the Mormons themselves, until they should be able to collect from their now scattered brethren such details of evidence as it was desirable to bring forward (Scraps, pp. 86-7). Having at length completed all the necessary preliminaries they signified that it would be agreeable if the outrage could at length be investigated in full. In reply to this intimation which was dated on the 6th of December 1833 (Scraps, p. 88), Governor Dunklin expressed his willingness to serve the Mormons to the full extent of his official authority. But that authority did not reach half as far as he fancied in the present instance; no sooner had the citizens of Jackson been made aware of the new posture of affairs than they fell into a sad rage against the constituted officials. The Governor's blood was up, and he was resolved to put the question to the touch whether the laws of the Commonwealth could be executed; in a letter dated the 4th of February 1834, he gave the refugees to understand that he would employ the power which the Constitution of the state reposed in his keeping to see that their wrongs were set right. Whenever it might enter their minds to resume possession of their homes in Jackson, he would be pleased to sustain the movement by force of arms. In closing this epistle he comforted the hearts of
the stricken wanderers by declaring that "Justice, though slow is sure" (Remy and Brenchley, pp. 292-3).
The chief Magistrate was upright and well disposed, but he did not quite comprehend the nature of the crisis that had come upon him; he believed that it was a simple, plain question about religious freedom, while in point of fact it was an issue somewhat strictly drawn between the civil government and a theocracy. The boobies of Jackson county were in a situation to impart valuable instruction to his mind touching this concern, in case he had not already become too much excited to give any heed to their representations.
On the first of January 1834 a conference was held by the Saints in Clay county, at which time it is possible that the people of Jackson returned the printing press which they had seized at Independence on the 20th of the preceding July. It was received, very naturally, with no kind of thanks, and another journal, the fourth in the progress of Mormon literature was started at Liberty, Clay county, under the style and title of the "Missouri Inquirer" (Remy and Brenchley, p. 292), which weekly dealt out blows against the persecutors on the opposite side of the river
Messrs. Remy and Brenchley affirm that the people of Independence "allowed the banished Mormons to transfer as much as remained of their printing-press to Liberty, and paid them a few hundred dollars as an indemnity," which has been interpreted by more recent Mormon history after a fashion that is far less complimentary. The present version is that the mob of Jackson county "disposed of" the printing press to Davis and Kelly, a couple of the brethren, for the purpose of removal to Liberty (Handbook of Reference, p. 43). Mr. James Kelly whose name is mentioned in connection with this transaction was a broken down graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, who in later years was permitted to figure in the character of President of the University of Nauvoo (Bennett, p. 210).
The time was growing ripe for the promised court of inquiry in Jackson county, Judge J. F. Ryland, who was circuit judge of the judicial district in which Jackson county was at that time situated, received instructions to proceed to Independence and preside over the court (Scraps, p. 89). In the existing
condition of the public mind it was indispensable to send a body of troops to protect the court, and Captain D. R. Atchison, one of the Mormon counsel, was instructed to march his own company, the Liberty Blues across to Independence to render that service. These met the persons who were expected to present their testimony before the court, at the Missouri river, and guarded them to a point situated within a mile of Independence. The temper of the citizens was speedily perceived to be so threatening that Colonel Allen of Clay county was immediately commanded to send a detail of two hundred additional men to reinforce the Blues. On the 24th of February the witnesses entered Independence and found quarters for the night, but it was now evident to all concerned that the project of holding a court of inquiry was entirely impracticable. Mr. Wells, the Attorney General, and the Commonwealth's Attorney of the 5th District both waited upon the brethren and signified the fact that the Governor had surrendered and retired from the conflict (Scraps, pp. 89-90). In brief words, Lieutenant Governor Boggs was master of the situation; he had achieved a triumph which procured for him the honor of succeeding Governor Dunklin at the next election.
Having failed to accomplish what they sought in that quarter, the Mormons next turned their attention towards the President of the United States. A petition was prepared and numerously subscribed, which together with a letter of appeal to General Jackson were forwarded to the seat of government. Another letter was directed to the Honorable Thomas H. Benton, the distinguished Senator from Missouri, who was supposed to have the ear of the Administration. Governor Dunklin also appears to have seconded the enterprise with his personal and official influence.
General Jackson turned over the petition and letter to one of his cabinet officers -- probably to Mr. Roger B. Taney, his Attorney-General, although Mormon sources affirm it was referred to Lewis Cass, the Secretary for War -- who reported that the case as it was then situated did not come within the jurisdiction of the Federal Government, and therefore that the President of the United States was not entitled to interfere. This line of policy was likewise pursued by the subsequent Administration of Martin Van Buren; under the American System no other course of action was possible to be pursued (Juvenile Instructor, Salt Lake City, vol. 11, p. 218).
Affairs remained in this unhappy posture during the months of March, April and May 1834, Governor Dunklin all the while writhing under the defeat which he had suffered at the hands of his subordinate in office. Finally in the month of June he was induced to believe that the question might be settled by peaceful means and so removed beyond the limits of state politics, in which event he would enjoy the satisfaction of having checkmated Mr. Boggs.
In a letter under date of June 6th 1834, he suggested to a prominent citizen of Clay county, the feasibility of purchasing all the lands owned by the Mormons in Jackson county, with a view to removing the crying grievance under which they were groaning (Howe, p. 174). To appearance the citizens of Jackson were shortly sounded for the purpose of discovering how they might be affected towards that scheme. They seized upon it with avidity; they would not endure the presence of the Mormons, but they were eager to do them justice as far as lay in their power. Accordingly they formulated propositions of the following tenor to be submitted to the Saints, namely:
That they would purchase all the lands that the Mormons owned in Jackson county, and likewise all the improvements which the Mormons might have erected on any public lands within the county, as these existed prior to the earliest disturbances between the people of Jackson and the Mormons, and also such as had been performed subsequent to that date; that the valuation of
said lands and improvements should be accomplished by three disinterested arbitrators to be chosen and consented to by either party; that twelve representatives of the Mormons should be permitted to accompany the arbitrators for the purpose of pointing out to them their lands and improvements, likewise such others of the Mormons as the said arbitrators might desire to consult regarding the business; that when the said arbitrators had reported the value of the lands and improvements of the Mormons, the people of Jackson county, would pay the sum assessed within a period of thirty days, together with a hundred per cent in addition; and that the people of Jackson county would also sell out their own lands and improvements to the Mormons on the same conditions (Howe, pp. 164-5).The above propositions were carried to Liberty in Clay county, by a committee composed of Samuel C. Owens, Robert Rickman, Thomas Jeffries, James Campbell, S. Noland, Abraham McClellan, Thomas Hayden, sen., S. N. Nolan, John Davis and Richard Fristoe, who were fully empowered by the people of Jackson county to act in their name in this concern. A meeting for the purpose of considering them and hearing from the Mormons was convened at the court house at Liberty on Monday the 16th day of June (Scraps, p. 91). Judge Ryland was in attendance, possibly in the interests of Governor Dunklin, to do what lay in his reach to promote the settlement (Scraps, p. 91), as the friends of the Governor were apparently desirous of providing that the subject should not
by any chance be brought forward in the next political campaign. But Governor Dunklin was doomed to a second defeat, this time at the hands of his friends the Saints themselves. His hopes and interests were really shipwrecked on their plea of non possumus; it was impossible for them to Sell the Sacred Seat of Zion. Before that plea could be entered, however, it was necessary for a general meeting of the brethren to be held, which would require several days (Howe, pp. 165-6). Meanwhile tidings had already been conveyed to the crowd assembled at the court house on the 16th of June that Joseph Smith was on his way to Jackson county at the head of an army, who were expected to carry fire and sword to all the sinners of that district. The deliberations were therefore summarily broken off; the committee from Jackson county went home not to carry messages of reconciliation but to give the alarm to their fellow citizens and to prepare themselves to repel the threatened invasion (Scraps, p. 92).
The revelation of February 24th was directed by the Lord to his "friends" (D.&C., 103, 1), which it is conceived had now become almost the technical name for the First Presidency (D.&C., 93, 45; compare 94, 1; 97, 1; 98, 1; 100, 1). The purpose of it was to enlighten the minds of the said Presidency so that they might "know how to act in the discharge of their duties
concerning the salvation and redemption of their brethren, who have been scattered on the land of Zion." The information was conveyed that the Lord had given a decree to the effect that the brethren should begin to prevail against their enemies from this very hour, upon condition that they should always be obedient to counsel (D.&C., 103, 5-10).
Joseph absolutely commits himself to the position that Zion should return to its inheritance in Jackson county (D.&C., 103, 11-4). He had tried the virtue of petitioning the judge the Governor and the President without effect; he now announces that the return is to be accomplished by "power" (103, 15). For the purpose of procuring a successful application of this "power," the Lord assured his prophet that he would raise up a man who should lead his people like Moses (103, 16-8). He therefore encourages to good courage for the angels of the Lord would go before the host and his presence also attend them (103, 19-20).
Inasmuch as Mr. Smith was about to commit the crime of high treason against the commonwealth of Missouri, he cautiously clothes his personality under the name of Baurak Ale, and the Lord instructs him by that pseudonym to collect the strength of his house to the land of Zion where they might avenge themselves up on their persecutors down to the third and fourth generation (103, 21-26).
Sidney was commanded to go to the East for the purpose of preaching
the new crusade, while Wight and Pratt the messengers who had come from Zion during the preceding November were instructed not to return to Missouri until they had procured an army of five hundred men, or, in case that were impossible, an army of three hundred, or at least one hundred (103, 29-34). The Saints were exhorted to beseech the Lord that his Holiness Baurak Ale might also accompany the expedition (103, 35); since it was possible that the smell of gunpowder might be abroad in Jackson county, Joseph was solicitous to leave open a loophole through which at the last moment he might escape from these perils.
On Wednesday, February 26th, the prophet and the other members of the Presidency left Kirtland for the purpose of collecting the forces that were provided for in the above revelation (Remy and Brenchley, vol. 1, p. 296), Parley P. Pratt and Joseph Smith were paired to journey in one direction; Lyman Wight and Sidney Rigdon laid their course towards the East; Frederick G. Williams and Hyrum Smith followed the wink of Mr. Smith elsewhere, and still a fourth couple Orson Hyde and Orson Pratt were employed for service in the enterprise (103, 37-40).
The absence of Joseph upon this expedition lasted about a month. He returned to Kirtland on the 28th of March (Juvenile Instructor, vol. 11, p. 218). He not only enlisted soldiers but also collected money to aid in meeting the expenses of the expedition (Remy and Brenchley, vol. 1, 296). It is probable that Sidney who it is conceived, went to New York and other states to the eastward was detained
somewhat later, but all parties had returned before the first of May, the date which had been established for the departure of the expedition (Wilford Woodruff, Leaves From My Journal, Salt Lake, 1882, p. 5). For several days prior to that time everybody at Kirtland was engaged in the work of preparation (Howe, p. 155). Wilford Woodruff says, "It was on the 26th of April, 1834, that I was first introduced to Elders Brigham Young and H. C. Kimball. When I first met Brother Brigham, he had his hands full of butcher-knives; he gave me one and told me to go and put a good handle on it, which I did" (Leaves, p. 5).
When the appointed day arrived very few of the warriors were in order. To make a beginning, Joseph dispatched the wagon train with about twenty men to guard it, to a point in Summit county called New Portage a stronghold of Mormon influence where they remained until the balance were ready to join them (Leaves, p. 5). Sunday the 4th of May was improved for the purposes of a distinguished oratorical display in the camp near Kirtland; both Rigdon and the prophet harangued the strength of the Lord's house to deeds of valor and endurance (Howe, p. 156).
On Monday morning the fifth of May Mr. Smith set forward with 85 men in his company (Leaves, p. 5). Before the time for breaking camp however a general meeting was called on Saturday the 3d of May, where business of considerable importance was transacted.
This business consisted in the addition of a clause to the official
name of the community (Howe, p. 156-7). Hitherto the official name had been "The Church of Christ," and they were vulgarly styled Mormons. It was desirable upon the present as in the case of every other military expedition, if possible to gain a march on the enemy. Though the telegraph was not heard of until several years later, it seemed likely that if the party allowed themselves to pass by the title of Mormons, tidings of their approach might by some kind of process be conveyed to the people of Jackson county, who would then be prepared to meet them in arms. Accordingly on motion of Mr. Rigdon it was resolved that in future the style and title of the society should be "The Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints." This kind of nomenclature was highly convenient for the reason that it supplied the designation of "Saints" or "Latter-Day Saints" for customary usage. The people were therefore instructed in case of foreseen inquiry during the progress of the long march to Missouri, to deny that they were Mormons, and to assert that they were "Latter Day Saints."
The point should be kept in mind, however, that this form of nomenclature had been already several months previously to the date in question, adopted by the Saints; it was by this time in current circulation. The first instance of the use of it in an official document is believed to belong to the 17th of February 1834. On that day was organized the first High Council that ever existed in Mormon annals (D.&C., Section 102). Messers. Oliver Cowdery and Orson Hyde fulfilled the function of Clerks to this body and in their official records they designate the Mormon community as "the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints" (D.&C., 102, title).
It would therefore appear that on Saturday the 3d of May, 1834, nothing more was designed by the meeting which has been mentioned than to confirm a custom that had become well established. Another instance of the official use of the designation "Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints" befell on the 17th of August 1835, at the great Conference that met in Kirtland for the purpose of confirming the Revelations that hitherto had been made public. Here it was considered appropriate to present a deliverance on the subject of Marriage, which it will be remembered has been expunged from all recent editions of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants that are published in Salt Lake City. In the first verse of this performance the church is once more formally designated as the "Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints" (D.&C., fourth European edition, Section CIX, 1).
Meanwhile the customary usage even of the leaders of the Hierarchy was not very firmly fixed. In the second of his well known
letters to the "Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate," Mr. Cowdery speaks of the church merely as "the church of the Latter-Day Saints" (Gospel Reflector, Philadelphia 1841, p. 140). Likewise Joseph Smith employs the same nomenclature about the same time (Gospel Reflector, p. 176).
Indeed so small was the stress that Joseph laid upon the additional clause that in his official revelations he was prone to resort to the style and title that had been current from the beginning and to content himself with the bare name of "Church of Christ" (D.&C., 107, 59).
It was not until the 26th of April 1838 that the clumsy designation "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" was first employed. The reason for this third addition to the name of the Mormon community must be sought in the rebellion which took place at Kirtland in the closing months of the year 1837. It will appear in due time that the recusants on that occasion were successful in establishing what they were pleased to claim was a "Pure Church." This "Pure Church" was likewise called by the name of the "Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints," and Joseph conceived that it would be unsuitable for his people to retain a title that was affected by his most deadly enemies. Accordingly he made haste to add the name "Jesus" to his church, and to bestow upon it the full and complete designation of "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" (D.&C., 115, 3).
It will therefore be seen that the Mormons have enjoyed three different names in the course of their history. Their first name, borrowed
directly from the Disciples of Christ, was the "Church of Christ." Their second name, which was worn from the 17th of February 1834 until the 26th of April 1838, was the "Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints." The third and last name adopted on the date just now mentioned and still maintained, is the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." The brethren are reasonably proud of the circumstance that there "is not a church in all the world bearing the name of Jesus Christ, except the Latter Day Saints" (Compendium of Doctrines, p. 158). Apparently they have entirely forgotten the occasion which induced the prophet to make that last addition to the name.
Setting forward on his march Joseph arrived at New Portage on the 6th of May (Leaves, p. 5). On Wednesday the 7th, he organized the little army now numbered about 130 men all told (Leaves, p. 5). His literalism had not yet, as later, descended to the details of army life; instead of organizing the brethren in companies of tens and fifties after the fashion indicated in the Old Testament, he arranged them by companies of twelve (Mackay, p. 81), or as Howe reports by companies of fourteen (p. 158). Before the close of the expedition he had
considered the example of Jonathan (1 Sam, chapter 14), and found it of good uses to select an armorbearer in the person of his cousin George A. Smith (Mackay, p. 84). His armor consisted of a sword of rare device which had been supplied by the kindness of Mr. Wilford Woodruff (Leaves, p. 5); a couple of pistols which Howe says he had purchased at a credit of six months time (p. 159); a rifle and a mastiff. Howe likewise credits him with four horses, which were probably carried along for the advantage of scouts whom it might be prudent to dispatch upon reconnoitering expeditions.
The most important item in the organization of the army at New Portage on the 7th of May consisted of an arrangement by which Mr. Smith became the chief commissary of the party. In that character he took possession of the funds which each soldier chanced to keep hidden about his clothes that he might administer them for the benefit of all alike (Howe, p. 158). The result will show that this was not a fortunate
arrangement; it left too much room for suspicion against the business integrity of the prophet. Discontent was speedily felt with reference to the character of the food that was supplied by the commissary and commander in chief. It is related that on one occasion he purchased twenty five gallons of honey and a dozen of bacon hams. These last were imperfectly cured, and it was not long until six of them were brought and laid down at the tent of Mr. Smith; the brethren were in a high state of commotion because their good money was employed to furnish them nothing but "dirty, stinking meat." Joseph caused one of the pieces to be cooked for his own use, and professed to find it sweet and palatable. He was a person of many resources; whoever took up arms against the prophet had need to be on his guard at every point (Juvenile Instructor, vol. 11, pp. 242-3).
On the 8th of May the army broke camp at New Portage for the heights of Zion, pitching their tents at night, where evening and morning at the sound of the trumpet they resorted to the voice of prayer and praise (Leaves, pp. 5. 6). All felt that the heavens had come nigher than usual. In his enthusiasm Martin Harris concluded to make a trial of the virtue of the promise that the Saints should "take up serpents" but with the evil result of receiving a bite which fetched the blood (Howe, pp. 158-9).
It was well for the health of Martin that this was nothing but one of the large black snakes whose bite is known to be innocuous (Howe, p. 158). Another kind of serpent was encountered in considerable numbers whose bite would have been less salutary. In the revelation, that was issued on the 16th of December 1833, the prophet had permitted himself to describe some of the conditions of the Millennial season for which himself and his people then longed so ardently. Among other points it was declared that "in that day the enmity of man, and the enmity of beasts, yea the enmity of all flesh, shall cease from before my face" (D.&C., 101, 26).
Mindful of this utterance Joseph now took occasion to reduce it to practice by way of helping forward the Millennium. "On one occasion some of the brethren while pitching Joseph's tent, saw three rattlesnakes and were about to kill them; but Joseph told them to let them alone and not to hurt them. He then proceeded to explain to them what was right under the circumstances. He asked them how the serpents would ever lose its venom while the servants of God possessed the same disposition, and made war upon serpents whenever they saw them." Not many days elapsed until the fruits of this discourse could be observed in the camp of Zion.
Solomon Humphrey, who has been previously mentioned as a brother of Heman Humphrey of Amherst College, was really too old a man to undertake
the labors of a foot journey of a thousand miles; but his faith was too fervent to permit him to remain quietly at Kirtland. By consequence he was one of the famous two hundred. Becoming very weary through the exertions of travel Mr. Humphrey one day laid himself down on the prairie to rest. The record says that "he soon fell asleep. At the time he dropped asleep he had his hat in his hand. When he awoke, he saw a rattle-snake coiled up between his hat and himself, and not more than a foot from his head. Just at this moment some of the brethren came up, and gathered around him saying "it is a rattlesnake, let us kill it"; but Brother Humphrey said, "no; I'll protect him; you shan't hurt him, for he and I have had a good nap together" (Juvenile Instructor, vol. 11, 242).
Arrived in the vicinity of the Illinois river, the army encountered some of the tumuli which had been cast up by the aborigines and opening an excavation in one of these their exertions were rewarded by the recovery of a skeleton, which Mr. Smith identified as that of Zelph a once famous warrior among the Lamanites. The faith of his followers in the truth of the Book of Mormon was highly confirmed by this kind of ocular demonstration.
Joseph had been instructed by the Lord that "his angel would go before them and also his presence" (D.&C., 103, 20). In order to sustain the credit of this prediction, he took occasion to assure the brethren in an address he delivered on Sunday the 25th of May, that he knew they had the presence of angels for he had seen them (Remy and Brenchley, p. 297).
But all was not peace and order within the camp of Zion; there was the customary amount of murmuring, and unruly spirits were abroad. Possibly as early as the 3d of June 1834 the cholera had made its appearance in some portions of the country. When the warriors halted for their midday meal on that day the prophet found a pulpit in one of their wagons and chode with them sore for their evil behavior, declaring that the Lord had communicated to him that a scourge would come upon them on that account (Mackay, p. 82).
After nearly a month of severe labor they had traversed the entire breadth of the states of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois; the 4th of June
found them on the banks of the Mississippi river in Pike county, Illinois (Mackay, p. 82). The 4th and 5th of the month were employed in crossing the river at Louisiana, Missouri; on Friday the 6th they resumed their march and on Saturday the 7th the army struck Salt River in Monroe county Missouri (Juvenile Instructor, vol. 11, p. 261). Here Joseph greeted a nest of adherents in what is designated as the Allred settlement, where they were joined by Hyrum Smith and Lyman Wight with another addition to the army who it is possible had been fetched from among the braves of Clay county to swell the hosts of the Lord, that now numbering two hundred and five men "all armed and equipped as the law directs" (Mackay, p. 84). Howe says the reinforcement that came forward under the lead of Hyrum Smith and Wight numbered only twenty men (p. 159). These had perhaps gone forward by the public stage from Kirtland and collected in much secrecy all the persons who could be immediately got in order for the fray.
Three days were passed in the Allred settlement, which the brethren improved by constant drill in the manual of arms and other duties of the soldier's avocation (Howe, p. 159). Lyman Wight, who had won his spurs last November by surrendering all the arms in his command to Colonel Pitcher, was here selected to perform the functions of "fighting general," since it was not in the nature of Mr. Smith to trust his precious person to the casualties of a combat at firearms (Howe, p. 159). The prophet also provided himself with the protection of a body-guard of 20 men (Mackay, p. 84), but with apparent unwillingness
to reply upon their mettle he resorted to the additional precaution of traveling in disguise, changing his dress frequently, and riding on different vehicles in the wagon train (Howe, p. 160). After a squabble with Wight, who must have felt contempt for the cowardice of his chief, regarding the best place of camping for the night (Howe, pp. 100-1), and perhaps other incidents inseparable from the cares of a military expedition the army of Zion began to approach the scene of disturbance about the middle of June 1834.
Their force was armed against the people of Jackson county, but on the 16th of June a promise was given by the heads of the party in Clay county that the army should not enter there until a reply was returned to the citizens of Jackson, who on that day had visited Liberty for the purpose of conferring with the Mormons touching the purchase of all the lands which the latter might possess within the limits of Jackson (Howe, p. 166). It is likely that messengers were straightway forwarded to the prophet to make him acquainted with this engagement. It was a useless labor; no power but main force could have dragged Joseph into Jackson county, with a mere bagatelle of 205 troops at his heels, where he would have been demolished with excellent promptitude and dispatch. But he was not displeased with such an excuse, and gladly turned his steps towards Clay county, where the bulk of his supporters were collected. These were armed as Gen.
Doniphan declared, and were told that "if they did not fight they were cowards" (Scraps, p. 92). On Thursday the 19th of June Zion's camp made its entry into Clay county (Stenhouse, p. 55), and took up a favorable position between Big and Little Fishing rivers.
Upon his arrival in Missouri, Mr. Smith had taken precautions, if possible to conciliate the Governor and to induce him to second the exertions of the army of Zion to gain possession of Jackson county; Orson Hyde and Parley P. Pratt had been deptuted to visit with him for that purpose (Stenhouse, pp. 54-5). But the prophet perceived that he reckoned without his host in that instance. It was a different matter to plead for justice to the Mormons, to what was now desired, namely that he aid them with an armed force to cut down his own fellow citizens and drive them away from their firesides. Governor Dunklin was likely as cold as an iceberg in this interview (Juvenile Instructor, vol. 11, p. 261). Indeed his Excellency appears to have taken steps in the opposite interest. The circuit judge, Mr. J. F. Ryland was present in Clay county, and at his insistence a delegation of citizens under the escort of Cornelius Gillium, who in the next Mormon war got the soubriquet of the Delaware Chief, went to the Mormon camp on Fishing River for the purpose of gaining definite information relating to the meaning of the movement in progress. It is more than possible that this action was taken under direct instructions from the Governor.
On the 21st of July 1834 Mr. Gillium went to "meet the Mormons under arms" as requested by Judge Ryland (Howe, p. 167); it is likely that he had in his command the company of seventy men who are mentioned by Newel Knight as having volunteered against Mr. Smith in the county of Clay (Scraps, p. 92). The committee which accompanied him was composed of Messrs. John Lincoln, C. R. Morehead, John Sconce, James H. Long and James Collins, all well known characters in Clay (Howe, p. 169).
It was apparent that there was some mistake regarding the revelation that Zion should be redeemed by force of arms. Orson Hyde and Parley P. Pratt were already returned to camp (Howe, p. 169), and had given assurance from Governor Dunklin that he had no intention of turning traitor against his own people for the purpose of joining his forces with those of the Mormons. The above delegation of citizens must have also brought assurances that unless the army of Zion immediately surrendered its hostile intentions his Excellency would summon the entire militia force of that section of the state to teach them a lesson concerning the madness of levying war without ample resources to prosecute war.
It may also be conceived that Messrs. Wood, Rees, Doniphan and Atchison, the Mormon counsel in Clay county, had embraced an occasion to signify to the prophet that he had made an egregious fool of himself, and that there was no chance of safety except in a hasty retreat. At least such a conclusion is suggested by the circumstance
reported by Philo Dibble that the leading men of Liberty were desirous for peace (Early Scenes, p. 86). In brief, the prophet found himself in the most critical crisis; a portion of the men of Clay county were already in arms in front of him; likewise a portion of the people of Ray county in his rear (Scraps, p. 92). The people of Jackson county had also gotten under arms and were crossing the Missouri river for the purpose of attacking him (Mackay, p. 84). A single word of defiance would have brought his entire camp to ruin and driven every Mormon from Missouri within a fortnight.
Joseph took in the situation with a degree of readiness that was much improved by his native cowardice. By consequence, when the committee of citizens who had come from Judge Ryland entered his camp between the two Fishing rivers, every word he gave them was oiled with butter. They stipulated that he should set down in writing a definite statement of his purposes, which was conceded in the following terms, as reported by Howe, pp. 167-9:
"Being called upon by the above named gentlemen, at our camp, in Clay county, to ascertain from the leaders of our men our intentions, views and designs, in approaching this county in the manner that we have: we, therefore, the more cheerfully comply with their request, because we are called upon by gentlemen of good feelings, who are disposed for peace, and an amicable adjustment of the difficulties existing between us and the people of Jackson county. The reports
of our intentions are various, and have gone abroad in a light calculated to arouse the feelings of almost every man. For instance, one report is, that we intend to demolish the printing office in Liberty; another report is, that we intend crossing the Missouri River, on Sunday next, and falling upon women and children, and slaying them; another is, that our men were employed to perform this expedition, being taken from the manufacturing establishments in the East that had closed business; also, that we carried a flag, bearing peace on one side, and war or blood on the other; and various others too numerous to mention. All of which, a plain declaration of our intentions, from under our own hands, will show are not correct.
principles. We are willing for twelve disinterested men, six to be chosen by each party, and these men shall say what the possessions of those men are worth who cannot live with us in the county, and they shall have their money in one year; and none of the Mormons shall enter that county to reside until the money is paid. The damages that we have sustained in consequence of being driven away shall also be left to the above twelve men. Or they may all live in the county, if they choose, and we will never molest them if they let us alone, and permit us to enjoy our rights. We wish to live in peace with all men, and equal rights is all we ask. We wish to become permanent citizens of this State, and wish to bear our proportion in support of the Government, and to be protected by its laws. If the above proposals are complied with, we are willing to give security on our part; and we shall want the same of the people of Jackson county for the performance of this agreement. --
Lyman Wight,If the people of Missouri could have been made aware of the warlike intent of the revelation which Mr. Smith had issued at Kirtland on the 24th of February (D.&C., Section 103), they would have given no credit to a single word of all the fine sayings recorded above. Nothing could have restrained their fury; they would have swept the Mormons from their borders in a trice of time. But happily that revelation had not been published; it was still a document of private circulation.
But the Mormons knew the contents of it; these found it so contradictory to the paper that had been handed to the committee from Clay county that they were almost in a state of rebellion (Laboring in the Vineyard, Salt Lake, 1884, p. 66). Joseph had made peace with the people of Missouri; it was a much harder task to make peace with his own people. Serious as that enterprise might be he was engaged by many considerations to undertake it. He resorted to the customary expedient of revelation. The interview with the citizens of Clay appears to have begun just before night on the 21st of June; it perhaps lasted far into the evening (Early Scenes, pp. 85-6). On the morning of Sunday the 22nd of June Mr. Smith was armed with a fresh utterance of divine wisdom for the advantage
of his brethren (D.&C., Sect. 105). It did not come an instant too soon; they had marched as far as Missouri to fight under the banners of the Lord and they could not in the least comprehend this sudden change to a peaceful policy (Howe, p. 176).
Joseph was a person of splendid faculty for the government of large bodies of men, but in his whole career it is conceived that he has hardly produced a paper that was quite so able and adroit as the one which he here sent forth for the guidance of those "who have assembled themselves together that they may learn my will concerning the redemption of mine afflicted people" (D.&C., 105, 1). In explaining the reasons for the preposterous failure of this expedition to redeem the land of Zion he pointed in the first place to the transgressions of the brethren in Missouri (105, 2-7). These were full of evil, particularly in the circumstance that they had not kept his injunctions relating to the old Sandemanian notion of preserving an equality of pecuniary estate among the members of the church, and likewise with reference to the fact that they had refused to organize the infamous "order of Enoch" (105, 4, 5). A splendid triumph was celebrated at that point; Zion had rebelled against his authority on this score just two years before and now she was reaping the fruit of her obstreperous behavior; "my people must needs be chastened until they learn obedience, if it must needs be by the things which they suffer" (105, 6).
Reproaches were next directed against the conduct of the various branches of the church who were scattered abroad in different sections of the country; these had not come up to the help of the Lord against the mighty, and were not at present sending forward their monies as they should (105, 8). By consequence the elders were compelled to adjourn the date of redeeming the Lord's heritage (105, 9-10). The leaders of the church were specially excepted from any responsibility for the ugly catastrophe (105, 7).
Mr. Smith was fond of playing upon the idea of being "endued with power from on high" (Luke, 24, 49), which in his vernacular was always rendered "endowed with power from on high." This "endowment" had proved a talisman to work wonders by. He had held it up before the eyes of his people in January 1831 for the purpose of enticing them away from New York to Ohio; he had also employed it to lead them from Kirtland to Independence; he was now employing it to exalt Kirtland once more in the eyes of the faithful. The "House of the Lord" was progressing famously at Kirtland. They had builded it as far as the gable before the name of the society was altered on the 5th of May 1834; the legend affixed in that place signifies that it was "Built by the Church of Christ, 1834." Mr. Smith comforts the sorrowing company by the hope of an "endowment" in the Kirtland house, which must needs occur before the elders would be prepared to redeem Zion (105, 11-13). This was such an excellent bait that he dangles
it a second time before their gaze ere the present document was concluded (105, 33).
His next argument suggested that the Lord did not intend that his people should fight this battle; on the contrary Jehovah would fight it for them in person. The cholera was raging in the country, and this "destroyer" had been sent forth for the purpose of putting an end to the enemies who now polluted Jackson county (105, 15). Critics may smile at the methods of Joseph Smith, but not many of them would exhibit the same amount of ability in the difficult circumstances which at the present moment encountered him.
Another resource was to chide the "warriors" of the Lord's house, who had not responded to the call of battle as numerously as was expected; instead of five hundred no more than two hundred and five of them had enrolled their names (105, 16, 17). Blessings were liberally promised to this devoted company; they were informed that the offering they had made was accepted, and that the Lord had fetched them a thousand miles from home not to redeem Zion, but merely to effect a trial of their faith (105, 18, 19).
The expedition must needs be employed to promote the great project of "gathering" the hosts of Israel; as many of the army as could possibly compass it were therefore exhorted to abide in Missouri (105, 20-22). Howe reports that 150 out of 205 obeyed this summons, and established themselves among their persecuted brethren in Clay county (Howe, p. 162).
The Saints in Missouri were exhorted to possess themselves in patience, and to be more modest touching hitherto boasted gifts of the spirit, and shining prerogatives of the theocracy, so that their petitions to the powers in authority might be more favorably received (105, 23-25). Yet the project of conquest by armed force was not finally surrendered; on the contrary a policy of modesty was counseled merely for the purpose of softening the hearts of silly enemies until such period as Joseph and the elders might enjoy an opportunity to gather up the strength of the Lord's house. In the meantime, however, it was proposed to dispatch men of wisdom to purchase all the public lands in Jackson county, and such private lands as they could obtain, and then the armies of Israel would come forward to "throw down the towers of the enemies... scatter their watchmen, and avenge the Lord of his enemies unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate him." Nevertheless before this could be achieved the army must become very great and sanctified (105, 26-32).
Joseph was much edified by the experiment of the previous winter in the direction of a "school of the prophets"; his purpose was formed already to repeat it during the approaching winter. He had his private preferences relating to the individuals whom he would be pleased to see attend it. But individual distinctions were odious. In consequence he renewed a general distinction which he had perceived occasion to suggest in June 1833 (D.&C., 95, 5), between those who were "called" and those who were
"chosen." All persons were to journey from Zion to Kirtland for the benefit of the "endowment" promised there who chanced to be of the latter class, while those who were merely "called" should keep their stations in Missouri (105, 33-37).
As a conclusion of the whole matter he exhorted his followers to "sue for peace, not only to the people who had smitten them, but also to all people; to lift up an ensign of peace, and make a proclamation of peace unto the ends of the earth" (105, 38-41). This was a lame and impotent conclusion when one considers the lofty plans upon which the "camp of Zion" was conceived. It proved to be too violent a fall for the faith of numbers of the brethren, and these began to signify displeasure against their prophet.
Joseph was a favorite of fortune. At a most opportune moment on the night of the 23d of June the cholera, that fierce "destroyer" which he had foretold would devastate the homes of the men of Jackson county, kindly stepped into the Mormon camp for his own deliverance (Remy and Brenchley, vol. 1, p. 299). It turned away the minds of the skeptics there to the great topic of self preservation, and gave him a breathing spell. It goes without saying that he improved the incident for his purposes; it was represented that the cholera had entered the camp of Israel only because
the brethren were in rebellion against the peaceful will and word of the Lord as set forth in the above revelation. The prophet signified that in case his adherents would humble themselves and covenant to obey him the plague would be stayed (Stenhouse, p. 55).
On the morning of the 24th of June the camp of Zion were dispersed among the brethren of Clay county (Scraps, p. 93); Wilford Woodruff relates that he, with others, was received at Brother Burk's (Leaves, p. 6). This separation into small companies arrested the progress of the epidemic, and went far to arrest the mutinous proceedings of the malcontents.
Quiet being restored Joseph gave his mind to the labor of regulating the spiritual affairs of the church. The army was discharged by General Lyman Wight at Liberty (Labors in the Vineyard, p. 67). A conference was held just afterwards in the same place, where on the 3d of July 1834 was organized for Zion also, a "High Council," after the pattern of the one which had been organized at Kirtland on the 17th of the preceding February.
On Tuesday the first of July in company with a few friends the prophet had caused himself to be privately ferried across the Missouri river that he might once more have the joy to set his foot on the pleasant soil of Zion (Mackay, p. 85). It was much to his welfare that none of the citizens of Jackson county were made aware of the
distinction they were receiving at his hands. At the close of the day he returned to the Clay county side and to safety among his brethren.
Having completed all the arrangements which he considered were indispensable-among which one of the most prominent was likely the forming of a list of the favored names who should be "chosen" to visit Kirtland during the approaching winter for the purpose of attending the "school of the prophets" (D.&C., 105, 36) -- he took leave of the faithful on the 9th of July and set forward upon his return to Ohio (Mackay, p. 85).
Mr. Howe, who observed the progress of affairs from his perch at Painesville, and whose wife must have kept him informed regarding the internal affairs of the community, reports that after Joseph's arrival at home he encountered several very painful results of his expedition under arms to relieve his brethren in Zion. He declares:
There was a constant uproar among the brethren for three or four weeks, which only culminated in a sham trial of the prophet, wherein, as near as we can learn, he was judge, jury and witness; and as one of the brethren said, (very imprudently,) a more disgraceful transaction never took place. The prophet considered it a trying time with himself, and a point on which his future prospects turned. He accordingly put in requisition all his powers of speech and tact at deception, to cover his transactions and reclaim
his refractory followers. On one occasion he harangued and belabored them for six hours upon a stretch, and finally succeeded in restoring order with the loss of two or three members (Howe, p. 163).This trouble was started on the 17th of May (Juvenile Instructor, vol. 11, p. 239). It had been renewed at Louisiana, Missouri, just after the camp of Zion had effected a crossing of the Mississippi river. Sylvester Smith, who occupied the dignity of High-priest (Howe, p. 161), and was likewise a member of the "High Council" of Kirtland (D.&C., 102, 34), was attached to the expeditionary force. The company over which Joseph had appointed Sylvester to be captain was the last to be ferried across the Mississippi. While marching to the place that had been assigned to them in the camp, Sylvester unwarily passed too near the ferocious mastiff, which Joseph kept about him for the better protection of his person. The beast growled in such a threatening manner as to arrest attention (Mackay, p. 82). Words were exchanged between the prophet and the priest, touching the occurrence, which were the occasion of additional personal alienation and the subsequent death of the dog (Howe, p. 161). Accordingly Sylvester pursued Joseph with all the resources at his disposal.
The first charge that he raised against him declared that Joseph was employed in "prophesying lies in the name of the Lord" (Mackay, p. 85). The basis upon which this indictment rested was the fact that on the 24th of February he had predicted the redemption of Zion through the agency of a military expedition and had signally
failed to accomplish the feat. That this prophecy was false might be perceived by the dullest faculty. It was necessarily very embarrassing to Mr. Smith. He could find nowhere any convincing reply to it; for if he held up the counter revelation of the 22d of June it would distinctly appear that one of these productions contradicted the other.
Sylvester's second charge affirmed that Joseph had been guilty of appropriating monies that did not belong to him (Mackay, p. 85). It is likely that in this instance reference was given to the conduct of Joseph at the organization of the army on the 7th of May 1834. It will be remembered that one of the leading items of that transaction was the surrender of all the money belonging to officers and men into the possession of Joseph (Howe, p. 158). When the army was disbanded in Missouri, it is possible that Mr. Smith did not return any of the money that remained over, but shrewdly retained it for his own uses. In order to cover up the meanness of this conduct he called upon the soldiers to remain in Missouri, so that they would not require the money to return to their own homes. About 150 of them gave heed to that summons, thereby providing a fat contribution to Mr. Smith's private exchequer. Fifty five of the troops, on the contrary, felt constrained to rejoin their families in the east; but Joseph was mean enough to permit even these to beg their way as best they could from the inhabitants of the country (Howe, p. 162). Sylvester
Smith is suspected to have been one of the parties thus shamefully abused; he would keenly feel the injustice of the procedure by means of which "the prophet and his leading men had plenty of money and traveled as other gentlemen do" (Howe, p. 182), while himself and others who were not in his graces were on the point of starvation and exhaustion.
This charge was likewise hard to meet; it is little wonder that Joseph should have found it annoying. The case between Sylvester and himself was likely tried out before the "High Council" of which they both were members. Mr. Joseph Smith's superior agility and steady practice in the arts of chicanery brought him the victory.
Possibly it was in connection with this ugly transaction that Joseph on the 29th of November 1834 made a vow that he would give tithes of all he possessed (Handbook of Reference, p. 45), on condition that the Lord should help him pay his debts and save his reputation in the sight of the world (Remy & Brenchley, 1, p. 300).
The people in Zion had imitated Joseph and erected for their own advantage a "school of the prophets," over which Parley P. Pratt had the honor to preside. This arrangement could not well have been according to the liking of the prophet, but when he was made aware of what had occurred, he made a virtue of necessity and gave it his approbation (D.&C., 97, 3-6).
In connection with the house which Mr. Smith ordered to be constructed at Kirtland (D.&C., Section 95), it may be worth while to mention the peculiarity of his nomenclature in such matters. He was too good a literalist of the Old Testament variety to allow that there could be more than a single "temple." This designation he applied to the structure which he hoped to rear at Independence Missouri (D.&C., 57, 3; 58, 57; 84, 3-5). On the contrary he never awarded a title of so much pre-eminence to the pile at Kirtland; it was always designated as a "house" (D.&C., 95, 3-13). The same observation applies to the building that was commanded to be erected at the town of Far West, Missouri (D.&C., 115, 8-16), as likewise to that which was raised at Nauvoo (D.&C., 124, 25-42). Mormon writers speak of several "temples" that have risen up in the progress of their history (Compendium of Doctrines, pp. 301-303), but the prophet was of another wont; he speaks of but a single "temple."
The proposition to found a "temple" in Zion operated to a degree in the direction of breaking down the cherished project of consecration. In the first place, it was not possible to execute a provision of that color; in the second place, the vast majority of persons who were expected to contribute to the charges of the "temple" had nothing in the world to consecrate. Tithing was the only process by which these could be reached; it was therefore brought forward (D.&C., 97, 11) and enforced upon the attention of the faithful.
The Millennial craze was as active as ever during the period under examination (D.&C., 101, 23-34); its pendant the "gathering" was also, as usual, much insisted upon (D.&C., 101, 64-75).
The very serious difficulties which have been mentioned, between Mr. Smith and his adherents D. P. Hurlbut and Martin Harris, are believed to have fixed upon his mind a sense of the importance of erecting a general tribunal before which cases of that nature might be brought to hearing (D.&C., 102, 2). To meet this requirement the "High Council" was organized, consisting of Twelve Counselors, and presided over by the Presidency of the Church (D.&C., Section 102). Tribunals of the same sort might be convened at any of the other stakes of the church, but there was a right of appeal from their decision to the chief council at Kirtland (D.&C., 102, 24-9). It will be remembered that one of these was established in Clay county Missouri, just after the close of hostilities on the 21st of June 1834.
It has been shown how at the organization of the "church of Christ" the eldership was one and the same thing as the apostolate. But elders speedily became so numerous that the apostolate amounted to no distinction. The High priesthood was then organized for the advantage of the spiritual aristocracy, but by this time its ranks had likewise become overcrowded. At length Joseph considered it important to introduce a special apostolate and to limit its membership
to the number Twelve. This project must have been an occasion of common entertainment among the Saints as early as the 17th of February 1834; it is distinctly foreshadowed in the minutes of the body which set in order the "High Council" (D.&C., 102, 30-32).
The peril which threatened the "church of Christ" by reason of the iniquitous "order of Enoch," has already been described in detail. But Mr. Smith never surrendered that precious order; he could not perceive the propriety of building up so large a party without making ample provisions for himself and his family. When he had collected the "warriors" whom he expected to lead up to Zion for the purpose of delivering his afflicted brethren, his mind would be easily turned to the possibility that he might fall victim to the casualties of armed conflict; Joseph's thoughts were prone to run in such a channel. Prudence therefore suggested that he should set his house in order, and this labor was accomplished for himself and the leading brethren on the 23d of April 1834, by declaring a dividend for the benefit of the members of the "order of Enoch" (D.&C., 104).
Mr. Rigdon, Martin Harris, Frederick G. Williams, Oliver Cowdery, John Johnson, Newel K. Whitney and Joseph Smith, jun., were the persons chiefly honored in this distribution. Sidney obtained the dwelling house he occupied at the moment, and because he had served an apprenticeship that way at Pittsburgh, the tannery was likewise surrendered to him (104, 20-3). It is considered probable that the business
proceeded to such a pass that these properties were lawfully secured to him on the records of the county of Geauga (Howe, p. 227). Possibly Mr. Smith may have been equally as fortunate in procuring a legal claim to the lands that he assigned to his own share (Howe, p. 163). In the other cases however, the parties were awarded such real estate as they already legally possessed; the award may never have been legally executed in still other instances. It was a great piece of hypocrisy in connection with this business to employ the customary unctuous harangues in favor of the poor. Joseph was really making selfish provisions for himself and his family that these might flourish at the expense of those who had paid for the lands that he was obtaining, and yet he is not ashamed to declare as follows:
"It is my purpose to provide for my saints, for all things are mine; but it must needs be done in mine own way; and behold this is my way that I the Lord have decreed to provide for my saints, that the poor shall be exalted and the rich shall be made low" (D.&C., 104, 15, 16). It is not easy to understand how the poor should be exalted by the appropriation for his private advantage, what had been purchased with their hardly earned pennies.
The infamous "order of Enoch" had been organized for the benefit of aristocratic saints in Zion as well as in Kirtland. In the revelation of April 26th, 1832, Joseph had received into
its ranks four different residents of Zion, namely, Alam, Mahalaleel, Horah and Shalmanasseh (D.&C., 82, 11). It has never been signified to what parties in Missouri these titles were given; perhaps Mr. Smith kept that secret in reserve until he could make out which if any of the leaders would gladly join him in this shameful crusade against the property of the church. But for fear some of the brethren there should now stand up and claim for themselves a portion of the spoils, it was arranged that the "order of Enoch" at Kirtland should dissolve partnership with the "order of Enoch" at Zion. The Mormons in Missouri had been robbed of their estates and there was nothing left there to plunder; hence it was excellent policy to shake them off (D.&C., 104, 47-53). This latter motive was confessed; the step was taken for the "salvation" of the order in Kirtland. It also professed to be enacted for the "salvation" of the order in Zion, but it is hard to conceive in what way it would minister to their improvement to be thus summarily cut off from the resources of their more fortunate companions in Ohio (D.&C., 104, 51).
The order for printing was the earliest invention performed by Joseph for the purpose of procuring a share of the hard earned pennies of his followers (D.&C., Section 70). In the present period that order appears to be formally merged into the "order of Enoch for the benefit of the poor." The latter was now specially enjoined to give attention to the business of printing the new translation of the Scriptures, the Book of Mormon and the Revelations of Mr. Smith (D.&C., 104, 58-59).
But the union of the two orders was not complete at every point; on the contrary the order for printing was instructed to keep a separate treasury of its own that was designated as the "sacred treasury" (D.&C., 104, 60-66). It was designed to contain all the gains that might accrue from the process of printing the works mentioned above, and to be carefully guarded. Yet Mr. Smith exhibited his agility in getting possession of unappropriated funds by stipulating that the seal of the "sacred treasury" might be loosed by "commandment" as well as by the voice of the order for printing (104, 64).
The "order of Enoch" were likewise enjoined to establish a treasury for their special uses and advantage (104, 67-77), ingress to which might be obtained by the mere assertion of a member that he stood in need of the funds which chanced be preserved there (104, 72-75).
Joseph had much faith in the printing press, and looked forward to the period when Kirtland should become a centre whence should issue innumerable copies of the various sacred books of Mormonism. With reference to the divine light that by this process should be disseminated he invented a new name for the village, and as early as the month of April 1832 had denominated it Shinehah (D.&C., 82, 12-3). In prosecution of this conception, he took pains on the 6th of May 1833 to order the construction of a printing establishment at Kirtland which should exhibit the same dimensions and proportions
as the "House of the Lord" (D.&C., 94, 10-2; compare 95, 15-17). In keeping with the name Shinehah, that was applied to the village of Kirtland, were several other new words of Mr. Smith's invention. For example, Shinelah was the new word for the verb "to print" (104, 58), and Shinelane for the participle "printing" (104, 63). The squalid little printing office that was being constructed just behind the "House of the Lord" in the lane which led towards the west was honored with the designation of Laneshine house. Here Frederick G. Williams and Oliver Cowdery conducted the affairs of the "Latter-Day Saints Messenger and Advocate" (104, 29). The particular printing house which Joseph suggested in his revelation of the 6th of May 1833 (D.&C., 94, 10-12), was never erected; all the printing that was performed at Kirtland was executed in the Laneshine house, which it has been shown was christened from the circumstance that it was as a printing house that stood in a lane. It was erected by the faithful in the year 1834 (Tullidge, Life of Brigham Young, p. 80).
To all appearance it was during this period that another constitutional change was enacted which in the winter of 1837-8 was not far from the point of effecting the overthrow of the prophet. On the 26th of February 1834, just before he left Kirtland to enlist the soldiers of the Camp of Zion, it was in his power to induce the High Council that had been organized on the 17th of the same month to raise him to the station of "Commander in Chief of the Armies of Israel" (Juvenile Instructor, vol. 11, p. 218).
During his absence it was important to have somebody who should be charged with the duty of presiding over the "Stake of Kirtland," and Mr. Oliver Cowdery is believed to have been now raised to that dignity, possibly with a couple of counselors such as had become customary in such cases.
Likewise when Mr. Smith was regulating the affairs of Zion after the Camp of Israel had been disbanded about the first of July 1834, it is suspected that he found it convenient to have David Whitmer preferred to the position of "President of the Centre Stake of Zion," with John Whitmer and W. W. Phelps as his pair of counselors. This arrangement succeeded as well as could be desired as long as Cowdery and Whitmer remained friendly to Joseph, but when they both became his adversaries, he perceived that they were able to employ the power that he had conferred upon them in a style to embarrass him. Then it became one of his foremost desires to get quit of President Cowdery and President Whitmer, a feat that was successfully achieved at a Conference held in the month of April 1838 (Handbook of Reference, p. 47).
The only doctrinal utterances that belong to the period of the First Missouri War are to be found in the performance which Joseph delivered at what is conceived to have been the close of the first session of the "school of the prophets." They appear to have been presented in the character of a school exhibition display (D.&C., Sect. 93), and contain nothing that is new or decidedly different from what had been elsewhere suggested.
For example, it affirms that all of the Mormon believers had existed in a preceding state (D.&C., 93, 23). The same distinction is likewise accorded
not simply to the brethren but to all other men (D.&C., 93, 29). It will be remembered that this doctrine had been advanced during the month of December 1830 while Sidney and Joseph were closeted in New York and engaged upon a translation of the first chapters of the Book of Genesis. A sufficiently circumstantial explanation of the doctrine of pre-existence has been set forth in Section the first, Chapter III, of the present Book, where the Swedenborgian elements of Mormonism are treated.
However, in the Mormon translation of the Book of Genesis the pre-existence of mankind is based upon Sidney's view of the relations that existed between the first chapter of Genesis and the subsequent chapters. In the present revelation Joseph appears to indulge a philosophical argument in favor of pre-existence. The consideration upon which he is conceived to base the "truth," and that as truth is eternal so they are enternal (D.&C., 93, 23-4). On the other hand the pre-existence of those who have not accepted Mormonism is argued from the circumstance that these possess "intelligence," which Joseph asserts to be eternal also (D.&C., 93, 29).
The materialism which was discussed in Chapter XIV, of the present Book (the Fourth) is again broached in the revelation of May 6th. Mr. Smith there says (D.&C., 93, 33): "For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receiveth a fullness of joy."
It is not supposed that this broad proposition was intended to embrace all kinds of matter, but only that portion of matter that enters into the composition of human bodies. Some of his followers were likely disturbed by the comfortless doctrine previously announced to the effect that "the resurrection from the dead is the redemption of man" (D.&C., 88, 16). They had their fears lest the soul would never be redeemed at all, but would be left in the state of separation forever, by reason of the fact that it might never be re-united with the same particles of matter in which it once had sojourned.
Joseph encounters that objection with the assertion as above that "the elements are eternal." This gave his supporters good hopes that their souls would not be left in a disembodied condition. Nevertheless he stands firmly to the former assertion, and in a different form reiterates it, as follows: "And when [the soul and body are] separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy" (D.&C., 93, 34). Possibly these words might have been brought to the attention of Dr. Thomas a few years later when he was formulating the doctrines of his sect of "soul-sleepers" which separated from the Disciples of Christ under Mr. Campbell. Thomas gave a degree of attention to Mormon affairs, as may be shown by the fact that he was the author of a work entitled a "Sketch of the Rise, Progress and Dispersion of the Mormons" (Taylder, The Mormons' Own Book, p. 108, note).
Mr. Smith gave himself a degree of concern to prepare the minds of his brethren for the new entrerprise, before he would venture to obtain a commandment from the Lord enjoining it upon them. Lucy Smith relates that in a meeting held for the purpose of exchanging opinions touching the project many voices wewre heard in favor of a structure of hewn logs after the style of the above described school house, while others suggested the propriety of constructing what is commonly
designated as a "frame" house. Joseph's scheme was far more ambitious; consequently he signified to the company that he had received from the Lord a plan for the house which would best meet his wishes in Kirtland (Lucy Smith, p. 213).
The scheme was in private so industriously prepared, that before the 6th of May the site of the projected edifice had been selected (D.&C., 94, 3); nay on that day both the printing house and the President's house were also brought forward (D.&C., Sect. 94).
On the first of June 1833, the believers were commanded to make no further delay; they must forthwith lay hands upon the work that had been discussed. Hyrum Smith, Reynolds Cahoon and Jared Carter were incontinently appointed to perform the labors that would be required of a building committee (D.&C., 95, 14; compare 94, 13-15). The earliest blow was struck on Saturday the first of June; on Monday the third of June the whole strength of the community was concentrated upon the task (Lucy Smith, p. 214). The corner stone was laid on Tuesday the 23d of July (Compendium of Doctrines, p. 302).
The progress of the enterprise was interrupted by many untoward circumstances, but it was prosecuted with commendable rapidity, considering the difficulties which beset the church at that period. From the fact that the legend on the eastern gable bears the name which was preferred by the organization prior to the third of May 1834, it is conceived that the edifice had been carried as high as the
eaves some time in advance of that date. Moreover, Mr. Howe, who published his volume entitled "Mormonism Unvailed" in the year 1834, reports in that place that the house was already "nearly completed," a good while before he could have gone to press (Howe, p. 163).
A degree of discontent was occasioned by the circumstance that the "House of the Lord" should be situated upon a piece of ground that belonged to Mr. Smith. The land originally was the property of John Johnson, who had come up from Hiram to Kirtland and purchased a home. In the distribution of real estate that was made by the "order of Enoch" at the dividend that was declared on the 23d of April 1834, this home and farm were graciously awarded to Mr. Johnson, with the exception of certain lots that were reserved for the building of the various houses that had been projected, and for a small inheritance that should be accorded to Mr. Oliver Cowdery (D.&C., 104, 34).
But when Joseph went about to claim his own dividend from the "order of Enoch" he fixed his choice upon the "lot which is laid off for the building of my house, which is forty rods long and twelve wide, and also the inheritance where his father resides" (D.&C., 104, 43). Whatever may have been the meaning of the remainder of these transactions, it is clear that the lot in question was by legal process transferred to Joseph. Mr. Howe relates that the difficulty that was felt by the brethren on perceiving that aspect of affairs was obviated by changing the title deed in such a fashion as to secure the possession
of the site for Joseph and his successors in the prophetic office (Howe, p. 163). The system of tithing after the letter of the Old Testament model, though several times suggested, had not yet been organized; Mr. Smith was therefore under the necessity of relying entirely upon the "uncertain resource of donation and voluntary contribution" (Compendium of Doctrines, p. 302). Pecuniary embarrassment resulted almost as a natural consequence. The first allusion to his debts occurs in the above-cited revelation of April 23d 1834, where an account of somewhat painful financial straits is supplied (D.&C., 104, 78-86). Possibly the debt which was then beginning to make itself felt had been growing up ever since the autumn of the year 1832, when Joseph, in company with Whitney and Gilbert had purchased somewhat heavily in the city of New York. But he recognized
the absolute necessity of venturing still farther, in case he was going to continue the operations he was now prosecuting on the house. His language is as follows:
"Inasmuch as you obtain a chance to loan (borrow) money by hundreds or thousands, even until you shall loan (borrow) enough to deliver yourselves from bondage, it is your privilege; and pledge the properties which I have put into your hands this once, by giving your names by common consent or otherwise as it shall seem good unto you. I give you this privilege this once, and behold, if you proceed to do the things which I have laid before you, according to my commandments, all these things are mine, and ye are my stewards, and the master will not suffer his house to be broken up" (D.&C., 104, 84-86). On the strength of the above revelation, mortgages were forthwith placed upon the farm of Joseph and upon much of the property of the other brethren, by means of which a sufficient amount of money was obtained to prosecute the enterprise while the "warriors" were absent in Missouri. The prophet succeeded in mortgaging the lot and the unfinished building for about two thousand dollars, which he was fortunate enough to lift in the following manner. John Tanner, an old man of Warren county New York, had "obeyed the gospel" in the month of September 1832 (Scraps, pp. 10, 11). A person of considerable wealth, he was decidedly warm in the faith that was delivered to the Saints.
In the autumn of 1834, concluding it was indispensable that he should "gather," Mr. Tanner sold two large farms and 2200 acres of timbered land with the purpose of removing to Kirtland the next spring. But the fire in his bones was too violent; a dream that he received about the middle of December 1834 impelled him to commence the journey on Christmas day. He arrived at his destination on the 20th of January 1835, his pockets well lined with fools pence, which would be fair spoil for the prophet. Perceiving that he had ready cash in store Mr. Smith called a session of the "High Council" for the next day and invited John Tanner to attend it. There he was informed that the mortgage on Mr. Smith's farm was about to be foreclosed, and he incontinently loaned the prophet two thousand dollars with which to pay if off (Scraps, p. 12).
Mr. Tanner likewise loaned to the building committee thirteen thousand dollars with which to purchase goods in New York, in order that these might be employed in paying off the laborers who gave their time and strength to the "House of the Lord." If many wealthy simpletons like John Tanner had come forward it is conceivable that the burdens of construction would have given little annoyance. This gentleman was not permitted to enjoy any rest until his fortune had been quite dissipated. The process of plundering him was a brief one; he "gathered" from Kirtland to Missouri in 1838 in the character of a beggar (Scraps, p. 15). The only return he is reported to have received in the process of his hardly won shekels came to him in the form of an Elder's certificate (Scraps, p. 13).
Notwithstanding these chance windfalls Mr. Smith concluded the work on the "House of the Lord" with a heavy debt against the Presidency of the church (Caswall, p. 120). It gave him so much annoyance that upon a subsequent occasion he expressed an aversion to renewing the experience, and got a revelation which commanded that he should not contract another liability of that color (D.&C., 115, 3).
But necessity was now laid upon him; the "endowment" was a talisman by which he was wont to charm. It had been promised in New York (D.&C., 38, 32), only to fail in Ohio; it had been promused in Ohio (Howe, pp. 193-4), only to fail in Zion. The opinion at present prevailed that the ignis fatuus would appear within the walls of the structure at Kirtland (D.&C., 95, 8). This position had been duly announced as a sort of consolation for the ugly defeat on Fishing River, Missouri (D.&C., 105, 11-3); it surely would not fail when the building was completed. Numbers of those who were not merely "called" but also "chosen" had been required to quit their homes in Missouri during the autumn of 1834 and journey to Kirtland that they might be in readiness for such an admirable support to their much tried faith (D.&C., 35-7). After that event had transpired there would be no difficulty in recovering the site of Zion and in enacting any other marvel that might enter the fancy of the Saints. The Twelve Apostles were selected and ordained in February 1835, but with special instructions to the purpose that they must tarry at Kirtland until the "endowment" came (Tullidge, Life of Joseph, p. 157).
This inestimable favor was conferred upon the Twelve Apostles in advance of the balance of the crowd, on the evening of the 22d of January 1836, more than two months before the "solemn assembly" befell at which the rank and file were admitted (Tullidge, p. 164). At the close of the ceremony which was also submitted to by the presidency of the Seventy, the prophet says:
"President Rigdon arose to conclude the services of the evening by invoking the benediction of heaven upon the Lord's anointed, which he did in an eloquent manner. The congregation shouted a loud hosannah; the gift of tongues fell upon us in mighty power; angels mingled their voices with ours, while their presence was in our midst, and unceasing praises swelled our bosoms for the space of half an hour." Mr. Harris, another eyewitness, says an uproar lasted all night, and that it was an occasion of horrible imprecations (Caswall, p. 125; Bennett, p. 136). The preceding evening had been rendered memorable by the institution of the Patriarchal office and the induction of Joseph Smith, sen., into its honors (Tullidge, p. 161), in connection with which the prophet had some visions that became embarrassing a few years later, after the ceremony of baptism for the dead was invented (Tullidge, pp. 162-163).
The work of painting and finishing the "House of the Lord" now went forward rapidly under the supervision of Apostle Brigham Young (Tullidge, Life of Brigham Young, p. 81). At length Sunday the 27th of March was appointed,
and all the tribes of Israel gathered to witness the dedication. The post of honor was assigned to Mr. Rigdon in his character of chief speaker. At nine o'clock in the morning, the services were opened (Tullidge, Life of Joseph, pp. 189-90). Frederick G. Williams testifies that during the progress of the prayer before sermon an angel entered the window and took a place between himself and Joseph Smith, sen. (Tullidge, p. 200). Mr. Rigdon chose for his text a passage in the 19th chapter of Matthew, vv. 18-20, and pronounced a discourse which Joseph honored with the epithets of "forcible and sublime." After the discourse by Sidney there was an intermission of twenty minutes in which the people retained their seats, and at the close of which Joseph appeared to perform his part.
These second services were opened by a hymn termed "Adam-ondi-Ahman" (Tullidge, p. 190), which had been specially composed for the occasion by Mr. W. W. Phelps. The faithful sometimes assert that it was given by inspiration on the spot (Gems for the Young Folks, p. 65), but in the Mormon hymn-book Mr. Phelps' claim is acknowledged. The fervor of the sentiment excited every mind, and it may be conceived the brethren were in an ecstasy of enthusiasm when it was concluded. It has been produced on many another occasion of memorable excitement, but it likely never created a profounder effect than the day when it was first rendered. It begins:
The latter-day glory begins to come forth;
The visions and blessings of old are returning,
The angels are coming to visit the earth."
To each one of the six stanzas was added the chorus:
"We'll sing and we'll shout with the armies of heaven --
Hosanna, hosanna, to God and the Lamb!
Let glory to them in the highest be given,
Henceforth and forever: Amen and amen!"
"I was in a meeting for instruction in the upper part of the temple, with about a hundred of the High priests, Seventies and Elders. The Saints felt to shout hosannah! and the spirit of God rested
upon me in mighty power, and I beheld the room lighted up with a peculiar light, such as I had never seen before. It was soft and clear, and the room looked to me as though it had neither roof nor floor to the building, and I beheld the Prophet Joseph and Hyrum Smith and Roger Orton enveloped in the light. Joseph exclaimed aloud "I behold the Son of God." Hyrum said: "I behold the angels of heaven." Brother Orton said: "I behold the chariots of Israel." All who were in the room felt the power of God (Labors in the Vineyard, p. 67).There was scarcely a camp meeting held anywhere during the summer of 1836 that could boast of finer marvels and raptures. Insinuations have gone abroad to the effect that these splendid effects were produced in part by the agency of ardent spirits. John Corrill allows himself to intimate that explanation of the extraordinary excitement (Stenhouse, p. 66); but the proof is not at hand to show that he was an eyewitness. He is believed to have been in Missouri at the moment, since there is no evidence to the effect that he was reckoned among the "chosen" parties who were summoned thence to attend the "endowment." Wm. E. McLellin, who was present, does not go so far as to assert that anybody was intoxicated with drink, but merely lets fall a suspicion that it might have been the case (Stenhouse, p. 66). It must be remembered, however, that the testimony of McLellin was delivered many years after the event had transpired,
when he was in a state of apostasy and general discontent with the church. In a word these suspicions are believed to be hardly well founded. The spirit that was abroad in the "House of the Lord" was stronger than any that is ever derived from alcohol; it was the spirit of deep religious enthusiasm and fanaticism.
The account of Wm. Harris who was an eyewitness of the "endowment" of the members of the First Presidency, of the Twelve Apostles and of the Presidents of the Seventy, which, it should be remembered, occurred two months previously, on the day and night of the 21st of January, may be conceded to suggest that sacramental wine was then delivered in unusual quantities (Bennett, p. 136); but of this there is no positive certainty. The fire of fanatical devotion is believed to be the safest theory upon which to explain the manifestations that are reported in the sources that have been transmitted to the present time.
The "solemn assembly" was originally understood to mean nothing more than the convocation of the "school of the prophets" in the month of Janaury 1832 (D.&C., 88, 117-22), but by a display of his wonted agility, it was now interpreted by the prophet to refer to the "Endowment" that should follow the dedication (D.&C., 109, 6-10; compare 108, 4). It has already been intimated above that this occasion lasted for the space of five days and nights-from the 27th to the 31st of March-in which period all those who were found among the "chosen" were duly washed and anointed and blessed.
On the next Sunday, which was the 3d of April 1836, the "endowment" ceremonies having been duly concluded (D.&C., 110, 9), Joseph appeared to affix the climax to the dedication services and the "solemn assembly," with a grand vision of the Lord. Oliver Cowdery was summoned to share in this performance. Possibly the reason why Mr. Rigdon was neglected is to be sought in the jealousies of Mr. Cowdery; Sidney had taken part in the "vision" of the 16th of February 1832, and it was now the turn of Oliver to enjoy that kind of distinction.
The pair retired to the lofty pulpit, and the veils were dropped from the ceiling to shut them away from the sight of the multitude who had just now partaken of the Lord's Supper. There they knelt in silent, solemn prayer, and rising up the "veil was taken from their minds and the eyes of their understanding were opened" (Tullidge, p. 200). The first who revealed himself to their enraptured gaze was no less a personage than the Lord Jehovah, who came nigh to bid his people rejoice, to assure them that he had accepted the house which they had dedicated, and to promise his presence there (D.&C., 110, 6-8).
After Jehovah had turned away, Moses next appeared, and "committed unto them the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north" (D.&C., 110, 11).
It has been already reported that in July 1835, nearly nine months prior to the date of the present "vision," Joseph had purchased from a traveling showman, several Egyptian mummies, which contained a number of papyri. The inscriptions found upon these latter had been interpreted by Mr. Smith and Mr. Michael H. Chandler had supplied him a certificate to that effect, which might pass for what it was worth (Remy and Brenchley, vol. 2, p. 536). The prophet was very proud of this feat; the papyri contained the "Gospel of Abraham," which would be a treasure of untold value to mankind. Accordingly after Moses had retired "Elias appeared and committed to them the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham." Joseph was now duly provided with heavenly authority to publish his translation of that document.
Joseph never could understand that Elias was but another form of the name Elijah; he had committed that blunder at an early date, and the infallibility of his inspiration being at stake he felt himself engaged to maintain the correctness of his position. Therefore Elijah was next constrained to advance. This worthy declared: "Behold the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi, testifying that Elijah should be sent before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse. Therefore the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands, and
by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the door" (D.&C., 110, 14-16).
The coming of Elijah had been foretold at the very outset of the Mormon movement, by Mr. Rigdon in the all night conference with the boy Joseph in the year 1823 (Pearl of Great Price, p. 63). When the above "vision" was promulgated it was understood to be an official announcement that Elijah had now appeared and the Millennium was at the threshold. "For several days and even for weeks the people went from house feasting, prophesying, blessing and cursing as occasion might require" (Turner, p. 42). Nothing was too wild for them to believe or to perform. Seven years later when he had tasted the sweets of wealth and power at Nauvoo Joseph felt himself impelled to adjourn the coming of the Son of Man to the year 1890 in order that he might have a chance to enjoy the riches and fame he had acquired until he was five and eighty years of age (D.&C., 130, 15-7).
The vulgar Mormon phrase that was employed in a description of it was "milking the Gentiles" (Bennett, p. 86), which looks like an adaptation of the phrase that had been borrowed by the Disciples from the Sandemanians. Namely, the latter sect felt an aversion to any promiscuous pecuniary contribution for the advantage of the church, lest it might chance that some who belonged to the outside world should cast in a few pence, which it was considered a profanation to accept. This custom
was denounced as "milking the goats along with the sheep." In the early portion of his career Mr. Campbell was highly tickled both by this Sandemanian conceit and this Sandemanian phrase. Describing a certain passage in his life he declares: In the close of 1814 and beginning of 1815, I made an extensive tour through a part of the eastern region, visiting the cities of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, and did to my present shame, by milking both the sheep and the goats, obtain about $1000 dollars for the building of a meeting-house in Wellsburgh (C. Bapt. p. 92; compare also Bennett, p. 279, where special reference is given to Mr. Campbell's sermon on "Milking the Goats").
Mr. Smith on the contrary believed it would be excellent sport to "milk the goats" who in his more corrupt lingo were denominated "Gentiles." The committee for the construction of the "House of the Lord" were involved to the extent of $15,000.00, and in order to raise this amount it was conceived to be feasible to spoil the goods of the enemy. Consequently in the Spring of 1835 it was resolved to purchase a stock of merchants stores to the amount of Thirty Thousand Dollars (Caswall, p. 122). Poor old, simple John Tanner declares that his name was inscribed upon the note of hand that was passed to render the transaction secure (Scraps, p. 13). Caswall, who follows at this point the authority of an eyewitness, Wm. Harris by name, also affirms that in the autumn of 1835 another supply of merchandise to the extent of Sixty or Seventy Thousand Dollars was obtained (Caswall, pp. 122-3).
But it was not an easy feat to "milk the Gentiles" in that fashion. These kept a close watch upon their interests, and counted the moments until pay-day should arrive, when if necessary they would have no scruples at all in awarding a commission to the officers of the law. The state of the country was apparently so prosperous in the year 1836, and the spirit of speculation that preceded the commercial crash of the year 1837 was so active that there is little direct evidence that the creditors of the church resorted to measures of distraint during the year 1836. To outward appearance therefore the First Presidency were in the full tide of prosperity, but apprehensions were felt lest the bubble might burst at any time.
In the summer of 1836 Mr. Smith conceived it might be possible to avert the onset of disaster if he could win a few more simpletons of the type of John Tanner. By consequence he went forth in person, with the hope of finding fresh lambs to pluck. Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith and Oliver Cowdery gave him their company. Since his adherents had already been rewarded by considerable success in the state of Massachusetts and he was himself acquainted in Old Salem, by means of an early visit to his uncle Jesse (Lucy Smith, p. 68), the party laid their way to that town (Remy and Brenchley, 1, pp. 306-7).
At the beginning of his mission in Salem the prophet obtained a revelation on the 6th of August that is pitiful for the signs of embarrassment it exhibits. Sensible that if all his circumstances were made known, and the urgency of his eastern creditors was brought to
the attention of the people any kind of success would be hopeless, he says:
"I have much treasure in this city for the benefit of Zion; and many people in this city whom I will gather out in due time for the benefit of Zion, through your instrumentality. Therefore it is expedient that you should form acquaintance with men in this city as you shall be led, and as it shall be given you; and it shall come to pass in due time, that I will give this city unto your hands, that you shall have power over it, inasmuch as they shall not discover your secret parts; and its wealth pertaining to gold and silver shall be yours. Concern not yourselves about your debts for I will give you power to pay them" (D.&C., 111, 2-5).The man who felt that even as far as Salem was away from home it was possible that people should "discover his secret parts" must have been persuaded that he was on the ragged edge of a catastrophe. No question but the prophet talked in large terms about the splendors of the house and place that he had left behind, but none the less was there a sad terror at his heart. In case his creditors should move upon him, there was no power that would interpose to prevent him from being peeled, as likewise the commercial ruin of all his followers who had subscribed their names to the paper which he had deposited for the security of the extravagant liabilities he had assumed. It was indeed a dreary season;
the "strange act" of the Lord which had been enacted at the "endowment" of the preceding January and March had long since lost its virtue. Instead of soaring in the empyrean Joseph and his community were groveling in the dust. Their chief hopes were fixed upon old Salem, and "the more ancient inhabitants and founders of this city" (D.&C., 111, 9), but these gave no heed to the charmer with the "ancient gospel." The religious energy that was astir within its walls, at the time when the witches were burned at Salem had been exhausted long ago, and the staid citizens of the town went their way and practically ignored Joseph. It was a bitter fortune, but the mission he was leading had to retrace its steps to Kirtland without accomplishing anything that was adequate to the demands of the situation.
If Joseph had been strong enough to turn about and face the issue just as it then confronted him, it would have been much better. In that case only a comparatively small number of his brethren, and those of the more comfortable sort, would have been reduced to ruin; the rank and file of the community would have been spared any serious annoyance. But drowning men will snatch at straws. The end of the year 1836 was drawing nigh, when it was indispensable that some kind of arrangement must be effected. Since banks were at that season springing up at every hamlet in the country it came into the prophet's mind that it would be possible to discharge his obligations very easily in case he had a bank of his own; he
could offer its bills to the merchants who had given him credit and so be rid of them in a thrice; his power to pay would be limited by nothing but the capacity of the presses to deliver these bills. As soon as the legislature of Ohio was convened he applied for a charter, but his request was refused (Caswall, p. 126).
Accustomed to regard everything that went against his wishes in the light of persecution, Joseph would denounce this denial on the part of the Legislature as but another evidence of the hostility of the Gentiles. He was resolved that he should not be foiled by the adverse counsels of his enemies. Private financial institutions of the species that was vulgarly known as "wild cat banks" were in the highest vogue. Since these were in very evil repute he would make a point against them by organizing a private bank that would be absolutely safe, since it was supported by all the property and energy of his church. The "Safety Society Bank of Kirtland" was therefore constituted, and early in January 1837, its handsomely engraved bills had been duly inscribed with the signatures of Sidney Rigdon, President and Joseph Smith, Cashier (Caswall, p. 127; Stenhouse, pp. 67-70).
Considered from the outside things appeared as fair as one could desire, but whoever was at pains to "discover the secret parts" of the "Safety Society Bank" would be little edified. The stock was paid in with such currency as town lots rated at fabulous prices, because
these chanced to be situated in the vicinity of the "House of the Lord," as likewise with personal property, at a like extraordinary estimate; the amount of gold and silver in the vaults was perhaps not more than five thousand dollars (Kidder, Mormonism and the Mormons, p. 128).
Joseph now fancied he could see his way clear to a magnificent triumph. Large packages of the bills of the "Safety Society Bank" were conveyed to New York and elsewhere to be offered to the principal creditors of the church in exchange for the notes and other obligations which these held against it. But here the Gentiles were again incorrigible; the creditors refused to receive the bills in question (Caswall, p. 127). This unexpected turn of affairs left the prophet almost as much embarrassed as before.
Nevertheless he was full of resources; his Mormon brethren would receive the notes, and others in the rural districts who were less acquainted with the tricks of "wild cat banks" than the wary merchants of New York and Philadelphia (Bennett, p. 136). For the behoof of his brethren it was given out, and the Twelve Apostles were likely industrious in circulating the report that the bank was instituted by the will of God, and...should never fail, let men do what they would (Benjamin G. Ferris, Utah and the Mormons, New York, 1854, p. 85).
The fine eye for scenic effect which Mr. Smith possessed has been alluded to upon previous occasions; it appeared on this occasion also. No great while after the bank was organized, he provided
a really striking display for its benefit. The account which has been transmitted of this occurrence rests upon the veracity of Cyrus Smalling, who was a well known Saint at Kirtland (H. C. Kimball's Journal, Salt Lake, 1882, p. 92).
A temporary house had been erected for the use of the Presidency, on the first lot to the south of the "House of the Lord," in anticipation of the larger structure which had been announced on the 6th of May 1833 (D.&C., 94, 3-9). Here the bank was conducted. Foreseeing that the assets of the institution would be inquired after, Mr. Smalling reports that Joseph had provided the vaults with about two hundred boxes that with a single exception were all filled with lead, shot, and old iron (Caswall, p. 127).
When this arrangement had been completed, he was ready for the ordeal of inspection which must have been enacted by the faithful alone who would have few suspicions to satisfy. It was possibly invited, and performed by the prophet after the fashion of a dress parade. When the inspectors arrived he conducted them into the vault and showed them two hundred boxes, each of which was labeled "one thousand dollars." Opening the one which he had reserved, as if it had been selected by chance from the others, Mr. Smith displayed the silver which it contained. Their eyes would be feasted by the sight of so much money. He then allowed them to "feel the weight of the other boxes," and the poor simpletons departed, well convinced that the bank was worth two hundred thousand dollars (Caswall, pp. 127-8).
This was a very pretty stroke; it would compare favorably with the exhibition of the plates before the witnesses in the state of New York. It may be conceived that arrangements were speedily effected to spread abroad the tidings of this close inspection. Men were sent to different portions of the country with packages of the crisp notes in their pouches, who would announce upon every occasion that by ocular demonstration the print had been established that the "Safety Society Bank" possessed two hundred thousand dollars in specie, as a basis for its financial operations and credit.
The scheme worked famously. The faithful were proud of their bank, and swift to accept its paper. Mr. Smith soon contrived to discharge by means of it the debts which rested against the Presidency at Kirtland and in the vicinity (Caswall, p. 127). Elders and Apostles went abroad to all the churches for the purpose of "pushing the people to Zion." In remote communities of the eastern states, where the brethren were too poor to make the journey, this money would be employed to purchase for them an outfit, together with cattle, horses, farming and mechanical tools, and every appurtenance required to found a new home in the west (Stenhouse, p. 71). By such a process many of the scattered believers came into possession of a larger amount of gear than they had ever expected to command.
Nothing could be finer than this process of "milking the Gentiles." Pittsburgh, where Mr. Rigdon had once resided was loaded to the brim with notes of the "Safety Society Bank." It is possible that the president of the bank himself suggested and directed that campaign (Stenhouse, pp. 71-2).
But while the money would pass very well at Kirtland and in remoter rural regions, it was not current in New York; when the mission of seven men was appointed to England in the month of June 1837 (Kimball's Journal, p. 11), the bank does not appear to have rendered any sort of assistance towards defraying the charges of their journey. To appearance this service was performed by the liberality and energy of Thomas B. Marsh, who was then President of the Twelve Apostles (D.&C., 112, 1). On the 23d of July 1837 the storm was about to burst; numbers in the midst of his house were blaspheming against the Lord (D.&C., 112, 26, 27). Shortly afterwards on the 25th of July Joseph went forth on another mission, this time to Canada, possibly in the hope that he might there win a disciple who "had money in store" (Tullidge, Life of Joseph, p. 237). He was accompanied by Rigdon and Marsh, and tarried until the latter part of August (Tullidge, p. 238), and the largest sum he obtained was nine hundred dollars from a simpleton named Lawrence (Bennett, p. 86), which was every way inadequate to the demands of the situation.
On the day of his departure for the Canadian mission Mr. Smith was annoyed by what he was accustomed to designate as a "vexatious lawsuit" (Richard F. Burton, The City of the Saints, New York, 1862, p. 552). Throughout his entire career, it was his fashion to consider every person who opposed him from beyond the pale of the church, in the light of a mobocrat; every person who opposed him vigorously within the church was set down as an apostate; suits at law were commonly reported as being designed not for the purpose of obtaining justice, but merely for the purpose of annoying him.
The suit in the present instance was entered by Mr. Grandison Newell, a prominent citizen of Mentor township, against whom the prophet is said to have cherished an active grudge. Mr. Newell charged Joseph with an effort to procure his assassination at the hands of a couple of the elders of the church, and in the Spring of the year had procured his arrest upon a warrant to that effect. The case was brought to an issue at Painesville on the date above given, and the defendant escaped conviction with the greatest ease by contriving the absence of the principal witness (Testimony of Miss Fanny Brewer, Bennett, p. 85). By means of this fortunate escape it was possible for the missionary party to prosecute their journey.
During the period of their absence the troubles of the Kirtland community
were much increased. It is supposed that the more important witness in New York and other cities had by this time gotten in their work, and reduced to beggary all the good brethren who had endorsed their names on the notes which Mr. Smith had bartered for mercantile commodities. Martin Harris, who in the teeth of several hostile revelations had still contrived to retain a portion of his estate, was now at last brought to bankruptcy, and retiring to his old home at Palmyra, New York, he proclaimed to all who cared to honor him with a hearing that the prophet had become "a complete wretch" (Caswall, p. 129).
On his return from the journey in Canada, Joseph and his companions paused a short season at Palmyra, where according to an intimation given by Lucy Smith, he is believed to have encountered Martin Harris and his charges (Lucy Smith, pp. 219-20). Joseph's mother suggests that during his sojourn at Palmyra, her son had "a vision which lasted until he besought the Lord to take it from him; for it manifested to him things which were painful to contemplate. It was taken from before his eyes for a short time, but soon returned again, and remained until the whole scene was portrayed before him" (Lucy Smith, p. 220). Evidently the tidings which Martin had to communicate were so distressing that Joseph found it a painful cross to face the brethren at Kirtland again.
Yet he was compelled to submit to this trial; there was no other alternative unless he was prepared to surrender himself and his cause. Arrived in Kirtland a special Conference was called for the 3d of September, for the purpose of considering the perils of the situation (Stenhouse, p. 64). These had been considerably enhanced by the agency of Mr. Brigham Young (Stenhouse, p. 68). xxxx xxx
His confidence was so large and his energies were so restless that he had succeeded in getting into circulation as much as Forty Thousand Dollars of the notes of the "Safety Society Bank," most of which sum, it may be conceived, was in the hands of believing Mormons (Caswall, p. 128). Lucy Smith sets forth the following report of a portion of her son's remarks before the special Conference of Sunday, September 3, 1837:
"Brethren, I am rejoiced to see you, and I have no doubt but that you are glad to see me. We are now nearly as happy as we can be on earth. We have accomplished more than we had any reason to expect when we began. Our beautiful house is finished and the Lord has acknowledged it, by pouring out his spirit upon us here, and revealing to us much of his will in regard to the work, which he is about to perform. Furthermore, we have everything that is necessary for our comfort and convenience, and, judging from appearances, one would not suppose that anything could occur, which would break up our friendship for each other, or disturb our tranquility. But brethren, beware; for I tell you in the name of the Lord that there is an evil in this very congregation, which if not repented of, will result in setting one third of you, who are here this day, so much at enmity against me that you will have a desire to take my life; and you even would do it if God would permit the deed. But brethren I now call upon you to repent and cease all your hardness of heart, and turn
from those principles of death and dishonesty which you are harboring in your hearts bosom, before it is eternally too late; for there is yet room for repentance."Proceeding in her own language, Lucy Smith adds: "He continued to labor with them in this way, appealing to them in the most solemn manner, until almost every one in the house was in tears, and he was exhausted with speaking" (Lucy Smith, p. 220). The effect of his eloquence, which had been satisfactory upon so many previous occasions, was not now at large as the prophet could desire. Despite the flood of tears that are mentioned above, the audience were left in a sullen mood. The prediction concerning the one third of the people who should be so much set at enmity against him, was the principal point that remained fixed in their attention. Lucy Smith says: "the following week was spent in surmises and speculations, as to who would be the traitors and why they should be so (p. 220).
As might naturally be expected the above is a rose colored version of the affairs that fell out at the Conference on the 3d of September. Official records declare that on this day John F. Boynton, one of the Twelve Apostles was cut off (Compendium of Doctrines, p. 258), and that Luke S. Johnson, another of the same select company, was disfellowshipped (Ibid.). It is likely that the vote by which these changes were performed lacked one third of being unanimous.
Mr. Smith did not know who could be trusted. Treason was in every quorum of the church. It was highly desirable for his holiness to procure a scapegoat, and Warren F. Parrish, who had been very near his person since the year 1833 in various characters was selected for that purpose. Mr. Parrish says that by revelation he was called to be Joseph's scribe; that he wrote his early history, probably for publication in the "Latter Day Saints Messenger and Advocate"; kept his daily journal; and superintended his mercantile, land and banking speculations, under his directions (Bennett's Mormonism Exposed, p. 47). Smith now asserted that Parrish had misappropriated the funds of the bank, and applied to Dr. Frederick G. Williams, his second counselor, who also had the honor to be a justice of the peace, to obtain a search warrant. Contrary to his expectations, Justice Williams refused to second this iniquitous ruse, by which it was desired to blast the character of an honest man, in order that the real criminal might go free. That refusal was the occasion of an immediate breach between
the prophet and his counselor; Williams was broken of his commission on the spot, and shortly afterwards upon the complaint of Joseph was relieved of his position as magistrate (Lucy Smith, p. 221). Oliver Cowdery, whose loyalty had not been suspected hitherto was appointed magistrate in the place of Williams.
It was not long before about forty persons of prominence in the community had been excommunicated along with Parrish, Williams, Boynton and Johnson (Bennett, p. 47). These distinguished themselves by the title of the "Pure Church," and held their meetings twice every week in the "House of the Lord," which their money and labor had aided to construct. Parrish was very active in delivering lectures against Joseph and the corrupt church over which he presided. On one occasion, while the prophet was absent in Cleveland (Lucy Smith, p. 221), his adherents attempted to eject Parrish by force from the "House of the Lord," but they did not succeed in that enterprise (Bennett, p. 47). In a word the "Pure Church" made Kirtland a very warm place for their opponents during the autumn and early winter of 1837-8.
When Frederick G. Williams was deposed from the First Presidency the "Latter Day Saints Messenger and Advocate" fell into the hands of the "Pure Church," in virtue of the fact that he was the proprietor of the paper and the owner of the Laneshine house or printing office. Mr. Cowdery, who was editor of the paper now perceived
how much it would be to his advantage to cast in his fortunes with the "Pure Church," in order that he might retain his editorial position. That step was accordingly taken, and the editor of the "Advocate" was happily in a situation to work in harmony with the proprietor of the paper.
Thus if fell out that not only the third man in the kingdom, two of the Apostles, but likewise two of the original witnesses, of the Book of Mormon were arrayed against the head of the church, since Martin Harris had already announced his defection during the past summer. From the opening of this quarrel Joseph had felt dubious regarding the position that might be assumed by the Saints in Missouri; immediately after the Conference of the 3d of September he had dispatched Thomas B. Marsh to that state with a full account of the embarrassments and dissensions that had broken out at Kirtland, and inclosing a minute of the proceedings that had been observed (Tullidge, pp. 238-9). But upon the 27th of September 1837 (Compendium, p. 307) it was decided that the entire First Presidency, which at present consisted of Joseph, Sidney and Hyrum, which last name would on the 7th of November be preferred to the position of second Counselor in the room of Williams (Compendium, p. 260), should perform a journey to Zion for the purpose of establishing the brethren there against the wiles of the "Pure Church" (Stenhouse, p. 69; Lucy Smith, p. 225; cf. p. 44).
Arriving towards the last of October (Compendium, p. 307) the members of the First Presidency found that the brethren had already removed from Clay into Caldwell county, and the Missourians
had even gone so far as to advise them not to stop there, but to make their way still farther to the northward and establish themselves in one of the territories where they would not likely be disturbed (Remy and Brenchley, vol. 1, p. 305). Joseph appears to have felt an inclination to give attention to this counsel regarding the feasibility of a settlement in one of the territories or one of the more recently admitted states. Accordingly, while Sidney and Hyrum returned from Missouri to Kirtland, Joseph is reported to have extended his journey as far as Monroe in Michigan, whither it is possible he went in search of a new situation for his community (Tullidge, Life of Brigham Young, p. 83; Compendium, p. 307).
This absence of the members of the First Presidency was exceedingly unhappy as far as it related to their interests in Kirtland. The "Pure Church" exerted all the activity that lay within their reach; nobody was left behind to stand as a breakwater against their schemes but Brigham Young. He kept his ground as bravely as possible but in a single handed conflict with so many adversaries it is not surprising that he should suffer defeats of more or less importance.
To render the prospect still more gloomy another prophet arose at Kirtland during the absence of the First Presidency in October 1837. This was a young lady, who was residing at the house of David Whitmer, President of the Seventy, and the only one of the three witnesses of
the Book of Mormon who yet retained even so much as the outward semblance of loyalty to the prophet. This person took hold of a remark that Joseph had let fall during the meeting of September 3d, in which he suggested that one third of the believers would be speedily arrayed against him, and signified through pretended divine inspiration, that the reason why the brethren should forsake the prophet was found in the fact that himself was in transgression; that he would fall from his office on account of this transgression; that David Whitmer or Martin Harris should enter into his dignities; that the one of this twain who did not succeed Joseph should be counselor to his brother who might be thus fortunate (Lucy Smith, p. 222).
David Whitmer, who was already President of the Stake of Zion and therefore a dangerous rival (Juvenile Instructor, vol. 12, p. 106), forthwith seized the bait that was there thrown out to him; his mind was shortly crowded with ambitious schemes; his adhesion to the prophet Joseph was renounced in favor of his own prospects and interests. Brigham Young relates his experiences during this trying season, upon an occasion when several of the Apostles, the witnesses to the Book of Mormon, and others of the authorities of the church had assembled in the upper room of the "House of the Lord." The question that they were treating referred to the deposition of Joseph, and the substitution of David Whitmer, according to the predication of the young woman mentioned above. Mr. Young declares:
I rose up and told them in a plain and forcible manner that Joseph was a prophet, and I knew it...Many were highly enraged at my decided opposition to their measures, and Jacob Bump, an old pugilist, was so much exasperated that he could not be still...The meeting was broken up without the Apostates being able to unite on any decided measures of opposition. This was a crisis when earth and hell seemed leagued to overthrow the Prophet and church of God (Tullidge, Life of Brigham Young, p. 82).
After a brief season Brigham discovered something that he professed to regard in a light of a conspiracy against the life of Joseph when about the 10th of December, 1837 (Compendium, p. 307), he should return to Kirtland from his journey to Monroe, Michigan (Tullidge, Life of Brigham Young, p. 83). Naturally he adopted measures to thwart the project; but it is not clear that here is not one of those exaggerations which occur so frequently in Mormon literature. It was also given out to be necessary that a watch should be established at the houses of those who had made themselves most offensive to the "Pure Church" (Lucy Smith, p. 223). Brigham Young had more need to be well guarded than the prophet, for the reason that he was as deep as Joseph in the crime of swindling, and he had been left behind to bear the brunt of opposition while Joseph went abroad.
The arrival of Joseph from Michigan it is supposed was a sort of signal for civil suits of various kinds to be entered against him. Every piece of property belonging to himself or to any other member of the family was laid under levy and the
brethren had many straits in their exertions to rescue those precious mummies which had been preserved hitherto in the "House of the Lord" (Lucy Smith, p. 226). Remy and Brenchley date the suspension of payment on the part of the "Safety Society Bank" in the month of November (vol. 1, pp. 307-8), but it is likely that here is a misprint; the institution had already failed before the assembling of the special Conference of the 3d of September (Juvenile Instructor, p. 106). It was natural and under the circumstances just that brethren who had been deprived of their entire possessions should chide the authors of their calamities with charges of incapacity selfishness, cupidity and tyranny; but Joseph in his turn was studious to find out something evil concerning each one of his followers; he charged the members of the "Pure Church" with cheating, stealing, lying, counterfeiting money, and with lack of faith (Caswall, pp. 128-9).
Their exasperation against Brigham Young was more intense than any they felt for Mr. Smith; he had contrived as related above to get Forty Thousand Dollars of the worthless paper of the bank into circulation chiefly among the Saints (Caswall, p. 128). By this act himself and Joseph were made companions in crime for all time to come. The brethren raged so violently that Brigham felt constrained to quit Kirtland as early as the 22d of December 1837 (Tullidge, Life of Brigham Young, p. 84). They had suffered so painfully at his hands
as to give him serious reason to believe that by way of revenge they would lay murderous hands upon him.
On the night of the 12th of January 1838, Sidney and Joseph likewise felt under the necessity of yielding before the victorious onset of the "Pure Church." Joseph removed with his family and an amount of bedding and clothing that was sufficient for their uses (Lucy Smith, p. 227). This would require a wagon and team. In fact, it appears there were several wagons in his party, which he could employ for purposes of concealing his person, after a well known fashion of his when he supposed himself to be in any sort of peril (Ferris, p. 87). Lorenzo D. Young reports that Samuel H. Smith and his family were of the company, as also Daniel Holman and Joel S. Miles (Fragments of Experience, p. 45). These last and possibly others in addition are supposed to have attended in the character of an armed escort. It is not easy to believe the stories that are given out touching a pursuit of two hundred miles; it probably lasted no farther than the limits of Geauga county. Mormon authorities report that they traveled sixty miles the first night and then waited for their families (Juvenile Instructor, vol. 12, p. 111). All the pursuers who followed them beyond the county line are supposed to have been born of the lively imagination of the two chief fugitives.
Coming to Dublin in Wayne county, Indiana, just beyond the line which separated them from Ohio, the travelers had rest. They remained there perhaps entertained by a nest of their followers until the month of February 1838 before resuming their journey towards Zion (Fragments, p. 45). They left the "Pure Church" in complete possession at Kirtland. This condition of affairs existed for a number of years; in the month of November 1839 it was nearly
as much as they could endure to permit one of Joseph's proclaimer's to show his presence in their pulpit (Kimball's Journal, pp. 92-3).
But for one serious drawback the victors in this conflict would have occasioned to Joseph a greater amount of annoyance than really befell. The "Latter Day Saints Messenger and Advocate" had come into their possession in virtue of the fact that both Williams and Cowdery had signified their adhesion to the "Pure Church." The paper was now pouring its vollies into the almost defenceless camp of the prophet and his allies (Bennett, pp. 47-8), there was no power to calculate how much evil it might accomplish by circulating among the faithful in Missouri and at the various branches of the church. Wilford Woodruff complains of the hindrances it laid in his path as far away as the Fox Islands on the coast of Maine (Leaves From My Journal, pp. 44-5).
It was not long, however, before this nuisance was abated by the use of the torch; the Laneshine house and the printing press it contained were promptly reduced to ashes (Bennett, pp. 47-8; Labors in the Vineyard, p. 68). Possibly nothing but the hope of recovering the "House of the Lord" by means of some future turn of affairs, prevented the torch from being likewise applied within its now desecrated courts. Indeed several attempts were made to set fire to it, but the watchfulness of the "Pure Church" defeated the project. In one of these efforts the Methodist chapel which stood not far away was consumed, in the expectation that the flames would be communicated to the "House of the Lord" (Kidder, p. 129).
The platform of Mr. Smith was exceedingly radical that way; his ugly chiliastic notions had deprived both himself and Mr. Rigdon of their heads. Their preposterous conviction appeared as early as Joseph's version of the first manifestation of the angel in the year 1823. The prophet there relates that:
"After telling me these things the angel commenced quoting the prophecies of the Old Testament. He first quoted part of the third chapter of Malachi, and he quoted also the fourth or last chapter of the same prophecy, though with a little variation from the way it reads in our Bibles. Instead of quoting the first verse as it reads in our books, he quoted it thus: 'For behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea and all
that do wickedly, shall burn as stubble, for they that come shall burn them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch" (Pearl of Great Price, p. 63).In the authorized English version that passage is given as follows: "For behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud and all that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch." The alteration which Mr. Smith introduced, that is indicated above by the words that are placed in Italics is highly significant; it uncovers at a glance the madness of the Mormons and the occasion of all their sorrows. They really believed that they were commissioned forth to tread down all other kingdoms and nations, and to swallow up all that opposed them. Here is the root which has chiefly nourished their fanaticism.
In harmony with this insane conception Mr. Rigdon declared in a discourse delivered on the 6th of April 1844: "When God sets up a system of salvation he sets up a system of government. When I speak of a government I mean what I say; I mean a government that shall rule over spiritual and temporal affairs. For it has been a universal mistake to suppose that salvation is distinct from government" (Remy and Brenchley, vol. 2, p. 9, note). The Mormon church was expected to supplant every other form of government as the sole condition of salvation.
Martin Harris sets forth the brilliant expectation of his people in a somewhat less courtly fashion:
"Within four years from September 1832, there will not be one wicked person left in the United States, that the righteous will be gathered to Zion (Missouri,) and that there will be no President over these United States after that time. Martin Harris" (Howe, p. 14).On all hands it was anticipated that the theocracy would consume and dissolve the civil state, and that the Mormon church would be supreme both in civil and in spiritual concerns. Mr. Harris adds a second prediction upon the same page (Howe, p. 14):
"I do hereby assert and declare that in four years from the date hereof (September 1832), every sectarian and religious denomination in the United States shall be broken down, and every Christian shall be gathered unto the Mormonites, and that the rest of the human race shall perish. If these things do not take place, I will hereby consent to have my head separated from my body. Martin Harris."It is not important to multiply proofs of a state of belief that was almost universal among the Saints; one more of these will be sufficient. Speaking in the year 1838, Mr.
Parley P. Pratt says: "I will state as a prophecy that there will not be an unbelieving Gentile on the face of this continent fifty years hence; and if they are not greatly scourged and in a great measure overthrown within five or ten years from this date, then the Book of Mormon will have proved itself false" (Bennett, p. 143). But for these insane conceits, founded upon a too literalistic interpretation of the Bible, the Mormons might have been a comfortable and to some extent a respected body of religious enthusiasts.
In case the distinguished results which the Saints expected with so much assurance should fall out to their liking, it was important that they should early make a beginning. The church had just now suffered a hopeless defeat in Kirtland at the hands of the "Pure Church"; the situation was as unpromising as could be desired in that quarter of the world. But the prospect was somewhat more hopeful in Missouri. When Joseph had dismissed Frederick G. Williams from the First Presidency of the church he could not venture to call upon the brethren at Kirtland to ratify his conduct. During the next month, however, he made a pilgrimage to Missouri, where with the assistance of Mr. Rigdon he was enabled to procure that Williams who was present on the spot to resist the proceeding (Bennett, p. 85), should be voted out and his brother Hyrum voted in, on the 7th of November 1837 (Compendium, p. 260).
But in Missouri also the "Pure Church" was to be found; it is even possible that while Joseph and Sidney were tarrying at Dublin, Indiana, during the months of January and February 1838, Oliver
Cowdery and David Whitmer passed them by, and reached the heights of Zion in advance of them (Millennial Harbinger, 1842, p. 500). Philo Dibble supplies the following allusion to their machinations:
"Some of the apostates left Kirtland and came up to Far West. They called meetings and told the people that Joseph was a fallen prophet, and they were determined to put David Whitmer in his place. Some of the brethren, including the president of the branch I lived in, fell in with the views of the apostates. I being a Teacher in the branch, took up a labor with them, first going to our president and taking a Deacon with me. Our President said if he had got to become an enemy to David to be a friend to Joseph, he could not be a friend to Joseph. He then called the branch together in order to put me out of office as a Teacher, but the branch sustained me" (Early Scenes, p. 88). Defection had progressed to such an extent that the loyalty of Bishop Partridge himself appears to have been in question (Early Scenes, p. 88). Joseph and Sidney did not show themselves a moment too soon when they arrived on the 14th of March 1838, although the brethren at Far West had already voted David Whitmer out of his position as President of the Stake of Zion and temporarily installed Thomas B. Marsh in his place" (Juvenile Instructor, vol. 12, p. 111).As above intimated they came not to Zion in Jackson county, nor yet to Clay county, where the brethren had erst sojourned, but to Far West in Caldwell county. This change of situation requires to be explained.
By reason of the advertisement that was bestowed upon
the Saints through their experiences of 1833 and 1834 the task of making propaganda was rendered comparatively easy. In portions of the country where their character was not well known the story of ill usage, that was professed to be received in Missouri would produce a strong impression; people came in throngs to join their fortunes to the fortunes of the New Jerusalem (Turner, p. 48). They were finally so numerous that friction was almost unavoidable with the citizens of Clay county, who were becoming apprehensive lest they had been more generous than wise. Meetings appear to have been called by the party who held to this form of opinion in various portions of the county (Remy and Brenchley, p. 305), until at length the more discreet heads perceiving the direction in which affairs were drifting appointed a committee and requested a conference with the leaders of the Mormon community. This committee met on the 29th of June 1836, and sensible that a civil war would be the inevitable result of the existing situation, unless wise measures of repression could be adopted, resolved that it was fitting the Mormons should be requested to withdraw from Clay county. Mr. Remy adds:
"In other respects the assembly was animated with a rare spirit of moderation; they took no account, they said of the various accusations preferred by the multitude against the Mormons, which they admitted bore traces of evident exaggeration; but believing war to be imminent, it became their duty in face of such
an eventuality, no longer to tolerate the Mormons in their county. They advised them therefore to withdraw, recommending them to settle themselves in preference in some Territory, Wisconsin for instance, where their association would come in contact with no other and could develop itself in full liberty (Remy & Brenchley, 1, pp. 304-5).The inhabitants of Clay county must have been to a remarkable degree enlightened and calm; their conduct throughout the entire period of Mormon occupation in Missouri is highly creditable. The historian will always be attracted by the virtues they display in the record they were permitted to establish under severe trial. It is no small thing to desire that the inhabitants of that district may always be as worthy as their good fathers; they can hardly hope to excel them in admirable traits whether of the head or of the heart. On Friday the first of July 1836 the Saints held a meeting in which they presented their reply to the communication that had been received from the committee of the citizens, and expressed their gratitude for hospitality that had been extended, they declared they were ready for the sake of peace to quit the borders of Clay, as speedily as they could procure another place of residence (Remy and Brenchley, p. 305). But they were not acting in good faith at this point, for they immediately sent an appeal to Governor Dunklin insisting that he would protect them against the demands of their opponents.
But Governor Dunklin was mindful of former experiences; Lilburn W. Boggs had already obtained the nomination for Governor in the place of Dunklin, largely by reason of the prominence of Boggs in opposing Mormon encroachments, and he was to be chosen to the position in question, at the approaching election in August 1836. Consequently Dunklin replied on the 18th of July that it was impracticable for him to intervene, and excused his inaction by references to the unpopularity of the Saints in every county, and the constantly increasing irritation against them (Remy and Brenchley, 1, p. 306).
Seeing they were thus left alone the Mormons had no choice but to keep the compact they had made with the citizens of Clay county. Among the incidents of their exodus however, is mentioned the circumstance that the people of Clay undertook to stipulate that in case the brethren retired to the adjoining county of Ray they should not be further disturbed (Turner, p. 48; Kidder, p. 130). Indeed it is suspected that the citizens of Clay county, perceiving that it was out of the question to induce the Mormons to remove at any greater distance were glad to have them out of their borders upon any terms that should be honorable; they would therefore be inclined to assure their visitors that in case they went across the line into the county of Ray they should not be further annoyed.
But what right had the men of Clay to suppose the objectionable Saints upon the county of Ray? Their right lay in the
circumstance that the county of Ray was regarded as common territory, twelve counties having been carved from the district that was originally assigned to it (Davis and Durrie, p. 426). Moreover it is affirmed that the people of that portion of Ray county to which the Mormons removed, gave their consent to the arrangement (Kidder, p. 130). As a matter of fact there were only about seven men in that section of Ray county (Juvenile Instructor, 12, pp. 62,63), it was for this particular reason that the vicinity in question was fixed upon. The Mormon authorities affirm that they purchased the holdings of most of the previous settlers (Tullidge, Life of Joseph, p. 257), but the holdings of previous settlers were inconsiderable both in respect to extent and to value. The seven men who resided there were known as "ace hunters" and made their homes in hollow trees in the forests (Juv. Inst., 12, p. 63).
The earliest body of the Saints who removed into Ray county are believed to have been the company who settled on Shoal creek, where one of their number, Haun by name, erected a mill which subsequently became famous for a shocking blunder and disaster. The majority of the fugitives however, settled farther to the northward, in a section that was more remote from the habitations of the other citizens of Ray county.
Hardly had this removal been comfortably effected before the legislature of the state of Missouri on the 26th of December 1836 established a new county by cutting off that portion of Ray where the bulk of the Saints were situated (Davis and Durrie, p. 329). This course was
likely pursued at the suggestion of the above-mentioned committee from Clay county, who it is believed had engaged to procure the setting apart of an entire county for the exclusive advantage of the Mormons, where they might conduct their cause according to their own sweet will. To the new county, which hereby was assigned to the tender mercies of the Saints was accorded the name of Caldwell; the brethren felt that after many wanderings their feet were at last secure. By the action of the constituted authorities they had gained for their exclusive use one of the most fertile sections of Missouri; they regarded it as being in a special sense their domain, and shortly leaped to the conclusion that neither the Commonwealth of Missouri, nor the United States of America were entitled to any kind of jurisdiction within the limits of Caldwell county. But while there was likely a tacit understanding that the Gentiles should not cross the line of Caldwell county, it was also just as likely the understanding of the people of other counties that the Mormons would keep to their own place and abstain from trespassing on the lands of their neighbors. An exception was made in favor of the dwellers on Shoal creek in the county of Ray, who by means of a special arrangement were permitted to keep their places although the position where they were situated lay a short distance south of the line of the new county of Caldwell. These were in all probability a collection of the better order of Saints, who seem to have been sensible of the benefits that might accrue from striving to be on pleasant terms with their Gentile fellow-citizens.
The village of Far West was named as the seat of justice in the county of Caldwell, and in a brief season it began to flourish exceedingly. The brethren who were not wealthy enough to enter the vacant lands of the government in their own names would frequently engage as laborers on the farms of people in adjacent counties for the purpose of procuring a sufficient amount of money, and some of these people were even kind enough to loan them money for the purpose of purchasing a home in the new county (Kidder, p. 131). John D. Lee reports the condition of matters as very prosperous; when he entered Far West for the first time on the fourth of June 1838 he affirms, perhaps incorrectly that nothing but Mormons were to be encountered within a radius of 15 or 20 miles (Life and Confessions, p. 53).
It was to such a prospect that Sidney and Joseph came on the 14th of March 1838, in the company of Mr. Brigham Young (Juvenile Instructor, vol. 12, p. 111). So eager were the Saints to see them that an escort was sent from Far West a distance of one hundred and twenty miles to meet and welcome them. With the advent of these two members of the First Presidency, the aspect of affairs at Far West was speedily altered. The advocates of the "Pure Church," who it must be remembered still persisted in styling themselves the "church of Christ" and refused to accept the addition "of Latter-Day Saints" which had been made on the 3d of May 1834 (Juv. Inst., 12, p. 106), found themselves entertained by more formidable rivals.
David Whitmer, President of the Church in Zion, Joseph's most dreaded enemy, together with his two counselors, John Whitmer and W. W. Phelps, had already been unhorsed by the voluntary action of the brethren, who placed Thomas B. Marsh and David W. Patten, a couple of the Twelve Apostles temporarily in the position of the deposed functionaries (Juvenile Instructor, vol. 12, p. 111). When the regular season for the Conference approached on the 6th of April 1838, Mr. Smith proceeded against these recusants. Marsh was raised to the dignity of President of the Church in Zion; Patten and Brigham Young were made his counselors; while Phelps and the two Whitmers were in a short while cut off (Juv. Inst., 12, p. 111).
The couple of chief Presidents soon set to work to provide themselves an official printed organ. The first number of the "Elders' Journal" had been issued at Kirtland in the
month of October 1837 (Handbook of Reference, p. 66), as a counterblast against the dreadful attacks of the "Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate," which had by that time fallen into the hands of the "church of Christ." This "Elders' Journal" was the fifth of the Mormon ventures in the line of newspaper enterprise. Two other numbers of it were printed in Missouri, before the process of publication was arrested by the second Missouri war (Handbook of Reference, p. 48). It passed for a monthly periodical (Lee, Life and Confessions, p. 52) although it was issued only three times in the space between October 1837 and July 1838, and then finally passed away.
In the next place it is suspected that Joseph and Sidney might have been the first to organize a private police, to aid them in carrying forward the schemes they had devised against the men of the "Pure Church." This body of private police were designated as the "Brothers of Gideon," possibly with reference to the number, and probably with reference to the virtues of the band who aided that judge of Israel to triumph over the Midianites (Judges 7, 7). The "Brothers of Gideon" had already been organized and introduced to their functions as early as the beginning of June 1838: John D. Lee was present at divine service in Far West Hall on the 10th of June 1838 and witnessed the prophet order a "Brother of Gideon" to remove from the assembly a person who retained his hat during the progress of worship (Life and Confessions, p. 54). Mr. W. W. Phelps had opportunities to become familiar with the order of the "Brothers of Gideon" (Bennett, p. 333); possibly it was through the agency of these that himself and John Whitmer might have been soundly intimidated when they were excommunicated from the church during the month of April.
On the 13th of April Joseph and Sidney celebrated a distinguished triumph in procuring the expulsion of Lyman Johnson, a member of the college of Apostles (Compendium, p. 257); Luke S. Johnson, who had been disfellowshipped at Kirtland in September 1837, was
likewise formally cut off (Compendium, p. 258). It is believed that both of them, who were sons of John Johnson, the well known simpleton of Hiram, Ohio, had now cast in their lot with the "Pure Church," for the reason, perhaps, that the various explosions at Kirtland whither he had gone to reside had cost John Johnson more of his shekels than he bargained to surrender when he became so enthusiastic on behalf of the prophet in the springtime of 1831 (Hayden, History of the Disciples, p. 221).
By the process of excommunication the college of the Apostles had now lost one fourth of its membership, namely the two Johnsons and Mr. John F. Boynton. On the 17th of April 1838, Mr. Smith obtained a revelation by which it was made known that though the college might be thus depleted it was not yet destroyed. On the contrary he directs,
"My servant David W. Patten that he settle up all his business as soon as he possibly can, and make a disposition of his merchandise, that he may perform a mission unto me next spring, in company with others, even Twelve, including himself, to testify in my name and bear glad tidings unto all the world; for verily, thus saith the Lord, that inasmuch as there are those among you who deny my name, others shall be planted in their stead and receive their bishopric" (D.&C., 114, 1-2).Although Joseph was much annoyed by the defection of the "Pure Church" there was no real peril to his
projects in that movement; the "church of Christ" was never really in peril but once, and that was at a season when it had not as yet received any baptism of blood.
On the 26th of April Mr. Smith was in a situation to go to the extent of declaring Far West a "holy and consecrated land" (D.&C., 115, 7), a decision that was highly to the edification of the faithful, who could not well afford to keep their residence in any other than a sanctified spot. Inasmuch as he had been deprived of the "House of the Lord" at Kirtland through the machinations of his adversaries, he finds it convenient to order another structure of the same sort at Far West. A beginning for this new enterprise was enjoined for the 4th day of July 1838 (D.&C., 115, 8-17). On the 26th day of April, Joseph likewise brings forward a project which must have been a surprise of the citizens of the adjacent counties, who had anticipated that the Mormons would confine themselves strictly to the limits of Caldwell county; he declares "that other places [besides Far West] should be appointed for Stakes in the regions round about, as they shall be manifest to my servant Joseph from time to time" (D.&C., 115, 18).
On the 11th of May 1838 another point was gained by the expulsion of Apostle W. E. McLellin (Compendium, p. 258), a native of Tennessee, who is suspected to have been ofttimes more or less obstreperous. At the Hiram Conference about the first of November 1831, it will be remembered he had
put himself forward as a rival of Joseph's in the handicraft of producing divine revelations (Mackay, pp. 67-8; D.&C., 67, 5-9). At the same time, it is supposed, the case of William Smith another Apostle and a brother of the prophet, was taken in hand. William was an ugly patron, who is suspected to have loved the church for nothing else than the money that it afforded (Bennett, pp. 86-7). He had previously given annoyance in Ohio, and it was now found necessary to handle him a second time; he narrowly escaped expulsion (Stenhouse, p. 76).
By what is believed to have been a breach of the compact under which the Mormons had acquired Caldwell county, some of them had shortly got themselves established in the county of Carroll at De Witt on the Missouri river, and in the county of Daviess lying immediately north of Caldwell. Chief among these adventurers was General Lyman Wight, who may have enjoyed the advantage of a wink from headquarters, directing him to employ that method of testing how far it would be possible for the people to venture abroad. This person had founded a home on Grand River in the northern section of Daviess, which he had dignified with the title of "Wight's Ferry" (D.&C., Section 116, title). On the 18th of May 1838, Joseph and Sidney with a large number of the brethren left Far West for Wight's Ferry, for the purpose of laying off a Stake of Zion (Tullidge, p. 239). On Sunday the 20th of May that enterprise was begun, perhaps under the sanctions of solemn religious service. The brethren in attendance called the new Stake by the name of
Spring Hill, but Mr. Smith shortly corrected them; by the aid of an immediate revelation he directed that the place should be christened Adam-ondi-Ahman (D.&C., Section 116). Remarks have been proposed for the purpose of explaining this title in Section the Eighth, Chapter V, of Book the Third, where it was suggested the expression might likely be correctly translated to signify "Adam or God"; or in case that form of expression is preferred it might be rendered "Adam is God." The designation was applied indifferently to a song and also to a place. The hymn which had been produced by W. W. Phelps at the dedication of the Kirtland house of worship bore that title; it was likewise given to the hamlet on Grand River.
The reason why Joseph was moved to affix the name "Adam-ondi-Ahman" to the new town in Daviess county is stated in his own language to be "because it is the place where Adam shall come to visit his people, or the Ancient of Days shall sit as spoken of by Daniel the prophet" (D.&C., 116, 1). It has already been shown how the youthful freshness of Mr. Smith supplied him with a series of remarkable views concerning the prophecy of Daniel. Adam was the same as the Ancient of Days of that book, and likewise the same as Michael the Archangel. Furthermore, Joseph is believed according to the above suggestion to have been the real author of the notion more recently attributed to Brigham Young, to the effect that Adam is God.
For some time before the above events took place the prophet had conceived the project of fixing upon some place in Missouri the name of Adam-ondi-Ahman;
possibly there is room enough for the suspicion that as first employed it was nothing else than another name for Zion in Jackson county (D.&C., 78, 15).
The designation was next applied to a fabulous valley where it was dreamed that Adam met his descendants and bestowed upon them his last blessing (D.&C., 107, 53). At present the notion of the prophet was turned towards the future; Adam-ondi-Ahman was now said to be the place where, in the character of the Ancient of Days, Adam was destined to appear in coming times (D.&C., 116, 1); in July 1838 the story was once more altered so as to read that Adam had actually dwelt for a period at the spot here selected (D.&C., 117, 8). A notion was also sent abroad among the rank and file of the brethren, to the effect that Zion was the garden of Eden, and that Adam-ondi-Ahman in Daviess was the place where Adam retired after his expulsion from the garden (Lee, Life and Confessions, pp. 91-2).
The design of Joseph in choosing the site of a new Stake in Daviess was partly to accommodate the Saints of Kirtland with a habitation, and so entice them to remove to Missouri; Adam-ondi-Ahman was laid out for their particular behoof (Kidder, p. 131; D.&C., Section 117). He also desired to establish an influence in the county of Daviess which might be of sufficient strength to enable him to control the elections that should be held there. With a like end in view he is believed to have laid the foundations of the other Mormon settlement at De Witt in the county of Carroll (Turner, p. 49).
These were famous steps of progress; Joseph now began to feel that he was strong enough to employ decisive measures in dealing with the "Pure Church." Accordingly in the month of June Mr. Rigdon was induced to draft a paper for the benefit of the leaders of this body, who in the parlance of loyal Mormons were designated as Dissenters (Stenhouse, p. 112, note).
This paper was directed to Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, John Whitmer, W. W. Phelps and Lyman E. Johnson, and was dated Far West June 1838 (Millennial Harbinger, 1842, p. 500). It set forth in glowing colors all the iniquities that had been charged by the faithful against the foremost members of the "Pure Church," and strictly notified the persons mentioned that they must quit the county of Caldwell within three days or suffer death (Bennett, p. 328). It was subscribed by 84 names (Millennial Harbinger, 1842, p. 501), among whom it is possible might have been recognized some of the most active and violent "Brothers of Gideon." The men of the "Pure church" were sensible that danger was at the door; they did not wait to parley against the iniquity of the outrageous measure that was undertaken by the theocracy, but left the scene as speedily as they could. Hiram Page and Jacob Whitmer, two others of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon are said to have accepted the same hint, and to have withdrawn along with their relatives (Bennett, p. 137; Turner, p. 51). By this process it came to pass that six of the eleven witnesses to the Book of Mormon were at length arrayed against the Book of Mormon (Bennett, p. 110).
It is an ill wind that blows nobody any good; by the departure of the Dissenters Mr. Rigdon fell heir to the comfortable house which Mr. John Whitmer had erected in Far West, for his own use. Sidney entered it the same day it was vacated (Bennett, p. 137). The blow against the heads of the dissenting party had succeeded so admirably that it was considered feasible to follow it up, and to eradicate every trace of discontent that might show its head anywhere in the state of Missouri.
By consequence, upon the heel of the disaster which had just now befallen the heads of the "Pure Church" came what has been designated, with reference to the text he employed to introduce it, "Sidney's Salt Sermon." The text in question was -- "Ye are the salt of the earth but if the salt have lost his savor wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and to be trodden underfoot of man" (Matthew 5, 13). The discourse was of the terrific species, even for Mormon ears. The burden of it was directed point blank against the "Pure Church," or dissenters. The party of Joseph and Sidney were shown to be the salt of the earth; the party of Cowdery and the Whitmers was signified to be the salt which had lost its savor. According to the literalism which the Mormons are sure to discover these dissenters were required by the text to be "literally trodden under the feet of the church until their bowels should be gushed out" (Bennett, p. 139). To appearance the "Salt Sermon" was an official act
and declaration. Possibly it had been conceived in the counsels of the First Presidency; at any rate immediately after it was delivered Joseph rose up and gave the people to understand that he "approved of Mr. Rigdon's sermon and considered it a good one" (Kidder, p. 148). Here the Theocracy perpetrated a direct declaration of war against the dissenters and an indirect declaration of war against the state of Missouri. It had no legal right to address the threatening letter by which the Whitmers, Cowdery, Page and Johnson were driven away from Caldwell county; just as little right had the Theocracy to threaten any of the dissenters who remained behind with loss of life or limb. Atrocious arrogance of this texture was sure to be remembered; the Theocracy was sowing to the wind in order that it might shortly reap the whirlwind.
The Mormons were from the outset sensible of the benefits of "Christian Union." The outlines of their position in this regard may be gathered from the brace of prophecies that were cited from Martin Harris in the early portion of the present chapter. The existence of the dissenters had now laid upon their hearts a new sense of the value of the blessing in question. Consequently during the entire spring of the year 1838 Mormon pulpits resounded with exhortations touching this business; the brethren had even come to believe that if they were only united they would have nothing to fear either from the state of Missouri or from the United
States, since one might chase a thousand and two could put ten thousand to flight (Kidder, pp. 132-3).
For the purpose of procuring the unity that was so much desired, sometime during the last of June or the early days of July was formed the Danite society, which took the place of the "Brothers of Gideon," an organization that from this date fell into decay. Several eyewitnesses relate that the Danite organization was completed in June 1838 (Bennett, p. 329; p. 331), but Dr. Sampson Avard who was at the head of the enterprise inclines to place the occurrence about the beginning of July (Bennett, p. 324).
The doubts which have been expressed here and there concerning the existence of a Danite Society do not indicate the possession of any special critical acumen. The only doubt that can be reasonably entertained is that which relates to the extent of Joseph's responsibility in the premises. He himself allows the order to have existed as alleged, but by one of those shrewd processes for which he was so much distinguished, all the blame for it was thrown upon the shoulders of Avard, whom the prophet pretends he took pains to exclude directly when he became aware of his nefarious action (Remy and Brenchley, p. 311, note).
The society was originally intended for the advantage of the dissenters of the "Pure Church," who might still linger in Caldwell county. With reference to that function it was at the outset denominated the "Daughter of Zion" (Micah 4, 13), and likewise the "Big Fan" (Matthew 3, 12). But it was not
long before all the dissenters had been scattered, and then a new title and new functions became indispensable for the service of the society. The new function that was chosen was to wage war against the Gentiles; the new name of Danites carried an allusion to Genesis 49, 17. The fact that is everywhere conceded that Captain Fearnaught (Apostle David W. Patten) was entrusted with the direction of this secret police is believed to suggest that Joseph and Sidney were fully aware of all its proceedings (Remy and Brenchley; vol. 1, p. 311; Lee, Life and Confessions, p. 73; Hyde, Mormonism, p. 204). Sampson Avard, it is presumed, was not much edified to be thus curtly superseded in the command of an organization which he had bestowed the chief labor to bring together, consequently when the day of trial arrived he was swift to assume a position among the apostates and enemies of Joseph. The Danites, it is likely, did not subsist as an organized police for a longer period than four months; but their existence for a single day was challenged, and indirectly a declaration of war on the part of the Theocracy against the state of Missouri.
Under the laws of the state of Missouri, the people of Caldwell county, like their neighbors in other counties, had previously organized themselves into a regiment of militia. Over this regiment it appears that the Governor had commissioned one George M. Hinkle to occupy the position of Colonel. By some process which has not been explained he
was shortly deposed, and in his place the Mormons without any distinctions to that effect elected Colonel G. W. Robinson; Philo Dibble was made Lt. Colonel and Seymour Brunson was chosen Major. This new arrangement is believed to have been displeasing to the Governor of Missouri; it was not a great while before Colonel Hinkle was reinstated in his dignities. The authorities of the state very probably refused to recognize any other officers than those which the Governor had duly commissioned (Early Scenes, pp. 88, 89).
In order to checkmate the state authorities in this regard, it was apparently provided that Colonel Hinkle should have as little control and active service as possible; many of the military movements were devolved upon Captain Fearnaught, who was in charge of the Danite society. It was considered, perhaps that himself and his society were far more trustworthy than Hinkle, and the regular battalion of troops. While nearly all the fighting that befell in the second Missouri war was performed by Captain Fearnaught and his legion of Danites, Colonel Hinkle came into prominence only at the moment of surrender, and he has been branded for a traitor ever since.
The formation of the Danite order indicated a total change of policy on the part of the Mormon leaders. Hitherto it was given out that a divine hand would fight their battles; the Saints should have nothing to do except to stand still and witness the salvation of God. At present the watchword went abroad that the
Saints must work out their own salvation by whatever means, whether the same might be lawful or unlawful (Kidder, p. 134). The policy of the church had become prominently and professedly aggressive. Evidently they were no longer studious to avoid a conflict; their fanaticism was rising every day.
On the 26th of April it will be remembered that Joseph had obtained a revelation to the purpose that a new "House of the Lord" should be erected at Far West and that the corner stone of the structure should be laid upon the approaching Fourth Day of July (D.&C., 115, 10). This left the Saints more than two months in which to adjust their plans to celebrate the occasion. They erected a liberty pole and hoisted upon it the American flag as being appropriate to a national anniversary. The military were present with their brightest music for the purpose of brilliantly sustaining the event (Tullidge, p. 240).
But the chief item in the display was the Oration upon which Mr. Rigdon had been sedulously employed these many weeks (Kidder, p. 135). Like the "Salt Sermon" it was intended for an official manifesto; unlike the "Salt Sermon" it was destined to appear in print for the instruction and edification of the present and future times (Caswall, Preface, p. xiii). Following are the most interesting passages in what was a formal challenge to a war of extermination directed alike to the state of Missouri, to the Federal Government and to the world of mankind:
We take God and all the holy angels to witness this day, that we warn all men in the name of Jesus Christ, to come on us no more forever. The man or the set of men who attempts it does so at the expense of their lives. And the mob that comes on us to disturb us, it shall be between us and them a war of extermination, for we will follow them till the last drop of blood is spilled, or else they will have to exterminate us; for we will carry the seat of war to their own houses and their own families, and one part or the other shall be utterly destroyed. Remember it then all men!...We this day then, proclaim ourselves free, with a purpose and a determination that can never be broken, No, never! No, never!! No, never!!! (Stenhouse, p. 78).
Mr. Rigdon here proceeded upon the supposition that the Theocracy had at length risen to the position it had so long desired, where it could stand independent above all other creatures beneath the celestial world (D.&C., 78, 14). Every force with a military organization which did not belong to the Theocracy was rudely set down in the character of a mob, for the excellent reason that no other government than the Theocracy was considered to have any right to exist.
The reader is desired to have a special care for the ugly word "extermination" which was sent forth by Sidney in the above violent challenge conflict. When the Governor of Missouri read it towards the close of Sidney's flaming oration, which by the way had
been well commended by Joseph in the succeeding number of the "Elder's Journal" (Turner, p. 53), it made almost too strong an impression. The notion that the Theocracy had cited his people to a war of extermination was more than he could easily throw off. Accordingly on the 27th of October (Stenhouse, p. 96), and farther on the 1st of November 1838 (Bennett, p. 323) he accepts the challenge of the Theocracy and issues to his subordinate, General John B. Clark a couple of commands in which the word "extermination" likewise played a figure.
The insanity of the above challenge on the part of the Theocracy did not occur to the minds of any of the Saints at the moment when it was presented. John D. Lee says: "At the end of each sentence Rigdon was loudly cheered; and when he closed his oration, I believed the Mormons could successfully resist the world" (Life and Confessions, p. 63). But at a subsequent date it became fashionable to reproach Sidney as if he had been exclusively to blame for the crime of provoking a war of extermination. During the trial of Sidney, after the death of the prophet, Brigham Young very cooly informed the assembly that Elder Rigdon was the prime cause of our troubles in Missouri, by his Fourth of July Oration (Stenhouse, p. 79, note).
There can be no question but that this intemperate challenge of war brought much calamity upon the Theocracy; there is room to question whether Sidney was entirely at fault in making this challenge. To Joseph also, belongs a fine share of the blame.
This defeat appeared as early as the great meeting on the 6th of June 1831 at Kirtland Ohio. Up to that moment the prophet conceived it was his privilege to say to this man go, and to the other man come, with assurance of unquestioning obedience. But he was rudely awakened from his dream. His commands there fell upon about thirty of the apostles or elders, among whom were persons who had large families to support and growing crops to manage. The word of the Lord by the mouth of the prophet of the Lord commanding them to quit their labors and go on a wild goose chase to Missouri, was therefore a highly unwelcome utterance; they were tempted to regard it in the light of a tyrannical and stupid whim of Joseph's. Possibly much complaint was heard though; only one of the brethren, Ezra Thayer by name, went as far as the point of open rebellion (D.&C., 56, 5-11).
Mr. Smith got a valuable lesson from that occurrence; if he desired to command it was his duty also to be reasonable. By consequence when he next had occasion to send the brethren forth upon distant missions he was at pains to consult their situation and necessities before committing himself to the word of the Lord which laid such heavy duties upon the shoulders of other people. At Amherst Conference that was held on the 25th of January 1832 the faithful were divided into two separate sections. The first section was composed of those who had "given in their names to go forth to proclaim my gospel and to prune my vineyard" (D.&C., p. 75, 2). These fortunate parties found themselves in a situation to receive the commands of the Lord and to undergo the exertions of missionary journeying. It is clear that divine commands were no longer to be distributed at random, but always with strict reference to the case of the persons chiefly concerned.
The second section at the Amherst Conference was composed of men who had "given their names that they might know what was the Lord's will concerning them" (D.&C., 72, 23); which being interpreted likely signifies that they would cheerfully go forth as missionaries in case provisions could be made for their families during the period of their absence.
But this expedient was plainly very rude; it left Mr. Smith too much in the power of the brethren, who might be tempted to decide that their condition was unsuitable for such tasks, whenever their zeal for missionary
service should chance for any reason to be a trifle cool. Their caprice could easily defeat the purposes of divine wisdom. With the hope of delivering himself from an unpleasant dilemma, Joseph got a revelation in September 1832, which it was expected would obviate the difficulties that he experienced. This revelation provided that "the High priest should travel, and also the elders, and also the lesser priests; but the deacons and teachers should be appointed to watch over the church, to be standing ministers unto the church" (D.&C., 84, 111).
But it was apparent that this revelation was too sweeping in its provisions; the hardship of sending men forth to the onus of the earth because they chanced to occupy the dignities expressed in the above cited language could not be endured. To many High-priests, elders and priests it was nearly impossible to travel for any considerable period, while others could compass that feat without much sacrifice. The above suggestion of Joseph's inspiration was therefore quietly laid aside; it was impracticable not to say silly. But its very awkwardness availed to fix the attention of parties in Missouri who were enabled to offer another suggestion which in after times was accepted and acted upon.
In a letter that was sent from Kirtland Mills on the 14th of January 1833, under the hands of Orson Hyde and Hyrum Smith the nature of this other suggestion is first clearly disclosed. These two gentlemen affirm: "There are many things in the last letters of Brothers
G(ilbert) and P(helps), that are good and we esteem them much. The idea of having 'certain ones appointed to regulate Zion, and traveling elders,' has nothing to do with this part of the matter; it is something that we highly approbate, and you will doubtless know before this reaches you, why William E. McLellin opposed you in this move" (Tract, New Jerusalem, p. 12). Here is the embryonic form of the subsequent officer of Apostles, par excellence, and of the Seventies. Either to Gilbert or to Phelps belongs the credit of inventing and urging this arrangement until it was finally commended to the attention of Joseph and duly confirmed by a revelation from the skies.
The notion upon which it is founded is that of the Methodist Itinerant System. By persons "appointed to regulate Zion," according to the phrase employed above, it is suspected a grade of officers was intended that should be similar to the Bishops of the Methodist Church; the "traveling elders" of the scheme would correspond closely enough with Methodist circuit-riders. The end in view was to make a distinction by means of which might be provided a class of men who could always be controlled and commanded for any emergency.
But Joseph and Sidney could not accept this scheme precisely in the form that was proposed; they were both engaged to "speak where the Scriptures speak, and to be silent where these keep silence." After cudgeling their brains for a season they at last fell upon the conceit of designating those whom they should "appoint to regulate Zion," by the name of Apostles, while the "traveling elders" should be
called the Seventy, with allusion to an incident recorded in the tenth chapter of the gospel according to Luke.
Thus it will appear that after beating about in the dark for a considerable season Joseph finally at the instance of Gilbert and Phelps (one of whom, Gilbert, and possibly both, were of Methodist extraction), fell upon the idea of the Methodist Itinerancy, as early as the month of January 1833. The designation of Twelve Apostles was suggested as an institution that had been already firmly fixed upon in the month of February 1834 (D.&C., 102, 30).
The Twelve Apostles were instituted without the aid of special divine revelation; the new institution was nothing better than a mere device of human wisdom. In the charge which he pronounced at the ordination of the Twelve in February 1835 Mr. Oliver Cowdery disputed the truth of the above proposition but without any good reason or effect (Tullidge, Life of Joseph, pp. 153-4). He referred the step they were at the moment engaged about to the word of the Lord that had been given to Joseph touching the calling of Twelve Apostles in June 1829, a period of ten months prior to the founding of the "Church of Christ" (D.&C., Section 18). It is manifest however, that this was a mere makeshift; the revelation in question has no kind of allusion to the Twelve Apostles who were organized in February 1835. It had been fulfilled many times over before the opening of the year 1835. Under the provisions of Section 18 Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer were recognized as two of the aforesaid Twelve Apostles almost a twelvemonth before the "church of
Christ" was established (D.&C., 18, 9). Oliver Cowdery who had been duly called to be an Apostle was ordained to the apostolic dignity at the organization of the "church of Christ" at Manchester New York on the 6th of April 1830 (D.&C., 21, 10; 20, 3). By authority of the same revelation Joseph seems to have been honored to hold a place among those who were called to be Apostles; at any rate on the 6th of April, 1830 he was likewise ordained to the apostolic estate under the hands of Oliver Cowdery (D.&C., 21, 10; 20, 2). In that particular section of Mormon history no point was better understood than that an elder was the same thing as an Apostle (D.&C., 20, 38); the twain were considered in the light of exchangable terms. John Whitmer, who at the instant was nothing but an elder is spoken of by Mr. Rigdon on the 4th of Janaury 1831 as an Apostle of the Church (Howe, p. 110). Apostles were recognized as numerously existing in September 1831, although the Twelve were not created until the 14th of February 1835 (D.&C., 64, 39); a like concession was given on the first of June 1833 (D.&C., 95, 4. 9). In a word Mr. Cowdery was entirely in error when he pointed to Section 18 as supplying divine authority for the Mormon College of Apostles. Nothing of the sort was dreamed of in that production; hundreds of men became Apostles or elders under the authority of Section 18, who never came to the dignity of the existing order of the Twelve.
Joseph was so well aware of the fact that every nook and corner was filled up with men who spoke of themselves in the character of Apostles, and whose claims had been recognized ever since the first hour of the "church of Christ," that he was studious to employ
a kind of nomenclature that would avoid giving just offence. Accordingly the new Twelve were officially mentioned as the "traveling High Council, composed of the Twelve Apostles" (D.&C., 102, 30). In another place it was said that the "Twelve traveling counselors are called to be Twelve Apostles, or special witnesses of Christ in all the world; thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling" (D.&C., 107, 23); a position that might have been very well assumed to ward off the complaints of those numerous Apostles of the old regime who were offended to perceive how much they had been overslawed by the new dignitaries.
Joseph was a lover of scenic effect, and was at pains to employ a deal of it on the occasion of selecting the College of the Twelve. The two brothers Brigham and Joseph Young who had gained a deal of reputation in the character of the "sweet singers of Zion's Camp" (Juvenile Instructor, vol. 11, p. 286) paid a visit to Mr. Smith in February 1835 and sung for his edification. By an arrangement that is suspected to have been provided in advance the spirit of the Lord was poured out upon them, and Joseph told them that he "wanted to see those brethren together who went up to Zion in the Camp, the previous summer, for he had a blessing for them" (Juvenile Instructor, vol. 12, p. 9). A meeting was summoned for the afternoon of that day which is said by the leading authorities to have been the 14th of February, but others mention the 4th of the same month.
In order still farther to impart to the business the character of a mysterious performance, the three witnesses of the Book of Mormon,
after a vote had been passed to the effect that Twelve Apostles should be appointed, were requested to join in prayer one after the other according to a prevalent custom among the Mormons. This formality being accomplished, they were instructed to make choice of the Twelve, which duty it may be certainly suspected was performed in harmony with previously received instructions (Tullidge, pp. 149-50). Martin Harris was admitted to the trio who were permitted to execute the prophet's will on this occasion, for the reason that Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer two of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon had been formally addressed in the revelation of June 1829, which related to the choice of Apostles or Disciples (D.&C., Section 18). Harris was not mentioned there because he had not yet given in his adhesion to Joseph and his movement. Now that his adhesion had been secured it was considered to be of good uses to permit him also to join in the performance by which Whitmer and Cowdery were distinguished.
The Twelve Apostles of the new regime received their first mention in connection with the organization of the High Council of the stake of Zion at Kirtland in Monday the 17th of February 1834. This High Council was expected to be a stationary body; over against them the Twelve were expected to fulfill the functions of a "traveling High Council" (D.&C., 102, 30). It was therefore clearly understood that every person who aspired to a place among the Twelve Apostles should be ready to journey anywhere, not only within the limits of our own country, but also in foreign countries, in case the First
Presidency should conceive that the interests of the church might be any way promoted by such a process and sacrifice (Tullidge, pp. 151-9). Here was a point which Joseph had long desired to gain; it was now at length in his power to say to one man, go, and to another, come, at the movings of his own sweet will.
The most peculiar if not the chief moral qualification of an apostle of the new regime, was that a man should have seen the Lord with his bodily eyes (Tullidge, pp. 155-159). This was one of Joseph's early and persistent conceits. It was first broached in May 1831, at which time he exclaimed: "The day cometh that you shall hear my voice and see me, and know that I am" (D.&C., 50, 45). This benefit was promised to the members of the Conference at Hiram Ohio, on the 1st of November 1831 (D.&C., 67, 10). Joseph and Sidney got a sight of the Lord in their famous "Vision" of the 16th of February 1832 (D.&C., 76, 19-23). The necessity and the duty of beholding the Lord face to face was strictly inculcated in the "school of the prophets" (Howe, pp. 135-6), and after their ordination the Twelve were particularly instructed to abide in the vicinity of Kirtland until the "endowment" should be given, at which time it was hoped that numbers of them would be rewarded with this benefit (Tullidge, pp. 157-9).
But it was apparent that the Twelve Apostles would not be able to fulfill all the requirements of the situation; Joseph wanted a sort of standing army who should always be in readiness to give heed to marching orders. Fourteen days later on Saturday the 28th of February
"the Church in Council assembled, commenced selecting certain persons, who were ordained and blessed at that time, to begin the organization of the First Quorum of the Seventies, according to the plan laid down to Joseph in certain revelations and visions" (Tullidge, p. 160). The original arrangement looking in this direction was suggested as early as September 1832, where Joseph says:
"If any man among you be strong in the spirit, let him take with him he that is weak, that he may be edified in all meekness, that he may become strong also. Therefore, take with you those who are ordained unto the lesser priesthood, and send them before you to make appointments and to prepare the way, and to fill appointments that you yourselves are not able to fill. Behold this is the way that mine apostles in ancient days built up my church unto me (D.&C., 84, 106-108).The above was expressed in terms that were somewhat too general for Joseph's taste; when he went about to "speak where the Scriptures speak" he was fond of coming near to the chapter and verse. Consequently after he had organized the College of the Twelve Apostles, it was not long before he laid the foundation of the institution of the Seventy. The Savior had chosen the Apostles; it could not be denied on the other hand that he had sent forth Seventy ministers to proclaim his word (Luke, Chapter 10). Possibly this was regarded in the light of a very happy invention. It deserved to be that way regarded; the Quorums of the Seventies
could be increased to an indefinite number, and they have always supplied a standing army who could be sent abroad into any quarter of the earth at the bidding of the leaders of the hierarchy. It may be questioned whether the Society of Jesus possesses any more efficient organization.
The relation which the Seventy should bear to the Twelve was stipulated with a degree of care. It was provided that "the Seventy are to act in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Twelve or the traveling High Council, to build up the church and regulate all the affairs of the same in all nations-first unto the Gentiles and then unto the Jews" (D.&C., 107, 34). Again it was said: It is the duty of the traveling High Council to call upon the Seventy, when they need assistance to fill the several calls for preaching and administering the gospel, instead of any others" (D.&C., 107, 38). In other words the organization of the Twelve Apostles and the Seventy seems to have had the effect of "locating" (if one may employ a well known expression of Methodist parlance) all the other officebearers of the church. These were not expected to be at all times ready to travel as formerly was the case (D.&C., 107, 98). They were only called upon when the situation was in some respect extraordinary, as for example when it was suspected that the spirit of an elder or High priest or other dignitary required to be chastened for the salvation of his soul.
There can be no question that the present was a prosperous season in the history of Joseph's enterprise; all the isms found favorable
harvests in the years that intervened between 1830 and 1840, and it is not singular that Mormonism should have flourished; along with the balance. The Twelve Apostles were ordained, three of them on Saturday the 14th of February 1835; six more on the next day, Sunday the 15th; one on Saturday the 21st of February, and the two last on Sunday the 26th of April (Compendium of Doctrines, pp. 257-8).
On the 12th of March 1835 it was resolved that they should take their first missionary journey through the eastern states of America, by way of trying their 'prentice hands. After various preparations had been performed and a Conference had been held on the 2d of May, they all took the road on Monday the 4th of May (Tullidge, p. 160). They are said to have returned, to appearance in a body together, on the 26th of September following (Juvenile Instructor, vol. 12, p. 10). Brigham Young is reported to have taken his journey on this occasion towards certain tribes of Indians, whom it was his desire to convert to the tenets of Mormonism (Tullidge, Life of Brigham Young, p. 81).
Joseph and Frederick G. Williams his second counselor made it convenient to perform a journey to the state of Michigan during this summer, perhaps for the purpose of seeking out a new home for his followers in Missouri. While he was thus employed a sort of general assembly of considerable importance was convened at Kirtland on Sunday the 17th of August 1835, under the presidency of Sidney Rigdon and Oliver Cowdery. The Book of Doctrine and Covenants was formally laid before
this apparently unauthorized body, and duly accepted by them as a rule of faith and practice. If these had rejected the work it would have been easy for Joseph to reject them, since the laws of the church did not provide for any general assembly, and it was the prerogative of Joseph in person to preside over each general Conference, for he declared "where I am not, there is no First Presidency."
On Thursday the 17th of September the High Council passed a resolution to the effect that the prophet should receive a salary of Ten Dollars a week for his services, and that his secretary who at that period was probably Mr. Warren F. Parrish should be rewarded in the like sum (Remy and Brenchley, vol. 1, p. 301). But on that occasion it is believed that the High Council reckoned without the host; that amount of money was somewhat difficult to be procured, and odious distinction was made by means of which the two counsellors of the prophet were neglected. It is likely that the stipend of both the prophet and his secretary was permitted to go by default until the month of December 1835, when twenty of the faithful united their strength and were able in consequence to offer Joseph a present of Forty Dollars and fifty cents (Juvenile Instructor, vol. 12, p. 16). Possibly this was the only payment that was ever conveyed to Mr. Smith on the account of his salary.
Notwithstanding so many marks of prosperity, Mr. Smith was not without his trials. These came chiefly from his brother William Smith, one of
the recently ordained Twelve Apostles. Upon the occasion of a trial that was holding before the High Council at Kirtland, William became enraged at Joseph and broke off all pleasant relations. He even went to the extent of sending back his elder's license, and doing what he could by way of poisoning the minds of the people who would give him any attention; it is suspected that he began to let them understand what he knew about Mormonism and the Book of Mormon (Juv. Inst., 12, p. 16).
William thereupon proceeded to organize what is designated by Mormon authorities as a "debating school," which assembled in his own house (Juvenile Instructor, vol. 12, p. 26). It is likely that this "debating school" considered no other question than the claims of Joseph to be a prophet, and the means by which he obtained the Book of Mormon from the hands of Sidney Rigdon. Joseph became sensible of the dangers that threatened him from this quarter; consequently it is reported that he "met with the school and gave the elders some good counsel respecting debates. Some words were indulged in on the impropriety of continuing such meetings, Joseph fearing that they would not result in good. In the conversation which ensued, William's anger became excited against his brother Joseph, and before he could be stopped, he rushed upon him in a dreadful rage and committed violence upon his person, the effects of which Joseph carried with him to his grave" (Juv, Inst., 12, p. 26).
The business was hushed up and as far as possible concealed, but
its effects reached far; it was afterwards a custom of William Smith when his money was running out to levy a contribution upon Joseph by threatening to "tell where the Book of Mormon came from"; the latter was not above yielding the point and paying over the cash (Bennett, p. 87).
The last officer that was added to the Hierarchy in the period of peace and progress was the Patriarch. Like Mr. Campbell Joseph and Sidney were engaged in the enterprise of "restoring the ancient order of things," only the latter were proceeding in a fashion that was every way more thorough than that in which Campbell went about the business. They had long since "restored" the Christian dispensation as it prevailed in the days before the "great apostacy"; they had also "restored" the Jewish or Mosaic dispensation in many of its parts and it was fitting they should also do something for the advantage of the Patriarchal dispensation.
The notions of Mr. Rigdon concerning the Patriarchal dispensation are believed to have been obtained from Mr. Campbell. The latter had a discourse that was considered to be a veritable masterpiece of pulpit eloquence, and he was fond of repeating it whenever he wished to produce an overwhelming sensation. It was entitled the "Progress of Revealed Light," and was founded upon Malachi 4, 2: "Unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with the healing in his wings." He insisted upon the following divisions:
2d, The Moonlight Age or the Jewish Dispensation.
3d, The Twilight Age or the Ministry of John the Baptist.
4th, The Sunlight Age,
Rigdon was present and heard him deliver that discourse at Canfield, Ohio, in August 1826, and seems never to have forgotten it. In fact it produced a new era on the Western Reserve (Hayden, pp. 35-37).
Years before, at his first meeting with Mr. Campbell in the summer of 1821, it has been shown how Sidney was inducted into the merits of this topic by means of the famous conversation which lasted all night long. The former says in reporting that interview: "The dispensations -- Adamic, Abrahamic, Jewish and Christian -- passed and repassed before us" (Richardson, vol. ii, p. 45).
Subsequently Mr. Campbell published sixteen different Essays on these topics in the Christian Baptist, in consequence of a legacy that had been left for that purpose by a certain Mr. James A. Bell. He had likewise included many of the thoughts, there put forward in an Essay on the Kingdom of Heaven, which first saw the light as an "Extra" of the Millennial Harbinger, for the year 1834. On the 2d of January 1835 was sent forth the volume entitled "Christianity Restored" in which the aforesaid Essay on the Kingdom of Heaven was assigned a place.
So much labor could not be lost; it has been shown that the Essay on the Kingdom of Heaven was one of the most highly favored pieces of literature in the camp of the Mormons. The attention of Sidney was thereby fixed anew upon a subject that had given him interest from the outset
Mr. Rigdon was bent upon the project of "restoring" the Patriarchal Dispensation concerning which his old friend Campbell, had discoursed so admirably by word and writing. He considered that fine talk was very well, but it would be a famous feather in his cap if he could get the start of Alexander by reducing this talk to practice. Nevertheless Sidney felt a degree of embarrassment when he gave his mind to the task of selecting a kind of function that it would be seemly to assign to the hands of the new official. The Patriarch must needs be accommodated with a task that should be different from that performed by the other proclaimers of Mormonism; it must also be a patriarchal task as well.
Turning this project over in his mind Sidney appears to have obtained valuable assistance from Mr. Campbell. In the Essay on the Kingdom of Heaven the latter had said "the moral and religious institutions of the patriarchal or family worship dispensation, which continued from the fall of Adam to the covenant of circumcision, were the Sabbath, the service of the altar, oral instruction, prayer, praise and benediction" (Christian System, p. 130).
Several of these items, as the Sabbath, oral instruction, prayer and praise were not peculiar to the Patriarchal period; Mr. Campbell expressly conceded that he could not imagine a form of religion without some of these (Christian System, p. 132).
Regarding the service of the altar the time had not yet arrived when Mormon literalism was sufficiently strong to conceive the
propriety of going to an extreme of that color. By consequence Sidney was shut up to adopt the last suggestion which Mr. Campbell had set down in the above category; namely his Patriarch should give his attention to the labors of benediction. It was fortunate for Sidney that Alexander had laid particular stress upon this function of benediction. He declared that "Benediction was one of the first duties of this [patriarchal] office. Fathers pronounced blessings on their children. Superiors in age and standing blessed their inferiors. Melchisedek blessed Abraham; Isaac blessed Jacob, and Jacob blessed the Twelve Patriarchs. The invocation of blessings and the imposition of hands upon the head were parts of the family worship institution" (Christian System, p. 132).
The fact that benediction was allowed a place among the "first duties of the Patriarchal office" seems to have given a decided direction to the mind of Sidney. The business of benediction and the laying on of hands would be something both unique and dignified; in fact Mr. Rigdon was tickled famously, and the Mormon Patriarchal office was incontinently supplied with the handicraft of pronouncing blessings, which it has ever since maintained. At an early period it was customary for the Patriarch to exact a small fee for the performance of this service. Possibly this fee was required in the beginning. The pecuniary arrangement would be peculiarly grateful to Joseph, who it may be suspected was becoming weary of the charges of sustaining his father and mother.
After the republication of the Essay on the "Kingdom of Heaven" in Mr. Campbell's volume entitled "Christianity Restored," an event which it has been seen befell on the 2d of January 1835, Sidney appears to have taken up this matter with renewed interest. With the materials now at disposal it cannot be determined at what moment he made up his mind. On the 28th of March Joseph obtained an important revelation that embraced the first fifty eight verses of Section 107 of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, but these will be searched in vain for any allusion to the Patriarchate. Some time afterwards, certainly before the 21st of January 1836, an addition was given to Section 107, where the office was for the first time distinctly foreshadowed:
"Wherefore it must needs be that one be appointed of the High-priesthood to preside over the priesthood, and he shall be called President of the High-priesthood of the church; or in other words the Presiding High-priest over the High-priesthood of the church. From the same comes the administering of ordinances and blessings upon the church by the laying on of hands" (D.&C., 107, 65-7).The selection of Mr. Joseph Smith, sen., to the dignity and advantages of this office was a foregone conclusion. When the time was fully ripe the ceremony of his ordination was enacted with evidences of pomp and ceremony. Joseph himself reports the proceedings in the following language:
"At early candlelight (January 21st, 1836), I met with the Presidency at the west school room in the Temple [unfinished], to attend to the ordinance of anointing our heads with holy oil; also the councils of Kirtland and Zion met in the two adjoining rooms, waiting in prayer while we attended to the ordinance. I took the oil in my left hand, father Smith being seated before me, and the other members of the Presidency encircled him round about. We then stretched our right hands towards heaven, and blessed the oil and consecrated it in the name of Jesus Christ. We then laid our hands upon our aged father Smith, and invoked the blessings of heaven. I then anointed his head with the consecrated oil, and sealed many blessings upon him. The Presidency then in turn laid their hands upon his head, beginning at the eldest, until they had all laid their hands upon him, and pronounced such blessings upon his head as the Lord put into their hearts,-all blessing him to be our Patriarch, to anoint our heads, and attend to all the duties that pertain to that office" (Tullidge, p. 161).This was a truly memorable evening. After Joseph Smith, sen., had been thus ordained to the Patriarchal office he turned about and gave the
anointing and "endowment" to the three members of the First Presidency, and apparently likewise to the members of the High Council of Kirtland and of Zion, who it has been seen were in waiting near at hand. Joseph declares: "Many of the brethren who received the ordinance with me saw glorious visions also. Angels ministered unto them, as well as myself and the power of the Highest rested upon us, the house was filled with the glory of God, and we shouted Hosannah to God and the Lamb" (Tullidge, pp. 163-4). The next evening it will be remembered the same privilege of "endowment" was accorded to the Twelve Apostles.
But Joseph was unfortunate on this famous occasion; he obtained a vision which did not rhyme with his subsequent schemes, and he even went to the extent of committing it to paper and print. By his declaration "the heavens were opened upon us, and I beheld the celestial kingdom and the glory thereof, whether in the body or out, I cannot tell... I saw fathers Adam and Abraham, and my father and mother, my brother Alvin that has long since slept, and marveled how it was that he had obtained an inheritance in that kingdom, seeing that he had departed this life before the Lord had set his hand to gather Israel the second time, and had not been baptized for the remission of sins."
" Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me Saying: 'All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God; also
all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts shall be heirs of that kingdom, for I the Lord will judge all men according to their works; according to the desires of their hearts'" (Tullidge, pp. 162-3).A few years later when Joseph had introduced the doctrine and custom of baptism for the dead, the process by which his departed brother Alvin and many others were here represented to have come to heaven was no longer orthodox; it was eminently desirable to forget the vision of the 21st of January 1836 and everything that pertained thereto. By consequence when Joseph Smith, sen., departed this life at Nauvoo on the 14th of September 1840, the prophet embraced the opportunity that was supplied by an obituary notice to affirm that his father "was ordained Patriarch and President of the High-Priesthood under the hands of Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, F. G. Williams and myself on the 18th of December 1833, and that on the 17th of February: 1834 his father bestowed on him and his brother Samuel His faithful blessing."
The honor of an early ordination to the station of Patriarch in the church is likewise claimed for John Young, the father of Brigham Young. In the "History of Joseph Smith" under date of the 8th of August 1844 the prophet is made to affirm that he ordained John Young to be a Patriarch in the spring of the year 1834 (Compendium of Doctrines, p. 74). If Joseph ever wrote this passage he was suffering from a confusion of memory. It is more likely however that he never penned a sentence of that purport; the work entitled the "History of Joseph Smith" remained a long season in the keeping of the faithful before it was given to the public, and it was easily possible for interested parties to tamper with it to promote their own advantage. The Young dynasty who had the special management of it were nowise too honest to employ it this way; the assertion that Joseph had ordained John Young to the Patriarchate would be a profitable and pleasant bit of flattery.
The earliest form of the Mormon Hierarchy is that which appears in the Book of Mormon; it has been shown already how that authority provided for three grades of officers, namely, "Disciples, who are called the Elders of the church," and Priests and Teachers (Moroni 3, 1). Mr. Smith in the former portion of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants adheres with strictness to the method of the Book of Mormon; Section 18 of the aforesaid work calls for the same Twelve Disciples as the Prophet Moroni (Moroni 2, 1; cf. D.&C., 18, 27). It is of moment to observe that the word is Disciples and not Apostles in both of these sources, and that the word Apostles in the title of Section 18 of more recent editions is spurious, the original word in that place likewise being Disciples (Book of Commandments, Chap. XV, 1). For the Priests and Teachers to whom reference has been made the reader is invited to consult D.&C., 18, 32. In few words, therefore, Joseph borrowed the first form of church organization which he proposed, directly from the Book of Mormon.
The first addition made to the Book of Mormon Hierarchy occurred in the document which Joseph sent forth under the title of "The Articles and Covenants of the church of Christ" (Book of Commandments, Chapter XXIV, 1). This was delivered at the first Conference of the church, which was held in Fayette, New York, on the first of June 1830. It has been shown how modern Mormon scholars have corrupted the sources of history by representing that this revelation was produced on or before the 6th of April 1830, and that it is wrongly set down as Section 20 in Orson Pratt's edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.
These "Articles and Covenants" increased the officers of the church by the addition of deacons (D.&C., 20, 39). This change is believed to have been unwelcome to Sidney Rigdon; at any rate it is clear that the "diligent student of the Scriptures" who is vehemently suspected to have been Mr. Rigdon, had an aversion against the office of deacon that induced him to leave it out of the Book of Mormon (Christian Baptist, p. 86).
No other addition was made to the Book of Mormon Hierarchy until the month of January 1831. At that moment the removal of the Saints from New York to Ohio was upon the order of the day. At the third Conference held at Fayette on the 2d of January Joseph presented the bishopric in its earliest embryonic form, where he says:
"And now I give unto the church in these parts a commandment that certain men among them shall be appointed, and they shall be appointed by the voice of the church; and they shall
look to the poor and the needy, and administer to their relief, that they shall not suffer; and send them forth to the place that I have commanded them; and this shall be their work to govern the affairs of the property of my church (D.&C., 38, 34-36).Arrived in Ohio, the prophet gave up the notion of appointing a number of persons to have charge of the temporal concerns of his people and raised Mr. Edward Partridge to the dignity of bishop (D.&C., 41, 9-11). The addition of a bishop to the Hierarchy is believed to have been accomplished by the suggestion of Sidney; the "diligent student of the Scriptures" had got the notion that a bishop was not rightly a preaching officer but mainly an administrative officer (Christian Baptist, p. 86). There seems to be no other explanation of the reason why this purely administrative functionary should have received in the Mormon church the title of bishop.
Five days after the addition of the Bishop to the Hierarchy a couple of elders were assigned to him to be his counselors (D.&C., 42, 31. 71).
On the 8th of March 1831 the office of Historian was added by revelation to the Hierarchy, although it appears that Mr. Oliver Cowdery had previously been performing the functions of recorder or church clerk (D.&C., 47, 1-4).
In the month of May 1831, the office of Bishop's agent first is mentioned (D.&C., 51, 8. 12); Newel Knight of the Colesville Branch who at that time were residing in Thompson township is believed
to have been the first who was permitted to wear that dignity (D.&C., 54, 2). In the month of June the office of Bishop's agent in Zion would seem to have been employed as a sort of bait for Mr. Sidney Gilbert, by means of which he might be seduced to surrender the feeble remnants of his attachment for the Methodist church and formally to cast in his fortunes with the "church of Christ" (D.&C., 53, 1-7).
With the month of June 1831 came change in the Hierarchy of the "church of Christ" that was of more consequence than any of those that have been mentioned hitherto. Namely, while it was the project of Sidney's stupid literalism to restore the Aaronic priesthood in accordance with his singular interpretation of Malachi 3, 3. 4, there is no good reason to suspect that it ever had crossed his wildest dreams likewise to restore the Melchisedek priesthood. But at the great Conference of the 6th of June 1831, Joseph having got weary of the distinctions that already prevailed, desired to introduce an office that should not be soiled by the usage of all kind of hands. Accordingly the sight of the brethren was regaled by a striking innovation; Elder Lyman Wight, who had just "seen God face to face" was incontinently ordained to the new office of High-priest. In his turn High-priest Wight was likewise empowered to ordain several other parties to the burdens and benefits of that station (Howe, pp. 188-189).
Nothing relating to this proceeding nor to the terms High-priesthood and Melchisedek priesthood was given in the revelation
that was uttered upon the occasion of this Conference under date of the 7th of June 1831 (D.&C., Section 52). But both of these phrases were in the air and upon the lips of the faithful during the first journey to Missouri; Ezra Booth was familiar with them as early as the beginning of September 1831 (Howe, p. 180). On the other hand Joseph did not become responsible for them in any of his printed revelations until the Conference at Hiram, Ohio, on the first of November 1831 (D.&C., 68, 15). In the above citation likewise is the earliest mention of the First Presidency of the Melchisedek priesthood.
Bishop Edward Partridge had behaved in a somewhat obstreperous fashion during the visit of Joseph to Missouri in July and therefore in November 1831 it was found to be important for the purpose of humbling his pretensions that "other bishops should be set apart unto the church to minister even according to the first" (D.&C., 68, 14), and Newel K. Whitney was selected for the Episcopal dignity on the 4th of December 1831 (D.&C., 72, 2-8).
After that time the Saints had rest from innovation until March 1832, when Frederick G. Williams was selected to be a counselor to the Presidency of the High or Melchisedek priesthood (D.&C., 81, 1-2). No other important addition was performed until the 27th of
December 1832, at which time was appointed a President or Teacher of the "School of the Prophets" (D.&C., 88, 127-36). On the 8th of March 1833, a whole year after the promotion of Frederick G. Williams, Sidney Rigdon was likewise honored by being accorded the position of counselor to the First Presidency of the Melchisedek priesthood (D.&C., 90, 6. 21).
In February 1834 the High Council of Kirtland were appointed and installed (D.&C., Section 102), and the traveling High Council or Twelve Apostles were foreshadowed (D.&C., 102, 30). As was signified in the preceding chapter the latter were appointed on the 14th of February 1835; on the 28th of February 1835 a beginning was made of the process of selecting the Seventy Elders (Tullidge, p. 160). The Seventy are first mentioned in the word of revelation on the 28th of March 1835, just one month after the church had taken in hand the labor of organizing them (D.&C., 107, 25).
Last of all came the Patriarch, who it has been seen was ordained on the 21st of January 1836.
On the other hand it remains to be mentioned that a number of the suggestions that Joseph was moved to put forward by means of his commerce with the Diety, turned out to be signal failures. For example, on the 6th day of April 1830, when he was engaged in the concern of organizing the church at the house of his brother Hyrum at Manchester, he obtained four several revelations calling
Hyrum Smith, Samuel H. Smith, Joseph Smith, sen. and Joseph Knight, sen., to the office of "exhorters" (Book of Commandments, Chapters XVIII-XXI). These "exhorters" were especially designed to labor withinside the church; they were not expected to preach to those who might not be members of the church. It is needless to add that this plan was not persisted in; in other words the revelation of Joseph failed to be fulfilled. In the early months of its existence the distinction between the church and the world was sharply drawn that it was customary to give notice in what cases a person was appointed to labor before the church and when it was desirable that he should devote a measure of attention to those who were without (D.&C., 21, 12; 23, 3-7; 24, 10; 30, 4). It was not long, however, before that distinction was wholly lost. This was an awkward occurrence by reason of the circumstance that it was said to Hyrum Smith "thy calling is to exhortation, and to strengthen the church continually. Wherefore thy duty is unto the church forever, and this because of thy family" (D.&C., 23, 3). Hyrum was in later years constrained to labor before the world as well as before the church, notwithstanding the fact that his family was all the time increasing with respect to its size and the burden that it imposed.
Another of the conceits of Mr. Smith that suffered shipwreck was that relating to the official station of women in the church. In the month of July 1830 he obtained a revelation for the advantage of his wife Emma Smith, in which it was enjoined that she should "be ordained under his hand to expound scriptures and to exhort
the church, according as it shall be given thee by my spirit, for he shall lay his hands upon thee and thou shalt receive the Holy Ghost" (D.&C., 25, 7-8). But nothing more was ever heard regarding female expounders and exhorters; Emma herself did not perform in that character, neither were any other women ordained to any function.
Once more, Joseph had an unclear notion about the propriety not only of ordaining people to the office of exhorting the church, but likewise to the other office of merely warning sinners to flee from the wrath to come. It was his impression that this was a special function that should be distinct from expounding the scriptures or preaching or teaching. Consequently in August 1831 he declared: "Verily I say unto you, those who desire in their hearts in meekness to warn sinners to repentance, let them be ordained unto this power; for this is a day of warning and not a day of many words" (D.&C., 63, 57, 8). This project, although it appears to have had a place somewhat near his heart, like many others that were divinely inspired went by default.
At a later period of his career he seems to have contemplated the possibility of organizing a sort of body of traveling bishops (D.&C., 20, 66); but that likewise failed. The same fortune overtook the suggestion to organize a traveling High Council of High-priests (D.&C., 102, 24-30). In brief, not a few of Joseph's inspired
conceptions were cooly laid aside; he insisted upon the execution of only such of these as chanced to be feasible.
The last of the impracticable revelations that calls for notice in this place was that which related to "evangelical ministers." On the 28th of March 1835 Joseph says: "It is the duty of the Twelve in all large branches of the church, to ordain evangelical ministers, as they shall be designated unto them by revelation" (D.&C., 107, 39). Possibly it was the purpose of the prophet here to "speak where the scriptures speak" by providing for evangelists. The suggestion proved a failure; but at a later season an effort was made to save the prophet's inspiration by claiming that the phrase "evangelical ministers" signified one and the same thing as Patriarchs. The "History of Joseph Smith" under date of June 27th 1839 has even been cited to confirm this position. In that place the prophet affirms: "An Evangelist is a Patriarch, even the oldest man of the blood of Joseph or of the seed of Abraham. Whenever the church is established in the earth, tho should be a Patriarch for the benefit of the posterity of the Saints, as it was with Jacob in giving his patriarchal blessing to his sons" (Compendium, p. 73). It is possible that the "History of Joseph Smith" was in this case tampered with in a clumsy fashion by the Young dynasty, before it was given forth to the inspection of the public. If however Joseph did compose the above passage in the year 1839, it was done merely to cover up his retreat from the project relating to "Evangelical Ministers" that had been broached in March 1835.
There the form was the simplest of all; it appeared as follows:
I. Three offices of the New Testament Church.
1. Apostles or Elders.
II. One office of the Old Testament, connected with the Aaronic Priesthood.
As yet there was no thought of any Melchisedek Priesthood; the Aaronic Priesthood stood apart making no effort as yet to swallow up either of the New Testament offices.
A second attempt to organize the Mormon Hierarchy was accomplished on the 22d and 23d of September 1832; the record of it is preserved in
Section 84 of the Doctrine and Covenants. It has likewise been treated in the present Book the Fourth of this Biography. That scheme showed as follows:
1. Joseph Smith, jun., Prophet, Seer, and First President of the Melchisedek Priesthood.
2. His counselor, Frederick G. Williams.
4. Apostles or Elders.
5. Bishop in Zion, with two counselors.
6. Bishop in Kirtland, with two counselors.
7. Bishop's Agent in Zion.
8. Bishop's Agent in Kirtland.
II. Aaronic Priesthood.
12. After a certain fashion independent of these two priesthoods stood the Historian and Recorder, John Whitmer of Zion.
The third attempt to organize the Mormon Hierarchy was performed under date of March 28th 1835, and a record of it is laid down in that portion of Section 107 of the Book of Doctrine and Covenant which is embraced between the first and the 58th verse, this being the only part of Section 107 that was produced on the day in
question (D.&C., 107, title). A number of offices and dignities had been added to the Hierarchy since the month of September 1832 and the prophet was beginning to feel a certain embarras de richesse. He therefore prepared a special revelation to meet the emergency, and is suspected to have given a wink to the recently chosen College of Apostles to the effect that they should require additional light on the topic in hand. The said request was duly and humbly proposed on the afternoon of the 25th of March (Tullidge, pp. 215-6). Of course it was immediately complied with; the first 58 verses of Section 107 were sent forth before midnight.
The scheme of this third effort to organize the Hierarchy may be displayed as follows:
1. Joseph Smith, jun., Prophet, Seer, First President of the Melchisedek Priesthood, and President of the "school of the Prophets."
2. Sidney Rigdon, First Counselor of the First Presidency.
3. Frederick G. Williams, Second Counselor of the First Presidency.
4. Twelve Apostles, whose names are as follows:
Thomas B. Marsh.
David W. Patten.
Heber C. Kimball.
William E. McLellin.
John F. Boynton.
Lyman E. Johnson.
5. High Council of Twelve High-priests at Kirtland, as follows:
Samuel H. Smith.
John S. Carter.
Joseph Smith, sen.
6. A like High Council in Zion.
7. Standing High Councils at any Stake of Zion (D.&C., 107, 36).
8. Seventy Elders, not yet fully organized.
10. Elders (D.&C., 107, 7).
12. Bishop, with his counselors (D.&C., 107, 15).
16. Evangelical Ministers (D.&C., 107, 39).
17. Historian or Recorder of the church.
Several points call for observation in this connection. Under the first scheme for the organization of the Hierarchy the Melchisedek Priesthood was entirely unknown; under the second scheme it had assumed a prominent station but it had not as yet swallowed up the Aaronic Priesthood, which was at that period recognized as a separate and independent institution (D.&C., 84, 29-30). In the above scheme, on the contrary, the Aaronic Priesthood has been degraded to the level of a mere "appendage" to the Melchisedek Priesthood (D.&C., 107, 5. 6. 14). This was in keeping with Joseph's policy, who had no fondness for the Aaronic Priesthood; he looked forward to a period when it should be "taken again from the earth" (D.&C., Section 13; cf. 84, 27).
But it was a blunder in case he desired to execute this policy, that he should have removed the bishopric from a place under the Melchisedek Priesthood, where it should in the second scheme (D.&C., 84, 29), to a position at the presidency of the Aaronic priesthood (D.&C., 107, 15) where it stands in the third scheme.
Even the inspiration of a prophet was not above stumbling, as may be seen in the above transfer of the bishopric from the "Holy Priesthood" to the lesser priesthood; another instance of stumbling is displayed in the genealogy of the said "Holy Priesthood." Under the second scheme the "Holy Priesthood" was traced upward through Abel to Adam (D.&C., 84, 16); under the third scheme Abel is entirely ignored in favor of Seth (107, 42-43).
The "Holy Priesthood" appears to be a trifle more intimate with the heavens in the third scheme than may be observed in the second scheme. For example, under the latter it is said that "this greater priesthood, administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God" (D.&C., 84, 19). On the contrary in the third scheme "the power and authority of the Higher or Melchisedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church-to have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven-to have the heavens opened unto them-to commune with the general assembly and church of the firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father and Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant" (D.&C., 107, 18, 19).
With this advance of position there was coupled as usual an increase of arrogance. It will be perceived by the foregoing citation that the business of "seeing God face to face" is reserved as an exclusive privilege and perquisite of the "Holy Priesthood"; in the second
scheme and in all utterances that fell before it, the people as well as the priests, the lower priesthood as well as the "Holy Priesthood," were conceded that benefit (D.&C., 84, 20-23).
Although the Patriarchal dignity was not formally mentioned in the revelation under observation it is everywhere quietly assumed as a project of the near future; the document abounds with references to the function of benediction which was later assigned to the Patriarch (D.&C., 107, 42. 46. 47. 48. 53. 54).
It remains to be mentioned in this connection that a couple of so-called General Assemblies have been held in the history of the church. One of these took place on the 24th of September 1834, and the other on the 17th of August 1835. The latter meeting took upon itself the authority of inserting into the Book of Doctrines and Covenants a couple of articles. Of these articles the first related to marriage and enjoined monogamy, a provision that was highly distasteful to Joseph. The other article related to "Governments and Laws in general" (D.&C., Sect. 134) and declared that the authority of the civil state stands above the authority of the Theocracy, another provision that was distasteful to Joseph. Besides the fact that these articles should be formally adopted by a General Assembly was an inexcusable invasion of the Prophets' prerogative. Joseph immediately became jealous of these meddlesome General Assemblies; he determined to throttle them at their birth; he would brook no rival. Consequently the General Assemblies were promptly discontinued; none has ever been seen in the church since the 17th day of August 1835.
It will be remembered that Joseph had organized the Apostles and Seventies as a kind of standing army to do his bidding in whatever way and season he might express it. The balance of the officers were by that arrangement relieved of a necessity which by implication at least had rested upon them. They might henceforth remain at
home if it liked them to enjoy their ease, for Joseph expressly declared:
Whereas other officers of the church, who belong not unto the Twelve, neither to the seventy, are not under responsibility to travel among all nations, but are to travel as their circumstances shall allow, notwithstanding they may hold as high and responsible offices in the church (D.&C., 107, 98).But it was every way understandable that the large bodies of men who composed the orders of the High-priests, Elders, Aaronic priests, the Teachers and Deacons should be left alone without any special organization by means of which their energies might be directed and abuses restrained. Consequently Joseph fell upon the project of appointing presidents over each of these bodies for the purpose of better holding them in order. This was no ill notion; in case it were properly executed one can perceive that it might have been of good uses. The first of the bodies that he takes in hand were the Elders, who are set down as Article 10 in the third scheme of Organization, as detailed in the foregoing chapter: he decrees that a college of presidents shall be appointed "to preside over those who are of the office of an elder" (D.&C., 107, 60).
The same provision was prepared for the benefit of the Priests (D.&C., 107, 61). It was likewise stipulated that a body of presiding teachers should be charged with the efficiency and good conduct of the Teachers and last of all the Deacons were remembered in a similar fashion (D.&C., 107, 62).
The question is fair and pertinent whether Joseph intended to degrade the Elders from their station under the Melchisedek Priesthood to a position under the Aaronic Priesthood, by the language he has employed between verses 59 and 65 of Section 107. If his purpose was of that complexion it contradicts all his previous assertions, and even a special declaration in the present Section, where he affirms that "the office of an elder comes under the Melchisedek Priesthood" (D.&C., 107, 7). The reader will judge this issue for himself, but there seems to be a good deal that favors the notion that the prophet here changes his tune. After mentioning the fact that presiding officers should be established over the several orders of Elders, Priests, Deacons and Teachers (D.&C., 107, 60-2), he straightway adds the following instruction:
Wherefore, from deacon to teacher, and from teacher to priest, and from priest to elder, severally as they are appointed, according to the covenants and commandments of the church. Then comes the High-priesthood, which is the greatest of all (D.&C., 107, 63, 64).Does this language avail to draw a line of distinction between the Elders and the Melchisedek Priesthood, leaving the Elders on a plane below the said Priesthood? The decision of that question will depend upon the scope of meaning that is assigned to the term High-priesthood in verse 64, as cited above. If it is synonymous with the
expression Melchisedek Priesthood, as Mr. Orson Pratt in a footnote affirms, then the Elders are excluded from that Priesthood; on the other hand if it signifies nothing more than the order of High-priests within the limits of the Melchisedek priesthood, then the Elders may hold their station within the Melchisedek Priesthood. The latter is the interpretation which the church at large seems to have adopted; they reckon the Elders as a portion of the Melchisedek Priesthood.
After stipulating that there shall be a college of presiding officers appointed over the orders named above the prophet in the last place provides that one single officer shall be appointed to preside over the order of High-priests, and that his title shall be "the Presiding High-priest over the High-priesthood of the church" (D.&C., 107, 65-6). It was also particularly directed that the aforesaid officer should be the same person as the Patriarch of the church, and that the Patriarch in virtue of his position was superior to the bishop (D.&C., 107, 67-8). The reason why he should have been content with a single President over the High-priesthood of the church has not been disclosed. Perhaps the High-priests had not yet become so numerous that it would be impracticable for a single person to be in personal communication with each one; possibly it was felt to be desirable that Joseph Smith, sen., who it was foreseen should be named as Patriarch, might possess as much power as possible. The Patriarch in a few years rose to a dignity only second to that of the President of the entire church (D.&C., 124, 123-5).
The scheme of this fourth attempt to organize the Hierarchy of the church would fall out as follows:
1. Joseph Smith, jun., Prophet, Seer, Revelator, First President of the Melchisedek Priesthood, President of the "school of the Prophets," &c.
2. Sidney Rigdon, First Counselor.
3. Frederick G. Williams, Second Counselor.
4. Twelve Apostles, whose names were supplied in the preceding chapter.
5. High Council of Twelve High-priests at Kirtland.
6. A like High Council in Zion.
7. Standing High Councils at any Stake of Zion.
8. Seventy Elders, not yet fully organized.
9. Patriarch of the church and President of the High-priests.
11. Presiding Elders over the Elders of the church.
13. Bishop, with two counselors, President of entire Aaronic Priesthood.
14. Presiding Priests of the Aaronic Priests.
16. Presidents of the Teachers of the church.
18. Presidents of the Deacons of the church.
20. Historian or Recorder of the church.
Apparently the office of bishop's Agent had been suffered to go by default; it was last mentioned in March 1833 (D.&C., 90, 22). The Bishop in the preceding scheme is set down as President of the entire Aaronic Priesthood, which includes the offices of Priests, Teachers and Deacons, and does not directly conflict with the functions of the body of Presiding Priests of the Aaronic Priests.
The Aaronic Priesthood remains as in the preceding scheme a mere "appendage" of the Melchisedek Priesthood; the latter is the only priesthood in fact though not exactly in form.
In the preceding attempt he had stipulated that the bishop should be "a common judge among the inhabitants of Zion" (D.&C., 107, 74), by which was intended that he should adjust cases at law precisely after the fashion of a civil official of that grade. This was a necessary feature of the project which erected a Theocracy; all questions of whatever nature between members of the church were to be disposed of by the bishop, without any kind of recourse to Gentile courts and judges. Provision was now made for the exigency of dissatisfaction with a decision of the bishop and his counselors.
To meet this case it was arranged that the cause should be carried up and laid before the First Presidency and the High Council, who in the hearing of it should be supported by Twelve Additional Counselors. The decision of this court of Twenty-four High-priests was to be regarded as an end of all controversy (D.&C., 107, 78-80). The same method was to be adopted if charges should at any time be entered against the President of the church; besides the common High Council of Twelve High-priests, were to be summoned Twelve other High-priests, and the decision of the Twenty-four was to be
accepted as final (D.&C., 107, 81-4). As a matter of fact neither of these suggestions appears to have been carried into execution; so far as the record shows they both proved to be failures.
In the preceding scheme the prophet had enacted that there should be a number of presiding officers who should have charge of the orders of Deacons, Teachers, Priests, and Elders while it was arranged that the High-priests should own allegiance to only a single president, who at the same moment should be the Patriarch of the church. The scope of the functions of these various presidents, however, had not been specified; how many of them there should be in each case and what should be the nature of their duties were points that had not been settled. Definite instruction was now presented touching these matters.
A president of the Deacons was expected to "preside over twelve deacons, to sit in council with them, and to teach them their duty-edifying one another as it is given according to the covenants" (D.&C., 107, 85). A president of the Teachers was required to preside over 24 Teachers; a president "over the priesthood of Aaron" was given 48 Priests to have the charge and care of; a president of the Elders was made lord over 96 Elders (D.&C., 107, 86-89).
By the above arrangement there would be as many individuals in the college of presidents as the number 12 occurred among the Deacons; the number 24 among the Teachers; the number 48 among the Priests and the number 96 among the Elders. The purpose of the
prophet is believed to have been to place every officer under a supervison that should be more or less close according to the grade of his elevation in the church. It remains to be added that so far as the record has been consulted this suggestion was never carried into execution precisely in the form it was originally proposed; it also proved to be an instance of inspired failure.
A case of confusion exists at this point which deserves a word of notice. According to the third scheme the bishop was degraded from the Melchisedek Priesthood and promoted to be the President of the entire Aaronic Priesthood which consisted of Priests Teachers and Deacons. In the present scheme, on the contrary, a heavy blow is, perhaps, unintentionally aimed at the bishop. He is no longer president of the entire Aaronic Priesthood, but only of that portion of it which is embraced by the order of Priests. Nay he is not even the president of all the Priests; it is only permitted to him to be the president of 48 Priests. Shurely here was a painful and pernicious descent.
Conflicts of authority and of jurisdiction were apparently inevitable in the administration of government by a body of officers like that which has been described above. For example, it was arranged that the quorum of the Twelve Apostles should be "equal in authority and power" to the First Presidency (D.&C., 107, 22-4); likewise that the Seventy should form a "quorum equal in authority to that of the Twelve special witnesses or Apostles" (D.&C., 107, 25-6). Again to make confusion worse confounded "the Standing High Councils at the Stakes of Zion,
form a quorum equal in authority in the affairs of the church in all their decisions to the quorum of the Presidency, or to the Traveling High Council"; and "the High Council in Zion, form a quorum equal in authority in the affairs of the church in all their decisions, to the Councils of the Twelve at the Stakes of Zion" (D.&C., 107, 36, 37).
No provision at all was made for an appeal from the decisions of one of these bodies to the judgment of another; the only instance of an appeal from any other than a bishop's court occurs with reference to a body-the "High Council of Traveling High Priests"-which never came into existence (D.&C., 102, 24-30). But this difficulty was more apparent than real; Joseph was almost always supreme, and matters were decided in accordance with his wishes depite every constitutional provision to the contrary. If that had not been the case it would have been impossible to administer the affairs of his church.
As a kind of finishing touch Mr. Smith having appointed a variety of presidents for the orders of Priests, Deacons, Teachers and Elders concluded it would be of service to apply that sort of a provision to the Quorum of Seventy Elders. Accordingly he stipulated that there should be a president for every ten of these, and that one of the aforesaid seven presidents should be president in chief of the Seventy (D.&C., 107, 93-4). This suggestion has held its place and is still in vogue.
The scheme of the prophet's fifth attempt to organize the Hierarchy may be represented as follows:
1. Joseph Smith, jun., Seer, Revelator, Translater; First President of the Melchisedek Priesthood, &c.
2. Sidney Rigdon, First Counselor.
3. Frederick G. Williams, Second Counselor.
4. Twelve Apostles.
5. High Council of Twelve High-priests at Kirtland.
6. High Council of Twenty-four High-priests to sit as a court of appeals, and in case it is necessary to try the President of the church.
7. High Council of Twelve High-priests in Zion.
8. Standing High Council at any Stake of Zion.
9. First President of the Seventy Traveling Elders.
10. Six Secondary Presidents of the Elders.
11. Seventy Elders.
12. Patriarch of the church and President of the High-priests.
14. Presiding Elders over the Elders of the church.
16. Bishops, who are ex officio Presiding Priests over the Priests of the church.
18. Presidents of the Teachers of the church.
20. Presidents of the Deacons of the church.
22. Historian or Recorder of the church.
In case it should excite remark that the office of President of the Twelve Apostles is not included in the list of items set down above, it may be worth while to consider that it is not certain that at the date of the fifth effort to arrange the Hierarchy any such office was in existence. At the beginning it was not always customary for one and the same individual to act in that capacity; on the contrary the prophet enacted that the "oldest member of the quorum should preside in the first council, the next oldest in the second, and so forth until the youngest had presided, and then begin at the oldest again" (Tullidge, p. 160). This enactment was performed on the second of May 1835 and there is no proof that it was so altered that Thomas B. Marsh was recognized as the stated and regular President of the Twelve Apostles before the dedication of the Kirtland place of worship took place on the 27th of March 1836. It is possible, however, that the organization of the Quorums which is assigned to the 17th of January 1836 (Handbook of Reference, p. 45) may have involved the installation of Marsh in the dignity just intimated.
The office of President of the Stake has already been mentioned; Joseph is supposed to have originated this office during the spring and summer of the year 1834. At that time Oliver Cowdery is believed to have been installed as President of the Stake of Zion at Kirtland, with two counselors which it was now becoming fashionable to assign to every functionary of that sort. Likewise David Whitmer had perhaps been installed in the office of President of the Centre Stake of Zion in Missouri, with John Whitmer and W. W. Phelps for counselors (Juvenile Instructor, vol. p. 106). But unhappily both of these Presidents were now in rebellion; David Whitmer was a very close rival of the prophet for the presidency of the entire church. Each of these two Presidents of Stakes had half as much power as the President of the church, for the reason that Kirtland and Zion were the only two important Stakes that were then in existence. For that reason Joseph is here as silent as the grave regarding the office that these gentlemen were holding. From the showing that is set forth in the revelations that have been above reviewed it would be impossible to get a hint that such an officer as the President of the Stake was in existence. At a later period, however, when he had gained the victory and Phelps and Cowdery had been comfortably cut off, the prophet was willing to acknowledge the office that they held, and to make provision for the incumbent of it. But that action belongs to a better day; the reader will be required to await the dawning of it before he hears anything definite from official sources touching the Presidency of the Stakes (D.&C., 124, 134. 142).
The winter of 1833-4 was too much filled up by war and rumors of war to lend itself to engagements of this nature; consequently the "School of the Prophets" was not opened again until the year 1835. (Remy and Brenchley vol. 1, pp. 300-301) affirm that the event befell about the 21st of February 1835, just at the time when the newly elected Twelve Apostles were being ordained and installed. This agrees well enough with the statement of Newell Knight, who reports that himself and the party of brethren who had been summoned from Zion for the purpose of attending the school arrived at Kirtland "in the Spring of 1835" (Scraps of Biography, p. 94).
The third session of the "School of the Prophets," befell in the year 1836; its opening day seems to have been the 4th of January 1836 (Remy and Brenchley, vol. 1, p. 302). It was a more ambitious enterprise than either of the preceding. Hitherto the learned languages had been taught by home talent (Remy and Brenchley, 1, p. 301); Mr. Rigdon who had a smattering of Greek and Latin had in former years employed his ingenuity in conveying his acquirements that way to Mr. Rudolph, the father of Mrs. President Garfield (New Light on Mormonism, p. 255).
As Joseph is reported to have been a student of the Greek Language (Juvenile Instructor, vol. 12, p. 26), it is possible that Sidney likewise had the honor to be his instructor during the progress of the first two sessions of the "School of the Prophets." But when the third session was planned it was resolved to introduce the Hebrew language, and Mr. Joshua Seixas a Jewish scholar, who had some reputation as the author of a small Hebrew Grammar, was fetched from New York for the purpose of directing the studies of the brethren (Juvenile Instructor, vol. 12, p. 26). Mr. Smith is given out to have made the most gratifying acquisitions in Hebrew.
It was at the second of these "Schools of the Prophets" that the "Lectures on Faith" appear to have been delivered. They were inserted in the second edition of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, which bears the date of 1835. It is likely they were submitted to the judgment of the General Assembly which met at Kirtland on the 17th of August 1835. Mr. Burton asserts this to be a fact, but fails to supply any proof to confirm the certainty of his assertion (City of the Saints, p. 551). Kidder who had inspected the second edition of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants mentions but six lectures (Mormonism and the Mormons, p. 117; cf. p. 6). The same is true in the case of John Hyde (Mormonism, p. 202). Later editions of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants supply seven lectures in place of the six reported by these writers; it would be worth while to compare the edition of 1835 with these later editions for the purpose of explaining this discrepancy.
The title affirms that the lectures were "originally delivered before a class of Elders in Kirtland"; it is likely the upper chambers of the "House of the Lord" were not sufficiently advanced to be employed for the business of teaching a school as early as the month of February 1835. On this account it is possible that the "Lectures on Faith" were first heard in the school house which had been erected for the accommodation of the brethren. Harrison Burgess reports that the lectures were delivered in the evenings (Labors in the Vineyard, p. 67).
The authorship of the "Lectures on Faith" was neither claimed by Joseph nor for Joseph during his lifetime, so far as the record has been delivered. John Hyde affirms that Sidney was the author (Mormonism, p. 202), and that is beyond question the deliverance of common fame; but his name was not printed in connection with the performance as the same was bound up in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. The reason for this neglect is likely to be sought in the jealousy of Joseph. It did not in the least suit his wishes that another person should be recognized as an inspired authority. He had fought more than one battle on that point and could not now afford to surrender what he had gained. But the "Lectures on Faith" were believed to be too desirable to be lost; the compromise was therefore effected of including them in the sacred writings without the name of their author. The tendency at present is strongly in favor of Joseph;
Mormon theology of the present time exhibits no kind of hesitation in attributing the lectures to him, although it does not condescend to supply any proof touching the correctness of that assertion beyond the "fulness and comprehensiveness" of them (Compendium of Doctrines, pp. 14-5). At this rate of progress however it will not be long before numerous other arguments shall be set forth to sustain the claim of Joseph. But the effort will be in vain; the style is not the style of Joseph; moreover the production traverses a portion of the Bethany system that Joseph was not familiar with. He could not have composed the lectures if he had desired to do so.
The purpose of the "Lectures on Faith" is declared in the title; they were to make up part of a course "on the doctrine of church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." Under the term "doctrine," which it is well to observe was employed in the singular number, was understood most likely the tenets which the Mormons and the Disciples alike reckon as "the Fundamentals," namely Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Remission, and the Holy Spirit or Regeneration.
It is entirely possible that all these topics were embraced in the series as first delivered. This is the explanation of the opening sentence, which affirms that faith "necessarily claims the first place in a course of lectures which are designed to unfold to the understanding the doctrine of Jesus."
But none of the lectures that were produced on that occasion fell out so well to the liking of Joseph as this portion
of them which treated of faith. He was solicitous that his followers should possess an excellent store of this grace, and he believed that the "Lectures on Faith" would promote that end. The balance of the course, which handled repentance, baptism, remission and the Holy Spirit was rejected. Joseph was never strongly inclined to favor the "ancient gospel"; to his thinking it was nothing better than a mere "preparatory gospel," and the "Lord in his wrath had caused it to continue with the house of Aaron" (D.&C., 84, 26, 27).
Let it be remembered that the course as a whole was denominated lectures "on the Doctrine of the church" (Lecture I., title), while the portion that was inserted here was properly called the "Lectures on Faith." Both of these designations have been retained. The word "Doctrine" that occurs in the first of them entered into the title of the second edition of Joseph's revelations, which was named the Book of Doctrine and Covenants.
An explanation should be supplied of the latter portion of the above title. The first edition of the revelations of the prophet was denominated the "Book of Commandments." But in the winter of 1832-3, and possibly earlier (D.&C., Section 68, title) it fell out that serious complaints were raised against Joseph to the effect that "he was seeking after monarchical power" (Tract, New Jerusalem, p. 11). It was clearly expedient to make concessions to these complaints. Accordingly when it became necessary to issue a second edition of the revelations, it was considered advisable to modify the name of the work: they were designated as the "Covenants and Commandments" (D.&C., p. 76). The full title therefore of the entire volume should have been Book of Doctrine and Covenants and Commandments;
but this was felt to be clumsy, and hence the last word was omitted, leaving as the accepted title nothing but the Book of Doctrine and Covenants.
The word "Covenants" in the above was chiefly derived from the title of Section 20, in the first edition, which stood as follows: "The Articles and Covenants of the church of Christ, given in Fayette, New York, June 1830" (Book of Commandments, Chapter XXIV, title).
Bringing the whole subject together it will be perceived how one portion of the title of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants was derived from Sidney and the other portion from Joseph. Still it must be conceded that Joseph has a much larger share than Sidney in the production of the entire work.
Inasmuch as he had elected to place the Holy Spirit or regeneration beyond the flood of baptism it was clear that the individual subject must exercise faith without the benefits of divine assistance. And Mr. Campbell was well content to embrace that conclusion; he steadfastly affirmed that no assistance is required to aid the sinner to conceive faith in Christ and sneeringly exclaims: "Assistance to believe! This is a metaphysical dream. How can a man be assisted to believe? What sort of help and how much is wanting?" (Millennial Harbinger, 1831, p. 398).
On the other hand Mr. Campbell maintained that if assistance were required it could not be had, for the excellent reason that, "all the converting power of the Holy Spirit is exhibited in the Divine Word," and there "can be no new light communicated to the mind, no new arguments offered to convert men to God" (Millennial Harbinger, 1831, p. 396). All the power of the Holy Spirit to operate upon the human mind was said to be "spent" in the process of inditing and inspiring the Scriptures (Millennial Harbinger, 1831, p. 295).
In order to dispense with the advantages of divine assistance and regeneration at the opening of the Christian life, Mr. Campbell was in the custom of laying much stress upon the convincing power of human testimony. He affirms that "testimony is all that is necessary to faith. This is demonstrably evident in every case; and therefore the certainty felt is always proportioned to the character of the testimony produced...No person can help believing when the evidences of truth arrest his attention" (Christian Baptist, edition 6, p. 58).
Although he appears in general to have argued in the same direction as Mr. Locke has done in the "Essay on the Human Understanding," there is one point where Mr. Campbell leaves his guide and insists upon the existence of an innate principle. That innate principle is credulity and it appears to be assumed that it might answer to what Mr. Campbell has postulated just above relating to testimony. If testimony is all that is necessary to faith the reasonableness of this point is explained and enforced by the innate principle suggested above. He expresses himself in the following terms:
There is a native, inherent power in human nature of believing upon testimony. This power is sometimes called credulity, which is as inherent in the infant as any other faculty. Now upon this credulity are predicated all systems of instruction. Were it not for this innate principle of credulity in human nature, there could be no docility in children. Were it not that they have the power of receiving instruction upon testimony
from their teachers, all intellectual improveability would be impracticable (Owen and Campbell Debate, 2d edition, Cinti., 1829, p. 162).tradition and not from the light of nature" (Owen and Campbell Debate, pp. 133-4). He considered it was demonstrably evident that without a revelation from God no man can know that He exists (Christian Baptist, p. 153). It gave him much satisfaction to join hands with Mr. Robert Owen at this point (Christian Baptist, pp. 376-7; cf. Debate with Owen, vol. 1, p. 116). The light of nature was well enough after the light of revelation had fallen upon nature, but of itself nature could give no instruction (Debate with Owen, vol. 1, p. 133).
These peculiarities of Mr. Campbell's opinion have been given at so much length because they are all reproduced by Mr. Rigdon. The above relation of natural theology to revelation was indicated already in the Book of Mormon (Alma 30, 43-4). The fact that the existence
of a Supreme Being is dependent upon testimony exclusively is the central positon of the second of the "Lectures on Faith." For example the question is proposed: "What testimony have men, in the first instance, that there is a God? Human testimony and human testimony only?...Is the knowledge of the existence of God a matter of mere tradition, founded upon human testimony alone, until persons receive a manifiestation of God to themselves? It is..." (D.&C., p. 34).
As was just now intimated the second lecture is so constructed as particularly to show the process by which this human testimony descended from Adam to Abraham, being duly delivered over from father to son. The existence of God having been demonstrated by means of tradition exclusively in the second lecture, the third and fourth lectures are given to a treatment of the character and attributes of God, which falls out in such a conventional fashion as not to require any special notice at this point.
When the fifth lecture is reached, however, it is conceived that Mr. Rigdon is again indebted to Mr. Campbell. The latter gentleman was widely suspected of holding heretical sentiments touching the doctrine of the Trinity to which this fifth lecture is devoted. Even so enlightened and friendly a Judge as Dr. Carson of Tubermore in Ireland was in the custom of boldly decrying him as an Arian (Millennial Harbinger, 1831, p. 527). Other parties whose capacity to form an accurate conclusion was not so large as that of Dr. Carson, were very highly disturbed by the attention of Mr. Campbell. He mentions the fact himself in the following language:
I have been asked a thousand times "What do you think of the doctrine of the Trinity-what do you think of the Trinity?"...This is one of those untaught questions which I do not discuss, and in the discussion of what I feel no interest. I neither affirm nor deny anything about it. I only affirm that the whole controversy is about scholastic distinctions and unprofitable speculations (Christian Baptist, 1st edition, vol. vii, pp. 208, 210).While Dr. Carson and multitudes besides suspected him of Arianism there were still other multitudes who remarked Mr. Campbell's apparent tendency to degrade the Holy Spirit. This tendency had been displayed as early as the years 1824 and 1825 by nine essays in the Christian Baptist "On the work of the Holy Spirit in the salvation of men." It was understood to have become still more pronounced during the course of the year 1831, when he sent forth in the Millennial Harbinger his famous Dialogue between Austin and Timothy, touching "The whole work of the Holy Spirit in the salvation of men." It was candidly believed by numbers of persons that Mr. Campbell in this place denied the personality of the Holy Spirit. His biographer, Dr. Richardson, thus alludes to the effect produced by the above dialogue even upon the followers of Mr. Campbell:
While his opponents raised a clamor against him as "denying the operations of the Holy Spirit," some of those who were the professed advocates of the Reformation were led to construct
a word-alone theory which virtually dispensed with the great promise of the gospel-the gift of the Holy Spirit to believers. These persons were chiefly found among those who had been previously scheptical, and who were habitually disposed to rely upon reason rather than to walk by faith; and their crude and erroneous doctrines were well calculated to bring a reproach upon the Reformation. They were disposed to resolve religion entirely into a system of moral motivity; to disbelieve the actual indwelling of the Holy Spirit in believers; to deny special providences and guidings, and by consequence the efficacy of prayer. Taking Locke's philosophy as the basis of their system, and carrying his "Essay on the Human Understanding" along with the Bible in their saddle-bags, they denied even to its Creator any access to the human soul except by "words and arguments," while they conceded to the Author of evil a direct approach, and had more to say in their discourses about "the laws of human nature" than about the gospel of Christ" (Memoirs of Alexander Campbell, vol. ii, pp. 355-6).
Sidney was one of the large number who accepted the version just now described of Mr. Campbell's opinions relating to the Holy Spirit, and like the many adherents of the "Reformation" he likewise degraded the Spirit from his position in the Trinity. For example in lecture the fifth, he says:
We shall in this lecture speak of the Godhead -- we mean the Father, Son and Holy Spirit." "There are two personages who constitute
the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things, by whom all things were created and made...They are the Father and the Son (Lecture V., 1. 2).One of the questions on the above lecture falls out as follows: "How many personages are there in the Godhead? Two, the Father and the Son" (D.&C., p. 56).
Seeing that the Holy Spirit is here deprived of his personality it remained for Sidney to supply some kind of explanation with regard to him. Accordingly he declares that the Spirit is the mind of the Father and the Son in which mind the twain are united (D.&C., p. 60). By a process of this sort he was still enabled to secure three different names for the Godhead, but only two of these were the names of personages. The student of this subject must be impressed with the industry which Rigdon displayed in the work of imitating Mr. Campbell. The latter could not be secure against this kind of flattery from his former supporter, even though years of separation and estrangement had rolled between them.
Other expressions of this tendency to imitate Mr. Campbell in these "Lectures on Faith" have been casually mentioned in previous chapters of the present Book the Fourth. For instance, Sidney here speaks of "John's testimony," for the Gospel according to John (Lecture 7, p. 11), which is after the purest cant of the "language of Bethany." Also his citations from the translation of Genesis which himself and Joseph had made display Mr. Campbell's dearly beloved "you"
and "your" in the place of the customary "thee" and "thou" of the Biblical style (Lecture 2, 10-7). This peculiarity of the "language of Bethany" has been unhappily obliterated in the edition of Mr. Orson Pratt, which employs "thee" and "thou," but the earlier editions tell the story in its original simplicity (D.&C., fourth European edition, Liverpool, 1854, in loco).
The Savior's intercessory prayer in the 17th chapter of the Gospel according to John is one of the earmarks of the entire Sandemanian family. It has been shown hitherto that the followers of Robert Sandeman understand the petition to the effect "that they all may be one" (John 17, 21), to signify that in their meetings for the transaction of church business the voting must always be unanimous, and that when a dissenting voice occurs it is commonly removed by expulsion, in case no other means will avail. The Disciples interpret this petition in favor of their scheme for obtaining Christian Union, which seems to require all the individual members of the "sects" to leave their places in these "sects" and to seek admission one by one into the Disciple fold.
Sidney on his part here interprets the petition "that they all may be one" to signify that they all may possess the glory of the Father, one of the chief items of which consists in the power to work miracles. In case this power is lacking the intercessory prayer of the Master is defeated and there is no hope of salvation (Lecture VII, 12-16).
A ridiculous blunder of Sidney's regarding the meaning of
the passage at Hebrews 11, 3, has often been remarked upon, yet it would not be worthy of mention but for the fact that it runs through and colors the entire course of lectures. The blunder in question comes to light in the first lecture as follows:
Thus says the author of the epistle to the Hebrews 11, 3-"Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God; so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." By this we understand that the principle of power which existed in the bosom of God by which the worlds were framed, was faith; and that it is by reason of this principle of power existing in the Diety that all created things exist; so that all things in heaven, on earth or under the earth, exist by reason of faith as it existed in Him (Lecture I, 13-15).The above was a highly valued discovery on the part of Sidney; he thought exceedingly well of it. But if faith comes by testimony and by testimony only, it was easy to inquire who delivered the testimony upon which the faith of Deity was established. This difficulty was evaded by the declaration that while faith comes to human beings by testimony the Deity "has faith in himself independently" (D.&C., p. 22). That was reasonably adroit, but Sidney failed to tackle another question of some consequence. He failed to show that if the Deity possesses absolute knowledge, there would be any place for faith, which is defined to be "the assurance which men have of the existence of things which they have not seen" (Lecture I, 9).
In exact harmony with his stupid blunder about the interpretation of the text of Hebrews 11, 3, Sidney, when he comes in Lecture IV, 6, to treat of the attributes of Deity sets down as holding the second place in the list: "Faith or Power. It would be required to go a long journey even in Mormon literature to find a more preposterous bit of nonsense.
But despite these drawbacks it is believed that the "Lectures on Faith" were highly effective. They strengthened the enthusiasm of the brethren, and led them to conceive that if their faith should become sufficiently strong they too would be in a situation to bring new worlds into existence by a simple word of command, in the same fashion as by their interpretation of Hebrews 11, 3, the Lord of the Universe had created this present world.
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