Early Mormonism Collection 2
Elders' Journal Vol. I. No. 3. (July 1838)
Published at Far West, Caldwell, MO
by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS.
Vol. I. No. 3.] Far West, Missouri, July, 1838. [Whole No. 3.
Far West, May, 1838.
Notwithstanding all the efforts of the enemies to the truth, both from without and within, to the contrary, we are enabled to present this Journal, to the patrons, with the prospect of being able to continue it in time to come, without interruption.
Great have been the excitions of the opposers to righteousness, to prevent us from sending abroad the doctrines of the church to the world; every effort has been used by the combined influence of all classes of enemies, and of all sects and parties of religion; and of those who are opposed to it in all its forms to prevent it.
It is indeed somewhat unexpected to us, to be able to commence printing the Journal again so soon; but the general interest felt in it by the Saints in general soon, in a degree, repaired the loss which was suffered in the burning of the press in Kirtland; and another establishment by the exertions of the Saints in Far West, has been obtained, sufficiently large to print the Journal; and soon will be greatly enlarged, so as to do all the printing necessary for the whole church.
We have no doubt, but liberal minded men will continue to aid with their means so that the establishment will be sufficiently supplied with means to make the largest of the kind, anywhere in the region of country where it is located.
In this place, the church is as pleasantly situated as could be expected, taking into consideration their circumstances, as the settlement here is but about eighteen months old, and the first settlers had been driven from their homes and all their property destroyed, and had to come here without anything. -- But to their honor it may be said, that few people on earth have endured the same degree of persecution, with the same patience.
Nothing discouraged by the great afflictions and tribulations which they have had to endure for Christ's sake. They united with all their powers, to turn a solitary place into a fruitful field -- we do not say a wilderness, for there is not a sufficiency of timber to
make it a wilderness -- and have exceeded the highest expectations of the most enthusiastic.
Large bodies of land have been, and are now putting under cultivation.
We might venture an assertion on this point, and that without the fear of contradiction by those who are acquainted with the settlements in this vicinity, and that is, no part of the world can produce a superior to Caldwell County, if an equal. Eighteen months since without scarcely an inhabitant; at this time the City of "Far West," the county seat, has one hundred and fifty houses, and almost the whole county is taken up, or all that part of it, which can be conveniently settled for want of timber; and large bodies of it are now under cultivation.
An encomium too high, cannot be placed upon the heads of the enterprising and industrious habits of the people of this county. They are fast making for themselves and their posterity after them as beautiful, interesting, and as profitable homes as can be in any country.
In a very few years and it will be said with propriety, "that the solitary place has become glad for them," and we can say, that no people will be as glad for it.
The town "Far West" is situated in Caldwell county Missouri, in the midst of a prairie of very rich soil. It is an elevated piece of land, and has a commanding view of the surrounding country for many miles, in every direction. On the north, about one mile, passes Shoal Creek, a heavy stream which has many water privileges on it. On the south, a little more than half a mile, runs Goose Creek, a tributary of Shoal. It also is large enough to admit of water-works.
To all appearance the country is healthy, and the farming interest is equal to that in any part of the world; and the means of living are very easily obtained, not even luxuries excepted.
From this to the territorial line on the north, is from eighty to one hundred miles and to the line on the west, twenty five or upwards, or what was the territorial line before the purchase
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of what is called the Platt and Nodawa countries, or rather Notawa, which signifies rattle snake.
It will be seen by this, that this town is situated in the northern corner of the state of Missouri, in the 40th deg. of north latitude. The land is rolling and generally dry; at least there are no more wet lands than are necessary for grazing purposes, when the country becomes all subdued.
The Saints here are at perfect peace with all the surrounding inhabitants, and persecution is not so much as once named among them; every man can attend to business without fear or excitement, or being molested in any wise. There are many of the inhabitants of this town, who own lands in the vicinity, and are at this time busily engaged in cultivating them. Hundreds of acres of corn have been planted already, in our immediate neighborhood; and hundreds of acres more are now being planted. (This is the fourth day of May).
The crops of wheat are very promising, and the prospect is that we will have an abundant harvest. The vast quantities of provision purchased, in this upper country by the United States, for the use of the Garrison, and also for the Indians have made all kinds of provision dear, and somewhat scarce. Corn is fifty cents per bushel; wheat one dollar; pork from eight, to ten dollars per cwt.; and all kinds of provision on a par with these.
Perhaps it might be thought by some necessary, that we should say something about the affairs of Kirtland. -- The burning of the printing office here &c. But it is now, as in former days. In former days the destroyers of the Saints' property were of the baser sort of mankind, even so it is now. And as the Saints in former days considered a formal notice of them, beneath both their character and standing, so do the Saints in like manner now. Only say as they did; "That a gang of the baser sort burned and wasted our property to the utmost of their power" regardless of law, justice, or humanity, and were upheld in their wickedness, by those who were like the high priest in Paul's day, who though, he sat to judge after the law, commanded Paul to be smitten contrary to law. So it was not our persecutors in the east: for notwithstanding they sat to judge after
the law, yet commanded they our property to be destroyed contrary to law.
And as Paul and Barnabas did at Iconium. So did we at Kirtland. -- "When there was an assault made, both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews, with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them. They were [a]ware of it, and fled into Lystria and Derbe, cities of Lyconia, and unto the region that lieth round about. And there they preached the gospel."
So we did in like manner, taking them for our example. When there was an assault being made, of liars, thieves, and religionists, with their rulers all combined, we were aware of it, and fled to "Far West," and are here preaching the gospel whereunto we are called by the power of God. Let so much suffice for Kirtland.
We have the gratification of saying to the Elders abroad, that we hope to be able to furnish the Journal regularly, from hence forth, as long as it may be thought wisdom to continue it. And we hope on their part, they will use all their exertions to give it circulation.
The enemies have made so many attempts to destroy us, and always failed, that we now just laugh at them for fools, as the God of heaven said he would at their calamity.
OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST, OF LATTER DAY SAINTS.
It is, we presume, generally known, that this paper was commenced in Kirtland, Ohio, in October last; but by reason of the great persecution against the Saints in that place, the paper had to be stopped; and through the craft of wicked men they got possession of the printing office, and knowing they could not hold it, it was burned.
The paper is now about to be resuscitated in this place, to be conducted as set forth in the former prospectus. It will be issued in a few weeks, and sent to the former subscribers, as previously stated.
We send this prospectus to arouse the Saints to energy in obtaining subscribers. -- We hope the Elders abroad, will not fail to use their influence to give as general a circulation as possible.
The JOURNAL will be Edited by Joseph Smith jr., and Published by Thomas B. Marsh, at Far West, Caldwell County Missouri.
Terms -- One dollar, per annum, paid in advance. All letters must be Post Paid, and directed to the Publisher.
Far West, Mo. April 26, 1838.
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Vinalhaven, Fox Islands, Me.
March 9th, 1838.
BISHOP EDWARD PARTRIDGE, AND PRESIDENTS JOSEPH SMITH JR., SIDNEY RIGDON, HYRUM SMITH, and THE SAINTS IN ZION, GREETING:
Dear friends in the new and everlasting covenant;
I, Wilford Woodruff, sit down to inform you that I have just heard correctly of the deplorable state of things in Kirtland, and I have this day held a council with Elders J. Ball and J. Townsend, who are now with me upon these Islands, and we resolved to address a few lines to you concerning our feelings, and set before you a brief account of things with us, and the course we intend to pursue. I have labored principally alone upon these Islands, since Elder Hale left last fall, and the work of the Lord has prospered in my hands, or in
other words, the Lord has worked with me during the winter. Elder Joseph Ball has been with me for a number of weeks past upon the Islands. There is rising of 40 members in the church on these Islands, and they are strong in the faith. I returned last evening from a mission in company with Elder James Townsend. We have been visiting the most notable cities and vilages in the eastern country, and delivering unto them the word of God.
We preached in their City Halls, Chapels, School houses, dwellings &c., in such places as Camden, Belfast, Northport, Frankfort, Hampden and the City of Bangor. Doors were open in all of these places, and many others I might mention, and the people heard with profound attention; and many are believing. I never saw more doors open for doing good than at the present time in the State of Maine: But the Devil is stirred up against me here on the Island.
One Methodist priest has applied several times for a warrant to take me, but the Officers, as yet, will not grant him any, for he cannot bring any accusation against me in truth or justice.
The most trouble I now have is the stopping the papers. I have forwarded about 30 subscribers with the money, and now the press is burnt down, and our enemies roar in the midst of the congregations, and they set up these ensigns for signs.
I expect the report of these things
will come like a clap of thunder in the ears of the Saints upon these Islands and else where. They do not know it yet, but are wondering why these papers do not come. We have appointed a time to meet the church, and we shall lay all these things before them, and trust in God for wisdom to direct us. The Elders that are with me are expecting to go to their homes, and I shall be left to fight the battles alone. Brethren, pray for me out of Zion, for I have a load to bear; but in the name of Elijah's God, I am determined to stand at my post. I feel as though the time of Jacob's trouble had begun, but I know God will deliver him out of it and fulfil his word.
We are advising the Saints of God to go from this country to Zion, as soon as they can. I suppose this is right; many are preparing to go the following season.
Now we say to the Presidency of the church in Zion, we do not expect to counsel you, nor anyone there. Let God be your counselors. But we ask, can it not be consistent with the will of God and your feelings and circumstances, to soon publish the Elders' Journal from Zion, that we may have one weapon, to cut away some of the deep gloom, that will be cast upon the minds of thousands of the Saints, by wicked men and devils, and false brethren. The traveling Elders feel the wait of these things, equally, if not more than those who are in Zion; for we are naked targets to the press and tongue, as we pass through the midst of the Gentiles. O my God! have mercy and support us, I pray, through the toils that are to come, that our garments may be washed white in the blood of the Lamb! For it is through tribulation that we inherit the blessing and overcome.
Could the Elders' Journal be continued, it would be great relief to the feelings of all the faithful; for while our enemies are publishing against us, even in Kirtland, we should also know what God is doing for his Saints.
Brethren, we pray you to consider this last clause, not for our sake alone, but for the sake of all the faithful that are scattered abroad. We do not make these remarks because we have any lack of confidence in you. -- No, God forbid, we believe you haver done, and will do all that lies in your power for
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the salvation of Israel; and for one, I pray God to take away my life, sooner than to suffer me to turn my back upon the faithful part of the Church of Latter Day Saints, and Joseph whom God hath chosen to lead his people. O my soul mourns over the corruptions of the hearts of men! O how man will stumble in dark places, when he neglects prayer and departs from his God! O ye Saints of Zion, watch and pray and keep the Celestial law which is safe!
That you may know the feelings of the undersigners of this page, we say to you before God, that we are in full fellowship with Joseph Smith, jr. and the first Presidency of the church, and with all who still adhere to, and receive their teachings and instructions; and we say, in the name of Jesus Christ, that we will uphold such by our prayers, faith, and influence, at the risk of our fortunes, lives and worldly honor. "For life is but a name, when virtue and truth is gone."
We further believe that judgment awaits the world speedily, Kirtland not excepted, and we do believe that those who have dissented from the body of the church will have cause to lament for their folly. We ask in the name of reason and revelation, who has power to take from Joseph the keys delivered to him by the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and deprive him of the work that God has said he should perform? We answer, none but God alone. We believe the book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, speaks too loud upon the subject, to fall unfulfilled and to be made void, by those who have neglected prayer and departed from the living God, and sought to take honor unto themselves. O ye Saints of God in Zion! we entreat you to uphold Joseph by prayer, faith, brotherly love, and charity; for we testify, in the spirit of God, that he will be brought off conqueror, and his enemies put to shame.
Do you remember his toils and labors for your salvation? Nothing but a God has supported him to the present day. His perils are great, and the greatest are among false brethren; and we do entreat the Saints in Zion not to add to his wounds, by following the example of many in Kirtland. Bear with us, ye Saints of God, while we exhort you to keep the Celestial law of God while in the land of Zion.
Be humble, be watchful, be prayerful. Beware of pride, lest you fall like others. We do not make these remarks for compliment sake, we feel what we say. Kirtland is and will be scourged, to fulfill revelation and prophesy; it is all right, the hand of God is in it. God's work will not stop. He will work for and with his Saints. God will redeem Jacob. God will build up Zion. The Lord will establish Jerusalem. And O ye judges in Zion! that God may bestow wisdom and salvation upon you, is the prayer of
JAMES TOWNSEND, &
BROTHER W. WOODRUFF,
Sir, your letter of the 9th of March, directed to Bishop Partridge, Presidents Joseph Smith jr. Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, and the Saints in Zion, came safely to them, some days since. And on account of the press of business now on their hands and the request of J. Smith, Jr., I have taken it upon me to answer it.
You say that you have heard of the deplorable state of things in Kirtland; and it gave me much joy to learn by your letter, that you received those things in their true light. Great has been the afflictions of the Saints in that place, particularly our beloved brethren Joseph Smith Jr. and Sidney Rigdon.
In the past summer, I journeyed from this place, in company with Wm. Smith and D. W. Patten, to Kirtland, for the purpose of meeting in Conference there, with the twelve. On our arrival, we soon learned the difficulties that then existed there; these, however, were all apparently settled previous to my leaving Kirtland: And W. Parrish, who has since become an unbeliever in revealed religion, affected to repent and become satisfied with Br. Joseph and the church. Others also did the same: -- But this settlement was not of long duration. Soon after this, President Hyrum Smith and myself left Kirtland for the upper Missouri; and President Joseph Smith, President S. Rigdon, and Wm. Smith, soon followed us to Far West: and during their absence, it seems that Parrish, J. F. Boynton, Luke Johnson, Joseph Coe, and some others, united together for the overthrow of the church. President Smith,
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and his company, returned, on, or about the 10th of December; soon after which this dissenting band, openly and publicly renounced the church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, and claimed themselves to be the old standard; calling themselves the church of Christ, excluded that of Saints, and set at naught Br. Joseph and the whole church, denounced them as heretics. How blind and infatuated are the minds of men, when once turned from righteousness to wickedness. They did not understand, that by taking upon them the name of Latter Day Saints, did not do away that of the church of Christ. -- Neither did they consider that the ancient church was the church of Christ, and that they were Saints. And again, it appears that they did not consider the prophecy of Daniel, which says, "The Saints shall take the kingdom," &. Again, "the Kingdom, and the greatness of the Kingdom, under the whole heaven, was given to the people (the Saints) of the Most High." And the Saints here alluded to were certainly Latter Day Saints; inasmuch as the above prophecy is to be fulfilled in the last days; and is yet future, as all professed readers of the bible will confess.
We have of late learned, that Parrish, and the most of this combination have openly renounced the book of Mormon, and become deists.
I will now leave Kirtland, and give you some account of the movement of things here, as they are and have been.
You undoubtedly remember the visit, which I, in company with Elder Groves, made to the churches in Kentucky and Tennessee, in the summer of 1836. You may also recollect, the nature and result of our visit. We came to solicit assistance for poor bleeding Zion. And we obtained through the goodness of the children of God in those regions, the sum of fourteen hundred and fifty dollars, which we delivered unto Wm. W. Phelps and John Whitmer on our arrival at this place. But these men, instead of laying out the money for the benefit of poor bleeding Zion, purchased land for their own emolument. They generally did their business independently of the aid, or counsel of either the Bishop or High Council. This gave some uneasiness to the two authorities of Zion: not only because they purchased
land with church funds in their own name for their own aggrandizement, but because they selected the place for the city Far West, and appointed the spot for the house of the Lord to be built on, drew the plan of said house, and appointed and ordained a committee to build the same, without asking or seeking counsel at the hand of either Bishop, High Council, or first Presidency, when it was well understood that these authorities were appointed for the purpose of counseling on all important matters pertaining to the Saints of God.
These two presidents also managed to get the town plot into their own hands, that they might reap the avails arising from the sales of the lots. In consequence of these, with other things, the High Council met by themselves on the 3rd day of April, 1837, and resolved to invite the two presidents, the Bishop and his council, and the two apostles, namely, T. B. Marsh and D. W. Patten, to meet with them on the 5th inst. to which time they adjourned. Accordingly, the above named authorities met, on the 5th, and after laboring diligently three days in succession, it was unanimously agreed upon, that the town plot, with four eighties adjacent to the plot, should be at the disposal of the Bishop and his counsel, the High Council, the two presidents and the two apostles. During this labor the two presidents acknowledged they were wrong, and they, to all appearance, willingly suffered themselves to be corrected by the Council.
In the beginning of May following, the Council met, again and resolved to have the above named property transferred into the hands of the bishop, as an equivalent to the poor bleeding Zion money, and that the avails of said land should be thereafter applied to the benefit of the poor, and other public purposes. The business of the transfer of said property, was transacted by the two presidents, the bishop and his counsel; by some means they managed to bind the bishop in a mortgage of three thousand four hundred and fifty dollars to apply two thousand dollars of the avails of the town plot, which they had subscribed to the building of the house of worship, which they intended to have erected. Since that time, the affair of building the house, has fallen through. Consequently, many people have withdrawn
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their subscription, and these two men, claiming this two thousand dollars as their subscription, chose to withdraw it, and put it into their own pockets, a small part of which has been already paid to Wm. W. Phelps.
The Council, not feeling willing that the church should be defrauded out of two thousand dollars of her public funds, and also knowing that the church in general, as well as themselves, had become dissatisfied with their conduct as christians in many things, appointed a committee to labor with them; after which, they called the whole church in Zion together, who almost unanimously voted them out of their presidential office.
Not long after this, the council saw cause to appoint a second committee, to wait on these men, who still persisted in their opposition to the interests of the church. After which, charges were preferred against them before the Council, which were substantiated, and they were excommunicated.
Also, the Church has had much sorrow during the past winter, on account of the unfaithfulness of Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Lyman E. Johnson, and in consequence of this and their opposition to our beloved brother Joseph Smith jr., and the best interest of the church of Jesus Christ, and for persisting in the same, a number of charges have been substantiated against them before the Council and bishop of the church, and they have also been excluded from fellowship. "How has the gold become dim, the most fine gold changed!!!"
But I must drop this subject for want of room. Suffice it to say, brethren Joseph Smith Jr. and Sidney Rigdon are now with us, the church now flourishes, and the Saints rejoice, and the internal enemies of the church are down. You will see by the above prospectus, that your anxious desires for the Journal are about to be granted.
May the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob bless you and keep you unto His coming and kingdom. Amen.
My love to all the Saints in those regions.
Yours in the love of God,
THOMAS B. MARSH.
P. S. Since Br. Joseph came to this place, we have been favored with a
lengthy revelation, in which many important items are shown forth. First, that the church shall hereafter be called, "the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter Day Saints." Second, it says, "Let the City Far West be a holy and consecrated land unto me, and it shall be called most holy, for the ground upon which thou standest is holy: -- Therefore, I command you to build an house unto me, for the gathering together of my Saints, that they may worship me." It also teaches, that the foundation or corner stone must be laid on the 4th day of July next, and that a commencement must be made in this following season, and in one year from the 26th of April last, the foundation must be again commenced, and from that time to continue the work until it is finished. Thus we see that the Lord is more wise than men, for Phelps and Whitmer thought to commence it long before this, but it was not the Lord's time; therefore, he overthrew it, and has appointed his own time. The plan is yet to be shown to the first presidency; and all the Saints, in all the world are commanded to assist in building the house.
THOMAS B. MARSH.
Far West, May, 1838.
To the Elders abroad:
1st. The respect and duty which I owe to my Heavenly Father, to the church of Latter Day Saints, and to the Elders who are abroad in the earth, induces me, to drop a few encouraging hints unto you my beloved fellow laborers in the kingdom which God has set up in these last days.
2nd. Brethren I am aware of your thirst, for the gathering of that long dispersed people who are of the house of Israel. I am aware of your toils, and fatigues, in traveling from city to city; from state to state; from kingdom to kingdom; and from Island to Island to declare the gospel in its purity, unto the inhabitants of this generation. -- Declaring unto them in plain terms, that God has again spoken from the heavens by the voice of revelation, that the hour of his Judgment is nigh at hand, and that God hath decreed that wars, famine, and pestilence, will soon cover the land; that Babylon must fall, and great must be the fall thereof. Declaring plainly unto the honest in
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heart, that they must separate themselves from Babylon, lest ye be partakers of her sins, and likewise of her plagues.
3rd. O ye Elders of Israel! Lift up your heads and rejoice, for the day of your redemption draweth nigh, comfort yourselves by pondering in your hearts the grand events which will transpire at the morn of the millennium; when there shall be no mobs to rise up against you; no weapon formed against you by lawless marauders; and no tongue to scandalize your character by vain and groundless reports; knowing that this blessing will be placed upon your heads when you return from your ministry; and when the Judge of the whole earth shall say, well done, thou good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things; enter thou into the joys of thy Lord.
4th. Lift up your heads then, ye Elders of Israel. Say to the North, give up; to the South, keep not back. Say to the Isles of the sea, be glad, and to the Kingdoms of the earth rejoice; for the Lord our God is about to establish a Kingdom which cannot be thrown down, neither can the gates of hell prevail against it.
5th. Therefore, rejoice ye Elders of Israel; believe not the slangs and foul reports against our Beloved Brethren, Joseph Smith, Jr. and Sidney Rigdon, they are groundless, and as black as the apostate Authors, who will not protect that little stone that is hewn out of the mountain without hands, and who exerts their utmost endeavors to impede the progress of the Kingdom which God has set up, for the salvation of man in these last days.
6th. Be of good cheer then, ye ministers of the gospel, always abounding in faith and good works; ponder the paths of your feet; acknowledge the hand of God in all things; be instant in prayer, and your heavenly Father will direct your steps, lead you into all truth, and the spirit of the living God will dwell richly upon you: even so, Amen.
Having a general knowledge of many of the counties in upper Missouri, and the welfare of the brethren of the church of Latter Day Saints in view; I will give a short history of the
situation of the County of Caldwell, and the regions round about.
Far West is situated about 50 miles North of Independence in Jackson County, on a beautiful elevated prairie, so that when the traveller approaches the town, though several miles from it, the eye catches the beautiful prospect, which leads the mind to wonder that a people almost wholly destitute of means, could accomplish so great work in so short time.
The county of Caldwell, is a beautiful elevated prairie County, interspersed with valleys, and beautiful groves of timber; the face of the country, is generally high and rolling and renders it as healthy, as any part of the United States.
The soil is very productive, insomuch that forty or fifty bushels of corn per acre is but middling yield, and equally as good for wheat and all other kinds of grain, which is natural to the western and southern states.
To the Saints scattered abroad;
Whereas, many have taken into hand to set forth the order of the kingdom of God on earth, and have testified of the grace of God, as given unto them to publish unto you.
I also feel it my duty to write unto you, touching the grace of God given unto me to youward; concerning the dispensation we have received; which is the greatest of all dispensations. -- And has been spoken of by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began.
In this, my communication to you, I design to notice some of these prophecies.
Now the apostle Paul says on this wise, "For I would not brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, (lest you should be wise in your own conceit,) that blindness in part has happened unto Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved; as it is written, there shall come out of Sion a deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob."
What is that he says! "For I would not have you ignorant," ignorant of what? why of this mystery, that blindness in part had happened unto Israel.
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And to what end? why, that salvation might come unto the Gentiles. -- See the 12th and 13th verses of this 11th chapter to the Romans.
"Now, if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fulness?" "For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify mine office."
Now, we are to understand the apostle, as speaking of the return of Israel, when he said, "how much more their fulness," in their return. "For I would not have you ignorant concerning this matter," that blindness will depart from them in the day that the fullness of the Gentiles is come in. And the reason is very obvious, because it is said, that out of Zion shall come the deliverer; and for what case? why, that the word of God might be fulfilled. This deliverer might, through the mercy of God, turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
This work evidently commences at the time God begins to take the darkness from the minds of Israel, for this will be the work of God by the deliverer, for he shall turn away ungodliness from the whole family of Jacob. "For this is my covenant with them, when I shall take away their sins."
Now then, we can see that this deliverer is a kind of harbinger or forerunner, that is, one that is sent to prepare the way for another. And this deliverer is such an one, for he comes to turn away ungodliness from Jacob. -- Consequently, he must receive a dispensation and authority suitable to his calling, or he could not turn away ungodliness from Jacob, nor fulfill the scriptures.
But the words of the prophets must be fulfilled. And in order to do this, to this messenger must be given the dispensation of the fulness of times according to the prophets. For Paul says again, in speaking of the dispensation of the fullness of times, Ephesians 1, 9. "Having made known unto us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he has purposed in himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him."
And Isaiah says in the 11th chapter
and 11th verse, "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people." Now, this is the time that the deliverer shall come out of Zion, and turn away ungodliness from the house of Israel. Now, the Lord has said that he would set his hand the second time, and we ask for what? but to recover the house of Jacob. From what have they fallen? most assuredly they had broken the covenant, that God had made with their fathers, and through their fathers with them.
For Paul says, Romans 11:19, 20. "Thou wilt say then, the branches were broken off, that I might be grated in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high minded but fear." Now it is evident, that the Jews did forsake the Lord, and by that means they broke the covenant. And now we see the need of the Lord's setting his hand the second time to gather his people, according to Ephesians 1:10. "That the dispensation of the fullness of times" &c. Now I ask, what is a dispensation? I answer, it is power and authority to dispense the word of God, and to administer in all the ordinances thereof.
This is what we are to understand by it, for no man ever had the Holy Ghost to deliver the gospel, or to prophecy of things to come, but had liberty to fulfill his mission; consequently, the argument is clear, for it proves itself; -- nevertheless, I will call on the scriptures to prove the assertion. Ephesians 3:2: "If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God, which is given me to you-ward. How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; as I wrote in a few words." And also Colossians 1:25. "Wherefore I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you to fulfill the word of God."
It is evident then that the dispensation given the apostle, came to him by revelation from God. Then by this we may understand, in some degree the power by which he spake. And also the dispensation of the fullness of times.
Now, this at first thought would appear very small to some, who are not acquainted with the order of God from
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the beginning; but when we take into consideration the plan of God for the salvation of the world, we can readily see that plan carried out most faithfully in all its bearings.
See after the fall of Adam, the plan of salvation was made known to him of God himself; who in like manner, in the meridian of time revealed the same, in sending his first begotten son Jesus Christ; who also revealed the same to the apostles, and God raised him from the dead to perfect that plan. And the apostles were made special witnesses of that plan, and testified, "That in the dispensation of the fullness of times, that God would gather together in one, all things in Christ, whether they be things in heaven or things on the earth."
Now the thing to be known is, what the fullness of times means, or the extent and authority thereof. It means this, that the dispensation of the fullness of times is made up of all the dispensations that ever have been given since the world began until this time.
Unto Adam first was given a dispensation. It is well known that God spake to him with his own voice in the garden, and gave him the promise of the Messiah. And unto Noah also was a dispensation given. For Jesus said, "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of the son of man." And as the righteous were saved then, and the wicked destroyed, so it will be now.
And from Noah to Abraham; and from Abraham to Moses; and from Moses to Elias; and from Elias to John the baptist; and from John to Jesus Christ; and from Jesus Christ to Peter, James and John. The apostles all having received in their time, a dispensation by revelation from God, to accomplish the great scheme of restitution, spoken of by all the holy prophets since the world began. The end of which is the dispensation of the fullness of times. In the which, all things shall be fulfilled, that has been spoken of since the earth was made.
Now the question is, unto whom is this dispensation to be given? or by whom to be revealed? The answer is, to the deliverer that was to come out of Zion, and given to him by the angel of God. Rev. 14:7. "And I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel
to preach to them that dwell on the earth. And to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, fear God, and give glory to him for the hour of his judgment is come; worship him, that made Heaven, and Earth, and the Sea, and the fountains of water."
Now observe, this angel delivers the everlasting gospel to man on the earth, and that too when the hour of the judgments of God had come on the generation, in the which the Lord should set his hand the second time, as stated above.
Now we have learned that this deliverer must be clothed with the power of all the other dispensations, or it could not be called the fullness of times. -- For this is what it means, that all things shall be revealed, both in heaven and on earth. For the Lord said, there was nothing secret that should not be revealed, or hid that should not come abroad and be proclaimed upon the house top. And this may, with propriety, be called the fullness of times.
The authority connected with the ordinances, renders the time very desirable to the man of God and renders him happy, amidst all his trials, and afflictions. To such an one, through the grace of God, we are indebted for this dispensation, as given by the angel of the Lord. But to what tribe of Israel was it to be delivered? we answer, to Ephraim, because to him were the greater blessings given. For the Lord said to his father Joseph: "A seer shall the Lord raise up of the fruit of my loins, and he shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins; yea, he truly said: Thus saith the Lord, a choice seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins, and he shall be esteemed highly; and unto him will I give commandment, that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins, his brethren, which shall be of great worth unto them, even to the bringing of them to the knowledge of the covenants which I have made with their fathers. And I will give unto him a commandment that he shall do none other work, save the work which I shall command him; and I will make him great in mine eyes, for he shall do my work, and he shall be great like unto Moses; and out of weakness he shall be made strong, in that day when my work shall commence
42 ELDERS JOURNAL.
among all people, unto the restoring of the house of Israel, saith the Lord."
And thus prophesied Joseph -- saying, Behold, that seer will the Lord bless, and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded. Behold I am sure of the fulfillment of this promise, and his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father; and he shall be like unto me, for the thing which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand by the power of the Father, shall bring my people unto salvation.
Thus prophesied Joseph -- I am sure of this thing, even as I am sure of the promises of Moses' 2nd Book of Nephi, 2nd chapter.
And again, Jesus says, as recorded in the book of Mormon, 526th page, 2nd edition, 'Behold my servant shall deal prudently; he shall be exalted, and shall be esteemed, and be very high. As many as were astonished at thee, so shall he sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at him, for that which had been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.'
Upon this servant is bestowed the keys of the dispensation of the fullness of times. -- That from him, the priesthood of God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, might be given to many, and the order of this dispensation established on the earth. And to the church he has said by commandment -- (See book of Commandments, 46th section, 2nd paragraph) "Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words, and commandments, which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me: for his word ye shall receive as from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith, for by doing these things, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.
Now my readers, you can see in some degree, the grace given to this man of God, to us-ward. That we, by the great mercy of God, should receive from under his hand, the gospel of Jesus Christ; and having the promise of partaking of the fruit of the vine, on the earth with him, and with the holy prophets and patriarchs our fathers. For those holy men are angels now. And these are they, who make the fullness of times complete with us. And they who sin against this authority given to him -- (the before mentioned man of God,) -- sins not against him only, but against Moroni, who holds the keys of the stick of Ephraim. And also, with Elias, who holds the keys of bringing to pass the restitution of all things, or the restoration of all things, and also John, the son of Zacharias which Zacharias Elias visited, and give promise that he should have a son and his name should be John, and he should be filled with the spirit of Elias, which John I have sent unto you, my servants Joseph Smith, Jr. and Oliver
Cowdery, to ordain you to this first priesthood, even as Aaron. And also Elijah, who holds the keys of committing the power, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, that the whole earth may not be smitten with a curse.
And also Joseph, and Jacob, and Isaac, and Abraham, your fathers, by whom the promises remain. And also Michael, or Adam, the father of all, the prince of all, the ancient of days. And also, Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you, and confirmed you to be apostles, and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry, and of the same things I revealed unto them; unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of the gospel for the last time, and for the fullness of times. In the which I will gather together in one all things, both which are in heaven and which are on earth.
Therefore, brethren, beware concerning yourselves, that you sin not against the authority of this dispensation, nor think lightly of those whom God has counted worthy for so great a calling, and for whose sake he hath made them servants unto you, that you might be made the heirs of God, to inherit so great a blessing, and be prepared for the grand assembly, and sit there with the ancient of days, even Adam, our father, who shall come to prepare you for the coming of Jesus Christ, our Lord; for the time is at hand, therefore, gather up your effects and gather together upon the land which the Lord has appointed for your safety.
D. W. PATTEN.
JOSEPH SMITH jr. Editor.
FAR WEST, MO. JULY. 1838.
In obedience to our promise, we give the following answers to questions, which were asked in the last number of the Journal.
Question 1st. Do you believe in the bible?
Answer. If we do, we are the only people under heaven that does. For there are none of the religious sects of the day that do.
Question 2nd. Wherein do you differ from other sects?
Answer. Because we believe the bible, and all other sects profess to believe their interpretations of the bible, and their creeds.
Question 3rd. Will everybody be damned but Mormons?
Answer. Yes, and a great portion of them, unless they repent and work righteousness.
Question 4th. How, and where did you obtain the book of Mormon?
Answer. Moroni, the person who deposited the plates, from whence the book of Mormon
ELDERS JOURNAL. 43
was translated, in a hill in Manchester, Ontario County, New York, being dead, and raised again therefrom, appeared unto me, and told me where they were; and gave me directions how to obtain them. I obtained them and the Urim and Thummim with them; by the means of which I translated the plates and thus came the book of Mormon.
Question 5th. Do you believe Joseph Smith Jr., to be a prophet?
Answer. Yes, and every other man who has the testimony of Jesus. "For the testimony of Jesus, is the spirit of prophecy." -- Rev. 19:10.
Question 6th. Do the Mormons believe in having all things common?
Question 7th. Do the Mormons believe in having more wives than one?
Answer. No, not at the same time. But they believe that if their companion dies, they have a right to marry again. But we do disapprove of the custom which has gained in the world, and has been practiced among us, to our great mortification, of marrying in five or six weeks, or even in two or three months after the death of their companion. We believe that due respect ought to be had, to the memory of the dead, and the feelings of both friends and children.
Question 8th. Can they raise the dead?
Answer. No, nor any other people that now lives or ever did live. But God can raise the dead through man, as an instrument.
Question 9th. What signs do Jo Smith give of his divine mission.
Answer. The signs which God is pleased to let him give, according as his wisdom thinks best, in order that he may judge the world agreeably to his own plan.
Question 10th. Was not Jo Smith a money digger?
Answer. Yes, but it was never a very profitable job to him, as he only got fourteen dollars a month for it.
Question 11th. Did not Jo Smith steal his wife?
Answer. Ask her. She was of age she can answer for herself.
Question 12th. Do the people have to give up their money when they join his church?
Answer. No other requirement than to bear their proportion of the expenses of the church and support the poor.
Question 13th. Are the Mormons abolitionists?
Answer. No, unless delivering the people from priestcraft and the priests from the power of Satan, should be considered such. But we do not believe in setting the Negroes free.
Question 14th. Do they not stir up the Indians to war and to commit depredations?
Answer. No, and those who reported the story, knew it was false when they put it into circulation. These and similar reports are pawned upon the people by the priests and this is the reason why we ever thought of answering them.
Question 15th. Do the Mormons baptize in the name of Jo Smith?
Answer. No, but if they did, it would be as valid as the baptism administered by the sectarian priests.
Question 16th. If the Mormon doctrine is true, what has become of all those who have died since the days of the apostles?
Answer. All those who have not had an opportunity of hearing the gospel, and being administered to by an inspired man in the flesh, must have it hereafter, before they can be finally judged.
Question 17th. Does not Jo Smith profess to be Jesus Christ?
Answer. No, but he professes to be his brother, as all other saints have done, and now do. -- Matthew 12:49, 50. -- "And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples and said, 'Behold my mother and my brethren, For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.'"
Question 18th. Is there anything in the Bible which licenses you to believe in revelation now adays?
Answer. Is there anything that does not authorize us to believe so; if there is, we have, as yet, not been able to find it.
Question 19th. Is not the canon of the Scriptures full?
44 ELDERS JOURNAL.
Answer. If it is, there is a great defect in the book, or else it would have said so.
Question 20th. What are the fundamental principles of your religion?
Answer. The fundamental principles of our religion is the testimony of the apostles and prophets concerning Jesus Christ, "that he died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended up into heaven;" and all other things are only appendages to these, which pertain to our religion.
But in connection with these, we believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost, the power of faith, the enjoyment of the spiritual gifts according to the will of God, the restoration of the House of Israel, and the final triumph of truth.
MINUTES OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE CHURCH IN ZION.
The following are the minutes of the proceedings of a general assembly of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, assembled at the following places, to transact the business of said Church.
1st. At Far West, February 5, 1838; Thomas B. Marsh was chosen Moderator, and John Cleminson, Clerk.
The Moderator addressed the throne of grace in prayer, after which he laid before the assembly the object of the meeting, giving a relation of the recent organization of the Church here, and in Kirtland. He also read a certain revelation given in Kirtland, Sept. 4, 1837; which made known that John Whitmer and William W. Phelps were in transgression, and that if they repented not, they should be removed out of their places. -- Also, read a certain clause contained in the appeal, published in the old Star, under the 183rd page, as follows: -- "And to sell our lands would amount to a denial of our faith, as that is the place where Zion of God shall stand according to our faith and belief in the revelations of God."
Elder John Murdock then took the stand and showed to the congregation why the high council proceeded thus, was, that the Church might have a voice in the matter; and that he considered it perfectly legal, according to the instructions of President Joseph Smith jr.
Elder G. M. Hinkle then set forth the way in which the Presidency of Far West had been labored with, that a committee of three, of whom he was one, had labored with them. -- He then read a written document containing a number of accusations against the three presidents. He spake many things against them, setting forth in a plain and energetic manner, the iniquity of Phelps and Whitmer in using the moneys which were loaned for the Church. Also D. Whitmer's wrong, in persisting in the use of tea, coffee, and tobacco.
Bishop Partridge then arose, and endeavored to rectify some mistakes of minor importance made by Elder Hinkle. Also, the Bishop
spake against the proceedings of the meeting, as being hasty and illegal, for he thought they ought to be had before the common council; and said that he could not lift his hand against the presidency at present. He then read a letter from President Joseph Smith jr.
A letter was then read by T. B. Marsh from William Smith, who made some comments on the same, and also on the letter read by E. Partridge.
Elder G. Morey, who was one of the committee sent to labor with the Presidency, then spake, setting forth in a very energetic manner, the proceedings of the presidency, as being iniquitous.
Elder Grover also, being one of the committee, spake against the conduct of the presidency and O. Cowdery, on their visit to labor with them.
Elder David W. Patten, then spake with much zeal against this presidency, and in favor of brother Joseph Smith jr. and that the wolf alluded to in his letter, were the dissenters in Kirtland.
Elder Lyman Wight next stated that he considered that all other accusations were of minor importance compared to their selling their lands in Jackson County, that they (Phelps and Whitmer) had set an example which all the members were liable to follow; he said that it was a hellish principle, and that they had flatly denied the faith in so doing. Elder Elias Higbee then sanctioned what had been done by the council, speaking against the presidency.
Elder Murdock again took the stand, and stated that sufficient had been said to substantiate the accusations against them.
Elder Solomon Hancock pled in favor of the presidency, stating that he could not raise his hand against them.
Elder John Corrill then spake against the High Council in regard to their proceedings, and labored hard to show that the meeting was illegal, and that the presidency ought to be had before a proper tribunal, which he considered to be a bishop and twelve high priests. He labored in favor of the presidency, and said that he should not raise his hands against them at present, although he did not uphold the presidents in their iniquity.
Elder Simeon Carter, next arose and spake against the meeting as being hasty. Elder Groves followed brother Carter, in like observations and of like nature. Elder Patten again took the stand in vindication of the cause of the meeting.
Elder Morley then spake against the presidency at the same time pleading mercy. Titus Billings said that he could not vote until they had a hearing in the common council.
Elder Marsh said that the meeting was according to the direction of br. Joseph, he, therefore, considered it legal.
Elder Moses Martin then took the stand and with great energy spake in favor of the legality of the meeting and against the conduct of the presidency of Zion, alledging that the present corruptions of the church here, were owing to the wickedness and mismanagement of her leaders.
The Moderator then called the vote in favor of the present presidency. The negative was then called and the vote against David Whitmer, John Whitmer and William W. Phelps was unanimous, excepting 8 or 10 and
ELDERS JOURNAL. 45
this minority only wished them to continue in office a little longer, or until Joseph Smith jr. came up.
In S. Carter's settlement, the saints assembled, agreeable to appointment on the 6th inst. when they unanimously rejected the three above named presidents.
Also, on the 7th, the saints assembled at Edmond Durfey's agreeable to appointment, where the above named presidents were unanimously rejected.
Also, on the 8th, at Nahom Curts' dwelling house, they were unanimously rejected by the assembly.
Also at Haun's Mill, on the 9th, the Saints unanimously rejected them.
At a meeting of the High Council, the Bishop and his Council, Feb. 10, 1838, it was moved, seconded and carried, that Oliver Cowdery, William W. Phelps and John Whitmer, stand no longer as Chairmen and Clerk, to sign and record licenses.
Also, voted that Thomas B. Marsh and David W. Patten be authorized to attend to said business for the time being.
Also, voted that Thomas B. Marsh and David W. Patten be Presidents, pro tempore, of the church of Latter Day Saints in Missouri, or until Presidents J. Smith Jr. and S. Rigdon arrives in the land of Zion.
J. MURDOCK, Moderator.
T. B. MARSH, Clerk.
BELOVED BROTHER JOSEPH:
You will see by the above, that quite a change has taken place among us of late, and we hope it is for the better; and we rejoice that we have a prospect of having things in a good degree straightened by the time you arrive here. We saw plainly from the movement of things that the church was about to go to pieces, in consequence of the wickedness of those men, we therefore have done what we have, which thing has given the church general satisfaction, they also appear to be well united, and determined to cleave to the first presidency, that is, the three first.
Had we not taken the above measures, we think that nothing could have prevented a rebellion against the whole high council and bishop; so great was the disaffection against the presidents, that the people began to be jealous, that the whole authorities were inclined to uphold these men in wickedness, and in a little time the church, undoubtedly, would have gone, every man to his own way, like sheep without a shepherd.
We concluded that as you were coming up soon, it would be well to not appoint regular presidents of this branch, as probably more satisfaction would be had among the people to have none but the three first.
The High Council are well united together, and with yourself. The Bishop and his council are united with us now, and all misunderstanding removed. We believe that brother Corrill intends to be with you and us; although he was not with us in the meetings.
We hear that the above men intend to call the church together again for a rehearing; but as they have no authority now, we think that their influence will not be sufficient to bring the people together. We know that such an attempt would be to divide and scatter the flock; and we intend to be faithful to warn the people of this thing. The people
seem to wish to have the whole law of God lived up to; and we think that the church will rejoice to come up to the law of consecration, as soon as their leaders shall say the word, or show them how to do it. In a word, we are persuaded that the most part of the people wish to become sanctified by the law of God. Dear brother, may our God speedily open the way for you and your father's family, with our beloved brother S. Rigdon, to come among us. Your presence is absolutely necessary for the salvation of this church. Do hasten therefore, to our relief, our enemies are bitter against us and will do all the injury they can to you, to us, and to the church.
In the name of the church, we say hold us by your faith, until you get here. We flatter ourselves that you will have the church in Kirtland, in a situation to leave them as soon as the rivers open. Although these men speak against your proceedings, they are mute when you are present, and the great body is determined to follow you.
Agreeable to your request, brother Harris and myself wrote, and sent to you our testimony, relative to what Oliver Cowdery said about the girl and mailed it on the 4th inst. but lest that letter should not reach you through the iniquity of men, I here send you the same, with the addition of brother Hinkle's testimony. They may not be the same words as the other, for we have not a copy of the former letter, however, this is the same in substance,with some addition.
This may certify that I heard O. Cowdery say to Joseph Smith, Jr., while at George W. Harris' house in Far West, that he (Joseph) never confessed to him, (Oliver) that he was guilty of the crime alledged to him. And O. Cowdery gave me to understand that Joseph Smith Jr. never acknowledged to him, that he ever confessed to anyone, that he was guilty of the above crime.
THOMAS B. MARSH.
This may certify, that I heard Oliver Cowdery say, in my house, that Joseph Smith Jr. never confessed to him, that he was guilty of the crime alledged against him, and Joseph asked if he ever said to him (Oliver) that he confessed to anyone that he, (Joseph) was guilty of the above crime, and Oliver, after some hesitation, answered no.
GEORGE W. HARRIS.
This may certify that having heard the report about the crime above referred to, I asked Oliver Cowdery, last fall when Joseph Smith was in the Far West, if the report was true, for said I, if it is, as he is to be presented before the church, I wish to know of the truth of this matter before hand. And he gave me to understand, either in plain words or implications, that it was false. I bear this testimony for the good of the honest hearted in the east and elsewhere, and for the good of brother Joseph Smith Jr. Brother Marsh will please copy this in the letter to the east and keep the original here.
GEORGE M. HINKLE.
Dear Brother, we lament that such foul and false reports should be circulated in Kirtland concerning yourself. We are persuaded that none but those who wish your overthrow, will believe them, and we presume that the above
Far West, Feb. 15, 1838.
46 ELDERS JOURNAL.
testimonies will be sufficient to stay the tongue of the slanderer.
Yours, in the bonds of
the new covenant,
THOMAS B. MARSH.
JOSEPH SMITH, Jr.
Far West, Feb. 15, 1838.
MINUTES OF HIGH COUNCIL.
The High Council of Zion, met in Far West, on Saturday, March 10, 1838, agreeable to adjournment; the Council being organized, was opened by singing, and prayer by Elder Grover.
After some discussion, it was
1st, Resolved, That the High Council recommend, by writing to the various branches of this church, that all those who wish to receive ordination, procure a recommend from the branch to which he belongs, and have it pass through the hands of the different quorums for inspection previous to his ordination.
2nd, Resolved, That the High Council recommend to all those who hold licenses between the ages of 18 and 45, and do not officiate in their respective offices, be subject to military duty.
A charge was then preferred against William W. Phelps and John Whitmer for persisting in unchristianlike conduct.
Six counselors were appointed to speak, viz: Simeon Carter, Isaac Higbee and Levi Jackman, on the part of the accuser; Jared Carter, Thomas Grover, and Samuel Bent, on the part of the accused; when the following letter was read by brother Marcellus Cowdery, bearer of the same, belonging to Thomas B. Marsh, previous to giving it to its rightful owner.
"Far West, March 10, 1838.
It is contrary to the principles of the revelations of Jesus Christ and his gospel and the laws of the land, to try a person for an offence, by an illegal tribunal, or by men prejudiced against him, or by authority that has given an opinion or decision beforehand, or in his absence.
To T. B. Marsh:
we have the honor to be,
Presidents of the Church of Christ in Mo.
W. W. PHELPS.
One of the travelling Counsellors.
of the High Council
of the church of Christ in Missouri.
I certify the foregoing to be a true copy from the original.
OLIVER COWDERY, Clerk
of High Council."
All the effect the above letter had upon the Council, was to convince them still more of the wickedness of those men, by endeavoring to palm themselves upon the church as her presidents after the church had, by a united voice, removed them from their presidential office, for their ungodly conduct; and the letter was considered no more, nor less, than a direct insult or contempt cast upon the authorities
of God, and the church of Jesus Christ; therefore, the Council proceeded to business.
A number of charges were sustained against those men; the principal of which was for claiming $2,000 church funds, which they had subscribed for the building an house to the Lord in this place, when they held in their possession the city plot, and were sitting in the presidential chair, which subscription they were intending to pay from the avails of the town lots, but when the town plot was transferred into the hands of the Bishop, for the benefit of the church, it was agreed that the church should take this subscription from off the hands of W. W. Phelps and John Whitmer, but in the transaction of the business, they bound the Bishop in a heavy mortgage, to pay them the above $2,000, in two years from the date thereof; a part of which they have already received and claim the remainder.
The six Counselors made a few appropriate remarks, none of whom felt to plead for mercy, as it had not been asked on the part of the accused; but all, with one consent, declared that justice ought to have his demands.
After some remarks by Presidents Marsh and Patten, setting forth the iniquity of those men in claiming the $2,000 spoken of, which did not belong to them any more than any other person in the church, it was decided that William W. Phelps and John Whitmer be no longer members of the church of Christ of Latter Day Saints and be given over to the buffetings of Satan, until they learn to blaspheme no more against the authorities of God, nor fleece the flock of Christ.
The Council were then asked, if they concurred with the decision; if so, to manifest it by rising, when they all arose. The vote was then put to the congregation, which was carried unanimous. The negative was then called, but no one voted.
Mr. Marcellus Cowdery arose and said he wished to have it understood that he did not vote either way, because he did not consider it a legal tribunal; he also offered to insult to the High Council and to the Church by reading a letter belonging to Thomas B. Marsh before giving it to him, and in speaking against the authorities of the Church.
A motion was then made by President Patten, that fellowship be withdrawn from Marcellus Cowdery, until he make satisfaction, which was Seconded and carried unanimous.
THOMAS B. MARSH.
DAVID W. PATTEN,
Clerk of High Council.
Far West, April 6th, 1838.
Agreeable to a resolution passed the high council of Zion, March 3rd, 1838, the saints in Missouri assembled at this place to hold the anniversary of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and to transact Church business.
The meeting was opened by singing and prayer by David W. Patten -- After which president Joseph Smith Jr read the order of the day as follows: --
Doors will be opened at 9 o'clock A. M. and
ELDERS JOURNAL. 47
the meeting will commence by singing and prayer
A sexton will then be appointed for a door keeper and other services in the house of the Lord.
Two historians will then be appointed to write and keep the church history.
Also a general recorder to keep the records of the whole Church, and be the clerk of the first presidency.
And a clerk will be appointed for the high Council and to keep the Church records of this stake.
And three presidents will be appointed to preside over this Church of Zion.
After which an address will be delivered by the presidency:
Then an intermission of one hour will take place;
When the meeting will again convene and open by singing and prayer;
The sacrament will then be administered and the blessing of infants attended to:
The meeting then proceeded to business; George Morey was appointed sexton and Dimick Huntington assistant;
John Corrill and Elias Higbee were appointed historians;
George W. Robinson was appointed general Church Recorder and Clerk for the first Presidency;
Ebenezer Robinson was appointed Church Clerk and Recorder for this Stake of Zion and Clerk for the high Council.
Thomas B. Marsh was appointed President pro tempore of the Church in Zion, and Brigham Young and David W Patten his assistant Presidents.
The meeting adjourned for one hour -- and again opened by David W Patten -- After which the bread and wine was administered and 95 infants were brought forward and blessed -- When on motion the meeting closed.
JOSEPH SMITH JR.
E. ROBINSON Clerk.
Agreeable to a resolution of the high council, assembled at Far West, on Saturday, the 3rd of March, 1838, the general authorities of the church met to hold the first quarterly conference of the Church of Latter Day Saints Zion, at Far West on the 7th of April, 1838. Presidents J. Smith jr, S. Rigdon, T. B. Marsh, D. W. Patten, and B. Young took the stand; after which the several quorums, the high council, the high priests, the seventies, the elders, the bishop, the priests, the teachers, and deacons were organized by their Presidents.
President J. Smith jr. made some remarks, also gave some instruction respecting the order of the day. The conference was then opened by singing, "O God our hope in ages past" and prayer by President B. Young. -- Also a hymn was sung "how firm a foundation." After which, President J. Smith, Jr. arose and addressed the congregation at considerable length on some important items. -- President Rigdon continued the subject for a length of time, after which on motion, the meeting adjourned for the space of twenty minutes.
Pursuant to adjournment, the conference convened and opened by prayer by D. W.
Patten, who also made a few remarks respecting the twelve apostles. He spoke of T. B. Marsh, Brigham Young, Orson Hyde, Heber C. Kimball, P. P. Pratt, and O. Pratt as being men of God, whom he could recommend with cheerful confidence. He spoke somewhat doubtful of William Smith from something which he had heard respecting his faith in the work. He also spoke of William E. McLellin, Luke Johnson, Lyman Johnson, and John F. Boynton as being men whom he could not recommend to the conference.
President John Murdock, then represented the high council. The report was favorable. He stated that the seats of Elisha H. Groves, Calvin Bebee, and Lyman Wight were vacant in consequence of their having moved away so far that they could not attend the council.
Thomas B. Marsh then nominated Jared Carter to fill the seat of Elisha H. Groves who was received unanimously.
He then nominated John P. Green to fill the seat of Calvin Beebe, who was received unanimously.
Also George W. Harris, to fill that of Lyman Wight, who was received unanimously. -- The Presidency then ordained him to the office of high priest.
On motion, the Conference adjourned to the 8th at 9 o'clock A. M.
Sunday April the 8th; -- Pursuant to adjournment the Conference convened, and opened by singing and prayer by President B. Young.
President Joseph Smith Jr. made a few remarks respecting the Kirtland Bank -- who was followed by Brigham Young, who gave a short history of his travels to Massachusetts and New York.
President Charles Rich, who is the president of the high priests in Zion; represented his quorum; he read the names of those who belonged to his quorum, the principal part of which were in good standing.
The seventies were represented by presidents Daniel Miles and Levi Hancock.
The quorum of Elders were represented by president Harvey Green -- Their number was 124, in good standing.
President Joseph Smith Jr. next made a few remarks on the word of wisdom, giving the reason of its coming forth, saying it should be observed. On motion, the conference adjourned for one hour.
The Conference convened, agreeable to adjournment, and opened by singing and prayer, after which Bishop Partridge represented the lesser priesthood and his council. -- He gave an account of the incomes and outgoes of Church property which had passed through his hands.
It was then motioned and seconded and carried that the first presidency be appointed to sign the licenses of the official members of the church -- After which on motion, the Conference adjourned until the first Friday in July next.
JOSEPH SMITH, JR.
EBENEZER ROBINSON, Clerk.
48 ELDERS JOURNAL.
DIED on the 7th of May last, James G. Marsh, second son of Thomas B. Marsh, aged 14 years, 11 months and seven days.
From early infancy he manifested a love and reverence towards his heavenly Father, while his parents diligently taught him the first principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And having a thirst for knowledge and a love of good principles, he eagerly embraced the gospel, and was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints, early in the spring of 1832, being between eight and nine years of age.
His great love of knowledge led him to take hold of every opportunity to read the most useful books, and as he was a lover of the gospel, he made himself well acquainted with the sacred writings, and even at this early age, he had become well skilled in profane as well as sacred history.
It seems that the Lord had respect unto this lover of righteousness, for when he was but about nine years of age, he had a remarkable vision, in which he talked with the Father and many of the ancient prophets face to face, and beheld the Son of God coming in his glory.
He said that the Lord showed him his own name written in the book of life in the mansions of Celestial glory, and he saw his own mansion there. And the Lord informed him that the righteous did not die, but fell asleep to rise again in the resurrection of the just, although the world call it death; and to show him that there is no bitterness in the death of the righteous, he was permitted to see in the vision, the departure of a young sister in the church who was the daughter of br. Hezekiah Peck, who was then living a neighbor to him, but she died shortly after he had the vision. And he said that he saw angels conduct her spirit to the celestial paradise.
He saw bloody wars among all people accompanied with earthquakes, pestilences and famines. And he saw all the cities of the nations crumble and fall to rise no more.
He saw the church of Christ make ready to ascend on high and when they were ready, Zion from above hove in sight, accompanied by the Lord and all the holy prophets. The church on beholding them, arose triumphantly and met them in the expanse above.
These are a few of the things which he related of his vision to his parents, suffice it to say, he saw the beginning and end of all things, and he never after appeared to be afraid of death. During his illness, which lasted but four days, he constantly manifested a desire to depart and be with the Lord. At one time he said, "If it is the will of God to take me, I do not wish to stay." On seeing his parents exceedingly anxious to save him, he said, "I do not wish to live only for the sake of my father and mother." At another time, he said he would not turn his hand over to live, and besought his parents to let him pray the Lord to take him. He prayed much, and wanted all the Elders to pray with him, as often as they came in. A few minutes before he died, a number of boys who had been his playmates came in to see him; he seemed glad to see them and said to them, "Good evening, boys, I shall never see you again in time, so farewell, be good boys and serve the
Lord." When his father saw that, he prayed the Lord to take him, he said, "My son, are you confident that if you die now your spirit will rest in the celestial paradise?" he answered, "yes, sir." "Then," said his father, "my son, go in peace and expect to come forth at the resurrection of the just where you and I will again strike hands." He again answered, "Yes, sir, I will," and immediately he fell asleep without a struggle or a groan.
Thus ends the life of this dear youth,
Who loved the way that leads to heaven.
In wisdom's paths he sought the truth,
His manners mile, his temper even.
In vision bright he soared above
And saw the Father face to face,
He heard the angels sing God's love,
And saw his own abiding place.
He talked with Christ, and saw his name,
Within the Book of Life inscribed.
He's gone to realize the same,
With God and angels to abide.
OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS
CHRIST OF LATTER DAY
Joseph Smith, jr.,
IS PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY,
Thomas B. Marsh,
AT $1 PER ANNUM IN ADVANCE. --
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