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Times and Seasons: Volume 1, Number 1
Summary:Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Times and Seasons Vol. 1
Times and Seasons: Volume 1, Number 1
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- FROM THE PRIVATE JOURNAL OF JOSEPH SMITH JR.
- A WORD TO THE SAINTS.
- EXTRACTS OF THE MINUTES OF CONFERENCES.
- TO THE PATRONS OF THE TIMES & SEASONS
- PROSPECTUS OF THE TIMES AND SEASONS.
|TIMES AND SEASONS|
|"TRUTH WILL PREVAIL"|
|Volume I. No. 1.]||COMMERCE, ILLINOIS, NOVEMBER, 1839.||[Whole No. 1.|
As this No. commences the Times and Seasons, it is but proper that we should lay before its readers, the course we intend to pursue, with regard to the editorial department of the same.
We wish to make it a source of light and instruction to all those who may peruse its columns, by laying before them, in plainness, the great plan of salvation which was devised in heaven from before the foundation of the world, as made known to the saints of God, in former, as well as latter days; and is, like its Author, the same in all ages, and changeth not.
In order for this, we may at times, dwell at considerable length, upon the fullness of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ, as laid down in the revealed word of God; the necessity of embracing it with full purpose of heart, and living by all its precepts; remembering the words of our Savior, "he that will be my disciple let him take up his cross and follow me."
We shall treat freely upon the gathering of Israel, which is to take place in these last days-of the dispensation of the fullness of times, when the fullness of the Gentiles is to come in, and the outcasts of Jacob be brought back to dwell upon the lands of their inheritance, preparatory to that great day of rest, which is soon to usher in, when Christ will reign with his saints upon earth, a thousand years, according to the testimony of all the holy prophets since the world began.
We shall also endeavor to give a detailed history of the persecution and suffering, which the members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, has had to endure in Missouri, and elsewhere, for their religion. A mere synopsis of which, would swell this address to volumes; therefore we are compelled to let it pass for the present, by touching upon a few of its most prominent features.
In Jackson county, Missouri, in the year 1833, several were murdered-one whipped to death-a number shot-others whipped until they were literally cut to pieces, then left to die; but God, through his kindness, spared their lives- others tarred and feathered-between two and three hundred men had their houses plundered, and then burned to ashes, and they, with their wives and little ones, driven into the forests to perish.
Again, in 1836 they were informed by the citizens of Clay county Mo. (where they settled after being driven from Jackson,) that they could dwell there no longer; consequently they were compelled to seek a location elsewhere; notwithstanding the greater part of them had purchased the land upon which they lived, with their own money, with the expectation of securing to themselves and families, permanent abiding places, where they could dwell in peace: but in this they were mistaken, for in the latter part of this same year, they were obliged to move out of the country, when they went to a back prairie country, where the other citizens assured them they might dwell in safety.
Here they commenced their labors with renewed courage, firmly believing they were preparing peaceful homes, where they could spend the remainder of there days in the sweet enjoyment of that liberty which was so dearly bought by the blood of their venerable Fathers, but which had been so cruelly wrested from them, by the hands of their oppressors, in both Jackson and Clay counties. But here again they were sadly disappointed, for no sooner had they built comfortable dwelling places, and opened beautiful and extensive farms, which their untiring industry and perseverance soon accomplished, than their neighbors in the adjoining counties began to envy them, and look upon them with a jealous eye; so that in the year 1838, mobs again began to harrass and disturb them, by stealing their cattle and hogs, burning their houses. and shooting at their men; when they petitioned the Governor for protection, which he utterly refused. They then saw there was no other way but to stand in their own defence;
which they prepared to do with all possible diligence. This was no sooner made known to the Governor, than he ordered out the militia, (report says THIRTY THOUSAND) about twelve thousand of which, were on the march and issued his Edict, Maximim [Maximum] like, to have the saints EXTERMINATED, or EXPELLED from the State forthwith. Accordingly, many were murdered, or rather martyred!-about 60 thrust into prison-several hundred families driven from their homes, in the short space of ten days, in the midst of a very remarkable snow storm in the month of November-their property plundered --and the whole church, comprising about twelve thousand souls, expelled from the State!!
Thus you see, gentle reader, a minute history of all those transactions mentioned above, will be a subject of no small moment; when we consider that they have all been performed in the midst of this boasted land of Liberty; whose whole fabric, rests upon this one pivot, liberty of conscience.
Deprive her citizens of this heavenly boon, which is so freely granted to all, by the Author of our existance [existence], and all her hopes of future prosperity are blasted forever; she can stand no longer, as a free Republican Government, but must fall to rise no more.
With these brief remarks we shall suit will be hailed as a welcome guest, by every lover of freedom, and receive that encouragement which its merits may demand.
E. ROBINSON, D. C. SMITH.
FROM THE PRIVATE JOURNAL OF JOSEPH SMITH JR.
On the fourteenth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty eight, I with my family, arrived in Far West, Caldwell county Missouri, after a journey of more then one thousand miles, in the, Winter season, and being about eight weeks on our Journey; during which we suffered great affliction, and met with considerable persecution on the road. However, the prospect of meeting my friends in the west and anticipating the pleasure of dwelling in peace, and enjoying the blessings thereof, buoyed me up under the difficulties and trials which I had then to endure. However, I had not been there long before I was given to understand that plots were laid, by wicked and designing men for my destruction, who sought every opportunity to take my life; and that a company on the Grindstone forks of Grand river, in the county of Daviess, had offered the sum of one thousand dollars for my scalp: persons of whom I had no knowledge whatever, and who, I suppose, were entire strangers to me; and in order to accomplish their wicked design, I was frequently waylaid &c.; consequently, my life was continually in jeopardy:
I could hardly have given credit to such statements, had they not been corroborated by testimony, the most strong and convincing; as shortly after my arrival at Far West, while watering my horse in Shoal Creek, I distinctly heard three or four guns snap, which were undoubtedly intended for my destruction; however, I was mercifully preserved from those who sought to destroy me, by their lurking in the woods and hiding places, for this purpose.
My enemies were not confined alone, to the ignorant and obscure, but men in office, and holding situations under the Governor of the State, proclaimed themselves my enemies, and gave encouragement to others to destroy me; amongst whom, was Judge King, of the fifth Judicial circuit, who has frequently been heard to say that I ought to be beheaded on account of my religion. Expressions such as these, from individuals holding such important offices as Judge King's, could not fail to produce, and encourage persecution against me, and the people with whom I was connected. And in consequence of the prejudice which existed in the mind of this Judge, which he did not endeavor to keep secret, but made it as public as he could, the people took every advantage they possibly could, in abusing me, and threatening my life; regardless of the laws, which
promise protection to every religious society, without distinction.
During this state of things I do not recollect that either myself, or the people with whom I was associated, had done anything to deserve such treatment, but felt a desire to live at peace, and on friendly terms, with the. citizens of that, and the adjoining counties, as well as with all men; and I can truly say "for my love they were my enemies," and "sought to slay me without any cause," or the least shadow of pretext.
My family was kept in a state of alarm, not knowing, when I went from home, that I should ever return again; or what would befall me from day to day. But notwithstanding these manifestations of enmity, I hoped that the citizens would eventually cease from their abusive and murderous purposes, and would reflect with sorrow upon their conduct in endeavoring to destroy me, whose only crime was in worshipping the God of heaven, and keeping his commandments; and that they would soon desist from harassing a people who were as good citizens as the majority of this vast republic-who labored almost night and day, to cultivate the ground; and whose industry, during the time they were in that neighborhood, was proverbial.
In the latter part of September, A. D. 1838, I took a journey, in company with some others, to the lower part of the county of Caldwell, for the purpose of selecting a location for a Town. While on my journey, I was met by one of our brethren from Dewitt, in Carroll county, who stated that our people, who had settled in that place, were, and had been for some time, surrounded by a mob, who had threatened their lives and had shot at them several times; and that he was on his way to Far West, to inform the brethren there, of the facts. I was surprised on receiving this intelligence, although there had, previous to this time, been some manifestations of mobs, but I had hoped that the good sense of the majority of the people, and their respect for the constitution, would have put down any spirit of persecution, which might have been manifested in that neighborhood.
Immediately on receiving this intelligence, I made preparations to go to that place, and endeavor if possible, to allay the feelings of the citizens, and save the lives of my brethren who were thus exposed to their wrath. I arrived at Dewitt, about the first of October, and found that the accounts of the situation of that place were correct, for it was with much difficulty, and by travelling [traveling] unfrequented roads, that I was able to get there; all the principal roads being strongly guarded by the mob, who refused all ingress as well as egress. I found my brethren, (who were only a handfull [handful] , in comparison to the mob, by which they were surrounded,) in this situation, and their provisions nearly exhausted, and no prospect of obtaining any more.
We thought it necessary to send immediately to the Governor, to inform him of the circumstances; hoping, from the Executive, to receive the protection which we needed, and which was guaranteed to us, in common with other citizens. Several Gentlemen of standing and respectability, who lived in the immediate vicinity, (who were not in any wise connected with the church of Latter Day Saints,) who had witnessed the proceedings of our enemies; came forward and made affidavits to the treatment we had received, and concerning our perilous situation; and offered their services to go and present the case to the Governor themselves. A messenger was accordingly despatched to his Excellency, who made known to him our situation. But instead of receiving any aid whatever, or even sympathy from his Excellency, we were told that "the quarrel was between the Mormons and the mob," and that "we might fight it out." In the mean time, we had petitioned the Judges to protect us. They sent out about one hundred of the militia,. under the command of Brigadier General Parks; but almost immediately on their arrival, General Parks informed us that the greater part of his men under Capt. Bogart had mutinied, and that he shoud [should] be obliged to draw them off from the place, for fear they would join the mob; consequently he could afford us no assistance.
We had now, no hopes whatever, of successfully resisting the mob, who kept constantly increasing: our provisions were entirely exhausted and we being wearied out, by continually standing on guard, and watching the movements of our enemies; who, during the time I was there, fired at us a great many times. Some of the brethren died, for want of the common necessaries of life, and perished from starvation; and for once in my life, I had the pain of beholding some of my fellow creatures fall victims to the spirit of persecution, which did then and has since prevailed to such an extent in Upper Missouri-men too, who were virtuous, and against whom, no legal process could for one moment, be sustained; but who, in consequence of their love to God-attachment to his cause-and there determination to keep the faith were thus brought to an untimely grave.
Many houses belonging to my brethren, were burned; their cattle driven away, and a great quantity of their property destroyed by the mob. Seeing no prospect of relief, the Governor having turned a deaf ear to our entreaties, the militia having mutinied, and the greater part of them ready to join the mob; the brethren came to the conclusion to leave that place, and seek a shelter elsewhere; they consequently took their departure, with about seventy waggons, with the remnant of the property they had been able to save from their matchless foes, and proceeded to Caldwell. During our journey, we were continually harrassed and threatened by the mob, who shot at us several times; whilst several of our brethren died from the fatigue and privations which they had to endure, and we had to inter them by the wayside, without a coffin, and under circumstances the most distressing.
On my arrival in Caldwell I was informed by General Doniphan of Clay county, that a company of mobbers eight hundred strong, were marching towards a settlement of our people's in Daviess county. He ordered out one of the officers to raise a force and march immediately to what he called Wight's town and defend our people from the attacks of the mob, until he should raise the militia in his, and the adjoining counties to put them down. A small company of militia who were on their route to Daviess county, and who had passed through Far West, he ordered back again, stating that they were not to be depended upon, as many of them were disposed to join the mob; and to use his own expression, were "damned rotten hearted." According to orders Lieut. Colonel Hinkle marched with a number of our people to Daviess county to afford what assistance they could to their brethren. Having some property in that county and having a house building there, I went up at the same time. While I was there a number of houses belonging to our people were burned by the mob, who committed many other depredations, such as driving off horses, sheep, cattle hogs &c. A number, whose houses were burned down as well as those who lived in scattered and lonely situations, fled into the town for safety, and for shelter from the inclemency of the weather, as a considerable snow storm had taken place just about that time; women and children, some in the most delicate situations, were thus obliged to leave their homes, and travel several miles in order to effect their escape. My feelings were such as I cannot describe when I saw the flock in the village, almost entirely destitute of clothes, and only escaping with their lives. During this state of affairs General Parks arrived at Daviess county, and was at the house of Colonel Wight, when the intelligence was brought, that the mob were burning houses; and also when women and children were fleeing for safety. Colonel Wight who held a commission the 59th regiment under his (General Parks) command, asked what was to be done. He told him that he must immediately, call out his men and go and put them down. Accordingly, a force was immediately raised for the purpose of quelling the mob, and in a short time were on their march with a determination to drive the mob, or die in the attempt; as they could bear such treatment no longer. The mob having learned the orders of General Parks, and likewise being aware of the determination of the oppressed, they broke up their encampments and fled.
The mob seeing that they could not succeed by force, now
resorted to stratagem; and after removing their property out of their houses, which were nothing but log cabins, they actually set fire to their own houses, and then reported to the authorities of the state that the Mormons were burning and destroying all before them.
On the retreat of the mob from Daviess, I returned to Caldwell, hoping to have some respite from our enemies, at least for a short time; but upon my arrival there, I was informed that a mob had commenced hostilities on the borders of that county, adjoining to Ray co. and that they had taken some of our brethren prisoners, burned some houses and had committed depredations on the peaceable inhabitants. A company under the command of Capt. Patten, was ordered out by Lieutenant Col. Hinckle to go against them, and stop their depredations, and drive them out of the county. Upon the approach of our people, the mob fired upon them, and after discharging their pieces, fled with great precipitation, with the loss of one killed and several wounded. In the engagement Capt. Patten, (a man beloved by all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance,) was wounded and died shortly after. Two others were likewise killed and several wounded. Great excitement now prevailed, and mobs were heard of in every direction who seemed determined on our destruction. They burned the houses in the country and took off all the cattle they could find. They destroyed cornfields, took many prisoners, and threatened death to all the Mormons. On the 28 of Oct. a large company of armed soldiery were seen aproaching [approaching] Far West. They came up near to the town and then drew back about a mile and encamped for the night. We were informed that they were Militia, ordered out by the Governor for the purpose of stopping our proceedings; it having been represented to his excellency, by wicked and designing men from Daviess, that we were the aggressors, and had committed outrages in Daviess &c. They had not yet got the Governors orders of extermination, which I believe did not arrive until the next day. On the following morning, a flag was sent, which was met by several of our people, and it was hoped that matters would be satisfactorily arranged after the officers had heard a true statement of all the circumstances. Towards evening, I was waited upon by Colonel Hinckle who stated that the officers of the Militia desired to have an interview with me, and some others, hoping that the difficulties might be settled without having occasion to carry into effect the exterminating orders, which they had received from the Governor. I immediately complied with the request, and in company with Elders Rigdon and Pratt, Colonel Wight, and Geo. W. Robinson, went into the camp of the militia. But judge of my surprise, when instead of being treated with that respect which is due from one citizen to another, we were taken as prisoners of war, and were treated with the utmost contempt. The officer would not converse with us, and the soldiers, almost to a man, insulted us as much as they felt disposed, breathing out threats against me and my companions. I cannot begin to tell the scene which I there witnessed. The loud cries and yells of more than one thousand voices, which rent the air and could be heard for miles; and the horrid and blasphemous threats and curses which were poured upon us in torrents, were enough to appal [appall] the stoutest heart. in the evening we had to lie down on the cold ground surrounded by a strong guard, who were only kept back by the power of God from depriving us of life. We petitioned the officers to know why we were thus treated, but they utterly refused to give us any answer, or to converse with us. The next day they held a court martial, and sentenced us to be shot, on Friday morning, on the public square, as an ensample [example] to the Mormons. However notwithstanding their sentence,. and determination, they were not permitted to carry their murderous sentence into execution.
Having an opportunity of speaking to General Wilson, I inquired of him the cause why I was thus treated, I told him I was not sensible of having done any thing worthy of such treatment; that I had always been a supporter of the constitution and of Democracy. His answer was 'I know it, and that is the reason why I want to kill you or have you killed." The militia then went into the town and without any restrain whatever, plundered the
houses, and abused the innocent and unoffending inhabitants. They went to my house and drove my family out of doors. They carried away most of my property and left many destitute.-We were taken to the town, into the public square; and before our departure from Far West, we, after much entreaties, were suffered to see our families, being attended all the while with a strong guard; I found my wife and children in tears, who expected we were shot by those who had sworn to take our lives, and that they should see me no more. When I entered my house, they clung to my garments, their eyes streaming with tears, while mingled emotions of joy and sorrow were manifest in their countenances. I requested to have a private interview with them a few minutes, but this privilege was denied me. I was then obliged to take my departure, but who can realize my feelings which I experienced at that time; to be torn from my companion, and leaving her surrounded with monsters in the shape of men, and my children too, not knowing how their wants would be supplied; to be taken far from them in order that my enemies might destroy me when they thought proper to do so. My partner wept, my children clung to me and were only thrust from my by the swords of the guard who guarded me. I felt overwhelmed while I witnessed the scene, and could only recommend them to the care of that God, whose kindness had followed me to the present time; and who alone could protect them and deliver me from the hands of my enemies and restore me to my family.
I was then taken back to the camp and then I with the rest of my brethren, viz: Sidney Rigdon, Hyram Smith, Parley P. Pratt, Lyman Wight, Amasa Lyman, and George W. Robinson, were removed to Independence, Jackson county. They did not make known what their intention or designs were in taking us there; but knowing that some of our most bitter enemies resided in that county, we came to the conclusion that their design was to shoot us, which from the testimony of others; I do think was a correct conclusion. While there, we were under the care of Generals Lucas and Wilson, we had to find our own board, and had to sleep on the floor with nothing but a mantle for our covering, and a stick of wood for our pillow. After remaining there a few days we were ordered by General Clark to return; we were accordingly taken back as far as Richmond, and there we were thrust into prison and our feet bound with fetters. While in Richmond, we were under the charge of Colonel Price from Chariton county, who suffered all manner of abuse to be heaped upon us. During this time my afflictions were great, and our situation was truly painful. After remaining there a few days we were taken before the court of inquiry, but were not prepared with witnesses, in cousequence [consequence] of the cruelty of the mob, who threatened destruction to all who had any thing to say in our favor: but notwithstanding their threats there were a few who did not think their lives dear so that they might testify to the truth, and in our behalf, knowing we were unlawfully confined; but the court who was predjudiced [prejudiced] against us, would not suffer them to be examined according to law, but suffered the State's Attorney to abuse them as he thought proper. We were then removed to Liberty jail in Clay county, and there kept in close confinement in that place for more than four months. While there, we petitioued [petitioned] Judge Turnham for a writ of habeas corpus, but on account of the predjudice [prejudiced] of the jailor [jailer] all communication was cut off; at length however, we succeeded in getting a petition conveyed to him, but for fourteen days we received no answer. We likewise petitioned the other Judges but with no success. After the expiration of fourteen days Judge Turnham ordered us to appear before him, we sent and took a number of witnesses, which caused us considerable expense and trouble; but he altogether refused to hear any of our witnesses. The lawyers which we had employed refused to act; being afraid of the people. This being the case, we of course could not succeed, and were consequently remanded back to our prison house.-We were sometimes visited by ours friends whose kindness and attention, I shall ever remember with feelings of lively gratitude, but frequently we were not suffered to have that privilege. Our vituals [food] were of the coarsest
kind, and served up in a manner which was disgusting. We continued in this situation, bearing up under the injuries and cruelties we suffered as well as we could, until we were removed to Daviess county, where we were taken in order to be tried for the crimes with which we had been charged. The grand jury (who were mostly intoxicated,) indicted us for treason, &c. &c.
While there, we got a change of venue to Boon county, and were conducted on our way to that place by a strong guard. The second evening after our departure the guard got intoxicated, we thought it a favorable opportunity to make our escape; knowing that the only object of our enemies was our destruction; and likewise knowing that a number of our brethren had been massacred by them on Shoal creek, amongst whom were two children; and that they sought every opportunity to abuse others who were left in that state; and that they were never brought to an account for their barbarous proceedings, but were winked at, and encouraged, by those in authority. We thought that it was necessary for us, inasmuch as we loved our lives, and did not wish to die by the hand of murderers and assasins [assassins]; and inasmuch, as we loved our families and friends, to deliver ourselves from our enemies, and from that land of tyrany [tyranny] and oppression, and again take our stand among a people in whose bosoms dwell those feelings of republicanism and liberty which gave rise to our nation:-Feelings which the inhabitants of the state of Missouri were strangers to.-Accordingly we took the advantage of the situation of our guard and took our departure, and that night we travled [traveled] a considerable distance. We continued on our journey both by night and by day, and after suffering much fatigue and hunger, I arrived in Quincy Illinois, amidst the congratulations of my friends and the embraces of my family.
I have now resided in this neighborhood for several weeks as it is known to thousands of the citizens of Illinois, as well as of the State of Missouri, but the authorities of Mo., knowing that they had no justice in their crusade against me, and the people with whom I was associated, have not yet to my knowledge, taken the first step towards having me arrested.
Amongst those who have been the chief instruments, and leading characters, in the unparallelled [unparalleled] ] persecutions against the church of Latter Day Saints; the following stand conspicuous, viz: General Clark, Wilson, and Lucas, Colonel Price, and Cornelius Guilliam. Captain Bogart also, whose zeal in the cause of oppression and injustice, was unequalled [unequaled], and whose delight has been to rob, murder, and spread devastation amongst the Saints. He stole a valuable horse, saddle and bridle from me; which cost two hundred dollars, and then sold the same to General Wilson. On understanding this I applied to General Wilson for the horse, who assured me, upon the honor of a gentleman, and an officer, that I should have the horse returned to me; but this promise has not been fulfilled.
All the threats, murders, and robberies which these, officers have been guilty of, are entirely looked over by the Executive of the state; who, to hide his own iniquity, must of course shield and protect those whom he employed, to cary [carry] into effect his murderous purposes.
I was in their hands as a prisoner about six months, but notwithstanding their determination to destroy me, with the rest of my brethren who were with me; and although at three different times (as I was informed) we were sentenced to be shot, without the least shadow of law, (as we were not military men,) and had the time, and place appointed for that purpose; yet through the mercy of God, in answer to the prayers of the saints, I have been preserved, and delivered out of their hands, and can again enjoy the society of my friends and brethren, whom I love: and to whom I feel united in bonds that are stronger than death: and in a state where I believe the laws are respected, and whose citizens, are humane and charitable.
During the time I was in the hands of my enemies; I must say, that although I felt great anxiety, respecting my family and friends; who were so inhumanly [inhumanely] treated and abused; and who had to mourn the loss of their husbands and children, who had been slain; and after having been robbed of
nearly all that they possessed be driven from their homes, and forced to wander as strangers in a strange country, in order, that they might save themselves and their little ones, from, the destructions they were threatened with in Missouri: yet as far as I was concerned, I felt perfectly calm, and resigned to the will of my heavenly Father. I knew my innocency, as well as that of the saints; and that we had done nothing to deserve such treatment from the hands of our oppressors: consequently, I could took to that God, who has the hearts of all men in his hands, and who had saved me frequently from the gates of death for deliverance: and notwithstanding, that every avenue of escape seemed to be entirely closed, and death stared me in the face, and that my destruction was determined upon, as far as man was concerned; yet, from my first entrance into the camp, I felt an assurance, that I with my brethren and our families should be delivered. Yes, that still small voice, which has so often whispered consolation to my soul, in the debth [depth] of sorrow and distress, bade me be of good cheer, and promised deliverance which gave me great comfort: and although, the heathen raged, and the people imagined vain things, yet the Lord of hosts, the God of Jacob, was my refuge; and when I cried unto him in the day of trouble, he delivered me; for which I call upon my soul, and all that is within me, to bless and praise his holy name: For although I was "troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed."
The conduct of the saints under their accumulated wrongs and suffering, has been praise-worthy; their courage, in defending their brethren from the ravages of mobs; their attachment to the cause of truth, under circumstances the most trying and distressing which humanity can possibly endure; their love to each other; their readiness to afford assistance to me, and my brethren who were confined in a dungeon; their sacrifices in leaving the state of Missouri, and assisting the poor widows and orphans, and securing them houses in a more hospitable land; all conspire to raise them in the estimation of all good and virtuous men; and has secured them the favor and approbation of Jehovah; and a name, as imperishable as eternity. And their virtuous deeds, and heroic actions, while in defence of truth and their brethren: will be fresh and blooming; when the names of their oppressors shall either be entirely forgotten, or only remembered, for their barbarity and cruelty. Their attention and affection to me, while in prison, will ever be remembered hen they came to do any kind offices, and to cheer our minds while we were in the gloomy prison house, gave me feelings, which I cannot describe, while those who wished to insult and abuse us, by their threats and blasphemous language, were applauded and had every encouragement given them.
However, thank God, we have been delivered; and although, some of our beloved brethren, have had to seal their testimony with their blood; and have died martyrs to the cause of truth; yet,
Short, though bitter was their pain,
Everlasting is their joy.
Let us not sorrow as "those without hope," the time is fast approaching, when we shall see them again, and rejoice together, without being affraid [afraid] of wicked men: Yes, those who have slept in Christ, shall be bring with him, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and admired by all those who believe: but to take vengeance upon his enemies, and all those who obey not the gospel. At that time, the hearts of the widow and fatherless shall be comforted, and every tear shall be wiped from of their faces.
The trials they have had to pass through, shall work together for their good, and prepare them for the society of those, who have come up out of great tribulation; and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Marvel not then, if you are persecuted, but remember the words of the Savior, "The servant is not above his Lord, if they have persecuted, me, they will persecute you also;" and that all the afflictions through which the saints have to pass, are in fulfillment of the words of
the prophets, which have spoken since the world began. We shall therfore [therefore] do well to discern the signs of the times, as we pass along, that the day of the Lord may not "overtake us as a thief in the night." Affliction, persecutions, imprisonments and deaths, we must expect according to the scriptures, which tell us, that the blood of those whose souls were under the alter, could not be avenged on them that dwell on the earth, untill [until] their brethren should be slain, as they were.
If these transactions had taken place among barbarrians [barbarians], under the authority of a despot; or in a nation, where a certain religion is established according to law, and all others proscribed; then there might have been some shadow of defence offered. But can we realize that in a land which is the cradle of Liberty and equal rights, and where the voice of the conquerers [conquerors], who had vanquished our foes, had scarcely died away upon our ears, where we frequently mingled with those who had stood amidst the "battle and the breeze," and whose arms have been nerved in the defence of their country and liberty: whose institutions are the theme of philosophers and poets, and held up to the admiration of the whole civilized world. In the midst of all these scenes, with which we were surrounded a persecution, the most unwarrantable, was commenced; and a tragedy, the most dreadful, was enacted, by a large portion of the inhabitants, of one of those free and independent States, which comprise this vast republic; and a deadly blow was struck at the institutions, for which our Fathers had fought many a hard battle, and for which, many a Patriot had shed his blood; and suddenly, was heard, amidst the voice of joy and gratitude for our national liberty, the voice of mourning, lamentation and woe. Yes, in this land a mob, regardless of those laws, for which so much blood had been spilled, dead to every feeling of virtue and patriotism, which animated the bosom of freemen; fell upon a people whose religious faith was different from their own; and not only destroyed their homes, drove them away, and carried off their property, but murderd [murdered] many a free born son of America. A tragedy, which has no parrallel [parallel] in modern, and hardly in ancient times; even the face of the Red man would be ready to turn pale at the recital of it.
It would have been some consolation, if the authorities of the State had been innocent in this affair, but they are involved in the guilt thereof; and the blood of innocence, even of children, cry for vengeance upon them. I ask the citizens of this vast republic, whether such a state of things is to be suffered to pass unnoticed, and the hearts of widows, orphans and patriots, to be broken, and their wrongs left without redress? No! I invoke the genius of our constitution, I appeal to the patriotism of Americans, to stop this unlawful and unholy procedure: and pray that God may defend this nation from the dreadful effects of such outrages. Is there not virtue in the body politic? Will not the people rise up in their majesty, and with that promptitude and zeal, which is so characterestic [characteristic] of them, discountenance such proceedings, by bringing the offenders to that punishment which they so richly deserve; and save the nation from that disgrace and ultimate ruin, which otherwise must inevitably fall upon it? JOSEPH SMITH JR.
Payson, Ill., June 18th. 1839.
Messrs. Robinson and Smith:
Having learned that you intend to publish a monthly periodical, called the Times and Seasons, for the purpose of giving general information concerning the work of the Lord, at home and abroad, thinking that it might be a satisfaction to the saints, in general, to know of the prosperity of our Redeemer's kingdom in the eastern country; I have thought proper to send you a short history of my travels during the last year: if you deem it worthy of an insertion in the above named paper, it is at your disposal.
I left Ohio the last of Jan. 1838, with a view of proclaiming the fulness [fullness] of the everlasting gospel to the inhabitants of the eastern country. I spent from three to four months time, preaching in Washington Co. Md. and Franklin, Bedford and Huntington counties, Pa. during which time I preached from 80 to 100 times; held one debate; and several times defended the truth publicly, when attacked by the priests of the different denominations; baptized one, and witnessed the baptism of many others, by elders who were laboring with me.
June first I pursued my Journey eastward preaching as I went. On the 7th of July I arrived at a small town called Hornerstown, Monmouth co. N. J. I then obtained the liberty of the school house in that place, and made an appointment for the next day. At
this time, if I have correct information, there had never been but two or three sermons, of this doctrine, preached in that state; consequently, as to our principles, and rules of faith, the people knew nothing, except by reports. After I had fulfilled the appointment which I had made by setting forth the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, it was so different from what they had expected, that it caused a spirit of inquiry, so much so, that I had calls in every direction. I then sent appointments to different places in the county, and commenced fulfilling them; the people flocked out, in crowds to hear, yet at this time, more out of curiosity than any thing else; and in a short time, the news went abroad, that a Mormon preacher had made his appearance in the land; and the more I preached, the greater the excitement, so that in every town, and neighborhood, where I had preached, what the world calls Mormonism, was the grand topic of conversation. The honest in heart exclaiming that it was truth, while another class of the community, who loves darkness more that light, lifted their voices and influence against it; some saying that I preached from another bible, different from our common version; but the honest in heart, searched the scriptures, and learned to the contrary. At this particular crises, while the honest were searching the scriptures, the priests were engaged in fumbling over their old news paper files, and hunting up all the old stories that was told a number of years ago, probably thinking that this would be the most effectual way to stop the spread of truth. After they had gathered the old news paper stories and reports that had been put in circulation, by our enemies, three priests, a Methodist, Baptist and Universalist, united, Pilate and Herod like, to combat the truth.
At this time I had an appointment at a place called New Egypt; they gave out word, which had a general circulation throughout the country, that on the evening of the appointment, Mormonism would be exposed, and the arguments adduced in its favor, refuted; and that I should be put to shame. On the evening of the appointment the people flocked into the town, from every direction: I walked the streets, before the appointed hour for meeting, and heard the people conversing about the subject of controversy, and found that their expectations were, to hear a scriptural argument; the meeting commenced, and I addressed the congregation upon the subject of the Millennium, as long as I thought proper, and then gave liberty; the Methodist preacher arose, and said that he had a number of questions written down, which he wished me to answer; I told him that if they were reasonable ones, I would answer them. The first question was this, what is Mormonism, and will any person be saved if they reject it?-I told him I could soon answer that question. My answer was this, Mormonism, as you call it, is to believe that Christ is the Son of God, also a firm belief in the scriptures, then faith, repentance and baptism for the remission of sins: the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost, having a church organized according to the new testament pattern, and to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God; all who reject this will be damned, if the scriptures are true. As to the other questions, they were as easy answered as that of the first. They then commenced repeating news paper stories, reading a pamphlet, and telling all the tales that they had heard with foul insinuations, and in a sarcastick [sarcastic] manner, made use of invective appalations [appellations] to blast the characters of men, whom God had raised up for the purpose of bringing about his great and marvelous work of the last days; probably thinking that by so doing, it would render the society, and its principles, odious in the minds of the people, so that they would stop their ears, and cease to hear any more. As for myself, my determination ever has been, not to partake of the spirit of slander, and of a strife of this kind; but when the truth is attacked I always feel bound to boldly defend it; neither had I any disposition for a controversy of this kind; consequently, I bore testimony to the truth of the doctrine that I had proclaimed: and showed that their news paper stories were false, and that they were hatched up by evil designing men, to destroy the work of truth: I then dismissed the meeting.
Those who were opposed to the truth, who came with anticipations of a general triumph over Mormonism, and that I would be put to shame, and forced to abandon the country with disgrace; instead of rejoicing, on the account of successful labors, were astonished at the conduct of the priests, and returned home with amazement, more than rejoicing, others knowing that slander, was no argument, and that there had no argument been adduced, to overthrow the doctrine that I had proclaimed, acknowledged that there was no scriptural argument that could be produced to overthrow it, and those who made the attack, instead of putting me to shame, they put themselves to shame; and instead of exposing Mormonism, they exposed their own wickedness; rendered themselves odious in the minds of the most of the congregation; so that their influence against Mormonism was but little, after that. After this, they no more attempted to expose Mormonism, publicly, where I had a chance to defend it; but commenced warning their members not to go and hear, telling them, that they would get bewitched, or led astray, or deceived; (what better testimony do we want, to prove that they are on a sandy foundation, for if they are built upon the rock, the gates of hell cannot prevail against them;) yet, notwithstanding all their exertions to destroy Mormonism, the people believed it more than ever, for this reason, they had made their assertions, that Mormonism was an unscriptural doctrine, and that they could make it appear so, but when the time of trial came, they failed in the attempt; and, as my manner of teaching was, to reason from the scriptures, the honest were constrained to acknowledge, that there is no scripture to condemn it.-And as I continued preaching, the prejudices of the people wore away, and there was a general spirit of inquiry. The rich and the
poor, invited me to their homes, that they might learn the particulars concerning this work.
Thus I continued laboring and making the things of God plain to their understandings; some weeks preaching as often as ten or eleven times. The last of September, Elder O. Pratt came from the city of N. Y. and preached in this region of country several times, which was the means of doing much good.
On the 1st of Oct. a number came forward, and embraced the fullness of the everlasting gospel, by obeying the ordinance of baptism. I continued preaching and baptizing, till the last of Dec. when I called the saints together, at Hornerstown, in order to organize a branch of the church in that place. Josiah Ells, (formerly a Methodist preacher,) was set apart by the voice of the members, and ordained to the office of an Elder; the work of the Lord still rolled on.
January 28th., 1839, I took my leave of the saints, which then numbered 26, to go to the State of Mo. I went as far as Lightersburgh, Md. where I got more particular information of the late persecution in the State of Mo.-I then concluded, that my labors would be of more use in the world, than at home; consequently, after preaching several times to the saints in Lightersburgh, I returned to the State of N. J. with a view of again proclaiming the truth, to the people of that state. By request of some of the citizens, I went to preach, in a town called Toms River, situated near the sea shore; some members of certain sect, in the place locked up the school house. A congregation assembled, and with them, some noble minded men, who had an independent spirit; the door was opened, and I preached to an attentive congregation. I preached several times in the place, and baptized 11 persons. April 1st, elders L. Barnes and H. Sagers visited the branch of the church in that State, and preached several times, as they were on the way to the city of N. Y. They told me that they had been preaching in Chester Co. Pa. and had baptized four, and they thought that there was a foundation laid, for a still greater work.-On elder Barnes' return from the city, he held a debate with a Quaker preacher, and nobly defended the truth, he preached several times in that region of country, and baptized 5, then returned to Pa. On the 9th of May, I took my leave of the saints in that State, to come to Illinois. I find by looking over my Journal, that since I commenced laboring in the State of N. J. which was chiefly confined to Monmouth, Burlington and Mercer counties, that I have preached 200 sermons, baptized 40 persons, visited the saints in the city of N. Y. several times; and I feel myself authorized to say, that the work of the Lord is gaining ground, in the region of country where I have been laboring.
May the Lord inspire his servants, with a renewed zeal, that they may go forth, and bear a faithful testimony, to the inhabitants of the earth, that this work might hasten on, till all nations shall hear the sound, and until Zion shall become a peaceful home, and peace flow like a river to all the people of God. Yours respectfully, B. Winchester.
TIMES AND SEASONS
COMMERCE, ILL. NOV. 1839
A WORD TO THE SAINTS.
It may be expected by some, who are not acquainted with all the circumstances attending the printing establishment had in the church, that the proprietors of this press should supply the subscribers of the "Elders Journal," with the remaining numbers of that paper, which was their due when we were broken up by the mob in Missouri; but this idea we are confident they will abandon, when they learn the fact, that the proprietors of the Journal, while conducting that paper, sustained the loss of anentire [an entire] establishment in Kirtland Ohio, in Jan. 1838, after which, with much difficulty, they procured another press and resuscitated the paper at Far West Mo. where they had the opportunity of publishing two numbers only; when persecution raged to that extent, that they were compelled to leave the State, with the loss of nearly all their property. Thus, while many of you have sustained the loss of but 67 cents, they have not only lost all their property, but have been driven by their cruel and hard-hearted persecutors, from their peaceful and happy homes, and are now strangers, sojourning in a strange land; which verifies the saying of the Savior, when speaking to his disciples, where he says, "if ye were of the world, the world would love his own, but because ye are not of the world; but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."
But notwithstanding all these circumstances, being partakers in the deep afflictions through which the saints were called to pass in Missouri, we have been permitted, by the blessing of heaven, to obtain the necessary apparatus, and will publish, for the benefit of the saints, a monthly paper, which we now offer to them on reasonable terms; but owing to our peculiar circumstances, we shall be under the necessity of requiring pay on subscriptions, in advance, as our expenses are, necessarily, very heavy, and nothing but cash in hand will defray
them; however, as it is not generally known, that this paper is to be published, we shall forward this number to such as we are confident feel an interest in the gathering of Israel, and the accomplishment of that glorious work which the Lord has commenced in these last days, with the expectation that they will, upon the receipt of this, forward us their names with the money, free of postage, as it will not be in our power, (notwithstanding, it would be pleasing to us, to do otherwise,) to forward any more, until remittances are made; and we earnestly hope that the saints will not think hard of us for being thus partiular [particular], as it is the only principle upon which we can sustain this publication.
-> In our next, we shall commence publishing the history of the disturbances in Missouri, in regular series.
To the elders of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, to the churches scattered abroad, and to all the saints.
We, the undersigned, feeling deeply interrested [interested] in the welfare of Zion, the up-building of the church of Christ, and the welfare of the saints in general, send unto you GREETING:-and pray, that "grace, mercy, and peace may rest upon you, from God our Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ."
But brethren, the situation of things, as they have of late existed, have been to us of a peculiar trying nature. Many of you have been driven from you homes, robbed of your possessions, and deprived of the liberty of conscience; you have been stripped of your clothing, plundering of your furniture, robbed of your horses, your cattle, your sheep, your hogs, and refused the protection of law; you have been subject to insult and abuse, from a set of lawless miscreants; you have had to endure cold, nakedness, peril, and sword; your wives and your children, have been deprived of the comforts of life; you have been subject to bonds, to imprisonment, to banishment, and many to death, "for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God." Many of your brethren, with those whose souls are now beneath the alter, are crying for the vengence [vengeance] of heaven to rest upon the heads of their devoted murderers, and saying, "how long O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth;" but is was said to them, "that they should rest, yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also; and their brethren, that should be killed as THEY WERE should be fulfilled." Dear brethren, we should remind you of this thing, and although you have had indignities, insults and injuries heaped upon you, till further suffering would seem to be no longer a virtue we would say, be patient, dear brethren, for as saith the apostle, "ye have need of patience, that after being tried have been tried you may inherit the promise." You have been tried in the furnace of affliction, the time to exercise patience is now come; and "we shall reap, brethren, in due time if we faint not." Do not breathe vengeance upon your oppressors, but leave the case in the hands of God, "for vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, and I will repay."
We would say to the widow, and to the orphan, to the destitute, and to the diseased, who have been made so through persecution be patient, you are not forgotten, the God of Jacob has his eye upon you, the heavens have been witness to your sufferings, and they are registered on high; angels have gazed upon the scene, and your tears, your groans, your sorrows, and anguish of heart, are had in remembrance before God; they have entered into the sympathies of that bosom, who is "touched with the feeling of our infirmities," who was "tempted in all points, like unto you;" they have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth; be patient then, until the words of God be fulfilled, and his designs accomplished and then shall he pour out his vengeance upon the devoted heads of your murderers, and then shall they know that he is God, and that you are his people.
And we would say to all the saints who have made a covenant with the Lord by sacrifice, that inasmuch as you are faithful, you shall not lose your reward, although not numbered among those who were in the late difficulties in the west.
We swish to stimulate all the brethren to faithfulness; you have been tried,
you are now being tried, and those trials, if you are not watchful, will corode [corrode] upon the mind, and produce unpleasant feelings; but recollect that now is the time of trial, soon the victory will be ours; now may be a day of lamentation, then will be a day of rejoicing; now may be a day of sorrow, but by and by we shall see our Lord, our sorrow will be turned into joy, and our joy no man taketh from us. Be honest; be men of truth and integrity, let your word be your bond, be diligent, be prayerful; pray for, and with your families, train up your children in the fear of the Lord, cultivate a meek a quiet spirit, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, help the destitute, be merciful to the widow and orphan, be merciful to your brethren, and to all men; bear with one anothers infirmities, considering your own weakness; bring no railing accusation against your brethren, especially take care that you do not against the authorities or, elders of the church, for the principle is of the devil; he is called the accuser of the brethren; and Michael, the Arch-angel dared not bring a railing accusation against the devil, but said, the "Lord rebuke thee Satan;" and any man who pursues this course of accusation and murmuring, will fall into the snare of the devil, and apostatize, except he repent. Jude, in the 8th verse. says, likewise those filthy dreamers despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities; and says he, behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgement [judgment] upon the ungodly, and to convince all that are ungodly among them, of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. Peter, in speaking on the same principle, says, "the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgement [judgment] to be punished: but chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptous [Presumptuous]are they self willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord." If a man sin, let him be dealt with according to the law of God in the bible, the book of Mormon, and doctrines and covenants, and then leave him in the hands of God to rebuke, as Michael left the devil.
Gird yourselves with righteousness, and let truth, eternal truth, be written indelibly on your hearts. Pray for the prosperity of Zion, for the prophet and his counsellors [counselors] , for the twelve, the high council, the high priests, the seventies, the elders, the bishops, and all the saints, that God may bless them, and preserve his people in righteousness, and grant unto them wisdom and intelligence, that his kingdom may roll forth.
We would say to the elders, that God has called you to an important office, he has laid upon you an onerous duty, he has called you to an holy calling, even to the priests of the "most high God," messengers to the nations of the earth; and upon your diligence, your perseverance and faithfulness, the soundness of the doctrines that you preach, the moral precepts that you advance and practice, and upon the sound principles that you inculcate, hang the destinies of the human family, while you hold that priesthood. You are the men that God has called to spread forth his kingdom, he has committed the care of souls to you charge, and when you received this priesthood, you became the legate of heaven, and the great God demands it of you, that you should be faithful, and inasmuch as you are not, you will not be chosen; but it will be said unto you, stand by, and let a more honorable man than thou art take thy place, and receive thy crown; be careful that you teach not for the word of God, the commandments of men, nor the doctrines of men nor the ordinances of men, inasmuch as you are God's messengers; study the word of God and preach it, and not your opinions, for no man's opinion is worth a straw: advance no principle but what you can prove, for one scriptural proof is worth ten thousand opinions: we would moreover say, abide by that revelation which says, "preach nothing but repentance to this generation," and leave the further mysteries of the kingdom, till God shall tell you to preach them, which is not now.-The horns of the beast, the toes of the image, the frogs and the beast mentioned
by John are not going to save this generation, for if a man does not become acquainted with the first principles of the gospel, how shall he understand those greater mysteries, which the most wise cannot understand without revelation. These things therefore, have nothing to do with your mission.
We have heard of some foolish vageries [vagaries], and wild speculations, originating only in a disordered imagination, which are set forth by some, telling what occupation they had before they came into this world, and what they would be employed with after they leave this state of existence; those, and other vain imaginations, we would warn the elders against, because if they listen to such things, they will fall into the snare of the devil, and when the trying time comes, they will be overthrown.
We would also warn the elders, according to previous counsel not to go on to anothers ground without invitation to interfere with another's privilege, for your mission is to the world and not to the churches.
We would also remark, that no man has a right to usurp authority or power over any church, nor has any man power to preside over any church, unless he is solicited and received by the voice of that church to preside.-Preach the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance toward God, baptism in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins, laying on of hands for the gift of the holy Ghost, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgement [judgment].
When you go forth to preach, and the Spirit of God rests upon, giving you wisdom and utterance, and enlightning [enlightening] your understanding, be careful that you ascribe the glory to God and not to yourselves; boast not of intelligence, of wisdom, or of power; for it is only that which God has imparted unto you, but be humble, be meek, be patient, and give glory to God.
We would counsel all who have not received a recommend since the difficulties in Mo. to obtain one of the authorities of the church if they wish to be accounted as wise stewards.
We are glad, dear brethren, to see that spirit of enterprise and perseverance which is manifested by you in regard to preaching the gospel; and rejoice to know that neither bonds nor imprisonment, banishment nor exile, poverty or contempt, nor all the combined powers of earth and hell, hinder you from delivering your testimony to the world; and publishing those glad tidings which has been revealed from heaven, by the ministering of angels, by the gift of the holy Ghost, and by the power of God, for the salvation of the world in these last days. And we would say to you, that the hearts of the twelve are with you, and they, with you, are determened [determined] to fulfill their mission, to clear their garments of the blood of this generation, to introduce the gospel to foreign nations, and to make known to the world, those great things which God has developed; they are now on the eve of their departure for England, and will start in a few days, they feel to pray for you, and to solicit an interest in your prayers, and in the prayers of the church, that God, may sustain them in their arduous undertaking; grant them success in their mission, deliver them from the powers of darkness, the stratagems of wicked men, and all the combined powers of earth and hell. And if you, unitedly seek after unity of purpose and design, if you are men of humility, and of faithfulness, of integrity and perseverance, if you submit yourselves to the teachings of heaven, and age guided by the spirit of God, and the salvation of men, and lay your honor prostrate in the dust, if need be, and are willing to fulfil [fulfill] the purses of God in all things; the power of the priesthood will rest upon you, and you will become mighty in testimony: the widow, and the orphan will be made glad, and the poor among men rejoice in the holy one of Israel. Princes will listen to the things that you proclaim, and the nobles of the earth will attend with deference to your words; Queens will rejoice in the glad tidings of salvation, and Kings bow to the sceptre [scepter] of Immanuel; light will burst forth as the morning, and intelligence spread itself as the rays of the sun; the cringing sycophant will be ashamed, and the traitor flee from your presence; superstition, will hide its hoary head, and infidelity
be ashamed. And amid the clamour [clamor] of men, the din of war, the rage of pestilence, the commotion of nations, the overthrow of kingdoms and the dissolution of Empires, truth will stalk forth with gigantic strides, and lay hold of the honest in heart among all nations: Zion shall blossom as a rose, and the nations flock to her standard, and the kingdoms of this world shall soon become the kingdoms of our God and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever, Amen.
BRIGHAM YOUNG, HEBER C. KIMBALL, JOHN E. PAGE, WILFORD WOODRUFF, JOHN TAYLOR, GEORGE A. SMITH.
N. B. We have heard that a man by the name of George M. Hinckle is preaching in the Iowa Territory, we would remark to the public, that we have withdrawn our fellowship from him, and will not stand accountable for any doctrines held forth by him, nor will we be amenable for his conduct. The minutes of a conference will be published mentioning the names of others whom we have withdrawn our fellowship from.
EXTRACTS OF THE MINUTES OF CONFERENCES.
A Conference of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, held in Quincy on the 17th of March, 1839.
Brigham Young was unanimously called to the chair, and Robert B. Thompson chosen clerk. Elder Young then arose and gave a statement of the circumstances of the church at Far West, and his feelings in regard to the scattering of the brethren; believing it to be wisdom to unite together as much as possible, in extending the hand of charity for the relief of the poor, who were suffering under the hand of persecution in Missouri; and to pursue that course that would prove for the general good of the whole church who was suffering for the gospel sake: and would advise the saints to settle (if possible) in companies, or in a situation so as to be organized into churches that they might be nourished and fed by the shepherds; for without, the sheep would be scattered. And he also impressed it upon the minds of the saints to give heed to the revelations of God especially the elders should be careful to depart from all iniquity, and to remember the council given by those whom God hath placed as councellors [councilors] in his church, that they may become as wise stewards in the vineyard of the Lord, that every man may know and act in his own place, for their is order in the kingdom of God, and we must regard that order if we expect to blessed.
Elder Young also stated that Elder Johnathan Dunham had received previous instructions not to call any conferences in this state, or elsewhere; but to go forth and preach repentance which was his calling, but contrary to those instructions he called a conference in Springfield, Ill. and presided there and brought forth the business which he had to transact, and his proceeding in many respects during the conference was contrary to the feelings of Elder W. Woodruff and other official members who were present; they considered his proceedings contrary to the will, and order of God. The conference then voted that Elder J. Dunham be reproved for his improper course, and that he be advised to adhere to the council given him. And after transacting various other business, Elder George W. Harris made some remarks relative to those who had left us in the times of our perils, persecution, and dangers and were acting against the interest of the church, and that the church could no longer hold them in fellowship unless they repented of their sins and turned unto God. After the conference fully expressed their feelings upon the subject, it was unanimously voted that the following persons be excommunicated from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, viz: George M. Hinckle, Sampson Avard, John Corrill, Reed Peck, Wm. W. Phelps, Frederick G. Williams, Thomas B. Marsh, Burr Riggs, and several others. After which the conference closed by prayer. BRIGHAM YOUNG, Pres't.
ROBERT B. THOMPSON, CLERK.
TO THE PATRONS OF THE TIMES & SEASONS
When we issued our prospectus for this paper we saw no good reason why we could not furnish them regularly
each month as proposed, (as we were practical printers by profession,) but just as we got the first number in type and ready for the press, which was in July last we were taken severely ill with the chill fever, and were compelled to suspend our labor for the time, hoping that a few days, or weeks at most, would find us in possession of sufficient health to again resume our business; but in this we were sadly disappointed, for not only days and weeks passed, but months rolled away, and we still lingered upon our sick beds borne down under the raging influence of a burning fever. Had this been all our afflictions, we could have endured them with a good degree of fortitude, and would almost have considered them light; but not only ourselves, but our families also suffered with the same direful disease, and were brought nigh unto death; but through the tender mercies of a kind and benificent Providence, our lives are all spared, and our health sufficiently restored to enable us once more to resume our business.,
The above unavoidable circumstances, having compelled us to delay the publication of our paper until the present date, (notwithstanding we issued a few of this number in July,) have induced us to alter the date, to November, for the commencement of the volume; and we trust that hereafter we shall be enabled to furnish the paper to its patrons in due season.
+ Upon our twelfth page will be seen a communication from the Twelve, written in July, in which they informed us that they intended starting to England soon, upon a mission. They have left, some time since, accompanied by their beloved brother, Parley P. Pratt, who had been confined in prison nine months, in Missouri, for the truth's sake.
PROSPECTUS OF THE TIMES AND SEASONS.
The Subscribers being acquainted with the scattered condition of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and realizing the anxiety which rests in the bosoms of all the Saints who are scattered abroad, to learn of the condition and welfare of the church, have procured a printing press and materials and will publish a monthly Periodical, at this place containing all general information respecting the church; as also, a history of the unparallelled persecution, which we, as a people, received in Missouri by order of the Executive of that State-by which many innocent men and children were most inhumanly murdered-others draged [dragged] from the bosom of their families, without any process whatever, by an armed soldiery, and thrust into prison and irons, there remaining for a long time without knowing the reason why they were thus treated-women insulted-houses plundered and burned-and finally, to end the scene of persecution, expell [expel], as exiles, from the State, in the winter season, the whole society; in all, from ten to twelve thousand souls! A statement of facts concerning the foregoing transactions, will not be uninteresting to all who wish to see the pure principles of Republicanism preserved unviolated.
The Times and Seasons will contain communications from the traveling Elders, from time to time: its columns will also, frequently be enriched with letters from gentlemen travelling in Europe, which will greatly augment its interest.
It is not the intention of the Publishers, to admit any thing into this paper which will be calculated to engender strife or turmoil, neither will they interfere with political matters; as it is not their wish to cultivate any principle which tends to put people at variance one with another, but rather those principles that are calculated to make men happy in this world, and secure unto them eternal life in that which is to come.
TERMS: ONE DOLLAR per annum, payable, in all cases, in advance. Any person procuring 10 subscribers, and forwarding us ten dollars current money, shall receive one volume gratis. All current Bank notes, of any denomination will be received on subscriptions. Letters on business must be addressed to the Publishers, POST PAID. ROBINSON & SMITH.
Commerce, Hancock Co. Illinois, July, 1839.