FAIR is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing well-documented answers to criticisms of the doctrine, practice, and history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Times and Seasons/5/13
Times and Seasons: Volume 5, Number 13
Summary:Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Times and Seasons Vol. 5
Times and Seasons: Volume 5, Number 13
Jump to Subtopic:
- HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
- CONFERENCE MINUTES.
- For the Times and Seasons.
- THE MURDER.
- TO THE SAINTS ABROAD.
|TIMES AND SEASONS
|"TRUTH WILL PREVAIL"
|Volume V. No. 13.]
|CITY OF NAUVOO. ILL. JULY, 15,1844
|[Whole No. 97.
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
From this time till the 8th or 10th of January, 1832, myself and elder Rigdon continued to preach in Shalersville, Ravenna, and other places, setting forth the truth, vindicating the cause of our Redeemer; showing that the day of vengance [vengeance] was coming upon this generation like a thief in the night: that prejudice, blindness, darkness, filled the minds of many, and caused them to persecute the true church, and reject the true light; by which means we did much towards allaying the excited feelings which were growing out of the scandalous letters then being published in the "Ohio Star," at Ravenna, by the before mentioned apostate Ezra Booth. On the 10th of January, I received the following
Revelation to Joseph Smith, jun. and Sidney Rigdon, January 1832. The word of the Lord unto them concerning the church of the living God established in the last days, making known the will of the Lord unto the elders, what they shall do until conference.
For verily thus saith the Lord, it is expedient in me, that they should continue preaching the gospel, and in exhortation to the churches in the regions round about, until conference, and then behold it shall be made known unto them by the voice of the conference their several missions.
Now verily I say unto you, my servants Joseph Smith, jun., and Sidney Rigdon, saith the Lord, it is expedient to translate again, and inasmuch as it is practicable to preach in the regions round about, until conference; and after that, it is expedient to continue the work of translation, until it be finished. And let this be a pattern unto the elders, until further knowledge, even as it is written. Now I give no more unto you at this time. Gird up your loins and be sober; even so: Amen.
Upon the reception of the foregoing word of the Lord, I recommenced the translation of the scriptures, and labored diligently until January. During this period, I also received the following as
An explanation of the epistle to the 1st Corinthians, 7th chapter, 14th verse.
For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband, else were your children unclean, but now they are holy.
Now in the days of the apostles the law of circumcision was had among all the Jews who believed not the gospel of Jesus Christ. And it came to pass that there arose a great contention among the people concerning the law of circumcision, for the unbelieving husband was desirous that his children should be circumcised and become subject to the law of Moses, which law was fulfilled.
And it came to pass that the children being brought up in subjection to the law of Moses, and give heed to the traditions of their fathers, and believed not the gospel of Christ, wherein they become unholy; wherefore, for this cause the apostle wrote unto the church, giving unto them a commandment, not of the Lord but of himself, that a believer should not be united to an unbeliever, except the law of Moses should be done among them, that their children might remain without circumcision; and that the tradition might be done away, which saith that little children are unholy; for it was had among the Jews; but little children are holy, being sanctified through the atonement of Jesus Christ; and this is what the scriptures mean.
A few days before the conference was to commence in Amhurst, Lorain county, I started in company with the elders that dwelt in my own vicinity, and arrived in due time.
At this conference much harmony prevailed and considerable business was done to advance the kingdom, and promulgate the gospel to the inhabitants of the surrounding country.
The elders seemed anxious for me to enquire [inquire] of the Lord that they might know his will, or learn what would be most pleasing to him for them to do, in order to bring men to a sense of their condition; for, as it was written, all men have gone out of the way, so that none doth good, no not one. I enquired [inquired] and received the following:
Revelation given January, 1832.
Verily, verily I say unto you, I who speak even by the voice of my spirit: even Alpha and Omega, your Lord and your God: hearken, O ye who have given your names to go forth to preach my gospel, and to prune my vineyard; Behold I say unto you, that it is my will that you should go forth and not tarry, neither be idle, but labor with your mights; lifting up your voices as with the sound of a trump, proclaiming the truth according to the revelations and commandments which I have given you, and thus if ye are faithful ye shall be laden
with many sheaves, and crowned with honor, and glory, and immortality and eternal life.
Therefore, verily I say unto my servant Wm. E. McLellin, I revoke the commission which I gave unto him, to go into the eastern countries, and I give unto him a new commission and a new commandment, in the which I the Lord chasteneth him for the murmurings of his heart; and he sinned; nevertheless I forgive him, and say unto him again, go ye into the south countries; and let my servant Luke Johnson go with him and proclaim the things which I have commanded them, calling on the name of the Lord for the Comforter, which shall teach them all the things that are expedient for them, praying always that they faint not: and inasmuch as they do this I will be with them even unto the end. Behold this is the will of the Lord your God concerning you; even so: Amen.
And again, verily thus saith the Lord, let my servant Orson Hyde, and my servant Samuel H. Smith, take their journey into the eastern countries, and proclaim the things which I have commanded them, and inasmuch as they are faithful, lo I will be with them even unto the end. And again, verily I say unto my servant Orson Pratt; they shall also take their journey into the eastern countries; and behold and lo, I am with them also even unto the end. And again I say unto my servant Asa Dodd and unto my servant Calves Wilson, that they also shall take their journey unto the western countries, and proclaim my gospel even as I have commanded them; and he who is faithful shall overcome all things, and shall be lifted up at the last day. And again I say unto my servant Major N. Ashley and my servant Burr Riggs, let them take their journey also unto the south country; yea, let all these take their journey as I have commanded them; going from house to house, and from village to village, and from city to city; and in whatsoever house ye enter, and they receive you, leave your blessing upon that house, and in whatsoever house ye enter and they receive you not, ye shall depart speedily from that house, and shake off the dust of your feet as a testimony against them; and you shall be filled with joy and gladness; and know this, that in the day of judgment, you shall be judges of that house, and condemn them; and it shall be more tolerable for the heathen in the day of judgment than for that house: therefore gird up your loins and be faithful, and ye shall overcome all things and be lifted up at the last day; even so: Amen.
And again, thus saith the Lord unto you, O ye elders of my church, who have given your names that you might know his will concerning you; behold I say unto you, that it is the duty of the church to assist in supporting the families of those; and also to support the families of those who are called and must needs be sent unto the world, to proclaim the gospel unto the world, wherefore I the Lord give unto you this commandment, that ye obtain places for your families, inasmuch as your brethren are willing to open their hearts; and let all such as can obtain places for their families, and support of the church for them, not fail to go into the world: whether to the east, or to the west, or to the north, or to the south; let them ask and they shall receive; knock and it shall be opened unto them, and make known from on high, even by the comforter whither they shall go.
And again verily I say unto you, that every man who is obliged to provide for his own family, let him provide and he shall in no wise lose his crown; and let him labor in the church. Let every man be diligent in all things. And the idler shall not have place in the church, except he repents and mends his ways. Wherefore let my servant Simeon Carter, and my servant Emer Harris, be united in the ministry.-And also my servant Ezra Thayer, and my servant Thomas B. Marsh. Also my servant Hyrum Smith, and my servant Reynolds Cahoon; and also my servant Daniel Stanton, and my servant Seymour Brunson; and also my servant Sylvester Smith, and my servant Gideon Carter; and also my servant Ruggles Eames, and my servant Stephen Burnett; and also my servant Micah B. Welton, and also my servant Eden Smith; even so: Amen.
Continuation of last April's Conference.
[Elder Rigdon here stopped to refresh himself. The choir sung a hymn.]
Elder John Taylor being called upon to address the congregation, said, It gives me pleasure to meet and associate with so large an assemblage of the saints. I always feel at home among the brethren. I consider them the honorable of the earth; and if I can do any thing to conduce to their happiness, or that will in any wise tend to their edification, I am satisfied. I therefore address this congregation with cheerfulness and pleasure; and if by unfolding any of the principles of truth that I am in possession of, or laying before you any thing pertaining to the kingdom; If my ideas will enlarge your minds or produce beneficial results to any, I shall consider myself on this, as on all other occasions amply repaid. Many
things have been spoken by Elder Rigdon concerning the early history of this church. There is no individual who has searched the oracles of eternal truth, but his mind will be touched with remarks with the remarks made by our venerable friend which unfold the dispensation of Jehovah, and have a tendency to produce the most thrilling feelings in the bosoms of many who are this day present, and to promote our general edification; he traces with pleasure on the historic page the rise of nations, kingdoms and empires. Historians dwelt with great minuteness on the heroic deeds, the chivalrous acts, the dangers and deliverances; the tact, bravery and heroism of their chieftains, generals and governments. We as republicans, look back to the time when this nation was under the iron rule of Great Britain, and groaned under the power, tyranny and oppression of that powerful nation. We trace with delight, the name of a Washington, a Jefferson, a La Fayette and an Adams, in whose bosoms burnt [burned] the spark of liberty. These themes are dwelt upon with delight by our own legislators, our governors and presidents; they are subjects which fire our souls with patriotic ardor. But if these things animate them so much, how much more great, and noble and exalted are the things laid before us. They were engaged in founding kingdoms, and empires that were destined to dissolution and decay, and although many of them were great, formidable and powerful, they now exist only in name. Their "cloud capped towers, their solemn temples, are dissolved," and nothing now remains of their former magnificence, or ancient grandeur, but a few dilapidated buildings and broken columns, a few shattered fragments remains to tell to this and to other generations, the perishable nature of earthly pomp and worldly glory.-They were engaged in founding empires and establishing kingdoms, and powers that had in themselves the seeds of destruction, and were destined to decay. We are laying the foundation of a kingdom that shall last forever;-that shall bloom in time and blossom in eternity. We are engaged in a greater work than ever occupied the attention of mortals; we live in a day that prophets and kings desired to see, but died without the sight. When we hear the history of the rise of this kingdom, from one who has been with it from its infancy, from the lips of our venerable friend who has taken an active part in all the history of the church, can we be surprised that he should feel animated, and that his soul should burn with heavenly zeal? We see in him a man of God who can contemplate the glories of heaven; the visions of eternity, and who yet looks forward to the opening glories which the great Eloheim [Elohim] has manifested to him, pertaining to righteousness and peace; a man who now beholds the things roll on which he has long since beheld in prophetic vision. Most men have established themselves in authority, by laying desolate other kingdoms, and the destruction of other powers. Their kingdoms have been founded in blood and supported by tyranny and oppression. The greatest chieftains of the earth have obtained their glory, if glory it can be called, by blood, carnage and ruin.-One nation has been built up at the expense and ruin of another, and one man has been made at the expense of another, and yet these great men were called honorable for their inglorious deeds of rapine. They have slain their thousands, and caused the orphans to weep and the widows to mourn. Men did these things because they could do it, because they had power to desolate nations and spread terror and desolation. They have made themselves immortal as great men. The patriots of this country had indeed a laudable object in view, a plausible excuse for the course they took.-They stood up in defence [defense] of their rights, liberty and freedom: but where are now those principles of freedom? Where the laws that protect all men in their religious opinions? where the laws that say a man shall worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience? What say ye, ye saints, ye who are exiles in the land of LIBERTY. How came ye here? Can you in this land of equal rights return in safety to your possessions in Missouri? No!-You are exiles from thence, and there is no power, no voice, no arm to redress your grievances. Is this the gracious boon for which your fathers fought, and struggled, and died? Shades of the venerable dead, could you but gaze upon this scene and witness tens of thousands of Americans in exile on Columbia's soil, if pity could touch your bosoms, how would you mourn for the oppressed; if indignation, how would you curse the heartless wretches that have so desecrated and polluted the temple of liberty. "How has the gold become dim, and the fine gold, how has it changed." Let it not be told among the heathen monarchs of Europe, lest they laugh and say ha! ha! So would we have it. Ye saints, never let it go abroad, that ye are exiles in the land of liberty, lest ye disgrace your republic in the eyes of the nations of the earth; but tell it to those who robbed and plundered, and refused to give you your rights; tell your rulers that all their deeds of fame are tarnished, and their glory is departed. Are we now indeed in a land of liberty of freedom, of equal rights? Would to God
I could answer yes; but no! no!! I cannot. They have robbed us, we are stripped of our possessions, many of our friends are slain, and our government says "your cause is just, but we can do nothing for you." Hear it, ye great men, we are here in exile! Here are thousands of men in bondage, in a land of liberty, of freedom!! If ye have any patriotism left, shake off your fetters, and come and proclaim us free, and give us our rights. I speak of this government as being one of the best governments, as one of the greatest, purest, and yet, what a melancholy picture. O ye venerable fathers who fought for your liberty, blush for your children, and mourn, mourn over your country's shame. We are now talking about a government which sets herself up as a pattern for the nations of the earth, and yet, O what a picture, If this is the best, the most patriotic, the most free, what is the situation of the rest? Here we speak with national pride of a Washington, a La Fayette, a Monroe, and a Jefferson; who fought for their liberties, and achieved one of the greatest victories ever won, and scarcely has one generation passed away before 15000 citizens petition government for redress of their wrongs, and they turn a deaf ear to their cry. Let us compare this with the Church of Christ, fourteen years ago a few men assembled in a log cabin; they saw visions of heaven and gazed upon the eternal world; they looked through the rent vista of futurity, and beheld the glories of eternity; they were planting those principles which were concocted in the bosom of Jehovah; they were laying a foundation for the salvation of the world, and those principles which they then planted, have not yet begun to dwindle, but the fire still burns in their bones; the principles are planted in different nations, and are wafted on every breeze. When I gaze upon this company of men, I see those who are actuated by patriotic and noble principles, who will stand up in defence [defense] of the oppressed, of whatever country, nation, color, or clime. I see it in their countenances; it is planted by the spirit of God, and they have received it from the great Eloheim [Elohim], all the power or influence of mobs, priestcraft and corrupt men, cannot quench it, it will burn, it is comprehensive as the designs of God, and as expansive as the universe, and reaches to all the world, no matter whether it was an Indian, a negro or any other man, or set of men that are oppressed, you would stand forth in their defence [defense]. I say unto you, continue to cherish those principles; let them expand, and if the tree of Liberty has been blasted in this nation; if it has been gnawed by worms, and already blight has overspread it, we will stand in defence [defense] of our liberties, and proclaim ourselves free in time and in eternity.
The choir, by request sung 'the red man,' after prayer by elder J. P. Green, the meeting was adjourned for one hour.
April 6th, 1844, afternoon.
The president arrived at the stand at 1-2 past 2 o'clock, P. M. The choir sung a hymn, after which prayer by elder J. P. Green, when the choir sung another hymn. Elder Rigdon resumed his history of the Church of Christ.
(For the want of room we postpone president Rigdon's remarks for the present.)
The Kalamazoo conference met at the house of elder Ezekiel Lee, in Comstock, Kalamazoo county, Michigan, on the first day of June 1844. There were present two of the quorum of the twelve, viz: W. Woodruff and George A. Smith; three of the high council, viz:, S. Bent, C. C. Rich and D. Fulmer; five of the High Priest's quorum, viz: H. Green, Z. Coltrin, Moses Smith, E. Thayer and G. Coltrin; eight of the seventies, fourteen Elders; two priests, and one deacon; total 35. Conference was called to order by elder C. C. Rich; W. Woodruff was called to the chair; C. Dunn and E. M. Webb chosen clerks.
Conference was opened by singing and prayer by the president.
The following branches were then represented:
The Kalamazoo branch represented 44 members, six elders, one priest and one deacon.
Grand prairie branch represented eight members, one elder.
Otsego branch represented 6 members, one elder, two priests and one teacher.
Pawpaw branch represented eight members, three elders.
Albion branch represented 26 members, two elders, one priest and one deacon.
Florence branch represented 10 members, one elder.
Motville branch represented 7 members, one elder.
Scattering members, 10.
Total 126 members, 15 elders, four priests, one teacher and two deacons.
It was moved and carried that Gideon Brownell, Jonathan Willard and Charles Lee, be ordained elders.
Also Seth Tuft, to the office of a priest.
Also W. Tyrril, to the office of a teacher.
The above named persons were then ordained under the hands of elders S. Bent, Z. Coltrin and D. Fulmer.
It was moved and carried that we sustain elders
Charles C. Rich and Harvey Green, in their appointment to preside over the state of Michigan, assigned them by the Twelve. The day was occupied in giving instructions to the elders. The assembly was addressed by the president; followed by elders George A. Smith, S. Bent, C. C. Rich, Z. Coltrin, H. Green, D. Fulmer, E. Lee, G. Coltrin, E. M. Webb, and C. Dunn. The elders were strictly charged to keep within the limits of the first principles, and let myeteries [mysteries] alone. It was ascertained that some were unwise and had taught false doctrine; such were corrected. The congregation was dismissed, and the elders assembled together and addressed by the president, and elder G. A. Smith, who forcibly urged upon their minds the necessity of their pursuing a wise course in relation to their teachings; to let what they called mysteries alone. The names of some were called as an example for the rest, who had been unwise in their teaching, among whom were elder Cornish and Keyzar. We were also informed that elder Bottom was injuring the cause in places where he had been; and if one fourth part of the testimony be true concerning the teachings and mysteries which Dr. Samuel Parker has strewed by the way side since he left Nauvoo, we are satisfied that he is filled with mysteries that never entered into the mind of God, or the authorities of the church. He had left Michigan and gone to Canada. As there was such a number of elders present, the greatest care was taken to give every necessary information in regard to their missions, that they might pursue a wise policy in every thing assigned to them.
Sunday, June 2.
A large and respectable audience assembled at 10 o'clock, A. M., which was composed of many of the most respectable citizens of the county; who were addressed in the forenoon by elder W. Woodruff, followed by elder Z. Coltrin. In the afternoon elder G. A. Smith, followed by elders D. Fulmer, S. Bent and C. C. Rich, ably set forth the first principles of the gospel of Christ, and delivered their testimony, (attended with the spirit and power of God,) unto the audience, who set in silence, manifesting great interest and attention. At the close of the meeting that warmth of friendship and kindness of feeling that is characteristic of a noble and generous soul, was manifested by many of the assembly, among whom was Gen. Comstock, and Dr. Hood.
After the assembly was dismissed, the elders were again called together by elder Rich, who proceeded to appoint the elders their stations in the different counties in the state.
W. WOODRUFF, Prest.
Crandall Dunn, }
E. M. Webb, }Clerks
Pleasant Valley conference met at B. B. Searls' on the 8th day of June, 1844; when the following branches were represented.
Pleasant valley branch consists of 27 members, one priest and one teacher.
Rose branch consists of nine members, one teacher.
Napoleon branch consists of eight members, two elders, one teacher and one deacon.
Jackson branch consists of 21 members, three elders, one priest, one teacher and one deacon.
Cedar branch consists of 20 members and one deacon.
Monroe branch consists of four members.
Total 89 members, five elders, two priests, four teachers and three deacons.
Resolved, That Alphonzo Terry, Samuel Gould, Isaac Williamson and Samuel Herrington be ordained elders.
Resolved, That Lysander Terry be ordained an elder.
The above named persons were then ordained under the hands of elders Woodruff, Smith and Coltrin.
W. WOODRUFF. Prest.
C. Dunn, Clerk.
The Franklin Conference opened on the 15th of June, 1844.
There were present of the twelve W. Woodruff and George A. Smith.
Of the High Priests, C. C. Rich, Harvey Green, Zebedee Coltrin, G. Coltrin and David Fulmer.
Of the Seventies, William Burton and J. Savage.
Also nine elders, three priests and two teachers.
President C. C. Rich called the house to order, and elder George A. Smith was called to the chair, and C. Dunn appointed clerk.
A hymn was sung, and the president opened the meeting by prayer. Some instruction was given by the chair concerning the object of the conference, when the following branches were represented:
Franklin branch consists of 35 members, one elder, one priest and one teacher.
Waterford branch consists of 12 members, one elder and one teacher.
Livonia branch consists of 12 members, one elder, one priest and one teacher.
Redford branch consists of 13 members, one elder, one priest and one deacon.
Brownstown branch consists of 23 members, one elder, one priest and one deacon.
Van Buren branch consists of 10 members and one elder.
Auburn branch consists of 13 members, two elders and one teacher.
Riga branch consists of 13 members, one priest and one deacon.
Confidence branch consists of nine members.
Four members in Lapier county, and three in Oakland county.
Total 170 members, eight elders, five priests five teachers and three deacons.
After some instruction was given by the chair, on the subject of ordination, it was
Resolved, That elder M. Serrine be ordained a high priest.
Resolved, That B. B. Searls, M. Wait, M. Sprague, Peter Van Evry, William Van Evry, C. Loomis, S. Goodnuff, C. McBride and Jonathan Collins, be ordained to the office of elders.
Resolved, That C. Hogle and S. Hopkins, be ordained priests.
Resolved, That J. M. Taylor be ordained deacon.
The above named persons were then ordained under the hands of elders G. A. Smith, C. C. Rich and W. Woodruff.
Resolved, That elder M. Serrine be the presiding high priest over all the branches of the church in eastern Michigan.
Spiritual and edifying addresses were delivered by elders Woodruff, Smith and Rich, directed mostly to the elders.
Conference adjourned until Sunday morning 10 O'clock.
Conference met pursuant to the adjournment.-A large audience was assembled at an early hour, which was addressed by elder W. Woodruff, followed by elder Green, and in the afternoon by elder G. A. Smith; a good impression was made upon the whole congregation.
G. A. SMITH, Prest.
C. C. Dunn, Clerk.
Minutes of a conference of the elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, held on the first and second days of June, 1844, in Alquina, Fayette county, la.
The following are the names of the official members present:
High priests-Amasa Lyman, Willard Snow, William Snow, James C. Snow and George P. Dykes.
Seventies-Dominicus Carter and Josiah Fleming.
Elders-Wm. Taney, Robert Reehey, Wm. Martindale and Ephraim Turner.
The conference was organized by calling elder Amasa Lyman to preside, and by appointing elder James C. Snow, clerk, after which a hymn was sung, and the throne of grace addressed by the president.
The choir sung another hymn, when elder Willard Snow was called upon to address the saints; who, after making some preliminary remarks, took the 37th chapter of Genesis, 7th verse, for his text. From this he showed the design of God, in protecting his servants in carrying his designs and purposes into effect, and in frustrating the wicked in all their secret works of darkness, showing the contrast between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. He concluded by telling a dream, of President Joseph Smith's, dreamed about fourteen years ago, viz: "That his name should be had for good and evil, among the nations and kingdoms of the earth, and that they would seek his life from city to city, and speak all manner of evil against him falsely."
Another hymn was sung, and conference adjourned until 2 o'clock.
Afternoon services opened by singing and prayer, by elder Dominicus Carter.
Elder William Snow then arose and gave a short synopsis of the revealed will of God to man, from the creation down to the present time, showing what had been written was for our own profit and learning, for the express purpose that we might place ourselves in a situation to receive the revealed will of heaven given directly to us, and in so receiving, we would escape the evils to which we are continually exposed. He then took the 3rd chapter of Malachi, and reasoned upon the new and everlasting covenant which should precede the second advent of the Savior, also some of the circumstances attending it. President Amasa Lyman then made some general remarks upon the different applications of time and days spoken of by the prophets and apostlss [apostles], for the fulfilment [fulfillment] of certain scriptures; for instance, the first and second verses of Hebrews, where Paul says: God who at sundry times, &c.; but hath in these last days spoken to us by his Son. This shows the very time here referred to, was the very days then passing. Again, the prophet Joel says, in the last days saith God, I will pour out of my spirit upon all flesh, &c.-This time refers to the very last days that will ever be. He then showed the permanent foundation of the kingdom of Christ, and the surety of its continuation under the present dispensation.
Conference adjourned until Sunday 11 o'clock.
Conference convened at 11 o'clock, and was called to order by singing and prayer, by elder Martindale.
President Amasa Lyman then arose and read the second epistle of Peter; he then showed the necessity of more revelations, without which, the prophesies already given can never be fulfilled; for this reason, that the heavens must receive Jesus Christ until the time of the restoration of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began; Acts 3d chapt., 21st verse. He also showed the various changes which have taken place since the morning of creation; and again, how these things so changed are to be restored again previous to the second coming of the Savior. He concluded his remarks by saying to the people, prove all things and hold fast that which is good.
Conference adjourned until 3 o'clock.
The afternoon services commenced by singing and prayer, by elder William Martindale; after which elder George P. Dykes, in a short and concise manner, traced the rise and downfall of the kingdoms and empires of the earth, as they have existed from ancient Babylon to the setting up of the kingdom of God in the last days. He then took the subject of the Book of Mormon and proved the authenticity of the book by the testimony of the prophets.
After singing a hymn conference adjourned antil [until] the 14th day of September next, at 10 o'clock.
During the conference a good spirit prevailed; two came forward and were baptized for the remission of their sins, and many others were believing, while some gazed heedless on the sight.
AMASA LYMAN, Prest.
James C. Snow, Clerk.
Minutes of a conference held in Pleasant Garden, Putnam county, Ia., June 1844.
The house was called to order, and on motion of elder Richard Anderson, elder G. P. Dykes was called to the chair, and Alfred Hall chosen secretary.
After the conference was duly opened by singing and prayer, by brother Anderson, the chairman arose and in a conclusive manner set forth the necessity of order in the house of God; after which he addressed the assembly from the 5th chapter and 18th verse of Romans; and in an able and elegant manner set forth the atonement through Jesus Christ, and universal salvation from original sin, and a full and complete salvation from actual sins, by an obedience to the principles of the gospel; after which meeting adjourned till 2 o'clock, P. M.
Met pursuant to adjournment; no business of temporal nature being brought before the conference, elder R. Anderson addressed the congregation on the subject of the second coming of the Son of Man, and in an able manner proved his position to be tenable. He was followed by the chairman, who in a plain and positive manner, proved emphatically that the promises made to the ancient fathers would be fulfilled.
The names of the official members present, were then taken, which was as follows:
High Priest-George P. Dykes.
Seventies-Daniel Schearer, Salmon Warner, A. Hanks.
Elders-Richard Anderson, John Jones, Robert Gillibrand, Lincoln Mason, Alfred Hall.
Priest-Allen E. Hall.
The conference then proceeded to appoint, (after the dismission [dismissing] of the congregation,) elder Anderson his mission in Putnam and the adjoining counties; Elders Warner and Hanks in the north of Putnam and Montgomery counties, and elders Jones and Gillibrand to Vevay, Switzerland county.
Conference adjourned to meet to-morrow at 10 o'clock.
Met pursuant to adjournment, and after singing and prayer, elder Shearer [Schearer] addressed the congregation on the plan of salvation and was followed by elder Dykes.
Adjourned till 2 O'clock.
Met pursuant to adjournment, and opened by singing and prayer, by elder Gillibrand, after which the chairman took the floor, and in an able manner proved the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. He was followed by elder Shearer and Anderson, after which, through the benediction of the president, the conference adjourned, sine die.
G. P. DYKES, Prest.
Alfred Hall, Clerk.
Minutes of a conference of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, held at the city of Halifax, Halifax co., Province of Nova Scotia, according to previous appointment, February 19th, 1844.
Conference met at 1 o'clock, and after singing and prayer by Elder John Skerry, Elder Robert Dickson presented before the meeting the object of the conference.
Conference was organized by calling Robert Dickson to preside and appointing John Skerry Clerk.
Representation of branches-The Halifax branch represented by Elder Dickson, consists
of 16 members, 2 elders, and 1 deacon 2 have been cut off since the last conference.
Four members at Onslow, Colchester co., N. S., represented by Elder Dickson.
The Preston branch represented by Elder Edward Cooke, consists of 14 members, 1 elder, 1 priest, 1 teacher, and 1 deacon, all in good standing, except 4 members doubtful.
Elder Dickson has baptised [baptized] since the last conference six in Preston.
Present, 3 elders, 1 priest, 1 teacher, and 1 deacon.
Resolved, That the saints uphold the first presidency by their prayers.
Resolved, That a copy of the minutes of this conference be transmitted to Nauvoo, for publication in the Times and Seasons.
Conference minutes were read and accepted.
Resolved, That this conference adjourn sine die.
R. DICKSON, Pres't.
John Skerry, Clerk.
Minutes of a conference held in Adams, Jefferson county, on 25 and 26 of May, 1844.
The conference convened Saturday, 10 o'clock A. M., there was present on that occasion about 300 saints, 150 of which have embraced the gospel since last autumn after some appropriate remarks delivered by Elder J. Patten, the conference was organized by calling Elder B. Brown to the chair, and appointing Elder J. W. Crosby secretary.
The business of the day then commenced.-Branches were represented as follows:
Elder Green made mention of the Adams branch of 60 members, one elder, two priests, all in good standing, this branch last September numbered 17 only .
Clayton branch represented by brother Nichols, 8 members one elder.
Lime branch represented by elder H. Ackley, of 35 members, 4 elders, all in good standing, this branch was organized last winter.
Black River branch represented by Elder Childs, 50 members, two elders, two priests.
Ellisburgh branch represented by Bro. M. Bates, 48 members, two elders and one priest.
Indian River branch represented by Brother Childs, 40 members, two elders, two priests.
Pillar Point branch was represented by Eld. Gibbs, 12 members, one elder.
Theresa branch 14 members, two elders, one pries [priest] and one deacon.
Alexandria branch represented by Elder J. Crosby, 22 members, one elder, this branch has been raised up within a few weeks. Many other scattering members were spoken of: there were some fifteen or twenty elders present, from different parts of the country who universally manifested a warm hearted and ardent zeal in the cause of truth.
Our business being accomplished and much instruction having been given on the importance of the Temple being reared, funds wanted, &c., likewise a few remarks respecting the ensuing presidential election, a number of brethren delivered their testimony in favor of the great work of God to be performed in this the dispensation of the fulness [fullness] of times. Conference then adjourned till next day.
Sunday. Conference assembled at 10 o'clock A. M., the meeting was opened by singing and prayer; as usual a large concourse of people assembled from the surrounding country, probably near 1000; the day was spent very agreeably, being devoted to public preaching. Our meeting being held in the grove, some little disorder was manifest from professors of goodness, but in reality, ð possessors of meanness; ð however, our meeting was agreeable and the saints rejoiced greatly in the truth. During our conference 5 were baptised [baptized] and two ordained to the office of an elder; there will be a great gathering the ensuing autumn from this region. Our labors are closed in this region for the present, yet the work is rolling on steadily and increasing on every hand, we have baptised [baptized] rising of 150 and ordained eight elders in this county since our labors commenced here, but the time of our departure is at hand.
If you find the above minutes, remarks, &c., worthy of a place in your valuable periodical, they are at your disposal.
With sentiments of high esteem, we suberibe [subscribe] ourselves your fellow laborers in the gospel of peace.
JESSE W. CROSBY.
For the Times and Seasons.
Connersville, Fayette county,
Indiana, May 21., 1844.
Dear Brother-With due respect, I take my pen to address you a short letter. I am well, thank the great giver of all good, and hope you are too. When I left La Harp, I proceeded to Ottowa, preached a few times when I left for Indiana and traveled over the worst road that I ever saw. I crossed the Wabash at Covington, where I introduced truth among them.-They were wild and unreasonable at first, but soon became more tame; I succeeded in getting the court house and preached twice, and left with an urgent request to return. From
thence I went to Fredericksburg, on the Indianapolis road, where I preached to a congregation, the most of whom had never seen a Mormon before. From thence I went to Jamestown where I preached again; the meeting went off well, and the people seemed anxious to hear the truth. From thence I went to Pittsborough where I preached to an audience who had never heard a saint before; they had many awful conjectures about the truth, and sent three miles for a Protestant Methodist to oppose me.
I set forth faith and repentance and baptism, for the remission of sins, &c., which he opposed so strong that he quaked like old Belshazzer, and finally it grew into a debate; the Mormon the affirmative, and the Methodist the negitive [negative]; but after one night's sleep, (the debate was to come off the next day,) he wanted to be off; he too when he began to consider, believed the same things, except baptism, and that he would not deny. All things being ready, I opened the subject and read his dicipline [discipline] which settled the point, and we parted friendly; but in the beginning he was determined to oppose Mormonism; but found it hard to kick against the truth. From thence I went to Indianapolis, the great capital, where I lifted my voice to them in defence [defense] of the truth. They listened with much attention and seemed disposed to investigate. From thence I went to Morristown, where I again told the listening multitude the way of life and salvation; thence to Connersville, where I have an appointment to-night in the court house.-I am now seated in a large hall, surrounded by strangers, yet friendly, who have took in a stranger and fed him; I am within five miles of the place of destination. I have been favored with good health since my departure from Nauvoo; and have baptized two, who live in Ottowa, Ill.
GEORGE P. DYKES.
James, the apostle of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in his general epistle to the twelve Tribes scattered abroad, thus speaks unto them: James, chap. 5;1-3.
"Go now ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire.-Ye have heaped treasures together for the last days."
TIMES AND SEASONS.
CITY OF NAUVOO,
MONDAY, JULY 15, 1844
Gen. Joseph Smith, who was murdered in cold blood, in Carthage Jail, on Thursday, the 27th day of June, was one of the best men that ever lived on the earth. The work he has thus far performed, towards establishing pure religion, and preparing the way for the great gathering of Israel, in the short space of twenty years since the time when the angel of the Lord made known his mission and gave him power to move the cause of Zion, exceed any thing of the kind on record. Without learning, without means and without experience, he has met a learned world; a rich century; a hard hearted, wicked, and adulterous generation, with truth that could not be resisted; facts that could not be disproved; revelations, whose spirit had so much God in them that the servants of the Lord could not be gainsaid or resisted, but like the rays of light from the sun, they have tinged every thing they lit upon, with a luster and livery which has animated, quickened, and adorned.
The pages of Gen. Smith's history, though his enemies never ceased to persecute him and hunt for offences [offenses] against him, are as unsullied as virgin snow; on about fifty prosecutions for supposed criminal offences [offenses], he came out of the legal fire, heated like Nebuchadnezzar's furnace, seven times hotter than it was wont to be, without the smell of fire, or a thread of his garments scorched. His foes of the world and enemies of his own household, who have sought occasions against him, in order, secretly to deprive him of his life, because his goodness, greatness and glory exceeded theirs, have a poor excuse to offer the world, for shedding his innocent blood; and no apology to make to the judge of all the earth, at the day of judgment. They have murdered him because they feared his righteousness.
His easy good natured way, allowing every one was honest, drew around him hypocrites, wicked and mean men, with the virtuous, and in the hour of trouble, or trial, when the wheat was cleansed by water, the light kernels and smut, rose upon the top of the water and had to be poured off, that the residue might be clean, or to be still plainer, when they went through the machine for cleansing the grain, the chaff, light grain and smut were blown off among the rubbish.
False brethren, or to call them by their right name, "apostates," have retarded the work more, and combined more influence to rob him of life, than all christendom: for they having mingled in his greatness, knew where and when to take advantage of his weakness. Their triumph, however, is one that disgrace their state and nation, ruins them in time and in eternity. They cannot out grow it: they cannot outlive it: and they cannot out die it: from him that winked at it, to him that shot the fatal ball, whereever [wherever] there is a moral honesty, humanity, love, of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, there the breath of indignation, the whisper of "those murders"-the story of mobocracy and the vengeance of God, will haunt the whole gang and their offspring and abettors with a fury like Milton's gates of hell:
"-- grating harsh thunder."
In thus descanting upon the glory of General Joseph Smith and the cowardly disgrace of his assassins, let his noble minded brother Hyrum have no less honor shown him: he lived so far beyond the ordinary walk of man, that even the tongne [tongue] of the vilest slanderer could not touch his reputation. He lived godly and he died godly, and his murderers will yet have to confess that it would have been better for them to have a mill-stone tied to them, and they cast into the depths of the sea, and remain there while eternity goes and eternity comes, than to have robbed that noble man of heaven, of his life. If there be such a thing as the greatest and least crimes, among the archives of the better world, the wilful [willful] murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith will be first and worst, without forgiveness in this world or the world to come;-"for no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him."
The Savior said, wo unto the world because of offences [offenses], but offences [offenses] must needs come; but wo unto him by whom they come! Prophets have been sent, according to the sacred history, which all enlightened nations use as a guide to morality here, or for a rule to obtain heaven hereafter, to instruct and lead the people according to the pure purposes of God, and yet from Cain, down to two or three hundred Americans, Illinoians, Missourians, Christians even freemen, the lives of mostly all these good men, the servants of God, not omitting his own Son, have been taken from them by those who professed to be the most wise, enlightened, intelligent, and religious, (that is nationally) that were on the earth when the hellish deeds were done. But what has the next generation said? Ah! time, thou art older and abler to tell the story, than they did the solemn act. No wonder the heathen nations will be God's in the day of his power: they have not killed the prophets.
When Gen. Smith went to Carthage just as the cavalry met him for the purpose of obtaining the 'State Arms,' he said to a friend, I am going like a lamb to the slaughter: but I am calm as a summer's morning: I have a conscience void of offence [offense] toward God, and toward all men: I shall die innocent. Now ye great men who boast of great wisdom, what think ye of the prophet's last prediction? How glorious! How mild! How god like! No wonder the sympathies of all honest men, are kindled in his behalf: the goodness of his deeds merit them.-The want of a perfect knowledge of the servants of God, of the Son of God, in all ages, down to this last, horrid, heart sickening butchery of those two unoffending American freemen, must have been the great first cause of taking life contrary to the law of God or man.
Leaving religion out of the case, where is the lover of his country, and his posterity, that does not condemn such an outrageous murder, and will not lend all his powers, energies and influence to bring the offenders to justice and judgement [judgment]? Every good man will do it when he remembers, that these two innocent men were confined in jail for a supposed crime, deprived of any weapons to defend themselves: had the pledged faith of the State of Illinois, by Gov. Ford, for their protection, and were then shot to death, while, with uplifted hands they gave such signs of distress as would have commanded the interposition and benevolence of Savages or Pagans. They were both Masons in good standing. Ye brethren of "the mystic tie" what think ye! Where is our good master Joseph and Hyrum? Is there a pagan, heathen, or savage nation on the globe that would not be moved on this great occasion, as the trees of the forest by a mighty wind? Joseph's last exclamation was "O Lord my God."
If one of these murderers, their abettors or accessories before or after the fact are suffered to cumber the earth, without being dealt with according to law, what is life worth, and what is the benefit of laws? and more than all, what is the use of institutions which savages would honor, where civilized beings murder without cause or provocation? Will the Americans look over the vast concerns that must, sooner or later, touch their welfare at home and abroad, and exalt or disgrace them among the kingdoms of the great family of man, and learn whether anarchy, mobbery, and butchery are not swiftly hurrying the constituted
authorities of our country, into irretrievable ruin, while the inhabitants of the land must sink into wretchedness, bloodshed, revenge and wo?
Elder John Taylor, and Dr. Willard Richards who were in the jail at the time, innocently as friends of these men, have only to thank God that their lives were spared. Elder Taylor was wounded with four bullets, and a fifth ball, which had it not been for his watch in his left vest pocket, would have passed into his vitals and destroyed his life instantly. This memorable and very valuable watch saved his life, and will remain with its hands permanently pointing to "5 o'clock, 16 minutes and 26 seconds" as the moment when so small a machine interposed between time and eternity.-Dr. Richards was not wounded by a single ball, though one passed so near his ear as to leave a "mark." If such scenes do not awaken the best feelings of freemen for personal safety, what will? we solemnly pause for the opinion of millions, because all are interested: life is the last boon-all is blank without it, death blots the rest-and where is man?
To conclude, if the good people of our common country, and our common world, do not arise with a union of feeling and energy to help wash off the blood of these two innocent men, from Hancock county: from the plighted faith of Illinois: from the boasted and wide spreading fame of the United States, and from the dignity of our globe; then let all but the righteous be smitten with a curse:-but me-thinks I see a "union of all honest men", aside from religion, stand forth to magnify the law, who will never rest till justice and judgement [judgment] have made the offenders, abettors and accesories [accessories], whether apostates, officers, or mere men, atone for the innocent blood of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.
TO THE SAINTS ABROAD.
On hearing of the Martyrdom of our beloved prophet and patriarch, you will doubtless need a world of advice and comfort, and look for it from our hands. We would say, therefore, first of all, be still and know that the Lord is God; and that he will fulfill all things in his own due time; and not one jot or tittle of all his purposes and promises shall fail. Remember, REMEMBER that the priesthood, and the keys of power are held in eternity as well as in time; and, therefore, the servants of God who pass the veil of death are prepared to enter and more effectuul [effectual] work, in the speedy accomplishment of the restoration of all things spoken of by his holy prophets.
Remember that all the prophets and saints who have existed since the world began, are engaged in this holy work, and are yet in the vineyard, as well as the laborers of the eleventh hour: and are all pledged to establish the kingdom of God on earth, and to give judgement [judgment] unto the saints; therefore, none can hinder the rolling on of the eternal purposes of the Great Jehovah. And we have now every reason to believe that the fulfilment [fulfillment] of his great purposes are much nearer than we had supposed, and that not many years hence, we shall see the kingdom of God, coming with power and great glory to our deliverance.
As to our country and nation, we have more reason to weep for them, than for those that they have murdered; for they are destroying themselves and their institutions and there is no remedy: and as to feelings of revenge, let them not have place for one moment in our bosoms, for God's vengeance will speedily consume to that degree that we would fain be hid away and not endure the sight.
Let us then humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, and endeavor to put away all our sins and imperfections as a people; and as individuals, and to call upon the Lord with the spirit of grace and supplication; and wait patiently on him, until he shall direct our way.
Let no vain and foolish plans, or imaginations scatter us abroad, and divide us asunder as a people, to seek to save our lives at the expense of truth and principle, but rather let us live or die together and in the enjoyment of society and union. Therefore, we say, let us haste to fulfill the commandments which God has already given us. Yea, let us haste to build the Temple of our God, and to GATHER together thereunto, our silver and our gold with us, unto the name of the Lord; and then we may expect that he will teach us of his ways and we will walk in his paths.
We would further say, that in consequence of the great rains which have deluged the western country, and also in consequence of persecution and excitement, there has been but little done here, either in farming or building this season; therefore there is but little employment, and but little means of subsistence at the command of the saints in this region-therefore, let the saints abroad, and others who feel for our calamities and wish to sustain us, come on with their money and means without delay, and purchase lots and farms, and build buildings, and employ hands, as well as to pay
their tythings [tithing] into the temple, and their donations to the poor.
We wish it distinctly understood abroad, that we greatly need the assistance of every lover of humanity whether members of the church or otherwise, both in influence and in contributions for our aid, succor, and support. Therefore, if they feel for us, now is the time to show their liberality and patriotism towards a poor and persecuted, but honest and industrious people.
Let the elders who remain abroad, continue to preach the gospel in its purity and fullness, and to bear testimony of the truth of these things which have been revealed for the salvation of this generation.
P. P. PRATT.
W. W. PHELPS.
Nauvoo, July 15, 1844.
The following paragraph, and reply from the pen of M. M. Noah, is inserted in the Times and Seasons, to show the amount of Jewish population. Any information relative to the Jews, old Israel, Ephraim or the remnants, which God in his infinite wisdom, deigns to restore to a state of light, liberty, and gospel unity, must be a sweet morsel to the Saint that is watching for such important events. The belief of Mr. Noah, however, "that the greatest triumphs reserved for Christianity will be in their agency and co-operation in restoring the Jews to their ancient heritage," is all wind: God will never ask Christendom to do what he has declared in the scripture, he will do himself. The 11th chapter of Isaiah says, he will "gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth;" and sundry other places, carries strong proof that God, not man, will show the Jews the "wounds he received in the house of his friends."
Letter of M. M. Noah, to the Bos. Mer. Journal.
New York, June 18th, 1844.
Mr. Editor:-A late number of your paper contained the following paragraph:-
Jews.-It is said that the total number of Jews throughout the world is estimated at 3,163,700, aud [and] it is said that this number has never materially varied from the time of David downwards.
It has always been a subject of interest, although not of general inquiry, to ascertain as nearly as possible, the numerical force of the Jewish people in every part of the world, and looking forward to the speedy fulfillment of all the promises made to that peculiar and favored race in their restoration to the land of their ancestors. I have been at considerable pains to obtain a census, accurate as far as every country in Europe is referred to, but depending upon estimates, always below the actual number, of those residing in Asia and Africa, from which it appears that the Jewish nation number full six millions of people, divided and located as follows:-
In all parts of ancient Poland, before the partition of 1772 1,000,000
In Russia, comprehending Woldavia and Wallachia 200,000
In the different states of Germany 750,000
In Holland and Belgium 80,000
Sweden and Denmark 6,000
Italian States 200,000
All North and South America and West Indies 100,000
In the Mohametan States of Europe, Asia, and Africa 3,000,000
Persia, China and Hindoston [Hindu] 1,000,000
The above includes all who are actually known as professing and following the religion of their forefathers. It is impossible to ascertain the number of those residing in Catholic countries and concealing their religion from motives. The number in Spain who preferred outwardly embracing the Catholic faith to avoid banishment under Ferdinand and Isabella, is several hundred thousands, and are at this day connected with the first families in Spain and Portugal. In Asia and the Turkish dominions, I have made an estimate rather below their actual number. They are powerful in China, and on the borders of Tartary; likewise in Persia and the countries bordering on the Indian Ocean. In Abssinia and Ethiopa [Ethiopia] there are many communities of black Jews, and they have a separate congregation at Calcutta.
The number of the Jewish people dispersed in every part of the world will surprise no one who takes into consideration that for the last four hundred years they have been in a measure exempt from those persecutions which they suffered prior to the reformation; nor have they been included in the various wars which have for several hundred years desolated Europe and Asia. Naturally a pacific people, adhering at a very early age to their international marriages, exceedingly temperate in living, and continually active and energetic, their self-augmenting population from these causes must greatly have increased their numbers, and warrant the belief that they are at
this time as numerous as they were in the palmy days of David and Solomon.
There is another error in your paragraph which it may be well also to notice at this time. You state that the number of Jews has never materially varied from three millions, from the time of David downwards. Very nearly that number has been exterminated by wars and violence, from what may be considered the the commencement of their national troubles.
According to Josephus and contemporary writers there
were slaughtered in Caesaria, by the Syrians 20,000
In Jerusalem, occasioned by the insolence of a Roman soldier under the reign of Claudius 20,000
At Scitupolis 13,000
At Alexandria, in consequence of the rivalry of the Greeks and Egyptians 50,000
At Ascalon from the same cause 2,500
At Ptolemais 2,000
At Silucia, by the Syrians and Greeks 50,000
At the siege of Jerusalem by Pompey 12,000
BY an earthquake in Judea, 42 or 43 years before Christ 30,000
In consequence of a revolt occasioned by breaking a Roman
eagle placed in the portico of the temple, in the reign of Augustus 13,000
In a sedition suppressed by Varus, Governor of Syria 2,000
In an ambuscade before Ascalon, in the beginning of the war against the Romans 18,000
At the capture of Jaffa by Titus 15,000
At the siege of Jotapat 13th of Nero 40,000
Taking of Tariche, and at the naval battle on the lake Genserette 6,500
After this victory, Vespasian being in the tribunal at Tariche,
sent 6000 to Nero, to work at the Isthmus of the Mores-30,400
were sold at public vendue, and 12,000 old men, unable to
bear arms, were put to death 12,000
At the capture of Gamala by Titus 9,000
In a battle against Placidus, Lt. of Vespasian, near the village of Galara- 15,000
At the seige [siege] of Jerusalem and destruction of the temple by Titus 1,100,000
In the revolt of the false Messiah Barchechobas, and in
the several revolts under Adrian, Trojan, and Justinian 600,000
Add to this, that from the time of the adoration of the
golden calf, to the return of the ark, which had been
captured by the Philistines, there were destroyed 239,000
This amount does not include neither the losses they met with in the wars anterior to the captivity, nor the persecutions and revolts in the time of the Emperors and the middle ages, nor the massacres which followed the Crusades, nor the proscriptions en masse which were so frequently renewed in different parts of the world, in the times of the invasions by the barbarians, and since their establishment in the Roman provinces. Under all these calamities and oppressions, the Jews like those vivacious plants which can resist the intemperance of all seasons, have been by divine interposition, enabled to sustain themselves amidst so many appalling obstacles, and have found in the strength of their laws, new principles of existence.
In pursuing the inquiry as to their numerical force, much interesting information has been obtained as to their various pursuits; and it is gratifying to learn that agriculture, their original occupation, claims a great portion of their attention. The plains of Nineveh Greece, Persia, Egypt, Lithunia [Lithuania], Ukraine and Moldavia, are full of Jewish agriculturalists [agriculturists]; they are, it is said, the best cultivators of the grape in Turkey; in all parts of the East they are dyers, workers in silk, weavers and blacksmiths; in Poland they are farmers, curriers, lace weavers, potters and silversmiths; and although the great body of the nation are still engaged in trade and commerce in every quarter of the world, with undiminished success, they are nevertheless receiving a more liberal education, and are cultivating a taste for the arts, many are pursuing the more enlightened and scientific professions with reputation, and are instituting reforms in the ceremonial parts of their religion, without invading any of its cardinal principles.
Wealth is not generally or equally diffused among the Jews, but the aggregate of their possessions constitutes them by far the most wealthy people on earth, and the enormous proportions are so located as to secure a very decided influence in the movements of every nation, making them, in a measure, the arbitrators of very important movements.
Although the Jewish people are entirely passive in relation to their restoration, and waiting the great advent with the same patience and humility which they have evinced for the last eighteen hundred years, relying with unabated
confidence on the promises and protection of that divine power which has ever been near them and with them, nevertheless there has been no period in their history in which Christians generally have taken more interest in their temporal and religious welfare, than they evince at the present time. This is the providential prelude to great events;-they know too little of each other; and a closer approximation, a mutual surrender of prejudices, and a greater reliance of Christians upon what constituted primitive Christianity, will at once show how slender is the line that divides us. I cannot avoid believing that the great triumphs reserved for Christianity will be in their agency and cooperation in restoring the Jews to their ancient heritage, for it cannot be politically accomplished without their aid, and if the second advent, so called, and so ardently desired by pious Christians is ever to come to pass, it cannot, I hardly conceive, take place until after the restoration is accomplished, and there is a throne to be occupied a nation to be governed, and the prophesies fulfilled.
I beg your pardon for thus occupying your space. I intended merely to correct the error in the census, but I have been led into other matters.
Nauvoo, June 8th, 1844.
Dear Sir:-It is with mingled feelings of gratitude and pleasure, that I again seat myself to address you a few lines, agreeably to promise, expressive of my feelings with regard to your Prophet-his doctrine, character, views &c.-During my short stay in your city. I have found nothing to alter my opinions of its inhabitants, as expressed in my former letter. I have seen with my eyes and heard with my ears and I am satisfied with the result. I have seen the Prophet, and heard him speak. His actions have rendered him famous-his claims have made him known-his persecutions have made him an object of interest-but his own intrinsic merits have made him beloved, by all who know him.
I was astonished, that men would be so blind as to follow after such a man: but that feeling is gone; and I now only wonder why he has not more followers: the only reason can be, they hate the truth.
Notwithstanding all the efforts of his adversaries, he has pursued the even tenor of his way, and steadily advanced to his present position. Unintimadated by their threats-unmindful of their numbers-unawed by their power, he has always come off victorious, and thwarted all the plans of his opponents. Although priest and people, rich and poor, professor and nonprofessor, learned and unlearned, Christian and infidel, have united their forces to belie, slander, and persecnte [persecute] him, yet has the work in which he is engaged rolled steadily onward, impelled by the hand of a God.
That an illiterate youth of twenty-one, with none of the advantages of our learned divines, with scarce a common school education, poor and despised, alone and unassisted, should have conceived a system of Theology, which all the wisdom and learning of the age have not been able to confute; and the progress of which, the combined efforts of earth and hell have not been able to resist, exceeds even my powers of belief. When we review his career, and behold him, from the poor, despised visionary of Manchester, rising, in the short space of fifteen years, to the Presidency of a church numbering uot [not] less then 200,000 souls, spread throughout the United States and the Canadas, Europe and the islands of the sea; we are led to exclaim 'a greater than Jonah is here.' Indeed had he no other claims to inspiration than his actions, and the works he has performed, they would be abundant to stamp him indelibly, a prophet of God.
He has only to be known, to be admired-his doctrine has only to be investigated, to be believed-his claims cannot be confuted: what then obstructs his progress? Surely nothing, unles [unless] it be the bigotry, superstition and prejudice of a priest-ridden community. But the time will come, perhaps too late, when their eyes will be opened to a sense of their folly. They can then see, that, led on by their priests, they have opposed themselves to inspiration, and rejected the truth. Be not astonished at the warmth of my expression, for I have but just emerged from my thraldom [thralldom], like a Chrysalis breaking its shell, and look back with affright at the bondage to which I was subjected. Would to God that the world would throw away their prejudice and investigate for themselves, or come here and get their eyes opened as I have done.
Would they but examine the matter they would find that the so called "Mormon delusion" beautifully harmonizes with the scriptures-reconciles many seeming contradictions-explains many difficult passages-restores the primitive order and simplicity of the church-fulfills many of the prophesies-and gives us just conceptions of the character, attributes and perfections of the Deity. It contains some of the most glorious grand, and sublime principles ever imagined by the mind of man-
it reveals a plan of life in a future state of existence, worthy conceptions of a God; it elevates our ideas of Jehovah and of his creation; it it plainly shows the whole duty of the Saint-the plan of salvation; the straight and narrow path-and, in short, it is a perfect system of Theology, as far before the clanging, jarring systems of modern divinity, as the Gospel of Jesus Christ was before the systems of the Pharisees and Sadducees, or as the plan of salvation devised by Jehovah before the worlds began is before any of the systems of Sectarianism.
The political views of the Prophet are as far in advance of the age, as his religious principles; liberal, enlightened, and comprehensive; they are totally unique. The friend of equal rights and liberty; he advocates the emancipation of the slaves, and the opening of the prison doors. Independent in his actions; he cares for neither wealth nor fame; but is the friend of the poor. Uncorrupted by the spoils of office; he is opposed to the political aristocrats of Washington lining their pockets with the hard earnings of the poor democracy. His liberality and benevolence extends from pole to pole, hear his views 'come Texas, come Mexico, come Canada and come all the world-let us be brethren; let us be one great family; and let there be universal peace.' What can be more liberal, more benevolent or more in accordance with the spirit of our free institutions. Opposed to the low systems of political chicanery practiced by the corrupt office-seekers of the age; he advocates the principles of unadulterated freedom. The friend of all mankind; he studies the convenience of the people more than the comfort of the cabinet. Uncompromisingly the friend of truth, and freedom: he would carry out the spirit of our constitution, without respect to party or fear of consequences.
He stands alone; modern degeneracy has not reached him. Stern and unyielding in his integrity: the features of his character bear the stamp of Roman patriotism. No narrow system of vicious politics, no political demagoguery, no contest for the spoils of office, have sunk him to the vulgar level of the great; but unfathomable, great, and benevolent, his object is the freedom of the world, his ambition to win the love of all mankind. The sight of his mind is almost infinite; his schemes are to affect not the United States and the present age only, but the world and posterity. And judging the future by the past, the means by which these objects will be accomplished, though seemingly small and insignificant,-will be always seasonable, always adequate, the suggestions of an understanding animated by love, and illuminated by inspiration.
Comprehensive in his views, unflinching in his patriotism, uncontaminated by his intercourse with the world, unsnllied [unsullied] in his character, unbending in his morality, iudependent [independent] in his actions, high literary attainments, of great political capabilities, a Gentleman and a Scholar, what more can we ask in a chief magistrate. A character so exalted, so various, so grand astonishes this coorupt [corrupt] age, and the political demagogues and office-seekers, struggling for 'the loaves and fishes' tremble in every limb, and quiver, through fear, in every muscle, at the name of the far-famed General Joseph Smith. I cannot better express my opinion of him than in the language of Robertson, in his character of the celebrated Sir William Pitt "upon the whole there is something in this man, that would create, subvert and reform: an understanding, a spirit, and an eloquence, to summon mankind to society, and break the bonds of slavery asunder-something to rule the wilderness of free minds: something that could establish or overwhelm empires, and strike a blow in the world that should resound through the universe."
May the great Jehovah inspire his heart with wisdom and understanding sufficient to lead his people, in the paths of truth and righteousness, and bring about the reformation of manklnd [mankind]. May he be endowed with power to establish universal peace, prepare the way for the coming of the messiah, and usher in the glorious millenium [millennium], and that he may have the Divine sanction in all his proceedings and be blessed in all his undertakings, is the sincere desire of
Portage, Allegany [Allegheny] co. N. Y. May 1st, 1844.
Dear Brother Taylor:
I now take my pen in hand to inform you of my success for some time past. I left Nauvoo the last of September, and have been since that time striving with the assistance of the grace allotted to me to spread the cause of truih [truth]. I reached the state of New York about the middle of October. I began laboring in the counties of Allegany [Allegheny] and Steuben; soon after I commenced preaching, effectual doors were opened and many expressed a willingness to hear the truth; I have striven successfully against the opposition, and God has been pleased to bless my labors. I have baptized 46 and have witnessed the baptism and confirmation of 15 or 20 more. I have traveled alone the most of the time since I started on this mission,
until the first of March, since that time I have been in company with Elder Julius J. Guinand and I find him to be a worthy brother, and one who is capable of doing much good in the world. I have been beset frequently by those who profess a great deal of sanctity and who possess more self-righteousness, but are as far from the kingdom of God, as was Simon when he offered money saying, "give me this power &c:" They often endeavor to put down the truth but are as often put to shame and confusion. My constant prayer is that God will be with me and grant that through obedience to all his commandments, I may be enabled to accomplish the work whereunto I am sent, that at last I may be found without spot, and blameless. I am glad to hear of the peace and prosperity attending the saints in that place; I shall soon be on my way to the state of Vermont, and I intend to spend the summer in that state. My motto is onward and if my bodily strength should prove equal to my resolution, I hope ere long to return to the city of the saints, with the assurance that I have been the happy instrument in the hands of God, of bringing many souls into the kingdom.
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Of a Jew among the afflicted and mourning Sons and Daughters of Zion, at the assassination of the two Chieftains in Israel,
JOSEPH AND HYRUM SMITH.
Blessed the people knowing the shout of Jehovah, And shewest down from heaven-taking vengeance
In the light of his countenance they will walk. And avenging their blood-avenging thy people and thy law,
How can we, a people in sackcloth, According to thy promises made
Open our lips before thee? Unto our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
They have rejected and slain our leaders, Hasten the acceptable and redeeming year:
Thine anointed ones. SHADDAY: remember unto us thy covenants:
Our eyes are dim, our hearts heavy; All this heaviness has reached us:
No place of refuge being left. Can any one be formed to declare
Redeem the people that in thee only trusts: What has befallen us?
There is none to stand between and inquire: All this we bear, and the name of our God
Thou art our helper, We will not forget, nor deny,
The refuge of Israel in time of trouble.- The "Hebrews" God he is called,
O look in righteousness upon thy faithful servants, Thou art clothed with righteousness,
Who have laid bare their lives unto death, But we are vile.
Not withholding their bodies: Come not in judgment with us.
Being betrayed by false brethren, and their lives cut off, Before thee nothing is justified by their works.
Forbiding [forbidding] their will before thine: But be with us as thou wast with our fathers.
Having sanctified thy great name, Help thou, O Father; unto thee
Never polluting it; We will lift our souls,
Ready for a sacrifice;-standing in the breach, Our hearts in our hands,
Tried, proved and found perfect. We look to heaven,
To save the blood of the fathers; Lifting our eyes unto the mountains,
Their children, brothers, and sisters; From whence cometh our help.
Adding theirs unto those who are gone before them; Turn away thine anger,
Sanctifying the holy and great name upon the earth: That we be not spoiled.
Cover and conceal not their blood. O return and leave a blessing behind thee.
Give ear unto their cries until thou lookest
The Times and Seasons, is Printed and Published about the first and fifteenth of every month, on the corner of Water and Bain Streets, Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, by
EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR.
TERMS.-Two Dollars per annum, payable in advance. Any persons procuring five new subscribers, and forwarding us Ten Dollars current money, shall receive one volume gratis. All letters must be addressed to John Taylor, editor, POST PAID or they will not receive attention.