“1846,” Ronald D. Dennis, ed., Prophet of the Jubilee (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997), 113–140.
The Spirit of Accusation
WHEN observing human nature, we find many things in it to glorify, and many virtues made clear, which shine like a rainbow in a storm, and bring a delightful respite, from the sight of the dark picture of human life. It is a great blessing, for whoever possesses it, to be able to perceive and bring out the various virtues that belong to our fellow-creatures; and to be able through love, which comes only from heaven, to hide the faults and imperfections of our common fraternity, and pick out the virtues of a man’s character, and describe them with delight. How like God, and how blessed is such a spirit, and what happiness emanates from him, and how contrary is he to the spirit that tries only to accuse, reveling in the defects and faults of the human race. We have made these general remarks by way of a warning to the Saints, lest they partake of the same spirit. We have learned one great principle, which is that we are to be savers of mankind. But what is he who constantly labors to find out defects and weaknesses in his brethren, but a destroyer? It is doubtless the work of Satan, and those who serve him in that way are his servants. We would wish to reason gently with those who partake of such a spirit, and ask them to question themselves carefully, and look into what motivates them to act in such a way. Does the fact that some brother has defects bring them pleasure? It may do, if it satisfies them when they look at their own; but let us be spared from such satisfaction. Banish it far from us, Oh God, and give us that love that covers a multitude of sins.
But we know very well that there is scarcely any fault that men are as apt to slip into as this; and once it has started, it sticks in their nature, until their whole mind and life are used to show the faults of their fellowman. Oh, what a dreadful situation this is! Indeed, to those who perceive it correctly, it is a demonstration of hell on earth! But the main point of trickery of the tempter is—that he makes those who act so, think that their behavior is entirely righteous, and arises from their greater purity, and their hatred of everything sinful; and thus the chief deceiver leads them to be accusers of their brethren, when by so doing, they themselves are his most faithful and most direct servants.
But yet, let us inquire what is the aim in view when embarking on such a practice, and particularly in the kingdom of God. Does he intend to enjoy the faith of the Saints, by noting the defects of a brother? Does he mean to create trust in the church authorities, by showing that they are imperfect beings, and open to weaknesses, like other men? This cannot be what drives him, because the aims could never be effected, and only a madman would take such a course. But we can account for a few reasons for such conduct. Bad temper, disappointed expectations, and jealousy or malice, are the only motives from which such a hellish principle stems. Its beginning was in hell, and its end will be in the same place. Therefore, beware, you Saints of God, of this devilish principle.
With regard to the truth of the above statements, let us take a look for a minute at the general conduct of the enemies of God, and the Saints. What was the behavior of all the apostates, by whom the church was troubled and tried in America? Men, who were overtaken by evil, and who had been kept out of the church, have come out in a garment of professed purity, and have justified themselves in their apostasy, because of the imperfection and faults of the Saints. The history of times past confirms this statement; and it is not confined to apostates alone, but applies to the persecuting common folk who glory in the destruction of life and property, and try to justify themselves by bringing charges of evil against those they persecute. Let us endeavor to reconcile principles and behavior in their correct light, restore a brother from his faults through love and tenderness; and if we fail to succeed with him, let our testimony be against his faults, and not his person, and that before the appropriate court for the same, in order to save him, and not in order to blacken or anger him. If he does not reform, let the “accuser of the brethren” be put in the same category as his secret friends, the apostate, the murderer, and the devil, so that peace may dwell perpetually in our churches.
Comfort under Persecution
THERE is scarcely a principle that proves itself more true to the Saints of the Most High, and is more often commensurable with their experience, than “that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” This was the inheritance promised to the Saints in early times. These are the best promises that are given to us now. “In the world ye shall have tribulation; and ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake,” says our King. Let us be of good cheer, then, since they met with the same obstacles, and were more than conquerors, through Jesus Christ, who delivered them, why should we fear the same obstacles, as we tread the same path? And since God saw fit to perfect the Prince of our salvation through suffering, and made him a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief—and since all our brethren went through the fiery forge, before they could be purified, we too will be disappointed if we expect a good life and daily abundance, and expect to live on the world’s delicacies, soft pillows, the popularity of the age, rather than troubles, trials, persecutions, and much opposition from the world, the flesh, and the devil. “If we be without chastisement, then we are bastards, and not children.” Our father scourges every son and daughter he receives, and all because of his love for us, so that the tin is taken away, and we are purified of the poor trinkets of the earth, so that we may be worthy and suitable to appear in the presence of God’s angels, and wear permanent crowns. Who would not boast of being under such a teacher, to such glorious purpose! This is the only way prepared by God to perfect and bring many sons to glory; so he allows Satan to incite our persecutors to tempt us, and say and do all they can against us, in order to purify us, so that proof of our faith may be obtained; for without faith we can endure nothing, without suffering we cannot be purified, and without being purified we shall not be worthy to inherit the glorious kingdom, or to fill the circles on high with which our father intends to endow us. Let us expect, then, greater and greater obstacles and troubles every day from the prince of this world, and all his armies, while building the kingdom of Emmanuel in the middle of their treacherous territories; for the more we manage to win their subjects from their clutches, the more the foundations of their government will shake, and the more, in consequence, their anger and jealousy will increase, and not surprisingly either. But there is one heavenly principle, which we note to encourage the Saints to continue bravely, patiently, and faithfully till the end, despite everything, and that is—Our God is stronger than the strong and the armed, and he will not allow us to be tempted beyond our capacity. If we ask for strength according to the occasion, he is more ready to give than we are to ask of him, and he uses even our persecutors for our benefit, yes, all things work together for our good, if we keep the confidence of our faith sure until the end.
The Law and the Gospel
WE believe the human race, when they reach the age of reason, to be capable of differentiating between good and bad, capable of obeying or disobeying a law, that a law has been given to them, and that the punishment for transgressing it is exile from the presence of God, in their body and spirit, after their restoration and their deliverance under the verdict of the first man’s transgression.
We believe that no one is punished according to this second law, unless they have had the advantage of understanding it in this life; for although the light they all have teaches them good and bad, yet that light does not teach them all of this law, or the consequences of breaking it. And although the pagan portion of them may give rise to many lashings, yet, it is not just to judge them by, or punish them according to, the rule of this law, because they can excuse themselves under the mantle of complete ignorance of it; consequently, they are punished, not according to the revealed law of which they are totally ignorant, but according to their conscience, which punishment is commensurate with the light and the opportunities they had to get a more perfect light, for willing negligence is no excuse. “As many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law.”
We believe that knowing transgressors of this law, or those who gain knowledge of it in this life, are to be judged and punished according to this law, whose sentence will be carried out, not in this life, but in the life to come; consequently, such people are condemned prisoners in this life, waiting in fear and trembling for the time of the eternal exile!
I think the poor sinner is ready to shout out in fright—What! Is there no longer a way of salvation for me? Is my situation hopeless? Can I not devise some way of escaping this second law, and deliver myself from the second death? I answer, if you can hide from the piercing stare of the almighty God—if you can take arms against him, and prevent him from fulfilling the sentence of his broken law, then you can escape. If you can ensure that your faith, your repentance, and the best of your deeds, are sufficient atonement for your sins, then you can deliver yourself from the dreadful sentence that is hanging over your head. But let this be a warning to you, O sinner, that impossibility is imprinted on every one of your attempts to deliver yourself; and that you can do nothing that can make atonement for your sins, yes, though you were to weep bottles full of tears, and give your body to be burned to ash. Your situation is completely hopeless, unless the sentencer against whose law you transgressed has arranged deliverance for you. Then know that your salvation depends entirely upon getting hold of, and obeying that order thoroughly, whatever it may be; and no less, and no more, and nothing other than what he said, can save you. But do not lose heart, poor sinner; for although you cannot save yourself, yet there is hope for the worst. Oh good tidings of great joy! Oh incomparable grace! The glorious Person who gave that law has arranged a way of salvation, although it cost him dearly, yes, to suffer great scorn and pain—it cost him dying by the accursed death of the cross, and becoming death to death, and an end to the grave. The same dear Jesus who delivered the whole human race from the punishment for the sin of our first parents, has arranged a way of deliverance for every man from second death for his own sins; and he offers that deliverance now, and calls upon the worst sinner to be reconciled with him, so that he may be saved for eternal life. We believe that this can be achieved only through obedience to the conditions he himself set; for it was free mercy for him to offer any conditions: no one else could do that; consequently, no one should change one jot, or one tittle of his conditions, or say why they would not be like this, or why they are like that, but obey them as they are, and be thankful for them.
The Revivalist a Mormon!
IN the October issue of this monthly, we have Mr. Rees’s interpretation of 1 Cor. xiii, 10—“When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” In answer to someone, the Editor says that it is to the state of the saints in heaven that the text refers. Now, if it is so (and it is like that too), Mr. Rees is found to be making a plea for Mormonism. “We prophesy in part,” the previous verse says; “but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away,” and no sooner. And since that which is in part is this “prophesying,” and since Mr. Rees interprets so unhestitantly, that that which is in part is to continue until the day of judgment, the prophecy and the tongues, according to verses 8 and 9, are to continue until then. The Rev. David Rees, of Als Chapel, Llanelli, and in its “only publication” the respectable denomination of Welsh Independents, particularly the great Conference in Solfach and Neath, believe, print, and profess that that which is in part, namely the tongues and the prophecy, has been put in the church to stay until the perfection of heaven comes. How difficult it is for the people of a country to accept a subject from a new sect, and Oh how easily the same people, at the same time, swallow the same subject, when it is offered to them by the right hand of their own oracle! Let us take comfort, Saints of God, this large denomination will come to us before long. May the Lord make speed to facilitate their coming.
But the Editor of the Revivalist is not unique among his brethren. That is how nearly all of them interpret this phrase. Thus Matthew Henry, Barnes, Gill, Scott, and Burkitt. And in the name of all fairness, why can we not interpret in the same way? When one of the Mormons says—”That which is in part, namely the tongues and the prophecy, is to continue until the whole church goes to heaven,” behold every Independent, and the great Conference too, shouting, “false prophets,” “deceivers,” &c; but let Mr. Rees say—”That which is in part is to continue until the whole church goes to heaven,” and behold every Independent on his feet, and particularly the great Conference, shouting, “The Revivalist has it,” “The only publication of the Denomination is right.”
Signs of The Times
WHY was the potato crop spoiled throughout the whole of Ireland, Scotland, and a large part of England, in one night? What is the cause of such a destructive and unprecedented disease killing so many thousands of our animals so suddenly? Why have the crops rotted in Scotland? Why have the oats and the turnips rotted in Ireland, and the barley too in many places? What are all the dreadful storms that are over the seas, which sweep thousands of our fellow creatures into the eternal world completely without warning? Why did all the fish of the sea die along the coasts of America, for over five hundred miles? Why does the earth shake like a drunkard? Why are its bowels churning with trouble? Why is it seen in its fury casting its brimstone and its flames over almost whole towns and cities, swallowing their inhabitants by the thousands, and sending them in a completely unprepared state, most likely, to the spirit world? Why do the seas and the rivers surge and swell over their limits, and in the severity of their rage bury thousands in a second? Why do we hear of fires here, and incomparable conflagrations there, yes, of almost entire towns and cities, blazing at once? Why are the hearts of kings and rulers, together with their subjects, believers, and unbelievers, weary, fearful, and frightened, waiting for the dreadful things that are coming on earth? Why does black famine stare us so severely in the face? Why all this so unexpectedly, and yet so inevitably? Is this not a fulfillment of notable prophecies? Are not these and similar things, signs, and forerunners of the strange time, and the great day that is fast approaching? What is the answer? Here it is—Because an angel flew in the midst of heaven, with the eternal gospel, to preach to every kindred, tongue, people, and nation, that dwell on the earth, saying with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give glory to him, FOR THE HOUR OF HIS JUDGMENT IS COME!!”
ALWAYS vex your foe with justice,
Not with witch’s curse, or malice;
Pay him back his ill with goodness—
Best revenge is loving kindness.
Establishment of the Saints in Kirtland, and the Persecution in Missouri
ABOUT the year 1831, the Saints from every state started to gather in Kirtland, a small town in the State of Ohio, a few miles south of Lake Erie. Several of them bought land, and worked it diligently; others of them built houses; and the craftsmen among them went into business, according to their various crafts; and thus they carried on for a while successfully and comfortably. Great success crowned the efforts of those who were preaching in the other states. As soon as men complied with the gospel in the midst of the world, they would despise and persecute them, fashioning all manner of false accusations against them, which caused those who could, to move near their brethren in Kirtland. Having increased their numbers to some thousands, they set to building a house of worship, or large temple, in Kirtland, and they persisted diligently, under all sorts of disadvantages, until they completed a convenient and beautiful building.
Soon afterwards, their neighbors were jealous of their success, and they feared that the “Mormons,” as they called them, would be so numerous in time as to have an influence against them in the elections; as though their fel-lowmen would forfeit their freedom and their civil rights when they believed the gospel; and the only plan they could devise, in order to keep the reins of power in their own hands, was to bring false accusations against peaceful and innocent people. Here was begun that devious old trick that was practiced so much after that in other places, of setting some of their own old cottages on fire, and then accusing some of the Saints of doing it. Then it was reported in the newspapers far afield that the Mormons killed, and burnt the houses of their neighbors. Not unlike old Nero’s trick of setting Rome on fire, and accusing the Christians, so as to stir up the populace against them. It was about this time that the foolish story about Joseph Smith, that he “walked on the water,” was invented. But it was said beforehand that it was a woman called Anne Lee, in the eastern states, who did that; and we remember hearing that story being brought against Johannah Southcott, when we were schoolchildren; but most recently it was attributed to Joseph Smith: and however foolish and offensive the story is, yes, without ever so much as one word of truth, or any substance to it, about Joseph Smith, yet it has been proclaimed in the newspapers and across the pulpits of America. It is also a surprising thing that this story, like thousands of others that are just as groundless, has gained a passage across the Atlantic Ocean, has gone around England and Scotland, and is now traveling rapidly through Wales; it is being helped on its way from chapel to chapel—riding swiftly on the saddles of preachers, from one county to another—mounting the pulpits of one denomination that is just as welcoming as the next; and it is strange how it satisfies the taste of those who have given themselves up to solid error, so that they believe lies, those who do not accept truth’s love. This is such a tasty morsel that the respectable editor of the Revivalist embraced it with the right hand of society, writing holiness on its forehead, and giving it a passport, and as free a passage as he could, in its ungodly task of deceiving his fellow countrymen, so that it might prepare the way for his own carriage. We do not think that it would be necessary for anyone to say that every word of this story is false, if it were not for the fact that some reverend gentlemen like these were trying to sanctify it with their corrupt lips, and thus give it an appearance of truth. But the people have had enough proof by now that the reverends are no more remarkable than their neighbors at telling the truth.
But to return to the story. The persecution against the Saints grew as much as their success. Joseph Smith was brought many times before the courts, and he was accused of almost everything that evil men could devise, in order to bring him down. In their great eagerness, the witnesses swore too much to be true; and since they swore opposite things to each other, yes, although he was judged by his professed enemies, he escaped from their grasp each time greater than a conqueror. Since they could not prove him guilty of transgression against civil law, a mob would often attack his house at night, threatening him with death, unless he took the Saints away from there. Once in particular they attacked his house in the middle of a cold night, when there was considerable snow and ice; they dragged him from his house by his feet, and they beat him cruelly, until they thought they had killed him; even so, there was life left in him, and he could hear them discussing amongst themselves what to do with him. Some advocated digging a grave there, and burying him. They went to fetch spades to that end, but since the earth was too hard for them to do that, some of them went back to Mr. Smith’s house and took a pillow off his bed. After tearing off his clothes, they plastered his body with pitch; then they rubbed the feathers in the pitch, and left him there for dead. Soon after they went away, he got up, and went to his house. His wife had gone to tell people about it, and to beg her neighbors for help. Mr. Smith took care of himself, and it was found that his bones were in one piece, but that his front teeth were broken. The next morning (the Sabbath), he preached to a large crowd, keeping his engagement. The story of the persecutions and the oppression suffered by the Saints after this would be too long to describe here; but since there was no justice or peace for them to enjoy in Kirtland, nor any hope of such, in the year 1834, some of them went towards the west in search of a place where they could live together in peace. They settled in Jackson County, State of Missouri; they bought lands from the government, which they continued to pioneer and to work, and the Saints from Kirtland would emigrate there from time to time, as their circumstances permitted. They soon began to preach there; and the inhabitants had nothing in particular against them or their doctrine for a while, apart from some of the sectarians who shouted after them, “deceivers, and false prophets.”
In the following July, several thousand of the Saints came to settle in Jackson County, and they very soon turned the wilderness into meadow land. They built a town called Far West, in a salubrious and attractive location. The surrounding country was owned by the Saints. They built cottages, mills, and villages; and they put seeds in the ground, expecting to have that peace and freedom to worship God according to their conscience, which the laws of the republic promised each and every one of its subjects. The Saints took care, as much as they could, not to give their neighbors any reason to persecute them, so that some of them had denied themselves to the extent of promising not to interfere in anything pertaining to the state; but others claimed their right to that. Because the Saints had voted in the election of state officials, some of the old settlers immediately agitated against them, and there was disturbance and fighting between some of them. From thenceforth, those who misrepresented the quarrel accused the Saints of refusing to allow others to cast their vote. They falsely accused the Saints of many tales, of being traitors to the government, &c. Some of them forged the names of the leaders, announcing in one of the newspapers that the Saints were inviting Negro slaves to escape from their owners, and come to them, and they would have their freedom. They could not invent anything that would excite the state more than this, because Missouri is a state where slave-trading is very common. Although the Saints did not interfere with their slaves, it is true that they did not support keeping their fellow creatures captive like animals; but they knew that they would be endangering their lives, and breaking state law, if they said anything against them. The inhabitants who settled in this part of the state had mostly moved from Kentucky, Tennessee, and the other slave and semi-barbaric states. It had for years been a haven to which debtors would flee, and those who were escaping punishment for their crimes against the law of their own country. They were quite like their Indian neighbors, but much more cruel. In order to fan the flames even more, the missionaries who were among the Indians accused the Saints of scheming with the Indians to come and kill the citizens, and possess the land. The only reason they had was that the Saints preached to the Indians who came into their midst, and two or three preachers returned to the woods with the Indians to teach them, and that at their own request. This so incensed the missionaries that they came to the slave-traders, who were only too pleased to have some case against the Saints. This accusation was an excellent basis on which to carry on their invention, especially since their riotous mob was presided over by such godly preachers; and, strange though it is to tell, yet it is true enough that these missionaries of peace did not rest until they had eighteen of them to preach throughout the country against the Saints, until they incited them in their hundreds to attack and kill them, if they did not leave the country forthwith. They burned their own property so as to send word to the Governor of the State that the Saints did it; they destroyed many of the Saints’ houses, they burned their crops, they stole their animals, and they frequently gathered in armies against them, having blackened their faces, dressed in skins, with feathers on their heads, shouting frightfully like Indians; and wherever the hatred of these uncivilized preachers fell, would fall the vengeance of their inhuman and merciless followers. In vain the Saints would call on the government for protection, for the state officials had believed the false accusations that were brought against the Saints. More than once the Governor of the State, with the magistrates, instructed them to defend themselves, which they had not yet ventured to do; and as soon as they defended their houses and their families in the face of attack from the evil men, stories flew through the country that the Mormons had killed some large number of people, adding and misrepresenting until others were even more incensed against them, without inquiring if what they heard was true. In the end, the Governor called out the militia to help the rioters to exile the Saints from the country, at the cost of everything they owned, without permitting them an inquiry or any other justice, as will be clearly seen from the following testimony of an eyewitness and fellow sufferer, given under oath before one of the courts of the state of Illinois in the year 1838, endorsed also by many others, proclaimed to the world to their faces, and one which stands today as incontrovertible testimony against them, and will continue to shout in the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth until he judges his people in justice.
Read and wonder, reader, and then remember that you have not been told half the cruelties and persecution suffered by the innocent and defenseless Saints, because of their religion, in Missouri!
Testimony of Hyrum Smith, Patriarch, Before the Court in Nauvoo, State Of Illinois
This testimony was given by Hyrum Smith on behalf of his brother Joseph Smith, who was brought before the courts at Nauvoo, on the instruction of the Governor of the State of Missouri, and who was accused of treachery in that state. It is right to note here that the witness was a brother to Joseph Smith, the prophet, who was the founder of Mormonism. The size of our publication does not allow us to give more than just a short abridgement of this important testimony, which contains the whole story of the persecution in Missouri.
After clearing his brother’s character, Hyrum Smith goes on to say that when his brother was in the State of Missouri, the people who were commonly called Mormons were being threatened most dreadfully; and about the first Monday in August, 1838, at the election in Gallatin, Davies County, Mormons were forbidden to exercise their rights of franchise; and because of that circumstance, agitation and fighting began among the citizens of that place, which caused a mob to rise up in that county thenceforth, threatening the extermination of the Mormons. After our witness and his brother heard that rioters were rising up, and that they had murdered two of the citizens of the place, and would not suffer them to be buried, they went over to learn the particulars of the situation, but they learned that none were killed, rather several were wounded. On their return, they called on the authorities, and pleaded with them to attempt to calm the rioters, which, in writing, they promised to do; and soon afterwards, there was peace.
Things did not continue in this way for long; for very soon the mob began to collect again, so that several hundred of them attacked the Mormons in Millport, a few miles from Diahman, taking away their animals, and threatening them with extermination. They frequently took men, women and children prisoners, whipping them and treating them in the most cruel manner, tying them to trees and depriving them of food until they were compelled to gnaw the bark from the trees in order to sustain life. In short, they did everything to them that they thought would most excite the indignation of the other Mormons, and get them to put up a defense, so that they could accuse them of breaking the law, and thus excite the populace to assist them in exterminating those innocent people. Messengers were dispatched immediately to the authorities, and military assistance was procured to defend the town; but after things quieted down, and the soldiers left, the animosity of the persecutors rekindled, and they rose up in several other places where the Mormons lived, dispossessing them of their property, and treating them brutally. The soldiers in most places were refusing to do their duty. It was thought best now to send a petition to the Governor, and another to Judge King. The Mormons were still in a dreadful state; they saw themselves completely surrounded by armed enemies, some of whom would be under the leadership of ministers of the gospel. They made the Mormons give up everything in their possession, under threat of death, and forced them to promise to leave their country, and go to Far West, otherwise they would drive them there, and then to hell.
While this situation persisted, the answer came back from the Governor and others, informing them that the Mormons could have no assistance, and because they had fought for themselves, that they had no intention of worrying about them.
All the scattered families of these people in all the counties except Davies County, were forced to go to Far West, but not before many of them starved to death on the way. This only increased their hardship, for many thousands were driven to a place where there were no habitations to shelter them, rather they had to huddle together, some in sorts of tents, others under blankets, and many with no shelter from the inclemency of the weather. For two months they were in this state, many of them being killed, while others were so badly whipped that they had to swathe up their bowels to prevent them from falling out. About this time, one General Parks came from Richmond, Ray County, who was one of the commissioned officers sent out to Diahman, and Hyrum Smith and his brother went from there at the same time. After they had all arrived at Diahman, and gone to the house of one Colonel Wight, about eleven o’clock at night, a Mormon woman came in, bringing her two children along with her, one about two-and-a-half years old, the other a babe in her arms. She came in on foot, a distance of about three miles, through the snow, and waded across the Grand River when the water was waist deep. She stated that some of the rioters had turned her out of doors, had taken all her household goods, and had burnt her house, and she had barely managed to save herself and her children. Her husband at that time was in Virginia, and she was living alone.—This cruel transaction excited the feelings of Colonel Wight, and he asked General Parks, in the hearing of the others, how long they had to suffer like this? This caused the mob to be dispersed, and their arms to be taken away. But they soon devised a new trick; instead of burning the Mormons’ houses now, they set fire to their own houses (having first emptied them), and sent all over the country to say that it was the work of the Mormons. Thereafter, it was impossible to persuade anyone that it was not the Mormons who were guilty, and the prejudice of the country against them was excited even further. Noticing the suffering of the people in Diahman, our witness and his brother returned to the city of Far West, and dispatched a messenger to Governor Atchinson, stating the facts as they did then exist, and praying for assistance if possible. In the meantime, the Judge of the County Court issued orders to the county militia to stand in constant readiness, day and night, to prevent the citizens from being massacred, which fearful situation they were exposed to every minute. Everything continued to be very alarming. Notwithstanding all this, the people still hoped that the Governor would render them assistance; and while they were waiting for deliverance, praying and weeping, they beheld a large army approaching the town, brandishing their glittering arms in the bright sunshine; and the inhabitants could not but feel joyful for a moment, thinking that the Governor had sent relief. But, to their surprise, when the army arrived there, they formed up into a double file, and dispatched three messengers bearing white flags to the town to ask for three persons to be brought out of the town, before they should massacre the rest and set the town ablaze. The three said to them, “If the people must be destroyed, and the city burned, we are prepared to accept the same fate.” After this, the army retreated about a mile-and-a-half back from the town; and soon a messenger was sent to talk to the two generals, but before he reached their camp, he was shot by one of the Methodist preachers, by the name of Bogard; however, he managed to see one of them, who told him that the other was not there, and that he had sent him back because he was too merciful to the Mormons. The messenger begged him to spare the town until the next morning, which he coolly agreed to do, as he had not yet received the Governor’s order, which he expected at any hour. A second messenger was dispatched to the same general, imploring him to use his best endeavors to preserve the lives of the people, and he returned with the news that many had been wretchedly killed by some of the soldiers of another general called Lucas. These crimes were committed previous to having received the Governor’s order. A little before sundown, another army came in, under the leadership of one Cornelius Gillum, who had been committing dreadful depredations previously in another place. This army had painted their faces like Indians. They would whoop and roar like Indians all night. Early in the morning, a messenger was sent to have another interview with General Doniphan; and on his return, he informed them that the Governor’s order had arrived; and that General Doniphan had said that the Governor’s order was to exterminate the Mormons, but that he would be damned if he would obey it, and that General Lucas might do what he pleased. But it was learned that this order was only a copy of the original, which was in the hands of Major General Clark, who was on his way to Far West, with an additional army of six thousand men. Soon after this, there came into the town a messenger, bringing the intelligence that an awful massacre of the people of Haun’s Mill had taken place, as a result of the Governor’s order to exterminate the Mormons.
The army which went to Far West, during all the while they were encamped there, continued to lay waste the arable fields, steal the animals, and kill them for sport. They held the city under siege, and no one was permitted to come in or go out under penalty of death. Many of the citizens were shot when they ventured out to obtain sustenance. There was one field of twelve hundred acres, which was mostly covered with arable crops; and it was entirely laid waste by the horses of the army. The day after the arrival of the army there, in the evening, Colonel Hinkle went to the city, requesting to see Joseph Smith (Sen.), Parley P. Pratt, Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight, and George W. Robinson, and stating that the officers of the army wanted a consultation with them, and that they assured them they would not be harmed. They agreed, and went with the colonel towards the camp, when soon they were surrounded by soldiers. They supposed their purpose was to guard them into the camp in safety; but to their surprise, when they were brought to General Lucas, Hinkle went up to him and said, “These are the prisoners I agreed to deliver up to you.” Lucas drew his sword, and said, “You are now my prisoners;” and at that time, the main army came to meet them. They opened to the right and left, and Smith and his friends were led between them, amidst the shouting and whooping of the soldiers. After being thus betrayed, they were placed under guard, and they were compelled to lie on the cold ground all night, and were told that they dare not ever expect their liberty again. The next morning, the soldiers were permitted to go to the town to disturb the people at their leisure, to enter into their houses and pillage them, ravish the women, and take away every weapon they could find. About twelve o’clock, Colonel Hinkle came to the house of our witness (Hyrum Smith), and he was taken prisoner with the others, despite his sickness and that of his family at the time. Within half an hour, one Amasa Lyman was held and placed under the same guard. They were out again that night; and Hinkle came to H. Smith, and said he would plead their case in the court martial, but he was afraid he should not succeed. He said also that there was another court then in session, in which there were about twenty different preachers. In the morning, General Doniphan came to them and said that the verdict of the court was that they were to be shot that morning, but that he wanted no hand in the work, and that he and his brigade were leaving the place, considering that they would be spilling innocent blood. This movement of Doniphan’s made considerable excitement in the army, and much talk amongst the officers; and the prisoners heard that “the damned Mormons would not be shot that morning, because General Doniphan had frustrated the plan, and that another court had ordered them to be taken to Jackson County, to be executed there.” In a few moments, two wagons came to fetch them, and while they were getting into them, the prisoners were shot at by four or five men, but without effect. The men were secured, and they drove off. After much pleading, they were permitted to go to the city under guard, to bid their relatives farewell, and get some clothing, but they were not allowed to say a word. Then they went on towards Jackson County, and after traveling 12 miles, they stopped for the night, and the prisoners were permitted to sleep out in the snow, from which they suffered severely. In the morning at the dawn of day, they were made to continue on their journey, and were exhibited to everyone along the road, as though they were elephants or camels. They were stared at and examined from head to foot by men, women, and children, only they did not look at their teeth. This treatment of them was continued, until they arrived at Independence, in Jackson County, when they were exhibited once again all over town. After that, they were placed in an old log house under guard, where they were compelled to stay all that night and the next day. After being in the town about four days, a messenger came from General Clark to order them back to Richmond, Ray County, where he and his army had arrived to await them there; but on the morning they were to depart, the prisoners were informed by General Wilson that it was expected by the soldiers that they would be hanged on the road, except that the other general wanted to have the pleasure. They arrived at Richmond on the 9th of November, where they were again secured in an old log house. In half an hour, a man came in with chains and padlocks, saying he was authorized to put them in chains. The soldiers were aiming their guns at them while the man fastened the chains about them. In a few minutes, General Clark came in, and the prisoners asked him what was the cause of this treatment; but he gave no reply, saying that they would be told in a few days. Whilst they were still in this situation, a young man of the name of Grant came to see them, and told them that he had seen General Clark make his choice of men to shoot them on Monday morning; he also saw them loading their rifles with two balls in each, and after they had finished, the general addressed them thus:—“Gentlemen, you shall have the honor of shooting the Mormon leaders on Monday morning at eight o’clock!” But because of something or other, the general durst not carry out his intentions; and so he sent to Fort Leavenworth for the military code of laws, to find out if preachers, who never did military duty, came under his jurisdiction; and he spent a week searching: so the Monday passed away without their being shot. It was strange that a man such as the general knew no better. However, when he had discovered that they were not in his power to punish, he came to the prisoners in the log house, and said he had concluded to deliver them over to the civil authorities, as persons guilty of treason, murder, and quite a number of things. Accordingly, they were handed over to those pretended authorities; and the next morning, they were released from their chains, and were led to the court. Austin A. King was the judge, and one Mr. Birch the district attorney, namely the two gentlemen who sat previously on the court martial when the prisoners were sentenced to be shot. This court continued to sit over fourteen days, in some manner, and the portrayal given by our witness of its proceedings is a disgrace to a country which boasts so much of its freedom and its Christianity.—(To be continued.)
SUBSTANCE OF A SERMON ON THE MIRACLES, in order to enlighten Everyman, and show the Deceit of the Creatures who call themselves “Latter-day Saints.” By W. R. DAVIES, Dowlais.
[CONTINUED FROM PAGE 109.]
IF the fact that we have not healed anybody whom you wished us to, to please your mocking assertions, proves that signs do not follow those who believe the gospel that we preach, Paul’s leaving Trophimus sick, and Timothy under his frequent weakness must prove that signs did not follow him either. Strange, Sir, that you would not understand the apostolic plan better than that, before ever daring to climb into a pulpit to offer it to others! No; it is God who imparts out the blessings as he himself wishes; and your text says that in your face, if you wished to hear it. Read again, Sir, the eleventh verse of the chapter which you distort, namely 1 Cor. xii—“And all these things (that is the gifts), the one and the same Spirit works them, sharing to everyone individually [of the saints], as he (God’s Spirit), wills.” Not as you will. Then read ver. 30, and cease asking for signs, for shame. “Does everyone have gifts of healing? Does everyone speak with tongues? Does everyone interpret?” I wonder if you, in all seriousness, Mr. Davies, are so foolish as to believe that anyone claims the power to do one of these things except in the way, and at the time, and as God would do it through them? If you are not, why do you show yourself more foolish still by challenging us to do them when you wish? No, Sir! The signs follow believers, and do not go in front of their deniers, as their giver says in Mark xvi, 17, 18. You have them not, for you admit that, and you deny their existence, and yet you claim that you are a believer. How can that be, without your making the Son of God a liar? Remember that they were promised to “them that believe;” and not to the apostles alone. All your scorn and reviling at the cost of the lameness of the poor person under observation is naught but scorn adapted to Paul, yea, to the Son of God himself. And after God imparts healing blessings to these saints, who but you is the first and loudest of voice, shouting, “deceit, deceit,” completely distorting it all in the Baptist and in the same breath shouting, “A miracle, do a miracle.” Remember the use made of that obvious miracle, namely the healing of the broken bones of William Hughes’s leg, so that he walked immediately when hands were laid upon him; yes, remember many things that were done in our midst, Sir, and remember to give the glory to God, for he alone is worthy of that. Not one of the servants of God could practice one of the gifts except as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Their duty is to administer the established ordinance, that is anointing with oil, and laying on of hands, and that at the wish of the afflicted. “Let [the afflicted] call to him elders of the church.” I wonder whether they would call them unless they had faith that they would be healed? Why then does the preacher mock us for requiring faith? He cannot show one promise in the word of God that anyone was to be healed through these ways except the saints. The examples of some being excepted from the rule, in that the Spirit of God urged them on for his glory, do not contain any command for anyone else to do likewise, until they have the same exhortation, for God alone has the right to make exceptions; but, for his servants, they must walk according to the rules laid down. Mr. Davies admits that healing men’s bodies is a miracle, and is it not more of a miracle to heal men’s souls, Sir? A miracle, you say, is everything that is “above the order of nature.” Do you ever pray for anything, Mr. Davies? Well then, if you are answered in anything, that is a miracle, according to your own reasoning. Do you pray for the Spirit of God? You must be praying for a miracle, or confess that you are answered in accordance with the order of nature. But is it not you who shouts, at the top of your voice, for God to save your listeners and confessing that that would be a miracle; but in the same cry, from the same pulpit, and above the same people, shouts that “miracles have died out and that there is no need of them,” reviling those who profess them as “Satanists,” &c.
Do devils not need to be cast out now? Let the groans of the thousands which echo through the walls of all the Lunatic Asylums throughout the country answer. Do not the sick need to be healed now? Let all the doctors of the country be witnesses against you. Do the saints throughout the world not need to be perfected now? How can you say that there is no need of the means laid down for that now, nor faith in the practice of them? What is your basis for such assertions?
After wasting a number of pages trying to prove what a miracle is, by contradicting himself, and quoting the works of others that contradict one another, Mr. Davies makes his own imaginings a rule to prove a miracle. How can one thing, which is the effect of a cause, be a miracle, and the effect of some other cause not be a miracle? Is it a miracle to see a man being healed by practicing the means appointed for that? And is it not a miracle to see fruits growing on trees? Does not the one through his faith expect the blessing, because of the connection of the promise to their obedience, as the other expects to have his wheat back in the harvest, which he sowed through his faith? And is it not God who gives the increase to the one and the other, according to his promise? Oh, no, the Physicist himself does not go against his established laws, Mr. Davies. Had he not promised that they should be healed in that way? Then, it is like unto a miracle to see you mocking those ways, and yet seeking the blessing through your Davisistic system, with neither the means nor faith. Have you not admitted that a miracle is an act? If so, it is not above the understanding of the performer, or it would be an accident; for the miracle disappears after the understanding of such a person increases. Well done, Mr. Davies. But after seeing that that goes against his Davisism, he jumps into the breach to defend that too, by referring us to Joshua commanding the sun to stop. I wonder whether Joshua said that haphazardly, without knowing anything about the connection, or the effect that would be brought about? Was is not for that that Joshua prayed? Well, here it is completely the wrong way about again; for, according to Mr. Davies’s reasoning, everyone who performs a miracle must be completely without faith in the act, as he calls it, because it is not possible that there should be faith in what they would be completely ignorant of! Paul says in Heb. xi, 1—“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” If you were to read ver. 30, you would see that “through faith the walls of Jericho fell.” And was it not through faith that he ordered the sun to stop, Mr. Davies? Did he therefore have faith in what he did not understand? Strange how you knock yourself down with every blow! Read this chapter, Mr. Davies, together with many other places in your Bible, and you will see that it was through faith that miracles were done. “Through faith they overcame kingdoms, shut the jaws of lions, suffered the heat of the fire, and through faith the women received their dead,” &c. And yet you insist on having the dead alive, the lame to walk, and the blind to see, against their will, faith or not!! Is it not “the prayer of faith that will heal the afflicted?” Is it not “without faith it is impossible to please God?” And shall he work a miracle for them, unwillingly? “The Lord shall raise him up,” says the Bible. No, says Mr. Davies, we must do that against their will, otherwise we are proved deceivers. Well, we ask the fool a question according to his foolishness, lest he be proud in his own sight. Why would you not force all the disbelievers of Dowlais to believe in Davisism, Sir? “Oh, the means God arranged to bring men to belief is preaching,” he says. Why so? “Because faith comes through hearing,” he says. Yes indeed; faith is required in order to become children of God, then, and that through hearing. Very well, that is what we say too; but we ask again, Is not faith necessary to receive blessings, or the “bread of the children,” then? If so, why do you say that to say so is but “hiding deceit?” And is your deceit not quite obvious, since you claim to be a minister of the gospel, and deny it like this? You say, “that to claim the continuance of miracles proves disbelief, hardness of heart, and the faithlessness of evil men.” And yet, you prove us such, yes, “Satanists” because not even our shadow, our clothes, &c, do miracles in the markets of Merthyr, and every time you wish, and all that to prove to yourself that we are what you already say we are! Have you not assured the world for years that we are devilish men, &c.? You must be doubting yourself, Sir! Would you believe that we are servants of God after seeing a miracle? If you would, that would prove that you are not a servant of God now. Who has seen a servant of God requesting a sign from those whom he calls servants of the devil? Admitting that they do miracles too, and in the same admission saying that these are “the extremes of presumption, that the devil cannot make a man more devilish and hellish” than that? Are you not like unto old Saul in this? And we fear that your answer and your end would be like unto his.
On page 18, Mr. Davies asserts that previously miracles were done to strengthen Christianity, and that to claim their continuation throws scorn at those early ones. One knows not whether it is William, or Richard, or Davies, who claims this; for one of them, a while back, claimed they were “for the edifying of the church;” and as a result, the recipients of the miracles had believed and obeyed the gospel, before they could be in the church. After that, we hear someone claiming that the object of a miracle was to prove the mission of the people. All right, Mr. Davies, there you are in your own trap again, for no reasonable person will believe that you have a mission, unless you prove that through your miracles! Is that not fair enough for you, Sir? And are you not willing to be weighed in your own scales? Well, do not profess to be sent from God then until you do some small miracle on the streets of Dowlais, or Merthyr’s markets; yes, if it were only to drink a glass of poison, as you sought for W. Henshaw to do. If you were a servant of God, according to your own reasoning, you should have healed “Little Maggie” as you call her: you had plenty of time, and she followed your sect for about forty years, and you a servant of God, never having administered a blessing of health to her, nor even prayed for her to be healed; since that would be to pray for a miracle, to be sure. You try to get people to believe that you are sent to preach, whilst mocking and abolishing the ordinances that those sent by God administered in the early ages, do you; and not as much as one miracle to prove that either! You should retract your assertions, or the missionary speech that you made, recently; for how can your missionaries strengthen your gospel amongst the pagans, without showing miraculous proofs of their mission, any more than the apostles could? Do you expect the pagans to leave the religions of their forefathers, for which they gave their lives, through nothing but the assertions of some stranger from a far land? How shall you offer them the New Testament as a rule, when it testifies against you, promising the gifts of the Holy Ghost to those who believe it, while you deny them? Are things like this not vain work? But, for the Saints, they do not need to prove their mission, for they preach the gospel that Christ and his apostles preached, according to the scriptures; and so our God proves our mission indisputable by imparting the spiritual gifts, &c, according to his promise, for the edifying of the saints. But yet, I would wish to know who sent you to preach some other gospel, not founded on the Bible.
Next, he says—“To claim the continuation of miracles wrecks and destroys miraculous proof forever, by making them common things.” There’s the end of it, now! If so, Elias’s miracles destroyed the former ones of Moses; the later miracles belittled those others that had been done. By following this reasoning, we gather that the greatest miracle was the first ever done! And that the first miracle of Christ was the greatest he did, and the others continually becoming lesser, according to their abundance! Who admitted that the last miracle that he did, namely the resurrection of Jesus Christ, was the greatest? According to Mr. Davies, Christ would have proved his mission by not doing any miracles, lest he belittle the miracles of former ages, which had been common for four thousand years, more or less. It is a pity that the apostles did so many powerful miracles in the name of Jesus when, according to Mr. Davies, there is a tendency in each one of them to belittle those which he himself did, by making them common things. What a strange way God had—belittling instead of glorifying the name of his Son Jesus! Let the world and your friends judge whether you are in your senses! Would it not be the same for you to assert that the fruit which grew on such a tree was an apple in ages gone-by, but that since it is common by now, it is not an apple? Behold an example of Mr. Davies’s syntactical logic, and we leave the reader to ponder it. “To ask why miracles do not occur daily, is to ask, Why do miracles not cease to be miracles!!”
[To be continued.]
The Joint Stock Company
WE are very happy to inform the well-wishers of this excellent Company of its remarkable success already. All the shares that may be sold (that is, ten thousand) have been taken up, and there is demand for several thousand more. The board of directors intends, when Parliament next convenes, to increase the number of shares to twenty thousand, at a pound apiece, as before. The rules allow the members a reasonable time to pay for their shares, but everyone is requested to endeavor to pay the total as soon as they can, and the sooner the better for their own sakes.
Perhaps a few remarks on the nature and aims of this Company would not come amiss with our readers, insofar as some have mistaken its aims. It is true that our critics are ready to find fault when we say a word about anything relating to money. There is no cause for surprise here either, when they are so eager to prophesy evil for everything we do. They have been talking a lot in America about our sharing our possessions in general, and that those who join our church are expected to give their possessions to the Company, &c. But we solemnly testify that these are complete lies. Our church does not demand or condone anything of the sort, and not one example can be found of any of us having done that in any part of the world; rather, on the contrary, everyone retains every right over his own property, under every circumstance, as before, in this country, and in America too; and everyone has greater free will to contribute to the poor, and every other good cause, with us, than is allowed with any denomination we know. Our leaders in America were so far from taking the property of others, that they received nothing for their sustenance from the church, but each one worked with his own hands, or did business, like other men, for his living; even Joseph Smith was like this too. That business of holding all things in common belongs to the Owenites, and the Shaking Quakers, but never to us.
Some think that this Joint Stock Company is linked to our church. But that is a mistake too; for it has no links of any sort with the church, as can be seen when one considers that the Company has been regulated according to the laws of Britain, officially registered in Chancery according to an Act of Parliament, like other mercantile societies, and has established for itself officials, and a board of directors, who are bound in surety to do justice to every member, according to the law of the land; and each one can be protected by that law, so that they cannot do an injustice to any of the members. And apart from that, some thousands of shares have been bought by gentlemen who are not in our church.
This is not an emigration Company either, as others suppose, to help them to cross the sea when they wish. But one of the aims of this Company is to do business with the capital, so that the members may have the gains as interest for their money. Through unity we are enabled to do this much more profitably than in any other way; yet, the presidents of the Company are men tried and tested in the church for years. Another aim the Company has in mind is, while bringing profit to the members, to assist in providing the means of transporting the Saints who wish to go across. Another aim is to do business with those who have already gone across to California. It is intended to send the new and excellent ship, “Zion’s Hope,” at the Company’s expense, with a cargo of all sorts of commercial and artistic goods, from Liverpool to California, in November, to meet our exiled brethren, so that they may till the soil in that wonderful land, and raise food for themselves, and for those who come there to join them. It is intended to carry on all sorts of industry there, which are thought profitable to the Company; and the ships will bring the produce back to England, and other places.
Perhaps the poor man is ready to ask, What advantages can such a Company bring him? We reply, many, in many ways. First, by enabling him to gather with the children of God at the place where God promised them deliverance, when he pours down his plagues and his judgments on the ungodly who live in great Babylon. How then, says the member again, at the cost of our Company? No, friend; not at anyone’s expense but his own, and that by paying the cost of his transport to the Company, perhaps, after arriving over there, which a man with a large family cannot easily do in this country, where the wages are low, and food costs are high. I do not think any of the Saints would wish to leave a brother or sister behind under God’s vengeance in the midst of their enemies, because of their poverty; yet, what will they do, unless God arranges some means of deliverance? Well, God has already opened up the way before them through this beneficent Company, if only they do what they can, and that will be to the Company’s advantage too.
If some of the poor Saints were to go to some of those merchants who have grown rich on the Saints’ money, and ask them to help them to go across on their ships, what would they be told, I wonder? I should expect to hear them either laughing at them, or saying they were deranged. From this, then, can be seen the usefulness of this Company in this matter; and let even the poor make efforts in its favor, for their temporal deliverance depends on its success.
This Company also appears very useful to the Saints too, considering it enables them, through their cooperation, to have shops, manufactories, and everything they will need in their own midst there, rather than continuing, as they have through the years, to give wealth to strangers, who brought their expensive goods into their midst, and after getting their money turned into cruel, persecuting betrayers of them. The Saints in Missouri, and in Illinois, have been under great disadvantages because of such things, and it is time now for them to enjoy the fruits of their hard labor among themselves, and help each other in that country, since there are in their midst men able in every business, and eager to benefit everyone, especially the family of faith.
The Saints see their duty and their privilege to pay for their shares as soon as possible, considering the great cost of buying a new ship, preparing it and its cargo of the merchandise most suitable and most profitable in those parts of South America they will call at on the way, so that they need only be told that it is intended to pay for this ship between now and next Christmas.
The presidents of the various areas in Wales should hold their meetings to that effect as regularly as they can, and send what is paid to the Treasurer, W. Phillips, Merthyr, as soon as possible after each meeting, so that he can send it all together to the chief treasurer in Liverpool without delay.
Every member should take care to get a ticket from the secretary, showing what he pays to the treasurer, and they should be kept carefully until they have finished paying their contribution, and receive a deed of their share or shares, in accordance with the law of the country, as when land, or some other property, is bought, which they can sell to someone else if they wish. It would be very desirable for everyone to endeavor to pay for his shares before emigrating to America, and obtain his deeds too, and afterwards their place of residence does not affect their association with the Company in any way, except to know where they will be.
The secretaries and all the treasurers, as well as the members, are expected to keep their accounts carefully and clearly; because the presidents and the committee must take a copy of all their accounts, how much money they have received, have paid, and in what manner, together with an accurate description of the Company’s situation, to every annual meeting at the Chancery, where no accounts are accepted except those which agree with the tickets, signed by the various officials: and although we do not receive, pay, or handle one penny of the Company’s money in any shape or form, yet we would wish to see the officials doing everything correctly, so that there be no misunderstanding in relation to the Company, but that it may succeed in winning the trust and the support it deserves from everyone.
N.B. There are more of the printed receipts available from William Phillips, Merthyr. Copies of the Deed of Settlement can be obtained too, in English, for 4c. each.
American Mission to Britain
THE Saints will be happy to hear of the coming of three of the twelve Apostles, namely Orson Hyde, Parley P. Pratt, and John Taylor, to England once more. They are in full health, and enveloped in the fiery spirit of their high office. It will be a greater joy, I should think, especially to the Welsh, to hear that the last two have promised to pay a visit to their brothers and sisters in Wales before long; perhaps they will come to Merthyr before next Christmas, but information will be given later. These faithful brethren left their wives and their children, and all they possessed, in the Saints’ main encampment in the desert, and they have returned through many dangers and difficulties on land and sea, to serve the church in Britain; and to publicize and organize important matters, on which the success, unity, perfection, and salvation of all the Saints depend, to a great extent. Their self-denial, their faithfulness, and their incomparable diligence, are clear witnesses to their love for the Saints, and their great desire to benefit them. There is no need to indicate that the costs of these brethren have been, and continue to be, very high, for that can be clearly seen. We should also like the Saints to understand that these are men who live, and come from the depths of the far west at their own expense. There is no toll, or tax, or any other way to pay the expenses, except what the Saints contribute of their free will. We have witnessed that these people over the years work with their hands to support themselves and their families, sacrificing what they could of their time to the work of the ministry, and they have most recently been deprived of all they possessed because of their religion; but, despite everything, it can be seen that they are determined, like good shepherds, to feed the flock with the honest milk of the word—yes, to lay down their lives for the flock of their Great Shepherd, rather than leave them as prey for the wolves. We hope, then, that the Saints in Wales will show they are worthy of the service of such men, by preparing to contribute from their means, as much as they can, according to how God has prospered them, to pay the costs and provide for the needs of these brethren, when they come into our midst. We believe that we need only remind the Saints of this, that their eyes will immediately be opened, to see the necessity for it—our duty to do what we can for them, and the great privilege of being able to contribute to those whom we very well know to be servants of the living God, missionaries of peace, emissaries of the King to gather his children to “the wedding feast of the Lamb,” in order to inherit blessedness, elevation, and eternal glory, when the kingdom of God comes in its essential might and magnificence. Let no one think it too much, then, to contribute from his worldly goods to those who bring him the fulness of the blessings of the gospel of peace. These brethren left the Saints’ encampment amid the Indians, near Council Bluffs, beyond the frontiers of the white people, by some hundreds of miles. They are camping there for the winter. They live in tents, collect hay for their animals, and hunt food for themselves for the winter, such as the meat of wild oxen, deer (elk), &c. They have in the camp over fifty thousand horned animals, apart from horses, mules, sheep, &c. We are pleased to hear that all the Indians are very hospitable to them—the chiefs of every tribe they have seen have allowed them complete freedom to possess and live peacefully in the place they choose of their territories, without any money or payment at all. What a lesson! What an example of the humanity and the tenderness of feeling of the pagans of the woods, to those inhuman Christians who robbed the Saints of their land, from one state to the next, for almost twenty years, yes, after they had bought it and paid their money to the government for it!! No wonder that the Indians refuse those religions that cause such unjust effects as this. Oh, Sectarianism, when will you be satisfied with bleeding prey? But my soul rises from the scene; a sweeter tale is that of the children of the desolate woods, who have not heard the voice of the turtle dove of Heaven, but only the voice of the eagle and the owl, who have not crossed the path of a missionary, apart from the steps of the bear and the fox. The Indians provide the Saints with free wood, and wish them to stay in their midst to instruct them in art, agriculture, &c. The Saints are putting crops in the ground in readiness for the coming of the second encampment there who will benefit from them. They intended to take up their tents and journey on at the beginning of the summer, when grass grew for the animals, and these three brethren intend to return there to start with them at that time. We hope everyone will make every effort to make contributions to the above brethren, in order to assist those poor creatures who are hunting their daily food in the woods, depending on Providence for their daily ration, as they go on. Their expectations lie with us who are in plenty at present, and their pitiful situation deserves our help; there is an opportunity now, and it may be the last opportunity, to send to them, as they will be beyond the Rocky Mountains the next summer. Donating to them is lending to Him who owns the earth and its fulness, and he will repay an hundredfold: he says too, “Inasmuch as ye have given to these my brethren, verily ye have done it unto me.” We intend to hold a conference in Merthyr, when the aforementioned brethren come over, and there will be an opportunity then to make contributions to them. But P. P. Pratt and J. Taylor have asked us to receive for them that which is donated beforehand, and as their stay will only be short, and many important matters will take time then, it is better for everyone to send what they can to us in advance, and they will have a receipt for it. Dear brothers and sisters, there has not been such a call as this upon you before, and it is not likely there will be again; so strive for once to help them now, and they will pay it back, by preparing places to receive us to their eternal dwelling places there, when no other city of refuge will be available to shelter from the enemy’s wrath, plagues, diseases, wars, the tumult of nations, and all the dreadful judgments which the Lord of the whole earth intends to pour down in his wrath on all the unrepentant and persecuting inhabitants of Babylon the great, “the Mother of harlots of the earth,” together with all her family. Great and sudden will be her destruction. “The destroyer of the Gentiles” will brandish his shaken sword, great and strong, in his own hand, until all those of honest principle have escaped from the midst of her, so that they do not receive her plagues. Verily, I say unto you, this age and this generation shall not pass, until he completes his work, his strange and wondrous work; he will cut it short and make it short in righteousness. Let the Saints remember this, then, that here we have no continuing city; for on mount Zion, and in Jerusalem only, will there be temporal and eternal deliverance.
ON Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, the 17th, 18th, and 19th of October, a general Conference was held in this town, on which occasion we had the great pleasure of meeting many of our dear brethren from America, having had the company of some for years, and the honor of working with several of them in our Lord’s vineyard in the far west, under much opposition. Great joy filled our bosoms at meeting again, to do battle in this country under the banner of the same King. These brethren have received their endowment in the temple of God in Nauvoo before leaving, and are now on a mission to Britain. In their midst are three of the apostles, Orson Hyde, P. P. Pratt, and John Taylor.
On Saturday, at ten, O. Hyde was approved as president for the entire conference, and with his usual warmth and eloquence he began by setting down the important matters of the conference, and showing the importance of the wonderful work in hand, and rejoicing greatly at his return to the vineyard he had been instrumental in beginning to plant. When he, and two or three of his brethren, had come here from America, about six years ago, no one here had heard a word of this gospel; but now, to his surprise, he saw himself surrounded by loving Saints in their thousands, who know now that their testimony was true in the beginning—namely, that God had sent them there to preach his eternal gospel. This faithful brother thanked God, that he had been able to come once again into our midst, and wished God to bless each of us according to his need, and keep us faithful to the end.
He was followed by P. P. Pratt, who said that the beautiful scene before him took his mind back to the establishment of the church here—the opposition he had had here: the smiling faces reminded him of remarkable scenes he had seen in this country, in America, and on his journey to the western desert; and when he found himself in their midst, despite everything, his joy was greater than his feelings permitted him to express, but he testified soberly and solemnly to the truth of this great work, and urged all to renew themselves more and more to carry it on. He felt a greater desire to sit down, to gaze into the dear faces of his old brethren, than to address them now, and he finished by blessing everyone of every degree and station, from her gracious Majesty on her throne to the lowest of the human race. His heart was full of blessings, and nothing but blessings. Then he called on D. Jones to address the meeting, saying it would be a pleasure for him to hear once again the beloved voice that sounded in his ears years ago. He enlarged upon his faithfulness, and the affection he had for him a long time ago, when he fought alongside him in America.
Then D. Jones stood up, and described the scene and the present company as unexpected to him at the time, and almost too good to be true. He told of the first time he met Mr. Pratt, when he had the honor of conveying him together with his family, and nearly three hundred Saints who had come with him from England, up the Mississippi river, from St. Louis to Nauvoo, in his steamboat. He remembered well enough the teaching he had heard at the time; that that was the time his eyes were opened to see the disadvantageous situation of his brothers and sisters in Wales, and the first spark of zeal and desire was kindled in his bosom to visit his country, to offer them the divine light that had shone so brightly on his own eyes, and that he was never satisfied while he stayed there, but his zeal grew greater and greater, and his desire and his love for his country, until it became a passionate and inextinguishable flame. He was very grateful for the high honor of having such a mission, and offering this gospel which brings blessings to all, and nothing but blessings to all who believe it. He regretted nothing more than that he had not come sooner. He knew that it was God’s work he has in hand, and he was determined with God’s strength to go on to benefit his fellow-countrymen, by giving them the light of the gospel until the chains of prejudice were shattered, and they were made free, yes, sons and daughters of God. He was happy to announce that the gospel was having gradual and constant success everywhere it was preached in Wales; that they had baptized over a hundred and fifty in the last three months; that their present number in Wales was about nine hundred, and that there were hosts of others besides who believed. He announced that missionaries were preaching in almost every county in Wales, that he himself had traveled round every county in Wales but one, preaching every night, in the largest towns, last summer; and that crowds came to listen, and most of them amiable too, apart from the occasional old sectarian Pharisee, or pastor who was afraid of losing the fleece. He said he himself had published twelve treatises, explaining the principles, defending them, &c, in the past year-and-a-half, including over a million 12-fold pages, and that they had almost all been distributed throughout the country. He said he had high hopes for the conversion of many of his brothers and sisters of the same blood—that throngs were still coming into the vineyard of the Lord of hosts, and that he is determined to go on, come what may, even though it should cost him his life.—Then the morning meeting was closed with a prayer.
At two in the afternoon, brothers John Taylor and P. P. Pratt fervently addressed the large congregation on the resurrection, its manner and its order, and the way to ensure a part in it.
In the evening, the meeting was taken up mainly with matters pertaining to the Joint Stock Company. The president and others greatly supported, on several counts, the advisability of postponing its activities for the present time; it was impossible for it, under present circumstances, to succeed in answering the beneficial purposes of its establishment. Much was said for and against the proposal; but at the end of the meeting, it was decided unanimously not to proceed with it at present.
On Sunday, meetings were held in the Hall of Science, because the other was too small to hold the congregation.
The morning meeting, and much of the afternoon, were spent in arranging the affairs of the various conferences throughout Britain, appointing presidents for them, and in instruction on how to carry on the work more successfully; and the president greatly urged all of these presidents to branch out right and left, to widen their borders, by preaching only those things that start some in Christ, and he hoped they would have more of the spirit of their offices than ever, until the impressions of their counsels in this Conference, like showers of timely rain on a bed of flowers, spread their fragrance throughout Britain like the herbs of paradise, for the glory of God.
In the evening, brother John Taylor addressed the crowd in his warm and eloquent manner. He proved that it is through many obstacles that one must enter into the kingdom of God. He gave a comprehensive account of the main persecutions suffered by the church in America since he had joined it, and especially in Nauvoo, the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith in the prison, together with the subsequent exile of the Saints to the wilderness. He described their journey to the wilderness, full of difficulties, except that all the Saints were hopeful and determined, all united, and caring for, and helping each other, so that they did not feel, or have the time to think much about their own tribulations. They enjoyed excellent health, considering how many women and children were in their midst, who had never before been used to living and being in the woods, sleeping out in their tents at night, or being unable to have their food on time; but they had a comfort which the world knows not, to keep their minds above the raging waves of persecution and adversity. He noticed that the greater their distress, the greater their faith, their dedication, and their comfort. In the midst of it all they raised up their heads, knowing that the time of their deliverance was nigh. He had left his wife and children joyfully in the camp, in Council Bluffs, in Indian country, to come on this mission. He considered it a greater honor to have the office and the work he had, than anything the world could present to him; and he urged the Saints to be joyful and patient under all tribulations; saying that “after much waiting comes the blessing,” and that “in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” And we should think he had such an influence on the congregation that everyone there was willing to suffer everything for Christ and the gospel, yes, even if it cost them everything they had, and their lives too, relying on Christ’s promise—“Verily I say unto you, Every one that hath forsaken houses, or lands, or father, or mother, or any other thing, for my name’s sake and for the gospel, shall receive an hundredfold in this life, and shall inherit everlasting life in the world to come.” Mr. Taylor, like many of the Saints, could not only preach this doctrine, but also rejoice because he had given many examples of it, by renouncing all he owned, rather than the gospel. In four parts of America, there are houses and possessions that belonged to him, which were stolen from him without any sort of compensation for them ever. He said he considered his sacrifices still very small, considering to whom they were made. The Saints will remember that Mr. Taylor was with Mr. Smith in jail, when he and his brother were killed. He was hit by four bullets at the time, and yet all this does not dishearten him one bit, but rather encourages him to go on. The last time we had the honor of standing next to Mr. Taylor in front of a crowd was in Carthage jail, and we remember very well the subjects of our sermons, through the iron bars, to the mob that was seeking to take the life of J. and H. Smith. Yes, we continued to preach the conditions of peace to them there, until within a few hours of the time they were killed, and with God’s strength we shall continue to preach the same message until our own last hour, leaving the consequences in the hands of our Master. Mr. Taylor was followed by the president, with an important counsel to the preachers about how to fulfill their task, and to the members about how to live to the glory of God, and the meeting ended with prayer and singing. Then the pleasant crowd left with every appearance of great satisfaction.
Monday was again spent mainly on the business of the Joint Stock Company, and various matters of the presidents of the conference branches. And so ended this successful and beneficial conference, with the president giving his farewell address emotionally and very effectively, and praying to God for his blessing and his divine seal on our efforts, in order to build the kingdom of Emmanuel, and bring life and purity to light, until the world is filled with the light and knowledge of God, as the waters cover the sea—when there will be only one King reigning, and his name will be one, and everyone will worship him in joy and eternal glory.
The City of Nauvoo
THE American Sun announces that the City of Nauvoo continues to be disturbed. It appears that the most recent residents, namely those who immigrated here from the other states, and bought the possessions of the exiled Saints, have decided to defend themselves and their possessions from the inhuman attacks of the host of villains who continue to destroy and threaten to kill in those parts. The general public takes pity on the present inhabitants of Nauvoo, but the Saints were not treated so. But it can be seen now who was to blame before, since these rioters continue the same in their evil behavior. We hope the residents will defend the city, until the remainder of the Saints who are there have time to escape to the desert. The newspapers brought over by the ship the St. George, inform us that the anti-Mormons are a thousand fully-armed men, on their way to Nauvoo, on the 26th of last month, and that there is likely to be a battle. It was easy for authors to publish “Mormon War,” “Disturbance among the Mormons,” and ascribe every blame and trouble in that country to the Mormons, as they call them, throughout the years, as though they were the cause of it all. But now, when the characters of the one faction and the other appear in their true colors, it is not known under what glorious name they will publish the battles, the disturbance, the killing, and the burning, which continue there, after nearly all the Mormons have gone hundreds of miles from there.
A Call to Sinners
OH, SINNERS, turn! repent in time!
With sinning do not dwell nor chime;
Forgiveness seek—God will impart
To humble soul and sorry heart.
The price full-paid upon the tree,
Was paid by Heaven’s Anointed, see!
To clear transgressions small or dire,
To save you from impending fire.
If you obey, you’ll win God’s grace,
Eternal life by his Son’s face:
His blessing’s free, He’s keen that all
Mankind should hearken to his call.