Though at first there was some misunderstanding among the Saints, the Lord did not intend his Church should go to pieces because its leader had been taken away. The Church had been set up never to be thrown down or left to other people. The Gospel had been given to the earth “for the last time and for the fullness of times.” The Saints had a promise that the kingdom was theirs “and the enemy shall not overcome.” It would be a poor church, indeed, that would go to pieces every time its chief officer died. No; the Lord, through Joseph, had organized the Church so well that this could not be. There was a quorum in the Church that had been given all the power necessary to carry on the work of the Church in case the First Presidency was taken away. That quorum was the Twelve Apostles. Now that there was no First Presidency, it was the duty of the Twelve to preside and regulate the affairs of the Church until such time that there should be another president appointed. Brigham Young was the president of the Twelve, so in reality he was the leading man in the Church.
But now came Sidney Rigdon from Pittsburg. He wanted to be appointed the leader of the Church, or as he called it, a “guardian.” He, with some others, tried to have a meeting of the Saints before the Twelve could get home. This meeting was appointed for the 8th of August, 1844. On the 6th of August President Young and five of the Apostles arrived at Nauvoo.
The meeting was held at the grove, and Sidney Rigdon and some of the Twelve spoke. When Brigham Young arose to address the meeting, it seemed to the Saints that both in appearance and speech he was like the Prophet Joseph. This certainly was a sign to them. At this meeting Sidney Rigdon was rejected and the Twelve Apostles were upheld as the quorum to lead the Church.
Sidney Rigdon did not like this. He got a few followers and tried to organize another church. A number of others did the same, but all these movements did not amount to much. The Saints kept on under the direction of the Twelve, building the temple and other public edifices in Nauvoo.
The enemies of the Church were disappointed. They had thought that if they could get Joseph out of the way that would be the end of “Mormonism.” Of course they did not understand that “Mormonism” is the Lord’s work and does not depend for its success on one or two men. He can raise up any number of men to carry on his work, and now Brigham Young and his brethren were the men who could and would carry it on.
In May, 1845, some of the murderers of Joseph and Hyrum were tried, and by a jury pronounced innocent. This gave the mobbers more courage, and they gathered again. In the small settlements outside of Nauvoo many houses were burned and the inmates driven into the fields. These Saints were advised to move into Nauvoo for protection.