The following sections of this BookRags Literature Study Guide is offprint from Gale's For Students Series: Presenting Analysis, Context, and Criticism on Commonly Studied Works: Introduction, Author Biography, Plot Summary, Characters, Themes, Style, Historical Context, Critical Overview, Criticism and Critical Essays, Media Adaptations, Topics for Further Study, Compare & Contrast, What Do I Read Next?, For Further Study, and Sources.
(c)1998-2002; (c)2002 by Gale. Gale is an imprint of The Gale Group, Inc., a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. Gale and Design and Thomson Learning are trademarks used herein under license.
The following sections, if they exist, are offprint from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction: "Social Concerns", "Thematic Overview", "Techniques", "Literary Precedents", "Key Questions", "Related Titles", "Adaptations", "Related Web Sites". (c)1994-2005, by Walton Beacham.
The following sections, if they exist, are offprint from Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults: "About the Author", "Overview", "Setting", "Literary Qualities", "Social Sensitivity", "Topics for Discussion", "Ideas for Reports and Papers". (c)1994-2005, by Walton Beacham.
All other sections in this Literature Study Guide are owned and copyrighted by BookRags, Inc.
|Table of Contents|
|Start of eBook||1|
|To Parents and Teachers||1|
|A YOUNG FOLKS’ HISTORY||2|
|FIRST PRESIDENCIES OF THE CHURCH.||88|
|NAMES OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES.||89|
The First Vision
The Angel Moroni
The Sacred Plates
The Book of Mormon
The Three Witnesses
The Priesthood Restored
Organization of the Church
Persecution of Joseph
The Mission to the Indians
Removal to Ohio
The Land of Zion
Persecution in Jackson County
Expulsion from Jackson County
The Church at Kirtland
The Twelve Apostles—The Seventies—Kirtland Temple
The Mission to England
Haun’s Mill Massacre
Driven from Missouri
In Missouri Prisons
Expulsion from Illinois
The Battle of Nauvoo
The Mormon Battalion
Great Salt Lake City
Growth of Utah and the Church
The “Utah War”
The “Utah War” (Concluded)
The Presidency of Wilford Woodruff
The Presidency of Lorenzo Snow
The Presidency of Joseph F. Smith
First Presidencies of the Church
List of Twelve Apostles
Fayette and Kirtland
Missouri and Illinois
Routes of Mormon Battalion and Pioneers
Joseph Smith, the Prophet
Hyrum Smith the Patriarch
The Hill Cumorah
The Three Witnesses
President Brigham Young
The Kirtland Temple
President Heber C. Kimball
The Nauvoo House
The Nauvoo Mansion
A Pioneer Train
Salt Lake Valley in 1847
The Old Fort
Salt Lake Tabernacle (Interior)
Of the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints.
Once upon a time the owner of a very large garden planted therein a tree, the fruit of which was very precious and of great value to all who ate of it. For a time, the tree grew and bore much good fruit. But the owner of the garden had an enemy who went about secretly sowing seeds of weeds and all manner of briers and brush, that they might spread all over the garden and kill out the good tree which the master had planted. The enemy also persuaded many of the workmen in the garden to neglect the good tree, and let the briers and weeds grow up around it and so prevent its growth. Thus in time the once precious fruit of the good tree became wild and scrubby, no better than the enemy’s trees which grew around it.
Years passed, and the master, grieving that the precious fruit should have become so worthless, determined to plant the good tree once more in the garden. He did not try to clear away a spot for it amid the old, overgrown parts of the land, but he called upon certain workers to go to a distant part of the garden where nothing had been planted for a long time, and there prepare the ground for the planting of the tree.
These workers were faithful to their master and did as they were told. Very few of the enemy’s noxious weeds were growing in the new soil, so it was not such hard work to clear the ground and prepare a place for the master to plant his tree.
To be better protected against the enemy, the master told his workmen to build a high, strong wall about that part of the garden. This was all done; and then one beautiful spring day the owner came with his servants. They had with them the precious tree taken from some other garden where it had grown without hindrance from weeds. The tree was planted and put in charge of other servants to tend it. The warm sun shone on it, the rains came from heaven to water it, and the tree took firm root and grew.
Now all the boys and girls who read this book will understand that the little story I have just told is what is called a Parable, meant to make plainer some facts and truths. I can not tell you all about that tree here, how it grew and bore fruit, and how many people came and ate of its delicious fruit, notwithstanding the enemy came again and tried to check its growth. I say, I cannot tell it to you in the form of a parable, but will tell it as it actually happened. You may, if you like, imagine in your own minds the rest of the parable, but the real story you will find more interesting than any made-up tale can be.
First, let me explain to you the meaning of the parable.
The garden means the earth, and the owner is the Lord, who came to the earth about nineteen hundred years ago to die for the sins of the world. He also planted the good tree, that is, He brought the gospel and taught it to his followers. The enemy is the evil one, the devil, who stirred up men to work against the gospel and to kill those who obeyed it. He also mixed his lies with Christ’s truths, until in time the pure gospel was not to be found on the earth.
This was the condition of the world for hundreds of years. Then the Lord wished to restore the true gospel and again establish his Church on the earth. He therefore chose a place where all would have the right to believe the truth and be protected in that liberty. The Lord, therefore, moved upon Columbus to discover this land of America.
The servants spoken of, whom the Lord sent to prepare the land for the planting, were all those great and good men whom you have read about in your American history: Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, and many others. You will remember how these men loved right and liberty, and how they worked so hard for it; and in reading the history of these men we can plainly see that the Lord was with them and helped them. These men built the high wall, which means that they made just laws that would protect the people and let them worship God in any way they thought right.
Thus was the way prepared for the gospel to be restored again to the earth; and the Lord himself came from heaven, also his servants Moroni, Peter, James, and John to bring the glad tidings to all who live on the earth.
Then the Lord called some more servants to preach the gospel to the world and build up his Church. The first and greatest of these servants is known by the name of Joseph Smith, the Prophet. How the Lord called him to this great work and delivered to him the gospel will be told you in the next chapter.
Topics.—1. The Parable. 2. Explanation.
Questions and Review.—1. Name some of Christ’s first disciples. 2: Tell how some of them were killed. 3. How long was the world without the gospel? 4. Tell how Columbus discovered America. 5. Who were the Pilgrims? 6. What was the Revolutionary war about? 7. What is the Constitution of the United States? 8. Find out what it says about religious liberty. 9. Why is America the “Land of liberty?”
The first vision.
At the time when Thomas Jefferson was president of the United States, there was born among the Green Mountains of Vermont a boy who was to become the great prophet of the last days. The hills and valleys of Vermont look beautiful in the summer, but at the time here spoken of they were no doubt covered with snow, for it was the 23rd of December, 1805, in the town of Sharon, Windsor county, that Joseph Smith first saw the light of the world.
Joseph was named after his father, whose name was Joseph. His mother’s maiden name was Lucy Mack. Joseph had five brothers and three sisters whose names were Alvin, Hyrum, (then Joseph), Samuel, William, Don Carlos, Sophronia, Catherine and Lucy; so you see that there was a large family for the father and mother to take care of. Joseph’s parents were poor and had to work hard for a living, so when the boys were old enough they had to help on the farm; this they willingly, did. For this reason Joseph did not go to school much, but he learned to read, to write fairly well, and to work some examples in arithmetic. Though Joseph did not get much of an education at school, yet he was a great student; and then God became his teacher, so that before he died, as you will see, he became one of the most learned men in the world.
When Joseph was ten years old they all moved from Vermont to Palmyra, in the western part of the state of New York. Four years later they moved again to the small town of Manchester, in Ontario, now Wayne County, New York.
While the family was living at Manchester there arose a great religious excitement all through the country. The different religious sects held many meetings and tried to get people to join them. Joseph was now in his fifteenth year and he also became interested, as his parents had always taught him to believe in God and the Bible. Joseph thought he would like to join the true church of Christ, but what troubled him was to know which of all these sects was the true church. He could see that all of them could not be true, as God surely would not have a great many churches, one striving against the other; also, no doubt, he had read in the Bible that there was but “one Lord, one faith, one baptism,” etc., which the Lord accepted. Joseph went first to one meeting, then to another. His mother and some of his brothers and sisters had joined the Presbyterians, but Joseph could not make up his mind what to do.
But there is a way by which anyone may find out which is the true church and therefore which to join, and every boy and girl that reads this book should remember it. It is this: Ask God. Joseph did not know this until one day while reading in his Testament he came to the fifth verse in the first chapter of James, which reads as follows:
“If any of you lack
wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all
men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
This was just the thing. God had surely led him to read that verse. Joseph certainly lacked wisdom, and here was a way to find out what he wanted to know about the sects. The Lord would tell him. All he had to do was to ask. How simple it was!
On a beautiful morning in the spring of the year 1820, Joseph decided to ask the Lord for wisdom. He went out into a grove near his father’s house, and after looking around to make sure that he was alone, he kneeled down on the grass under the trees and began to pray. No sooner had he begun than some awful power which he could not see took hold of him and made it nearly impossible for him to speak. It soon became dark around the boy, and Joseph thought the unseen power would kill him; but he struggled hard and tried to pray to God for help.
Just at that moment Joseph saw a great light coming down from above, and then the evil power left him. The light was brighter than the sun, and as it came down and touched the tops of the trees, Joseph wondered why it did not burn them. Then it shone all around him, and in the light, standing in the air above him, he saw two persons who looked like men, only they were shining with a glory that can not be described. One of them, pointing to the other, said to the boy:
“Joseph, this is my Beloved Son; hear him.”
Joseph then asked which of all the religions was right, and great was his surprise when he was told that none was right; that they all had gone astray from the truth; and that he must join none of them. Joseph was told many other things, among which was that some day the true gospel would be made known to him. Then they left him alone in the woods.
What a wonderful thing! God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ had actually come to Joseph. He had seen them and they had spoken to him. That same Jesus of whom he had read in his Bible had come from heaven and his Father had come with him to introduce him to the boy praying in the woods!
This was the first vision and the beginning of the gospel in our day; and by thinking carefully about this vision, we may see that it teaches us many things. First, that God has a body like unto man’s. Second, that the Father and the Son are two persons, not one, as many in the world believe. Third, that the many religions which man has made are not accepted by God. Fourth, that God has not ceased to give revelations to men on the earth.
Topics.—1. Joseph’s Boyhood. 2. The Vision. 3. What may be learned from the vision.
Questions and Review.—1. When and where was Joseph Smith born? 2. To what places did Joseph move? 3. What led Joseph to ask God for wisdom? 4. Repeat James I:5. 5. Why can not all the sects in the world be right? 6. Did the Father and the Son come to Joseph solely because of this prayer? 7. Why did the evil one try to destroy Joseph? 8. What may we learn from this vision?
The angel Moroni.
When Joseph told of his vision to some of his friends he was surprised to find that they did not believe him, but made fun of what he said. The strangest thing to the boy was that the preachers of religion, instead of being glad at such glorious news, told him it was from the devil, and that God did not give any more revelations from heaven. All such things had ceased with the apostles of old, they said. Another strange thing was that these preachers began to tell untruths about him, and seemed to hate him for what he told. Still Joseph would not deny his story. “I have actually seen a vision,” he said again and again. “I know it, and I know that God knows it, and I dare not deny it.”
So three years went by.
On the evening of September 21, 1823, after Joseph had retired to his room, he prayed earnestly that the Lord would forgive him his sins and show him if he was yet accepted of him. While he was yet praying a very bright light came into the room, and immediately a person stood in the air by his bedside. As this person was an angel—a being who had died and had been resurrected with an immortal body—it is interesting to know how he looked.
Joseph describes him as a man having on a robe whiter than anything he had ever seen. His hands were naked, and his arms also, a little above the wrists. His feet were also bare a little above the ankles. His head and neck were also bare. Not only was his robe very white but his whole person shone with great glory. The room was very light, but not so bright as close around the angel’s person.
The angel called Joseph by name, and said that he was a messenger sent from God to him, and that his name was Moroni. He told Joseph that God had a work for him to do, and because of this work, good and evil would be spoken about his name in all nations. The angel then told him of a record written on gold plates which were hidden in a hill not far away. This record was a history of the peoples who had lived on this continent, of whom the Indians were a part. With the plates was an instrument called the Urim and Thummim, which God had prepared for the translating of the records. After a time these things would be given to Joseph, but he must take great care of them and show them to no one except those to whom the Lord would direct. Then Moroni showed Joseph, by a vision, the place, where the plates were hidden.
After giving much other instruction, the light in the room began to gather in towards the person of the angel, leaving the room again in darkness, except just around the heavenly visitor, who soon disappeared in a shining path into heaven.
Three times that same night Moroni visited Joseph and told him nearly the same things over again. About the plates Joseph was further told that he would be tempted to get them for the purpose of getting rich, as the plates were of great value; but he must not yield to that spirit as they were sacred, and he must have no other purpose in view than to do the will of God and build up his kingdom; otherwise he would not get them. At the close of the third visit it was morning, and then Joseph knew that he had been talking with the angel nearly all the night.
That morning Joseph went as usual with his father to work in the field, but he was so weak that he could do but little. His father, seeing this, told him to go home.
On the way, as he was climbing over a fence, Joseph fell helpless to the ground. After that the first thing he knew was that some one was calling him by name. Looking up he again saw the angel Moroni, who once more told him all that he had related the night before. He then told Joseph to go back to the field and tell his father of the vision and the commandments which he had received.
Joseph obeyed at once, and went back and told all he had seen and heard. His father believed all he said, and told Joseph to obey the angel, as the teachings and commandments were surely from the Lord.
Topics.—1. Beginning of persecution. 2. Visit of the angel Moroni. 3. What Moroni told Joseph.
Questions and Review.—1. What did people say of Joseph’s first vision? 2. Why did people persecute a young boy like Joseph? 3. Name the date of Moroni’s visit. 4. What is an angel? (See Doc. and Cov. Sec. 129, also Key to Theology, Chap. 12.) 5. Describe the Angel Moroni. 6. Why did the angel repeat so often his instructions to Joseph? 7. How old was Joseph at this time?
The sacred plates.
About two miles south of Joseph’s home, in Manchester, is a large hill, the highest in that part of the country. To this place Joseph went on the morning after the angel’s visit, as this was the spot he had seen in his vision. On the west side of this hill, not far from the top, Joseph found a large, rounded stone, nearly covered with earth. Prying this up, he found it to be the lid of a stone box which was buried in the earth. Raising the lid, he looked in, and there indeed were the sacred treasures about which the angel had told him. As he stood looking at them in wonder, the angel Moroni came to his side, and Joseph was taught many things about the future. He was shown in a vision the glory of the good and the darkness of the evil.
[Illustration: The hill Cumorah.]
Joseph was about to take the plates from the box, when the angel forbade him, telling him the time had not yet arrived, but that he should come to the hill in one year from that date when the angel would meet him. This he must do for four years, at the end of which time, if Joseph was faithful, the plates would be given to him to translate and publish to the world.
True to the angel’s instructions, Joseph went to the hill Cumorah on the 22nd day of September of each year, at which time Moroni appeared to him and gave him many teachings about the word of God.
During all this time Joseph had to labor hard on the farm, sometimes hiring out to work for others. In October, 1825, he worked for a man by the name of Josiah Stoal, who took Joseph to the State of Pennsylvania, and set him with other men, digging for a silver mine which he thought he could find. After working at it for some time, Joseph persuaded his employer to give it up. It was from this incident that Joseph’s enemies sometimes called him a “money digger.”
While working for Mr. Stoal, Joseph boarded for some time with the family of Isaac Hale. Here he met Emma Hale who became his wife, they being married in the year 1827.
The four years were now passed. On the 22nd of September, 1827, Joseph went on his fifth visit to the sacred hill, and on that day the angel Moroni delivered to him the plates and the Urim and Thummim. He was told to take good care of them as evil men would try to take them from him; but if he, Joseph, would do all he could to preserve them, the Lord would come to his assistance when it would be needed.
The records which Joseph received consisted of a great many gold plates nearly as thick as common tin. They were about seven by eight inches in size, and were bound together by three rings running through holes, in the edges of the plates. This made the plates like a book, so that they might be turned as the leaves of a book are turned. On each side of every plate were engraved beautiful letters, in a language which Joseph could not read. The book was about six inches thick. A part of it was sealed, and Joseph was told not to open it, as the time had not yet come for that part to be made known to the world.
The Urim and Thummim consisted of two transparent stones, clear as crystal, set in two rims of a bow. It was used in ancient times by the seers, and through it they received revelations of things past and future. You may read about this instrument in the Bible, in Exodus, 28: 30; and Ezra 2: 63.
As soon as it was known that Joseph had the plates, many evil-minded persons tried to get them from him, and he had to hide them in different places to keep them safe. Mobs began to surround his house, men tried to catch him on the roads or in the fields, and he was even shot at a number of times. Joseph now saw how timely the angel’s warning was.
Living thus in constant fear, Joseph could not do anything towards translating the records; so he moved, with his wife, to her old home in Pennsylvania. While on the way an officer overtook him and searched his wagon for the plates, but could not find them. They were there, however, safely hidden in a barrel of beans.
Arriving in Harmony, where his father-in-law lived, Joseph began to translate some of the writings on the plates. As Joseph was a slow writer he did not make much progress, and so he asked the Lord to send someone to help him. In answer to this request a man by the name of Martin Harris came to him from Palmyra, New York. Now the work went better. Martin wrote while Joseph translated.
They had translated one hundred and sixteen written pages, when Martin asked Joseph to let him take the writings and show them to some of his friends. Joseph asked the Lord about it, and the answer was that he must not; but Martin kept on teasing Joseph till at last the Lord permitted him to show them to certain persons. But Martin showed them to others, and the writings were lost. The Lord was displeased at this, and told Joseph not to translate the same over again, but to write from another part of the plates which told about the same events. However, the Urim and Thummim was taken from Joseph for a short time, and when he received it again, his wife Emma wrote a little for him.
Now the Lord sent another helper to Joseph. He was a young school teacher, named Oliver Cowdery, and these two men worked hard at the translation. You will remember that Joseph was poor, and it seemed they would have to stop translating and find other work whereby to earn means to live. They were now also again annoyed by evil men and mobs.
In the midst of this trouble the Lord sent aid again. A man named Joseph Knight came to them with provisions, and soon after Joseph was visited by a young man named David Whitmer, who came to invite them to his father’s house in Fayette, Seneca county, New York. This invitation was gladly accepted, and Joseph and Oliver went back with him.
At the Whitmers’ they lived and labored in peace until the work was completed. David, John, and Peter, sons of Peter Whitmer, Sen., helped all they could, and soon the book was ready to be printed. Martin Harris also helped Joseph in getting out the work. The first edition of five thousand copies was printed in Palmyra, in 1830. Since then the book has been printed in many languages and read by many thousands of people. It is called the book of Mormon. The next chapter will tell you why it is so called, and a little of what it contains.
Topics.—1. Joseph’s visits to Cumorah. 2. Joseph in Pennsylvania. 3. Description of the plates and Urim and Thummim. 4. The translation.
Questions and Review.—1. Where is the hill Cumorah? 2. What did Joseph find there? 3. Why did not Joseph carry away the plates the first time? 4. How many visits did he make to Cumorah? 5. Where did Joseph go to work? 6. Whom did he marry? 7. When did Joseph get the plates? 8. Describe the plates. 9. What was the Urim and Thummim? 10. Who first helped Joseph to translate? 11. Who was Oliver Cowdery? 12. What help did the Whitmers give Joseph? 13. When was the Book of Mormon published?
The book of Mormon.
You will all be interested in knowing what was written on the plates which the prophet Joseph Smith received from the angel Moroni, so in this chapter I will tell you very briefly. Some time you will want to read the whole book, which of course is the better way.
You have read in your histories and geographies that ruins of great cities have been found in many places in America, showing that at one time there were people here more civilized than the Indians. The writings on these plates told the history of these peoples.
Six hundred years before Christ was born, there lived in the city of Jerusalem a prophet by the name of Lehi. He had at that time four sons, Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi. The Lord told Lehi that because of the wickedness of the city, it would soon be destroyed, and if he wished to be saved he must take his family and travel into the wilderness. This Lehi did. They went south-eastward until they got to the sea where they built a ship in which to cross to a promised land. While camping in the wilderness Lehi sent his sons back to Jerusalem to get some records of their forefathers, and it was through the faithfulness of Nephi that this was done.
After many days of sailing, they at last landed on the west coast of South America in what is now called Chili.
The two older boys, Laman and Lemuel were often disobedient to their father, and many times they brought trouble to the little company. They also treated their younger brother, Nephi, badly because he would not agree with them but tried to do as his father told him.
When Lehi died, Nephi was chosen their leader, but soon Laman and Lemuel became dissatisfied and again began making trouble. The Lord then told Nephi to take all who would listen to him and leave the other brothers and those who upheld them in their evil deeds.
In this way there became two peoples in the land. Those who went with Nephi were called Nephites, and those who remained with Laman became Lamanites. The Nephites built houses, planted fields, and lived as civilized people, and the Lord often revealed his will to them through prophets and holy men. The Lamanites became lazy, lived in tents in the forests, and killed wild animals for their food. Their skins also became dark.
The greater part of the Book of Mormon is about these two peoples, their wars with each other, etc. The Nephites ought to have remained a good people, because the Lord blessed them so much: yet they often did wrong. The Lord would prosper them until they became rich; then they would become proud and at last wicked. Then the Lord would allow the Lamanites to come upon them, and there would be bloody wars. So the story goes for hundreds of years.
Both nations became very large and occupied the greater part of North and South America.
At times the Lord would raise up prophets who would preach to the wicked. Usually these teachers were Nephites, but sometimes they were Lamanites. Sometimes great numbers of Lamanites were converted to the Lord, and when they once accepted the truth, they did not fall away so easily as their Nephite brethren. At one time two thousand young men whose parents were converted Lamanites did valiant service for their country and their religion. There isn’t room to tell you about the story here; but you may read about it in the Book of Mormon, beginning with the 53rd chapter of Alma.
When Nephi separated from his brethren, he went north and settled in a place they called the Land of Nephi; but after a time the Lamanites again annoyed them so much that the Lord told Mosiah, who was their leader then to take the more faithful part of the people and again go northward. This they did, and found a city called Zarahemla which had been built by a people who had also come from Jerusalem at the time that city was destroyed. The Nephites joined with the people of Zarahemla, and for a long time this city was the capital of the Nephite people.
In time the Lamanites occupied all of South America except a small part in the north, on which the Nephites lived. The Nephites’ land also extended far up into North America.
A little over six hundred years after Lehi landed on this continent, Jesus appeared unto some of the righteous. Before this, however, there had been a great storm all over the land, and many of the wicked had been destroyed. Jesus had been crucified at Jerusalem, had risen from the dead, and now he came to the Nephites with his resurrected body. He taught them the same gospel that he had taught in Palestine and chose twelve disciples to preach and build up his church. For nearly two hundred years the people all belonged to the Church of Christ, and peace was over all the land. Then they became wicked again. The Lamanites kept driving the Nephites further north, until they reached what is now the United States. Around a hill in the western part of the State of New York, then called Cumorah, what was left of the Nephites gathered for the last struggle. The Lamanites met them, and there was a great battle in which all but a very few of the Nephites were killed. Thus ended the Nephite nation, not quite four hundred years after Christ, and the Lamanites or Indians have lived here ever since.
During all this time the Lord had some good men keep a record of what happened among the people. In those days they did not write on paper, so these histories were recorded on plates of metal. These plates were handed from one man to another, until about the time of the last great battle, a prophet by the name of Mormon had all the records. He wrote a short account from them called an abridgment. What he took from each man’s record he called after the writer’s name, as the Book of Alma, Book of Helaman, etc., which we might call names of chapters in Mormon’s book. Mormon gave all his writings to his son Moroni, who wrote a little more on the plates. Moroni also made a short account of another people who had lived in America before the Nephites. They were called the Jaredites. Their history is told in the Book of Ether.
After Moroni had seen his people destroyed he hid all the records in the hill Cumorah.
Topics.—1. What history and geography prove regarding the Book of Mormon. 2. The Lamanites. 3. The Nephites. 4. Mormon. 5. Moroni.
Questions and Review.—1. Who was Lehi? 2. Name his sons. (Jacob and Joseph were born after he left Jerusalem.) 3. Tell about Laman and Lemuel. 4. What kind of boy was Nephi? 5. Why did they leave Jerusalem? 6. Why did Lehi want the records of his forefathers? 7. Who were the Lamanites? 8. Describe them. 9. Tell about the Nephites. 10. In what land did these people live? 11. Why were the Nephites destroyed? 12. What is the Book of Mormon? 13. Who wrote it? 14. Who had charge of the plates? 15. Where were they hidden? 16. Who translated them into the English language?
The three witnesses.
All who read this book ought to turn to one of the first pages of the Book of Moromon and read a paragraph signed by three men whose names are Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris. You will notice in that paragraph that these men bear a most solemn witness that the book is true; that an angel of God came to them with the plates and laid them before their eyes; and that they were translated by the gift and power of God.
The three names signed to this testimony are so important that I wish to tell you something about these men. You have learned a little about them already, but here is a good place to tell you something more about their lives.
[Illustration: The three witnesses.]
Martin Harris was a farmer who became acquainted with Joseph about the time he received the plates. You will remember that Martin visited Joseph in Pennsylvania and did some writing for him. Martin Harris was the man who took some of the writings copied from the plates, with their translation, to the city of New York, and showed them to a learned man named Professor Anthon. The professor seemed pleased with what was shown him, and gave Martin a certificate that the writings were true characters. He also offered to assist in translating the plates, but when Martin told him that an angel had given Joseph the plates, and that part of the book was sealed, he took back the certificate and tore it up, saying “I can not read a sealed book.”
If you wish to read something in the Bible that will remind you of this incident you may find it in Isaiah, 29th chapter, beginning at the 10th verse.
Oliver Cowdery became acquainted with Joseph’s family, while he boarded with them one winter when he was teaching school. Hearing of Joseph in Pennsylvania and the work he was there doing, Oliver prayed to the Lord for light regarding the matter. Receiving a testimony that it was true, Oliver went to visit Joseph, and there, as we have seen, he wrote for him.
David Whitmer was a friend of Oliver’s, and the latter told David many things regarding Joseph. While he was in Pennsylvania, Oliver wrote to David telling him to come down and see them. David came, found everything as had been told him, and took the two young men back to his father’s home.
While translating the plates, Joseph came to the passage where it says that there should be three witnesses to these things. (Book of Mormon, II Nephi 11:3; also 27:12.) On learning this Oliver, David, and Martin asked Joseph to enquire of the Lord if they might be these witnesses. Joseph did so, and their request was granted. They, with Joseph then went out into the woods and prayed so earnestly that an angel came and showed them the sacred treasure exactly as they have testified.
For some years these three men continued to take a prominent part in the affairs of the Church as you will see in future chapters.
In April, 1838, Oliver Cowdery was cut off from the Church for a number of things that a Latter-day Saint should not do. He became a lawyer, and went to Michigan. For ten years he remained away from the Church; but during all that time he never once denied his testimony that the Book of Mormon is true. Often men tried to have him deny it, but he stood firm to that truth.
At a meeting held in Kanesville, Iowa, October 21, 1848, Oliver Cowdery spoke and bore a strong testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon and the work of God. Shortly after he asked to be baptized into the Church again. He did not ask for position or honor, he wanted simply to be a member of the Church. His wish was granted and he was baptized.
While on his way to Utah, Oliver stopped at Richmond, Missouri, to visit his friends, the Whitmers. While here he died. David Whitmer said of the event:
“Oliver died the happiest man I ever saw. After shaking hands with the family, and kissing his wife and daughter, he said, ’Now I lay me down for the last time; I am going to my Savior;’ and he died immediately with a smile on his face.”
Martin Harris also left the Church. He was rejected at Kirtland, in 1837, and remained away from the Church for over thirty years; but all this time he testified to the truth of the Book of Mormon. In 1870, through the labors of Elder Edward Stevenson, Martin Harris came to Utah and was again baptized into the Church of Christ. For five years he continued to tell of the truth of the work of God in the meetings of the Saints in Utah. He died July 10th, 1875, at Clarkston, Cache county, Utah. On the afternoon of his death, he sat propped up in his bed with a Book of Mormon in his hand bearing his testimony to its truth to those around him.
David Whitmer, after being with the Saints until 1838, apostatized in Missouri. He moved to Richmond, Ray county, and lived there to the day of his death, January 25, 1888. He never rejoined the Church; but he always bore a strong testimony that the Book of Mormon is true. On his death bed he said to those around him:
“I want to say to you all that the Bible and the record of the Nephites (Book of Mormon) are true, so that you can say that you heard me bear my testimony on my death-bed. God bless you all. My trust is in Christ forever, worlds without end. Amen.”
The world can not deny these three men’s testimony. Though they left the Church and in their darkness they opposed the prophet of the Lord, yet never did they deny what the angel had shown them. On the same page that the testimony of the three witnesses is recorded, you will also find the names of eight others who testify to having seen the plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated.
Topics.—1. The testimony of the three witnesses. 2. Martin Harris. 3. Oliver Cowdery. 4. David Whitmer. 5. The eight witnesses.
Questions and Review.—1. Where is the testimony of the three witnesses found? 2. What does that testimony say? 3. What other testimony is found in the Book of Mormon? 4. How did the three get their testimony? 5. Tell of Martin Harris. 6. Of Oliver Cowdery. 7. Of David Whitmer. 8. Name some things that make their testimony strong. 9. Name the eight witnesses.
The priesthood restored.
When Joseph and Oliver were engaged in translating the Book of Mormon they came to a passage which told of baptism in water for the remission of sins. This was not quite plain to them. They knew, of course, something of the many kinds of baptism practiced by the various sects of the day, but if the religions on the earth at that time were not accepted of the Lord as Joseph had been told, none of the ministers would have a right to baptize; besides, the passage in the Book of Mormon said that baptism was for the remission of sins. The preachers did not teach it this way, though they could read that it was taught in the same manner by the apostles in Christ’s time. (Acts 2:38.)
This right or authority to do things in the name of the Lord is called Priesthood. The apostles and prophets of old had it, but where were they to look for this power now?
So Joseph and Oliver on the 15th day of May, 1829, went into the woods to ask the Lord about it. Their prayer was answered by an angel who told them that his name was John, called John the Baptist, who had baptized Jesus in the river Jordan. He said he had come to restore a portion of the holy Priesthood, even that part which would give them power to baptize for the remission of sins, but not to lay on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. He promised them that if they were faithful this other power would be given them later.
The angel then laid his hands on their heads and ordained them to the Aaronic Priesthood. He told Joseph to baptize Oliver, after which Oliver was to baptize Joseph. Then Joseph was to ordain Oliver and Oliver to do the same to Joseph. All this they gladly did, and immediately they were filled with great joy.
Thus was the power to baptize for the remission of sins again given to the earth. Think what a great event it was! None in all the world had this power, save two unknown young men in the woods of Pennsylvania. Great things often have small beginnings. Now there are thousands who have this blessed power, and no doubt the elder that baptized each of you can trace his ordination which gave him the authority to do so back to Joseph or Oliver and from them to John the baptist.
Sometime in June, 1829, the promise which John made to the young men was fulfilled. The ancient apostles Peter, James, and John, who held the keys of this higher power came to Joseph and Oliver and ordained them to the Melchizedek Priesthood. This gave them the power to lay on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and also to go forth and administer in the ordinances of the gospel.
Topics.—1. Priesthood. 2. Visit of John the Baptist. 3. Visit of Peter, James, and John.
Questions and Review.—1. What led Joseph and Oliver to ask the Lord about baptism? 2. What is baptism for? 3. How is it performed? 4. How did Joseph and Oliver get the authority to baptize? 5. Who was John the Baptist? 6. What is Priesthood? 7. Name the two grades of Priesthood. 8. Who baptized you? 9. How did he get the authority to baptize? 10. Who were Peter, James, and John? 11. What did they do? 12. Give the date of John’s visit.
Organization of the church.
By this time many people came to Joseph, some out of curiosity, some to be taught of the wonderful truths which he had received, and some, I am sorry to say, came to do him harm. As Joseph and Oliver now had power to baptize, a number of those who believed were baptized by them.
The time had now come to organize the Church and the Lord revealed to Joseph that it should be done on the 6th day of April, 1830. Accordingly on that day six men who had been baptized met at the house of Peter Whitmer, Sen., at Fayette, Seneca county, state of New York. Their names were Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum Smith, Peter Whitmer, Jr., Samuel H. Smith, and David Whitmer.
Joseph tells us what was done at this meeting as follows:
“Having opened the meeting by solemn prayer to our Heavenly Father, we proceeded to call on our brethren to know whether they accepted us as their teachers in the things of the kingdom of God and whether they were satisfied that we should proceed and be organized as a Church according to the commandments we had received. To this they all consented. I then laid my hands upon Oliver Cowdery and ordained him an elder of the Church of Jesus Christ; after which he ordained me also to the office of an elder of said Church. We then took bread, blessed it, and broke it with them; also wine, blessed it, and drank it with them. We then laid our hands on each member of the Church present, that they might receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and be confirmed members of the Church of Christ. The Holy Ghost was poured out upon us to a very great degree—some prophesied, whilst we all praised the Lord and rejoiced exceedingly.”
Thus was the true Church of Christ again on the earth. During the hundreds of years when the world had lain in darkness, not a man could have been found who had the authority to confirm a member of the church; but now there was a beginning, a very small beginning it is true, but the promise is that it will grow and increase until it shall fill the whole earth.
The first public meeting after the Church was organized was held five days later at the same place. At this meeting Oliver Cowdery preached the first public discourse. He explained the principles of the gospel, and quite a number believed and were baptized.
Shortly after this time Joseph went to a town called Colesville, in Broome county, N.Y., not far from Pennsylvania to visit his friend Joseph Knight who had aided him when he was at work on the Book of Mormon. Joseph held a number of meetings in this place and made some friends. Among those who attended these meetings was Newel Knight, son of Joseph Knight. This young man had many talks with Joseph about the gospel, but still he kept putting off doing his duty in being baptized. Because of this the evil one got power over him and treated him so badly that the prophet was sent for. When Joseph arrived he found his friend Newel acting strangely. His face and body twisted in an awful manner and at last he was actually caught up from the floor and tossed about. Many of the neighbors now came in, but they could do nothing to help the suffering man.
[Illustration: Map of Fayette and Kirtland]
When Joseph managed to get hold of Newel’s hand, he became still and spoke to Joseph, asking him to cast the devil from him.
“If you know that I can, it shall be done,” replied Joseph, whereupon he commanded the evil one in the name of Jesus Christ to depart. Newel became all right again at once, and was greatly blessed by the Spirit of God. The people present wondered greatly at what they had seen, and many of them afterwards joined the Church.
This was the first miracle performed in the Church. Jesus had said to his apostles in his day: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. * * * And these signs shall follow them that believe: in my name shall they cast out devils,” etc. Thus we see the same signs following the believer in our day the same as in the days of the first apostles.
On the first of June, 1830, the first conference, of the Church was held in Fayette. There were about thirty members present besides many others who came to hear. The Spirit of God was greatly enjoyed at this meeting. Many prophesied, while others had beautiful visions of the heavens opened to their eyes.
Topics.—1. Organization of the Church. 2. First meeting, sermon and conference. 3. First miracle.
Questions and Review.—1. When and where was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints organized? 2. Name the first six members. 3. What was done at that meeting? 4. How many members are there in the Church today? 5. How did you become a member of the Church? 6. Describe the first miracle. 7. How was the evil one cast out in former days? (See Acts 16: 16, 18.) 8. What proof was given that Joseph and his brethren were true believers. (See Mark 16: 16, 17.) 9. When was the first conference of the Church held?
Persecution of Joseph.
By this time you will see that when the Lord set his hand to begin the great latter-day work, the evil one was also present, trying to hinder its progress. At the very beginning there were only Joseph and a few friends to work against, but now the Church was fast becoming established in the land, and if it were to be stopped some strong effort would have to be made. So the evil one inspired men to gather in large crowds or mobs to annoy and do harm to the members of the Church and their friends.
Shortly after the conference mentioned in the last chapter, Joseph and a number of other elders went to Colesville to hold meetings and baptize some believers. The brethren built a dam in a creek on Saturday where they were to baptize on Sunday, but during the night a mob tore the dam away. However, meeting was held on Sunday, and early on Monday morning the dam was repaired and the baptisms were attended to; but before they were through, the mob gathered and followed the Saints to their homes, making all kinds of threats. That evening as they were going to hold a meeting, a constable arrested Joseph Smith on the charge of making disorder, setting the country in an uproar by preaching the Book of Mormon, etc.
The constable was a good man, and told Joseph that the mob was going to try to take him and perhaps kill him; but he would protect Joseph. In driving to another town where the court was to be held, the mob lay in waiting by the road, but the constable whipped up his horse and they got away.
The next day when Joseph was called to be tried, there was a large crowd and much excitement as many wished to see and hear the young prophet. The trial commenced and many persons who knew Joseph were called to tell something about him. Among the number was Mr. Stoal, for whom Joseph had worked.
“Did not the prisoner, Joseph Smith, have a horse of you?” was asked of Mr. Stoal.
“Yes, sir,” was the answer.
“Did not he go to you and tell you that an angel had appeared unto him and told him to get the horse from you?”
“No; he told me no such story.”
“Well, how had he the horse of you?”
“He bought him of me as another man would do?”
“Have you had your pay?”
“That is not your business.”
The same question was asked again.
“I hold his note for the price of the horse,” replied Mr. Stoal, “which I consider as good as the pay, for I am well acquainted with Joseph Smith, Jr., and know him to be an honest man, and if he wishes, I am ready to let him have another horse on the same terms.”
Many other witnesses were called, but the above is a fair sample of the questions and the answers received. Nothing wrong was proved against Joseph and he was discharged.
But no sooner was Joseph released than another constable appeared and arrested him again. This officer mistreated Joseph shamefully. He would give him nothing to eat, and he allowed a crowd of men to spit upon him and otherwise abuse him.
The next day Joseph was tried again, this time at Colesville. His friends again gathered around to protect him while his enemies tried harder than ever to have him convicted of some crime. Many witnesses were called who told untrue stories of Joseph, but when they were questioned they contradicted each other so that everybody, including the court, could see they were not telling the truth.
Newel Knight was called as a witness.
“Did the prisoner, Joseph Smith, Jr., cast the devil out of you?” asked the lawyer who was against Joseph.
“No, sir,” was the reply.
“Why, have you not had the devil cast out of you?”
“And had not Joe Smith some hand in its being done”
“And did he not cast him out of you?”
“No, sir; it was done by the power of God, and Joseph Smith was the instrument in the hands of God to do it. He commanded him out of me in the name of Jesus Christ.”
The lawyer could make nothing out of him or the others who were called to tell of some supposed wrong Joseph had done. Nothing could be found against him that would send him to prison, and I suppose the judge thought that even casting the devil out of a man was not such a great crime. So Joseph was once more released and a free man.
But of course the mob was not satisfied, so they laid a plan to capture Joseph and tar and feather him; but now the constable who had treated him so badly, saw by the trial that he was innocent, and came to Joseph and asked his forgiveness. He told the prophet of the mob’s intentions and helped Joseph to get safely away home.
So the Lord was with his servants and helped them out of the hands of those who would harm them. The Lord was also kind to the Saints and gave the Church many revelations which you may find in the book called “Doctrine and Covenants,” which contains the revelations given to the Church through Joseph the Prophet.
Topics.—1. Persecution of the Saints. 2. The arrests and trials of Joseph. 3. The Doctrine and Covenants.
Questions and Review.—1. What did Jesus say about persecution? (See St. Matthew 5:10, 12.) 2. Where is Colesville? 3. What was Joseph’s errand in Colesville? 4. What did the mob do? 5. For what was Joseph arrested? 6. Tell about his first trial. 7. Who testified at the second trial? 8. After his discharge what did the mob intend to do to Joseph? 9. Who helped him to escape? 10. What is the Doctrine and Covenants?
The mission to the Indians.
In the month of September, 1830, a young man came to the house of Joseph Smith, at Fayette, and asked to see the prophet. As Joseph was absent, he was referred to his brother Hyrum who explained to him what he wanted to know about the Book of Mormon, the revelations of the Lord to his brother, and the establishing of the Church. The young man was a preacher of the sect called Campbellites, and his name was Parley P. Pratt. On his journey from his home in Ohio to New York he had obtained a copy of the Book of Mormon, had read it, and had been deeply impressed with its beautiful truths. Wishing to know more about this new revelation of God, he had sought out Joseph.
Parley P. Pratt joined the Church and soon became one of its leading men, working with Joseph and his brethren with great energy. He became one of the Twelve Apostles, traveled in many parts of the earth preaching the gospel, wrote many fine books, and at last was killed by a wicked man in the state of Arkansas.
Some day you will want to read a full account of this great man’s history as he wrote it himself, but here I will give you but a few of these interesting events, because they have much to do with the Church at this point of our history.
You will remember that the Book of Mormon tells about the early history of the Indians. In this book it is predicted that some day the gospel should be preached to them, and the record of their forefathers should also be brought to their knowledge. At the second conference of the Church held in Fayette, September 1st, Oliver Cowdery, Parley P. Pratt, Ziba Peterson and Peter Whitmer, Jr., were called to go on a mission to the Indians. They were to go into the wilderness through the western states and into the Indian Territory, preaching by the way whenever a chance afforded.
It was late in October when these four elders started on this the first important mission of the Church. They preached to some Indians near the city of Buffalo, presented them with the Book of Mormon, and proceeded on their journey into the state of Ohio. In the northeastern part of this state is the town of Kirtland where Elder Pratt had some friends. They stopped here for some time and preached the gospel to the people. Great interest was aroused, many believed and were baptized. Among these was Elder Pratt’s former teacher, Sidney Rigdon, who also became one of the Church’s leading men. Others who joined the Church at this time were Edward Partridge who became the first bishop in the Church, Newel K. Whitney who became the second, Lyman Wight who became an apostle, and many others. In a few weeks the missionaries had raised up a large branch of the Church at Kirtland.
Having done this good work, the elders went on their way westward. One evening they were stopping at the house of one Simeon Carter not far from Brother Pratt’s old home. They were just about to read to him from the Book of Mormon when an officer entered and arrested Elder Pratt. The elders left their book with Mr. Carter and went with the officer to a sort of court, where Brother Pratt was ordered to pay a large sum of money or go to prison. The prisoner paid no attention to these demands, which made his persecutors very angry. It was now about midnight, but the elders took it quietly and sang a hymn or two. Then Elder Pratt said that if the witnesses who had told false things about them and the judge who had abused and insulted them, would repent of their evil words and acts and would all kneel down together he would pray that God might forgive them.
“My big bull-dog pray for me!” said the judge.
“The devil help us!” cried another.
Next morning as Elder Pratt and the man placed to guard him were walking in the road, the elder asked the officer if he was good at a race.
“No!” was the reply, “but my big dog is. I have trained him and he will take any man down at my bidding.”
“Well,” continued Bro. Pratt, “you have given me a chance to preach and have given me lodging and breakfast. I thank you for your kindness, but I must be going. Good-day, sir.”
With that Elder Pratt left the man and his dog, and had got quite a distance before the officer had recovered from his surprise. Then he came running after him, clapping his hands and shouting to his dog.
“Stu—boy, stu—boy, take him Watch, lay hold of him! Down with him!” At the same time pointing in the direction of the fleeing elder. Just as the fierce animal was about to overtake him, Elder Pratt began clapping his hands and shouting like the officer, pointing into the woods just ahead. The dog bounded past him and was soon lost to sight in the forest, while the missionary got safely away.
Mr. Carter read the Book of Mormon the elders had left. He believed, went fifty miles to Kirtland, was baptized, returned home, began to preach, and soon there was a branch of sixty members in that place.
In western Ohio the missionaries found another tribe of Indians with whom they stayed a few days. They then went to Cincinnati and from that city to the mouth of the Ohio river by boat. It was now very cold, and the river was so blocked with ice that the boat could go no farther. The missionaries therefore walked the rest of the distance to St. Louis and from there across the state of Missouri to its western boundary.
The snow was deep, there were no beaten roads, the houses were few and far between, and the wind blew fierce and cold. For days they had nothing to eat but corn bread and frozen pork; but at last they reached the town of Independence, in Jackson county, Missouri, which was then near to the Indian country.
The elders now took up their labors among the Indians. They were kindly received, and the chief called a council which Oliver Cowdery addressed. The Book of Mormon was presented to them and explained, and they became very much interested. The sectarian preachers heard about this and complained to the Indian agent, who ordered the elders off the Indian lands. So after but a few days of preaching the elders had to leave. They went back to Jackson county and preached to the white settlers, some of whom believed the word of God and were added to the Church. Four of the elders remained at Independence, while Bro. Pratt was sent back to Kirtland to report their labors.
Topics.—1. Parley P. Pratt. 2. The first mission to the Indians. 3. At Kirtland. 4. Journey to Independence and preaching to Indians.
Questions and Review.—1. Who was Parley P. Pratt? 2. Name some of the books he wrote. 3. Give a brief sketch of his life. 4. Name those who went on the first mission for the Church. 5. What was the special object of this mission? 6. About how far is it from Fayette to Independence, Mo.? 7. Where is Kirtland? 8. What leading men were converted there? 9. How did Bro. Pratt escape from the officer? 10. How did people travel in those days? 11. Why were the missionaries forbidden to preach among the Indians?
Removal to Ohio.
The scriptures often speak of a time in the latter days when the people of God shall be gathered together to build up the Lord’s kingdom and prepare for his second coming. The gospel should be preached to all the world, and those who would believe should go out from Babylon, or the wicked world, and came together with the people of the Lord. Every elder who has been on a mission will tell you that as soon as persons accept the gospel, a desire comes to them to gather with the main body of the Saints. Thus the Lord puts the spirit of gathering into the hearts of the believers, and his purposes are fulfilled.
The Lord told the prophet Joseph that the time for this gathering had come, and that the central gathering place for the Saints on this land was somewhere in the West, though at first the exact location was not told him.
In December, 1830, the word of the Lord came to Joseph that the Saints should gather to Ohio. This was westward and in the proper direction. The western missionaries had raised up large branches in Ohio, so it was not like going into a new place. The Church was growing steadily, and many revelations were given to the Saints. We might say the Lord was assigning lessons for us, which we have not yet learned very well.
Preparations were made for this removal by holding the third conference of the Church at Fayette and setting its affairs in order.
One day, about the 1st of February, 1831, a sleigh containing two men and two women, drove through the streets of Kirtland, Ohio, and stopped at the door of Gilbert and Whitney’s store. One of the men alighted, and springing up the steps, walked into the store where one of the owners was standing.
“Newel K. Whitney, thou art the man!” exclaimed the visitor, extending his hand as to an old friend.
“You have the advantage of me,” replied the storekeeper, “I could not call you by name as you have me.”
“I am Joseph, the prophet,” said the stranger, smiling. “You’ve prayed me here; now what do you want of me?”
Mr. Whitney, you will remember, had joined the Church sometime before, and of course he was delighted to see the prophet. Joseph and his wife, Emma, stayed at Brother Whitney’s house for some time. Shortly after this, Newel K. Whitney was called to be bishop at Kirtland, and later he became the second presiding bishop of the Church.
Early next spring, 1831, the Saints from New York began to come to Ohio, buying land in and around the town of Kirtland.
Before leaving Fayette, Joseph had been visited by a young man who had walked two hundred miles to see him and have the prophet tell him what his duty was. This young man was Orson Pratt, brother of Parley P. Pratt. Joseph received a revelation in which Orson was called to preach the gospel to the world; and this duty Orson Pratt did all his life.
[Illustration: Sidney Rigdon.]
Elder Pratt became one of the Twelve Apostles. He went on a great many missions in this country and to Europe, during which time he crossed the ocean sixteen times. He became one of the most learned men in the Church, and wrote many books on gospel subjects. Read the title, or first page of the Book of Mormon and the book of Doctrine and Covenants and see what they say of Orson Pratt. Elder Pratt was one of the pioneers, he and Erastus Snow being the first two men of that company to enter Salt Lake Valley.
Another man who came to see Joseph while yet at Fayette was Sidney Rigdon, a former Campbellite preacher whom Parley P. Pratt had baptized at Kirtland. Elder Rigdon also became a prominent man in the Church, being first counselor to President Joseph Smith during the life time of the prophet. He took an active part in all the affairs of the Church up to within a few months of the prophet’s death. He was greatly disappointed because he was not chosen to succeed Joseph as the leader of the Church, and soon after apostatized. He died outside the Church.
Thomas B. Marsh was the name of a man who came to Kirtland with the Church. He became a leader among the Saints and was president of the first quorum of Twelve Apostles. Elder Marsh did much missionary work and suffered with the Saints in their persecution; but in 1838 he became dissatisfied and did some wicked things against his brethren. He was therefore cut off from the Church. Nineteen years after he came back and was baptized again. He came to Utah and lived at Ogden, where he died, a poor, broken-down man.
Topics.—1. The gathering. 2. The move to Ohio. 3. Orson Pratt. 4. Sidney Rigdon. 5. Thomas B. Marsh.
Questions and Review.—1. What is meant by the gathering? 2. Quote some scriptural passage on the gathering. 3. Where was the first gathering place? 4. Locate Kirtland. 5. Tell about Joseph’s first visit to Kirtland. 6. Who was Newel K. Whitney? 7. When did most of the Saints move to Kirtland? 8. Tell what you can about Orson Pratt? 9. Name some of his books. 10. What high position did Sidney Rigdon hold? 11. Why did he leave the Church? 12. Tell about Thomas B. Marsh.
The land of Zion.
The Book of Mormon (13th chapter of Ether) tells us that this land of America is a “choice land above all other lands;” and the Lord has said that the people who lived here must serve him or in time be destroyed. This you will remember was proved so often in the history of the Nephites.
Strictly speaking, the whole of America is the land of Zion, but the Lord revealed to Joseph that there should be a “center place,” where a great city should be build which should be called the city of Zion, or the New Jerusalem. This city will be the capital or in the center of a large district of country full of people who serve the Lord. A grand temple will be built in the central city, and the glory of the Lord will rest upon it by day and by night. Then shall there be peace in the earth for a thousand years, and the Saints will be busy working to save all the people who live or have ever lived on the earth. Jesus with his angels will no doubt visit the earth from time to time to look after his work at this glorious period.
Now all this was to have a beginning, one of these small beginnings we have spoken about.
June 7th, 1831, the Prophet Joseph received a revelation instructing him and twenty-eight other elders to go on missions. They were to travel two and two by different routes through the Western states, preaching the gospel and building up the Church on the way. They were to meet in the state of Missouri about a thousand miles from Kirtland and there hold a conference. At this time, if they were faithful, the Lord would reveal to them the location of the central place and the spot where the temple should sometime stand.
The brethren went on their missions as they had been instructed, and Joseph and his party arrived at Independence, Missouri, about the middle of July, 1831. Oliver Cowdery and the other brethren who had been sent on the mission to the Indians, you will recollect, stopped at Independence. They were very glad to meet Joseph and his companions again.
Shortly after the prophet’s arrival, the Lord made known the exact spot for the city of Zion. It is where the town of Independence is located, in Jackson County, Missouri, and the site for the temple was pointed out as lying westward on a lot not far from the court house.
Some of the Saints now moved to Jackson county, the first to arrive being what was called the Colesville Branch of the Church. These Saints had come from Colesville, State of New York, having stopped but a short time near Kirtland.
The first step towards the founding of Zion was taken on the 2nd day of August, 1831. On that day twelve men, of which Joseph was one, carried and placed the first log for the first house. This was in Kaw township, twelve miles west of Independence, where the Colesville branch was locating. Sidney Rigdon then dedicated the land. The next day eight of the brethren went to the temple lot, and Joseph dedicated that sacred spot.
Shortly after, Joseph with some of the other brethren went to Kirtland.
The Saints were now instructed to buy land in the region around that they might possess it for an inheritance. At that time Missouri was not thickly settled. There was much government land which could be bought for one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre. Sidney Gilbert was appointed an agent to receive money and purchase land, and Bishop Edward Partridge was chosen to divide the land among the Saints. The rich were told to divide with the poor that all might have land.
The Saints were especially warned that they must keep all the commandments which the Lord gave to them or they would not be allowed to remain and build up Zion at that time, but they first would have to go through much tribulation, and be “scourged from city to city.” You will see presently how this prediction was fulfilled.
The first winter the Saints were not very comfortably housed, as they had arrived too late to raise crops or build good houses. The next spring, however, many Saints arrived, and they soon had growing fields and gardens. The Prophet visited them again early in the spring, held meetings, and greatly encouraged the Saints. In June, 1832, the first paper published by the Latter-day Saints was begun at Independence. It was called The Evening and Morning Star, and was the only paper in that part of the country.
Thus the Saints prospered; but a time of persecution, long and fierce, was before them.
Topics.—1. The center place of Zion. 2. Gathering to Missouri.
Questions and Review.—1. Where is the land of Zion? 2. What is said in the Book of Mormon about this land? 3. Where is Jackson county? 4. What place is now nearly the center of the United States? 5. What river flows by Jackson county? 6. Where will the New Jerusalem be built? 7. What kind of city will it be? 8. When, where, and how was the foundation of Zion laid? 9. Where is the temple lot? 10. Who dedicated it? 11. What was the Colesville Branch? 12. How were the Saints to obtain the land of Zion? 13. What were the duties of Sidney Gilbert and Edward Partridge? 14. When did Joseph visit Jackson county the second time?
Persecution in Jackson county.
A great many of the old settlers of Jackson county, meaning those who were there before the Saints, were of a shiftless, ignorant class from the Southern States. They made but little improvement in their homes, being content to live in small, log huts, many of them without windows or board floors. They all believed it right to have negro slaves. They were also eager to hold public office.
At that time there were also many persons in western Missouri who had fled from the east on account of crimes which they had committed. Being near the boundary line of the United States, these persons would need only to cross the line into Mexico to be safe if an officer should come after them.
You will readily see by this what kind of neighbors the new settlers had. Of course the Saints could not join with these wicked people in their horse racing, Sabbath breaking, idleness, drunkenness, and other things which the Missourians took delight in. Most of the Saints were from the Eastern and Northern States and did not believe in slavery. They worked hard, and as the land produced good crops, they were soon prospering, while their idle neighbors remained in poverty.
All this naturally led the Missourians to hate the “Mormons,” and as early as the spring of 1832 they began to molest them by throwing stones into their houses, etc. That same fall mobs began to come against the Saints, burning some of their hay and shooting into their houses.
In April, 1833, the mobbers held a meeting at Independence to discuss plans whereby they could rid the county of the “Mormons.” However, the meeting broke up in a row. July 20th, they held another meeting which was more successful. An address was read to the people wherein the Saints were falsely accused of all manner of wrong doings. It also set forth that no more “Mormons” must settle in Jackson county; that the “Mormons” already there should be given a reasonable time to sell their property and then remove; that the printing of their paper must cease; that the stores of the Saints must close up their business as soon as possible; and that the leading brethren should use their influence to have the Saints comply with these requests. The meeting agreed to all this and a committee was appointed to wait on the leaders of the Saints to see what they would do about it. When the committee called, the brethren asked for time to consider the matter, but fifteen minutes only were given them. Nothing could be done in that short time, so the committee went back to the meeting and reported.
The mob then broke loose, yelling like a band of wild Indians. They went to the house and printing office of W.W. Phelps, forced Mrs. Phelps and the children, one of whom was sick, out of the house and threw the furniture out in the street. They then destroyed the printing press and tore the office down. Then they went through the town hunting for the leading brethren. They caught Bishop Edward Partridge and Charles Allen, dragged them to the public square, stripped most of their clothes off, and then smeared tar all over their bodies. This ended that day’s work, and the frightened women and children who had fled to the woods came back to their homes.
The third day after this a mob of five hundred men came into Independence. They were armed with guns, knives, and whips, and they swore they would kill or whip all who would not agree to leave. The leading brethren, seeing that it was no longer of any use to plead or resist, made an agreement with the mob that they with their families would leave the county by the first of January, and that they would use their influence in trying to induce the rest of the Saints to leave, one-half by January 1st, the rest by April 1st, 1834. They were also to use all the means they could to prevent more of the Saints from settling in the county. The mob for their part agreed not to persecute the Saints while this was being done.
The mob, however, did not keep this promise, but daily broke into houses and abused the inmates.
The Saints now appealed to the highest officer of the state, Governor Dunklin, for protection. He told them that the laws were able to protect everybody in their rights, and advised the Saints to have those arrested who threatened them, and have them tried in court for their misdeeds.
This, seemingly, was very good advice, and would have worked all right under other circumstances; but when it is remembered that the very officers—the constable who would have to do the arresting, the judge who would try the cases, and in fact all concerned—were men who were themselves leaders of the mob, you will see how useless such a course would be. However, the Saints engaged four lawyers to protect them in the courts.
This made the mobbers more angry than ever, and they made preparation for further action against the Saints.
“We will rid Jackson county of the “Mormons",” they said, “peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must. If they will not go without, we will whip and kill the men; we will destroy the children, and abuse their women.”
The Saints now resolved to defend themselves, and the men gathered in small bodies, armed with guns.
On the night of October 31, 1833, a mob marched to the Whitmer settlement of the Saints where they whipped several of the brethren to death, drove the women and children into the woods, and tore the roofs from about a dozen houses.
The next night an attack was made upon the Saints living at Independence. A party of brethren went to the aid of the Saints, and found a mob tearing down the store of Gilbert, Whitney & Co. The mobbers fled, but the brethren captured one of them in the act of throwing brick-bats through the window. They brought him to a justice of the peace to have papers made out for the mobber’s arrest. The justice would not do it, so the man was released. Three days after, this same mobber had the brethren arrested. It was no trouble for him to get papers from the same justice. As one of the brethren remarked at the time, “Although we could not obtain a warrant against him for breaking open the store, he had gotten one for us for catching him at it!”
Topics.—1. The character of the early Missourians. 2. Mobbers’ meetings in Independence. 3. Work of the mob.
Questions and Review.—1. From what sections did most of the early settlers of Missouri come? 2. From what section did the Saints come? 3. What difference of opinion existed between the people of the north and the people of the south? 4. Why did the Missourians hate the “Mormons?” 5. Why did many outlaws come to Missouri? 6. What did the mobbers want the Saints to promise? 7. What advice did Governor Dunklin give? 8. Why did the law not protect the Saints? 9. How was Bishop Partridge abused? 10. Tell about the arrest of the four brethren.
Expulsion from Jackson county.
In this small history, an account of all that happened in Missouri during those cruel times can not be given; but enough can be told to show you what the Saints had to endure in the early days of the Church. If you will but think of the sufferings the boys and girls must have gone through when the mobs tore the roofs from their houses, drove them out on the prairies to go hungry and cold, and killed or whipped their fathers, you may then appreciate God’s blessings to you who live in peace and comfort.
The persecutions, which began in earnest October 31st, 1833, continued day after day. On November 2nd a mob attacked a settlement on Big Blue River. They unroofed one house and were beating a brother by the name of Bennett, who was sick in bed, when a party of brethren came to the rescue. There was some firing of guns between them, and a mobber was wounded in the leg.
On November 4th as a band of mobbers started out to make a raid on the Saints, word was sent to the brethren, and thirty of them soon gathered to withstand the mob. A battle ensued in which two of the mobbers were killed. One of the brethren was so badly wounded that he died the next day. Brother Philo Dibble was shot and severely wounded, but he was administered to and soon got well.
The whole country was now aroused. Word was sent broadcast that the “Mormons” had got the Indians to help them, and that they had taken the town of Independence.
Next morning people flocked into the town and there was great excitement.
And now we must name one of the most cruel and wicked men of that time, Lilburn W. Boggs. He was lieutenant-governor, which is next to the governor, the highest officer in the state. Boggs permitted the mob to organize themselves into a militia and thereby become regular soldiers of the state. The mob leaders seeing that the Saints had decided to protect themselves and fight if necessary, raised this militia so that if the Saints opposed them that they could be classed as law breakers.
The branches of the Church west of Independence having heard that the mob was going to kill some of the brethren in that town, raised about one hundred men to go to their rescue. While on the way they heard that there was no immediate danger, and that the militia had been called out. At this they were going back to their homes; but just then the militia came up, led by Colonel Pitcher. He demanded that the “Mormons” give up their arms, but they would not unless the mob, or militia as it was called, would do the same. This Colonel Pitcher agreed to have done, and then the brethren gave up their arms, consisting of fifty-nine guns and one pistol.
No sooner was this done than the most awful scene took place. The mob did not give up a gun, but bands of them roamed over the country searching for the Saints. Houses were torn down and burned, men were tied up and whipped, women and children were driven out into the fields and forests. Many of the county’s leading men took part in these crimes, and even ministers, preachers of the gospel as they called themselves, were seen leading mobs from place to place.
The cold winter was now coming on, it being the month of November. At one place a company of one hundred and ninety—all being women and children excepting three old men—was driven thirty miles across a burnt prairie, the ground being coated with sleet. Their trail could be easily followed by the blood which flowed from their feet.
You will see by the map that Clay county lies north of Jackson, just across the Missouri river. As the Saints were driven from their homes, most of them made their way to Clay county whose people received them kindly. Soon the shores of the river were lined with men, women and children, goods, boxes, wagons, etc; The ferrymen were kept busy taking them over the river. At night the place had a strange appearance. Hundreds of people could be seen in every direction; some in tents and some in the open air around the fires. The rain descended in torrents. Husbands were asking for their wives and wives for their husbands, parents for children and children for parents. Some had managed to escape with a little provisions; many had lost all their goods.
There were at this time about twelve hundred Saints in Jackson county, so it took many days for them all to get away. Some of the poorest of the Saints who could not get away at first were driven out during the cold storms of that winter.
Early next spring when nearly all the Saints had left, the mob set fire to the deserted homes. One of the brethren reported that two hundred and three dwellings and one grist mill were destroyed.
Topics.—1. Contrast between present conditions and past. 2. Mobbing continued. 3. Saints driven from Jackson county.
[Illustration: Map of Missouri and Illinois]
Questions and Review.—1. What experiences did the Latter-day Saint boys and girls of Jackson county pass through? (Read the story, “Grandmother’s Rocking Chair,” in the Contributor, Vol. 11, page 242.) 2. What happened in November, 1833? 3. What is the state militia? 4. Why was the Jackson county militia raised? 5. What happened after the brethren had given up their arms? 6. Tell about the scene on the banks of the Missouri river. 7. Where is Clay county? 8. What happened in the spring of 1834?
In the spring of 1834 Parley P. Pratt and Lyman Wight were sent as messengers from the Saints in Clay county to Kirtland to tell the Prophet what had happened and to ask for further advice. Joseph, you may be sure, was very grieved to hear about the sufferings of the Saints, and he enquired of the Lord what should be done. In answer, a revelation was given instructing Joseph to gather the young and middle aged men of the Church and organize them into a company which was to march to Missouri to bring aid to the Saints and to assist them to again get possession of their homes. Five hundred men were to be obtained, but one hundred would do if no more could be raised.
Accordingly, Joseph and seven other brethren went two and two through the various branches in the east asking for means and volunteers for this mission.
New Portage, a village about sixty miles south-west from Kirtland was selected as a gathering place, and from this point on the 8th of May, 1834, one hundred and fifty men started for Missouri. They were organized in regular army order, having officers to see that everything on the march was done properly. Joseph was the leader.
The distance from Kirtland to Missouri is one thousand miles. That long journey was not an easy one. The wagons were heavily loaded, and as the roads were poor there was very little riding. Often the men would have to help drag the loads over the bad places. Every Sunday the camp rested and held meetings. Sometimes the people, suspecting they were “Mormons” would annoy them, so that guards had to be placed around the camp. People were also curious to know what this strange company of men was and where it was going. Spies followed the company for many miles. There were some boys in camp, and the inquisitive people thought it an easy matter to find out everything from the boys.
“My boy, where are you from?” they would ask.
“From the east,” was the answer.
“Where are you going?”
“To the west.”
“To see where we can get land cheapest and best.”
“Who leads the camp?”
“Sometimes one, sometimes another.”
“Captain Wallace, Major Bruce,” etc.
The Prophet Joseph believed in being kind to all animals, and he instructed his brethren in Zion’s camp to kill none except for food. Man must first become peaceful, before animals will lose their fierceness. Not long after this instruction had been given, a brother became very tired by traveling and lay down on the ground to sleep. When he awoke, what should he see but a rattlesnake coiled up not more than a foot away from his head. Just then some of the brethren came up and wanted to kill the snake; but the brother said, “No, I’ll protect him, for he and I have had a good nap together.” He remembered what Joseph had said.
On June 7th the company having crossed the Mississippi river, camped on Salt river in Missouri. More of the brethren had joined the company on the way, and now it numbered two hundred and five men. From this point Parley P. Pratt and Orson Hyde were sent to Governor Dunklin at Jefferson city, asking him to use his power as the highest officer in the state to have the Saints brought back to their homes in Jackson county. The governor said he thought it right that the Saints should get back their lands, yet he was afraid if they tried to go back or if he called out soldiers to help them get their homes, there would be a terrible war and many people killed. So the governor would do nothing to help them.
While Zion’s camp was making its way to the Saints in Clay county, a meeting was held in Liberty where some mobbers from Jackson county tried to arouse the people against the Saints. Nothing being done at this meeting, a party of fifteen men started for Independence to raise an army large enough to destroy Joseph and the camp.
One of the leaders of this band was James Campbell. As he pushed his pistols into the holsters before starting, he said with an oath: “The eagles and turkey buzzards shall eat my flesh if I do not fix Joe Smith and his army so that their skins will not hold shucks before two days are passed!” As he and his companions were crossing the Missouri river their boat sank. Seven of them were drowned and among them was Campbell. What was left of his body was found three weeks after lodged on a pile of drift wood. The “eagles and turkey buzzards” had eaten the flesh from his bones.
On the 19th the camp passed through Richmond. They expected to reach Clay county that night, but were so greatly hindered by accidents that they camped for the night between two forks of Fishing river. A large mob had gathered, bent on destroying the camp. A boat containing forty mobbers had been sent over the river, when a storm arose. The rain fell in torrents, the lightning flashed, the thunder shook the earth. Great hail stones destroyed the corn in the fields and stripped the trees of leaves. The mob scattered in confusion. The river rose nearly forty feet, which made it impossible for anyone to cross. The brethren took shelter in a schoolhouse and escaped the storm. Thus again the Lord preserved his people from their enemies.
The next day the camp moved five miles out on the prairie. While here, some of the leading men of Ray county called on the brethren to learn what their intentions were. Joseph told them how the Saints had been persecuted in Jackson county; and that they had come one thousand miles with clothing and provisions for their brethren; that they had no intentions of harming any one, but their mission was to do good, and if possible help their brethren to get their lands back again. At the close of their talk, the visitors promised to do what they could to prevent the mobs from disturbing them, which promise they kept.
The next day, June 22nd, Sheriff Gillium of Clay county came into camp. He also wanted to know what the camp was going to do. Joseph explained to him. In order to get back their lands and live in peace, the Saints proposed to buy the lands from those who could not live with them in Jackson county, but nothing came of this and other offers that were made to settle the trouble.
This same day an important revelation was given through the prophet. The brethren were told that the Lord did not want them to fight, and that they must wait for a time before Zion should be redeemed.
During the march of the camp, some of the brethren had found fault and had not listened to the counsels of the prophet. Joseph had told them that if they did not repent, sickness would come into the camp and many would die. This was now fulfilled. On June 22nd, that dread disease called the cholera appeared in the camp. When you are told that during the next four or five days sixty-eight of the brethren took the disease and thirteen died, you may perhaps imagine what a terrible time they had.
On June 23rd they marched into Clay county and camped on Rush creek, where two days later the camp was disbanded. For two weeks Joseph labored among the Saints and then he returned to Kirtland. Most of the others also went back to their homes in the east about the same time.
Topics.—1. Organizing Zion’s camp. 2. March of Zion’s camp. 3. The camp on Fishing river. 4. The scourge.
Questions and Review.—1. What was Parley P. Pratt and Lyman Wight’s mission to Kirtland? 2. What instruction did the Lord give them? (See Doc. and Cov., sec. 103.) 3. How was Zion’s camp organized? 4. What was its object? 5. Through what states did it march? 6. What were Joseph’s teachings about kindness to animals? 7. What was the fate of James Campbell? 8. How were the brethren saved from their enemies on Fishing river? 9. What did the brethren propose to the citizens of Jackson? 10. Why did the scourge come upon the camp? 11. What revelation was given on Fishing river? 12. Where and when was Zion’s camp disbanded?
The church at Kirtland.
During the time that the Saints were having such a hard time in Missouri, the Church in and around Kirtland was growing in numbers and strength. Joseph with many of the elders went on missionary trips to various parts of the United States and Canada, and many new branches of the Church were organized.
In September, 1831, Joseph moved to the town of Hiram, about thirty miles from Kirtland. While living here, he was busy translating the scriptures, preaching the gospel, and holding meetings. Thirteen of the revelations found in the Doctrine and Covenants were given at Hiram. One of these revelations, called the Vision, tells of the three glories which are in store for the children of God, besides many other grand teachings which some day you will want to read. (Section 76.)
But wicked men continued to tell false things about Joseph and the Church. Many people believed these stories, and the result was that the brethren were often annoyed and badly treated. On the night of March 25th, 1832, Joseph and Sidney Rigdon were dragged from their homes by an angry mob into the woods. Sidney was so misused that he was left for dead. Joseph was beaten and stripped of his clothes, and his body was covered with tar. The mob also tried to force poison from a bottle into his mouth, but in this they failed. Notwithstanding this ill treatment, Joseph was able the next day, it being Sunday, to preach to a large meeting and to baptize three new converts.
Shortly after this, Joseph made his second visit to Missouri. After his return, he settled again at Kirtland, where he continued to receive many revelations and to do much for the building up of the Church.
On December 25, 1832, Joseph received a revelation wherein it was stated that the time would come when there would be a great war between the Northern States and the Southern States. Even the place of its beginning was told, namely, South Carolina.
In February, 1833, a school was opened in Kirtland for the elders of the Church. It was called the “School of the Prophets,” and there the brethren met and were instructed in the principles of the gospel.
A revelation called the Word of Wisdom was given on the 27th of the same month. You will find it in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 89, and every one of you should read it.
On March 18th a very important meeting was held in Kirtland. On that date Joseph ordained Sidney Rigdon to be his first counselor, and Frederick G. Williams to be his second counselor, and these three now became the First Presidency, which is the highest authority in the Church. You have been told something of Sidney Rigdon. Elder Williams held his position nearly five years, when he apostatized, and Hyrum Smith was chosen in his stead. At the death of Joseph Smith, Sen., who was patriarch of the Church, Hyrum was chosen to fill his position and William Law was called to the office of second counselor to Joseph. Law held this position until about two months before the Prophet’s death when he was cut off from the Church.
February 17, 1834, the first high council of the Church was organized. This body consists of twelve men who must be high priests, over which the stake presidency presides. It is a kind of court. When members of the Church have trouble one with another which neither they, nor the teachers, nor the bishop can settle, it is brought before the high council to be adjusted.
Each stake of Zion now has a high council. Here are the names of the first one organized: besides the First Presidency, Joseph Smith, Sen., John Smith, Joseph Coe, John Johnson, Martin Harris, John S. Carter, Jared Carter, Oliver Cowdery, Samuel H. Smith, Orson Hyde, Sylvester Smith and Luke Johnson.
It was shortly after this that Zion’s Camp was organized and made the trip to Missouri, of which you were told in the last chapter.
After his return Joseph was again busy performing his many duties as president of the Church.
Topics.—1. Joseph at Hiram. 2. Prophecy on War. 3. Word of Wisdom. 4. The first presidency. 5. The high council.
Questions and Review.—1. To what two places were the Saints now gathering? 2. Where is Hiram? 3. What did Joseph do there? 4. Tell about the mobbing at Hiram. 5. When was the prophecy on war given? 6. How long after was it fulfilled? 7. What led to the war between the North and the South? 8. What was the “School of the Prophets?” 9. In the Word of Wisdom, what does the Lord say is not good for the body? 10. What does He say is good? 11. What promise is made to those who keep the Word of Wisdom? 12. What is the First Presidency? 13. Who were the first to fill this position? 14. Who are the present First Presidency? 15. What is the duty of the high council? 16. Name some members of the high council of your stake.
The twelve apostles—the seventies—the Kirtland temple.
[Illustration: President Brigham young.]
On the 14th of February, 1835, Joseph called together the brethren who had gone with him to Missouri in Zion’s Camp. He spoke to the meeting and told the brethren the Lord had not forgotten them, but had remembered their faithfulness in answering the call of duty, and now he had a blessing for them.
Joseph then said the time had come when twelve apostles should be called. It was the duty of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon to select twelve men for this high calling, and these three brethren were then blessed for this purpose by the First Presidency. The following were then selected to be the first quorum of Twelve Apostles in the Church: Thomas B. Marsh, David W. Patten, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Wm. E. McLellin, Parley P. Pratt, Luke Johnson, William Smith, Orson Pratt, John F. Boynton and Lyman E. Johnson.
It is the duty of the Twelve Apostles to build up the Church and regulate its affairs in all the world under the direction of the First Presidency; also to open the door of the gospel to all nations.
On the 28th of February there was another meeting held, at which the first quorum of seventy was organized. You will remember that the Savior, after He had chosen Twelve Apostles to preach the gospel, chose also seventy to aid the Twelve in their work. So in our day, twelve men could not do all the work of spreading the gospel, so it was necessary to call other men. In this body of men seventy form a quorum. The first quorum was organized from the brethren who were members of Zion’s Camp.
It is the special duty of the Seventies to travel and preach the gospel under the direction of the Twelve.
As early as May, 1833, the Lord told Joseph that the Saints should build a house to his name. July 23, the foundation was laid. The Saints in Kirtland were not many, neither were they rich, and it was therefore a great task for them to build such a house as the temple. However, they gave donations of what they had and worked willingly with all their might, until at last it was finished and dedicated to the Lord on Sunday, March 27, 1836.
[Illustration: The Kirtland temple.]
During the meetings many glorious blessings were received. Angels were seen by many of the Saints, Brigham Young spoke in tongues, others prophesied, and many saw glorious visions. At the evening meeting George A. Smith arose and prophesied, when a noise was heard like the sound of a mighty wind which filled the temple. All the people arose at once and the Prophet Joseph told the Saints that the temple was filled with angels, as he could see them. The people living near the temple, seeing a bright light resting on the building and hearing a strange sound within, came rushing up to see what was the matter.
Nearly every day there were meetings held in the temple. The next Sunday after the dedication, Joseph and Oliver were praying in the sacred house when the Lord Jesus Christ appeared unto them. He stood on the breastwork of the pulpit, and Joseph describes Him as a most glorious personage. Jesus told them that He had accepted the temple and promised them great blessings if they would continue to keep his commandments.
After this vision had closed, Moses, Elias, and Elijah appeared unto them and each of them gave to Joseph and Oliver many blessings concerning the gospel.
You would think that after all these blessings from the Lord the Saints would never turn away from the truth; but sad to say this was not the case. During the years 1837 and 1838 many of the brethren in Kirtland began to buy and sell land and set up stores and banks for the purpose of making money. Now, there would have been nothing wrong in all this if they had done all their business honestly; but the trouble was that many wanted to get rich so fast that oftimes they would cheat each other. This of course was inspired by the evil one, who did his best to stop the progress of the Church. It was a very hard trial for Joseph and those of his brethren who stood by him to see so many leading men fall away into wickedness.
Again, you may also wonder how men who have been in the company of the Prophet and who have seen angels and heavenly visions can deny the faith, but the fact is they sometimes do. The whole secret is this:
No matter how much a person has seen or how much he knows, if he sins and does not repent, the Spirit of God will leave him, and he will be in the dark. It then becomes an easy matter for him to fall away from the Church.
During the two years named above, four of the Twelve Apostles and many of the leading men apostatized; and then, not satisfied with so doing, they began to join the mobs who persecuted Joseph and the Saints. This led the Church leaders to remove to Missouri, and soon after nearly all the Saints followed them to the land of Zion.
Topics.—1. The calling of the Twelve Apostles. 2. Calling of the Seventy. 3. The Kirtland Temple. 4. The apostasy at Kirtland.
Questions and Review.—1. From what body were the first Twelve Apostles called? 2. Who chose the names? 3. Name the first Twelve Apostles? 4. Name the present Twelve. 5. What is the duty of the Twelve? 6. What is the duty of the Seventies? 7. How many Seventies’ quorums are there in the Church? 8. Tell about the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. 9. Who appeared to Joseph and Oliver in the temple? 10. What causes many to fall from the Church? 11. What is the only safe way to remain faithful.
The mission to England.
In the year 1837, when the evil one was trying with all his might to overthrow the Church both at Kirtland and in Missouri, the Lord told Joseph that the time had come for “something new” to be done. This was to send missionaries to England and open the gospel door to that people.
Elder Heber C. Kimball was chosen to take the lead of this mission, and with him went Orson Hyde, Willard Richards, Joseph Fielding, John Goodson, Isaac Russell, and John Snider.
This was the first mission to any foreign country, and in those days of slow travel, a trip to Europe was no small matter. The brethren set out on their journey without purse or scrip, but the Lord opened up their way, and at last they landed in Liverpool, England, July 20, 1837.
They were in a strange country, had no money, no friends.
[Illustration: President Heber C. Kimball]
“Go to Preston,” said the Spirit of the Lord to them. Preston is a city thirty miles from Liverpool, and there they went. Joseph Fielding had a brother living in the city, who was a preacher, and on his invitation the missionaries held their first meeting in his chapel. This was the first Sunday after their arrival. The people listened eagerly to what the elders said, for it seems that a great many honest souls had been waiting for just such a message.
After the third meeting, the Rev. Mr. Fielding would not let the elders use his church, as he was afraid they would take away his congregation. From that time he opposed the missionaries, and was soon joined in this by other preachers.
However, the people had received a taste of the gospel and they wanted more, so meetings were held in private houses. On the eighth day after the arrival of the elders in England, nine persons were baptized into the Church by Elder Kimball.
Thus was the door opened, and the gospel soon spread in a wonderful manner. The elders now separated and went to different towns, preaching, baptizing, and organizing branches of the Church. Great crowds came out to hear them, especially in and around the city of Preston. It was a most glorious time and full of interesting events which this little book cannot tell you about; but here is a sample:
One day Elder Kimball told some of the brethren that he thought of going to a place called Chatburn, to hold meetings. He was told that it would do no good, as it was a very wicked place, and the people there would have nothing to do with preachers. Elder Kimball went, however, and large crowds came out to hear him. While teaching the people the need of repenting of their evil doings and being baptized for the remission of their sins, Brother Kimball felt someone pulling at his coat:
“Please sir, will you baptize me?” asked one.
“And me, and me!” exclaimed a dozen voices.
So Elder Kimball went down into the water and baptized twenty-five persons. As the elders were walking out of the village, the young folks of the place ran to meet them, the older people stood in their doors to greet and bless them, while the children ran ahead, hand in hand, singing their songs of gladness.
At a conference held in Preston, April 8, 1838, there were reports from twenty-six branches of the Church. The total number of souls in the Church was reported to be about two thousand; and all this was done in the short space of eight months.
The next day Elders Kimball, Hyde, and Russell left for home, leaving Willard Richards to preside over the mission. Many were the sad partings these brethren had with the Saints, for a great love grows up between the Saints in the world and the elders who have brought them the gospel.
January 11, 1840, Elders John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff landed in England. Brother Woodruff was led by the Spirit to go into a part of England called Herefordshire. Here he found a religious body of people called United Brethren. They had withdrawn from the Church of England, and were now praying that the Lord would send them more light. These people heard Elder Woodruff gladly, and with joy they received the gospel. Within one month he baptized all their preachers, forty-five in number, and one hundred and sixty of their members. In eight months time Elder Woodruff brought eighteen hundred souls into the Church, including all the six hundred United Brethren, save one.
At one time just as Elder Woodruff was about to begin a meeting, a constable came to arrest him for preaching. The officer was asked to take a seat, and was told that after the meeting Elder Woodruff would be at his service. The constable was very much interested in the sermon. At the close of the meeting seven persons asked for baptism, and the constable was one of the number. After this, two clerks of the Church of England were sent as spies to find out what the Mormon elders preached. Both of these men believed and joined the Church.
Now came others of the Apostles to England to roll on the work. Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, and George A. Smith arrived on April 6, 1840. At a conference held in Preston on the 14th, Willard Richards was ordained an Apostle, so that now there were eight of the Twelve together. At this meeting it was decided to print a paper to be called The Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star. This paper has been published from that day to this, it being the oldest publication in the Church.
The Church now grew rapidly. Branches were organized in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and in many of the large cities in England. At a conference held in the city of Manchester, April 6, 1841, it was found that there were about six thousand members of the Church in Great Britain. Eight hundred Saints had emigrated to America during the year. At this conference, nine of the Twelve were present, Orson Hyde having arrived on his way to Palestine, where he was going to dedicate that land for the gathering of the Jews.
Shortly after this conference, the apostles left England to return home, leaving Parley P. Pratt in charge of the mission. From that time the work has continued in Great Britain, and many honest souls have come to the knowledge of the gospel.
Topics.—1. The first mission to England. 2. Wilford Woodruff’s experience. 3. Mission of the eight Apostles.
Questions and Review.—1. When were the first missionaries sent to England? 2. Who were they? 3. Where was the first sermon preached? 4. How did the people receive the elders? 5. What happened at Chatburn? 6. What was accomplished in eight months? 7. Who were the second missionaries to England? 8. Who were the United Brethren? 9. Tell of President Woodruff’s work among them. 10. Who composed the third party of missionaries? 11. What was done at the conference held April 14, 1840. 12. What is the Millennial Star? 13. What was Orson Hyde’s mission to Palestine?
We must now leave the pleasant scenes of preaching the gospel in England, and go back to the more troubled times among the main body of the Saints in the State of Missouri.
You will remember that when the Saints were driven from Jackson county, they found a place to rest in Clay county just north across the river. The people of Clay received them kindly, and the Saints stayed for about three years in that county. During this period, they tried many times to regain their homes by asking the governor and even the president of the United States to enforce the laws and see that their lands and homes were given back to them. Governor Dunklin talked very pleasantly about the rights of the Saints, but in the end he did nothing to protect the people or help them to gain possession of their property.
At a large meeting held in Liberty, the county seat of Clay county, on the 16th of June, 1834, in order to try to settle the trouble between the Saints and the Jackson county people, the following offer was made by the Jackson men to the Saints:
The Jackson people offered to buy all the land of the “Mormons” in Jackson county, paying them a high price for it within thirty days, or the people of Jackson offered to sell all their lands to the “Mormons” at the same high price to be paid for in thirty days. This offer may seem to be fair, but when it is remembered that the Lord had revealed to them that the city of Zion should be built in Jackson county, and had told the Saints to buy and not sell, it will be seen that this offer was not meant in good faith. Again, the Saints could not buy out all the mobbers’ land in Jackson, much as they would have liked so to do, as there was so much of it, and they had no money to pay for it in thirty days. The Saints therefore could not agree to this, but they made an offer to buy out the lands of those who could not live in peace with them, and pay them in one year.
Nothing came of these offers.
And now the people of Clay county asked the Saints to remove from their midst. The country was again getting excited about the “Mormons,” and the Clay county people were afraid that the mobs would come to disturb them; so in order to be on good terms with the people who had been friends to them, the Saints again left their homes and traveled north-east, away out into the country where there were hardly any settlers. Here they began to build a city which they called Far West, and after a time they had a county laid off which was named Caldwell.
This movement began in September, 1836, and by the next summer nearly all the Saints had left Clay county.
You will call to mind that the Prophet Joseph, with the brethren in Zion’s Camp had visited the Saints while in Clay county. In the spring of 1838 Joseph arrived at Far West from Kirtland, and from that time on the Prophet remained with the main body of the Saints in Missouri and Illinois.
The Saints now had peace again for a season. They gathered to Far West and surrounding places from Kirtland and other eastern localities. Farms were made, houses built, towns laid out, and it seemed as if the Saints could at last live and enjoy their rights as Americans.
Joseph was busy setting the Church in order and in receiving the word of the Lord for the guidance of the Saints.
One of the most important revelations given at this time was regarding the law of tithing. This law says that the Saints should first put all their surplus property into the hands of the bishop to be used for the benefit of the Church, and then after that, they should pay one tenth of all they made, as a tithing to the Lord; and the Lord further said that if the Saints did not keep this law, the land whereon they dwelt should not be a land of Zion unto them.
In the year 1838 the Saints in and around Far West numbered about twelve thousand. Thus you see they began to be a power in the land, especially when it came to voting for officers of the state and county. At these times the Saints would of course vote for good men, men who were their friends, and this often made the Missourians angry.
At an election in Gallatin, the county seat of Daviess county, August 6, 1838, a mob of Missourians tried to prevent the brethren from voting. A general fight was the result, in which the “Mormons” defended themselves with umbrellas, sticks, whips, and their stout fists.
Reports came to Joseph and the people in Far West that some of the brethren had been killed and that the mobbers would not let their bodies be buried. At this, Joseph, with about twenty armed men, rode towards the scene of trouble. On the way he learned that the report was not true. They then called on a justice of the peace, named Adam Black. Mr. Black promised Joseph that he would not aid the mob, but would enforce the laws justly. Next day Joseph and his party held a meeting with some leading men of the county, wherein both parties promised to keep the peace, and if any person broke the law in this respect he was to be given up to the officers of the law and punished.
Some twenty days after Mr. Black had made such good promises, he and some others had papers made out for the arrest of Joseph Smith and Lyman Wight for coming into Daviess co., and doing all kinds of wicked deeds. When the constable called on Joseph at Far West, Joseph said he was willing to stand trial, but he wanted it to be in Caldwell, instead of Daviess county, as in the latter there existed too much excitement and ill-feeling. The officer did not arrest the Prophet at this time, but the report spread that Joseph had resisted the officer and would not be arrested. To prove how false this was, Joseph with his brother Hyrum and some others, went to Daviess county for trial. At this trial Mr. Black swore to some wicked falsehoods, and although four witnesses told the truth of the matter, Joseph and Lyman were bound over, that is, they were to be ready to stand trial when the regular court should meet.
False reports now flew far and wide again, and the mobs began to gather from other counties to “help drive the Mormons from the State.” Some of the mob painted and dressed themselves up as Indians. The Saints, especially in the smaller settlements, were attacked, until they had to flee to Far West for protection. The Saints now thought it time to protect themselves from the mobs, so they organized a company of state militia. Lyman Wight was an officer in this militia and he commanded the men. He succeeded in driving the mob from Daviess county, but this of course, only made the excitement the greater.
On the evening of October 24, 1838, news reached Far West that a Methodist preacher by the name of Bogart was leading a mob to destroy the property of the Saints on Log Creek. That same evening a company of about seventy-five men led by Captain David W. Patten mounted their horses and rode to the scene of trouble. Early the next morning, just as it was getting daylight the mob was found encamped on Crooked River. The Far West Militia dismounted and marched on to the
Brother Patten was a member of the first quorum of Twelve Apostles. He had taken an active part in the affairs of the Church up to the time of his death, having filled many missions and done many great works in the name of Jesus Christ. Apostle Patten was one of the first martyrs of the Church. Of him Joseph the Prophet said at his funeral:
“There lies a man who has done just as he said he would; he has laid down his life for his friends.”
Topics.—1. The Saints in Clay county. 2. Removed to Caldwell county. 3. The beginning of trouble. 4. The Crooked River battle. 5. Apostle David W. Patten.
Questions and Review.—1. From Jackson county where did the Saints go? 2. How did they try to get their homes again? 3. What did Governor Dunklin do? 4. What offer did the Jackson people make to the Saints? 5. Why did not the Saints accept this offer? 6. What did the Saints offer to do? 7. Why did the people of Clay county wish the Saints to leave them? 8. When and where did the Saints then go? 9. What is the law of tithing? 10. What was the case of the new trouble between the Saints and the Missourians? 11. What came of Joseph’s trip to Daviess county? 12. Describe the Crooked River battle. 13. Tell about David W. Patten.
The Haun’s mill massacre.
In this chapter I wish to tell you about one of the saddest events that happened in all that sad time of persecution in Missouri.
It occurred on October 30, 1838, during the time of great excitement, when bands of armed men roamed over the country doing what damage they could to the homes of the Saints.
At a point on Shoal Creek, about sixteen miles from Fat West, a brother by the name of Haun had built a flour mill. Besides the mill there were a blacksmith shop and half a dozen houses. About thirty families lived here, some of which had just arrived from the Eastern States and were yet camping in their tents.
This little body of Saints had been threatened by mobs a number of times, but on the 28th, a treaty of peace was made in which each party agreed not to molest the other. Before this, however, Joseph had advised the Saints at Haun’s Mill to move into Far West, which advice they had not taken.
October 30th was a beautiful autumn day. The air was warm, and the breeze stirred the fields of wheat and rustled the corn. The children were playing on the banks of the creek, and their merry laugh was echoed by the birds in the forest close at hand. All seemed peaceful and lovely.
[Illustration: Haun’s mill.]
About four o’clock in the afternoon, a company of two hundred and forty men dashed up to the clearing. Brother David Evans who had command of the few brethren, ran out to meet them, swinging his hat and crying, “Peace, peace.” The leader of the mob told all who desired to save their lives and make peace to run into the blacksmith shop. Some of the brethren did this, but in a few seconds after, a volley was fired into the shop. The bullets went between the logs, which were far apart, and in at the open door, killing and wounding the brethren within. Some few shots were fired back, but the brethren soon saw it was useless to resist, so they tried to save themselves as best they could. Men, women and children scattered in every direction taking refuge in the woods, while the bullets of the mobbers flew thick and fast among them, wounding and killing.
The mob kept on firing at the shop until they thought all within were killed; then they went about the place killing all they could find alive, and robbing the houses of everything they could carry off. They even stripped the dead and dying of their clothes. They went into the blacksmith shop for this purpose, and there they saw dead men lying in piles, and wounded men groaning in pain, while pools of blood stood on the floor. A little ten year old boy named Sardius Smith had crawled under the bellows, trying to hide from the wicked mobbers; but one of them saw him and dragged him out. Then putting the muzzle of his gun to the boy’s head he killed him instantly. Sardius’ little brother, Alma, seven years old had a great hole shot in his hip; but he lay still, fearing that if he moved they would shoot him again. Another boy by the name of Charles Merrick was discovered. He pleaded with the mobbers not to kill him: “I am an American boy,” he said “O! don’t kill me!” The mobber heeded not, but blew out his brains.
Thomas McBride, an old, gray-haired man who had fought in the Revolutionary War under Washington, gave up his gun to a mobber, and then pleaded for his life. The cruel mobber took the gun and shot the old man dead, and then another mobber cut him to pieces with an old corn cutter.
Thus it continued. I cannot tell you half of the horrible things which happened. At last the mobbers departed, and night came on. Then, lowly and fearfully, the women and children and what few men were left crept out of their hiding places to see what had been done and to help as best they could. Perhaps you can imagine what they saw and how they felt during that long, dark night in the midst of dead and dying husbands, brothers and sons.
Next morning it was found that nineteen men and boys were dead, or wounded so badly that they could not live, and about fifteen others were wounded. What to do with the dead was the question. There were not men enough to dig graves; besides, the mob might come back again and finish their awful work; so the best they could do was to put the nineteen bodies into a large, dry well that was close by. This was done, and straw and earth placed on top.
Sister Smith, mother of Sardius and Alma, has told some of the experiences which she passed through during that awful time. Her husband and one son were killed, while another son had his hip nearly shot away. During that first night she says that she prayed to God to know what to do for her wounded boy, and the Lord distinctly whispered to her what kind of poultice to put on the wound and how to treat him.
“I removed the boy to a house next day,” she says, “and dressed his hip, the Lord directing me as before.”
“‘Alma, my child,’ I said, ‘you believe that the Lord made your hip?’
“’Well, the Lord can make something there in place of your hip, don’t you believe he can, Alma?’
“‘Do you think that the Lord can, mother?’
“‘Yes, my son,’ I replied, ‘He has shown it all to me in a vision.’
“And then I laid him comfortably on his face and said: ’Now you lay like that and don’t move, and the Lord will make you another hip.’
“So I laid Alma on his face for five weeks, until he was entirely recovered, a flexible gristle having grown in place of the missing joint and socket.”
Alma grew up to be a man and became a useful member of the Church.
Topics.—1. The massacre at Haun’s Mill. 2. Sardius and Alma Smith.
Questions and Review.—1. Where was Haun’s Mill. 2. What advice did Joseph give the Saints who lived there? 3. What happened October 30, 1838? 4. Tell about the Smith boys and Charles Merrick. 5. Tell about Thomas McBride. 6. How many were killed?
Driven from Missouri.
Wild reports now went over the country about the “Mormons;” and to make these reports seem true some of the mobbers actually set fire to their own log cabins and then accused the Saints of the act.
In a previous chapter, mention was made of Lilburn W. Boggs. This man was now governor of the state, and we shall see how he used his power against the “Mormons,” whom he hated so much.
The reports that the “Mormons” were burning houses and driving people from their homes, reached the governor, and he believed, or pretended to believe, all these false stories. So he gave orders to the officers of the state militia to organize an army of 2,000 men, march to the scene of the trouble, and see that the people whom the “Mormons” had driven from their homes were returned to them. Note how eager the governor was to restore these few presumably abused people to their lands—but it was all right that twelve hundred “Mormons” should be driven from their property!
The next day after the governor had issued this order, the news of the Crooked River battle reached him, so he changed his instructions to the commanding officer, General Clark. This order, given October 27, 1838, is known as Governor Boggs’ exterminating order, and is one of the most disgraceful and wicked commands known in history. Exterminate means to destroy utterly, to root out completely, and this is what a governor of a state said should be done to twelve thousand innocent people if they did not leave the state.
Companies of Missouri militia now came marching from various parts of the state into Caldwell and other counties nearby. Soon Far West was surrounded by an army. Niel Gillium was there with his band of men in Indian costume, who whooped and yelled like true savages. On the evening of October 30th, a party of men came fresh from the awful massacre, at Haun’s Mill, eager for more blood. Thus the town was surrounded, and as it seemed, doomed to destruction.
The few brethren in Far West prepared to defend themselves as best they could. It might appear useless for a handful of men to oppose an army, but when men are fighting for their homes, their liberty, their wives and their children, a few can do mighty deeds.
But they were not to fight. Traitors were in the camp of the Saints and they now betrayed their brethren into the hands of the enemy. Colonel George M. Hinkle was the commander of the Far West militia, and he went to the mob commanders and promised to deliver up to them the Church leaders. He also made an agreement with them that the Saints would deliver up their arms, sign away their property to pay the expenses of the war, and then leave the state. This was all done without the knowledge of the “Mormons” or their leaders.
On the evening of October 30th, Colonel Hinkle told Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Parley P. Pratt, Lyman Wight, and George W. Robinson that the officers of the mob-militia wanted to consult with them and try to arrange matters. Next morning these brethren went with Hinkle some distance out of Far West where they were met by General Lucas, and soon most of the mob came up. Lucas ordered his men to surround the brethren, when Hinkle stepped up and said:
“General Lucas, these are the prisoners I agreed to deliver to you.”
The brethren were then marched into the camp of the mob-militia where they were received with great shouts, curses, and yells. All that night they were compelled to lie on the cold ground, and it rained before morning. The next day Hyrum Smith and Amasa M. Lyman were brought as prisoners into camp.
That day General Lucas demanded the arms of the “Mormons,” promising them protection, and the return of their guns after the trouble was over; but no sooner had the mob obtained possession of the arms then they began stealing and carrying away everything they could lay their hands on. They also destroyed much property and abused innocent women and children. Those of the brethren that had property were compelled to sign it away to the mob.
On the evening of November 1st, General Lucas held a court in which Joseph and his brethren were to be tried. This court was composed of seventeen preachers and some army officers. None of the prisoners were present, and knew nothing of what was going on. The brethren were found guilty and sentenced to be shot next morning at eight, o’clock, on the public square in Far West. When the sentence was passed
Fifty-six of the leading brethren were now taken prisoners and sent to the town of Richmond. Most of them were released shortly after.
On November 6th General Clark made his famous speech to the Saints in Far West, wherein he told them that he had come to carry out the governor’s orders to destroy them, but he would be lenient and give them a little time to get out of the state. He advised the Saints to be like other people and not organize themselves with bishops, presidents, etc. It was a very foolish, conceited speech.
About twenty-five miles north of Far West was a beautiful settlement of the Saints. Joseph said it was the place where our father Adam had blessed his children, and where he will come again to visit his people. So the place was called Adam-ondi-Ahman. The people here had suffered with the rest of the Saints, and now in the cold month of November they were driven from their homes and took refuge for the winter in Far West.
During that hard winter and time of trial when Joseph and many of his brethren were in prison and many others had apostatized, one name comes to the front as that of a faithful man. It is Brigham Young. He was ever true to the Prophet, and Joseph could rely on him. With him were such noble men as Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor, and many others. Brigham was now president of the Twelve, and it was his duty to take the lead in looking after the affairs of the Church during the absence of the First Presidency.
In January, 1839, Brigham Young called a meeting to consider what should be done in aiding the poor Saints to remove from Missouri. President Young presented a resolution that the brethren should never desert the poor Saints, but that they should help them to escape from their persecutors. A great many brethren agreed to this, and that winter and spring the move eastward to Illinois continued. They did not travel in large bodies, but in small companies as they got ready. Not one family who wished to go was left behind.
The sufferings of that winter journey cannot be told you here. Many died on the way through exposure and hardships. The mobs would not let them alone even when they were leaving as fast as they could. Mobs often rode into Far West, abused the people, stole horses, drove off cattle and took anything that pleased them. The Saints traded their farms for horses and wagons in which to get away. Sometimes fine farms were nearly given away. It is told of one brother that he sold forty acres of good land for a blind mare and a clock.
July 8, 1838, the Lord gave a revelation wherein he called the Twelve Apostles to go on a mission to England. The Twelve were to take leave of the Saints at the temple site in Far West, April 26, 1839. (Doc. and Cov., Sec. 118.) This time had now come, but it seemed impossible that it could be carried out, as most of the Saints had left Far West and the mobbers swore that this was a revelation that should not be fulfilled. They would kill the first Apostle that came into the place, they said.
However, seven of the Twelve arrived at Far West the night before the 26th, and early next morning they went to the temple lot, rolled a large stone to the southeast corner of the temple grounds as a foundation, and then proceeded to hold a meeting. Elders Wilford Woodruff and George A. Smith were then ordained Apostles, the brethren prayed and sang and then dismissed the meeting, bidding good-bye to the eighteen Saints present. Not a mobber was astir that morning, and the word of the Lord was again fulfilled.
Topics.—1. Governor Boggs’ exterminating order. 2. Betrayal of Joseph and his brethren. 3. Adam-ondi-Ahman. 4. Departure from Far West. 5. The meeting of the Twelve at Far West.
Questions and Review.—1. How did the mob make the people believe that the “Mormons” were burning houses, etc.? 2. What reports were brought to Governor Boggs? 3. What was the exterminating order? 4. What kinds of “soldiers” surrounded Far West? 5. What did Colonel Hinkle do? 6. What kind of court did General Lucas have to try Joseph and his brethren? 7. What was their sentence? 8. Why was it not carried out? 9. What did General Clark say in his speech? 10. Where was Adam-ondi-Ahman? 11. Why was it so called? 12. What did Brigham Young now do? 13. Tell about the meeting held at Far West, April 26, 1839.
In Missouri prisons.
From Far West Joseph and his brethren who had been taken prisoners were marched towards Jackson county. At first General Wilson who had them in charge treated the brethren badly, but as they proceeded on their journey he became quite friendly, and told the prisoners that he was just going to show the people of Independence what a “set of fine fellows you are.”
While on the march the Lord comforted Joseph, and he spoke to the other prisoners as follows: “Be of good cheer, brethren; the word of the Lord came to me last night that our lives should be given us, and that whatever we may suffer during this captivity, not one of our lives shall be taken.”
After they had crossed the Missouri river into Jackson county, many people came to see these wonders, the “Mormons.” One lady came up and asked the guards which of the prisoners the “Mormons” worshiped. Joseph was pointed out to her. She then asked the Prophet if he professed to be the Lord and Savior. Joseph said he was only a man sent by Jesus Christ to preach the gospel. Quite a crowd had gathered around, and Joseph went on explaining the principles of faith, repentance, etc. Thus Joseph preached a sermon in Jackson county in fulfillment of a prediction he had made some months before.
At Independence their treatment was not bad. The people seemed curious to see them, and the brethren spent their time in talking with people who came to them.
General Clark, who also wanted some of the “honor” of having these noted prisoners, now ordered them to Richmond, in Ray county, where the general had a talk with them. Shortly after this, some guards came into the jail house and fastened the seven prisoners together by means of a chain and pad-locks. In this way they lived in a room without chairs or beds, sleeping on the hard, cold floor at nights. Guards with loaded guns stood watch over them, and talked to each other of the wicked deeds they had done at Far West and other places near by. About these horrible acts they boasted in glee while the prisoners had to lie and hear it all.
One night, says P.P. Pratt, he lay next to Joseph, listening to all this vile talk, when suddenly Joseph arose to his feet and spoke in a voice of thunder, or as the roaring lion, these words:
“’Silence! ye fiends of the infernal pit! In the name of Jesus Christ I rebuke you, and command you to be still. I will not live another minute and hear such language. Cease your talk, or you or I die this minute’
“He ceased to speak. He stood erect in terrible majesty, chained and without a weapon; calm, unruffled, and dignified as an angel, he looked down upon the quailing guards, whose weapons dropped to the ground, whose knees smote together.” The ruffians instantly became still, and were very glad when a change of guard came so that they could get away.
General Clark tried hard to find some law by which he could have Joseph tried by an army court, but he failed in this and therefore he handed the prisoners over to the civil authorities.
Another farce of a trial was now had. About forty men, mostly apostates, testified against the prisoners. The brethren had no witnesses, and when the mobber Bogart was sent to Far West for some, he simply arrested them and put them in prison. The result of the hearing was that Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight, Alexander McRae, and Caleb Baldwin were sent to Liberty, Clay county, to jail. Parley P. Pratt and others were to remain in Richmond jail, while some others were released.
Joseph with his fellow-prisoners remained in Liberty jail from November 28, 1838, to April 6, 1839. During all this time they suffered the hardships of prison life, together with abuses not usually imposed on common prisoners. It is claimed by some that they were offered human flesh to eat. During this time of trial Joseph was cheerful and told the brethren they would get out safe. He wrote many letters of instruction to the Saints, bidding them to be faithful to their religion. The brethren who were at liberty were not idle. They were appealing continually to the judges and the governor for justice for their brethren, but it was of little use. At one hearing, Sidney Rigdon was released but he had to go back to jail for a time because the mob threatened to kill him.
Seeing that it was useless trying to be released lawfully the brethren decided to try to escape. The evening of February 7, 1839, when the guard should come with their supper, was fixed as the time to try; but Hyrum wanted to be sure about the matter so he asked Joseph to enquire of the Lord if it was wisdom for them to make the attempt. Joseph did so and was informed that if they were all united they would be able to escape that evening. Therefore all but Lyman Wight agreed to the plan. He wanted to wait till the next day, and as the brethren would not go without him, they decided to wait.
That evening the guard left the door wide open and gave them a good chance to escape, but they did not try. The next evening the jailor brought a double guard with him, and six of the brethren came to see the prisoners. Though it was a very poor chance to escape, they meant to try. When the guard went to close the door the prisoners followed and tried to prevent him, but they did not succeed. All but one of the visiting brethren were also locked in, and he had a narrow escape from the mob outside who soon collected and made all kinds of threats against the prisoners.
The visitors now thought that they also were in great danger, but Joseph told them not to fear, as not a hair of their heads would be injured. This promise came true, because at a trial they had next day they were all set free and nothing was taken from them.
April 6, 1839, the prisoners were ordered to Gallatin, Daviess county. After their long confinement the brethren were weak, and it was hard to stand the long journey. On the 9th they had another trial or hearing. The jury consisted mainly of men who had taken part in the Haun’s Mill massacre, and most of the time during the trial they were drunk. The presiding officer, Judge King, was also as bad as the jury. This mock trial continued for several days. Men who sat on the jury during the day acted as guards at night, where they boasted of their murders, thefts, etc., to the prisoners. This trial resulted in the brethren being held for “murder, treason, burglary, arson, larceny, theft, and stealing.”
The prisoners now asked for a change of venue, that is, a change of place of trial. This was granted, and on April 15 they started for Boone county under guard of the sheriff and four men. On the night of the 16th the sheriff told them he was going to take a drink of grog before going to bed and they could do as they pleased. The sheriff and three of the guards went to bed drunk, and the other guard helped the brethren saddle the horses and get away. They traveled day and night, and after much suffering Joseph arrived at the city of Quincy, Illinois, April 22, 1839, where he was gladly welcomed by his family and friends.
Topics.—1. Prisoners taken to Independence. 2. In Richmond jail. 3. In Liberty jail. 4. The attempt to escape. 5. Their last trial and escape.
Questions and Review.—1. Who were taken as prisoners to Independence? 2. What prediction did Joseph make while on the way? 3. How did Joseph fulfill his own prophecy in Jackson county? 4. Where were they taken next? 5. How were they treated in Richmond jail? 6. Describe Joseph’s rebuke. 7. Where next were they sent? 8. How long were they in Liberty jail? 9. Why was the attempt to escape a failure? 10. Where were they next taken? 11. Describe their last trial. 12. How did they escape?
From his prison in Missouri, Joseph had advised his brethren to buy land in the state of Illinois and Iowa. Towards these states, therefore, the Saints had fled, leaving merciless, blood-stained Missouri to the judgment of God.
Twenty years afterwards when the great war broke out between the North and the South, Missouri was one of the fiercest battle grounds, and its people suffered terribly for the misery and bloodshed they had brought upon the Saints.
The people of Illinois received the homeless Saints kindly, and sold them land upon which to live. At a small place called Commerce, situated on the east bank of the Mississippi river, Joseph bought land, and there he decided to locate the headquarters of the Church. The place was beautifully situated in a bend of the river. Here a city was laid out and called Nauvoo, meaning beauty and rest, and Joseph invited the Saints to settle and build up the place. It was no small task to gather the scattered Saints into one body again, but early in the summer of 1839 a number of houses were erected in the new city.
[Illustration: The Nauvoo house.]
Now came another trouble. Commerce was not a healthful place, but the Saints were promised that that would be changed; however, it was not long before a great many of the Saints became sick. Nearly every house was afflicted, and Joseph himself also took the fever. On the morning of July 22nd, Joseph arose from his bed and commenced administering to the sick. He began with those in his own house, then went to some camping in his yard. The Prophet commanded the sick in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to arise from their beds and be made whole, and the sick were healed on ever side. He then went from house to house and from tent to tent upon the bank of the river, healing the people. Many wonderful healings were performed. Joseph would take the sick person by the hand, or stand in the door of the tent and command the afflicted person to arise and be made whole. The Prophet with some of the brethren who were now with him crossed the river to the place where Brigham Young was lying ill. President Young was soon healed and followed with the rest. As there were many whom the Prophet could not reach, the Twelve were sent to administer to them. Joseph gave Wilford Woodruff a silk handkerchief which he was to use in healing some children. President Woodruff kept the handkerchief to the day of his death.
After this, there was very little sickness in Nauvoo. During the summer and fall of 1839 the city grew rapidly. About this time seven of the Twelve left for their mission to England, of which you have been told, and the English Saints soon began to gather to Nauvoo.
Late in October, 1839, Joseph went to the city of Washington to lay the troubles of the Church before the authorities of the nation. Joseph made the acquaintance of many leading men, among them John C. Calhoun, and Henry Clay. Martin Van Buren was president, and to him Joseph told of the wrongs they had suffered from the people of Missouri. It was then that the president made the famous remark: “Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you.” His meaning, no doubt, was that the president of the United States had no right to interfere with the affairs of a state; but that all such troubles should be settled by the state itself.
[Illustration: The Nauvoo Mansion.]
So Joseph returned without any help. Meanwhile, Nauvoo grew into a large city. Ten wards were laid off and organized. April 6, 1841, the corner stone of the temple was laid. Many public buildings were erected. Good houses were built, and beautiful gardens soon bloomed around them. On the outskirts of the city, fields of grain stretched as far as the eye could reach. In 1842 there were 20,000 people in the city, and Nauvoo promised to be one of the largest cities in the West.
The fame of Joseph and the “Mormon” city spread, and many people came to see the wonder. Missionaries were sent out to preach, the Times and Seasons published by the Church, printed many Gospel truths and much important history. The militia was organized and the city had a well-drilled body of men called the Nauvoo Legion. Peace and prosperity smiled upon them for a season, and it seemed that at last there would be a permanent stake of Zion established.
But it was not to be. The hate that burned in the hearts of evil men had not grown less, but was only waiting for a chance to show itself. Trouble again arose. It would not be easy to understand the many causes that led to these troubles, but a few may be noted.
The Saints now had great power at the polls, the same as in Missouri. The “Mormons” would not vote for men who would not give them their rights, and so many of these politicians became their enemies and stirred up the people against the Saints by their many lies. Then, there were the jealousies of the sectarian preachers; and perhaps worse than all, the evil work of apostates. Then it happened that a band of thieves troubled the neighborhood, and of course the “Mormons” were blamed. It was not a hard matter to find excuses for a further persecution of the Latter-day Saints.
And now came again Governor Boggs, of Missouri. He, it seems, had not had enough, so he asked Governor Carlin to deliver to him Joseph and the other brethren who had escaped from Missouri. Governor Carlin of Illinois, made out the papers for the brethren’s arrest, but the officer could not find them when he went to Nauvoo. He therefore returned without his prisoners, and nothing more was done in the matter until nearly a year later, when Joseph was visiting the governor at Quincy. Governor Carlin treated Joseph kindly, but as soon as the Prophet had left, some of the officers were sent after him. They overtook Joseph and arrested him on the old charge from Missouri. However, they went on to Nauvoo, where the sheriff, being sick, was taken good care of by his prisoner. As it was Joseph’s right by law to be tried in Illinois, he was permitted to have a hearing before Judge Stephen A. Douglas, in Monmouth, Illinois. There was great excitement at the trial, some of his enemies trying to excite a mob against him. At the close of the hearing Joseph was set free by the judge.
Dr. J.C. Bennett was the mayor of Nauvoo, and held other high positions; but he proved to be a very wicked man. At one time, when the Legion was having a sham fight, Bennett tried to get Joseph into a position that he might be shot without anyone knowing who did it. This did not succeed. Then he began to commit sin, and say that Joseph upheld him in it. Bennett was of course cut off from the Church, after which he wrote many false things against Joseph and the Saints and was the means of bringing much persecution on them.
In May, 1842, Ex-Governor Boggs of Missouri was shot at and wounded by some person in Independence. Although at this time they were hundreds of miles from Independence, Joseph Smith and O.P. Rockwell were charged with this crime, and again papers were issued for their arrest. They were tried in Nauvoo and acquitted. As the Missourians were trying many schemes to take Joseph to Missouri and there kill him, he went in hiding for a time. Every effort was made to take Joseph, and rewards were offered for his capture. Elder Rockwell was kidnapped and taken to Missouri, where he was ill-treated, but at last escaped.
Thomas Ford now became governor of Illinois and to him Joseph went. The governor prevailed upon Joseph to stand another trial, which was held at Springfield, Illinois. Joseph was again proved innocent and released.
But the fiends from Missouri would not give up. Once again he was taken while away from Nauvoo, by two officers, who abused him shamefully. I cannot tell you all about his exciting adventures—that you must read in a larger history—but at last he arrived safe again in Nauvoo.
Persecution continued. Mobs now gathered around Nauvoo. Threats were made that mobs would come from Missouri, and join with those of Illinois, against the “Mormons.” There was great unrest. When Joseph was spoken to about the danger he was in, he said he was not exposed to as much danger from outside enemies as from traitors within. “We have a Judas in our midst,” he said.
Thus ended the year 1843.
Topics.—1. Settlement at Nauvoo. 2.
The healing of the sick. 3. City of
Nauvoo. 4. Attempts to take Joseph to Missouri.
Questions and Review.—1. Locate Nauvoo. 2. What was its name before it was called Nauvoo? 3. Relate how Joseph healed the sick. 4. When did Joseph go to Washington? 5. What was his mission there? 6. What answer did President Martin Van Buren make? 7. Why was it useless to expect justice from Missouri? 8. What kind of city did Nauvoo become? 9. What was the Times and Seasons? 10. What was the Nauvoo Legion? 11. Name some of the causes that led to the new persecution. 12. Who was Dr. Bennett, and what did he do? 13. Tell of the efforts to get Joseph to Missouri.
On January 29, 1844, Joseph Smith was nominated for President of the United States. Neither he nor his friends had much hopes of his election, but it gave the citizens of Nauvoo at least a chance to vote for an honest man who was their friend. Brethren were sent to various parts of the country to make speeches in his favor, and Joseph published his views on how the government should be conducted. One of his ideas was that the government should set the negro slaves free, paying their masters for them. President Abraham Lincoln, twenty years later, also favored this plan.
Meanwhile, Nauvoo prospered and the Church grew. When the weather would permit, meetings were held in a grove near the temple, there being no room large enough to hold the large crowds of people. Joseph continued to give many glorious truths to the Church about the nature of God, the land of Zion, baptism for the dead, and many other things.
The Prophet’s prediction that there was a Judas in their midst soon proved too true; and there were more than one. William Law, Joseph’s second counselor, William Marks, president of the Nauvoo Stake, with many other leading men proved themselves false to Joseph and the Church. They even planned with Joseph’s enemies to have him killed. They were also proved guilty of other sins and were therefore cut off from the Church. After this, these men said Joseph was a fallen prophet, and so they organized a church of their own. It did not amount to anything, however.
Joseph’s periods of peace were not many. Apostates were his worst enemies, and they were all the time annoying him by having him arrested on all manner of false charges. These men were very bitter, and they howled around him like a pack of wolves, eager to devour him; but Joseph trusted in the Saints and they in him, for those who were faithful to their duties knew by the Spirit of God that Joseph was not a fallen prophet.
In June, 1844, the enemies of the Saints began to publish a paper in Nauvoo, called the Expositor. Its purpose was to deprive the people of Nauvoo of their rights, so it boldly said. One paper was printed, and that was so full of false statements and abuse against the city officials that the city council declared it a nuisance and had the press, type, etc., destroyed.
This raised great excitement among the enemies of the Church. Joseph and seventeen others were arrested, tried before a court in Nauvoo, and acquitted; but this did not satisfy the mobbers. On the advice of the United States judge for that district, Joseph and his brethren allowed themselves to be arrested again and have a trial before Justice Daniel H. Wells, then not a “Mormon.” They were again discharged as innocent of crime.
Now mobs began to threaten again, but the Nauvoo Legion was ready to defend the city. As the Legion was drawn up in front of Joseph’s house one day—it was the 18th of June—he got upon a platform and spoke to the soldiers. That speech was long remembered by those who heard it. It thrilled them through and through and at the word they would gladly have marched and met the mob in battle; but that was not Joseph’s way. He was always willing to have the laws carried out even if he suffered thereby, so that his enemies could have no just excuse. That was the Prophet Joseph Smith’s last public speech.
During the excitement Governor Ford arrived at Carthage, a town about eighteen miles from Nauvoo, and the county seat of Hancock county. The governor sent word to Nauvoo that he wanted some explanation of the trouble, so Joseph sent some of the brethren to him. The governor treated his callers rudely. Carthage was full of mobs, and the governor seemed to believe all they told him about the “Mormons.” He organized the mobs into troops. Joseph asked the governor to come to Nauvoo and investigate the whole matter; but no: Joseph must go to Carthage. The governor said he would protect him if he would go.
It was on the evening of June 22nd. Joseph and Hyrum had called some brethren together: “All they want is Hyrum and myself,” said the Prophet. Joseph and Hyrum both seemed certain that if their enemies got them in their power again they would be killed. Joseph then proposed that he and Hyrum should escape to the Rocky Mountains. Preparations for this trip were made and they were rowed over the river to Iowa, when Joseph’s wife sent some of the brethren to plead with him to return. Some brethren also found fault with him in running away to “leave the flock to the wolves.”
Joseph replied, “If my life is of no value to my friends, it is of none to myself.” So they went back, Joseph saying, “We shall be butchered.”
On the morning of June 24th Joseph and eighteen brethren set out for Carthage to be tried again on the old charge. As he rode out the Prophet made many expressions of goodby to his friends. Four miles from Carthage they met a company of militia going to Nauvoo with an order from the governor that the Nauvoo Legion give up its arms. Joseph rode back with them to see that this was done. Twice he bade his family farewell. His face was pale, and he was suffering.
“I am going like a lamb to the slaughter,” he said, “but I am calm as a summer morning.”
At Carthage they were received with oaths and threats by the troops. Apostates and soldiers swore that the brethren would never leave Carthage alive.
The next day the governor paraded the prisoners before the troops, who insulted them as they passed along. Then they were placed in the jail awaiting their trial.
[Illustration: CARTHAGE JAIL.]
The day following, the prisoners were marched to the court house, guarded by the troops; but the trial was postponed until the next day, and the brethren were taken back to jail.
This was the 26th of June. That night Joseph was lying on the floor with some of the brethren. Brother Dan Jones was on one side and Brother John S. Fullmer on the other.
“Lay your head on my arm for a pillow, Brother John,” said Joseph, and then he talked with him in a low tone. Joseph expressed a desire to see his family again and preach to the Saints once more.
To Brother Jones he whispered, “Are you afraid to die?” When Brother Jones said he was not, Joseph replied, “You will yet see Wales, and fulfill the mission appointed you, before you die.” (Dan Jones did a wonderful missionary work in Wales.)
The next morning the guards frequently told some of the brethren that if they did not wish to be killed they had better get away from Joseph. This was told to Governor Ford, but he paid no attention to it.
At 10:30 that morning, June 27, the governor with the most friendly of the troops left for Nauvoo, and the brethren were left to their fate.
In an upper room of Carthage jail, Joseph, Hyrum, John Taylor, and Willard Richards were spending their time in writing letters, singing, talking, and praying. In the afternoon Joseph asked Elder Taylor to sing the hymn, commencing:
“A poor wayfaring man of grief.”
And when it was done he asked him to sing it again. Brother Taylor said he could hardly sing it, he felt so sad, but he sang the hymn again.
About 5 o’clock in the afternoon a mob of about two hundred men surrounded the jail. They had blackened their faces with powder and mud. Then the firing began. The mob rushed up the stairs, shooting into the room where the four brethren were. The prisoners sprang to the door to close it but the guns of the mob forced it open. Elders Taylor and Richards tried to push the guns aside with their canes. The bullets flew like hail into the room. One ball came through the door and struck Hyrum in the head. Four others hit him, and he fell back saying:
“I am a dead man.”
Joseph gazed on his brother and exclaimed: “Oh! dear brother Hyrum!”
Elder Taylor now tried to jump from the window. A ball struck him, and he was about to fall from the window, when another bullet from the outside hit his watch in his vest pocket and threw him back into the room. Here he was hit by two more balls, and he rolled under the bed.
Then Joseph went to the open window intending to leap out. Two bullets struck him and he fell outward, exclaiming:
“O Lord, my God!”
As soon as he had struck the ground a mobber set him against a well curb a few feet from the jail, and then, by order of Col. Levi Williams, a mobber and Baptist preacher, four men sent bullets into his body.
Then the mob fled, and the whole town of Carthage with them, fearing the vengeance of the people of Nauvoo. But vengeance is the Lord’s.
Willard Richards was not hurt. That night he spent in attending to his wounded brother, John Taylor, and watching over the dead bodies of the Prophet and Patriarch.
Joseph’s earthly work was done, and the Master had called him away from the haunts of mobs and wicked men. He sealed his testimony with his blood. He had spent his life in working for the salvation of his fellowman, and even yet in a freer and grander sphere he is working for the cause of Christ and the Church.
Topics.—1. Joseph nominated for president. 2. Traitors. 3. The Expositor. 4. Joseph goes to Carthage. 5. The martyrdom.
Questions and Review.—1. When was Joseph nominated for President of the United States? 2. What were his ideas of slavery? 3. Where were the large meetings in Nauvoo held? 4. Who proved false to Joseph? 5. How did the Saints know that Joseph was not a fallen prophet? 6. What was the Nauvoo Expositor? 7. Why was it destroyed? 8. Why did Joseph object to being tried in Carthage? 9. On what occasion did Joseph deliver his last speech? 10. Why did not Joseph go west to the mountains? 11. What did Governor Ford promise? 12. Give some expressions of the prophet on going to Carthage. 13. Who were with Joseph in jail? 14. Tell about the martyrdom. 15. When did it take place? 16. How old was Joseph when he was killed?
EXPULSION FROM ILLINOIS.
When the bodies of the martyred Prophet and Patriarch were brought from Carthage, they were met by thousands of the Saints from Nauvoo who wept aloud for the loss of their beloved leaders. The scene was a very sad one. Elder Willard Richards spoke to the people and advised them to remain peaceable as they had always been, and let the Lord avenge the murder of their loved ones.
The bodies of Joseph and Hyrum were buried privately at Nauvoo so that their enemies might not disturb them.
And now the Saints were a little confused about who should be their leaders. Joseph, the President of the Church, and Hyrum, one of his counselors, were dead, and Sidney Rigdon, the other counselors, had some months before got tired of affairs at Nauvoo and had gone to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He was an apostate at heart, though he had not yet been cut off from the Church. Most of the Twelve Apostles were away on missions, and word was sent for them to return as soon as possible.
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.
Some time before his death, Joseph had predicted that the Saints would yet move to the Rocky Mountains; and he had even begun the movement by holding councils and asking for volunteers from the brethren to go ahead and locate a place to which the Church might gather. President Young and the Twelve now began preparing to carry this plan out. They could plainly see that it was useless to try to live in peace in Illinois. The mobs grew larger and fiercer. The people living in the counties surrounding Hancock county, threatened to drive the “Mormons” from the state; and the officers whose duty it was to enforce the laws would not do so if it was to protect the “Mormons.”
So in August, 1845, it was decided to select three thousand men who, with their families, were to go to Upper California. All this western country was then called Upper California. The authorities of the Church promised the mob leaders that if they would not molest them they would all leave the state early the next spring.
But the mobbing did not cease at this; so the sheriff of the county, a Mr. Backenstos, organized a posse, that is, a company of men to help him enforce the laws and keep order. The sheriff kept after the mob to prevent them from burning houses, etc., and this made the mobbers very angry. One day some of them tried to kill the sheriff, but he was saved by two “Mormons” coming to his rescue. Thus during the summer and fall of 1845 there was much trouble between the mobs, the “Mormons,” and the militia.
All this time the Saints had worked hard to finish the temple. It had been decided to do this even if they had to work with the “trowel in one hand and a sword in the other.” October 5th the temple was near enough finished that a conference was held in the building. No general conference had been held for three years, as Joseph had said none should be convened until it could be held in the temple.
After this the work on the building still went on, and in a short time it was so far completed that it was dedicated, and a great many of the Saints received their endowments within its sacred walls.
All that winter, (1845-46) Nauvoo was like a big workshop. Everybody that could was preparing for the great move westward. Farms and houses were offered for sale. Wagons were built, and as iron was scarce, many of them had wooden tires. Horses and cattle were gathered. It was to be the sixth move of the Saints from their homes, and it was no small undertaking now as there were many thousands of people, and they were to go to a wild, unknown land among the deserts and mountains of the West.
The move began on February 4, 1846, and from that date on there was a continuous stream of wagons crossing the Mississippi river to the Iowa side. A camp was made on Sugar creek, nine miles from Nauvoo, where the Saints gathered. Towards the last of the month the weather became very cold, the river froze over so that teams could be driven across on the ice. It was a bad time of the year to begin such a move. Many of the Saints were poorly clad, some had no tents or wagon covers, and in the snow and cold there was much suffering; but on the Saints went, looking with sad hearts on their deserted homes; but rather would they face the winter storms and cold than to live in constant dread of cruel mobs.
Topics.—1. Presiding authority in the Church. 2. The Twelve sustained. 3. Action of Sidney Rigdon. 4. Mobbings. 5. The removal.
Questions and Review.—1. Where were Joseph and Hyrum buried? 2. What were the feelings of the Saints? 3. Why were the Saints troubled about a leader? 4. Where were most of the Twelve at the time of the martyrdom? 5. When the First Presidency is taken away, what is the next presiding authority in the Church? 6. What did Sidney Rigdon want? 7. What testimony was given the Saints at the meeting on August 8th? 8. What became of Sidney Rigdon? 9. What did the enemies of the Church expect to do by killing Joseph Smith? 10. Who first planned the move to the mountains? 11. Tell about the work of the mobs. 12. Why did the Saints work so hard to finish the temple, knowing they would have to leave it? 13. When did the move westward begin?
THE BATTLE OF NAUVOO.
Leaving the main body of the Saints traveling westward, in this chapter I wish to tell you about what happened to those who remained in Nauvoo; and by the way, this is the last chapter of this little history in which mobs will play an important part.
In the summer of 1846 there were about six hundred Saints in Nauvoo, most of whom had been unable to get away. Many were poor, some were sick, and there were many old people and children. Many non-"Mormons” had bought property from the Saints who had left, and had moved into the city. The mob called these friendly citizens “Jack Mormons.”
Naturally, one would think that these few Saints would be left to get ready to move in peace; but not so. If there is any doubt of the brutal character of the mob, what they now did will remove that doubt forever.
On July 11, eight brethren were engaged in cutting grain in a field twelve miles from Nauvoo. A mob surrounded them, and then taking them one by one, whipped them severely. Two of these mobbers were afterwards arrested, and to get even for this, the mob carried away five other brethren who were abused by the mobbers for twelve days before they were released.
The next move of the mob was to get writs of arrest for many persons in Nauvoo. A John Carlin was unlawfully appointed a constable to serve these writs, that is, make the arrests, and he raised a large body of men to help him; but behind all this, the real object was to drive the remaining “Mormons” from the city.
Governor Ford was now notified of the actions of these mobbers, and he sent Major Parker to Nauvoo, who was to raise volunteers and defend the city. Four companies of troops were organized by the governor’s order; but instead of treating the invaders as they truly were, a mob, Major Parker made a treaty with their leader in which it was agreed that the “Mormons” would leave the state within sixty days. The mob leader thought this fair enough, but the mobbers did not. At this, their leader resigned and a man by the name of Brockman took command of the crowd. He gave the order to march towards Nauvoo, which they gladly did.
On the morning of September 10th, 1846, the watchman in the tower of the temple gave notice that the enemy were coming 1,000 or 1,500 strong. They had cannon, plenty of ammunition, and came like an army ready for battle. Many of the new citizens fled, and the little band of defenders numbered only one hundred and twenty-three men.
Meanwhile, a committee had come from Quincy to try to settle the troubles without bloodshed. Although with them were Major Flood, sent by the governor, and Mr. Wood, mayor of Quincy, the mob paid no attention to them, and so they could do nothing.
There seemed no prospect but that the citizens would have to defend themselves as best they could. Benjamin Clifford took command of the volunteers, and Captain William Anderson organized a small body of sharpshooters called the Spartan Band. As cannon were badly needed, the brethren got two hollow steamboat shafts, cut them in two, plugged up one end, and thus made some cannon. They had no cannon balls, but they used scraps of iron and lead tied up into bags.
On Friday, the 11th, the mob drew up to the city and began firing. They were met by the “Mormon” troops with their home-made cannon, which surprised the mobbers very much, and they were compelled to stop their advance.
On Saturday, the 12th, a flag of truce was brought into the city, and with it a note to the commander at Nauvoo, stating that if they did not surrender they would have to take the consequences. Major Clifford replied that he had been sent by the governor to uphold the laws and that he was going to do it, advising Brockman to disband his men.
The Nauvoo citizens had held their position during the night and had thrown up some breastworks. The next day the battle waged fiercer than ever, but the Nauvoo boys held their ground and the mob could not get in. Twelve mobbers were wounded. The first one killed among the defenders was Augustus Anderson, a “Mormon” boy fourteen years old. He left his mother that morning saying he would fight for her, and went along with his father, Captain William Anderson. Augustus was struck by a cannon ball, and died in a few minutes. Shortly after Captain Anderson was also hit.
“I am wounded,” he cried. “Take my gun and shoot on.”
David Norris was also killed, and a number of other brethren wounded.
For six days that little band of brave defenders kept the mob at bay; and even when it was seen to be useless to keep the fight up longer, many were in favor of doing so.
On the 16th a treaty was made. The city was to surrender. The citizens were not to be molested, and the sick and helpless were to be protected. The “Mormons” were to leave as soon as possible.
The mob forces entered the city on the 17th; but it was the same old story. They thought no more of promises or of the treaty. Bands of men went through the city, stealing, insulting, and in every way abusing the people. A gang went through the temple and up to the tower where they rang the bell, yelled and shouted. A preacher who was in the mob went up to the top of the tower and cried in a loud voice:
“Peace! peace! peace! to the inhabitants of the earth, now the ‘Mormons’ are driven!”
The poor Saints had to get away as fast as they could. Some went north, some south, but most of them crossed the river and camped on the low bottoms of the Mississippi in Iowa. I shall not attempt to tell you of the sufferings of these poor people; weak, sick hungry, cold, and wet. It would make your heart ache to see the picture, one of the saddest in all our history.
At this time, when it seemed as though these people would starve to death, a strange thing happened. Great flocks of quail came flying into camp. They flew against the wagons with such force that they were killed or stunned, so that they could be picked up. They also alighted all over the camp and were so tame that they could be taken by the hand. Thus the Lord sent food to his hungry children.
If you wish to read a very interesting account of this removal from Nauvoo, read Colonel Kane’s lecture, found in many of our larger histories.
Topics.—1. Nauvoo after the main body of Saints had left. 2. The Battle of Nauvoo. 3. The remnant driven out.
Questions and Review.—1. About how many Saints were left in Nauvoo? 2. Who were the “Jack Mormons?” 3. Tell of the mob’s doings. 4. Who was John Carlin? 5. What did he do? 6. Who was Major Parker? 7. What did he have orders to do? 8. Describe the mobbing party. 9. Tell about the Nauvoo volunteers. 10. Who were William and Augustus Anderson? 11. How long did the defenders hold out? 12. What was agreed upon in the treaty of peace? 13. Describe the actions of the mob in Nauvoo. 14. To where were the Saints driven? 15. What was their condition? 16. How were they fed? 17. Who wrote an interesting account of this exodus?
The moving of a nation! What a task it must have been!
Most of you have had some experience in moving, it may be only a family moving from one house to another, and you know what a lot of worry and work there are in such a small affair; but here was a nation moving!
This great exodus was very much like the time when the children of Israel went from under the oppression of Egypt out into the wilderness to journey to the promised land. When at Nauvoo, Brigham Young said to the Saints: “To your tents, O Israel,” they knew they had another Moses to lead them from their persecutors.
The camp at Sugar creek grew larger every day through the arrival of exiles from Nauvoo. Many did not bring provisions enough with them, so that they were forced to go to the neighboring farms and settlements and work for corn.
The first move the camp made was on March 1, 1846, when four hundred wagons started forward. Five miles only was traveled that day, and when they camped, the snow had to be shovelled away where they pitched their tents.
From that time the Saints moved slowly westward across the territory of Iowa. As they advanced, the spring rains came and often drenched the travelers through. The ground now became very muddy, and it was so hard for the poor teams that some days only a few miles were traveled. Sometimes their camping places were so wet that they who slept on the ground would have to lay on branches of trees so that they would not sink into the mud.
At first there was very little feed for their animals, and they had to live on the bark and twigs of trees, with what, corn could be spared for them. Many horses were traded for oxen, as they could stand such hardship better. Trips were made to the nearest settlements to buy food. Those who had no money traded what they could spare, such as dishes and feather beds for corn.
For the first few weeks there was not much order in their way of traveling; but on March 27th the Saints were more perfectly organized. Brigham Young was sustained as president of the whole camp. Then captains were appointed over hundreds, over fifties, and over tens. Clerks were chosen to keep the records, etc., and men were called to see to the buying and distributing of the food. Thus every one had something to do and everything was done in order.
[Illustration: A PIONEER TRAIN.]
Often in the evening when supper had been eaten, the logs were piled on the bonfire, a space was cleared, the musicians brought out their instruments, and the sorrows and hardships of the day were forgotten in the innocent dance.
The camp always rested on Sundays, and if the weather would permit, meetings were held.
On April 24th a point on Grand river was reached, one hundred and forty-five miles north-west from Nauvoo. Here it was decided to form a settlement—to build houses and plant crops, that those who came after would have food and a stopping place. The settlement was called Garden Grove. Soon it was as lively as a hive of bees. Hundreds of men were busy making fence rails and fences, building houses, digging wells, clearing land, and plowing. Meetings were held often and the people were instructed and encouraged. Parley P. Pratt and a small company were sent ahead to find another location for a settlement. They found a beautiful place about thirty miles from Garden Grove, which they called Mount Pisgah. Here houses were also built, and farms and gardens planted. As many of the Saints were poor and sick they rested at these two settlements while the main body went on.
From Mount Pisgah the country was wild Indian lands, there being no white settlements or roads. The spring rains had now moderated so that the roads were better. On June 14th President Young and the leading companies arrived at the Missouri river, where a stop was made. Most of the companies came up in July. A camp was made on the east side of the river on some high land called Council Bluffs.
This was on Indian land, but the travelers were received kindly and given permission to stop.
President Young intended to send a body of picked men into the Rocky Mountains as soon as possible to locate a gathering place. They were to push on ahead that summer and put in crops. Arrangements were being made to this end, when something happened that put a stop to the plan. This was the call for the Mormon Battalion, about which I will tell you in the next chapter.
After five hundred of their best men had marched away to fight the battles of their country, it was impossible for the Saints to get to the mountains that year. So it was decided to make a third stopping place and remain there during the winter.
There being a good location for a town on the west bank of the Missouri river, that place was selected and named Winter Quarters. The town was laid out regularly into streets, and log houses were built. Some made dugouts in the sides of the hill, which were quite comfortable during the cold winter. As the Indians were troublesome on that side of the river a stockade was built around the town. By December, 1846, five hundred and thirty-eight log houses and eighty-three sod houses were built, inhabited by three thousand four hundred and eighty-three people. The town was divided into twenty-two wards, each presided over by a bishop. A large log house was built in which meetings and parties were held.
The food of the people that winter consisted largely of corn-bread and pork. President Young had a grist mill built, but before that time many ate boiled wheat, and ground their corn in coffee mills.
Because of hardships and poor food there was much sickness at all the settlements. Graves marked the prairie for hundreds of miles. At Winter Quarters alone over six hundred were buried.
The poor Saints who were left at Nauvoo were not forgotten. After they had been driven from Nauvoo, they were met by teams from Winter Quarters, and all who wished to go were taken to the camps of the Saints.
Perhaps you may get an idea of this great move when you are told that during that summer there were about two thousand wagons and ten thousand Saints on the way between Nauvoo and Council Bluffs.
Topics.—1. From Nauvoo to Garden Grove. 2. Garden Grove and Mount Pisgah. 3. Winter Quarters.
Questions and Review.—1. What might this last move of the Saints be likened to? 2. After leaving Nauvoo where was the first stopping place? 3. When did the camp start west? 4. What hindered the traveling? 5. How was the camp organized? 6. What did the Saints do for amusement? 7. Where were Garden Grove and Mount Pisgah? 8. What was the object in making these settlements? 9. What prevented a band of pioneers from going to the mountains that summer? 10. Where was Winter Quarters? 11. Describe the place. 12. About how many people were traveling across Iowa that summer?
THE MORMON BATTALION.
During the summer of 1846 the United States was at war with the republic of Mexico. A number of battles had been fought in Texas. What is now California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona belonged to Mexico, and as President Polk desired to get this large district of country for the United States, he sent soldiers westward to the Pacific ocean.
The “Mormon” people traveling from Nauvoo had asked President Polk for assistance in their journey to the west. They said they wanted to remain under the protection of the government, and were willing to aid in holding the western country for the United States.
In the month of June, 1846, Captain James Allen, an officer of the United States army arrived at Mount Pisgah, Iowa. What he wanted was five hundred men with which to form a battalion and march across the continent to California, and take part in the war with Mexico.
This was startling news indeed. The Saints had not expected this kind of “help” in their journeying through the wilderness. Many of the Saints looked upon the call as a plan to destroy them. You can hardly blame them for that, can you, knowing some of their past history?
But President Young and the leading brethren told the officer he should have his men. They thought it was a test to see if they were true to their country. Though it was a pretty hard test, thus to take their best and strongest men away from such a camp as theirs, yet the “Mormon” people would show to the government and to the whole world that they were loyal to their country, even though that country had failed to protect them in their rights to live in peace and worship God.
At a meeting held at Council Bluffs it was decided to raise the men asked for. Brigham Young and the Twelve took an active part in getting volunteers. Word was sent to the different settlements of the Saints. The stars and stripes were hoisted to a tree top, and the work of enrollment began. Within three days the little army was organized and ready for the march. Then they had a grand farewell party, held, not in some beautifully lighted ball room, but in a bowery, where the ground had been packed hard by the tread of many feet. There fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters and sweethearts said their goodbyes to each other.
And then the long, dreary march began. The story of that march would fill a book, so of course very little of it can be told here. If you would like to read more about it, you will find it in Brother Tyler’s “History of the Mormon Battalion.”
There were five hundred and forty-nine souls in the Battalion. Captain James Allen was the commander. They started on their march July 20, 1846, to Fort Leavenworth, where they received their guns and other things necessary for an army. At this point Captain Allen died, which made the men feel bad, as he was a good, kind officer.
The Battalion began to move from Fort Leavenworth on the 12th of August. You may see their line of march by looking at the map on page 128. After suffering much hardship, they reached Santa Fe, October 9th. Here Colonel Cooke took the command. As many of the soldiers as were too sick to go on were sent to Pueblo, where they remained all winter, and traveled to Salt Lake valley the next summer. The main body of the Battalion left Santa Fe, October 19th, for California. At Tucson they expected to have a battle with some Mexican soldiers, and prepared for it, but they marched through the city without being disturbed. From Tucson they continued over the deserts, and arrived at San Diego, January 29, 1847, where they saw the broad, blue, ocean, many of them for the first time.
The Battalion remained in and around San Diego for about two weeks. As there was no fighting to be done, the men built houses, dug wells, made brick, and helped build up the town. On March 19th most of them marched to Los Angeles, and on the 16th of July they were mustered out, having served their full time—one year.
Of this great march Colonel Cooke their commander wrote:
“History may be searched in vain for an equal march of infantry; nine-tenths of it through a wilderness, where nothing but savages and wild beasts are found, or deserts, where for want of water, there is no living creature. There, with almost hopeless labor we have dug deep wells. Without a guide we have crossed the wilderness, we have ventured into trackless prairies, where water was not found for several marches. With crowbar and pickax in hand we have worked our way over mountains, which seemed to defy aught but the wild goat, and hewed a passage through a chasm of rock, more narrow than our wagons.”
After their release, most of the men took up their march for home. Perhaps it would be more correct to say to find their families and friends, as they did not have any home yet. They journeyed northward in California and then crossed the mountains to Salt Lake valley where most of them arrived in October, 1847. From there many went right on to Winter Quarters to their families.
A number of the Battalion men remained in California to earn a little money. Some got work with a Captain Sutter who had a large ranch on the American fork of the Sacramento river. The “Mormons” with some others were set to work building a mill, and it was here while digging in the mill race that gold was discovered in California. Some of the brethren carried away a few hundred dollars’ worth when they went to Salt Lake Valley the next summer.
Topics.—1. The call for the Mormon Battalion. 2. Its march. 3. Discovery of Gold.
Questions and Review.—1. Who was Captain James Allen? 2. What did he want of the “Mormons?” 3. What was the Battalion wanted for? 4. What did President Young say? 5. What did many of the Saints think of the call? 6. Why was it a hardship on the Saints at that time to furnish five hundred soldiers? 7. Describe the line of march of the Battalion. 8. How long did it take them? 9. How far was it? 10. What kind of journey was it? 11. What did Colonel Cooke say about it? 12. What did the Battalion men do in California? 13. What happened at Nauvoo in the summer of 1846, when the Battalion was on the march?
While the Saints were in Winter Quarters during the winter of 1846-7 they were busily preparing for the march to the mountains next spring. Men for the advance company were selected, and on April 7, 1847, they began to move out of Winter Quarters to a place westward, where they were to gather. Ten days later the first or pioneer camp, was ready for marching. The idea was to have twelve times twelve men, but one became sick and had to return, so that left one hundred and forty-three. There were besides the men three women and two children. They had seventy-two wagons, ninety-three horses, fifty-two mules, sixty-six oxen, nineteen cows, seventeen dogs, and some chickens.
For three months and seventeen days this company traveled westward over plains and mountains. During the first part of their journey they sometimes followed a wagon road to Oregon, and sometimes they made new roads. The shallow rivers they forded, the deep ones they built bridges over, and the large ones they crossed in ferry boats which they built. After these ferries had been built the pioneers sometimes took over companies on their way to Oregon and received provisions for their pay.
[Illustration: MAP OF PIONEER ROUTE.]
The map will show you the route they took better than can be told here.
The pioneers did not know exactly where they were to locate. It was to be in some valley of the Rocky mountains where they could live in peace, free from mobs. When President Young was asked as to their destination, all he could say was that he would know the place when he should see it, and that they should continue to travel the way the Spirit of the Lord directed them.
On their journey they often met scouts and trappers. One of the best known of these was Col. James Bridger. He had been all through the valley of the Great Salt Lake, he said, and he told the pioneers that they could not live there, as nothing would grow. So sure was he of this that he offered to give a thousand dollars for the first bushel of corn they could raise in that valley. President Young simply said, “Wait a little and we will show you.”
When they left the plains and got up in the mountains some of them became sick with the mountain fever. Among those ailing was President Young. He became so bad that he could not travel, so when they were in Echo canyon he instructed Orson Pratt to take the main company on and he with a few men would remain for a few days.
The main company, therefore, went on down Echo canyon, up Weber valley, and across the mountains, coming down into Salt Lake valley through Emigration canyon. President Young had told them that when they got to the open country on crossing the mountain they were to go to the north and stop at the first convenient place for putting in their seeds. This the company did, and on the 23rd of July they camped on the ground where now stands the beautiful city and county building in Salt Lake City. After offering up their thanks to God for his preserving care, they at once got out their tools and began to work. The season was so far advanced that if they were to raise anything they must hurry. When they tried to plow the land, they found it so dry and hard that some of the plows were broken. What could they do? Then the thought came to turn the water in the creek over the land and soak it up. This was done, and then there was no trouble to plow and plant. This was the beginning of irrigation in this western part of the United States.
President Young and his party followed the next day. President Wilford Woodruff was with him and we will let him tell of it:
“On the 24th I drove my carriage, with President Young lying on a bed in it, into the open valley. When we came out of the canyon into full view of the valley, I turned the side of my carriage around, open to the west, and President Young arose from his bed and took a look at the country. While gazing on the scene before us, he was enwrapped in vision for several minutes. He had seen the valley before in vision, and now he saw the future glory of Zion and of Israel as they would be, planted in the valleys of these mountains. When the vision had passed, he said:
“‘It is enough. This is the right place. Drive on.’”
On August 26th, President Young and a company of one hundred and seven persons, started on the return trip to Winter Quarters. On the Sweetwater river they met two large companies of Saints on the way to the valley, following the trail of the pioneers. There was great rejoicing, as the Saints now for the first time knew where they were to locate. These companies arrived safely in Salt Lake valley in September and October.
President Young and company arrived at Winter Quarters October 31. All was well with the Saints, and they were prospering.
And now a very important event took place. From the death of Joseph the Prophet up to this time the Church had been led by the Twelve. Now it was decided to reorganize the First Presidency, and at a meeting held in Winter Quarters, December 5, 1847, the Twelve chose Brigham Young as President of the Church. He chose Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards as his counselors, and these now became the First Presidency. This action of the Twelve was sustained at a conference of the Church on the 27th.
Thus the work prospered. Many meetings were held, and the Church was set in order. Missionaries were sent to the world, and the Saints, now that they had another gathering place, began to flock towards the new Zion in the mountains. Winter Quarters was deserted and a new settlement founded across the river. It was called Kanesville (now Council Bluffs) in honor of Thomas L. Kane who did many kind acts for the Saints.
In the spring of 1848 the Saints on the Missouri river were busy getting ready for the move to the mountains. They started about the beginning of June, organized into three large companies, all led by President Young. Altogether there were 2,417 people, 793 wagons, herds of horses and cattle, a great many sheep, pigs, chickens, etc. Here was surely, if not a nation, a whole city moving. They followed in the trail of the first companies and arrived in Great Salt Lake valley in September and October.
Topics.—1. The march of the pioneers. 2. Arrival in Salt Lake valley. 3. The reorganization of the First Presidency. 4. The main companies.
Questions and Review.—1. How many persons were in the first or pioneer company? 2. What was the object of the company? 3. How long were they on the journey? 4. Describe their route. (See map). 5. What did trappers and hunters say of Salt Lake valley? 6. When did the main body reach Salt Lake valley? 7. When did President Young arrive? 8. What did he say about the place? 9. Why did the pioneers know very little about irrigation? 10. Who returned to Winter Quarters? 11. Whom did they meet? 12. What took place December 5, 1847? 13. Where was Kanesville? 14. What took place during the summer of 1848?
GREAT SALT LAKE CITY.
The 25th of July, 1847, came on a Sunday, therefore the pioneers rested and held meetings.
Monday morning work began in earnest. Plowing and planting had to be hurried. Exploring parties were also sent out in different directions to become acquainted with the country.
On the evening of July 28th President Young, accompanied by the Apostles, went some distance from the camp to select a spot from which to begin building the city. Arriving at a good location, President Young stopped, and, striking his cane in the earth, he said: “Here will be the temple of our God”—and on that spot the temple stands today. It was then decided to lay out the city north, east, south, and west from the temple site, in ten acre blocks, the streets to be eight rods wide and the sidewalks twenty feet. Some time after this it was named Great Salt Lake City.
You will call to mind that some of the Mormon Battalion, owing to sickness, did not march through to California. This company, together with some Saints from the state of Mississippi, arrived at the pioneer camp on July 29th, thus making quite an addition to the company. The first building of any kind erected in the valley by the Saints was a bowery built on the temple block by the Battalion men. This was used for some time in which to hold meetings.
It was decided not to settle on the city lots at first, but build a fort with houses in as a protection from the Indians. The houses were built of logs, and stood in a row, close together, which formed one side of the fort. The other three sides were built of adobe walls. The roofs of the houses were made of soil. The windows and doors faced the inside. Though better than living all the winter in tents and wagons, you may imagine these houses were not very comfortable, especially when the rain came through the roofs onto beds, tables, stoves, etc.
[Illustration: SALT LAKE VALLEY IN 1847.]
A conference was held in the bowery on Sunday, August 22nd, where considerable business was attended to. The Salt Lake Stake of Zion was organized, with John Smith as president. It was shortly after this that President Young and his company went back to Winter Quarters.
The next addition to the settlement was the Mormon Battalion from California.
At the coming of winter all moved into the fort. That season the winter was mild, so quite an amount of work was done outside.
The spring of 1848 opened with fine prospects ahead. Five thousand acres of land were planted, and the grain was growing rapidly; but another trial was at hand. In May and June great swarms of crickets came from the mountains and began to devour every growing thing. The settlers fought them as best they were able, but what could be done with such countless millions of insects! It seemed hopeless. Their crops were fast disappearing, and with them their means of living through the next year. Remember, they were a thousand miles from any other people, with mountains and deserts between them. They could not get food from other places. They would have to raise it or to starve.
When they had about given up hope, there came great flocks of white birds from the lake. They settled on the fields and began eating the crickets. They would eat all they were able, then vomit, and eat again. This they did day after day until the crickets were destroyed and part of the crop was saved.
[Illustration: IN THE OLD FORT.]
That fall President Young with the main body of Saints arrived from the East. There were now about five thousand people in the valley, and prospects were not very encouraging, owing to the small crop raised. Food was scarce, as also was clothing. Many people lived for weeks on “greens” and the roots of the sego and thistle. A kind of soup was made by cooking raw-hides. Yet in the midst of these times Heber C. Kimball declared in a public meeting that it would not be three years before “states goods” would be sold in Salt Lake cheaper than in St. Louis. No one at that time could see how it could be possible, but the prophecy was fulfilled within a year, and it was in this way: That winter gold was discovered in California, and early the next summer great companies of men came flocking from the east on their way to the gold mines. Salt Lake City was a sort of half way house. These gold seekers were heavily laden with all manner of goods, but being anxious to get to California as soon as possible they traded to the people in Salt Lake City their goods for lighter wagons, fresh horses, etc. Thus a great deal of merchandise was brought to the valley, and Brother Kimball’s prophecy was fulfilled.
The city had now been laid out into blocks, and lots were given to the settlers. Some built houses and moved in that fall, but most of the people remained in the fort until the spring of 1849.
The city now began to grow rapidly, as companies of Saints were continually coming from the east. In February, 1849, the city was divided into nineteen wards and a bishop appointed over each. On the 12th of the same month the four vacancies in the quorum of the Twelve Apostles were filled by the calling of Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, and Franklin D. Richards to the apostleship.
Thus the Church was firmly established again, this time in the peaceful valleys of the mountains, away from the persecution of its enemies and the anger of mobs.
Topics.—1. Locating the temple and city. 2. The fort. 3. The crickets and gulls. 4. Hard times. 5. Heber C. Kimball’s prophecy.
Questions and Review.—1. How did President Young locate the temple spot? 2. How was the city laid out? 3. What was the first building in the valley? 4. Describe a bowery. 5. What was the fort? 6. Describe it. 7. Who was the first stake president in Utah? 8. What happened in the spring of 1848? 9. How were the crops saved? 10. Why was food so scarce in 1848? 11. What kinds of food were eaten? 12. What was Heber C. Kimball’s prophecy? 13. How was it fulfilled? 14. How was the city built up? 15. What apostles were chosen February 12, 1849?
GROWTH OF UTAH AND THE CHURCH.
As you were told in the last chapter, among the first things done by the pioneers was to send exploring parties out to find other locations for settlement. They knew that thousands of Saints would follow them to their new home, and room must be had for them.
In the first company that followed the pioneers was Peregrine Sessions. He, with some others, moved north from the pioneer camp and settled in what is now Davis county. Further north, at the junction of the Weber and Ogden rivers, there lived, before the pioneers came, a trapper and trader by the name of Goodyear. He claimed a large area of land, nearly all of what is now Weber county, saying that the Mexican government had granted it to him. This claim he sold in 1847 to Captain James Brown of the Mormon Battalion for the sum of $3,000. In the spring of 1848, Captain Brown with his sons moved to the new location and began putting in crops. They were told that frost would kill the corn before it could ripen, but they worked on, and in the fall reaped a large harvest. Soon other families moved in, to whom Captain Brown gave land. Thus Ogden city and Weber county had their beginning.
Early in the spring of 1849, the first settlers moved south from Salt Lake City. They consisted of thirty families led by John S. Higbee, one of the pioneers. They settled on Provo river, built a fort for protection, and then began plowing and planting. There were quite a number of Indians in that part. Their head chief was Sowiette, and under him was Chief Walker. The first was a kind Indian who wished to live in peace with the whites; but not so with Walker who delighted in stealing and fighting.
For some months everything went well with the Provo settlers, but in the fall the Indians began stealing, and once in awhile an arrow came uncomfortably near some settler when away from the fort. At length a party of men who were out searching for stolen cattle, had a fight with a band of Indians in which five of the savages were killed.
The settlers in the fort were now continually annoyed, until in February, 1850, a company of militia was sent from Salt Lake City to their aid. A fierce battle ensued, in which a number were killed on both sides, and the Indians were scattered to the mountains.
It was President Young’s policy not to harm the Indians if possible, saying that it was cheaper to feed them than to fight them. But even this kind policy did not altogether prevent trouble with these wild people. In 1853, the Indians, led by Chief Walker, made war on the southern settlements, with the result that about twenty whites and a great many Indians were killed.
At the close of the war with Mexico all this western country became a part of the United States. At a convention held in Salt Lake City, March 4, 1849, the people asked Congress for a territorial organization. Later, a petition was sent asking to be admitted into the Union under the name of “The State of Deseret.” Until Congress could act, a temporary government was formed which existed for nearly two years. President Young was elected governor, and there were the other officers usually found in a state. September 9, 1850, Congress passed an act organizing Utah Territory. President Millard Fillmore appointed Brigham Young as governor. Out of the six other officers, three were “Mormons,” and three non-"Mormons” from the East.
At a conference held in Salt Lake City, October 6, 1849, a number of elders were called to new mission fields. John Taylor, Curtis E. Bolton, and John Pack were sent to France; Erastus Snow and Peter O. Hansen to Denmark; John Forsgren to Sweden; Lorenzo Snow and Joseph Toronto to Italy; Addison Pratt, James S. Brown, and Hiram H. Blackwell, to the Society Islands. Brother Pratt had but recently returned from a five years mission to these islands, where twelve hundred souls had been baptized into the Church.
At the April conference, 1851, Edward Hunter was chosen to succeed Newel K. Whitney as bishop of the Church. There were at that time about thirty thousand people in Utah.
President Young and the Apostles traveled much throughout the Territory, locating settlements, organizing wards and putting the Church in order. At the October conference, 1853, some of the leading brethren were called to locate in different parts of the Territory. Among them were Elders George A. Smith and Erastus Snow with fifty families who were called to strengthen Iron county, and Elder Lorenzo Snow with fifty families to go to Box Elder.
In the summer of 1854 the grasshoppers did much damage to the crops, and again in 1855 in many parts these insects took every green thing. This brought on another scarcity. There was much suffering and again the people were compelled to live on roots. A number of the brethren had stored up some grain which they now shared with those who had none. In this way all fared very much alike and the hardships were shared by all.
In the winter of 1856 a very sad thing happened. That year some emigrants came to Utah in handcart companies. Small, two wheeled carts were made at the place of starting in Iowa. On these carts were loaded baggage and provisions, and the men and boys pulled them across the plains. Sometimes the women and girls helped. A few ox teams usually hauled the heaviest loads in wagons, and in this way the Saints walked and pulled their carts over the thirteen hundred miles of their journey. This plan succeeded very well for those who started early and reached the valley in good time, but a number of companies started too late and were caught in fierce snow storms in the mountains. Many of these poor travelers died from hunger and cold, and if it had not been for some of the brethren who came out from Salt Lake to their help, no doubt most of them would have perished.
Topics.—1. Making settlements. 2. Trouble with the Indians. 3. Organizing Utah Territory. 4. Famine of 1855-6. 5. The handcart companies.
Questions and Review.—1. Where was the second settlement in Utah made? 2. When and by whom was Ogden settled? 3. Tell about the settlement of Provo. 4. What trouble did the Provo settlers have? 5. What was President Young’s Indian policy? 6. Who was Chief Walker? 7. What was done March 4, 1849? 8. What did the people wish to name the state? 9. When was Utah Territory organized? 10. Who was the first governor? 11. Name the first missionaries to France; to Denmark; to Sweden; to Italy; to the Society Islands. 12. Tell something about these missions. 13. Tell about the work of the Church leaders in making settlements, etc. 14. What was the cause of the famine in 1855-6? 15. What were the handcart companies?
THE “UTAH WAR.”
The president of the United States appoints the leading officers of a territory. Many of the officers sent to Utah by the president were good men and did justice to “Mormon” and Gentile alike; but some were men who could see no good in the Saints, and were therefore always trying to oppress them. Such men were Judges Stiles and Drummond, and Secretary Ferris, who were in Utah in 1856. At last they left the territory and sent in a report to the president. In it Judge Drummond said that the “Mormons” were traitors to the United States, and would not obey its laws; that they had a secret organization whose duty it was to murder all who opposed them; that the court records had been burned; that the government officials were in danger of their lives, etc. Like reports were made by other persons, and the result was that a strong feeling was created in the East against the people of Utah.
On the 24th of July, 1857, the people of Salt Lake City were having a grand celebration in Big Cottonwood canyon. They were having a happy time. The band played, the choirs sang, the cannon roared, while the Stars and Stripes waved from trees and mountain peaks. Suddenly four dusty travelers rode into the camp. They brought news from the East, and startling news it was: the president of the United States had sent an army to Utah to establish law and order among the “Mormons!”
In the evening the Saints were called together, and the news was told them. President Young spoke with power. “We have transgressed no law, neither do we intend to,” said he; “but as for any nation coming to destroy this people, God Almighty being my helper, it shall not be.”
Two thousand five hundred soldiers were on the march to Utah. General Harney was appointed commander, but he was succeeded by Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston. With the army came the new set of officers which the president had appointed for the territory.
In the commander’s orders it was stated that the people of Utah were in rebellion against the United States, and that it was the duty of the army to restore the authority of the government and aid and protect the new officers in the discharge of their duties. On the 8th of September Captain Van Vliet arrived in Salt Lake City from the army. He told President Young that their intentions were not to harm the people in any way. President Young replied that he had had experience with military bodies in Missouri and Illinois, and he knew what the “Mormons” could expect. The captain tried to show President Young how useless it would be for a few “Mormons” to resist a nation like the United States. Even if they prevented the army from entering the valley that year, more soldiers would be sent in the spring.
“We are aware that such will be the case,” replied the president; “but when those troops arrive they will find Utah a desert; every house will be burned to the ground, every tree cut down, and every field laid waste.”
The captain was deeply impressed, but such were really the intentions of the Saints. They could not trust the troops, and they did not intend to submit tamely to such scenes as they had passed through in Far West and Nauvoo. They were not in rebellion, and if the president had simply sent some one to investigate, he would have found out that truth; but he had acted on the spur of the moment, and the troops were already far on the way. If they could be checked for a time until the truth could be learned, the danger of a conflict might be averted; but if not, then, said President Young, and the people were with him, their homes, fields, and gardens would be destroyed by fire and the Saints would flee to the mountains.
The army continued its march towards Utah. Col. R.T. Burton was now ordered by Gen. Daniel H. Wells, commander of the Utah militia, to take a small body of men and guard the emigrant trains that were coming in. The militia to the number of 2,500 men was called into service, and in September, 1857, Gen. Wells and staff went to Echo canyon and there made their headquarters. Active preparations were now made to stop the enemy. Echo canyon, through which the troops would have to pass, was fortified by trenches and the loosening of rocks on the hill sides.
By this time the army was in what is now Wyoming, and was making for Echo canyon. Small companies of Utah men were sent out to meet them. They were instructed to annoy the invaders as much as possible, to burn the grass, drive off their cattle, etc., but they were to shed no blood if it were possible to prevent it. These orders were followed, and many exciting encounters and narrow escapes took place. Major Lot Smith, with a small company of men, at one time rode up to a large wagon train carrying supplies for the army. After capturing the drivers, they set fire to and destroy the whole train. Herds of cattle were driven off to Salt Lake valley, where they were kept during the winter and taken back to the soldiers in the spring.
Winter came early that year, and in the mountains where the armies were, the weather became very cold, with snow and sleet. The government troops made but little progress. They tried hard to reach the valley; but at last they were compelled to stop for the winter in the mountains of western Wyoming.
This was all the Utah leaders wanted. Now there would be time for finding out the truth. Most of the militia returned home, leaving fifty men as a guard in Echo canyon.
When the government at Washington heard the news from the seat of the “war” there was considerable excitement, and Congress voted to send another army to aid the first one. Meanwhile the people of Utah were anxiously waiting for spring and preparing for the conflict which they thought must then come.
Topics.—1. Character of some territorial officials. 2. The army for Utah. 3. What the “Mormons” thought of the army. 4. How the army was stopped.
Questions and Review.—1. Who was Judge Drummond? 2. What report did he make to the government about Utah affairs? 3. What led President Buchanan to send an army to Utah? 4. What was the object of sending this army? 5. When did the Saints first hear of it? 6. What did the “Mormons” resolve to do? 7. Why could they not trust the army? 8. What did the Utah militia do? 9. What was the object in annoying the troops? 10. What hindered the troops from entering Salt Lake valley that year?
THE “UTAH WAR,” (CONCLUDED.)
When that friend of the Latter-day Saints, Colonel, afterwards General Thomas L. Kane, heard of the troubles in Utah, he left his home in Philadelphia and went to Washington to see the president. Though feeble in health, he offered to go to Utah and try to settle the difficulties in a peaceable manner. The offer was accepted. Colonel Kane arrived in Salt Lake City in February, 1858, where he was gladly received. In the cold and snow of that winter he went to the camp of the army and had a talk with the new governor whom the president had appointed to take Brigham Young’s place. Colonel Kane told the officers with the army that they would be welcomed in the valley and kindly treated, but the troops must not locate in or near any settlement of the territory. The Colonel also convinced Governor Cumming that he had no need of an army to help him take charge of his office, and even prevailed on him to go back to Salt Lake City with him.
To this, General Johnston of the army was very much opposed. The president had sent him with an army to put the governor into his office, aided by sword and cannon; but now, if the governor could enter peaceably upon his duties there would be no need of him or his soldiers. The general didn’t like it a bit; but nevertheless, Governor Cumming went with Colonel Kane to Salt Lake City in charge of some of the Utah militia.
Governor Cumming was received with the respect due such an officer, and duly installed into his position. He found the records and books of the courts safe, and learned that the reports which had led the president to send the army were not true.
The new governor was a good man. He said the troops would have to come into the valley in the spring, but the people’s rights would be respected, and no harm should be done to any of them. The Saints, however, could not trust the army. They remembered the scenes of the past, and resolved that they should not be enacted over again in the valleys of Utah. So, early in the spring, the order came for all the Saints to pack up their goods, get together their stock, and move southward, leaving their deserted homes in the care of a few guards who were to set fire to everything should the army attempt to locate in the settlements.
On seeing the Saints thus leaving their hard-earned homes, the kind-hearted old governor entreated them not to do so, promising them full protection. When his wife arrived from the camp of the army and saw the towns lonely and deserted, she burst into tears and pleaded with her husband to bring the people back. The governor, however, could do nothing. The 30,000 people in Salt Lake City and northward took all their goods and moved south, most of them into Utah Valley.
President Buchanan, now having learned the true condition of affairs, sent two gentlemen to arrange for peace. They arrived in Salt Lake in June and had a number of meetings with the leading brethren who came from the south for that purpose. A letter was read from President Buchanan which, after telling of the many crimes committed by the “Mormons” against the government, offered to pardon all who would submit to the laws. In reply President Young said that he and his brethren had simply stood up for their rights, and they had done nothing to be pardoned for, except, perhaps the burning of some government trains, and for that act they accepted the President’s pardon. President Young then said they were willing the troops should come into the country. They might march through the city but they were not to make a camp less than forty miles away. “No mobs shall live in the homes we have built in these mountains,” said the president. “That’s the program, gentlemen, whether you like it or not. If you want war, you can have it; but, if you want peace, peace it is; and we shall be glad of it.” After the meetings the brethren went back to the Saints in the south.
June 26, 1858, “Johnston’s Army,” marched through Salt Lake City. All day long the troops and trains passed through the city. The only sounds heard was the noise made by the horses’ hoofs and the roll of the wagons. The city seemed as if dead. Hardly a person was seen on the streets. Quietly and orderly the soldiers marched on. Colonel Cooke, once the commander of the Mormon Battalion, bared his head as he rode through the streets in honor of the brave “Mormon” boys who had marched under his command.
The army camped that night across the Jordan, and then continued its march to Cedar Valley, thirty-six miles south of the city. About two years later, the soldiers went back to the east where they took part in the great Civil War. The commander, Albert Sidney Johnston, fought on the side of the south, and fell in the great battle of Shiloh.
The Saints returned to their homes in July, 1858. Thus again, the Lord preserved his people, and protected them from their enemies.
Topics.—1. The mission of Colonel Kane. 2. Governor Cumming installed. 3. Meeting with peace commissioners. 4. The move south. 5. The entrance of the army.
Questions and Review.—1. What did Colonel Kane do at Washington? 2. What was his mission to Utah? 3. Where was the army camped? 4. Who was Governor Cumming? 5. What did Colonel Kane get the governor to do? 6. What did the governor find in Salt Lake City? 7. Why did the Saints move south? 8. What did they propose doing if the army came to harm them? 9. What were Governor Cumming’s feelings? 10. Tell about the meeting with the peace commissioners. 11. Describe the march of the army through Salt Lake City. 12. Where did the soldiers camp? 13. When did they leave Utah, and where did they go?
The action of the “Mormons” in again leaving the homes they had newly made in the wilderness of the West, called the whole world’s attention to them. Many honest people began to see what a mistake it had been to send armed soldiers against an innocent people.
When the army was withdrawn, peace once more prevailed, and the Church was again busy preaching the Gospel to the world and gathering the honest from the nations. Many missionaries were sent out and new fields were opened.
From Europe the Saints came by the thousands. Sometimes a whole ship would be engaged to take a company of Saints across the ocean, in charge of one of the Apostles or some leading elder. From the sea, they would travel in train loads to the end of the railroad, where companies of teams and wagons would take them the remainder of the journey to Utah.
Now came the telegraph line westward. October 17, 1861, it was completed to Salt Lake City, and the next day President Young sent the first message east. At this time the war between the north and the south was beginning, and in this first telegram President Young said that Utah had not seceded, but was firm for the Union.
[Illustration: SALT LAKE TABERNACLE (INTERIOR.)]
Following the telegraph came the railroads. The Union Pacific was being built from the east, while the Central Pacific came from the west. May 10, 1869, the two roads met in Northern Utah near the Promontory, and the last spike was driven with much ceremony. Thus was completed the first iron road across the continent.
But true to the past history of the Latter-day Saints, peace was not a blessing they were permitted to enjoy for many years at a time.
[Illustration: SALT LAKE TABERNACLE (EXTERIOR.)]
In the year 1869 a number of prominent elders in the Church opposed President Young and the authorities, and were cut off from the Church. One of these elders was Wm. S. Godbe, therefore those who followed him were sometimes called “Godbeites.” These men joined with the anti-"Mormons” and formed what was called the Liberal Party. It was the object of this organization to oppose the “Mormons,” and they were aided in this by the officers sent to Utah by the government. It had been the policy of Presidents Lincoln and Johnson to let the “Mormons” alone, but when General Grant became president he changed the program and at once sent officers to Utah to “straighten out” the “Mormons.” President Grant, no doubt obtained much of his information about the “Mormons” from his friend, the Rev. J.P. Newman. This minister had held a three days’ discussion in the Tabernacle at Salt Lake City with Apostle Orson Pratt on the subject of polygamy. Elder Pratt seems to have got the better of the argument, and it can well be imagined what kind of information this preacher gave to the president.
The Saints never had more bitter enemies than some of these territorial officers, especially Governor Shaffer and Chief Judge McKean. For years these officials, aided by the Liberal Party, tried to run affairs their own way; and you can easily understand that they could do a great many hateful things against the “Mormons,” having the officers of the law, if not the law itself, on their side. Especially was their hate directed towards President Young and the leading brethren who were accused of all manner of crimes. They were arrested, tried, and placed in prison in many unlawful ways.
Notwithstanding all these annoyances, the Church continued to grow in strength and numbers. The Sunday Schools, the first of which was organized in 1849, by Elder Richard Ballantyne, in the Fourteenth Ward of Salt Lake City, had by this time grown to be a strong institution. The Mutual Improvement Associations were organized in 1875, and soon did much good among the young.
President Young and his brethren were busy organizing stakes of Zion, setting the quorums of the priesthood in order, directing the building of temples, laying out towns and cities, and attending to the general duties of the Church. Thus Zion grew and became stronger day by day.
Brigham City is named after President Young. August 19, 1877, the president was at that place and the Box Elder Stake of Zion was organized. Shortly after his return home, he was taken ill and died August 29th, at the age of seventy-six.
Thus passed away the second president of the Church. Joseph had laid the foundation deep and strong. Brigham had built upon it. For thirty years he had stood at the head of the Church and had led the Saints through some of the most trying scenes of their history. Brigham Young was the leading spirit in the removal from Nauvoo, in the march across the wild prairies and mountains, in the building up of a great state in the desert valleys of the Rocky Mountains; and his name will be ever honored as the great pioneer of the west.
Topics.—1. Prosperity of the Saints. 2. The telegraph and railroad. 3. The Liberal Party. 4. Death of President Young.
Questions and Review.—1. How did the Saints come from Europe in early days? 2. Tell about the overland telegraph line in Utah and the first telegram. 3. Tell about the railroads. 4. Who composed the Liberal party? 5. What was its object? 6. How did President Grant treat the “Mormons?” 7. Tell about the Newman-Pratt discussion. 8. Why could the Utah officials greatly annoy the Saints? 9. Who organized the first Sunday School? 10. Where and when was it? 11. Tell of the death of President Young. 12. Tell what you can of his life.
Those who did not understand the true nature of “Mormonism” thought that at the death of Brigham Young, the Church would go to pieces; but they soon found out that the work of God does not depend on any one man. The Twelve again became the leading quorum in the Church, with John Taylor at its head. Three years after the death of President Young, October 10, 1880, the First Presidency was again organized. John Taylor became President, and he chose George Q. Cannon as first and Joseph F. Smith as second counselor.
[Illustration: PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR.]
President Taylor was seventy-two years old at this time. He had been with the Church nearly from the beginning, having been an Apostle for forty-two years. He had filled many missions both in the United States and in Europe, had written much on gospel subjects, and was in reality as some called him, the “Champion of Liberty.” You will remember that he was with Joseph and Hyrum at the time of their martyrdom in Carthage jail and was then severely wounded.
The year 1880 was the jubilee year of the Church, being fifty years since it was organized. As was the custom in ancient Israel, it was a time of forgiveness. The Church remitted many debts of the poor, besides giving them many sheep and cattle. “While God is blessing us, let us bless one another,” said President Taylor; and thus much good feeling was manifested among the Saints.
But another storm was coming. A trial of another kind was in store for the Church.
In the days of Nauvoo, in 1843, Joseph the Prophet had received a revelation from God, saying that it was right for good men holding the priesthood to have more wives than one. By the time the Church had been in Utah a few years, quite a number of the Saints had obeyed this law and entered plural marriage. The enemies of the Church call this practice a great sin, even though they can read in the Bible that good men of old whom the Lord loved had many wives. In 1862 Congress passed a law against plural marriage or polygamy. As many thought it was an unjust law, it was not enforced for many years. Elder George Reynolds offered to be arrested and tried under the law in order to have it tested. This was done, and Elder Reynolds was convicted and sent to prison. His case was taken to the Supreme Court of the United States where the law was decided to be constitutional.
But this law was not hard enough on the “Mormons” to suit their enemies. Sectarian preachers and politicians who wanted some office began to spread falsehoods all over the country about Utah and its people, all of which had its effect on Congress. Notwithstanding the protest of the “Mormons,” another law was passed against them, (March, 1882), called the Edmunds Act. This law provided that no polygamist should vote or hold office; and if found guilty of polygamy a man might be fined five hundred dollars and put in prison for three years. If a man lived with more than one wife, he could be fined three hundred dollars and imprisoned for six months.
Officers were now sent to Utah to enforce this law, and what is called the “Crusade” began in earnest. “Mormons” were not allowed to sit on juries or have anything to do with the courts, so it was an easy matter to convict all “Mormons” who came to trial.
Arrests now followed fast, and it was indeed a sad time for many of the Saints. Officers, called deputy marshals, were sent into all the settlements of the Saints to spy out and arrest those supposed to be guilty. Many of the brethren left the country or went away in hiding to avoid being arrested, leaving the women and children to manage as best they could. In Idaho no “Mormon” was allowed to vote or hold office, no matter whether he had broken the law or not. Three brethren were sent from Arizona to the penitentiary at Detroit, Michigan. Nearly all the leading brethren were in hiding; and, as they could not speak to the people in their meetings, they wrote epistles which were read to the Saints at their conferences.
For a number of years this persecution went on. Seemingly, the strongest anti-"Mormons” should have been satisfied. But no; they asked Congress to make yet stronger laws to put down the “Mormons.” Accordingly, in 1887, another law was passed, called the Edmunds-Tucker Bill. This law, among other things, provided that the property of the Church should be confiscated, that is, taken from the Church. United States officers went to work at once and took from the Church nearly $800,000 worth of property. After the officers had gotten some good salaries out of it, the property was at last given back to the Church.
During the time of this crusade thirteen hundred persons suffered from fines or imprisonment.
July 25, 1887, President John Taylor died at Kaysville, Davis County, Utah. He had been in exile for over two years; but the brave spirit was now away from under the power of persecutors, and the Saints could but look on the peaceful form and face of their beloved leader.
Topics.—1. President John Taylor. 2. Plural marriage. 3. The Edmunds Bill. 4. The “Crusade.” 5. The Edmunds-Tucker Bill.
Questions and Review.—1. Why was there no danger to the Church at the death of President Young? 2. When was the First Presidency organized again? 3. Who composed it? 4. Tell what you can about John Taylor. 5. Tell about the Jubilee year. 6. When and where was plural marriage revealed to the Church? 7. When was the first law passed against this practice? 8. What is meant by a law being constitutional? 9. What was the Edmunds Bill? 10. How was it enforced? 11. What was the Edmunds-Tucker Law? 12. When and where did President Taylor die?
PRESIDENCY OF WILFORD WOODRUFF.
At the April conference, 1889, the First Presidency was again organized. Wilford Woodruff was chosen president and he called the former counselors to act also with him. President Woodruff was eighty-two years old when this high calling was placed upon him, but he was still quite strong and active. His life had been devoted to God and his cause. He joined the Church in 1833, so you see he had been with it from the beginning. He had been an Apostle for fifty years. It will give you an idea of how busy President Woodruff had been when you are told that from 1834 to 1895 he had traveled through twenty-eight States of the Union, three of the countries of Europe, and six islands of the sea. He had held 7,555 meetings, preached 3,526 discourses, organized fifty-one branches of the Church, besides doing a great deal of other work in the Church.
[Illustration: PRESIDENT WILFORD WOODRUFF.]
President George Q. Cannon, first counselor in the presidency, came with his father’s family from England to Nauvoo in the year 1842, and from that time had been an active worker in the Church. In 1850 he, in company with other missionaries, went to the Sandwich Islands. Here Elder Cannon translated the Book of Mormon into the native language, and sometime after he had it printed. He labored as an editor and a publisher of Church papers in San Francisco, in Liverpool, and at home with the Deseret News. In 1860 he was ordained an Apostle. In 1866 he began to publish the Juvenile Instructor. He spent many years in Washington as delegate from Utah. President Cannon was the General Superintendent of Sunday Schools to the time of his death.
The second counselor in the presidency, Joseph F. Smith, was born November 13, 1838, in Far West, Missouri, a few days after the time when his father Hyrum Smith was taken by the mob and ordered to be shot. As a nine-year-old boy he drove his mother’s yoke of cattle across the plains with an emigrant train. President Smith has filled many missions to Europe, to the Sandwich Islands and to various parts of the United States.
He was ordained as one of the Twelve Apostles July 1, 1866.
During the first few years that Wilford Woodruff was president of the Church, the persecution against those who had more than one family continued to rage; yet the enemies of the Saints were not satisfied. Though many of the people had been deprived of the right to vote and hold office, yet there were enough left to outvote the anti-"Mormons,” many of whom were eager to get into some office. These kept urging Congress to pass other laws against the “Mormons,” and at last a number of bills were introduced in Congress for the purpose of disfranchising the “Mormons,” that is, taking away from them the right to vote and to hold public office.
During all this trouble the authorities of the Church were asking the Lord to show them the right thing to do. In answer to these pleadings, the Lord inspired President Woodruff to issue what is called the manifesto. In this document President Woodruff, among other things, said:
“Inasmuch as laws have been enacted by Congress forbidding plural marriages, which laws have been pronounced constitutional by the court of last resort, I hereby declare my intention to submit to those laws, and to use my influence with the members of the Church over which I preside to have them do likewise.
“... And I now publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land.”
At the general conference of the Church held October 6, 1890, President Woodruff’s action was sustained by the vote of the conference.
The enemies of the Church now had no excuse for their persecutions, so, after a time, peace came once more. The two political parties, the “Liberal” and “People’s” which had been for many years fighting each other at the polls, now disbanded, and “Mormons” and non-"Mormons” joined either the Democratic or the Republican party.
In 1893 the great World’s Fair was held in Chicago. In September of that year the Tabernacle choir of Salt Lake City, led by Evan Stephens, went to Chicago, accompanied by the first presidency and others. The choir gave concerts in some of the large cities on the way, and at Chicago carried off the second prize of one thousand dollars for the best singing.
During the World’s Fair there was held what was called a Parliament of Religions. Meetings were convened where people of all religions were invited to speak and tell of their beliefs. Men came from every part of the world. There were Catholics and Protestants; there were followers of Brahma and Buddha from India; there were Greeks and Mohammedans; there were Japanese, Chinese, and negroes—but, among them all there was one religion and one church lacking, and that was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It had not been invited, and when Elder B.H. Roberts was sent to Chicago to get a hearing for the Church of Christ, he was treated in an ungentlemanly manner and was not allowed to properly present the claims and doctrines of the Church. The Savior once said: “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.” May we not draw a great lesson from all this?
On January 4, 1896, President Grover Cleveland signed the paper which admitted Utah into the Union as a state. Celebrations in honor of the event were held in all the towns and cities of the State.
Fifty years from the time the pioneers entered Salt Lake Valley, July 24th, 1897, a grand celebration was held in Salt Lake City to honor the event.
[Illustration: THE PIONEER MONUMENT.]
This celebration began Tuesday, July 20, 1897, and closed on the night of Saturday 24th. On the 20th the Pioneer Monument, which is surmounted by a bronze statue of President Brigham Young, and situated near the Southeast corner of the Temple block, Salt Lake City, was dedicated by President Wilford Woodruff. The same day, at a reception held in the Tabernacle, all surviving pioneers of 1847, were presented with a golden badge. Memorial services in honor of the deceased pioneers were held in the Tabernacle on Sunday 25th.
When the war with Spain broke out the next year, a call was made on Utah for five hundred volunteers. Utah’s young men, many of them sons of the pioneers and old settlers, heeded the call, and the men were promptly raised and sent to the seat of war.
President Wilford Woodruff while on a visit to the Pacific coast, took suddenly ill and died in San Francisco, September 2, 1898.
Topics.—1. Wilford Woodruff. 2. George Q. Cannon. 3. Joseph F. Smith. 4. The “Manifesto.” 5. The Parliament of Religions. 6. Death of President Woodruff.
Questions and Review.—1. Who constituted the fourth First Presidency of the Church? 2. Tell something of President Woodruff. 3. Name some positions President Cannon has held. 4. Tell about President Smith’s boyhood. 5. What further laws did the enemies of the “Mormons” wish passed against them? 6. What is the “manifesto?” 7. How came it to be issued? 8. When was it accepted. 9. Tell about the Tabernacle choir’s trip to Chicago. 10. What was the Parliament of Religions? 11. How was the Church treated in that body? 12. Give some reasons for this treatment. 13. When was Utah admitted as a state? 14. Tell about the Utah volunteers. 15. When and where did President Woodruff die?
God’s goodness, mercy, and watch-care reach to all his children, whether they be white or black, bond or free; whether they live now or lived thousands of years ago; yes, whether they are alive or dead. Death is but a change from one sphere of action to another, and as God is everywhere, it is not alone in this life that his loving care is manifested. The gospel also is everlasting. It did not begin with this world, neither will it end with this life, but its purifying, uplifting power is felt throughout all time and place.
Salvation is to get from under the powers of sin and death, and live forever in the hereafter, growing in wisdom and in power, and becoming more and more like unto our Great Father, God. This salvation is obtained by obeying the principles of the gospel and performing the ordinances required therein. You all know what the first of these principles and ordinances are. One of the ordinances is that a person must be baptized by water for the remission of sin. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved,” said the Savior. This must of course be performed here on earth, and by a servant of God having authority to do so.
Now, by thinking about it a moment, you will know that there are a great many of the human race who have not been baptized with this kind of baptism. Millions there are and have been who never heard of the gospel or of Jesus Christ. Many others there are and have been who have had a kind of baptism but not performed by one with authority. What will then become of all these people?
Many religions of the day teach that there is no chance for people after they leave this life; if they are not saved when they die, they never can be afterwards. Can you not see what a cruel thought that is? Think of the millions who have not had a chance! Surely God would not punish people for not doing something they had no chance to do.
[Illustration: THE TEMPLE BLOCK.]
Now all this was made plain to the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Lord told him that all those who died without repentance and baptism would have a chance in the next world. Christ, while his body lay three days in the tomb, went and preached to the spirits in prison. Likewise, many of the servants of God have, and are now preaching the gospel to the children of God in the spirit world. They can there believe and repent, but can not be baptized. That must be done for them by someone on the earth. This ordinance can be performed in any place that God directs, but he has commanded that holy buildings be erected wherein baptisms for the dead can be performed. This, then, is one use of our temples. Marriages, sealings and other holy ordinances are also performed in these buildings.
The first temple site was dedicated in Jackson county, Missouri, August 3, 1831, but, as you have been told, no work was done to erect a building. The Kirtland temple you also have been told about. After the Saints left Kirtland the building was neglected. Then it came into the possession of the Reorganization or “Reorganites,” as they are sometimes called, a religious body founded, and built up for the most part by apostates from the Church. The Kirtland temple is still standing.
Ground was dedicated for a temple at Far West July 3, 1837, but owing to the Saints being driven away, no work other than digging the foundation was done.
The next effort was at Nauvoo. This temple was begun April 6, 1841, and dedicated April 30th and May 1, 1846. You will remember how the Saints toiled to complete this building. It was a large, beautiful structure, one of the finest in the west, and cost about one million dollars. About two years after the Saints had left Nauvoo, the temple was destroyed by fire.
The Salt Lake temple was begun in 1853, but while it was being built three others were completed. The first of these is the St. George temple. It was begun the 9th of November, 1871, and dedicated April 6, 1877. The Logan temple was begun May 18, 1877, and completed May 17, 1884. The corner stones of the temple at Manti were laid April 14, 1879, and the building was dedicated May 21, 1888. All these temples are beautiful buildings, and many are the blessings the Saints have received in them.
Those of you who have not seen the Salt Lake temple may get a good idea of its beauty by the picture. It is built of hewn blocks of gray granite, a hard, beautiful stone. It was forty years in building. The last top stone on the towers, called the capstone, was laid April 6, 1892. There were at least forty thousand people on the temple grounds on this occasion. A platform had been erected on the south side of the temple, whereon the authorities of the Church were seated. There were services of singing, prayer, and speaking, and then President Woodruff touched a button which sent an electric current up a wire to the top of the tower. The electricity set free the capstone which settled into its place. President Lorenzo Snow led the vast audience in giving the grand Hosanna shout.
President Woodruff was anxious to live to see the completion of the temple. It was therefore voted by the large audience present that the inside of the building be finished in one year.
To accomplish this, means were donated liberally by the Saints, and the work went on rapidly. On the 6th of April, 1893, the temple was completed, and on the morning of that day the first meeting was held in the building. President Woodruff offered the dedicatory prayer. In the afternoon another meeting was held, and this continued day after day until thirty-one meetings had been held. Seventy thousand of the Saints witnessed the dedication exercises, besides thirteen thousand Sunday School children, for whom special services were held.
Some of you who read this book may have been in one of our temples. Did you not notice what a calm, sweet feeling came over you while there? Surely, the Spirit of God is in these sacred buildings, and those who labor therein for the living and the dead enjoy its blessed influence. Let every one of you so live that your life may be pure and clean, so that some day you may be worthy of entering the House of God and partaking of the blessings in store for you.
Topics.—1. Salvation for the dead. 2. The temples. 3. Salt Lake temple.
Questions and Review.—1. What is salvation? 2. Is salvation limited to this life? 3. How is salvation obtained? 4. Name some of the first principles of the gospel. 5. Name some of its first ordinances. 6. What have some preachers of religion taught regarding salvation? 7. What did the Lord reveal to Joseph Smith on this subject? 8. Where did Jesus go while his body lay in the sepulchre? (I Peter 3:18, 20.) 9. What are some of the uses of temples? 10. How many temples have been built by the Church? 11. Locate each. 12. Tell something about the Nauvoo temple. 13. Describe the Salt Lake temple. 14. When was it dedicated? 15. What great blessings are to be had in a temple?
PRESIDENCY OF LORENZO SNOW.
September 13, 1898, the quorum of Twelve Apostles met at Salt Lake City and chose Lorenzo Snow President of the Church. President Snow chose George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith as his counselors.
President Snow was born in Ohio, April 3, 1814. While yet a young man, he went to Kirtland, where he became acquainted with the Prophet Joseph. Joining the Church, he was soon in the field as a missionary, traveling through the States preaching the gospel. From Nauvoo, he went on a mission to England, returning in 1843 with a large company of Saints. He was ordained a member of the Twelve Apostles, February 12, 1849, at Salt Lake City. Shortly afterwards he was called on a mission to Italy. His labors, however, were not confined to that country, as he organized many branches of the Church in other European lands.
[Illustration: PRESIDENT LORENZO SNOW.]
In 1853, President Snow removed to Brigham City, where for many years he united the people in a system of co-operation, which rapidly built up the country. At the completion of the Salt Lake temple he was called to preside in that sacred building.
Though so far advanced in years when called to stand at the head of the Church, President Snow was quite strong in body and in mind. During the summer of 1899, with a party of Apostles and, other leading men, he visited many of the stakes of Zion in their conference gatherings. President Snow said he had a special message to deliver to the Saints which was that they should in the future more fully observe the law of tithing. This law had been neglected in the past, but now, the Prophet said, the Lord expected the Saints to observe this commandment. It is pleasing to state that most of the Saints heeded the timely instruction and warning, and there was great improvement in keeping this law of the Lord.
When President Snow took charge of the affairs of the Church, it was largely in debt, owing to the troubles incident to the confiscation of its property by the government some time before. Now, because of the improvement in the payment of tithes and offerings, the First Presidency were able to pay some of the debts of the Church, and make arrangements for the payment of others as they became due.
President Snow put new life into many departments of the Church. The School system which the Church had established received much attention. The Latter-day Saints’ University at Salt Lake City was established, and one of its buildings was erected. Many other Church buildings were planned and begun.
At an election held in the fall of 1898, Brigham H. Roberts was elected to represent Utah in Congress. At this election the people, as they had done many times before, voted as either Democrats or Republicans, and both “Mormons” and non-"Mormons” were elected to office. Now, however, some anti-"Mormon” newspapers, assisted by many of the Utah sectarian preachers, made a great stir. The enemies of the Saints continued to send a flood of falsehood all over the country. Much excitement was worked up and a determined effort was made to keep Utah’s representative out of Congress.
Representative Roberts fought bravely for his own and his people’s rights, but once more hatred against “Mormonism” overcame better judgment, and he was refused admission to the seat to which he was fairly elected, on the ground that he had obeyed the law of plural marriage.
August 19, 1899, the Utah volunteers returned from the Philippines where they had proved themselves valiant soldiers in the service of their country. A grand celebration was held in Salt Lake City in their honor.
On April 12, 1901, President George Q. Cannon died at Monterey, California, where he had gone for his health. This great and good man had done much for the Church, and he was greatly beloved by the Saints.
Elder Heber J. Grant, with Horace S. Ensign, Louis A. Kelsch, and Alma O. Taylor, left Salt Lake City July 24, 1901, for a mission to Japan. They landed in that country August 12, and at once set to work learning the language. September 1, of that year, Elder Grant dedicated the land for the preaching of the Gospel. Since that time a good beginning has been made in the distribution of the printed word, and the Book of Mormon has been translated into Japanese and printed.
President Snow died after a brief illness at his home in Salt Lake City, October 10, 1901. He was not president of the Church long, but during the three years of his presidency, the Lord blessed him and gave him power to do much good.
Four days before he died, President Snow addressed the Saints assembled in conference in the Tabernacle at Salt Lake City. The burden of this, his last message was, “God bless you.” He urged the presidents of stakes and the high counselors to take upon themselves more of the responsibility of looking after the affairs of the Church, so that the Twelve could devote their time to their special work of preaching the gospel.
Topics.—1. Lorenzo Snow as President. 2. Election of B.H. Roberts to Congress. 3. The Mission to Japan.
Questions and Review.—1. Who constituted the fifth Presidency of the Church? 2. Tell what you can about Lorenzo Snow. 3. What is the law of tithing? 4. What message did President Snow deliver regarding the law of tithing? 5. Why was the Church in debt? 6. Who opened the Japanese mission?
PRESIDENCY OF JOSEPH F. SMITH.
The First Presidency of the Church was reorganized for the sixth time October 17, 1901. Joseph F. Smith was chosen president, and he selected for his counselors, John R. Winder and Anthon H. Lund. At a special conference held in Salt Lake City November 10, 1901, this presidency was sustained by the vote of the Church.
From his boyhood President Smith has been an active, earnest member of the Church over which he now presides. His father was Hyrum Smith the Patriarch, brother to the Prophet Joseph. You will remember how these two brothers were so closely together in the beginning of the Church, and how they were both killed in Carthage jail.
Joseph was thus left fatherless when he was a boy six years old. As a boy he had not the privilege of going every day to school or of playing peacefully in the door-yard of his home. Mobs drove them out of Missouri, and then out of Nauvoo. They had little peace. Two years after his father had been killed, Joseph’s mother, with her family, had to leave her home, along with the Saints, and undertake the long westward journey. Although Joseph was only eight years old at the time, he successfully drove a team of oxen for three hundred miles over the rolling prairies of Iowa. This was not an easy task for the boy, for the road was often steep or muddy, and many older drivers had breakdowns on the way.
In chapter 27 of this history you are told of the Saints stopping for a time at Winter Quarters, getting ready to move westward. Joseph and his mother were with them. Most of his time was spent in herding his mother’s cattle. And he was a good herdboy, too. He saw to it that none of them was lost. There were Indians in that country then, and often they would steal cattle and horses. One day Joseph had a narrow escape. It happened this way:
Joseph and another boy had driven their cattle to the herd-grounds, and they were having a good time on their horses which they rode. Suddenly, they heard the whoop of Indians. On looking up, they saw a band of about thirty savages riding toward them. They were naked, their bodies daubed with clay and their hair and faces painted! Joseph’s first thought was not about himself, but about his cattle. If the Indians should drive off his cattle, the family would not be able to go to the Valley next spring. So, off he rode to try to save his stock, the Indians coming in the same direction. They whooped and yelled so that the cattle ran off in great fright. Then the Indians singled out Joseph, for they wanted his horse, which was a good one and could run. The chase was now on in earnest. Joseph turned. Some of the Indians followed, while others slacked to head him off. Soon he was between two parties of Indians. After a time they closed in on him. One of the Indians took him by the arm, and another by the leg, and lifted him from his horse, letting him fall to the ground. The horses jumped over him, but did not hurt him. The Indians rode off with the horse, but did not get the cattle.
This is only one of the many thrilling incidents in the life of President Smith as a boy. When his mother was ready to move West, Joseph drove two yoke of oxen hitched to a heavily loaded wagon across the plains, a distance of one thousand miles. He drove into Salt Lake City September 23, 1848.
In those early days, even the boys had to work hard to help make a living in the new country. Joseph again herded cattle, besides doing work on the farm and in the canyon. How, then, did the boy get his education? Crossing the plains, when they were resting in the tent or by the camp fire, Joseph’s mother taught him to read the Bible, and from that day to this, he has been reading good books. You see, he started early in the reading of the best books, and that means a lot. Joseph’s mother was a very good and wise woman, and he says that much of his success in life is due to her teachings, and the fact that he heeded her counsels.
[Illustration: ANTHON H. LUND, JOSEPH F. SMITH, CHARLES W. PENROSE
THE FIRST PRESIDENCY, 1916]
When Joseph was fourteen years old his mother died. When he was fifteen he went on a mission to the Hawaiian Islands. He worked a number of months in California to earn money to pay his passage to the Islands. He was greatly blessed on this mission.
This small history cannot tell you of the many missions President Smith has filled since that first one. Many times he has been back to the Hawaiian Islands, and many times to the States and to Europe. Every boy and girl ought to read the detailed story of President Smith’s life. President Smith is still with us. Most of the Sunday School boys and girls have seen him and heard him speak. He is a great and good man. He is the prophet of the Lord to us. Let us be thankful that we live in a day when we can have such men with us to show us by the example of their lives how to be good boys and girls, good men and women.
President John R. Winder was born at Biddenden near London, England, December 11, 1821. He joined the Church when he was a young man and emigrated to Utah in 1853, since which time he took an active and leading part in Church matters. In the year 1877 he was chosen to be the second counselor to Presiding Bishop Wm. B. Preston, which position he held until he was called to the First Presidency. When the Salt Lake Temple was nearing completion, he was given special charge of the work, and at the dedication of the Temple he became the first assistant to President Snow. He died March 27, 1910. He lived to a good old age, active and strong to the last. He claimed that this was due to his having obeyed the laws of God, especially those contained in the Word of Wisdom.
President Anthon H. Lund came from Denmark. He was born in the city of Aalborg in that far-away country May 14, 1844. Many interesting stories are told of him as a boy-preacher of the gospel in his native land. When he was called upon to give his first report at conference he was lifted upon a table that he might be better seen and heard. He came to Utah when eighteen years old, and settled in Sanpete county. He was made an Apostle in 1889. He has filled a number of foreign missions, and at one time he presided over the European mission. He has also been president of the Manti Temple.
At the death of President Winder, President Lund was chosen First Counselor to President Smith, and Elder John Henry Smith, one of the quorum of the Twelve, was called to be the Second Counselor. He was born at Carbunca, near Council Bluffs, Iowa, September 18, 1848. His father was George A. Smith, at one time Counselor to President Brigham Young. He came to Utah in early days, and filled many missions at home and abroad. He died Oct. 13, 1911. President Smith, during his life, became known and well-beloved far and near. He was always kind and cheerful, and he had a way with him which won the hearts of all who came to know him.
Elder Charles W. Penrose, of the Council of the Twelve, was chosen to succeed John Henry Smith in the First Presidency, December 7, 1911. President Penrose was born February 4, 1832, at Camberwell, London, England. When he was four years old he could read the Bible. At eighteen he joined the Church, and being so well versed in the scriptures he was soon called on a mission. For ten years he traveled about his native land preaching the gospel, healing many of the sick and organizing branches of the Church. He suffered from hardships and persecution, but he kept right on until he was released, when he emigrated to Utah. Since then President Penrose has filled many missions. He is a clear, forceful speaker, and he has written much on doctrinal subjects. He was for many years editor of the Deseret News. He wrote a number of our best songs. He was called and ordained to be an apostle and set apart as one of the Twelve, July 7, 1904. He presided over the European Mission from December, 1906, to June, 1910.
In January, 1903, Reed Smoot was elected Senator to represent Utah in the Congress of the United States at Washington. As he is a leading official in the Church, some anti-"Mormons” objected to his retaining the office to which he was elected. They sent a protest to the Senate, and that body appointed a committee to investigate the charges made. President Smith and many of the brethren were summoned to Washington to give their testimony. All of this led to much agitation and misrepresentation against the Church. Senator Smoot retained his seat.
During recent years the Church has been growing both at home and abroad. Property is being acquired in many parts of the world, and mission houses are being erected. Carthage Jail, in Illinois, the farm containing the birthplace of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and a large part of the Temple grounds at Independence, Missouri, have been purchased by the Church.
In the year 1905 a monument of polished granite was erected and a comfortable and commodious cottage was built on the site of the Prophet’s birth, on the farm purchased by the Church, in Sharon, Windsor County, Vermont. The monument is 50 feet and 10 inches high and weighs nearly 100 tons. The shaft is 38-3/4 feet long, each foot corresponding to one year of the Prophet’s life. The cottage is built around the original hearthstone of the old Smith home. On December 23rd, 1905—the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of the Prophet—this cottage and monument were dedicated by President Joseph F. Smith, who, with a number of the leading brethren of the Church and a few Saints, had gone to Vermont for that purpose. The monument contains a written description of the Prophet’s testimony and stands as a silent witness of the great work he was called upon by the Lord to perform.
[Illustration: JOSEPH SMITH MONUMENT AND MEMORIAL COTTAGE.]
For many years past, the Saints had been making settlements in Mexico, and establishing themselves there in good homes. In the year 1912 the disturbances in the country broke out into civil war, and because of the dangers attendant on the fighting between various factions, most of the Latter-day Saints had to leave the country and their possessions and come to the United States.
Two new Temples are now being erected, one in Alberta, Canada, and another at Laie, on the island of Oahu, Hawaiian or Sandwich Islands. Work on the Canadian Temple was begun in 1913, and the one at Hawaii was commenced in the summer of 1915. The building of these Temples indicate that the great work for the dead is being energetically carried out by the Church.
In the summer of 1914, the great European war broke out, which has caused the death and crippling of millions, and brought misery untold to the nations engaged in it. Very likely this war is the greatest the world has ever known. Nearly all our missionaries have had to be withdrawn from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, and France, and very few have been left in Great Britain and the Scandinavian countries. We sympathize with all these nations, and can only hope that the Lord will make it possible, after the war, that the missionaries will be better able to reach the people with the gospel of peace and salvation.
At this writing (December, 1916) there are seventy-three stakes of Zion in the Church, and over eight hundred wards. The quorums of the Priesthood have been more thoroughly organized, and have regular courses of study in their classes. The helping organizations of the Church, such as the Sunday Schools, the Mutual Improvement Associations, and others are doing a splendid work. The Church has recently completed a beautiful Church office building in Salt Lake City. The first and second floors of this building are occupied by the First Presidency and other Church officials. The third floor is devoted to the Historian’s work, and the large collection of books and Church records. The fourth floor is used by the Genealogical Society, an organization whose purpose is to help people with their records, and gather a library of genealogical books, which will help them do the work in the Temples for their dead.
[Illustration: CHURCH OFFICE BUILDING]
* * * * *
Here ends our history for the present. The little tree (mentioned in Chapter I) planted by God and nurtured by his servants, has in the space of eighty-six years grown to a large, beautiful tree, whose branches, as it were, protect thousands of people, and whose fruit nourishes a multitude. The enemy has striven hard to uproot and destroy it, but every effort has only made it cling more firmly to the nourishing earth.
The Church is growing in strength and power to save the human family. That is its mission. It will never be overcome, or left to other people. “No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing,” said the Prophet Joseph, “persecution may rage; mobs may combine; armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independently till it has penetrated every continent; visited every clime, swept every country; and sounded in every ear; till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.”
And now let all the boys and girls who read this book remember what the Lord expects of them. He must have men and women to carry on the great work begun so nobly and so well. If He is to use you, you must make your lives worthy; you must grow in wisdom and power and faith and goodness; be pure and strong in mind and body; be studious, earnest, prayerful, noble, and brave to do the right; then God will be pleased to use you, and you yourselves will become makers of a glorious future history.
Topics.—1. President Joseph F. Smith. 2. John R. Winder. 3. Anthon H. Lund. 4. John Henry Smith. 5. Charles W. Penrose. 6. The trouble in Mexico. 7. The great war in Europe. 8. Progress of the Church.
Questions and Review.—1. Who was President Joseph F. Smith’s father? 2. Describe some of his boyhood surroundings. 3. Tell about his adventure with the Indians. 4. How did he cross the plains? 5. Tell of his missions. 6. How long has he been President of the Church? 7. How many of you have seen him and heard him speak? 8. Name President Smith’s counselors. 9. Tell something about each of them. 10. What historical places has the Church purchased and improved? 11. Why have the Saints had to leave Mexico? 12. Review the great European war. 13. What might be the outcome of this war? 14. Where are new temples being built? 15. How many stakes and wards are there now in the Church 16. What did the Prophet Joseph Smith say about the future of the Church?
President. First Counselor.
Frederick G. Williams.
Joseph Smith. Sidney Rigdon. Hyrum Smith,
President. First Counselor.
Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards,
Brigham Young. George A. Smith, Jedediah M. Grant,
John W. Young. Daniel H. Wells.
President. First Counselor. Second Counselors. John Taylor. George Q. Cannon. Joseph F. Smith.
President. First Counselor. Second Counselors. Wilford Woodruff. George Q. Cannon. Joseph F. Smith.
President. First Counselor. Second Counselors.
Lorenzo Snow. George Q. Cannon. Joseph F. Smith.
President. First Counselor.
John R. Winder. Anthon H. Lund.
Joseph F. Smith. Anthon H. Lund. John Henry Smith.
Charles W. Penrose.
SINCE THE ORGANIZATION OF THE CHURCH.
1 Thomas B. Marsh, 2 David W. Patten, 3 Brigham Young, 4 Heber C. Kimball, 5 Orson Hyde, 6 William E. McLellin, 7 Parley P. Pratt, 8 Luke S. Johnson, 9 William Smith, 10 Orson Pratt, 11 John F. Boynton, 12 Lyman E. Johnson, 13 John E. Page, 14 John Taylor, 15 Wilford Woodruff, 16 George A. Smith, 17 Willard Richards, 18 Lyman Wight, 19 Amasa M. Lyman, 20 Ezra T. Benson, 21 Charles C. Rich, 22 Lorenzo Snow, 23 Erastus Snow, 24 Franklin D. Richards, 25 George Q. Cannon, 26 Joseph F. Smith, 27 Brigham Young, Jun., 28 Albert Carrington, 29 Moses Thatcher, 30 Francis M. Lyman, 31 John Henry Smith, 32 George Teasdale, 33 Heber J. Grant, 34 John W. Taylor, 35 Marriner W. Merrill, 36 Anthon H. Lund, 37 Abraham H. Cannon, 38 Matthias F. Cowley, 39 Abraham O. Woodruff, 40 Rudger Clawson, 41 Reed Smoot, 42 Hyrum M. Smith, 43 Geo. Albert Smith, 44 Chas. W. Penrose, 45 George F. Richards, 46 Orson F. Whitney, 47 David O. McKay, 48 Anthony W. Ivins, 49 Joseph F. Smith. Jun., 50 James E. Talmage.
[Footnote 1: Not.—If we say that the Father and the Son came to Joseph because of his prayer, we might conclude that every boy who prayed should receive such a visit. No; the time had come for the ushering in of a new dispensation, etc. To bring out this thought is the idea of this question.]
[Footnote 2: Jensen’s Historical Record, page 838. Whitney’s History of Utah. Vol. I, page 274.]