1839

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Unfinished Business from Doctrine and Covenants 115 and 118

Friday, April 5.–Brothers Kimball and Turley arrived at Far West.

This day a company of about fifty men in Daviess county swore that they would never eat or drink, until they had murdered ‘Joe Smith’. Their captain, William Bowman, swore in the presence of Theodore Turley, that he would ‘never eat or drink, after he had seen Joe Smith, until he had murdered him.’

Also eight men–Captain Bogart, who was county judge, Dr. Laffity, John Whitmer, and five others–came into the committee’s room [i.e. the room or office of the committee on removal] and presented to Theodore Turley the paper containing the revelation of July 8, 1838, to Joseph Smith, directing the Twelve to take their leave of the Saints in.

Far West on the building site of the Lords House on the 26th of April, to go to the isles of the sea, and then asked him to read it. Turley said, ‘Gentlemen, I am well acquainted with it.’ They said, ‘Then you, as a rational man, will give up Joseph Smith’s being a prophet and an inspired man? He and the Twelve are now scattered all over creation; let them come here if they dare; if they do, they will be murdered. As that revelation cannot be fulfilled, you will now give up your faith.’

Turley jumped up and said, ‘In the name of God that revelation will be fulfilled.’ They laughed him to scorn. John Whitmer hung down his head. They said, ‘If they (the Twelve) come, they will get murdered; they dare not come to take their leave here; that is like all the rest of Joe Smith’s d–n prophecies.’ They commenced on Turley and said, he had better do as John Corrill had done; ‘he is going to publish a book called ‘Mormonism Fairly Delineated;’ he is a sensible man, and you had better assist him.’

Turley said, ‘Gentleman, I presume there are men here who have heard Corrill say, that ‘Mormonism’ was true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and inspire of God. I now call upon you, John Whitmer: you say Corrill is a moral and a good man; do you believe him when he says the Book of Mormon is true, or when he says it is not true? There are many things published that they say are true, and again turn around and say they are false?’ Whitmer asked, ‘Do you hint at me?’ Turley replied, ‘If the cap fits you, wear it; all I know is that you published to the world that an angel did present those plates to Joseph Smith.’ Whitmer replied: "I now say, I handled those plates; there were fine engravings on both sides. I handled them;’ and he described how they were hung, and ‘they were shown to me by a supernatural power;’ he acknowledged all.

Turley asked him, ‘Why is not the translation now true?’ He said, ‘I could not read it [in the original] and I do not know whether it [i.e., the translation] is true or not.’ Whitmer testified all this in the presence of eight men.

HC 3:305-307

Friday, April 26. –Early this morning, soon after midnight, the brethren arrived at Far West, and proceeded to transact the business of their mission according to the following minutes:

Minutes of the Meeting of the Twelve Apostles at Far West, April 26, 1839.

At a conference held at Far West by the Twelve, High Priests, Elders, and Priests, on the 26th day of April, 1839, the following resolution was adopted.

Resolved: That the following persons be no more fellowshiped in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but excommunicated from the same, viz.; Isaac Russell, Mary Russell, John Goodson and wife, Jacob Scott, Sen., and wife, Isaac Scott, Jacob Scott, Jun., Ann Scott, Sister Walton, Robert Walton, Sister Cavanaugh, Ann Wanlass, William Dawson, Jun., and wife, William Dawson, Sen., and wife, George Nelson, Joseph Nelson and wife and mother, William Warnock and wife, Jonathan Maynard, Nelson Maynard, George Miller, John Grigg and wife, Luman Gibbs, Simeon Gardner, and Freeborn Gardner.

The council then proceeded to the building spot of the Lord’s House; when the following business was transacted: Part of a hymn was sung, on the mission of the Twelve.

Elder Alpheus Cutler, the master workman of the house, then recommenced laying the foundation of the Lord’s House, agreeably to revelation, by rolling up a large stone near the southeast corner.

The following of the Twelve were present; Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, John E. Page, and John Taylor, who proceeded to ordain Wilford Woodruff, and George A. Smith, (who had been previously nominated by the First Presidency, accepted by the Twelve, and acknowledged by the Church), to the office of Apostles and members of the quorum of the Twelve, to fill the places of those who are fallen. Darwin Chase and Norman Shearer (who had just been liberated from the Richmond prison, where they had been confined for the cause of Jesus Christ) were then ordained to the office of the Seventies

The Twelve then offered up vocal prayer in the following order; Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, John E. Page, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and George A. Smith. After which we sung Adam-ondi-Ahman, and then the Twelve took their leave of the following Saints, agreeable to the revelation, viz.: Alpheus Cutler, Elias Smith, Norman Shearer, William Burton, Stephen Markham, Shadrach Roundy, William O. Clark, John W. Clark, Hezekiah Peck, Darwin Chase, Richard Howard, Mary Ann Peck, Artimesa Grainger, Martha Peck, Sarah Grainger, Theodore Turley, Hyrum Clark, and Daniel Shearer.

Elder Alpheus Cutler then placed the stone before alluded to in its regular position, after which, in consequence of the peculiar situation of the Saints, he thought it wisdom to adjourn until some future time, when the Lord shall open the way; expressing his determination then to proceed with the building; whereupon the conference adjourned. BRIGHAM YOUNG, President. JOHN TAYLOR, clerk.

Thus was fulfilled a revelation of July 8, 1838, which our enemies had said could not be fulfilled, as no ‘Mormon’ would be permitted to be in the state.

As the Saints were passing away from the meeting, Brother Turley said to Elders Page and Woodruff, ‘Stop a bit, while I bid Isaac Russell good bye;’ and knocking at the door, called Brother Russell. His wife answered, ‘Come in, it is Brother Turley.’ Russell replied, ‘It is not; he left here two weeks ago;’ and appeared quite alarmed; but on finding it was Brother Turley, asked him to sit down; but the latter replied, ‘I cannot, I shall lose my company.’ ‘Who is your company?’ enquired Russell. ‘The Twelve.’ ‘The Twelve.!’

‘Yes, don’t you know that this is this twenty-sixth, and the day the Twelve were to take leave of their friends on the foundation of the Lord’s House, to go to the islands of the sea? The revelation is now fulfilled, and I am going with them.’ Russell was speechless, and Turley bid him farewell.

HC 3:336-339