1844

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Brigham Young Becomes the Next Prophet

Chapter 18

The Gathering of the Twelve Apostles from the East to Nauvoo: Preliminary Meetings Looking to the Settlement of the Question of the Presidency of the Church

"Thursday, August 1, 1844.—The brethren of the Twelve arrived in Chicago in the evening, and tarried over night at the Lake Street house.

Political Election in Hancock, Co., Illinois.

Friday, 2.—A meeting of the citizens of Hancock county was held at the grove, west of the Temple. Great excitement prevailed through the county. The mob party were determined to elect officers who would screen the murderers of Joseph and Hyrum Smith and exterminate the Mormons.

The meeting resolved to support candidates who were in favor of preserving order and enforcing the laws. The following candidates were agreed upon:—Miner 1 R. Deming, sheriff; Daniel H. Wells, coroner; George Coulson, commissioner; J. B. Backenstos and A. W. Babbitt, representatives.

Movements of Brigham Young.

President Young and company took stage at seven a.m., for Galena; passed over delightful country, but very bad roads; had to walk over mud holes and bad places, and had to carry poles or rails on their backs to pry out the stage coach.

Movements of Sidney Rigdon.

Saturday, 3.—Elder Sidney Rigdon arrived at Nauvoo from Pittsburgh.

Elders Parley P. Pratt, Willard Richards and George A. Smith invited President Rigdon to meet in council at eight o'clock tomorrow morning, which he agreed to.

Brigham Young as Oxteamster—Anecdote.

The Twelve continued their journey through the day and night by stage. While upon their journey they overtook a company of Norwegians who were traveling with ox teams, and heavily loaded wagons, one of which was stuck fast in the mud, blocking up the road, while several of them were whipping the oxen and bawling to them in the Norwegian language, which seemed to frighten the oxen, but they were unable to move the wagons on.

After sitting and looking at them a moment, President Young got out of the coach and stepped up, and took the whip out of the hands of one of the Norwegians, telling them all to stand out of the way.

He then talked to the oxen in a tongue which was not understood by Norwegians or English, and touching them lightly with the whip, they instantly pulled the wagon out of the mud and continued the journey, much to the astonishment of the Norwegians and the surprise and amusement of the passengers on the stage.

Sunday Service at Nauvoo—Sermon of Sidney Rigdon.

Sunday, 4.——Elders Parley P. Pratt, Willard Richards and George A. Smith met in council, and waited an hour for Elder Rigdon, who excused himself afterwards by saying he was engaged with a lawyer.

10 a.m. Meeting at the stand. Elder Rigdon preached from the words, 'For my thoughts are not as your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.' He related a vision which he said the Lord had shown him concerning the situation of the church, and said there must be a guardian appointed to build the church up to Joseph, as he had begun it.

He said he was the identical man that the ancient prophets had sung about, wrote and rejoiced over, and that he was sent to do the identical work that had been the theme of all the prophets in every preceding generation. He said that the Lord's ways were not as our ways, for the Lord said he would 'hiss for the fly from the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria,' and thereby destroy his enemies; that the time was near at hand when he would see one hundred tons of metal per second thrown at the enemies of God, and that the blood would be to the horses' bridles; and that he expected to walk into the palace of Queen Victoria and lead her out by the nose, when none would have power to say, 'why do ye so?' and if it were not for two or three things which he knew, this people would be utterly destroyed, and not a soul left to tell the tale.

Parley P. Pratt's Comment on Rigdon's Sermon.

Elder Parley P. Pratt, in referring to the remarks of Brother Rigdon, on a subsequent occasion, said, 'I am the identical man the prophets never sang nor wrote a word about.'

Appointment Attempted to Choose a "Guardian" for the Church.

Public service meeting continued; afternoon: Elders Murdock and Rich preached. Elder William Marks, president of the stake, gave public notice (at the request of Elder Rigdon), that there would be special meeting of the church at the stand, on Thursday, the 8th inst., for the purpose of choosing a guardian, (President and Trustee) .

Elder Thomas Grover proposed waiting to examine the revelation.

Elder Marks said President Rigdon wanted the meeting on Tuesday, but he put it off till Thursday; that Elder Rigdon was some distance from his family, and wanted to know if this people had anything for him to do; if not, he wanted to go on his way, for there was a people numbering thousands and tens of thousands who would receive him; that he wanted to visit other branches around, but he had come here first.

Elder Rich called upon William Clayton, and said he was dissatisfied with the hurried movement of Elder Rigdon. He considered, inasmuch as the Twelve had been sent for and were soon expected home, the notice for meeting was premature, and it seemed to him a plot laid to take advantage of the situation of the saints.

President Young and his associates arrived at Galena at eight o'clock this morning (August 4th), nearly exhausted with fatigue, having traveled 48 hours without stopping, except to take meals and change horses, distance about 160 miles.

From the Millennial Star:—

Mark of Respect Shown By the Latter-Day Saints in Liverpool for the Martyrs

On Sunday, August 4th, very numerous congregations attended at the Music Hall, the majority of the saints in deep mourning, whilst the platform or raised gallery, where the priesthood sat, was handsomely decorated with black drapery. We would suggest to the saints generally, as far as their means will allow them, to pay respect to the memory of our lamented brethren.

Monday, 5.——Elders Parley P. Pratt, Willard Richards, John Taylor, George A. Smith, Amasa Lyman and Bishop Whitney, waited upon Elder Rigdon in the morning. He said he would meet them in council at Elder Taylor's after dinner.

The Agitation of Sidney Rigdon.

They accordingly met in council, and when Elder Rigdon came in, he paced the room and said, 'Gentlemen, you're used up; gentlemen, you are all divided; the anti-Mormons have got you; the brethren are voting every way, some for James, some for Deming, some for Coulson, and some for Bedell; the anti-Mormons have got you, you cannot stay in the county, everything is in confusion, you can do nothing, you lack a great leader, you want a head, and unless you unite upon that head you are blown to the four winds, the anti-Mormons will carry the election—a guardian must be appointed.'

Elder George A. Smith said, 'Brethren, Elder Rigdon is entirely mistaken, there is no division; the brethren are united; the election will be unanimous, and the friends of law and order will be elected by a thousand majority. There is no occasion to be alarmed. President Rigdon is inspiring fears there are no grounds for.'

Results of the Election.

The result was that it was one of the most unanimous elections held in Nauvoo, as there were only five opposition votes polled in the city, and in the county the majority for the law and order candidates was over one thousand, notwithstanding the anti-Mormons smuggled a great many votes from other counties.

Elder Rigdon said he did not expect the people to choose a guardian on Thursday, but to have a prayer meeting and interchange of thought and feeling, and warm up each other's hearts.

Jesse Price made the following affidavit:—

Affidavit of Jesse Price Before Aaron Johnson—Murderous Intentions of William Law

'State of Illinois, County of Hancock, ss.

On the 5th day of August, 1844, personally appeared before me, Aaron Johnson, justice of the peace in and for said county, Jesse Price; and after being duly sworn according to law, deposeth and saith, that on or about the 18th of April, 1844, in the city of Nauvoo, county aforesaid, William Law said, 'I put pistols in my pockets one night, and went to Joseph Smith's house, determined to blow his infernal brains out, but I could not get the opportunity to shoot him then, but I am determined I will shoot him the first opportunity, and you will see blood and thunder and devastation in this place, but I shall not be here;' and deponent saith not further.'

The following letter was sent to Dr. Richards:—

Letter of Joseph M. Cole—Election Returns Threatened

'La Harpe, August 5, 1844.

Brother Richards,—I hasten to inform you that intelligence has arrived in this place today, by several persons, that the mobocrats at Carthage have concocted a plan to intercept the returns of the election at Nauvoo, and destroy them before they arrive at Carthage. The information is of such a nature that I deemed it necessary that you should be informed of the same, that you may act accordingly.

Respectfully,

Joseph M. Cole.'

President Young and the Apostles with him went on board the steamer St. Croix at Galena,

for Nauvoo. They started in the afternoon.

Elder Kimball recorded the following dream:—

Elder Heber C. Kimball's Dream.

'I dreamed of speaking before a large congregation on the policy of the nation and the policy of our religion. I said that Joseph the Prophet had laid the foundation, and we would have to carry out his measures. Joseph was there and heard all I said and sanctioned it. All seemed perfectly natural.'

Tuesday, 6.—Elders Parley P. Pratt, Willard Richards, John Taylor, George A. Smith and Bishop Whitney met in council at Elder Taylor's.

Actitivies of Elder Willard Richards.

From the death of Joseph until the arrival of President Brigham Young and the Twelve, Elder Willard Richards was the principal counselor of the saints in Nauvoo, and had scarcely a moment's rest. He answered the calls and inquiries of hundreds of the brethren, and was engaged every day until a late hour, or until exhaustion compelled him to lie down.

The following is extracted from Elder Woodruff's Journal:—

Excerpt

'We (the brethren of the Twelve returning to Nauvoo) stopped at various places while going down the Mississippi, among others, the town of Burlington, after which we prepared our minds to once more behold the city of Nauvoo and embrace our families and friends.

We were landed at the upper stone house at eight in the evening, and were welcomed with joy by all the citizens we met. We hired a coach, and I accompanied my brethren to their families, after which I was conveyed to my own, and truly felt to rejoice to once more meet with my wife, children and friends. Thus it is with me, I have spent but one summer either at home or with the body of the church for the last ten years, as my lot has been cast abroad in the vineyard most of the time.

When we landed in the city a deep gloom seemed to rest over the city of Nauvoo, which we never experienced before.'

Majority of the Twelve in Council—Nauvoo.

Wednesday, 7.—Elders Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Willard Richards, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith and Lyman Wight met in council with Elder Taylor at his house. They found him recovering from his wounds received at the massacre of the Prophets.

The Twelve felt to rejoice at having the privilege of again meeting in council together, after having passed through such trying scenes, and to be welcomed by the saints who considered it very providential for the Twelve to arrive at this particular juncture, when their minds were agitated, their hearts sorrowful, and darkness seemed to cloud their path, feeling like sheep without a shepherd, their beloved Prophet having been taken away.

Meetin of Church Authorities at Nauvoo.

4 p.m.—Meeting of the Twelve Apostles, high council and high priests at the Seventies' Hall.

President William Marks prayed.

President Brigham Young called upon President Rigdon to make a statement to the church concerning his message to the saints, and the vision and revelation he had received.

President Rigdon said:—

'The object of my mission is to visit the saints and offer myself to them as a guardian. I had a vision at Pittsburgh, June 27th. This was presented to my mind not as an open vision, but rather a continuation of the vision mentioned in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants.

The Proposition of Elder Rigdon to Become "Guardian" to the Church.

It was shown to me that this church must be built up to Joseph, and that all the blessings we receive must come through him. I have been ordained a spokesman to Joseph, and I must come to Nauvoo and see that the church is governed in a proper manner. Joseph sustains the same relationship to this church as he has always done. No man can be the successor of Joseph.

The kingdom is to be built up to Jesus Christ through Joseph; there must be revelation still. The martyred Prophet is still the head of this church; every quorum should stand as you stood in your washings and consecrations. I have been consecrated a spokesman to Joseph, and I was commanded to speak for him. The church is not disorganized though our head is gone.

We may have a diversity of feelings on this matter. I have been called to be a spokesman unto Joseph, and I want to build up the church unto him; and if the people want me to sustain this place, I want it upon the principle that every individual shall acknowledge it for himself.

I propose to be a guardian to the people; in this I have discharged my duty and done what God has commanded me, and the people can please themselves whether they accept me or not.'

President Brigham Young said;—

Attitude of Brigham Young—The Twelve Hold the "Keys".

'I do not care who leads the church, even though it were Ann Lee; but one thing I must know, and that is what God says about it. I have the keys and the means of obtaining the mind of God on the subject.

I know there are those in our midst who will seek the lives of the Twelve as they did the lives of Joseph and Hyrum. We shall ordain others and give the fullness of the priesthood, so that if we are killed the fullness of the priesthood may remain.

Joseph conferred upon our heads all the keys and powers belonging to the Apostleship which he himself held before he was taken away, and no man or set of men can get between Joseph and the Twelve in this world or in the world to come.

How often has Joseph said to the Twelve, 'I have laid the foundation and you must build thereon, for upon your shoulders the kingdom rests.'

The Twelve, as a quorum, will not be permitted to tarry here long; they will go abroad and bear off the kingdom to the nations of the earth, and baptize the people faster than mobs can kill them off. I would like, were it my privilege, to take my valise and travel and preach till we had a people gathered who would be true.

My private feelings would be to let the affairs of men and women alone, only go and preach and baptize them into the kingdom of God; yet, whatever duty God places upon me, in his strength I intend to fulfill it.

I want to see this people, with the various quorums of the priesthood, assembled together in special conference on Thursday 3 next at 10 a.m.'

Which was carried unanimously by vote."

HC 7:223-230

Chapter 19

The Settlement of Church Leadership—The Twelve Apostles Accepted as the Presidency of the Church, Brigham Young at Their Head

Special Public Meeting of the Church.

"Thursday, August 8th, 1844.—At a special meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in Nauvoo, at 10 a. m. on Thursday, August 8, 1844, by the request of President William Marks, (who was then presiding over that stake of Zion) to choose a guardian, or President and Trustee, Sidney Rigdon took his position in a wagon, about two rods in front of the stand, and harangued the saints for about one and a half hours, upon choosing a guardian for the church. The meeting was then dismissed, when President Brigham Young gave out an appointment for the brethren to assemble at 2 p.m.

At the appointed time the brethren came together. Present, of the Twelve, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Willard Richards, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith. 1 The several quorums were organized on and around the stand according to order.

The Remarks of President Young in Behalf of the Claim of the Twelve to Lead the Church in the Absence of the First Presidency

The meeting being opened, President Brigham Young arose and said:——

'Attention all! This congregation makes me think of the days of King Benjamin, the multitude being so great that all could not hear. I request the brethren not to have any feelings for being convened this afternoon, for it is necessary; we want you all to be still and give attention, that all may hear. Let none complain because of the situation of the congregation, we will do the best we can.

For the first time in my life, for the first time in your lives, for the first time in the kingdom of God in the 19th century, without a Prophet at our head, do I step forth to act in my calling in connection with the Quorum of the Twelve, as Apostles of Jesus Christ unto this generation—Apostles whom God has called by revelation through the Prophet Joseph, who are ordained and anointed to bear off the keys of the kingdom of God in all the world.

This people have hitherto walked by sight and not by faith. You have had the Prophet in your midst. Do you all understand? You have walked by sight and without much pleading to the Lord to know whether things were right or not.

Heretofore you have had a Prophet as the mouth of the Lord to speak to you, but he has sealed his testimony with his blood, and now, for the first time, are you called to walk by faith, not by sight.

The first position I take in behalf of the Twelve and the people is, to ask a few questions. I ask the Latter-day Saints: do you, as individuals, at this time, want to choose a Prophet or a guardian? Inasmuch as our Prophet and Patriarch are taken from our midst, do you want some one to guard, to guide and lead you through this world into the kingdom of God, or not? All that want some person to be a guardian or a Prophet, a spokesman or something else, signify it by raising the right hand. (No votes).

When I came to this stand I had peculiar feelings and impressions. The faces of this people seem to say, we want a shepherd to guide and lead us through this world. All that want to draw away a party from the church after them, let them do it if they can, but they will not prosper.

If any man thinks he has influence among this people to lead away a party, let him try it, and he will find out that there is power with the Apostles which will carry them off victorious through all the world, and build up and defend the church and kingdom of God.

What do the people want? I feel as though I wanted the privilege to weep and mourn for thirty days at least, then rise up, shake myself, and tell the people what the Lord wants of them; although my heart is too full of mourning to launch forth into business transactions and the organization of the church, I feel compelled this day to step forth in the discharge of those duties God has placed upon me.

I now wish to speak of the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If the church is organized, and you want to know how it is organized, I will tell you. I know your feelings—do you want me to tell your feelings?

Here is President Rigdon, who was counselor to Joseph. I ask, where are Joseph and Hyrum? They are gone beyond the veil; and if Elder Rigdon wants to act as his counselor, he must go beyond the veil where he is.

There has been much said about President Rigdon being President of the Church, and leading the people, being the head, etc. Brother Rigdon has come 1,600 miles to tell you what he wants to do for you. If the people want President Rigdon to lead them they may have him; but I say unto you that the Quorum of the Twelve have the keys of the kingdom of God in all the world.

The Twelve are appointed by the finger of God. Here is Brigham, have his knees ever faltered? Have his lips ever quivered? Here is Heber and the rest of the Twelve, an independent body who have the keys of the priesthood—the keys of the kingdom of God to deliver to all the world: this is true, so help me God. They stand next to Joseph, and are as the First Presidency of the Church.

I do not know whether my enemies will take my life or not, and I do not care, for I want to be with the man I love.

You cannot fill the office of a prophet, seer and revelator: God must do this. You are like children without a father and sheep without a shepherd. You must not appoint any man at our head; if you should, the Twelve must ordain him. You cannot appoint a man at our head; but if you do want any other man or men to lead you, take them and we will go our way to build up the kingdom in all the world.

I know who are Joseph's friends, and who are his enemies. I know where the keys of the kingdom are, and where they will eternally be. You cannot call a man to be a prophet; you cannot take Elder Rigdon and place him above the Twelve; if so, he must be ordained by them.

I tell you there is an overanxiety to hurry matters here. You cannot take any man and put him at the head; you would scatter the saints to the four winds, you would sever the priesthood. So long as we remain as we are, the heavenly Head is in constant cooperation with us; and if you go out of that course, God will have nothing to do with you.

Again, perhaps some think that our beloved Brother Rigdon would not be honored, would not be looked to as a friend; but if he does right and remains faithful he will not act against our counsel nor we against his, but act together, and we shall be as one.

I again repeat, no man can stand at our head, except God reveals it from the heavens.

I have spared no pains to learn my lesson of the kingdom in this world and in the eternal worlds; and if it were not so, I could go and live in peace; but for the gospel and your sakes I shall stand in my place. We are liable to be killed all the day long. You have never lived by faith.

Brother Joseph, the Prophet, has laid the foundation for a great work, and we will build upon it; you have never seen the quorums built one upon another. There is an almighty foundation laid, and we can build a kingdom such as there never was in the world: we can build a kingdom faster than satan can kill the saints off.

What do you want? Do you want a patriarch for the whole church? To this we are perfectly willing. If Brother Samuel H. Smith had been living, it would have been his right and privilege; but he is dead, he is gone to Joseph and Hyrum, he is out of the reach of bullets and spears, and he can waft himself with his brothers, his friends and the saints.

Do you want a patriarch? Here is brother William [Smith] left; here is Uncle John Smith, uncle to the Prophet Joseph left; it is their right. The right of patriarchal blessings belongs to Joseph's family.

Do you want a Trustee-in-Trust? Has there been a bishop who has stood in his lot yet? What is his business? To take charge of the temporal affairs, so that the Twelve and the elders may go on their business. Joseph condescended to do their business for them. Joseph condescended to offer himself for president of the United States, and it was a great condescension.

Do you want a spokesman? Here are Elder Rigdon, Brother Amasa Lyman [whom Joseph expected to take as a counselor] and myself. Do you want the church properly organized, or do you want a spokesman to be chief cook and bottle-washer? Elder Rigdon claims to be spokesman to the Prophet. Very well, he was; but can he now act in that office? If he wants now to be a spokesman to the Prophet, he must go to the other side of the veil, for the Prophet is there, but Elder Rigdon is here. Why will Elder Rigdon be a fool? Who knows anything of the priesthood, or of the organization of the kingdom of God. 2 I am plain.

Does this church want it as God organized it? Or do you want to clip the power of the priesthood, and let those who have the keys of the priesthood go and build up the kingdom in all the world, wherever the people will hear them?

If there is a spokesman, if he is a king and priest, let him go and build up a kingdom unto himself; that is his right and it is the right of many here, but the Twelve are at the head of it.

I want to live on the earth and spread truth through all the world. You saints of latter-days want things right. If 10,000 men rise up and say they have the Prophet Joseph Smith's shoes, I know they are impostors. In the priesthood you have a right to build up a kingdom, if you know how the church is organized.

Now, if you want Sidney Rigdon or William Law to lead you, or anybody else, you are welcome to them; but I tell you, in the name of the Lord that no man can put another between the Twelve and the Prophet Joseph. Why? Because Joseph was their file leader, and he has committed into their hands the keys of the kingdom in this last dispensation, for all the world; don't put a thread between the priesthood and God.

I will ask, who has stood next to Joseph and Hyrum? I have, and I will stand next to him. We have a head, and that head is the Apostleship, the spirit and power of Joseph, and we can now begin to see the necessity of that Apostleship.

Brother Rigdon was at his side—not above. No man has a right to counsel the Twelve but Joseph Smith. Think of these things. You cannot appoint a prophet; but if you let the Twelve remain and act in their place, the keys of the kingdom are with them and they can manage the affairs of the church and direct all things aright.

Now, all this does not lessen the character of President Rigdon: let him magnify his calling, and Joseph will want him beyond the veil—let him be careful what he does, lest that thread which binds us together is cut asunder. May God bless you all.'

(Much more was said by President Young, but not written).

Speech of Amasa M. Lyman

Amasa Lyman said:—

'I do not rise to electioneer. I am gratified with the open, frank and plain exposition of President Young. He has seen the relation I bear to my deceased brother [i. e. Joseph Smith]. I never did conceive it gave me a precedence to go before the Twelve.

I do not make exceptions to anything he has said. I believe there is no power, or officer, or means wanted to carry on the work, but what is in the Twelve. I am satisfied that no man can carry on the work, but the power that is in the Twelve, as has been stated.

There is one thing to secure the salvation of this people, and that is not in union alone, it is for you to know the right and be united—it has been presented to you by President Young, and I will back him up. All I design to do is to redeem my pledge.

President Young has stood next to the Prophet Joseph, with the Twelve, and I have stood next to them, and I will stand next to them. I have been at the back of Joseph Smith, and will be at the back of the Twelve forever, and then we will be saved.

There is no need of a President, we have a head here. What is that head? The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are the head. We now see the necessity of the Apostleship.

I might rise up as well as any other man to ask for the Presidency, but I could not do it without endangering my salvation. This is the power that turns the key to bestow salvation through all the land, in the way that Joseph commenced it, the first one called to do the same in all the world. If Joseph Smith had any power to bear off the kingdom of God, the Twelve have the same.

I could not advocate a choosing of a President, and myself a candidate; so then you know the place I occupy is, to stand to the Twelve the same as the Twelve did to Joseph, either on one side or the other. I do not want to go before them or to fall asleep. I want to see the kingdom roll forth by our united faith and efforts.'

President Rigdon called upon W. W. Phelps to speak in his behalf, as he could not speak.

Speech of Elder W. W. Phelps—No Support to Sidney Rigdon

W. W. Phelps arose and said:—

'With the knowledge that I have I cannot suppose but that this congregation will act aright this day. I believe enough has been said to prepare the minds of the people to act.

I have known many of them for 14 years, and I have always known them to submit with deference to the authorities of the church. I have seen the elders of Israel and the people—take their lives in their hands and go without purse or scrip in winter and in summer. I have seen them prepare for war, and ready to pour out their hearts' blood, and that is an evidence that they will walk by counsel.

I am happy to see this little lake of faces, and to see the same spirit and disposition manifested here today, as it was the day after the bloody tragedy, when Joseph and Hyrum Smith were brought home dead to this city. Then you submitted to the law's slow delay, and handed the matter over to God; and I see the same thing today—you are now determined as one man to sustain the authorities of the church, and I am happy that the men who were on Joseph's right and left hand submit themselves to the authority of the priesthood.

I have feelings about this, especially for President Rigdon, and I want to say that there is a quorum that the Twelve belong to, and that the people will receive an endowment. I brought President Rigdon into that quorum, and he received in part the blessings. I could not bear the thought of President Rigdon going into the world without his endowment. He did obtain part, and I hope he will submit.

I want Brother Amasa to stand on the side of the Twelve, and they are wanted there still—let them go on and sustain them in that high office. You cannot put in a guardian of the church.

We have hitherto walked by sight, and if a man wanted to know anything he had only to go to Brother Joseph. Joseph has gone, but he has not left us comfortless.

I want to say that Brother Joseph came and enlightened me two days after he was buried. He came the same as when he was alive, and in a moment appeared to me in his own house. He said, 'Tell the drivers to drive on.' I asked if the building was on wheels? He said, 'certainly'. I spoke, and away it went. We drove all round the hills and valleys. He then told the drivers to drive on over the river into Iowa. I told him Devil Creek was before us. He said, 'Drive over Devil Creek; I don't care for Devil Creek or any other creek;' and we did so. Then I awoke.

There is a combination of persons in this city who are in continual intercourse with William and Wilson Law, who are at the bottom of the matter to destroy all that stand for Joseph, and there are persons now in this city who are only wanting power to murder all the persons that still hold on to Joseph; but let us go ahead and build up the Temple, and then you will be endowed. When the Temple is completed all the honorable mothers in Israel will be endowed, as well as the elders.

If you want to do right, uphold the Twelve. If they die, I am willing to die with them; but do your duty and you will be endowed. I will sustain the Twelve as long as I have breath.

When Joseph was going away he said he was going to die, and I said I was willing to die with him; but as I am now alive, as a lawyer in Israel, I am determined to live.

I want you all to recollect that Joseph and Hyrum have only been removed from the earth, and they now counsel and converse with the Gods beyond the reach of powder and ball.'

Remarks of Elder Parley P. Pratt

Parley P. Pratt said:—

'What has been said has been well said. If there are men here who are our enemies, I'll tell you when they will cease to be here: they will be here while you will deal with them. If I exchange property or deal with men, I do it with those whom I know to be faithful.

If there are wicked men here, it is because we support them. Stop dealing with them, and they will go away. Will I support them? No, I would deal with all honest men whom I know to be such.

I am willing to do good to all men, especially to the household of faith. Our enemies will cease to dwell here when you cease to deal with them. Mobs and wicked men will cease when you cease to support them.

I know we can all live and be happy too, when we deal with honest men. If a man wants a doctor or a lawyer, he will send directly for the worst man he can find.

I would die a natural death sooner than I would have a wicked doctor to help me off. I would go without sueing all the days of my life before I would go to a lawyer to sue. I will not say anything about the merchants, because you all know them.'

President Brigham Young's Second Speech

President Brigham Young again arose and said;—

'There is more business than can be done this afternoon, but we can accomplish all we want to have done without calling this convention of the whole church. I am going to present to you the leading items.

I do not ask you to take my counsel or advice alone, but every one of you act for yourselves; but if Brother Rigdon is the person you want to lead you, vote for him, but not unless you intend to follow him and support him as you did Joseph. Do not say so without you mean to take his counsel hereafter.

And I would say the same for the Twelve, don't make a covenant to support them unless you intend to abide by their counsel; and if they do not counsel you as you please, don't turn round and oppose them.

I want every man, before he enters into a covenant, to know what he is going to do; but we want to know if this people will support the priesthood in the name of Israel's God. If you say you will, do so.

We want men appointed to take charge of the business that did lay on the shoulders of Joseph. Let me say to you that this kingdom will spread more than ever.

The Twelve have the power now—the seventies, the elders and all of you can have power to go and build up the kingdom in the name of Israel's God. Nauvoo will not hold all the people that will come into the kingdom.

We want to build the Temple, so as to get our endowment; and if we do our best, and satan will not let us build it, we will go into the wilderness and we will receive the endowment, for we will receive an endowment anyhow.

Will you abide our counsel? I again say, my soul for any man's, if they will abide our counsel, that they will go right into heaven. We have all the signs and tokens to give to the porter at the door, and he will let us in.

I will ask you as quorums, Do you want Brother Rigdon to stand forward as your leader, your guide, your spokesman. President Rigdon wants me to bring up the other question first, and that is, Does the church want, and is it their only desire to sustain the Twelve as the First Presidency of this people?

Here are the Apostles, the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants—they are written on the tablet of my heart. If the church want the Twelve to stand as the head, the First Presidency of the Church, and at the head of this kingdom in all the world, stand next to Joseph, walk up into their calling, and hold the keys of this kingdom, every man, every women, every quorum is now put in order, and you are now the sole controllers of it.

All that are in favor of this, in all the congregation of the saints, manifest it by holding up the right hand. (There was a universal vote). If there are any of the contrary mind, every man and every woman who does not want the Twelve to preside, lift up your hands in like manner. (No hands up). This supersedes the other question, and trying it by quorums.

We feel as though we could take Brother Rigdon in our bosom along with us; we want such men as Brother Rigdon. He has been sent away by Brother Joseph to build up a kingdom; let him keep the instructions and calling; let him raise up a mighty kingdom in Pittsburgh, and we will lift up his hands to Almighty God. I think we may have a printing office and a gathering there. If the devil still tries to kill us he will have enough to do.

The next is President Marks. Our feelings are to let him stand as president of the stake, as heretofore. We can build the Temple, etc.

You did not know who you had amongst you. Joseph so loved this people that he gave his life for them; Hyrum loved his brother and this people unto death. Joseph and Hyrum have given their lives for the church. But very few knew Joseph's character; he loved you unto death—you did not know it until after his death: he has now sealed his testimony with his blood.

If the Twelve had been here we would not have seen him given up—he should not have been given up. He was in your midst, but you did not know him; he has been taken away, for the people are not worthy of him.

The world is wide. I can preach in England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, etc. I can preach in all the world, and the devils cannot find us. I'll swear to you I will not be given up.

There is much to be done. You have men among you who sleep with one eye open. The foundation is laid by our Prophet, and we will build thereon; no other foundation can be laid but that which is laid, and we will have our endowment, if the Lord will.

As the authorities do not want us to do military duty, don't do it. If it is necessary, my neck is ready for the knife; as for myself, I am determined to build up the kingdom of God: and by and by there will be a gleaning of grapes, and it may be said, 'To your tents, O Israel'.

We can build on the foundation that was laid by the Prophet. Joseph has finished his work, and all the devils in hell and all the mobbers on earth could not take his life until he had accomplished his work. God said, I will put a veil over his eyes and lead him up to the slaughter like a sheep to be killed, for the people are not worthy of him, though God loves this people.

Let no man suppose that the kingdom is rent from you; that it is not organized. If all the quorums of the church were slain, except the high priests, they would rise up with the keys of the kingdom, and have the powers of the priesthood upon them, and build up the kingdom, and the devil cannot help himself.

You can go to a healthy country, buy the land, and don't let a cursed scoundrel get in your midst. Let there be good men, good women, and whenever a man comes with a wheelbarrow-full of goods don't sell him land, don't let him a house, nor buy of him.

Suppose we had ten thousand such places, and increasing in greatness, perfectly free from these poor devils, we should feel better than we do now. Let us all be humble and get our endowments—all be humble, industrious and prudent, what sort of a kingdom would it be? The foundation is laid for more than we can think or talk about today.

Is it the will of this congregation that they will be tithed until the Temple is finished, as they have hitherto been? If so, signify it by the uplifted hand. (The vote was unanimous).

The men will act that have never acted before, and they will have the power and authority to do it. Is it the mind of this congregation to loose the hands of the Twelve, and enable us to go and preach to all the world? We want to know the feelings of the people. Is it your will to support the Twelve in all the world in their missions? (The congregation sustained this question by a unanimous vote). Will you leave it to the Twelve to dictate about the finances of the church? and will it be the mind of this people that the Twelve teach what will be the duties of the bishops in handling the affairs of the church? I want this, because twelve men can do it just as well as calling this immense congregation together at any other time. (A unanimous vote).

We shall have a patriarch, and the right is in the family of Joseph Smith, his brothers, his sons, or some one of his relations. Here is Uncle John, he has been ordained a patriarch. Brother Samuel would have taken the office if he had been alive; it would have been his right; the right is in Uncle John, or one of his brothers (read sec. 3, par. 17, Doctrine and Covenants.) 5 I know that it would have belonged to Samuel. But as it is, if you leave it to the Twelve, they will wait until they know who is the man. Will you leave it to the Twelve, and they dictate the matter. (A unanimous vote). I know it will be let alone for the present.

I feel to bring up Brother Rigdon; we are of one mind with him and he with us. Will this congregation uphold him in the place he occupies by the prayer of faith and let him be one with us and we with him. (Unanimous). The Twelve will dictate and see to other matters. There will be a committee for the Temple; and now let men stand to their posts and be faithful.'

Adjourned to Oct. 6, Conference.

Benediction by Elder Parley P. Pratt.

Comment of the Church Historians Who Compiled This Data of the Church History

Thus closes the History of Joseph Smith, the great Prophet, Seer and Revelator, whom God has chosen to lay the foundation for the establishment of his church and kingdom upon the earth in the last dispensation and fullness of times.

He performed as great and mighty a work as any man that ever tabernacled in the flesh, save Jesus only. His mission lasted nearly seventeen years; from the time he received the plates from the angel Moroni on the 22nd day of Sept., 1827, to the 27th of June, 1844, when he was martyred in Carthage Jail, under the pledged protection of the governor of Illinois, Thomas Ford.

The History of Joseph Smith is now before the world, and we are satisfied that a history more correct in its details than this was never published. To have it strictly correct, the greatest possible pains have been taken by the historians and clerks engaged in the work. They were eye and ear witnesses of nearly all the transactions recorded in this history, most of which were reported as they transpired, and, where they were not personally present, they have had access to those who were.

Moreover, since the death of the Prophet Joseph, the history has been carefully revised under the strict inspection of President Brigham Young, and approved of by him.

Testimony of the Church Historians

We, therefore, hereby bear our testimony to all the world, unto whom these words shall come, that the History of Joseph Smith is true, and is one of the most authentic histories ever written.

We were, much of the time, associated with him in his travels and ministry since he organized the Church of Christ upon the earth. He labored diligently for the salvation and benefit of the human family. He ever taught and practiced, in public and in private, virtue, holiness and truth.

His brother Hyrum was martyred at the same time with him. He, also, was a great and good man, a wise counselor to his brother Joseph and a Prophet and Patriarch in the church, and the spirit of his office was with him up to the time of his death.

They were slain for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, and the people and nation who have persecuted them unto death and shed their blood will assuredly find their words fulfilled upon their heads, even in speedy and certain destruction, as were the words of the Savior fulfilled upon the Jewish nation for stoning and killing the Prophets and shedding the blood of the Lord's Anointed.

George A. Smith,

W. W. Woodruff, Historians."

HC 7:231-243