President Joseph returned his thanks to the assembly for the manifestation of their confidence, and said he would serve them according to the best ability God should give him.
The first presidency being disposed of, President Joseph said he did not know any thing against the Twelve if he did he would present them for trial. It is not right that all the burden of the , should rest on a few individuals; and we will now consider the propriety of sending the Twelve to collect means for the . There has been too great a solicitude, in individuals, for the building of the , to the exclusion of the . The agents have had too great latitude to practice fraud, by receiving donations and never making report. The church has suffered loss, and I am opposed to that system of collecting funds when any elder may receive moneys.
I am opposed to any man’s handling the public funds of the church who is not duly authorzed.
I advise that some means be devised for transacting business on a sure foundation. The Twelve are the most suitable persons to perform this business; and I want the conference to devise some means to bind them as firm as the pillars of heaven, if possible. The Twelve were always honest, and it will do them no hurt to bind them.
It has been reported that they receive wages at two dollars per day for their services. I have never heard this till recently, and I do not believe it. I know the Twelve have never had any wages at all. They have fulfilled their duty— they have always gone where they were sent, and have labored with their hands for their support, when at home. If we send them into the world to collect funds, we want them to return those funds to this place, that they may be appropriated to the very purpose for which they were designed. I go in for binding up the Twelve, solid, putting them under bonds; and let this conference institute an order to this end, and that the travelling expenses of the agents shall not be borne out of the funds collected for building these houses, and let no man pay money or stock into the hands of the Twelve, except he transmit [p. 181]