Missourians, of a treacherous character: also his leaguing with dishonest persons in endeavoring to defraud the innocent.
President Joseph Smith related to the Conference the detention of documents from , Esq., which were designed for the benefit of himself, (President Smith,) but was not handed over for some three or four weeks, greatly to his disadvantage. Also, an indirect testimony from , through the mother of , that said and others had given information, by letter, of President Smiths’ visit to , advising them to proceed to that place and arrest him there. He stated that in consequence of those, and other circumstances, and his unprofitableness to him as a counsellor, he did not wish to retain him in that station, unless those difficulties could be removed; but desired his salvation, and expressed his willingness that he should retain a place among the saints.
Elder suggested the propriety of limiting the complaints and proofs to circumstances that had transpired since the last Conference.
President Joseph Smith replied, and showed the legality and propriety of a thorough investigation, without such limitation.
Elder plead, concerning the documents from , Esq., that he received it in answer to some inquiries which he had transmitted to him—that he received it at a time when he was sick, and unable to examine it—did not know that it was designed for the perusal and benefit of President Joseph Smith—that he had, consequently, ordered it to be laid aside, where it remained until inquired for by Joseph Smith. He had never written to concerning the visit of Joseph Smith to , and knew of no other person having done so. That, concerning certain rumors of belligerent operations under ’s administration, he had related them, not to alarm or disturb any one, but that he had the rumors from good authorities, and supposed them well founded. That he had never received but one communication from , and that of a business character, except one addressed to him conjointly with Elder , which he handed over to President Smith—that he had never written any letters to .
The weather becoming inclement, Conference adjourned until Sunday 10 o’clock A. M.
Sunday, 8th inst., 10 o’clock, A. M.
Conference assembled agreeably to adjournment, and opened with singing by the choir, and prayer by Elder .
Elder resumed his plea of defence. He related the circumstances of his reception in the city of , after his escape from —the cause of his delay in not going to the city of , on an express to which he had been appointed—and closed with a moving appeal to President Joseph Smith concerning their former friendship, associations and sufferings, and expressed his willingness to resign his place, though with sorrowful and indescribable feelings. During this address, the sympathies of the congregation were highly excited.
Elder related a conversation he had had with Esq. Johnson, in which he exonerated elder from the charge or suspicion of having had a treacherous correspondence with .
President Joseph Smith arose and satisfactorily explained to the congregation the supposed treacherous correspondence with , which wholly removed suspicion from elder , and from every other person. He expressed entire willingness to have elder retain his station, provided he would magnify his office, and walk and conduct himself in all honesty, righteousness, and integrity; but signified his lack of confidence in his integrity and steadfastness, judging from their past intercourse.
President followed with appropriate and expressive remarks on the attribute of mercy in God, as that by which He influences, controls, and conquers—and the propriety and importance of the saint’s exercising the same attribute towards their fellows; and especially towards their aged companion and fellow servant in the cause of truth and righteousness.
Elder and pres’t. followed with remarks in defence of elder .
On motion by President , and seconded by President , Conference voted that elder be permitted to retain his station as Counsellor to the First Presidency.
Singing by the choir—prayer by pres’t. .
Conference adjourned for one hour.
Sunday Three o’clock P. M.
Conference assembled, but in consequence of the inclemency of the weather, business was postponed until Monday 10 o’clock A. M.
Monday 10 o’clock, A. M.
Conference assembled, and resumed business.
Singing by the choir—prayer by elder .
The business pertaining to the was then announced by the President as next in order. [p. 330]