Minutes and Discourses, 6–8 April 1840

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At a general of the , held at the town of , Hancock county, Illinois, on the sixth day of April A. D. 1840, agreeable to previous appointment.
Joseph Smith, jr. was called upon to preside over the conference, and to be Clerk. [p. 91]
The meeting was then opened by an address to the Throne of Grace, by .
The president rose and made some observations on the business of the conference; exhorted the brethren who had charges to bring against any individual to be charitable; and made some very appropriate remarks respecting “pulling out the beam in their own eyes, that they might see clearly the mote which was in their brothers eye.
A letter was read from presidents of the , wishing for an explanation of the steps, which the had taken, in removing Elder , from the of the sev[en]ties, to that of the , without any other than he had when in the seventies, and wished to know, whither, those ordained into the seventies at the same time was, had a right to the High Priesthood, or not. After observations on the case by different individuals, the president gave a statement of the authority of the seventies, and stated that they were Elders and not High Priests, and consequently brother had no claim to that office. It was then unanimously resolved that Elder be placed back again into the Quorum of the seventies.
It was then resolved that the conference adjourn until two o’clock P. M.
The conference met pursuant to adjournment.
Prayer by Elder .
Elder presented charges against Bro. for compiling an Hymn Book, and selling it as the one selected and published by sister ; for writing a letter to having reflections in it on elder , and derogatory to his character, and likewise for administering medicine, which had a bad effect.
It was resolved, that as is not present, the case be laid over until to morrow.
Elder John Lawson then came forward and stated, that in consequence of some difficulty existing in the of the where he resided, respecting the word of wisdom, the church had withdrawn their fellowship from him, & Bro. Thomas S. Edwards. After hearing the statements; it was resolved, that John Lawson and Thomas S. Edwards be restored to fellowship.
Elder addressed the conference and stated that it had some years previous been prophesied of him, that he had a great work to perform among the Jews; and that he had recently been moved upon by the spirit of the Lord to visit that people, and gather up all the information he could from them respecting their movements, expectations &c. and communicate the same to this church and to this at large. Stated that he intended to visit the Jews in , , Amsterdam, and then visit Constantinople and the .
It was then unanimously resolved that proceed in his mission, and that his letter of recommendation be signed by the President and of the conference.
Elder then rose, and spoke with much force on the object of ’s mission, the gathering together of the Jews, and the restoration of the house of Israel; proving in a short, but convincing manner from the Bible, book of Mormon, and the book of Doctrine and covenants. That these things must take place and that the time had now nearly arrived for their accomplishment.
It was then resolved that the conference adjourn until to morrow morning, at 9 o’clock.
Tuesday morning. Conference met pursuant to adjournment.
A. Hymn was sung by the choir and the meeting was opened by prayer by Elder .
Bro. ’ case was then called up.
Which after some observations and explanations of the different charges.
It was unanimously resolved, that Bro. be forgiven and that the hand of fellowship be continued.
The meeting was then adjourned for one hour.
Conference met pursuant to adjournment.
A Hymn was sung by the choir and prayer was made by Elder .
The President called upon the to read the report of the Presidency and High council, with regard to their [p. 92] proceedings in purchasing lands and securing a place of for the saints. The report having been read, the President made some observations respecting the pecuniary affairs of the church, and requested the brethren to step forward and assist in liquidating the debts on the town plot, so that the poor might have .
He then gave some account of his mission to , in company with and , the treatment they received and the action of the Senate on the memorial which was presented to them.
The meeting then called for the reading of the memorial, and the report of the committee on Judiciary, to whom the same had been referred.— Which were read.
It was then resolved, that a committee of five be appointed to draught resolutions expressive of the sentiments of this in reference to the report.
Resolved, that , , , Joseph Wood and compose said committee, and report to this conference.
Resolved, That this meeting adjourn until to morrow morning at 9 o’clock.
A Hymn was then sung and the meeting was dismissed by .
Wednesday morning, conference met persuant to adjournment.
A number were , who had been the previous evening.
The meeting was then opened with prayer by .
The committee appointed to draft resolutions on the report which was read yesterday, were then called upon to make their report.
of the committee then read the resolutions, as follows.
Whereas, we learn with deep sorrow, regret and disappointment, that the committee on Judiciary, to whom was referred the memorial, of the members of the (commonly called Mormons) complaining of the grievances suffered by them in the State of , have reported unfavorable to our cause, to Justice and humanity.
Resolved 1st. That we consider the report of the committee on Judiciary, unconstitutional, and subversive of the rights of a free people; and justly calls for the disapprobation of all the supporters and lovers of good government and republican principles.
Resolved, 2nd. That the committee state in their report, that our memorial aggravate the case of our oppressors, and at the same time say; that they have not examined into the truth or falsehoods of the facts mentioned in said memorial.
Resolved, 3rd. That the memorial does not aggravate the conduct of our oppressors, as every statement set forth in said memorial, was substantiated by indubitable testimony, therefore, we consider the statement of the committee in regard to that part; as false and ungenerous.
Resolved, 4th. That, that part of the report, refering us to the Justice and magnanimity of the State of for redress; we deem it a great insult to our good sense, better judgment, and intelligence; when from numerous affidavits which were laid before the committee: Proved, that we could only go into the State of , contrary to the exterminating order of the , and consequently at the risk of our lives.
Resolved, 5th. That after repeated appeals to the constituted authorities of the State of for redress, which were in vain; we fondly hoped that in the Congress of the , ample justice would have been rendered us; and upon that consideration alone, we pledged ourselves to abide their decision.
Resolved, 6th. That the exterminating order of , is a direct infraction of the constitution of the , and of the State of ; and the committee in refusing to investigate the proceedings of executive and others of the State of , and turning a deaf ear, to the cries of widows, orphans, and innocent blood, we deem no less, than secondary the proceedings of that murderous mob, whose deeds are recorded in heaven, and justly calls down upon their heads, the righteous judgments of an offended God.
Resolved, 7th. That the thanks of [p. 93] this meeting be tendered to the citizens of the State of , for their kind, liberal, and generous conduct towards us; and that we call upon them, as well as every patriot in this vast republic, to aid us in all lawful endeavors, to obtain redress for the injuries we have sustained.
Resolved, 8th. That the thanks of this meeting be tendered to the delegation of , for their bold, manly, noble and independent course they have taken, in presenting our case before the authorities of the nation, amid misrepresentation, contumely and abuse which characterized us in our suffering condition.
Resolved, 9th. That the thanks of this meeting be tendered to of , of for their sympathy, aid, and protection.— And to all other Honerable Gentlemen who have assisted us in our endeavors to obtain redress.
Resolved, 10th. That Joseph Smith jr. , and , the delegates appointed by this , to visit the city of to present our sufferings before the authorities of the nation, accept of the thanks of this meeting, for the prompt and efficient manner in which they have discharged their duty; and that they be requested in the behalf of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, throughout the world, to continue to use their endeavors to obtain redress for a suffering people; and if all hopes of obtaining satisfaction (for the injuries done us:) be entirely blasted, that they then appeal our case to the court of Heaven, believing, that the great Jehovah, who rules over the destiny of nations, and who notices the falling sparrow, will undoubtedly redress our wrongs, and ere long avenge us of our adversaries.
It was then resolved, that the report of the committee on Judiciary, as well as the foregoing preamble and resolutions, be published in the papers.
Resolved, That a committee of seven be appointed to investigate the recommendations, those persons may have, who wish to obtain an to the ministry and to ordain such as may be thought worthy. That , Joseph Wood and , compose said committee.
Resolved, That this meeting feel satisfied with the proceedings of the with regard to the sales of town property &c. and that they be requested to continue in their agency.
Resolved, That this meeting adjourn for one hour.
met pursuant to adjournment, after singing the President arose and read the 3d chap. of John’s Gospel after which prayer was offered by elder .
The President commenced making observations on the different subjects embraced in the chapter particularly on the 3d, 4th, 5th verses illustrating it with a very beautiful and striking figure, and throwing a flood of light on the subjects which were brought up to review.
He then spoke to the elders respecting their mission, and advised those who went into the world, to preach the gospel, to leave their families provided for, with the necessaries of life; and to teach the as set forth in the Holy scriptures.
That it had been wisdom to, for the greater body of the church to keep on this side of the river, in order that a foundation might be established in this place, but that now, it was the priviledge of the saints to occupy the lands in the , or wherever the spirit might lead them.
That he did not wish to have any political influence, but wished the saints to use their political franchise to the best of their knowledge.
He then stated that since had been appointed to visit the Jewish people, he had felt an impression that it would be well for Elder to accompany him on his mission.
It was resolved, that Elder be appointed to accompany Elder on his mission, and that he have proper credentials given him.
It was then resolved, that as a great part of the time of the conference had been taken up with charges against individuals which might have been settled by the different authorities of the church that in future no such cases be brought before the conferences.
The committee on ordination, reported that they had ordained thirty one [p. 94] persons, to be in the ; who were ordained under the hands of Alpheus Gifford, and .
Which report was accepted.
presented himself on the stand and humbly ashed [asked] forgiveness for his conduct and expressed his determination to do the will of God in future: his case was presented to the by , when it was unanimously resolved, that be forgiven, and be received into the fellowship of the church.
It was reported, that seventy five persons had been during the conference, and that upwards of fifty had been received into the of the .
President , was called upon to dissmiss the assembly.
After he had made a few observations, the conference was closed under the blessings of the . Until the first Friday in October next.
JOSEPH SMITH, jr. Pres’t.
, Clerk. [p. 95]