History, 1838–1856, volume F-1 [1 May 1844–8 August 1844]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 49
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<​May 17​> without the smell of fire upon his garments. The court deliberated upon the case for half an hour with closed doors, and then we were called in. The court arraigned the prisoner and said: “Mr. Smith, we have had your case under consideration, examined the testimony and find nothing to condemn you, and therefore you are discharged.” They then proceeded to reprimand him severely; not because anything derogatory to his character in any shape had been proven against him by the host of witnesses that had testified during the trial, but merely to please those fiends in human shape, who were engaged in the unhallowed persecution of an innocent man, sheerly on account of his religious opinions.
‘After they had got through, I arose and said: “This court puts me in mind of a certain trial held before Felix of old, when the enemies of Paul arraigned him before that venerable judge for some alleged crime, and nothing was found in him worthy of death or of bonds. Yet, to please the Jews who were his accusers, he was left bound contrary to law; and this court has served Mr. Smith in the same way, by their unlawful and uncalled for reprimand after his discharge, to please his accusers.” We got him away that night from the midst of three hundred people without his receiving any injury; but I am well aware that we were assisted by some higher power than man; for to look back on the scene, I cannot tell how we succeeded in getting him away. I take no glory to myself; it was the Lord’s work, and marvellous in our eyes.
‘This, , is a true history of the first persecution that came upon Gen. Smith in his youth among professed Christians, and in a country heralded to the ends of the earth as a land of freedom, where all men have the constitutional right to worship as they please, and believe what they please without molestation, so long as they do not interfere with the rights and privileges of others. Yes sir, a persecution got up through the influence of religious bigotry by as vile a set of men as ever disgraced the family of man. But their devices against him were brought to nought by that overruling power that controls all things, and brings to nought the councils of the wicked. , little did I think, that I was defending a boy that would rise to eminence like this man— a man whom God delights to honor as a [HC 6:396] prophet and leader of his people; one to whom he has given the Keys of heaven and earth, and the power of David, and said to him, whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against you. And may he live to put his foot upon the neck of his enemies in love and meekness. I Know sir, that God has made him a leader of many thousands of people, and may he teach them in meekness, and with that wisdom and judgment that God shall direct.
‘I add no more.’
“The Convention adjourned sine die.
, President.”
“F. Merryweather, Secretary.”
I rode out in the afternoon. About 6 p.m, a caucus was held, but being sick I could not attend. At night a large assemblage burned a barrel of tar in the street; I went out to see what was the matter, and found they were giving toasts; and as soon as they became aware of my presence, they carried me on their shoulders twice round the fire, and escorted me to the by a band of Music.
Elders and were ordained High Priests and set apart to go on a mission to by Elders , [p. 49]
May 17 without the smell of fire upon his garments. The court deliberated upon the case for half an hour with closed doors, and then we were called in. The court arraigned the prisoner and said: “Mr. Smith, we have had your case under consideration, examined the testimony and find nothing to condemn you, and therefore you are discharged.” They then proceeded to reprimand him severely; not because anything derogatory to his character in any shape had been proven against him by the host of witnesses that had testified during the trial, but merely to please those fiends in human shape, who were engaged in the unhallowed persecution of an innocent man, sheerly on account of his religious opinions.
‘After they had got through, I arose and said: “This court puts me in mind of a certain trial held before Felix of old, when the enemies of Paul arraigned him before that venerable judge for some alleged crime, and nothing was found in him worthy of death or of bonds. Yet, to please the Jews who were his accusers, he was left bound contrary to law; and this court has served Mr. Smith in the same way, by their unlawful and uncalled for reprimand after his discharge, to please his accusers.” We got him away that night from the midst of three hundred people without his receiving any injury; but I am well aware that we were assisted by some higher power than man; for to look back on the scene, I cannot tell how we succeeded in getting him away. I take no glory to myself; it was the Lord’s work, and marvellous in our eyes.
‘This, , is a true history of the first persecution that came upon Gen. Smith in his youth among professed Christians, and in a country heralded to the ends of the earth as a land of freedom, where all men have the constitutional right to worship as they please, and believe what they please without molestation, so long as they do not interfere with the rights and privileges of others. Yes sir, a persecution got up through the influence of religious bigotry by as vile a set of men as ever disgraced the family of man. But their devices against him were brought to nought by that overruling power that controls all things, and brings to nought the councils of the wicked. , little did I think, that I was defending a boy that would rise to eminence like this man— a man whom God delights to honor as a [HC 6:396] prophet and leader of his people; one to whom he has given the Keys of heaven and earth, and the power of David, and said to him, whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against you. And may he live to put his foot upon the neck of his enemies in love and meekness. I Know sir, that God has made him a leader of many thousands of people, and may he teach them in meekness, and with that wisdom and judgment that God shall direct.
‘I add no more.’
“The Convention adjourned sine die.
, President.”
“F. Merryweather, Secretary.”
I rode out in the afternoon. About 6 p.m, a caucus was held, but being sick I could not attend. At night a large assemblage burned a barrel of tar in the street; I went out to see what was the matter, and found they were giving toasts; and as soon as they became aware of my presence, they carried me on their shoulders twice round the fire, and escorted me to the by a band of Music.
Elders and were ordained High Priests and set apart to go on a mission to by Elders , [p. 49]
Page 49