Minutes and Discourses, 6–8 April 1842

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Special Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, met according to appointment in the City of , April 6, 1842.
The day being wet, the first Presidency did not attend, and Elder addressed those present upon the subject of the charges against him, and said he would be happy to have an opportunity of laying his statement before the Conference, at a convenient time.
Pres’t. , Pres’t. pro tem., and Pres’t. all spoke upon the subject of military affairs, showing the necessity of a well organized and efficient force; that as we were bound to serve our country if required in common with all good citizens, we ought not to be behind any of our neighbors in point of good order, neat uniforms, and equipments, and a well organized, and thoroughly disciplined legion.
April 7. Conference met, Pres’t. Joseph Smith had the several quorums put in order, and seated: he then made some very appropriate remarks concerning the duties of the church, the necessity of unity of purpose in regard to the building of the houses, and the blessings connected with doing the will of God; and the inconsistency folly and danger of murmuring against the dispensations of Jehovah.
He said that the principal object of the meeting was to bring the case of before them, and that another object was to choose young men, and ordain them, and send them out to preach, that they may have an opportunity of proving themselves, and of enduring the tarring and feathering and such things as those of us who have gone before them, have had to endure.
having arrived, was called upon, and addressed the congregation in relation to the nonperformance of his mission to : he said that when he started with , joy filled their hearts, and they were aware of the responsibility of their mission. ’s vision was that he should be in alone, considered to be his father and guide in the mission, and felt it his duty to submit to ’s opinion in all things; no elders ever were more in concert on a mission than they were while together; they made a covenant in to stand by each other while on the mission; that if they were insulted, or imposed upon they would [p. 761] stand by each other even unto death, and not separate unless to go a few miles to preach a sermon; that all monies should go into one purse, and it did so. in Indiana first said he would go to visit Br. [Lenox] Knight, and that should stay and preach, he assented, and he went and returned to Indianapolis. had a mare given him on account of both, then took the mare, went on, and left his luggage with ; while away he sold the mare for $40, and received $60 more as a donation from the man to whom he sold the mare, he returned, they preached in and received a handsome contribution, preached 16 miles off and raised a branch, went to , revised the Missouri Persecutions, got 2000 copies printed, and paid for them, and took part of them with him and left a large box full and about 150 loose copies with . started for purposing to visit churches on the way: he left $23.31. returned to , and Milton, and sold books, with the intention of following as soon as practicable; but he stayed a day or two too long, and the river closed by the frost, from one to two weeks earlier than usual; told him that it was possible they might be from one to two years before they would leave , as it would take upwards of $1000 each to take them to and back, that it would be slow gleaning in , and assigned this as a reason for not immediately following , thinking that he would be sure of seeing him in the spring.
accused himself of not using better economy in proceeding on his journey; there came out a piece in the paper stating the displeasure of the Lord respecting and , he sat down and wrote a piece to put in the paper acknowledging the justice of the charge, but wisdom prevented its being published, preached about Washington &c., gathered funds for the mission, in Westchester and in . raised funds on behalf of the mission, by applauding ’s talents, wisdom &c, but they were disappointed in him when they saw him, he raised funds for the mission, the most liberal was in ; he intended to sail on the 25th of July, but the brethren said that if he would remain two weeks they would raise funds for him, they found that it would take longer, and he decided to stay a month, he then received a command through a letter from Pres’t. to an official character in , requesting him to return; he wrote to ascertain the reason but did not get an answer, he was then called in by Pres’t. J. Smith, and Elder . would often renew the covenant between them to never part with each other in that mission. had no blame to attach to ; he supposed that he had done right but if he had been in his place he would have tarried for him until the spring.
The reports of his having apostatized &c. returned even from this place to . Many reproved him for leaving for .
Pres’t. J. Smith then arose and stated that it was wrong to make the covenant referred to by him; that it created a lack of confidence for two men to covenant to reveal all acts of secrecy or otherwise to each other—and showed a little grannyism. He said that no two men when they agreed to go together ought to separate, that the prophets of old would not and quoted the circumstance of Elijah and Elisha iii Kings 2 chap. when about to go to Gilgal, also when about to go to Jericho, and to Jordan, that Elisha could not get clear of Elijah, that he clung to his garment until he was taken to heaven and that should have stuck by , and he might have gone to , that there is nothing very bad in it, but by the experience let us profit; again, the Lord made use of as a scape-goat to procure funds for .
When returns we will reconsider the matter, and perhaps send them back to , we will fellowship until comes, and we will then weld them together and make them one. A vote was then put, and carried that we hold in full fellowship.
Voted, that be sent to . Sung a hymn—Adjourned for one hour and a half, at one o’clock.
Met agreeable to adjournment.—Sung a hymn—Prayer by .
called to know if there were any present of the rough and weak things, who wished to be ordained, and go [p. 762] and preach, who have not been before ordained.
Elder then addressed those who intended to be ordained, on the subject of their duty and requirements to go to preach.
Pres’t. spoke concerning the elders who went forth to preach from , and were afterwards called in for the washing and anointing at the dedication of the , and those who go now will be called in also, when this is about to be dedicated, and will then be endowed to go forth with mighty power having the same anointing, that all may go forth and have the same power, the first, second, and so on, of the seventies and all those formerly ordained. This will be an important and beneficial mission, and not many years until those now sent will be called in again.
He then spoke in contradiction of a report in circulation about , , himself, and others of the Twelve, alledging that a sister had been shut in a room for several days, and that they had endeavored to induce her to believe in having two wives. Also cautioned the sisters against going to the steam boats.
Pres’t. J. Smith spoke upon the subject of the stories respecting and others, showing the folly and inconsistency of spending any time in conversing about such stories or hearkening to them, for there is no person that is acquainted with our principles would believe such lies, except the editor of the “Warsaw Signal.” Baptisms for the dead, and for the healing of the body must be in the font, those coming into the church and those rebaptized may be done in the .
A box should be prepared for the use of the font, that the clerk may be paid, and a book procured by the monies to be put therein by those baptized’ the remainder to go to the use of the .—Sung a hymn. Ordinations to take place to-morrow morning—Baptisms in the font also—There were 275 ordained to the office of Elder under the hands of the Twelve during the Conference.
April 8. Sung a hymn—Prayer by —Sung a hymn.
then addressed the assembly upon several subjects; made many interesting remarks concerning being called to the ministry, labor in the vineyard &c., spoke of his own travels and the fruits of his labors as an encouragement to the young elders who were going into the vineyard.
Pres’t. J. Smith said the baptisms would be attended to, also the ordinations.
Sung a hymn—Elder preached a sermon while the ordinations and baptisms were going on on the subject of infidelity showing that the arguments used against the bible were reasonably scientifically and philosophically false.
The was occupied in the afternoon by Elder and followed by Elder , then the Conference closed by benediction of Pres. J. Smith.
, Clerk. [p. 763]