RLDS History

1 2 3 4

Volume 4
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42
Appendix A
Appendix B

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360 361 362 363 364 365 366 367 368 369 370 371 372 373 374 375 376 377 378 379 380 381 382 383 384 385 386 387 388 389 390 391 392 393 394 395 396 397 398 399 400 401 402 403 404 405 406 407 408 409 410 411 412 413 414 415 416 417 418 419 420 421 422 423 424 425 426 427 428 429 430 431 432 433 434 435 436 437 438 439 440 441 442 443 444 445 446 447 448 449 450 451 452 453 454 455 456 457 458 459 460 461 462 463 464 465 466 467 468 469 470 471 472 473 474 475 476 477 478 479 480 481 482 483 484 485 486 487 488 489 490 491 492 493 494 495 496 497 498 499 500 501 502 503 504 505 506 507 508 509 510 511 512 513 514 515 516 517 518 519 520 521 522 523 524 525 526 527 528 529 530 531 532 533 534 535 536 537 538 539 540 541 542 543 544 545 546 547 548 549 550 551 552 553 554 555 556 557 558 559 560 561 562 563 564 565 566 567 568 569 570 571 572 573 574 575 576 577 578 579 580 581 582 583 584 585 586 587 588 589 590 591 592 593 594 595 596 597 598 599 600 601 602 603 604 605 606 607 608 609 610 611 612 613 614 615 616 617 618 619 620 621 622 623 624 625 626 627 628 629 630 631 632 633 634 635 636 637 638 639 640 641 642 643 644 645 646 647 648 649 650 651 652 653 654 655 656 657 658 659 660 661 662 663 664 665 666 667 668 669 670 671 672 673 674 675 676 677 678 679 680 681 682 683 684 685 686 687 688 689 690 691 692 693 694 695 696 697 698 699 700 701 702 703 704 705 706 707 708 709 710 711 712 713 714 715 716 717 718 719 720 721 722 723 724 725 726 727 728 729 730 731 732
Appendix A
Appendix B

RLDS History
Volume 4
Chapter 13

  JANUARY 1, 1878, the Northwest Kansas District was organized at Blue Rapids, Kansas, boundaries not given. Elder George W. Shute was chosen president; Mahlon Smith, clerk, and recommended for appointment as Bishop's agent.
  The following editorial from the Saints' Herald for January 1, 1878, containing a copy of a petition from Nauvoo, will be read with interest, indicating as it does the great change wrought upon the minds of the people in the space of seventeen years:
  In the spring of 1860 we received a significant hint by the presentation of certain resolutions passed by a meeting of some of the citizens, that our presence as a believer in Mormonism, was not desired in Hancock County. The chairman of the meeting was at the time, mayor, we think, and post-master of the city; but was succeeded by Mr. A. W. Burt, whose name will appear in a petition which we append; the secretary was at the time a warm personal friend to us, as an individual, and a fair, candid man; who has since been chosen judge of the county court, and

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as such has served the county well; his name is John B. Risse. We likewise received minutes of meetings held at Carthage, Basco, Montebello, and Pontoosuc, all in the county, containing similar resolutions, in one of which is expressed the determination of a part of the citizens of the county to the effect that "no Mormon should be permitted to preach or pray in the county." . . .
  On the 18th of, December, 1877, we received by express, a petition of which the following is a copy, addressed to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints:
  "We, the undersigned citizens of Nauvoo, and surrounding country, most cordially invite the head or leaders of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, to establish the headquarters of their church in said city of Nauvoo.
  "We believe that the odium rightfully attached to the Brighamite Mormons in the infamous practice of polygamy is detached from the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints; we believe you will receive a cordial welcome and reception from all philanthropic people of our county, and we further believe by establishing the headquarters of your church in the aforesaid city of Nauvoo, with our united efforts we can build, or make it one of the most populous cities in the military district." (Signed.)
  This petition is followed by a list of signers three and a half yards long, some portion of its length signed in double columns, comprising the names of nearly all the leading business, professional, and laboring men of the city and its immediate vicinity. We are pleased to note the names of many citizens whom we knew while residing at Nauvoo, whom we respected, and with whom we labored for the good and quiet of the town. They were not compromised by the spirit of intolerance that presumed to say that we should not "preach nor pray" as a Latter Day Saint in the county; but stood faithfully by the liberty of speech and conscience. Many of them are of those who were called "new citizens" when the Saints left the city; and many are of those who have moved into the city long since then; but are now numbered among the foremost men of the place.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 25, p. 8.
  The Herald for January 15 contained an account of President Smith's visit to Nauvoo, which contains items of importance in connection with the citizens' invitation for the church to return to Nauvoo:
  On the last day of our stay in St. Louis, we spoke in the Saints' hall again, to full house. . . .
  We left Monday, the last day of the year, and reached Nauvoo on the first day of the new year, and spent the day with "Sister Emma," our most excellent mother. She has been quite ill, but is improving slowly.
  While at Nauvoo, in a stay of two days, we heard much about the return of the Saints to Nauvoo, and everybody seemed to be of the

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opinion that there could be but one voice and that was to "Come." On the evening of the 2d the citizens came together in the city hall, and we addressed them on the subject of the return, and recounted some of the things necessary to put the old town into the line of progression, that would make it attractive to those abroad. The meeting was a large one, and much enthusiasm upon the subject of the return of the Saints and the building up of the town was displayed.
  Some of the citizens present had never heard that there was a meeting held in 1860, over which the mayor presided, in which meeting resolutions were adopted suggesting that we go elsewhere to propagate the peculiar tenets of Mormonism, as they were of the opinion that the possible return of the Mormons would be a bad thing for the advancement of the place. These, who had never heard of this action, were quite shocked and indignant, at what they could now see may have had its influence in keeping a part of the people away. And time having helped the vision of many that remain, they can now see that a class of people who have won every foot of moral vantage-ground that they now occupy, by sturdy blows for the right against wrong and oppression, would have been and would even now be a strong auxiliary in rebuilding the fast fading enterprise of the old town.
  Of late there have been some fair improvements in the business center of the place; but there is much room for more; and the leading men would be much pleased at a change for the better. We certainly sympathize with them in the dull outlook and surrounding of our "beautiful resting place."
  We felt sad that we were so frequently and so eagerly asked, "Well, Mr. Smith, what are the prospects of your coming back?" We felt sad that there seemed to be so much apparent necessity that something out of the ordinary line must happen, or the same listless, dull, monotonous existence remained for the "City of the Saints."
  But while I was sad I was also very glad, inexpressibly glad that so fair a vindication of the people with whom we try to serve the God of our fathers, had at last come; and while the citizens, our old neighbors and the newer ones, were crowded around us, all evidently anxious that we should favorably present the claims of Nauvoo to the brethren with whom lies the deciding of the question of removal and relocation of the business center, we were almost for the moment proud that our coworkers were so well entitled to the good name warranting so general an invitation to settle in the midst of the dwellers in the once famed city.
  Nor was our joy made less upon seeing in the Carthage Gazette, a paper published at the county-seat of Hancock County, by Mr. Thomas C. Sharp, whom all Saints have reason to remember, the following editorial:
  "The Nauvoo Independent says that a petition, signed by some four hundred persons, has been forwarded to Joseph Smith, Jr., requesting him to make Nauvoo the headquarters of his reformed Church of Latter Day Saints. Some of our old anti-Mormon citizens are a little nervous

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over this matter-we are not. Young Jo is a different man from old Jo, and don't seek to gather all the faithful together, that he may use them politically and financially as the Brighamites do. There is nothing objectionable in young Joe's church, that we have heard of, except his creed, and as to creeds we have nothing to say."-Carthage Gazette, December 26, 1877.
  The foregoing, while decrying the character of our father, as we fully believe unjustly, does ample justice to the policy of the Reorganization, and is as fair a commendation as we could expect from one so long, so avowedly, and so strong an enemy to the "Mormons." . . .
  We promised the people to lay the matter before the Saints; and have done so. About four hundred names are appended to the invitation, comprising the mayor, John U. Bechtold; the post-master, A. W. Burt; the richest business man of the place, George Ritter; and a host of our old neighbors, L. C. Bidamon, A. Wetzell, S. M. Walthers, A. Fischer, C. Walter and many more; may their kindness never be less, but their prosperity much more.
  On January 27 and 28 Elder J. C. Clapp met a Brighamite elder in discussion at San Bernardino, California. The Times of that city had the following to say of the debate:
  The discussion between Elders Crosby and Clapp came off at the Mormon church last evening, as per announcement. Crosby stated the belief of the Utah Mormons in regard to polygamy and other peculiar ideas of that people, and Elder Clapp proved from various quotations from the Bible and elsewhere that things there were all as they hadn't ought to be. As a discussion it was entirely a one-sided affair, and Clapp gained an easy victory. The discussion will be continued at the same place this evening.
  The following items are from the Herald for February 1, 1878:
  Mr. E. N. Beach, of Saguacho, Colorado, whose visit to the ancient ruins of Southern Colorado we have before mentioned, has kindly sent us some specimens of pottery, and some petrifactions. He mentions the extensive ruins and the large buildings that once were, some of whose lower or basement rooms he entered, the upper portions being fallen in and the dirt accumulations of ages having filled up as high as the first story. He thinks that that region must once have been bountifully productive. Reservoirs and ravines show that they understood irrigation well. Rivers now flow through and cut in two the ruins of what were once vast buildings, some of which he judges contained as many as a thousand rooms each, and walls yet standing show that they were at least three stories high and how much more can not be told, only there are vast quantities of debris all along the base of these

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walls. The soil of the table-lands is light and loose, and will not pack or become hard, thus making it a desirable soil if rain or irrigation give it moisture. Mr. Beach proposes to locate in that region and would like to see some Saints for neighbors.
  Bro. R. M. Elvin, of Nebraska City, writes of the marked and blessed presence of the Holy Spirit at their late conference, both during the business sessions and those devoted to preaching. They are able to discuss questions "without becoming alienated from each other or from the unity of the faith."
  Uncle William B. Smith preached a very acceptable sermon in the Saints' chapel at Plano, on Sunday evening, January 13, 1878, on the second coming of Christ.
  Bro. Albert Haws, of California, writes of visiting Nortonville with Bro. J. M. Parks, and of holding fourteen meetings there and at Clayton, near there, baptizing two and otherwise officiating in the gospel ordinances, in all of which they were blessed with God's Spirit.
  Bro. D. C. White, of Newton, Iowa, mentions the presence of Bro. J. H. Lake with them and his preaching. The Adventist inquirer, spoken of by Bro. White in Herald of December 1, has been baptized, also two others recently.
  Bro. C. A. West, of Streator, Illinois, says that another has just been baptized there, and the branch enjoys the favor of God.
  Bro. J. R Cook writes that he has given a course of lectures in Bangor, Butte County, California. He baptized one and five more gave their names for baptism.
  Bro. J. R. Badham wrote from Shenandoah, Iowa, January 14, that Bro. Forscutt was delivering a course of lectures there on the Book of Mormon, and bringing forth to the world's people strong proof of its divinity.
  Bro. Roderick May writes from London, Ontario, that the branch is in good condition and they are enjoying the Spirit of God and the spiritual gifts. The meetings are well attended by the people of the world and several have been baptized lately.
  Bro. Charles Derry at last writing was at Logan, Iowa, "defending the truth against the attacks of W. A. Denton, Disciple."
  Bro. William Robuck, of Cheesland, Texas, was gladdened by a visit from the long prayed for visitor, an elder of the church, Bro. J. W. Bryan, who baptized six there, and two more are ready since he left.
  About this time Elder William Sheldon, of the Christian Adventists, made another attack on the church through the World's Crisis. He was again met and refuted by his former opponent, Elder W. W. Blair, through the Saints' Herald of February 15, 1878.
  The following notice was published March 1, 1878:

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The Saints are requested to observe Sunday, March 31, as a day of fasting and prayer, for the general success of the work; for divine care and direction during the session of General Conference, in April; for the better understanding among the elders upon duty, doctrine, church government, and discipline, and for the redemption and delivery from mental distress and spiritual bondage those of the Saints thus afflicted.
  JOSEPH SMITH,} Of Presidency.
  W. W. BLAIR, }
  PLANO, Illinois, February 25, 1878.
  -The Saints' Herald, vol. 25, p. 72.
  The following items were published in the Saints' Herald for March 1, 1878:
  Bro. J. A. Robinson, of Peoria, Illinois, says that they are steadily gaining in numbers, and that the work in the Kewanee District was never in a better condition. They have been greatly cheered and aided by Bro. T. W. Smith's labors.
  Bro. C. M. Wilder, of Dowville, Iowa, reports that the Saints in that region are hopeful, and among those without, prejudice is giving way more and more. The Saints have built a house for Bro. J. R. Lambert's family and have it nearly paid for, which is good. . . .
  Bro. William Franklin, of Flintville, Wisconsin, writes of the death of Bro. William Savage, of that region, on February 9, after months of suffering. He expressed his love for and devotion to the cause to the last. . . .
  Bro. Thomas A. John, of the Hyde Park Branch, Pennsylvania, writes that the cause is moving slowly there, for the enemy works, but they have good meetings and one was baptized recently.
  Bro. J. Goodale preaches at Pittsfield, Illinois. One was baptized there February 4.
  Bro. William Aird, of Heber City, Utah, says that he is striving to impart light to all who have a desire to receive it, but finds few who desire light. . . .
  Bro. J. J. Cornish reports occasional baptisms at London, Ontario, and fair progress.
  On March 5, Elder William Redfield, counselor to president of High Priests' Quorum, and a veteran of forty-four years experience in the church, died suddenly at the residence of his nephew whom he was visiting near Beatrice, Nebraska. His home was at Shenandoah, Iowa.
  The fortieth annual conference convened at Plano, Illinois, April 6,1878. Presidents Joseph Smith and W. W. Blair presided, and Elders H. A. Stebbins and John Scott were secretaries.

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Reports from the ministry were encouraging. The Recorder reported a net annual increase of seven hundred seventy-five.
  On the 6th, the Bishop reported that he had procured an abstract of title to the Kirtland Temple property. The abstract was referred to a committee consisting of E. L. Kelley, Elijah Banta, and J. W. Chatburn, with instruction to report at this session. This committee subsequently reported that there was a cloud upon the title and recommended that the Bishop be authorized and instructed to take proper steps to remove the cloud. The recommendation was adopted.
  On the 8th, the committee on removal made the following report, which was received and committee continued:
  The committee known as the board of removal, beg leave and report: In accordance with the intention of the board as reported to the fall session of conference, a tract of near two hundred acres of land was purchased by the committee at a cost of three thousand dollars, lying in the east side of Fayette Township in Decatur County, Iowa, adjoining the tract of land deeded to the church by Bro. M. A. Meder, of which the Bishop will report. This land was paid for by moneys provided to the committee by various persons. The sum of four thousand nine hundred seventy-eight dollars twenty cents has been paid to the committee; two thousand three hundred four dollars seventy cents of which has been donated, the remainder has been loaned; some for a longer and some for a shorter period of time. Some three hundred dollars have already been repaid, and some six or seven hundred are to be repaid soon. A portion sufficiently large is left in the hands of the committee to make some needed improvement on the tract bought, which improvements have been ordered.
  The committee further report that there is a near prospect of two railways being built through Decatur County, near to the land purchased, a tax has been voted in the township to one of these roads, and a strong probability exists for the early completion of said road; which will afford an opportunity and make a removal and reĆ«stablishment of the business center feasible.
  The church will see by this report under what pecuniary difficulties the further prosecution of the work expected of the board must needs be conducted; and though more rapid progress may be desirable, we feel that but little more could have been done than has been done under the circumstances.
  Awaiting further developments, and anxious for the best good to the church, we remain your coworkers,
  On behalf Board Removal.

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The committee on history reported as follows:
  Your committee beg leave to report: The committee by one of its members has made a partial compilation of the necessary matter preparatory to carrying out the object of the appointment of the committee. The committee ask further time.
  JOSEPH SMITH, Chairman of Committee.
  More time was granted.
  The committee on music reported, and the following resolution was adopted in reference thereto:
  Resolved, That the report be received and the committee discharged, with instructions that all matter in their hands belonging to the church be turned over to the Bishop.
  President Joseph Smith presented the name of his uncle, William B. Smith, to be received into fellowship on his original baptism. The question of receiving was referred to a committee which reported on the 9th as follows:
  We, your committee appointed to consider the propriety of receiving William B. Smith into the church on his original baptism, respectfully report and recommend that said Wm. B. Smith be so received as a member, and upon the rule long since obtained and acted upon by the Reorganization, namely, that "it is a matter of conscience" upon the part of the individual as to his being rebaptized when once it is shown that he has received a legal baptism, of which we have satisfactory evidence, namely, that said William B. Smith was baptized by Oliver Cowdery, in the early days of the church.
  This was adopted.
  On the 10th the following resolution was adopted regarding Elder Smith's official standing:
  Resolved, That we recognize Wm. B. Smith, received into fellowship yesterday, as an high priest, and request that his name be enrolled among the Quorum of High Priests.
  This request was subsequently complied with by the High Priests' Quorum.
  On the 8th, a series of whereases and resolutions were adopted strongly condemning Elders George Cleveland and John Shippy, and also the action of a conference at Blenheim, Canada; the conference for expressing an opinion contrary to the action of General Conference, Elder Cleveland, president of Elgin District, for inviting Elder Shippy to

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labor in said district after he had been silenced by General Conference, and Elder Shippy for accepting the invitation. The silence of Elder Shippy was reaffirmed, and a further investigation ordered in the cases of Elder Cleveland and the conference.
  The Bishop's report showed a balance on hand of $1,461.94, exclusive of $67.15 in the Utah chapel fund.
  The case of Elder Jason W. Briggs was called up, and the record shows the following action, as found in Herald, volume 25, pages 137, 138:
  The committee on the case of Jason W. Briggs reported:
  "We, your committee, to whom was referred the resolutions adopted by the fall conference for not sustaining Bro. J. W. Briggs, with the view of presenting to him, called on Bro. Briggs on the third day of January, 1878, and were received with kindness and treated with courtesy. We presented to him the resolution adopted by conference, and he, after due consideration, gave us a paper under his own hand as his reply, which is hereunto attached and made a part of this report and marked (A). We, desiring that your body may have a full understanding, also attach the report adopted by conference and make it a part of this report marked (B). After conferring with Bro. Briggs, we find that he stands by what he has written, and for his views refer you on the first reason to Messenger, number 2, volume 2, and his correspondence with Bro. Z. H. Gurley, as contained in the Herald, number 10, volume 24.
  "For his views on second reason refer you to The Messenger, number 12, volume 2, as well as his reasons hereby attached.
  "In regard to the third reason, refer you to his articles in Herald, numbers 19, 22, volume 21; numbers 2, 6, 13, 23, volume 22; number 3, volume 23.
  "In regard to his views as to the fourth reason, we refer you to The Messenger, number 11, volume 2, together with those hereby attached.
  "For his views in regard to the fifth reason, we refer you to his articles in The Messenger on inspiration.
  "As Bro. Briggs stands by what he has written, and that the conference may know what those views are, we are desirous that all the articles on these various subjects may be read before conference, so that they may act with a full understanding. We have our own views in regard to the case, but do not care to express them, or to sit in judgment on any one, hoping that this may convey to the Saints the whole of the subjects in controversy, all of which is respectfully submitted.
  "Committee, { J. M. HARVEY,
  "'Exhibit (A).-In response to the request of the committee to whom reasons adopted by conference for not sustaining me, etc., was referred,

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to explain myself in reference to said reasons, I respectfully submit the following:
  "'In reference to reason first I have questioned, and do now disbelieve in the preĆ«xistence of man as defined in Messenger, volume 1, number 12, but have not denied that of Christ, and I refer you to the answer to Bro. Z. H. Gurley's letter, published in the Herald on that point, as my views.
  "'Reason second is groundless in its statement that I have denied the Spirit's utterance, etc., but in respect to the prophecy against Tyre (Ezekiel 26), it is an open question among historians and theologians whether it was fulfilled; according to the record of the prophecy it is a fit subject for examination. The design, however, of alluding to it, in connection with the alleged prophecy of Mother Shipton, which has received so exact a fulfillment, was to show the wide channel of inspiration.
  "'Reason third is erroneous throughout, and misrepresents me altogether.
  "'Reason fourth, on the gathering, my views are expressed in the several articles on that subject in The Messenger, which is, in short, that the only place of gathering pointed out for a local Zion, is not now a place of gathering, the church being exonerated from that work. "It behooveth me to require that work no more at the hands of the sons of men"-the church. "The Zion of God on this continent" I have not denied, but hold that it is "the pure in heart," or the church, as understood in the first years of the work.
  "'Reason fifth. This misrepresents me throughout. The expressed design of the articles on inspiration referred to was to discriminate between the Spirit's utterances, God's Spirit, and the utterances of persons or other spirits-to prove all things and to hold fast that which (proves to be) good. J. W. BRIGGS"'
  Here follows Exhibit (B). See page 196.
  The following was moved:
  Resolved, That the report of the committee, with the papers connected therewith, be referred to the members of the Quorum of the Twelve who are now present, as a committee, and that they report to the semiannual conference their findings thereon.
  Those present of the quorum were as follows: A. H. Smith, Z. H. Gurley, W. H. Kelley, J. H. Lake, J. R Lambert, T. W. Smith, and James Caffall.
  Bro. J. S. Patterson asked the chair if the committee was only one of inquiry, and the answer was, Yes.
  Bro. W. H. Kelley said that he was not opposed to the case being referred to the Quorum of the Twelve, but he was opposed to its going there with the understanding that the quorum shall express an opinion as to what the faith of the church is on the mooted questions.
  The chair stated that his understanding was that the committee are only to judge of the correctness of the conclusions of the former committee, not to sit in judgment on the person. . . .

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It was moved that the original motion be amended by inserting a provision that the committee may report at this session, if practicable, which amendment was adopted and the motion as amended was adopted.
  The committee on this case reported on the 12th. Their report and the action taken thereon was as follows:
  We, your committee, would respectfully report, that we have carefully examined the papers relating to the case of Elder Jason W. Briggs, which include the several "reasons" offered at the semiannual conference for refusing to sustain said Jason W. Briggs, with his reply to these several "reasons," and also the report of the committee appointed to interview him in relation to said "reasons." And after due consideration of these papers, and also the several articles written by said Jason W. Briggs in The Messenger, and the correspondence between him and Elder Zenas H. Gurley, we have arrived at the following conclusions:
  First. That reason number one is untenable, and not sufficient ground in the opinion of your committee for the action of the semiannual conference in this case, as the church has never spoken authoritatively upon that matter, and until they do so, it must remain an open question, allowing the right to affirm or deny.
  Second. Concerning the second reason, in our opinion every man has a right to interpret his own language, and with reference to the prophecy of Ezekiel, Bro. Briggs emphatically denies the accusation, as follows: "Reason second is groundless in its statement that I have denied the 'Spirit's utterances,' etc., but in respect to the prophecy against Tyre (Ezekiel 26th chapter), it is an open question among historians and theologians whether it was fulfilled according to the record of the prophecy; it is a fit subject for examination. The design, however, of alluding to it in connection with the alleged prophecy of Mother Shipton, which has received so exact a fulfillment, was to show the wide channel of inspiration." And while we, your committee, do not approve of the manner in which Bro. Briggs associated that prophecy with that of Mother Shipton, yet we do not consider the ground for reason number two well taken.
  Third. On reason third it was concluded that reason number three is sufficient to justify a demand for a complete and decided explanation from Bro. J. W. Briggs to the the church, but not sufficient to justify a public accusation, as made in the action of the semiannual conference.
  Fourth. In reference to reason number four, the following preambles and resolution were passed:
  Whereas, The church in 1852 decided that there is "no stake to which the Saints on this continent are commanded to gather at the present time," and
  Whereas, The same has been reaffirmed by the church since; and it particularly declared in 1876 at the annual conference, that there is "now no place" to which we are commanded to gather, and

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Whereas, It has been so taught through the Herald, (see issue for September 1, 1876, article by W. W. B.,) and
  Whereas, We consider the position of Bro. Briggs in apparent harmony with these positions, therefore, be it
  Resolved, That we consider reason number four not well taken.
  Fifth. On reason number five, it was
  Resolved, That while J. W. Briggs declares emphatically that reason number five misrepresents him throughout, and while we are willing to accord to him the benefit of this declaration, we are of the opinion that there is ground for reason five, arising either from the ambiguity in which the writer has expressed himself, or of design in such expressions.
  We respectfully recommend to your honorable body that the brother be relieved from the odium attached to his name as an officer of the church, that he may labor in his exalted calling; or, if still deemed guilty by the body, of the accusations made by the committee at the semiannual conference of 1877, that he be brought to trial, and the right of defense granted him as made and provided for in the law of the church.
  Submitted with respect, by order of committee.
  ALEX. H. SMITH, Chairman of Committee.
  It was moved that the report be adopted, and that it be taken up and acted upon by sections.
  Number one of the report was read, also number one of the reasons given by the committee last fall for not sustaining Bro. Briggs, with his reply thereto, also his letter to Bro. Gurley in Herald of May 15, 1877, and the vote was taken on the first clause, and it was declared as affirmed. Division being called for, the rising vote showed eight for and six against the adoption of the first clause of the present report. . . .
  Number two of the report was read, and also that of the former committee, with Bro. Briggs' reply to it, and a portion of an article in The Messenger, for October, 1876, concerning Tyre, and also the fifteenth to twenty-first verses of Ezekiel, twenty-sixth chapter, with 1 Corinthians 14: 29, as called for successively, . . . and a vote being taken, the second clause was negatived, with only one affirmative vote. . . .
  Clause three was read, and also that of the former committee, and Bro. Briggs' reply to it, and a vote being taken, . . . the vote stood six for and seven against adoption. . . .
  Clause four was read, and that of the former committee, with reply of Bro. Briggs. The question was spoken to by Brn. Banta, Short, Blair, Chatburn, and the resolution of 1876, on the gathering, was read, also portions of an article by W. W. B. in Herald for September 1, 1876, on that subject. . . . The clause was voted on and adopted. . . .
  Clause five with reasons of former committee and Bro. Briggs' answer, were read and adopted without discussion. . . .
  A request from the Quorum of the Twelve that the minutes should show that they have taken no part in voting on the case of Bro. J. W. Briggs

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was granted, and the question pending at the adjournment yesterday, was taken up. . . .
  It was moved to amend the first recommendation by striking out and inserting to read as follows:
  Resolved, That, while this conference does not indorse [endorse] the views and articles of J. W. Briggs in regard to the matters called in question, under the circumstances under which these questions arose and the undefined position of the church in regard to the matters charged, and the absence of anything showing any intent to disregard the authorized views of the church, it is the sense of this conference that he be relieved from the odium attached to his name as an officer of the church, that he may labor in his exalted calling. . . .
  The members of the Quorum of Twelve expressed a wish to vote, and the amendment being put to vote it was declared adopted, and the recommendation as amended was presented, and the chair declared that he was in doubt as to the result. Division being called, the vote stood fifteen to fifteen, and President Smith gave the decisive vote in the affirmative, by which the resolution was adopted.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 25, p. 140.
  On the 9th the Quorum of Seventy reported through their president, and asked for the ordination of Elders Charles N. Brown and Morris T. Short. This request was subsequently granted. The ordination of Elder Short was provided for during the conference. Elder Brown was not present.
  On the 13th the following missions were presented to the conference and received indorsement [endorsement]:
  J. R. Lambert, Northern Iowa and Minnesota. James Caffall, Western Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas. Z. H. Gurley, Utah Mission. W. H. Kelley, Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. E. C. Briggs, Western States. Josiah Ells, Eastern Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. A. H. Smith, Northern Missouri and Southern Iowa. J. H. Lake, Northern Missouri, Southern Iowa, and Central Illinois. T. W. Smith, Illinois. Glaud Rodger released from Australian Mission and William Nelson to proceed to that field at once. John T. Davies, Southwestern Missouri, Southeastern Kansas, and Indian Territory. James McKiernan, as circumstances permit. John H. Hansen, Southeastern Mission. R. J. Anthony, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. F. C. Warnky, released at his request from Colorado and to labor as circumstances permit. John T. Phillips, North Missouri. Curtis F. Stiles, with James Caffall. Duncan Campbell, with

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A. H. Smith. J. F. McDowell, Northern Illinois and Iowa. Charles Derry, Northern Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska. C. N. Brown, New England Mission and Ohio. Peter N. Brix, Danish Mission. Resolved, That the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve take such steps to secure at an early time other efficient ministers for the Scandinavian Mission. Joseph C. Clapp, California. D. S. Mills, president of Pacific Slope Mission. John S. Patterson, Southwestern Wisconsin, Northeastern Iowa, and Northwestern Illinois. A. J. Cato, Texas, Indian Territory, and Missouri. Heman C. Smith, Southeastern Mission. C. G. Lanphear, as circumstances permit. John C. Foss, Maine. M. T. Short, Iowa and Illinois, with permission to go to Missouri and Kansas. Columbus Scott, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. J. M. Wait, Wisconsin. Joseph Lakeman, Maine and New Brunswick. Francis Earl, Michigan and Indiana. G. S. Yerrington, Eastern Mission. J. W. Mather, released from present field. Robert Davis, Michigan and Canada. Joseph Luff, Canada. J. J. Cornish, Canada and Michigan. Thomas Taylor, president of the English Mission. J. W. Gillen, as circumstances permit. Arthur Leverton, Canada. Robert Evans, in charge of Welsh Mission. D. H. Bays and Ralph Jenkins, Texas and Indian Territory. John Landers as the Spirit directs. Z. S. Martin, Nebraska. James Brown, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. J. A. Crawford, associated with J. H. Lake. J. W. Bryan, Texas. Magnus Fyrando, Utah Mission. David Chambers, Utah Mission. The Presidency and the Twelve were authorized to make provision for a mission to Germany, if practicable. Thomas Dobson, Utah.
  The request of the Independence, Missouri, District, to be officially recognized, was granted.
  W. B. Smith was requested to labor in Northeastern Iowa. Henry Marriott, of West Jordan, Utah, asked permission to labor in England while he remains there. His request was granted.
  Conference adjourned on the 14th. The Herald editor made the following comment on the conference:
  The April conference for 1878 is past. The elders have come and are gone. The Saints who visited us, and those who sojourn have been permitted

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to enjoy a season of extraordinary good feeling and gospel liberty. The business sessions, with one exception, were marked with excellent courtesy, and a kindness of deportment seldom seen in a deliberative assembly before which questions of so vexatious a nature were brought. The one exception referred to, lasted but for a time, and was more the result of anxious care for the good of all, and the maintenance of right as seen from the individual point of observation, and was temporary.
  A better understanding between the eldership in much that appertains to usefulness in the field and the council, seems to have been reached; and a better comprehension of the mission and scope of the work was undoubtedly had.
  On Sunday, the last day of the session, there was present from first to last an intense feeling of interest, and such a flow of the Spirit, that elders and members, old and young, were filled, and such rejoicing is seldom known.
  The sermons preached during the session were the finest efforts ever made at a conference; the elders received the aid of the Spirit in large measure, and left an impression not soon to be effaced. Seven were baptized, and the names of three others were given in at the close; five of those baptized were residents of Plano, one of Sandwich, and one an excellent young man from Michigan. The three who will go forward are of Plano, also.
  Uncle William Smith, only surviving brother to Joseph and Hyrum, was present and united with the church. His venerable locks and sonorous voice, as he addressed the Saints on Friday evening on the fulfillment of one of Ezekiel's prophecies respecting the Christ, gave one of the connecting links between the church under the presidency of the Martyr and the Reorganization. Together with this the administration of the children of many of the earlier elders of the church, such as Brn. Lambert, Kelley, Gurley, and Smith, and the presence of some of the grandsons of some of those early laborers, gave force and vitality to the propriety of the Reorganization.
  One most gratifying feature of the meeting was the presence of a large number of young elders, who have been and are wonderfully blessed in their ministrations. God has begun to fulfill his word, "I will raise up laborers in mine own time to carry on my work; be ye faithful."
  Conference for the Pacific Slope convened at West Oakland, California, April 6, 1878, and adjourned on the 8th; Elder D. S. Mills, presiding; Elders Peter Canavan and John R. Cook secretaries.
  April 7, Elder Marcus Shaw, of Detroit, Minnesota, wrote in behalf of Mrs. Lois Cutler, wife of Alpheus Cutler, as follows:

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In order to perform0 a duty that our late Sr. Lois Cutler had in her mind to attend to before she died, but failed to do it, I write.
  After she had united with the Reorganized Church, she asked for additional testimony; and she promised in her prayer that she would make it known unto the world. Her prayer was about as follows:
  "Lord, if the present Joseph, the son of the martyred prophet, is truly his father's successor by right, and has been called by thine own power to the presidency of the church, and is accepted of thee as a prophet, wilt thou witness unto me in this manner, by taking this lump off from my finger that has been here for a long time. If this be done, I shall then know that the Reorganized Church is the church, and that Joseph is thy prophet, and I covenant to tell the same to the world."
  The facts are as follows: She had a lump on one of her fingers about the size of a large hazlenut, of a bony substance, which had been there some fourteen years, and truly she could ascribe it to some unseen power if it was removed. The good Lord answered her prayer, for it remained only a few days afterward. She had thought for a long time that she would write to the Herald of this miracle, but neglected to do so. And now, to be obedient unto the Spirit, I write for her, and add my testimony, as I was knowing to the fact that the lump was on her finger for several years and that it went away, and I believe that it was in answer to her prayer. Near three years ago she was miraculously healed by the laying on of hands; and also by the laying on of hands and prayer her eyesight was restored.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 25, p. 172.
  On April 12, Elder John H. Hansen wrote from Farmington, Kentucky, reporting a discussion which he had recently held at Cave Spring, Georgia, with Elder David Williams, of the Utah church. There was a remarkable incident occurred during this debate which we give in the language of Elder Hansen:
  On Sunday we debated "polygamy," before a large congregation. They pursued the usual course, that is, appealing to the law of Moses. When I showed them that the law was done away they changed their tactics, and began to introduce the so-called polygamic revelation, when it pleased God to come to the rescue of the truth in a truly marvelous manner. Williams was beginning to tell the congregation that Joseph had received a revelation on polygamy; and as he did so, and while he picked up the book with the intention of quoting from it, the Lord smote him with his power, so that he could not proceed; he turned suddenly pale, became agitated, his face manifesting distress, and, trembling he dropped into his seat six minutes before his time was out. In his next speech, which was his last, he was confused throughout, and talked without sense or system. His breakdown had a remarkable effect on the congregation; which was much increased by the fact that in opening the debate by prayer in the afternoon, I had called upon the Lord to manifest

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by his power which was right, so that all could see it. And thanks be to God, he did so; so that the people can not say that man's ability or learning gained the victory; but the Lord rebuked the man when he attempted to accuse the martyr of introducing the filthy doctrine. I have not written this to make a show; but have written it at the request of several persons, who were much affected by the circumstance, and who thought that it ought to be made public. To further establish the statement, two certificates were prepared, one of them after I left, and signed by various citizens of the neighborhood of the place of debate, which I will append to this letter. 1 Many more names might have been added to the first one. Two of his own members told me that they heard him make the statement contained in the second certificate.
  The circumstance had a great effect on the congregation. One man, the Campbellite preacher, Mr. Pettyjohn, had been undecided until this time; but when it happened it convinced him that the power of God was with this church, and he was accordingly baptized three days later, and his wife also.
  The debate on "polygamy" was not voted upon, as there was but one opinion as to the result. Their strongest members admitted that it was a failure, and that if they could not do better, they must give it up. . . .
  The general conference for the Welsh Mission was held at Llanelly, Wales, April 28, 1878, Robert Evans presiding, J. R. Gibbs clerk.
  Advices from California, April 20, stated that Elder J. C. Clapp had just closed a four-night debate with a spiritualist by the name of Mr. Lohmueller on the question, "Resolved, That spiritualism sustains a higher civilization than the doctrines taught by the Latter Day Saints." The question was discussed in this form two nights and then
   1 CEDAR GROVE, Walker County, Georgia, March 28, 1878.
   We, the undersigned, hereby certify that we attended a debate between Elders David Williams, of the Brighamite church, and John H. Hansen, of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, held at Cave Spring, this county, on Saturday and Sunday, March 23 and 24, and that on the second day of the debate (polygamy being the subject that day), we heard Elder Hansen, in opening the debate in the afternoon, pray that the Lord would manifest by his power which was right, so that the congregation could see it. We further certify, that in Elder Williams' second last speech, when he began to accuse Joseph Smith of introducing polygamy, some unseen power seized him, he turned pale and agitated, trembled and dropped into his seat, six minutes before his time was out. This action had a remarkable impression on the congregation.
   I, the undersigned, heard Elder Williams say that he was overpowered by some spirit or influenced that he did not understand; he said it never was so with him before.
   -The Saints' Herald, vol. 25, p. 155.

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reversed to read: "Resolved, That the doctrines taught by the Latter Day Saints sustain a higher civilization than those taught by spiritualism." This was an important discussion on account of spiritualism having obtained a stronghold in Southern California, and some who had been Latter Day Saints, after having become dissatisfied with Utah policies, had emigrated to California and adopted the philosophy of spiritism. While perhaps but few were reclaimed, it was thought by those familiar with the conditions that the discussion was timely and prevented some from drifting into spiritism who might otherwise have done so.
  Soon after the close of this discussion Elder Clapp engaged in debate with an elder of the Advent Church, by the name of Russell, at Santa Ana, California. Some years later the writer (H. C S.) met this Elder Russell in Atascosa County, Texas. He boasted very loudly of victory over Elder Clapp, and was still anxious for debate on his individual responsibility, but declined to furnish recommendations from any organization as a representative, declaring that he represented only himself.
  Sometime in 1877 or 1878, Elder Frank Reynolds, secretary of the Seventy, published a compilation of Scriptural texts relating to the gathering of Israel, under the title of "The Jewish Monitor and Guide to the Holy Land." A copy of this book he sent to the Queen of England and received the following acknowledgement [acknowledgment]:
  General T. M. Biddulph has received the Queen's commands to thank Mr. Reynolds for sending his pamphlet, "The Jewish Monitor," which Her Majesty has been graciously pleased to accept.
  BUCKINGHAM PALACE, February 14, 1878.
  The friction mentioned before between the Quorum of the Twelve and Bishopric was finally adjusted and the following joint epistle was issued and published in the Herald of May 1, 1878, together with an "Acknowledgement [acknowledgment] by the Bishopric." They were as follows:
  In regard to the "Views of the Bishopric" published by us in the Herald of October 1, 1876, we wish to state that we find that we misapprehended the intention of the Quorum of Twelve, and that they only proposed an understanding between the two quorums relative to a course of action concerning the financial affairs of the church; and we also learn

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that it was understood by them that the Bishopric would reply directly to them, which we now see that we should have done, instead of putting in print our views as a reply to that quorum; and, with this understanding now had, we are sorry that we unwittingly misrepresented their intentions. And wherein they have felt aggrieved, or have been injured in any wise by our so doing, we ask their forgiveness and acknowledge that so publishing was wrong.
  Bishopric of the Church.
  -The Saints' Herald, vol. 25, p. 142.
  To the Church of Christ, Called to be Saints, in all the World; Greeting: It has been apparent to the Saints, everywhere, that there has been a misunderstanding for some time between the Bishopric and the Twelve on financial matters, and that considerable injury to the cause has arisen thereby. Therefore, it was deemed wise and expedient that these two quorums should meet and confer together, and, if possible, agree upon the proper construction to be put upon the commandment of the Lord, given in 1861, whereby it appears that they should unitedly "take measures" to execute the "law of tithing;" and to adopt such rules as would place the financial affairs of the church on clearer and more effectual bases than have hitherto obtained. The commandment is as follows:
  "In order to place the church in a position to carry on the promulgation of the gospel, and as a means of fulfilling the law, the Twelve will take measures in connection with the Bishop, to execute the law of tithing; and let them before God see to it, that the temporal means so obtained is truly used for the purposes of the church, and not as a weapon of power in the hands of one man for the oppression of others; or for the purposes of self-aggrandizement by any one, be he whomsoever he may be.
  "As I live, saith the Lord, in the manner ye execute this matter, so shall ye be judged in the day of judgment.
  "JOSEPH SMITH, President of the Church.
  "SANDWICH, Illinois, October 7, 1861."
  To this end, on Wednesday, April 17, 1878, these two bodies met in Plano, Kendall County, Illinois, at the house of Bro. Joseph Smith; the First Presidency being present by invitation.
  The following paper, designed mainly as an explanation of the scope and meaning of the commandment referred to, was submitted by the First Presidency to the council:
  "1. The word 'execute,' as used in the revelation of 1861, is, in our view, to be construed to mean to 'carry into effect,' to set in motion legitimate forces, to put existing laws into active operation. To 'execute' any

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given law may, and in this instance does, involve different offices, or the administration of different officers.
  "2. The charge of the Twelve is intended to define their duty as an advisory and judicial body, with whom lies the 'regulating' of 'the affairs of the church,' according to law.
  "3. The part to be performed by the Twelve in carrying into effect the 'law of tithing,' is precedent and subsequent, and involves both teaching the law and administering it; administration and teaching to be upon principles agreed to by the Twelve and the Bishopric.
  "4. The Bishopric are the legal custodians of all the temporalities of the church, upon whom devolves the duty of gathering, safely keeping, and disbursing the moneys and properties of the church, in keeping with the law, and agreeably to the rules mutually agreed to by the Twelve and the Bishopric.
  "5. In the receiving and disbursing of church funds, all persons who may be intrusted [entrusted] therewith are in fact, or ex officio, agents for the Bishopric, and should account to the Bishopric; and in disbursing general church funds should do so by the direction of the Bishop, or in accordance with an agreement and understanding with the Bishopric previously had; specific, in regard to objects before determined upon; general, in regard to objects incidental to the prosecution of missionary labor, for which, in the nature of things, no specific directions can be given.
  "6. The Bishopric being created by and responsible to the church for the proper administration of their duty, should not, in justice, be made finally responsible to the Twelve, in any other sense than all other church officers are responsible to the same quorum; that is, by proper charge and adjudication before the general church officers, or by decision of General Conference.
  "7. Discretionary powers to receive and disburse church funds, and dispose of church property for the uses of the church, according to the laws of the church, and subject to inquiry by the Twelve and the church, must rest in the Bishopric only, as, by law, the Bishopric only are legal custodians of such properties; but the Twelve may and should exercise such supervisory jurisdiction, according to previous arrangement and agreement with the Bishopric, as will prevent unnecessary delay and injury to the work of the ministry, and will facilitate the proper expenditure of funds in the church treasury for the purpose of carrying on the preaching of the word, in which is included the support of the families of traveling ministers in the field; the publication and distribution of such books and tracts as may be deemed expedient, for which no other provision is made; the erection of houses of worship; purchase of lands, together with the care and uses of them in missions assigned by conferences.
  "8. The Twelve being by law a traveling, spiritual, ministerial body, supposed to be in the missionary field, can not in justice be expected to act as a council exercising local and decisive direction in the disbursement of church moneys, in the sense that no expenditure could be had,

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except upon their consent or order, first obtained; it is necessary that there be a full understanding between that quorum and the Bishopric, as to the scope of the law demanding their attention to the temporal affairs of the church; also as to the rules which may govern both parties; which rules once agreed upon shall obtain until modified by mutual agreement and understanding; no power being given to either party to dictate those rules."
  These principles were adopted singly, and afterward as a whole, by the council of the several quorums assembled.
  On the day following, the Twelve and the Bishopric, being assembled in council, adopted the following principles and rules, after each quorum had separately considered and acted upon them.
  "1. We believe the duty of the Twelve to be to teach the law of tithing, viz.: Explaining to the church the necessity, and the mode of complying therewith, in order that the financial interests of the church shall be properly supported, and that they may receive tithing and forward the same to the Bishop, who is the acknowledged treasurer of the church, or to his appointed agents.
  "2. That it is devolvent upon the Bishopric and their authorized agents (such agents to be elders), to travel among the churches from time to time, to teach the law of, and collect tithing and free-will offerings, and see that the financial interests of the church are duly cared for, and the wants of the poor duly administered to, and use their best and earnest endeavors to keep the ministry in the field, as appointed by General Conference, especially the members of the Quorum of the Twelve and of the Seventy, and to see to it that the families of such receive proper support.
  "3. That officers in charge of missions appointed by General Conference, receive necessary support in the prosecution thereof, from the agents of the Bishop in said missions, and that said agents in the disbursing of moneys be not subject to the direction of district conferences, or branches (yet said conferences may advise or recommend), but should make itemized reports to said conferences, who may audit and approve the same, and said reports as certified to, be forwarded to the Bishop.
  "4. And that in all missions where there is no agent to represent the Bishop, the officer in charge of said mission may receive tithing and freewill offerings, and use such sums as shall be considered necessary for said mission, keeping an account thereof, together with the names of persons from whom received, and forward a quarterly account thereof, together with whatever moneys may remain in his hands as a residue, and not needed by him, to the Bishop; and upon receipt thereof, the Bishop should enter the same upon his books, crediting and debiting the church with said amounts, received and paid out, together with the names of those from whom received and to whom paid; and that all such itemized reports be published by the Bishop from time to time with his regular reports.

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"5. In all missions where the officer in charge can not consult with the agent (though one may have been appointed thereto), he may receive tithings and free-will offerings and use the same (as hereinafter provided for in Article 5, of Basis of Adjustment), or only part thereof for said mission, accounting therefor to the agent and to the Bishop in his quarterly report.
  "6. We advise the utmost care and economy in the expenditure of money; that the first of all objects to be attained by the church is the promulgation of the gospel, and all other interests are but secondary compared with it, which object must ever demand our first attention; next to which is the support of the poor. And believing that moneys have been extravagantly expended in the publication of books, and unnecessarily so, we advise the utmost care in that direction, and the strictest economy. And we recommend that the Bishopric encourage so far as seems wise and is practicable, the building of church-houses, and that they take the advisory oversight thereof; and also the erection of storehouses in such localities where the interests of the church do now or may hereafter demand it; believing that through this channel the families of traveling elders would receive more ready support, and which means does not now come into the church treasury.
  "7. Members should be taught the moral obligation that rests upon them, to put forth an effort to do something of some moment, during the year, either in tithings, free-will offerings, or donations, according to their financial abilities.
  "8. Where branches, districts, or individuals wish labor in any special locality, the needed funds to sustain such effort should not be taken from the means designed for or belonging to the general treasury.
  "9. When means are given to ministers of the church for their benefit, by persons in and out of the church, such 'means' should be reported to the Bishop, that he may be cognizant of the help that each receives, and that said report be made to the Bishop on the first of March annually."
  We present the foregoing principles of action to all the Saints as being the rules and regulations adopted by us for the government of and administration in the financial affairs of the church, and we respectfully commend them to the consideration of and observance by the church in all circumstances and cases included in and covered by the above specification of principles.
  Of the Quorum of the Twelve.
  PLANO, Illinois, April 8, 1878. The Bishopric of the Church.

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Early in May, 1878, Elder J. R. Lambert organized a branch at Coalville, Iowa. Elder T. R. G. Williams was chosen president, and T. R. Williams secretary.
  On May 13 Elder Jeremiah Jeremiah, a member of the Seventy's Quorum, and a former missionary to England and Wales, died at Canton, Illinois. He had been identified with the Reorganization since September, 1860, and served the interests of the cause faithfully.
  The following items appeared in the Herald for May 15, 1878:
  Brn. William Anderson, Oakland, California, and D. S. Mills, write the sad news of the death of Bro. J. M. Parks, of Santa Rosa, California, a man who was beloved as a strong supporter and defender of the gospel of Christ on the Pacific Slope. Bro. Anderson says that the calls for preaching in that land are numerous, but times are hard and work in the ministry is limited in consequence. Brn. Mills and Burton are laboring faithfully and also others of the more local ministry. . . .
  Bro. Jacob S. Whitaker, president of the Wheatville Branch, Wisconsin, writes that the members there are firm in the faith, and are determined, the grace of God assisting them, to overcome, and to gain the victory and the haven of rest promised to God's people. Two somewhat remarkable cases of healing occurred there recently, one of a child sick with a fever, the other of a very old sister (aged seventy-eight) who was thrown from a wagon and much bruised, and who was speechless and helpless, but who sat up and talked and ate dinner shortly after being administered to according to God's word. . . .
  Bro. R. Thrutchley, of the Salt River Branch, Macon County, Missouri, writes of the acceptable labors of Bro. G. T. Griffiths among them, and he reports that the work is onward there with prospects of still further additions to the church. He went to Knox County with Bro. Griffiths and the latter preached nine times. Prejudice was removed and the people request more preaching. . . .
  Bro. G. Griffiths, of Bevier, Missouri, has baptized one at Bevier, one at Salt River, Missouri, and two at Hill's Grove, Illinois, of late.
  On May 15 Elder D. H. Bays wrote from Stockdale, Texas. The following is an extract from his letter:
  On my way I stopped in Montgomery County, to visit old friends whom I had not seen for thirty years. I visited the old homestead, where the happy days of my childhood were spent. But how sadly changed! The house, then new, is gone; the old cedar-tree under whose evergreen boughs I often played with brothers and sisters, and beneath whose inviting shade a loving and tender mother taught me to lisp the sacred name of Jesus, had, by ruthless hands, been torn away.

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That mother's voice is now hushed in death; but thank God not till her boy had received the everlasting gospel, which often would so eloquently fall from her lips. In this now desolate but once sequestered spot, is where father and mother first heard the sound of the gospel, and where my young heart was made to trust in God. But all these changes are but a sad reminder that we are all passing away; and that time with his mighty hand is making manifest his power to lead us to the grave. And were it not for the hope we have, namely, that Christ will redeem us from the power of death, through the gospel, this life would be but as a frightful dream, and the children of men would indeed be most miserable. Then let us be faithful.
  But to return. Since my arrival here I have visited Gonzales County and preached twice, which aroused some inquiry. I have just concluded one of the most effective meetings here I have held in the State. A series of ten consecutive discourses, in an of which I was signally blessed, has been attended with most encouraging results. It is said the meetings were the most largely attended of any that had ever been held in the place. Five have been baptized, three other names in, and a fair prospect for as many more.
  There is a large church of the Christian order at this place, and from two to four of their preachers attended the meeting. At first they concluded to let us alone for the reason, as they expressed it, that we were "tearing sectarianism all to pieces." But when they saw that the storm of God's eternal truth was sweeping their sandy foundation from under them, they began to show signs of fight, and challenged us for discussion. Of course I could not respectfully decline, and the affair is to come off on July 1, to continue about five days. We are called upon to meet their ablest man, and we delight in the task before us. Much depends upon this discussion,-if it results favorably (so say the people), there will probably be organized a good branch here. So we desire your prayers that the truth may shine forth in all of its strength, and God's name be glorified.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 25, pp. 189, 190.
  On the last of May President Joseph Smith left Plano en route for Canada, there to meet Elders W. H. Kelley and G. A. Blakeslee, and with them to perform some committee work to which they had been appointed by the late annual conference. While absent he visited Coldwater, Michigan; Clear Lake, Indiana; Saint Thomas, Corinth, London, Toronto, Bothwell, Louisville, Wellington, Chatham, and Blenheim, Canada, and Galien, Michigan, arriving home at Plano, July 1. Of this trip he reported:
  We tried to preach the word and to give good counsel; and returned well pleased with our reception, as a general thing.

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Sometime during the month of May a branch was organized at Piper City, Illinois, by Elder T. W. Smith, over which Silas M. Rogers was called to preside.
  William Nelson, who was appointed a mission to the Society Islands, was on June 17, 1878, ordained to the office of elder at Oakland, California, by Elders H. P. Brown and William Anderson, and the same day he sailed for the Islands. He arrived at Papeete, Tahiti, on July 23, and found the native members of the church glad to welcome him.
  In the month of June there was a nine-session debate held near Coldwater, Michigan, between Elder Columbus Scott and an Elder Miller of the Seventh-day Advents. Of this Elder Scott wrote: "We feel thankful to our heavenly Father for the aid given, and more confirmed than ever in that we are on the right side of the questions discussed."
  The following items were published in the Herald for June 15:
  The Saints at Kewanee, Illinois, have succeeded in purchasing the M. E. church in that place, lately sold by that society on the occasion of their building a larger and more elegant place of worship. It was a stroke of good policy on the part of the Saints, and we hope much good will result. . . . . Bro. Holt wrote on 21st of May: "We have a strong team here now, Brn. Patterson, Short, and McDowell."
  Letter from Bro. Magnus Fyrando, May 18, signifies that Bro. Chambers and himself had arrived at Ogden, Utah, and were greeted cordially with a bright prospect of doing good. They met Bro. Nelson of Bozeman, Montana, also on his way to his field. Bro. Nelson is fully awake to the South Sea Mission; has made sacrifice, and goes at his own cost to aid the work.
  On June 24 the Three Rivers Branch was organized in Jackson County, Mississippi, by Elders Heman C. Smith and L. F. West. Three weeks prior to this organization the voice of the elders of the church had never been heard in this place. Mr. J. W. Grierson, who had united with the church at Keokuk, Iowa, in 1842, resided there and was the cause of the elders making the effort, though they were the first of the Reorganization that he had ever met. At the time of the organization the branch was

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composed of nineteen members, J. W. Grierson, presiding elder; J. B. Porter, teacher; and L. H. Ikerd, clerk.
  On June 27 the Oak Island Branch was organized in Bexar County, Texas, by Elder D. H. Bays, with A. B. Kuykendall president, and John Barber clerk. Some of the events preceding this organization are graphically described by Elder Days in a letter written from Stockdale, Texas, June 30, 1878, as follows:
  On the 21st, with Bro. Alex. Hay, I returned to Bexar County, and commenced preaching the next day. During my absence the neighborhood turned out and erected a good arbor in a grove, and there we held three services on Saturday; and on Sunday, at the close of the forenoon service, four persons offered themselves for baptism, and in the afternoon two more. A large congregation "gathered at the river" (Medina) to hear a discourse on water baptism, and to witness the baptismal ceremony. During the discourse frequent questions were propounded by two gentlemen, one a Christian and the other a Union preacher, the latter discarding all external ordinances of the church, including water baptism, but believing in and teaching the "baptism of the Holy Spirit and the right of the people of God to enjoy the 'spiritual gifts."' I was blessed with a remarkable degree of the Spirit, and at the close three more gave their names. Old Bro. Thompson, the Union preacher, then arose and said that he had received more light on the gospel than he had ever received before, that he believed we had the truth, but thought he would wait a little while.
  We then repaired to the water. A deep feeling of solemnity pervaded the assembly while nine precious souls were buried with our precious Lord in baptism. The invitation was extended to others, when Bro. Thompson stepped forward and addressed the audience in a solemn and impressive manner, saying: "The systems of men generally teach a 'form of godliness' but deny the 'power thereof,' and I have been preaching the 'power' without the 'form.' But now, thank God, we have presented to us both the form and the power; and I feel it to be my duty to walk in the light as I now behold it, and to put on the whole armor of God." Then he came forth and was baptized. Almost the entire audience, which was large, was in tears. Even people who had not obeyed the gospel message, received great confirmation, some of them testifying boldly that they saw a glorious and heavenly light at the close of the baptismal service. It was certainly a remarkable display of God's power; praise his great and holy name!
  Next day, Tuesday, the 25th, we met under the arbor again at eleven o'clock in the forenoon for preaching and confirmation services, in which the Spirit was present in a remarkable degree of power, especially in the confirmation ceremonies.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 25, p. 221.

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On this letter the Herald editor in the issue for August 1, commented as follows:
  What a thrill of pleasure and "comfort of the Holy Ghost" accompanies the reading of Bro. D. H. Bays' letter from Texas. The scene at the water, where old Bro. Thompson testifies of the truth, is equal in its convincing force to that of Phillips' experience with the subject of Queen Candace.
  About this time some of the elders of the Utah church were mobbed in the South, and the editor of the Herald made the following comment regarding it:
  By a copy of the Evening News, Salt Lake City, Utah, for June 20, 1878, we learn that some of the polygamic elders preaching in Georgia, have been mobbed and driven away from their field of labor. We disapprove of intimidation and mob violence as arguments, or preventives against any system of faith, however inconsistent and absurd it may be; and though we do and probably always shall oppose the teaching of polygamy, we denounce the use of such abominable measures as those adopted by those who have thus driven the Salt Lake elders from their labor. No amount of violent opposition can prevent the march of truth; and error met by such arguments is partly sanctified in the minds of its adherents. Saints must be on their guard against encouraging mob violence of any sort; it is unbecoming the devotees of peace to countenance violence. Honorable means may be used to defeat what we have reason to believe is a gross error, but we should never consent to the use of dishonorable means to secure a temporary triumph.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 25, p. 217.

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