THE situation at the opening of the year 1883 is well expressed in an editorial in the Herald for January 6, entitled, "Greeting:"
In greeting the readers of the Herald at the beginning of the year, we experience great pleasure. The old year has been filled with moving events, many of them closely connected with the work we are all trying to forward, and which is regarded by us as being a good work, worthy of all our powers. During the past year, the powers that rule over the destinies of the church have, as we believe, been propitious to us; and out of the many strange events which have transpired while the year was passing, some have been full of interest to all the faithful, and fraught with import of good to them. Moral prestige has been obtained, and advancement made. Things that have been, and things that are, have been made to take on new significance, and he who ran read as he ran, and his heart was filled with joy.
The action of Congress last winter, and the forced recognition of the Reorganization in the controversy then waged in regard to the Utah affairs, were of great moment; and the far-spread acknowledgment of the position the church has from the first taken, have operated much to the advantage of the cause. The steady forward march of slow-moving truths has left some of the peculiar besetments of the latter-day work high and dry, as way marks for the guidance of those who endure in the days to come. One or two of these we mention. The unfortunate ending of the W. R. Lay movement, with its peculiar fascination; the strange outcropping of the post-script to the "letter of appointment," the foundation
corner-stone of the Beaver Island dynasty, under James J. Strang; the meeting of the April conference on the historic ground at Independence, Missouri; the assembling of the fall session at Lamoni; and the prospective meeting at Kirtland, Ohio, have all had their effect for good, effectually establishing the fact that overruling providences have stayed the earlier happening of these events, that they might transpire with effective weight to aid in the grand progression.
We take leave of the year 1882 with gladness. No year has passed, of late, so quickly in seeming; nor been so fraught with present recollections touching our good work. The faces so persistently set Zionward have glowed in the sunlight shining from the distant glory; and the hearts weighed down by sadness and sorrow through their long waiting, have been made to rejoice in the near approach of full deliverance.
The church now stands on higher planes for development and hope of success than ever before. We begin the new year with stronger determinations than ever to prosecute the work at our hands to do, with unabated zeal, and so far as we can with undiminished force. . . .
The Herald has reached the completion of its twenty-ninth volume, and begins the thirtieth with fair prospects, so far as its journalistic existence is concerned; and in the form of a weekly proposes still to carry out the design of its institution, the dissemination of the principles of the gospel, as revealed to Joseph Smith and others, and taught by them prior to and until 1844. . . .
The high standard of truth and morality which it has been the endeavor of the church to rear and uphold, it will be the constant aim to still maintain.
In the above it will be observed that the Herald is mentioned as a "weekly." It had before been published as a semimonthly, and this was its first venture as a weekly. It has been so published ever since.
About this time appeared a pamphlet written by a Mr. R. Patterson, of Pittsburg [Pittsburgh], Pennsylvania, in defense of the Spalding story theory of the origin of the Book of Mormon. This pamphlet was reviewed by President Joseph Smith. The review was first published in the Saints' Herald and subsequently in pamphlet form by the Board of Publication. Mr. Patterson's treatise attracted some notice at first, but has since been relegated to comparative obscurity.
On January 11 Senator Edmunds introduced another bill in the United States Senate intended "to provide further means for the suppression of the crimes of bigamy, polygamy, and unlawful cohabitation in the Territories of the United States."
At the preceding election in Utah, Elder John T. Caine was elected to Congress in place of George Q. Cannon, unseated. This was contested on the grounds that neither Governor Murray nor the Utah commission had ordered an election to fill the vacancy, but it was claimed that the people under direction of their leaders placed the name of John T. Caine, for Congress, on their tickets, and thus elected him. His right to the seat was disputed, but after much discussion he was seated on January 17, to fill the unexpired term. Mr. Caine was in practice a monogamist, though a member of the Utah church and a defender of its institutions.
January 22 there was a discussion in -, Nebraska, between the Reverend N. M. Allen, of the Missionary Baptists, and Elder R. M. Elvin. There was also a discussion at Fremont, Nebraska, February 16, between Elder A. J. Cadney, of the Advents, and Elder J. F. Mintun.
On February 26 Lawrence Conover, secretary and bookkeeper of the Board of Publication, absconded, robbing the office of all the available means, amounting to several thousand dollars. This was a complete surprise to all who knew him. He had discharged his duties efficiently in the office for four years, and his correct moral deportment had established confidence, and trust was reposed in him by the Board. Though a reward was immediately offered for his apprehension, he was never found. Some weeks after he left he wrote a letter dated in England, expressing deep regret and contrition and stating that he would return and meet the consequences whatever they should be. Later, he wrote a letter dated in New York City, stating that he was on his way and might be expected at a certain time, but he did not appear, and no further trace of him has ever been found.
As shown in minutes of semiannual conference for 1882, President Joseph Smith and Z. H. Gurley were appointed a committee to present to the Secretary of State a petition asking that the distinction between the
Reorganization and the Utah people be recognized in the application of letter of Honorable W. M. Evarts, Secretary of State to foreign countries. This work they accomplished, an account of which we insert in the language of President Smith, published editorially in Herald for March 17, 1883:
We left Harlan for Washington on the morning of February 20, by the way of Council Bluffs, starting from the latter place on the 21st at half past nine o'clock in the forenoon, reaching Galien, Michigan, in answer to telegram from Bro. George A. Blakeslee, who joined us at that point on the 22d. From there Bro. Blakeslee and the Editor in company reached Philadelphia on Saturday, the 24th, at midnight. We found Bro. Z. H. Gurley and others there on Sunday, the 25th. . . .
The Editor spoke to the Saints morning and evening in their hall, corner of Ninth and Callowhill Streets, a small but neat place of worship.
We stayed three days in Philadelphia, and on Wednesday morning, February 28, left for Washington to carry out the direction of the fall conference, to lay before the Secretary of State, our request for the correction of the letter of W. M. Evarts, former Secretary of State, according to the resolution of said fall session. . . .
We requested the Honorable W. P. Hepburn, Representative from the Eighth Congressional District of Iowa, to secure us a presentation to the Secretary; and this he secured and arranged for with Senator W. D. Allison, for Monday, March 5, at ten o'clock in the forenoon. We met these gentlemen by appointment in the lobby of the Secretary's office, and upon the request of Senator Allison, were admitted to an interview, and were by him introduced to the Secretary. The Senator stated the object of our coming, the people whom we represented, and endorsed us most cordially as worthy to be heard.
We then briefly stated our mission, placed our written statement in the Secretary's hand, received from him the promise of a consideration of what we had presented.
The reception was courteous and all that we could expect, and we retired satisfied with the result of our visit. The impression made by brethren Gurley and Kelley in their mission to Washington a year ago, was an excellent one. They became known and were recognized as worthy men representing a worthy people; and we take pleasure in expressing our personal thanks and regard to these brethren for the manner in which they maintained the cause they represented.
The kindest regard and courtesy were shown to us by Senator Allison and Honorable W. P. Hepburn, of Iowa, and Honorable J. C. Burrows, of Michigan, and others to whom we were from time to time introduced, treated us with courtesy, of which we would make no complaint.
Bad news travels fast, and such news met us at the Capitol, for in the care of Honorable Burrows, of Michigan, was a telegram from Bro. E. Banta to Bro. Blakeslee, and in care of Honorable Hepburn, of Iowa, one
from Bro. John Scott, of the Herald Office, announcing that on the 26th Bro. Lawrence Conover, secretary of the Board of Publication, bookkeeper and, accountant of the Herald Office, had absconded with funds of the office to an amount not known.
This made it necessary that Bro. Blakeslee or the Editor should return at once to Lamoni. Neither could leave Washington until some understanding as to when an interview with the Secretary of State could be had. This was accomplished the next day, March 1, and Bro. Blakeslee left for Lamoni, by the way of Kirtland, Ohio, the same evening. Bro. Zenas H. Gurley and the Editor followed him on the morning of the 6th as soon after the interview had been accorded as it was practicable to leave. Bro. Gurley left us at Davis City, and we arrived at home, the 9th, at ten in the evening.
We found Brn. Blakeslee, Phineas Cadwell, and W. W. Blair all anxiously waiting. Bro. Curwen had come and waited as long as he could, and had gone to attend to the affairs of the firm for which he travels.
The interrupted receipts, entries, and orders for Herald, Hope, Advocate, and books, had been taken in hand by Bro. Blair, at the direction by telegram from Bro. Blakeslee, and were being brought into order and regularity. Telegrams had been sent to banks, and others where necessary to curtail further losses where they were liable to occur; and an effort made to secure some trace of the fleeing man.
Upon our arrival Bro. George A. Blakeslee, president, called the Board together, and measures were adopted to provide for the emergency and secure the conducting of the Herald Office affairs, without delays or stoppage.
Wild and conflicting rumors are afloat in every direction; but the Saints will do well to go slow to hear and believe what they hear. As soon as it can be done, a clear report of the loss will be made.
No one need to feel alarmed, all that can be done will be done. The loss is not an irretrievable one; except the lose of esteem and confidence in which the secretary was held. He had by a very commendable deportment won his way into the confidence of all connected with the office; this confidence he has rudely and cruelly betrayed, and this he can not retrieve. He might have wrought more injury than is now discovered, and though he has robbed the office and the church of moneys, and soiled by betrayal of trust the good name of those connected with the office, he alone can be the ultimate sufferer from these acts.
The affairs of the office will go on, the Herald, Hope, Advocate will come out in their time; books will be sent as ordered, and all the business continue, with all the accuracy and despatch possible.
The annual conference for 1883 convened at Kirtland, Ohio, in the Temple, April 6, and closed on the 15th. Joseph Smith and W. W. Blair presided; E. L. Kelley, secretary, assisted by R. M. Elvin and Heman C. Smith.
This was the first conference held by the Reorganization in the Temple; and the assembling in this building erected in an early day, the title of which a competent court had decided to be in the Reorganization, was considered an event of great importance. The following synopsis of the remarks of President Smith at the opening of this conference will be pertinent to the history:
President Joseph Smith, upon being presented to the audience, said that it was quite unnecessary for him to say that he took pleasure in the meeting of to-day; the circumstances surrounding the event were such that all who think-and all ought to think-could well discern the fact that events clearly spoken of in the past have their fulfillment in our gathering. Fifty years ago the speaker, he said, began his earth life in this place, and at a time when those who were working in this place, and with whom he was associated, were warring against difficulties to maintain and advance such principles as to them were of the highest truth. And it is not to be wondered at that under such trials the people who were thus laboring should partake in some manner of the spirit of the scenes. But to-day it is not in fact peculiar that we should be able to worship here; for that which is intended to be permanent pleases God, and so the original builders wrought, and that which is intended to be evanescent does not please him. And one of the great evidences of the truth of the principles which actuated the people then is, that so many are here to-day who inhabited here then and partook of that spirit and still rejoice in the truth. The fact exists that almost everywhere where our work has been taught, the prejudices of the people have given way, and everywhere the people in the past were driven from place to place who did not abide in the principles established here at the beginning-we are now permitted to enter and occupy without fear or alarm. The work means and is, the building up the waste places, and establishing the truth of the work, and many under the peaceful labor of teaching these principles have succeeded in calling out those who have been scattered, and they rejoice like Simeon of old, and are ready to say it is enough, "Let now thy servant depart in peace." The meeting to-day is looked upon with interest by the world, and if we respect ourselves and our work, they can not fail to respect us; but if we should fail to respect the work of which we have charge, and ourselves, it need not be wondered at if others fail to show us the courtesy we desire. The outlook is good, and to-day we have a standing, and most men are willing to hear; and when we have presented our faith to them, they are at liberty to judge for themselves, and our work is done. The gathering of this body or assembly is somewhat different to those past, in that it is a delegate one; how long it shall so continue, or what changes may take place, it is in the wisdom of the body to determine. But in all our deliberations and work, we should observe strictly the decorum of brethren
and remember he is strongest and wisest who is actuated by the kindest spirit
The following ministers who were present reported: W. W. Blair, Z. H. Gurley, J. H. Lake, J. R. Lambert, A. H. Smith, T. W. Smith, Charles Derry, C. G. Lanphear, J. S. Patterson, G. T. Griffiths, Heman C. Smith, J. F. McDowell, Columbus Scott, E. C. Brand, B. V. Springer, F. P. Scarcliff, R. M. Elvin, J. H. Merriam, H. Robinson, G. E. Deuel, W. H. Kelley, E. C. Briggs, D. S. Mills, W. T. Bozarth, M. T. Short, George Hicklin, J. P. Knox, Josiah Ells, and W. B. Smith. The following ministers not present reported: R. J. Anthony, Glaud Rodger, J. C. Foss, J. T. Davies, J. F. Mintun, G. S. Hyde, Joseph Luff, H. N. Hansen, J. D. Bennett, A. J. Cato, James A. McIntosh, J. F. Burton, C. H. Caton, James Caffall, F. C. Warnky, and Thomas Taylor, of England.
The committee to wait upon the Secretary of State reported its labors, embodying in the report the document presented to Secretary F. T. Frelinghuysen. It is as follows:
TO THE HONORABLE F. T. FRELINGHUYSEN,
Secretary of State of the United States,
WASHINGTON, District of Columbia.
As a committee appointed by the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, to which we belong, we beg leave to present the following to you, on behalf of said church.
1. The Reorganized Church is the proper representative successor of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, organized by Joseph Smith and others, April 6, 1830, then numbering about thirty souls, and now numbering in the United States and Territories, Great Britain, the Canadas, Australia and the Society Islands about twenty thousand members.
2. The members of the Reorganized Church are loyal to the governments of which they are citizens; and neither teach, nor practice any religious tenet that is subversive of those governments, or destructive to good citizenship, as witness the position of said church in defining her relation to governments and laws, viz: "We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of men, and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, either in making laws or administering them, for the good and safety of society. We believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective governments in which they reside, while protected in their inherent and inalienable rights by the laws of such governments, and that sedition and rebellion
are unbecoming every citizen thus protected, and should be punished accordingly; and that all governments have a right to enact such laws as in their own judgments are best calculated to secure the public interest, at the same time, however, holding sacred the freedom of conscience.
"We believe that the commission of crime should be punished according to the nature of the offense; that murder, treason, robbery and the breach of the general peace, in all respects should be punished according to their criminality and their tendency to evil among men, by the laws of that government in which the offense is committed, and for the public peace and tranquility [tranquillity] all men should step forward and use their ability in bringing offenders against good laws, to punishment.
"We believe that all religious societies, have a right to deal with their members for disorderly conduct according to the rules and regulations of such societies, provided that such dealings be for fellowship and good standing; but we do not believe that any religious society has authority to try men on the right of property or life, to take from them this world's goods, or put them in jeopardy either life or limb, neither to inflict any physical punishment upon them-they can only excommunicate them from their society and withdraw from their fellowship.
"We believe that men should appeal to the civil law for redress for all wrongs and grievances, where personal abuse is inflicted, or the right of property or character infringed, where such laws exist as will protect the same."
The church by her President Joseph Smith in 1844 (just prior to his death) gave to the world an epitome of faith and doctrines which were held sacred-and the only principles necessary to salvation, this, if we mistake not was made in answer to the inquiry of Honorable John Wentworth of Chicago and published by him in his paper, the Democrat, and also published by I. Daniel Rupp, in his History of the Religious Denominations in the United States during that year, and is as follows:
"We believe in God the Eternal Father and his Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
"We believe that men will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam's transgression.
"We believe that through the Atonement of Christ all men may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.
"We believe that these ordinances are: (1) Faith in God and in the Lord Jesus Christ. (2) Repentance. (3) Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins. (4) Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. (5) We believe in the resurrection of the body; that the dead in Christ will rise first, and that the rest of the dead will not live again until the thousand years are expired.
"We believe in the doctrine of Eternal Judgment, which provides that men shall be judged, rewarded, or punished, according to the degree of good, or evil, they shall have done.
"We believe that a man must be called of God, and ordained by the
laying on of hands of those who are in authority, to entitle him to preach the gospel and administer the ordinances thereof.
"We believe in the same kind of organization that existed in the primitive church, viz.: apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc.
"We believe that in the Bible is contained the word of God, so far as it is translated correctly. We believe that the canon of Scripture is not full, but that God, by his Spirit, will continue to reveal his word to man, until the end of time.
"We believe in the powers and gifts of the everlasting gospel, viz.: the gift of faith, discerning of spirits, prophecy, revelation, healing, visions, tongues, and the interpretation of tongues, wisdom, charity, brotherly love, etc.
"We believe that marriage is ordained of God; and that the law of God provides for but one companion in wedlock, for either man or woman, except in cases where the contract of marriage is broken by death or transgression."
This your honor was the faith of the church up to 1844 A. D. under Joseph Smith, its founder-the same is affirmed by the Reorganized Church of to-day, and we submit that, in justice and by right under the laws of this government and in harmony with itself-it is now and must necessarily ever remain as the only and true faith of said church, the declaration of polygamic Mormons to the contrary notwithstanding.
3. The tenet of polygamy is not now, and has never been taught by said Reorganized Church, nor was it any part of the faith of the church organized by Joseph Smith in 1830, as this committee can clearly show; and as was shown before the Judiciary Committee during the session of last Congress, pending action on the Edmunds Bill. To the contrary the Reorganized Church did in June, 1852, and has since constantly maintained a persistent opposition to the tenet of polygamy and those who have affirmed and practiced it; and has now an organized mission under the ministerial charge of Elder W. W. Blair, an American citizen, in Utah teaching against it.
4. The effort against this delusive doctrine made by the Reorganized Church, has not been confined to Utah; but in all parts of the United States, in England, Wales, the Canadas, Denmark, Switzerland, France, Australia, and the Society Islands, the elders of the church have been actively engaged in denouncing it, and saying and declaring none other things than those provided for by law as accepted and held sacred by the church from its inception down to the present time.
"Wherefore my brethren, hear me and hearken to the word of the Lord, for there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife, and concubines he shall have none, for I, the Lord God, delighteth in the chastity of women, and whoredoms are an abomination before me, saith the Lord of Hosts."-Book of Mormon; Jacob 2:6-9. And again "Wherefore it is lawful that he [man] should have one wife, and they twain shall be one
flesh; and all this that the earth might answer the end of its creation; and that it might be filled with the measure of man, according to his creation before the world was made."-Doctrine and Covenants, page 161. Witness also the marriage contract as used by the church and based upon the foregoing fundamental law, to wit: "You both mutually agree to be each other's companion, husband and wife, observing the legal rights belonging to this condition; that is, keeping yourselves wholly for each other and from all others during your lives."-Doctrine and Covenants, page 330. These we submit to your honor as being wholesome laws and in harmony with the position of the church in defining her relation to governments and the duties of her members therein. The practice of Utah Mormons is so absolutely the opposite being in violation and abrogation of said laws that to call them "Latter Day Saints," appears at once a misnomer, they having abandoned the faith of that church and by virtue thereof should by right be called polygamists-the correctness of this position will appear at once when we consider the fact that their representative men, Orson Pratt in debate with Doctor Newman at Salt Lake City, and Delegate George Q. Cannon before Judiciary Committee of House of Representatives last winter-in answer to the question direct made statement that their practice of polygamy and its concomitants rested not upon the Bible or any other book, but upon a certain document which Mr. Cannon was pleased to name a "purported revelation"-and now as that document sets up a "new plan of salvation;" and is in violation and total disregard of the faith, laws, teachings and usages of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we aver and ask that the claim set up in this paper be allowed, it being just to all parties concerned, for, if the Government feels to condone the polygamic practice of Utah Mormons upon the ground of its being their religion, then in that case, as now, we ask and insist that the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints be relieved from the reproach and shame sought to be fastened upon their faith by such teaching and practice of polygamy and that the line of demarcation be fully drawn that we no longer be improperly confounded with Mormons of Utah.
The impossibility of any true Latter Day Saint accepting any dogma which would lead him to violate the laws of his country may be seen in the following:
"Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the law of God hath no need to break the laws of the land; wherefore be subject to the powers that be, until He reigns whose right it is to reign, and subdues all enemies under his feet."-Doctrine and Covenants, page 177. This we submit renders it impossible for any consistent member of the church to live inharmoniously with the laws of the Government, and he is especially enjoined to be subject unto these laws until Christ comes-and greater importance may be attached to this when we consider the fact that the church received this as the voice of God to them in August, 1831.
5. In carrying on the work of propagandizing, both in the United States
and abroad, the Reorganized Church has been confounded with the Mormon or polygamic church in Utah, over which Brigham Young did, and John Taylor does now preside, and which has since August, 1852, and does still teach and practice the tenet of plural marriage, or polygamy, in contravention and in defiance of the wholesome laws of the United States; and it has not been until quite recently that the said Reorganized Church has been able to compel the recognition of the difference between it and the Mormons of Utah on this point, and that not until the matter at issue was brought into the courts, in the northern district of Ohio; and before Congress at its last session.
6. This confounding of the Reorganized Church and the Utah Mormons together as one; as being polygamic and disloyal to the United States, in that they both taught and practiced tenets subversive of good citizenship and contrary to the laws, has worked disadvantageously to the progress of the said Reorganized Church; and especially so since the circular letter of William M. Evarts, late Secretary of State, to the governments of foreign nations asking them to discriminate against the emigration of Mormons from those nations to the United States. The effect of this letter of Secretary Evarts referred to, was such that in Germany, Switzerland, France, Denmark, Italy, Norway, and the Society Islands, missionaries of the Reorganized Church were regarded with suspicion and were refused liberty to propagandize, as such liberty is given to the missionaries of other American churches; and consuls of the United States will not give the ordinary guarantees of protection to them as citizens of the United States while pursuing their missionary labors. The same disability and suspicion in a modified form attached to missionary labor in England and the Canadas and in New Mexico and the Southern States.
7. While we as a church do not expect the Government of the United States to enact laws to specially favor, or foster, the religious views of the Reorganized Church, or to instruct the offices of the Government at home or abroad, to give special protection to the missionaries of said church as religionists; we deem it right and a duty to ask that the Government shall secure to us as loyal citizens of the United States, all the privileges and immunities of such citizens at home, and protection abroad; and to ask that no enactment of Congress, nor instruction of the general officers of the Government shall discriminate against us to our injury as law abiding citizens.
8. In this case, we represent to you, that the effect of the letter of W. M. Evarts referred to has been to our injury in the manner specified; and we by our committee, ask of your honor such favorable consideration as shall free us from said disability and that you so instruct the consuls of the United States to the various governments named in this memorial, and others when necessity requires, that the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as the legal successor to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints organized April 6, 1830, are not polygamists, and not disloyal; and that said Reorganized Church should be exempted
from the disabilities imposed by said letter of instruction to foreign powers, from the late Secretary of State, Honorable W. M. Evarts, and that you will in such way as may by you be deemed proper, convey to the proper officials of said foreign governments, the information herein set forth, that we may be freed from the disability and suspicion complained of.
9. The members of the Reorganized Church are scattered in church organizations, or congregations, throughout the United States and Territories; largely in the states of Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Michigan, and Indiana, and for their character for loyalty, etc., as herein set forth, inquiry may be made of the representatives of those States, Honorables James F. Wilson, J. W. McDill, W. P. Hepburn, John A. Kasson and others of Iowa, specially referred to.
10. We suggest to your honor, that an effective aid may be given to the legislative and judiciary departments of the Government in suppressing the evils known to exist in Utah, ostensibly fostered by the dominant church there as a part of their religion, if this distinction between the Reorganized Church which we represent, and the Utah Mormon church, be formally recognized by the Government, and officially noticed by your honor in the manner asked for by us.
For the prosperity and future success of our country we shall ever pray.
JOSEPH SMITH, }Committee.
Z. H. GURLEY, }
Several appeals were entertained and heard by committees appointed for the purpose.
The Church Recorder reported the aggregate of names on church record to be fifteen thousand and sixty-one, being a net increase in the last year of four hundred and twenty. A resolution was presented from Pottawattamie District, through delegate C. A. Beebe, requesting President "Joseph Smith to resign the editorship of the Herald that he might devote more of his time to preaching." This was discussed at some length, and disposed of by the adoption of the following substitute:
That it is the wish and desire of this body that President Joseph Smith be retained as editor of the Herald and Hope, but that no work be required of him by the Board of Publication, but that which comes strictly under the duties of editor; so that he may have more time to devote to his duties as president of the church.
The following preambles and resolutions were presented by the Quorum of Twelve and ordered placed in the minutes:
First. Whereas, We believe that marriage is ordained of God, and that the law of God provides for but one companion in wedlock, for either man
or woman-except in cases where the contract is broken by death, or transgression; therefore
Resolved, That it is our understanding that in case of separation of husband and wife, one of which is guilty of the crime of fornication, or adultery, the other becomes released from the marriage bond, and if they so desire may obtain a divorce and marry again.
Second. Whereas, That as a quorum we do not approve the further publication and sale of the History of Joseph Smith and the Church, written by E. W. Tullidge; and Whereas, Bro. Jason W. Briggs was appointed years ago to write a history of the Reorganization; Therefore, be it
Resolved, That we earnestly request Bro. Briggs to proceed at once to prepare and complete the work required at his hands, and submit the same to the church for approval.
The first preamble and resolution in the above were subsequently adopted by the annual conference of 1884.
The Bishop's report was referred to a committee consisting of Phineas Cadwell, J. T. Kinneman, and C. A. Beebe. The committee reported finding it correct. The itemized report was published in full as a supplement to Saints' Herald for May 26, 1883.
The report is too voluminious [voluminous] for insertion. A summary of all property would be too long, but the cash account showed a total net balance on hand of $4,686.65.
W. H. Curwen resigned as a member of the Board of Publication, and Elijah Banta was appointed to succeed him.
Preamble and resolutions were presented by Charles Derry and John Hawley, providing for the holding of reunions. This was discussed at length and finally referred to a committee consisting of W. W. Blair, Charles Derry, and John Hawley. This committee subsequently reported as follows:
The committee to whom was committed the papers in respect to reunion meetings by the church, beg leave to report that they respectfully recommend that this conference advise that mission and district authorities arrange for such reunions for religious services, when and where it may be by them deemed best.
This was adopted, and thus was inaugurated the system of holding reunions which has since been so extensively followed in different parts of the church.
The committee on representation, through its chairman,
Joseph Smith, presented the following Rules of Representation, revised and enlarged.
Your committee on revising and enlarging Rule of Representation appointed at your fall session for 1882, beg leave and report that they have consulted and agreed upon the following; which though not perfect, will, we trust, form a sufficient basis for your action.
Sec. l. That the general officers of the church, known as the Presidency the Twelve, the High Council, the Seventy, and the Bishopric (proper), are ex officio members of conference, and entitled to voice and vote as representatives of the spiritual authorities of the church at large.
Sec. 2. That all high priests and elders are entitled to voice and vote in General Conference, when present.
Sec. 3. That organized districts be authorized to appoint at their last quarterly session of district conference, next preceding the session of General Conference, delegates to said session of General Conference, who shall be entitled to represent said districts; which delegates so appointed shall be declared members of said General Conference, entitled to voice and vote.
Provided, first. That the choice and appointment by said districts shall be made by a majority of those present and voting in regular or called session of district conference, of the holding of which due notice shall have been given as to time and place within the district, together with a statement of any important business or action that is to be presented to, or likely to be had by said general session, affecting said district, and to which their approval or disapproval is desired; that instructions to said delegates may be given as to their action.
Provided, second. That the only qualification to eligibility to the office of delegate from district to General Conference shall be membership and good standing in the church.
Provided, third. That each district shall be entitled to one delegate for every twenty-five members of said district, and one vote in conference for each delegate to which they may be entitled. The delegates present at conference from any one district shall be entitled to cast the full vote of the district of which they are delegates, unless otherwise instructed by their district conference; provided, that in case of a disagreement of views among the members of said delegation, the full delegation not being present they shall be entitled to cast only their individual votes as said delegates.
Provided, fourth. That no one delegate shall represent in the same conference more than one district.
Sec. 4. That each regularly organized branch of the church not included in an organized district, shall be entitled to one delegate, who shall have the same privileges as delegates of districts.
Provided, first. That due general notice to the members of branch of the time and place of meeting for the choosing of said delegate be properly given as in cases of districts.
Provided, second. That delegates shall be entitled to act as such as hereinbefore provided, upon presenting certificates of appointment signed by the presidents, or clerks of districts or branches appointing them.
Sec. 5. That in all cases of grave importance, affecting the polity and faith of the church, districts and branches may instruct delegates to cast a majority and minority vote, for and against; but in no case shall the number of the votes cast by said delegates so instructed exceed the number to which the district appointing shall be entitled as hereinbefore provided; and in case of a tie in districts, or branches, on questions presented to them, certified to said delegates, the votes of said districts or branches, shall be cast in equal numbers by the delegates.
See. 6. That districts may organize their sessions of conference agreeably to the above rules, by providing for delegate conferences, of which the basis of representation shall be one delegate for each six members in each branch or fraction thereof.
April 11, 1883. Chairman of Committee on Representation. 1
Action on these revised rules was deferred until next conference.
A letter to the committee from Secretary Frelinghuysen was read. 2
The following quorums reported: Seventy, High Priests, First and Third Quorums of Elders, and First Quorum of Priests.
The Seventy had lost by death C. N. Brown, and had dropped E. C. Wildermuth.
1 This was adopted by the annual conference of 1884, after amending by inserting the word ex officio between are and entitled in Section 2, and amending Section 6 so as to authorize districts to constitute priests, teachers, and deacons members of conference.
2 MESSRS. JOSEPH SMITH AND Z. H. GURLEY,
Committee, Etc., Lamoni, Iowa.
Gentlemen: I have to acknowledge your communication of the 22d of February last, In regard to a circular letter issued by the Honorable W. M. Evarts when Secretary of State, to the diplomatic agents of this country abroad, requesting foreign governments to discriminate against the emigration of Mormon converts to the United States, and you ask that a distinction be made between the polygamous Mormons of Utah and the nonpolygamous Mormons of the reformed church to which you belong.
In reply I have to state that Mr. Evarts' circular was directed against polygamy, and intended to warn those persons abroad who emigrated to this country for the purpose of joining polygamous communities, that they would thereby expose themselves to the operation of the penal laws of the United States.
It is contrary to the laws of this Government to give by circular, as is proposed, any sanction or indorsement [endorsement] of a specific form of belief. It is for the agents of any religion to make known its character. Law-abiding immigrants are secure against interference.
I am, gentlemen,
Your obedient servant,
FREDK. T. FRELINGHUYSEN.
First Quorum of Elders had received into membership E. L. Kelley.
Second Quorum of Elders had received George Mottashed, Arthur Leverton, Edgar Harrington, and D. E. Powell.
First Quorum of Priests had lost W. M. Rumel by ordination to the eldership.
The following mission appointments reported by the Quorum of the Twelve were indorsed [endorsed]:
W. W. Blair, in charge of Rocky Mountain Mission. J. R. Lambert, Chicago Mission and Northern Illinois. E. C. Briggs, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. T. W. Smith, Southern Illinois and Southern Indiana. W. H. Kelley, Michigan, Northern Indiana, Northern Ohio, Western New York, and Western Pennsylvania. J. H. Lake, Dominion of Canada. Josiah Ells, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. A. H. Smith, Missouri and Kansas. James Caffall, Nebraska and Colorado. Z. H. Gurley, District of Columbia, a portion of Virginia and Pennsylvania, Eastern New York, and New England. M. T. Short, Eastern Iowa and Illinois adjacent. W. T. Bozarth, Missouri. Glaud Rodger, California and Nevada. E. C. Brand, Iowa and Nebraska, with privilege to go to Rocky Mountain Mission if requested by elder in charge. B. V. Springer, St. Louis District and Arkansas. J. F. McDowell, Ohio and Pennsylvania. G. T. Griffiths, Ohio, West Virginia, and Western Pennsylvania. Heman C. Smith, Southwestern Mission. J. C. Foss, referred to A. H. Smith for appointment. Isaac Bogue, under W. H. Kelley. George Montague, Southeastern Mission and Indian Territory. J. F. Mintun, Nebraska. J. T. Davies, Missouri, Kansas, and Indian Territory. Duncan Campbell, under the direction of W. H. Kelley. I. N. Roberts, under direction of A. H. Smith. W. B. Smith, Iowa and Illinois. Charles Derry, Northwestern Iowa and Eastern Nebraska. J. F. Burton, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Cape Breton Island. A. J. Cato, Southwestern Mission. John Gilbert, New England Mission. F. M. Sheehy, New England Mission. H. N. Hansen, Rocky Mountain Mission. George Hicklin, Missouri and Kansas. F. P. Scarcliff, Southeastern Mission.
Henry Kemp, Southwestern Iowa. Hiram Robinson, under Josiah Ells. Temme Hinderks, Missouri, among the Germans. Samuel Brown, Canada. James A. McIntosh, Canada. P. N. Brix, Scandinavian Mission. Thomas Taylor, in charge of English Mission. Thomas Jenkins, in charge of Welsh Mission. Columbus Scott, under W. H. Kelley. Joseph Luff, Rocky Mountain Mission. J. S. Patterson, Wisconsin. R. M. Elvin, Iowa and Nebraska. H. C. Bronson, Eastern Iowa added to former field. G. E. Deuel, Canada. E. H. Gurley, Canada. J. T. Kinneman, under direction of A. H. Smith. J. H. Merriam, under direction of A. H. Smith. Harbert Scott, Southern Indiana. G. S. Hyde, Nebraska. M. H. Bond, Eastern Mission. M. R. Scott, Southern Indiana. Joshua Armstrong, Nebraska. Rudolph Etzenhouser, Des Moines District, with recommendation that he be ordained an elder. He was so ordained at the conference.
April 24, 1883, William E. McLellin, one of the Twelve Apostles chosen in 1835, but who ceased to affiliate with the church in 1838, died at his home in Independence, Missouri.
On April 27, 1883, Lyman O. Littlefield, an elder of Utah, wrote an open letter to "President Joseph Smith, Jr., of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and others conspicuous at the conference recently held in the Temple at Kirtland, Ohio." This was published in the Utah Journal, and other papers, and was copied in the Saints' Herald in its issue for August 11, 1883. President Smith replied, which called forth an answer from Littlefield, and resulted in the exchange of several letters in which the issues were quite thoroughly discussed. The series was published in full in several periodicals including the Herald, and by order of the conference published in pamphlet form.
In the Herald for May 19, 1883, the editor chronicled some items regarding the history of Kirtland, which are, we think, of sufficient importance to record here. He stated:
Kirtland, since the Saints left it so many years ago, has been the scene of a great many ventures in religion, and quite a number of the offshoots of Mormonism have made efforts at a lodgment there. It was here that the portion of worshipers [worshippers] known as the followers of Zadoc Brooks had for a time their headquarters; and after them the Miner portion; then the effort of I. VanDusen, and lastly the Reorganization. Bro. J. F. McDowell, perhaps as much as any other one elder, is entitled to credit for its occupancy for many years as a local missionary field; and we think it was by him that a branch was organized, holding their services in the Temple, which the little band partially reclaimed from vandalism.
But Bro. McDowell came further west, and but few of the old number were left, among them Sr. Rebecca Dayton, E. Stratton, Bro. and Sr. Fahnestock, M. Scribner, Sr. Harvey, Father Bond and wife, and a few others.
But for many years the church has had only a nominal standing there, the branch dwindled away, until the keys of the Temple were left in charge of Sr. Dayton, who for the love she had for the Master, remained a devoted and faithful witness to whoever might call to see the Temple.
The Temple was levied upon and sold at sheriff sale, at or during the existence of the Brooks faction at Kirtland, and was bought by Elder Russell Huntley, who repaired it to some extent to preserve it from the weather. After the decay of Brooksism, Elder R. Huntley deeded it to Elder Mark H. Forscutt and Joseph Smith, during whose ostensible ownership suit was brought by the church and the title found to be in the church. The custody of the building has since then been in their hands through the Bishop, who held it by local agency.
A few years ago the idea of holding the annual spring session of conference at Kirtland in the Temple was broached and advocated by Bro. T. W. Smith, who believed that such holding of conference was not only feasible, but would do an incalculable amount of good. But at the time scarcely any but himself thought as Bro. Smith did on the subject, and his suggestion was not acted upon; it may have been because the time was not come. In the spring of 1882 the church met in conference at Independence, Missouri; and at that session the idea of meeting at Kirtland met with some favor, and looked less formidable than before. It was talked of more or less among the Saints, and the project took shape at the session held at Lamoni last fall, when it was resolved to meet there. Considerable doubt about its entire feasibility was entertained by some still; and the only plausible way that presented itself was to ask the church to aid in the work by contributing to the repairing of the building; which the Bishopric reported could be done for a certain sum to the extent of putting it into a state to be preserved. But as to the conference a commissary committee consisting of Brn. W. H. Kelley and Z. H. Gurley, who with the Bishopric were to be also a "committee of ways and means," was appointed, to make the necessary arrangements for holding the conference on the old camping ground. The men appointed to this
task did well. They took in the situation, and so far as the care of the visiting Saints and elders was concerned, we believe no one had reason to complain.
The Reorganized Church has held conference in Independence and Kirtland; at the latter place in the only temple built by Latter Day Saints, and accepted of God to his worship. And whatever the outside world may say, or think; or whatever the dwellers in Utah under President John Taylor may think, or say, the saints who met in the Temple last April may feel justly proud that the Lord blessed them there.
The day of our convening the question of molestation by uncivil or evil disposed persons was considered, and in conversation with one of the citizens we made inquiry in regard to local police authorities. He kindly gave the information desired, but stated that he thought we would not be disturbed. And to the great pleasure of the Saints, and to the credit of the people in and around Kirtland, we can write that no police officers were appointed by the conference, no application was made to local authorities, nor was there any necessity for either; the session throughout being one of the quietest, pleasantest, and best-behaved we have ever held.
If anybody wants to hear bugaboo stories about the Mormons we can assure them that they are plentier, huger, and blacker away from Kirtland than they are right there on the historic ground.
June 7 Samuel Brannon (see volume 3, pages 180-194) obtained a grant of land in Mexico from the Mexican Government consisting of forty leagues.
June 26 there was a discussion held at Center Point, West Virginia, between Reverend W. A. Cadle, of the Baptist Church, and Elder L. R. Devore.