JUNE 1 Royal B. Young was sentenced by Judge Zane to one and a half years imprisonment and nine hundred dollars fine for unlawful cohabitation; and this is but one of many similar sentences pronounced about this time and soon after, against the polygamists of Utah.
With the number for June 1, the publication of the Saints' Advocate ceased.
The effort to repair the Kirtland Temple was renewed, and in the June 5 number of the Saints' Herald an appeal to the Saints for aid in this work was made by the committee, consisting of William H. Kelley and G. A. Blakeslee.
A branch was organized at Chelsea, Michigan, June 13, by P. W. Premo, and named Chelsea Branch. The only officers ordained were a priest and teacher.
The situation in Utah is aptly portrayed by Elder R. J. Anthony under date of June 16 as follows:
The people in the mountains are sorely pressed and distressed. To all outward appearance they are almost driven to desperation. While I know they are wrong, I am pleased to see the degree of patience and forbearance exhibited by them. There is no rest or peace for this poor misguided people now. The marshals are raiding the settlements daily, and taking the polygamists wherever they find them, with their families, and placing them under bonds. Many of the polygamists are fleeing after their false and fleeing shepherds. Brigham used to say that the day would come when "judgment would be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet;" and when Johnston's army was on the way here, he said they should be harassed until they should not have "sleep to their eyes nor slumber to their eyelids." This surely is the time; only it comes the other way. Perhaps there never has been a day like unto this in these mountains. There has been a time here when no man could safely speak against the "priesthood," or fairly oppose their measures without being denounced in public and private as an apostate, or a vile wretch. And because of the fear and complete isolation many were compelled to submit to a state of cruel oppression.
The Salt Lake Herald for July 4 contained the following resolutions, which reveal the growing desire of the people of Utah to gain access to the sisterhood of States.
Whereas, A colonial or territorial form of government in the United States was never intended to be only temporary government-to continue until the people of the respective Territories were sufficiently numerous and capable of sustaining a State government; and
Whereas, To continue a territorial form of government after the people are capable and willing to assume the responsibilities thereof is cruel, and moreover a breach of faith with American citizens of the Territories, and contrary to American principles; and
Whereas, Utah has a population sufficient, and is capable of sustaining a State government, and is anxious to assume the responsibility; and
Whereas, Her people are loyal to the American system of government, being devoted to republican; and
Whereas, The general government has no reasonable excuse for keeping Utah out of the Union; therefore
Be it Resolved, That Utah throw off the garments of territorial vassalage, and that she is and of right ought to be a sovereign coordinate State in the American Union, on an equal footing with the original States in all respects whatever.
The question of revelation and revelators was at this time receiving much earnest and prayerful consideration. This led to the publication of articles in the Saints' Herald combating the idea that "each and every individual must or may sit in judgment upon what is given to God's people in a regular way by his prophet;" and contending that "whatever, in the providence of God, came to the Saints in a regular authentic manner as 'thus saith the Lord,' by duly accredited prophets, was accepted for just what it claimed, when the authority of the individual to deliver the word of the Lord to the people was properly established."
Other men of the church combated these ideas, and took decided ground in favor of the right and duty of the inhabitants of Zion to "judge all things pertaining to Zion." These differences, while they may have affected disastrously a few, served to develop the real strength of the work, and the eternal character of the foundations on which it rests.
Under date of August 6, Elder Joseph Dewsnup wrote from England, describing the gospel work in that land, as follows:
Since last I wrote you I have had the privilege of attending the mission conference, which was held in Birmingham on the 12th, 13th, and 14th of June last. The tone and temper of those taking part in the business proceedings of said conference were admirable, and speak well for the future relationship of the Saints of this mission with one another, providing the same charitable disposition be maintained. There were several subjects presented that contained within themselves much that required cautious deliberation, strongly impregnated with charity and that perfect love which casteth out all fear; and I am pleased in being able to say that there was more of forbearance and less of irritation exhibited than has been the ease at some similar gatherings in the times that are past .. . .
I had the pleasure on Wednesday, the 4th instant, of leading six more into covenant with God, through baptism. The interest in the work seems to increase daily, and the brethren and sisters, with few exceptions, are indefatigable in their endeavors to spread the gospel amongst their friends and neighbors; and the description here given will apply with equal propriety to the brethren and sisters in each part of the district
Some time in the fore part of August Elder J. J. Cornish held a debate with a representative of the Simite Order, at Bay City, Michigan, which a vote of the hearers decided very largely in favor of Elder Cornish. The Simite elder affirmed that there had been no apostasy from primitive christianity, and hence there was no need of a restoration. Elder Cornish denied.
Elder I. N. White held a debate about the same time with an elder of the Christian Church, in Cedar County, Missouri, which resulted in much good.
Elder Joseph F. Burton wrote from New South Wales, under date of August 30, giving an account of the organization of a branch at North Forster, known as the Forster Branch; and also of a debate with Reverend Phillips, a Church of England minister, on a proposition involving the identity of the church in doctrine and organization with the church organized by Christ, and the necessity for immersion.
For some time previous to this, M. Walker, editor of the Hope, had been making a special effort to secure an enlargement of the paper, and in September had the satisfaction of seeing her labors crowned with success.
In Saints' Herald for October 16 appeared an article entitled "The Work in Wales," by Elder Joseph Dewsnup, Sr. He gave quite a graphic description of his visit to the Wales conference at Cardiff in company with Elder Thomas Taylor and others, and condemned earnestly the sin of drunkenness and other sins which retarded the work in Wales.
The general annual reunion of this year met at Garner's Grove, Harrison County, Iowa, Saturday, October 2, and lasted over two Sundays. President Joseph Smith was chosen to preside, and W. W. Blair and J. C. Crabb as assistants. W. C. Cadwell was elected secretary. W. C. Cadwell also acted as marshal, and W. T. Fallon as chief of police.
The following ministers preached the word to large throngs of people during the reunion: Joseph Luff, Joseph Smith, Charles Derry, John A. McIntosh, W. H. Garrett, J. S. Roth, Duncan Campbell, M. T. Short, W. T. Bozarth, David Chambers, J. F. McDowell, E. C. Brand, W. W. Blair, J. C. Crabb, George A. Blakeslee, George S. Hyde. Forty-two persons were baptized during the reunion. It was estimated that from five to six thousand people were on the grounds the last Sunday of the reunion.
October 10 the Oakland Branch, California, resolved to incorporate the branch. Articles of incorporation were adopted, and George Bartholomew, H. P. Brown, and William Anderson were elected directors.
October 17 the new church edifice erected at Omaha, Nebraska, was dedicated. The opening prayer was offered by Elder James Caffall, the dedicatory prayer by President Joseph Smith, who also preached the dedicatory sermon.
October 24, James Sloan who was in 1842 and 1843 Church Recorder at Nauvoo, Illinois, died at Sacramento, California.
The Saints' Herald of November 20 contains the following account of a remarkable case of healing, given by Thomas Harris:
I wish to say what God has done for one in our family. My daughter-in-law was deaf in one ear since she was a child, from the effect of measles. When our beloved Bro. R. J. Anthony was here she wished to be administered to. Brn. Anthony and J. E. Reese were called; she was administered to, and on Sunday following she received her hearing perfectly, for which we praise the name of our Redeemer. Brn. L. B. and Loren Gaulter were in the house at the time; the Spirit's influence was felt by all in such power that tears of joy flowed from all present.
Elder R. C. Evans held a debate at Vanessa, Ontario, the night of December 5, with Reverend Sims, presumably of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Elder Evans affirmed the following proposition: "Resolved, That baptism is essential to salvation." The debate was followed by lectures delivered by Reverend Sims, who made a
vigorous effort to overthrow the gospel work in that locality. These lectures were replied to by Elder Evans.
What is known as the Whitmerite movement was at this time attracting some attention, and some of its representatives were actively disseminating its theories. The claim was made that David Whitmer had the right of presidency over the church by reason of his ordination to the presidency of the High Council of Zion, July 3, 1834. These claims attracted some attention from both members of the church and the outside world. From this fact, and by reason of purported interviews with Elder Whitmer, which were published in leading papers, containing matters regarded as erroneous and injurious by the editors of the Saints' Herald, Presidents Joseph Smith and W. W. Blair, they published a lengthy and critical review of Elder Whitmer and his work in the Herald, to which he made reply to a degree, which was also published therein. The Whitmerite movement soon began to wane, and secured thereafter but a small amount of attention from any source.
On November 7 Elder T. W. Smith wrote from Temarie Anaa, giving the following interesting incidents concerning the islands:
It is now two years since we landed in Papeete (November 6, '84), and it may not be amiss to give you our views of the condition of the mission and its peculiarities and necessities. I found here three distinct and antagonistic parties, claiming to regard Joseph Smith, the Martyr, as the prophet of the latter times. One of these, residing mainly on this island (Anaa), ignored Joseph, the son, or (Iotefa te tamaiti) as he is commonly called, and all apostles, except Benjamin F. Grouard; that is they knew only Joseph the father and Grouard; and of course they knew nothing of the prophetic calling of Joseph, only as Grouard taught them. About all they seem to remember is, that Grouard said that Joseph was a prophet, and had translated the Book of Mormon, and that he was sent out here by Joseph as a missionary-a seventy, I believe. They remember what he said about Ephraim and Manasseh, and Joseph's land, in Genesis 48:49, and Deuteronomy 33; and about the "book," in Isaiah 29, and Ezekiel 37. So that when I call their attention to these teachings they say, "That is the same as Turuati taught." This party are very few in number, that is, those who heard Grouard, and were baptized by him. I have not found over twenty in all this mission. The rest are dead, or because of persecution waged against them by Catholics, about 1852; and because they had
no shepherd for over thirty years, have gone into the Catholic Church. The local organizations have been kept up, but the great majority of the membership are young people or rather those who were unborn, or very young when Grouard went away; but they talk as glibly about what Turuati taught, as if they had heard him for themselves, but do not know what he taught. There was one oversight on the part of Grouard, and that was a failure to translate the laws of the church affecting the duties of the various officers of the branch, and the duties of the members, and concerning the conferences, etc.
There are some branches which do not receive the church, and refuse to acknowledge the revelations contained in the book of Doctrine and Covenants; because as they say, that Grouard did not tell them anything about such a book. They supposed that the formula of baptism, and the prayers in the sacramental service, and the duties of priests, teachers, and deacons, which he taught them was learned from Joseph, and not from any printed book, which the church here was to receive as authoritative, and from which he had learned what he had taught them.
The second class were those who had departed from the faith as taught by Brn. Rodger and Wandell in 1873, the few days they were in Tahiti. They had been baptized (most of them) by elders ordained by these brethren, who without thought as to the interpretation that would be put upon it, in their certificates of appointment to missions-called the appointees "elders in Israel," and from this, without warrant of course, they got the idea that Israel was to be part of the church name, and that they were Israelites in the flesh. From this grew the idea of Abraham being their head to the disparagement of the Messiah. From these mistakes grew the title "Israelites," and an antagonism between the Grouardites and them, and the feeling was not far from bitter. The Israelites went to one extreme, and the other party to the other, for while the former gave more prominence to Israel than is justifiable by the scriptures, the others began to condemn everything Israelitish, and forgot the fact that Jesus himself was an Israelite in the flesh, and that "salvation is of the Jews." I have had to fight two of these parties with the truth found on middle ground. .
These people are of Israelitish origin I am satisfied-and for several reasons; and like Israel of old, they are a crooked, perverse, stiff-necked generation. I soon got them to see the truth about Abraham and Israel, and I have found them ever since, more humble, teachable, and tractable than these Anaa people, whose cry is, eternally' "Anaa te upoo;" "Anaa is the head."
The third class were those whom I found in Tahiti and Maatea, these were squarely with the Reorganization, the good fruit of the labors of Brn. Wandell and Rodger. The wisest, and best informed, and most earnest ones I found in these places. They had indeed an advantage, for they had the Herald coming to them which they now and then had translated by Mr. Barff. I would like to see the Herald taken in every
branch, but what good would it do, as on but few islands could they get the articles translated, for even if men could be found capable, yet they would in most cases be Catholics, and they would not translate honestly, and besides they would not know what to select for translation. . . .
While there are many extremely discouraging matters connected with this mission and many, very many of the natives seem not to be worth the expense and labor connected with it, I can not conscientiously advise an abandonment of the mission; but think that at least two earnest, intelligent elders be sent out here, and that at once.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 34, p. 246.
A seven-day debate was held at Tunnelhill, Illinois, between Elder E. L. Kelley and Elder Thomas Williams of the Christadelphians, commencing November 12, involving consciousness after death, immortality of the spirit, annihilation, resurrection of the dead, the premillennial existence of the kingdom of God, the attribute of divinity in Christ while in the flesh, divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon.
Elder Joseph F. Burton, under date of December 23, communicated to the Saints' Herald the following gratifying news of the progress of the work in New South Wales:
We got back here about the first of the month, leaving the branch at Nambucca in excellent condition spiritually, and with an addition of ten to their membership, added during our stay among them. The ire of the clergy of orthodoxy was raised to so great a pitch, that one of them met me and challenged for debate upon the divinity of the Book of Mormon. I accepted; all the arrangements were made; we then talked an hour or two upon our faith, and before he left he backed down and out from the proposed debate, though the Bush missionary who came with him urged him to go on with it. . . . Shortly after we arrived here we baptized eight more, and the following week we went out to the Manning to see what we could do. We were all the week there before we could get a meeting-Saturday evening being the first.
Elder I. N. White held a six-day debate at Schell City, Missouri, commencing December 27, on the respective claims of the Latter Day Saint and Christian Churches, the latter being represented by Reverend Blalock.
December 30 a branch was organized by Elder I. N. Roberts, at Medina City, Texas, with J. A. Currie, Jr., president, and Hattie Wight clerk.