THE early part of the year 1890 was not marked by any special items of importance; yet correspondence from different parts of the world indicate that the ministry were active, and that the different departments of church work were moving satisfactorily.
On January 12 Colton Branch was organized at Colton, California, by Heman C. Smith; William Gibson presiding elder, Charles Baly clerk.
February 11 a branch was organized in Maine by Elder J. C. Foss, and called the Head Harbor Branch.
March 3 Elder J. D. Erwin received some rough treatment at the hands of a mob in Howard County, Arkansas. Of this he writes:
Persecution still continues. I was taken out last night and severely beaten. According to appointment I went to Euclid, Howard County, and preached Saturday night, and Sunday at eleven o'clock in the forenoon, also at night, remaining over Monday night. Between midnight and day an armed and disguised mob dragged me from my bed, carried me about one mile, tied me down over a log and whipped me severely with large switches, and told me if I come back they would tie the rope around my neck. and tried to make me say I would leave the State. Then presenting me with a bottle they called strychnine asked me to drink; then they presented me with a bottle of whisky, saying "by - drink;" but I refused. The people are in a terrible stir about it. I am going to apply to the laws of the land for help.
What will become of such people? God knows. They indeed treated me cruelly.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 37, p. 212.
March 6 to 13 there was a debate held at Bellair, Illinois, between Elder E. L. Kelley and Elder Clark Braden of the Christian Church. The questions discussed were the claims of the two churches, the Book of Mormon, and the question as to the completeness of the cannon of scripture. The debate originated between Elder Hill of the Christian Church, and Elder George H. Hilliard; and they chose as substitutes the parties before mentioned.
The first reunion meeting of the Birmingham District, England, was held in Birmingham, commencing March 9.
March 23 to 25 there was a discussion held near Paris, Tennessee, between Elder R. C. Hill, of the Missionary Baptists, and Elder P. B. Seaton. The questions of church claims were canvassed.
March 24 a debate commenced between Doctor D. B. Ray, of the Baptist Church, and editor of the American Baptist, of St. Louis, Missouri, and Elder E. L. Kelley, at Lees Summit, Missouri. The questions discussed were church claims, including the question of Baptist succession, of which Elder Ray was considered the champion.
March 25 a council of the First Presidency and the Quorum of Twelve, convened at Lamoni, Iowa, for the purpose of canvassing certain questions which had previously caused some friction and discussion in the church.
The annual conference of 1890 convened at Lamoni, Iowa, April 6, and continued until the 15th. Joseph Smith was chosen presiding officer, assisted by W. W. Blair; H. A. Stebbins secretary, assisted by L. W. Powell and I. M. Smith.
There were present at the conference of the missionary force and reporting: W. W. Blair, A. H. Smith, J. H. Lake, J. R. Lambert, W. H. Kelley, Joseph Luff , Heman C. Smith, J. W. Gillen, G. T. Griffiths, E. C. Briggs, James Caffall, Charles Derry, M. H. Forscutt, H. A. Stebbins, R. C. Elvin, J. C. Crabb, C. G. Lanphear, E. C. Brand, Henry Kemp, I. M. Smith, R. C. Evans, W. T. Bozarth, I. N. Roberts, T. J. Beatty,
M. T. Short, A. J. Moore, James McKiernan, J. S. Roth, F. M. Sheehy, J. A. Carpenter, I. N. White, John Thomas, Columbus Scott, H. H. Robinson, M. M. Turpen, Peter Anderson, W. M. Rumel, G. H. Hilliard, M. H. Bond, U. W. Greene, F. M. Cooper, A. Haws, J. T. Kinneman, R. M. Elvin, R. Etzenhouser, Alfred White, C. E. Butterworth, D. M. Rudd, W. S. Pender, L. W. Powell, J. A. Currie, Jr., E. W. Nunley, James Thomas, William Newton, S. J. Madden, C. R. Duncan, and R. May.
The following missionaries reported to the conference by letter: T. W. Smith, A. H. Parsons, J. T. Davies, R. J. Anthony, J. F. McDowell, J. W. Wight, W. J. Smith, H. N. Hansen, J. F. Burton, Arthur Leverton, H. L. Holt, James Moler, L. R. Devore, Thomas Daly, J. B. Lytle, E. M. Wildermuth, Thomas Matthews, C. H. Caton, A. J. Layland, Thomas Taylor, W. M. Gibson, J. R. Cook, James Brown, Samuel Brown, S. W. L. Scott, C. A. Butterworth, J. Shields, A. E. Mortimer, Daniel Brown, James A. McIntosh, J. J. Cornish, V. D. Baggerly, M. R. Scott, D. L. Shinn, F. P. Scarcliff, Emsley Curtis, Levi Phelps, R. L. Ware, Frank Hackett, J. D. Erwin, G. R. Scogin, W. H. Griffin, B. R. Turnbow, Robert Davis, D. S. Crawley, J. G. Scott, T. W. Williams, S. G. Wright, and T. J. Lawn
The Church Recorder's report showed an aggregate gain of 2,935, and an aggregate loss of 1,147, leaving a net increase of 1,788. He reported the organization of twenty-three new branches, some of which we have no data regarding, and hence could not speak of them in their place in the body of the history. As reported they are as follows: Makemo, Takume, Taega, Raroia, Vengaroa, Tanere, and Amanu, in the Society Islands; Mountain Home and Valley Center in California; Denver in Colorado; North Fork in Illinois; Byrneville in Indiana; Echo in Indian Territory; Terre Haute in Iowa; Head Harbor in Maine; Sweet Home, Lowry City, Knobnoster, and Higbee in Missouri; Sharon in Pennsylvania; Haleys Creek in Tennessee; Cooks Point in Texas; and Gilman in Washington.
The report of the publishing house showed a total amount of cash receipts including balance on hand at last report of
$35,773.59; a total amount expended of $34,927.42; leaving a balance on hand of $846.17. Assets of the valuation of property, $30,442.64; with liabilities of $7,397.04, leaving a net valuation of $23,045.60.
The Bishop presented his financial report, which is too lengthy to record in detail. It was referred to a committee consisting of M. T. Short, M. H. Bond, and J. H. Wells, who reported finding the work neatly done and correct.
A resolution was adopted authorizing and empowering Bishop George A. Blakeslee and the business manager of the Board of Publication, David Dancer, to provide room for a church bindery; also a proper office for the Presidency, an office and vault that can be used by the Church Secretary and Recorder, editorial room, and proper office and vault for the Bishop.
The following preamble and resolution regarding the building of a home for the poor was presented and referred to the Bishopric, and they authorized to act in the matter as found practicable:
Whereas, The recognized duty of the church is to care for and provide for the poor; and Whereas, It is admitted that in their scattered condition they can not be cared for as they should be, therefore be it
Resolved, That we now take some active measures towards providing a home for the poor; such a home as will be in accord with the Savior's injunction, "Do unto others as you would that they should do unto you."
The following resolution was adopted, and Presidents Joseph Smith and W. W. Blair were appointed the committee provided for therein: "Resolved that a committee of two be selected by this body to prepare an article representing the faith and principles of the church, for standard encyclopedias and school histories."
The matter of the debt incurred by the Independence Branch in building a house of worship was considered, and the Bishopric was authorized to raise a special fund by taking such steps as should be deemed proper and as may be satisfactorily arranged with the local committee, to discharge the debt and complete the building.
The following resolution regarding the establishment of an
institution of learning was adopted, and the committee provided for appointed as follows: G. A. Blakeslee, I. L. Rogers, E. L. Kelley, David Dancer, Robert Winning, F. G. Pitt, and J. A. Robinson:
Resolved, That in the opinion of this conference, the time has arrived when it may be expedient to establish an institution of learning under the control or influence of our church organization, and to this end there shall be a committee appointed (by the body) to receive proposals for a location and take such other preliminary measures as may be necessary; and said committee are empowered after receiving such proposals to make all necessary arrangements for the establishment of such institution.
The committee subsequently reported recommending the opening of subscription books for a special fund to be known as the College Fund, and that the installment plan of subscription be adopted. One fifth of the amount to be due and payable six months from the 6th day of April, 1890, and the balance in equal payment every three months thereafter. E. L. Kelley and Robert Winning were appointed a committee to prepare the necessary subscription lists and books. These suggestions were adopted by the conference.
A resolution, presented by the Fifth Quorum of Elders, concerning the sale of tobacco, was presented and referred to the Quorum of Twelve. The Quorum subsequently reported: "In consideration of the matter referred to us by the body, arising in Fifth Quorum of Elders, the following was passed: Resolved, That it is our opinion that if the purposes for which tobacco is sold are such as are named in the Word of Wisdom, no exception should be taken, but if for other purposes, it should be discouraged in every legitimate way, and should be a bar to eligibility for General Conference appointment." No further action was had on this resolution.
The question of the ordination of high priests and the epistle of the Twelve which had been deferred for the two conferences previous, had been discussed in the council of the Presidency and the Twelve and submitted with other questions to the Lord for instruction. A revelation having been received by this council, it was presented to the conference giving instruction regarding the disposition of these
questions. Also giving other important instruction pertaining to the further organization of the church. 1
The quorums being called upon, the following responded as having unanimously approved the revelation prior to its being presented to the body: The Quorum of Twelve, the High Priests, the Seventy, the various Quorums of Elders, the Bishopric, Priests, Teachers, and Deacons. After this it was presented to the body, and adopted by a unanimous rising vote.
The Quorum of High Priests was asked if it still recommended for ordination those heretofore named; and the quorum reported that one had been dropped, and another had stated that he did not at present see the matter clearly
1 Unto My Servants, the First Presidency and the Traveling High Council of my Church;
Thus Saith the Spirit:
1. The Epistle is to be left without approval, or disapproval by the conference, as the judgment of the Quorum of the Twelve, until further experience shall have tested the matters therein stated. In the meantime, branches and their officers, and districts and their officers are to be considered as provided for by my law to carry on the work of the ministry in caring for the membership of the church, and to relieve the Twelve and Seventy from the vexation and anxiety of looking after local organizations when effected. When branches and districts are organized; they should be so organized by direction of the conferences, or by the personal presence and direction of the Twelve, or some member of that quorum who may be in charge, if practicable; or, if a branch, by the president of the district with the consent, knowledge and direction of the missionary in charge, when circumstances prevent the missionary in charge being present.
2. A branch may be presided over by a high priest, an elder, priest, teacher, or deacon, chosen and sustained by the vote of the branch. Districts may be presided over by a high priest, or an elder, who shall be received and sustained in his office by the vote of the district. If a branch, or district be large he who is chosen to preside should be an high priest, if there be one possessed of the spirit of wisdom to administer in the office of president; or if an elder be chosen who may by experience be found qualified to preside, as soon as practicable thereafter he should be ordained an high priest by the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the one ordaining, and by direction of a high council, or general conference, as required in the law.
3. There should be no conflict or jealousy of authority between the quorums of the church; all are necessary and equally honorable, each in its place. The Twelve and Seventy are traveling ministers and preachers of the gospel, to persuade men to obey the truth; the high priests and elders holding the same priesthood are the standing ministers to the church, having the watchcare of the membership and nurturing and sustaining them, under the direction and instruction of the Presidency and the Twelve. The Seventy when traveling by the voice of the church, or sent by the Twelve to minister the word where the Twelve can not go, are in the powers of their ministration apostles-those sent-and in meetings where no organization exists should preside, if no member of the Twelve or Presidency be present.
4. In both branches and districts the presiding officers should be considered and respected in their offices; nevertheless, the traveling presiding councils of the church being made by the law, their calling and the voice of the church the directing, regulating and advising authorities of the church, and representing it abroad, should when present in either district or branch be regarded and considered as the leading representative
enough to accept. The quorum presented for present action the names of David Chambers, Calvin A. Beebe, Jairus M. Putney, Asa S. Cochran, Frederick G. Pitt, James H. Peters, Jacob W. Waldsmith, Charles E. Butterworth, William Anderson, John A. Robinson, Robert M. Elvin. These recommendations were adopted. The Epistle of the Twelve, before under consideration, was indefinitely postponed.
The committee provided for in the revelation, composed of W. W. Blair, A. H. Smith, W. H. Kelley, Charles Derry, and M. H. Forscutt, to select men to compose the High Council of the church, after consultation reported to the body the following names to compose said High Council: W. H. Blair, F. G. Pitt, J. C. Crabb, A. S. Cochran, William Anderson, David Chambers, J. H. Peters, R. M. Elvin,
authorities of the church, and be respected as such, their counsel and advice be sought and respected when given; and in cases of conflict, or extremity, their decision should be listened to and regarded, subject to the appeal and adjudication provided for in the law.
5. He that heareth him that is sent heareth the Lord who sent him, if he be called of God and be sent by the voice of the church.
6. In these matters there is no conflict in the law.
7. In matters of personal importance and conduct arising in branches, or districts, the authorities of those branches and districts should be authorized and permitted to settle them; the traveling councils taking cognizance of those only in which the law and usages of the church are involved, and the general interests of the church are concerned. Where cases of difficulty are of long standing, the council may require local authorities to adjust them; and in case of failure to do so, may regulate them as required by their office and duty; and this that the work and church may not be put to shame and the preaching of the word be hindered.
8. That the traveling council of the Twelve may be better prepared to act as a quorum, my servant A. H. Smith may be chosen president of the Twelve, and any one of the council be chosen to act as its secretary, until the quorum be filled, or other instruction be given.
9. Those who were presented by the High Priests for ordination to their number, if approved by the council of the High Priests now present, and the conference, may be ordained; and from their number there maybe selected by a committee of conference composed of one of the First Presidency, the president of the Twelve and one other to be chosen by the council of twelve, the president of the High Priests and one other to be chosen by that council of their number, a sufficient number to fill the vacancies now existing in the High Council, that the High Council may be properly organized and prepared to hear matters of grave importance when presented to them. And this committee shall make these selections according to the spirit of wisdom and revelation that shall be given unto them, to provide that such council may be convened at any General Conference when emergency may demand, by reason of their residing at or near to places where conferences may be held.
10. The Presidents of Seventy are instructed to select from the several quorums of elders such as are qualified and in a condition to take upon them the office of Seventy, that they may be ordained unto the filling of the First Quorum of Seventy. In making these selections the Presidents of Seventy should confer with the several quorums before so selecting, and be guided by wisdom and the Spirit of revelation, choosing none but men of good repute.
David Dancer, Charles Derry, J. A. Robinson, C. A. Beebe. These were all approved by the conference, and it was resolved that the First Presidency call the Council and attend to the matter of organization as soon as they can conveniently.
The following preamble and resolution concerning Sunday-schools were adopted:
Whereas, The Sunday-school movement in the church, which is becoming an important part of the work of the body of Christ, has now arrived at that period of its existence that it invites and needs assistance and encouragement as well as recognition in a more general and definite way, Therefore, be it
Resolved, That this conference appoint a committee whose duty shall be to devise ways and means towards the further establishment of the Sunday-school work, with a view to making it a department of regular church work and care.
The several quorums reported to the body as usual, showing the following corrections and changes:
The High Priests reported the death of H. P. Brown and D. P. Young of their number; and at the conference the additions heretofore mentioned were made.
The Seventy reported that they had dropped B. V. Springer, and that U. W. Greene, whose ordination had been previously provided for, had been ordained. They recommended for ordination, Cornelius A. Butterworth, F. M. Cooper, J. A. Currie, Jr., Levi Phelps, L. W. Powell, and E. B. Morgan. These recommendations were all approved by the conference; and they were all ordained at the conference with the exceptions of Elders Butterworth and Phelps, who were not present. Their ordinations were provided for.
The First Quorum of Elders reported having enrolled to fill vacancies: M. B. Williams, C. A. Parkin, and John MacKenzie. They also reported having lost by death Abraham Hendrickson, Wallace W. Wood. They chose E. L. Kelley as president, and ratified his nomination of Alfred White and J. S. Snively as counselors; and enrolled D. L. Shinn, William Gibson, J. P. Carlile, J. Carlile, G. W. Shimel, W. F. Seward, L. W. Wells. Conference ratified the choice of officers, and they were ordained at the conference.
The Second Quorum of Elders reported having enrolled A. N. Fyrando, C. D. Carter, W. R. Calhoon, John H. Hunt, T. J. Martin, and E. F. Shupe; and having dropped for apostasy, Lewis Davis.
The Third Quorum of Elders reported having enrolled C. R. Duncan, P. B. Seaton, David McIntosh, S. R. Hay and W. M. Self.
The Fifth Quorum of Elders reported the loss by death of William Aird, E. A. Shelley, and Charles Herzing; and the loss of E. D. Bennett by being dropped from the quorum for cause. James L. Mortimer, J. H. Wells, T. C. Kelley, William Waterman, E. J. Lovell, C. H. Barr, and W. F. Clark were enrolled. They also reported that J. A. Robinson, Levi Phelps, J. A. Currie, Jr., had been removed from their quorum by ordination to higher offices, and that they had chosen J. H. Wells first counselor to the president in place of J. A. Robinson. This choice was approved and he was ordained at the conference.
The Second Quorum of Priests reported having lost L. W. Powell and W. F. Clark by ordination to higher offices, and that they had received instead W. B. Weston and John Traxler.
The Third Quorum of Priests was organized at this conference by E. C. Briggs and G. T. Griffiths of the Quorum of Twelve, with an enrolled membership of thirty-four, fourteen of whom were present. The members enrolled were: F. M. Weld, Lamoni, Iowa. Marce Sorensen, Lamoni, Iowa. Gomer R. Wells, Knobnoster, Missouri. Elijah Morrison, Buttsville, Missouri. Joseph Lilley, Higbee, Missouri. William Dodson. Lyman Little, Spring Valley, Iowa. J. M. Brown, Spring Valley, Iowa. John Smith, Avenue City, Missouri. Thomas D. Williams, Higbee, Missouri. M. P. Madison, Bedison, Missouri. Robert Johnston, Lamoni, Iowa. Edward Marshall, Hatfield, Missouri. C. C. Holcombe, Beaver, Wichita County, Texas. W. T. Shakespeare, Des Moines, Iowa. Sydney G. Wright, Tulare City, California. J. B. Roush, Fulton, Iowa. J. R. Sutton, Fulton, Iowa. William Jenkinson, Five Lakes, Michigan.
T. J. Lawn, Sacramento, California. Hiram E. Moler, Vales, Ohio. W. H. Rhodes, Sinking Springs, Ohio. A. M. Starkey, Santa Ana, California. Andrew Jensen, Valentine, Missouri. H. B. Sterrett, Lehi, Utah. John H. Taylor, Canada. T. E. Thompson, Beelerville, Kansas. D. F. Winn, Kansas City, Missouri. Fred J. Curtis, Stanberry, Missouri. Robert E. Grant, Kilkenney, Michigan. John Heide, Fulton, Iowa. Nephi Lovell, Iowa. Samuel Campbell, Burrell, Iowa. Andrew Bailey, Avenue City, Missouri.
F. M. Weld was chosen president, and Marce Sorensen and Gomer R. Wells counselors. These were ordained at the time of the organization of the quorum. Marce Sorensen was chosen secretary.
The Second Quorum of Teachers was organized at this conference by E. C. Briggs and G. T. Griffiths of the Twelve. The following members were present: N. W. Smith, A. K. Anderson, D. D. Young, John Weedmark, William Chapman, S. B. Kibler, Jacob Waltenbaugh, Sylvester Rew, J. R. Allen, Phelan Shaw, D. W. Johnston, John Harp, Price McPeek, Thomas Stuart, James Burchell, R. S. Gray, and Bant Bergersen. The following were received as members though not present: J. W. Ard, J. F. A. Smith, E. W. Lloyd, F. J. Reese, R. F. Hill, Alphonso Milotte; Norman W. Smith was chosen president, A. K. Anderson and D. D. Young counselors, who were ordained at the time of organization. John Weedmark was elected secretary.
The following missionary appointments were made: A. H. Smith and E. C. Briggs, Northern Illinois, Northern Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Manitoba, and Northwestern Ohio. J. H. Lake, Dominion of Canada, excepting Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. W. H. Kelley and Joseph Luff , New England States, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, New York, New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, with Delaware, Maryland, and District of Columbia. James Caffall, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Kansas. Joseph R. Lambert, Iowa and Missouri. Heman C. Smith and T. W. Smith, California, Oregon, Nevada, Washington, and Arizona. J. W. Gillen, Southern Illinois, Southern Indiana, Eastern Missouri, and those divisions
known as the Southeastern and Southwestern Missions, which embrace all the Southern States, Indian Territory included. G. T. Griffiths, Western Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio except the northwestern counties. Hyrum O. Smith, Garlands Grove District. G. H. Hilliard, Southern Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee. U. W. Greene, Eastern Mission. F. M. Sheehy, Eastern Mission. O. B. Thomas, Southern Iowa. Thomas E. Jenkins, Wales. Thomas Taylor, English Mission. Charles Derry, Little Sioux District, Iowa. D. S. Mills, California. J. C. Crabb, Nauvoo and String Prairie District. E. M. Wildermuth, Arkansas. J. F. McDowell, Little Sioux District, Iowa. J. L. Bear, Far West District, Missouri. J. F. Mintun, Northwestern Iowa. J. A. Davies, Southern Kansas. Lloyd W. Wells, Southern Iowa. W. H. Griffin, Kentucky and Tennessee. F. M. Cooper, Northern Illinois. G. W. Shute, Northwestern Kansas. R. Etzenhouser, under J. W. Gillen. M. R. Scott, Southern Indiana. James A. McIntosh, Canada. V. D. Baggerly, Southern Indiana. T. J. Martin, released. D. L. Shinn, West Virginia. D. S. Crawley, Kansas. J. W. Wight, Australia and New Zealand. R. J. Anthony, Rocky Mountain Mission. L. R. Devore, Society Islands, if practicable. J. C. Foss, Eastern Mission. J. C. Clapp, Pacific Slope Mission. W. J. Smith, Michigan, Northern Indiana, and Canada. Peter Anderson, Rocky Mountain Mission. A. J. Moore, Texas. A. H. Parsons, Eastern Mission. R. C. Evans, Canada. Arthur Leverton, Canada. Joseph F. Burton, Pacific Slope Mission. James Moler, Ohio and Virginia. Henry Kemp, Fremont and Pottawattamie Districts, Iowa. John Smith, Eastern Mission. John Thomas, Kentucky and Tennessee. Thomas Daly, Pacific Slope Mission. M. H. Bond, Eastern Mission. J. A. Carpenter, Michigan. T. J. Beatty, under G. T. Griffiths. I. N. White, Kansas and Missouri. Joseph Lakeman, Eastern Maine, as circumstances permit. H. N. Hansen, Pottawattamie District, Iowa. C. Scott, Eastern Mission. H. L. Holt, Pacific Slope Mission, as circumstances permit. M. M. Turpen, Southeastern Mission. E. C. Brand, Kansas. Thomas Matthews, Ohio and West Virginia. J. S. Roth, Eastern Iowa and Des Moines
District. J. B. Lytle, referred to missionary in Nebraska. J. Arthur Davies, Minnesota. I. N. Roberts, Minnesota and the Dakotas. Warren E. Peak, Nodaway District, Missouri. Evan A. Davies, Southern Missouri. James McKiernan, Des Moines District, Iowa. M. T. Short, Michigan and Northern Indiana. W. M. Rumel, Nebraska. H. H. Robinson, Northern Illinois. Duncan Campbell, Northeastern Missouri and Decatur District. Isaac M. Smith, Southern Illinois. John Shields, Canada. P. B. Seaton, Kentucky and Tennessee. Emsley Curtis, Missouri. Thomas Whiting, Eastern Mission. Samuel Brown, Canada. L. W. Powell, Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. T. W. Williams, Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. Robert Oehring, North and South Dakota. C. E. Butterworth, Far West District, Missouri. D. M. Rudd, Gallands Grove District, Iowa. J. G. Scott, Southern Indiana. S. W. L. Scott, Michigan and Northern Indiana. Thomas Wellington, Southern Iowa and Northern Missouri. J. J. Cornish, Michigan. F. C. Smith, Michigan. J. A. Currie, Jr., Texas. C. G. Lanphear, Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. E. W. Nunley, Texas and Tennessee. W. S. Pender, Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. Hiram Rathbun, Michigan and Northern Indiana. F. P. Scarcliff, Mississippi and Alabama. C. R. Duncan, Virginia. J. D. Erwin, Arkansas. G. R. Scogin, referred to missionary in charge and Bishopric. R. L. Ware, Central Missouri District. James Brown, Pittsburg [Pittsburgh] and Kirtland District. J. T. Kinneman, Far West District, Missouri. E. E. Wheeler, Kewanee District, Illinois. C. A. Butterworth, Australian Mission. James Thomas, Nodaway District, Missouri. Daniel Brown, California, as circumstances permit. T. J. Lawn, California, as circumstances permit. William Gibson, Southern California. Sydney G. Wright, California. Albert Haws, Sandwich Islands. E. A. Stedman, Minnesota. Levi Phelps, Michigan. Holmes J. Davidson, Nova Scotia. Swen Swenson, Independence District, Missouri. C. H. Porter, Nebraska. Henry Grim, Texas. Arthur Mortimer, Canada. C. H. Jones, Southern Iowa. R. E. Grant, Michigan, as circumstances permit. E. J. Martindale, Michigan, as circumstances permit. E. N. Webster, Massachusetts District, referred to missionary in
charge and Bishopric. I. P. Baggerly, Southern Indiana and Kentucky. J. E. Holt, California. J. S. Snively, referred to missionary in charge of Canada and Bishopric. Thomas C. Kelley, referred to missionary in charge of Southern Illinois and Bishopric. John R. Evans, Rocky Mountain Mission. W. J. Trembath, Victoria, Australia. John Johnston, Decatur District, Iowa. J. H. Wells, Missouri. Gomer R. Wells, Missouri. John W. Peterson, referred to missionary in charge of Illinois and Bishopric. Frank Hackett, Wisconsin. H. A. Stebbins, Decatur District, Iowa. M. H. Forscutt, St. Joseph, Missouri. R. M. Elvin, Nebraska. M. P. Madison, Nodaway District, Missouri, as circumstances permit. John Kaler, Independence District, Missouri. J. L. Goodrich, Southeastern Ohio and West Virginia. William Davis, Michigan. H. R. Harder, Decatur District, Iowa. E. B. Morgan, referred to missionary in charge of Pennsylvania and Bishopric. D. L. Harris, California. L. F. Daniels, Central Indiana. Riley Turnbow, Kentucky and Tennessee. James Adair, Kentucky and Tennessee. D. K. Dodson, Pottawattamie District, Iowa. Robert Davis, Michigan. James Kemp, Colorado.
By agreement of the First Presidency, Twelve, and Bishopric, a joint epistle was prepared by committees from each quorum, issued on April 16, and published in the Herald for April 26, 1890.
To the Saints and the Church at Home and Abroad; Greeting: The conference year just closed has been one of remarkable success in the gospel field and work. There have been over two thousand baptized and a marked increase in spirituality has been had as well as a decided advancement in the method, manner, and power in the presentation of the word by the traveling ministry.
The prospects in all the fields were never better; the opportunities for preaching and the calls for the work of the laborers have never been more numerous than now.
The prayers of the Saints are heard by the Lord: "Send forth more laborers into the vineyard, O Lord. 'The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few.'"
There are many laborers, compared with the means to furnish and keep them in the field, and there are many others who are ready to take the field as soon as they can be kept there-men who are prepared to show
their faith and take the field-so far as their own care of self is concerned-their families depending on the church to be protected from want and cared for. Those who pray most effectually are those who pray with both hearts and hands.
The financial conditions have much improved, and the support of that arm of the gospel service has been good. In all this we congratulate the Saints.
At the conference just closed there was an unusual attendance of the Spirit of the Master. Peace and harmony prevailed throughout. The different departments of the church were in unity, and oneness of purpose characterized the deliberations of councils, quorum meetings, and the public services of the session.
The preliminary deliberations of the council held between the Presidency and the Twelve were productive of better understanding and harmony between the colaborers of these two quorums. The difference supposed to have existed between these two quorums were amicably settled, and complete concert of action and work agreed upon, thus removing any "stones of stumbling" thrown in the way of progress by the "cunning craftiness" of him that lieth in wait to deceive.
There has never been a better and more certain basis of understanding, a more complete seeing "eye to eye" among the brethren of the various quorums than now exists.
All this is calculated to inspire the hope that the present year will be one of most excellent increase in numbers and greater spiritural [spiritual] growth. To insure this there is now a great need that the traveling ministry be well sustained. This will require that the hands of the Bishopric be upheld, like as the hands of Moses were during the great battle fought so long ago, by a continuation of the good work of sacrifice and the discharge of duty in temporal things prevailing this last year, and an additional vigilance to remember our offerings to the Lord, both of prayer, spiritual conduct, and temporal means.
There is an increased force of elders in the field which will require an increased outlay for the support of the families of those whom the church sustains. To meet this additional draft the church should rise to the emergency and devote liberally of that with which they may be blessed that the hands of the gospel banner bearing messengers may be loosened, the Bishopric strengthened and the work be done.
It is contemplated to open the work in the Scandinavian Mission at an early day; the men are ready, and if the Saints interested in this mission show their desire to have it presented in a substantial way, it will be undertaken.
We are privileged to state that the quorums of the church are not only at peace, but are at a oneness of desire and purpose to prosecute the work of the church to the utmost of the ability that God has given, and to the extent of the means that shall be at their command. Come to their help,
to the help of the Lord. Now is the accepted time to show forth the work of God in its beauty, majesty, and might.
JOSEPH SMITH, }
W. W. BLAIR: } Presidency.
ALEX. HALE SMITH }Com.
JOSEPH LUFF, }of the
JAMES W. GILLEN, }Twelve.
G. A. BLAKESLEE, }
E. L. KELLEY, }Bishopric.
LAMONI, Iowa, April 16, 1890.
On April 16 the organization of the High Council was effected as authorized by the conference. 2
A reunion for the Central California District convened at Tulare, California, May 2, and continued until the 11th. Joseph F. Burton and Daniel Brown presided. There were present and assisting in the services
2 Minutes of the organization of the High Council of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Lamoni, Iowa, April 16,1890.
The authority for organizing is found in paragraph 9 of the revelation of April 8, 1890, which reads: "Those who were presented by the High Priests for ordination to their number, if approved by the council of the High Priests now present, and the conference, may be ordained; and from their number there may be selected by a committee of conference composed of one of the First Presidency, the president of the Twelve, and one other to be chosen by the council of Twelve, the president of the High Priests, and one other to be chosen by that council of their number, a sufficient number to fill the vacancies now existing in the High Council, that the High Council may be properly organized and prepared to hear matters of grave importance when presented to them. And this committee shall make their selections according to the spirit of wisdom and revelation that shall be given unto them, to provide that such council may be convened at any General Conference when emergency may demand, by reason of their residing at or near to places where conferences may be held."
Those composing the above committee were W. W. Blair, of the First Presidency; Alexander H. Smith and William H. Kelley, of the Twelve; and Charles Derry and mark H. Forscutt, High Priests, who chose and reported as follows:
"Messrs. President and Brethren: Your committee appointed to select names to form a High Council, offer the following names: Winthrop H. Blair, Frederick G. Pitt, James H. Peters, J. C. Crabb, Asa S. Cochran, Charles Derry, David Dancer, William Anderson, David Chambers, Robert M. Elvin, John A. Robinson, Calvin A. Beebe.
"W. W. BLAIR."
Conference by a unanimous vote approved this report, and directed that the First Presidency call together those selected and organize the High Council.
Those nominated for the High Council, with the exception of C. A. Beebe, met in the, Students' room in the church at Lamoni, Iowa, April 16,1890, for the purpose of organizing the High Council of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Upon motion President W. W. Blair was chosen to preside, and R. M. Elvin as secretary. The secretary read section 99 Doctrine and Covenants, and section 104: 14,15. The president read "Millennial Star," volume 15, pages 12, 109, 261, and 284. Reference was made to "Herald," volume 1, pages 55, 58, 104, and 106. Adjourned to meet at half past two in the afternoon. Benediction by Bro. J. C. Crabb.
A second meeting was held at half past two in the afternoon. Open by singing hymn 311; prayer by Bro. Charles Derry. Minutes were read and approved. President W. W. Blair
of the meeting: Henry Green, J. M. Range, J. E. Holt, J. B. Carmichael, E. S. Durton, D. S. Mills, William Pooler, and S. G. Wright.
About this time a new work by William H. Kelley, entitled, "Presidency and Priesthood," was issued, of which the editor of the Herald says:
Elder W. H. Kelley's new book, "Presidency and Priesthood," is just to hand, and from a hasty glance through its pages and table of contents, we feel gratified in saying it is a valuable work, displaying as it does clearly "the Apostasy, Reformation and Restoration;" topics of vital importance to all men, especially professing Christians.
On May 8 Elder John Shields reported a debate that had taken place between Elder A. E. Mortimer and an Elder Woolner, of the Disciple Church, at Marsville, Canada, resulting in the baptism of five persons, four of whom were members of the Disciple Church represented in the debate.
On May 10 the Supreme Court of the United States rendered a decision affecting the church in Utah on a case
offered his resignation, and upon motion it was accepted, and President Joseph Smith, being present, was chosen to preside.
The following was the unanimous vote of the Council, that the Presidency of the church are the presidency of the High Council.
Robert M. Elvin was elected as secretary. Motion, that the president give such instruction as the Spirit may dictate, and such other items as may be necessary. President said it was his opinion that no councilor should compromise himself in any case, or doctrine, under controversy. When we act it is in the name of Christ, and for that which must abide as final in the church.
Motion that the Council proceed to set apart and ordain the councilors, which was done according to their age. President Smith ordained Councilors Winthrop H. Blair, Charles Derry, James H. Peters, David Chambers, Asa S. Cochran and Frederick G. Pitt; and President Blair ordained Councilors David Dancer, James C. Crabb, William Anderson, John A. Robinson, and Robert M. Elvin.
Elder Rudolph Etzenhouser being present was blessed by President Smith, as witness of the above ordinations and organization.
It was voted that the Council understands that casting of lots is at the time when they shall convene to sit upon a case. A fund was raised for necessary expenses; when it was voted that the secretary act as treasurer. Collection $6.55.
The secretary was instructed to prepare a report to be published in the "Herald," which shall also be our report to the next General Conference. It was ordered on motion that the president ordain Bro. C. A. Beebe as soon as practicable. Minutes read and approved.
Closed with prayer by the president.
JOSEPH SMITH, }
W. W. BLAIR, } Presidents.
ROBT. M. ELVIN, Secretary.
-See "Herald" vol. 87, p. 280.
appealed from the Supreme Court of Utah, growing out of the execution of the Edmunds Bill. 3
Early in May Elder T. W. Smith and wife arrived in San Francisco from their island mission. Elder George S. Lincoln, under date of May 19, spoke of them as follows: "Apostle T. W. Smith is here with us from Tahiti. He is well and strong. Sr. Smith is sick. I have not seen her yet. We had a full house at church last night to hear Bro. T. W."
May 27 Elmwood Branch, Cass County, Nebraska, was organized by James Caffall, missionary in charge, and J. W. Waldsmith, district president. Delbert Tyson was chosen to preside, J. W. Hollenbeck teacher, Leslie Hollenbeck secretary, L. A. Tyson treasurer.
3 WASHINGTON, D. C., May 10.-The Supreme Court of the United States to-day rendered an opinion of vital interest to the Mormon church in the suit of the Church of Latter Day Saints against the United States, on appeal from the decision of the Supreme Court of Utah, in favor of the United States. This court affirms that judgment. This case grows out of the passage of the Edmunds anti-polygamy law by the Forty-ninth Congress. This law, among other things, dissolved the Mormon church corporation, annulled its charter, directed the appointment of a receiver to wind up its affairs, and escheated to the United States all the real estate owned by the church in excess of fifty thousand dollars, which was not, on the date of the passage of the act, held for purposes of worship or burial. When the United States, under the terms of this act began proceedings to confiscate two hundred fifty thousand dollars worth of property belonging to the church the Mormons immediately entered suit to have the Edmunds law declared unconstitutional.
It was argued before the Supreme Court in their behalf that Congress, by the dissolution of the church corporation, had assumed judicial powers, and that the act of the legislative assembly of Utah incorporating the church constituted a contract which could not be impaired by Congress under its authority to repeal territorial enactments. On the part of the United States it was contended that Congress had authority to repeal all territorial enactments; that the act incorporating the church was invalid as an attempt to establish a religion contrary to the provisions of the Constitution, and that, moreover, the charter should be annulled for abuse of the granted rights. After an elaborate historical review of the common law the court comes to the conclusion that Congress had the right to seize the property, and says: "The Congress had before it a contumacious organization, wielding by its resources an immense power in the territory of Utah and employing these resources in constantly attempting to oppose, subvert, and thwart the legislation of Congress and the will of the government of the United States. Under such circumstances we have no doubt of the right of Congress to do as it did. The decree of the lower court to affirmed."
Justice Bradley delivered the opinion. Chief Justices Field and Lamar dissent, holding that the power of Congress to legislate over the Territories was not incident to the treaty-making power, and its power was restricted directly to that expressed or implied in the institution, which grants no such power as that involved in this case.