It will not be expected that I should recapitulate the circumstances which then transpired, which were of an extraordinary character, as numbers have written on the subject: suffice it to say, that the Saints suffered privations, hunger, abuse, cold, famine, and many of them death. Yes, the blood of the Saints has stained the soil of Missouri, for which the King of Kings and Lord of Hosts will recompense upon her, the punishment of her crimes.
From about the 6th of August, until the 1st of November, it was a continual scene of agitation, and alarm, both by night and by day. The enemies of righteousness were determined to overthrow the Saints, and regardless of all law (which was trampled upon with impunity,) they made every preparation, and used every means in their power to accomplish their unhallowed designs.
The Saints, tenacious of their liberties, and sacred rights, resisted these unlawful designs, and with courage worthy of them, they guarded their families and their homes, from the aggressions of the mob, but not without the loss of several lives, among whom was my much esteemed and much lamented friend, Elder David W. Patten who fell a sacrifice to the fell spirit of persecution, and a martyr to the cause of truth. The circumstances of his death I will briefly relate.
It being ascertained that a mob had collected on Crooked River in the county of Caldwell, a company of sixty or seventy persons immediately volunteered from Far West to watch their movements and repel their attacks, and chose Elder Patten for their commander, they commenced their march about midnight, and came up to the mob very early next morning, and as soon as the brethren approached near to them, they were fired upon, when Capt. Patten received a shot, which proved fatal; the mob after firing, ran away. Several others of the brethren were wounded at the same time, some of whom afterwards died.
Immediately on receiving intelligence that Brother Patten was wounded, I hastened to see him. When I arrived he appeared to be in great pain, but was glad to see me. He was conveyed about four miles, to the house of Brother Winchester. During his removal his sufferings were so excruciating, that he frequently desired us to lay him down that he might die. But being desirous to get him out of the reach of the mob, and among friends, we prevailed upon him to let us convey him there.
He lived about an hour after his arrival, and was perfectly sensible and collected until he breathed his last.–Although he had medical assistance, yet his wound was such, that there was no hope entertained of his recovery; this he was perfectly aware of. In this situation, while the shades of time were lowering, and eternity to his view, he bore a strong testimony to the truth of the work of the Lord, and the religion he had espoused.
The principles of the gospel which were so precious to him before, were honorably maintained in natures’ final hour, and afforded him that support and consolation at the time of his departure, which deprived death of its sting and its horror. Speaking of those who had fallen from their steadfastness, he exclaimed, “O that they were in my situation; for I feel I have kept the faith, I have finished my course, henceforth there is laid up for me a crown which the Lord, the righteous Judge shall give to me,” and etc.
Speaking to his beloved partner, who was present and who attended him in his dying moments, he said, “Whatever you do else, O, do not deny the faith!” He all the while expressed a great desire to depart. I spoke to him and said, “Brother David, when you get home I want you to remember me.” He immediately exclaimed “I will.” At this time his sight was gone. We felt so very much attached to our beloved brother, that we beseeched the Lord to spare his life and endeavored to exercise faith in the Lord for his recovery. Of this he was perfectly aware, and expressed a desire, that we should let him go, as his “desire was to be with Christ which was far better.” A few minutes before he died he prayed as follows: “Father I ask thee, in the name of Jesus Christ, that thou wouldst release my spirit and receive it unto thyself:” and then said to those who surrounded his dying bed, “Brethren, you have held me by your faith, but do give me up and let me go I beseech you.” We then committed him to God, and he soon breathed his last, and slept in Jesus without a groan.
This was the end of one who was an honor to the Church and a blessing to the Saints: and whose faith and virtues and diligence in the cause of truth will be long remembered by all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance, and his memory will be had in remembrance by the Church of Christ from generation to generation.
It was indeed a painful circumstance to be deprived of the labors of this worthy servant of Christ, and cast a gloom upon the Saints: yet the glorious and sealing testimony which he bore of his acceptance with heaven, and the truth of the gospel, was a matter of joy and satisfaction not only to his immediate friends, but to the Saints at large.
During my stay here [Kirtland] and on the 17th February 1834, a general council of twenty four High Priests assembled at the house of Joseph Smith jr., by revelation, and proceeded to organize the High Council of the Church of Christ, which was to consist of twelve High Priests. The number composing the council who voted in the name of and for the church in appointing these councilors were forty three, as follows; nine high priests, seventeen elders, four priests, and thirteen members. During this time I received much precious instruction concerning the order of the kingdom.
When I got to Kirtland the brethren were engaged in building the House of the Lord. The commandment to build the house, [temple] and also the pattern of it was given in a revelation to Joseph Smith jr., Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams, and was to be erected by a stated time. The church was in a state of poverty and distress, in consequence of which it appeared almost impossible that the commandment could be fulfilled, at the same time our enemies were raging and threatening destruction upon us, and we had to guard ourselves night after night, and for weeks were not permitted to take off our clothes, and were obliged to lay with our fire locks in our arms.
At this time also, our brethren were suffering great persecution in Jackson county, Missouri; about twelve hundred were driven, plundered and robbed; and their houses burned and some were killed. The whole country seemed to be in arms against us, ready to destroy us. Brother Joseph received a lengthy revelation concerning the redemption of Zion, which remains to be fulfilled in a great measure. But he thought it best to gather together [Zions Camp] as many of the brethren as he conveniently could, with what means they could spare and go up to Zion to render all the assistance that we could to our afflicted brethren. We gathered clothing and other necessaries to carry up to our brethren and sisters who had been stripped; and putting our horses to the wagons, and taking our firelocks and ammunition, we started on our journey; leaving only Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, and the workmen who were engaged at the Temple; so that there were very few men left in Kirtland. Our wagons were about full with baggage &c., consequently we had to travel on foot. We started on the 5th of May, and truly this was a solemn morning to me. I took leave of my wife and children and friends, not expecting ever to see them again, as myself and brethren were threatened both in that country and in Missouri by the enemies, that they would destroy us and exterminate us from the land.
There were about one hundred brethren in our company who started for Zion. These brethren were all young men and nearly all elders, priests, teachers and deacons. The second day we arrived at New Portage, being about 50 miles, at which place on the 7th, we made regulations for traveling, and appointed a paymaster whose name was Frederick G. Williams, and put all of our monies into a general fund. Some of the brethren had considerable, and others had little or none, yet all became equal. While here one of my horses received a kick from another horse, which obliged me to trade away my span, and get another span of older horses. We then proceeded on our journey twelve miles to the Chippeway. Here we pitched our tents under a pine grove. The next day we were divided into companies of twelve each, and captains were appointed over each company. I then organized my company in the following manner, appointing two to attend to cooking, two to see that fires were made, two to prepare the tent at night and prepare the bedding, and also to strike the tent each morning, two to fetch and provide water, one to do the running, two to see to the horses, see that the wagon was greased, and every thing prepared for starting. My business was to see that the company was provided for, and to see that all things were done in order. Our living generally was very good, being able to buy bread from the bakers on the way through the settled part of the country. After this we purchased flour and had to bake our own bread. We sometimes had to live mostly on johnny cake and corn dodger, and sometimes our living was scant. Every night before we went to bed we united in our tent and offered up our prayers before the Lord for protection. This was done at the sound of a trumpet; and at the sound of the trumpet in the morning, every man was upon his knees and some one made prayer. There was a similar order attended to in each tent. There were higher officers appointed over the company.
On the 8th we started on our journey, and on Saturday the 10th, we passed through Mansfield and camped for the Sabbath in Richfield. On Sunday the 11th, brother Sylvester Smith preached and the sacrament of bread and wine was administered to the company. On monday the 12th we passed over the Sandusky Plains, and through the Indian settlements.–We then passed through a long range of beech woods, where the roads were very bad. In many instances we had to fasten ropes to the wagons to haul them out of the sloughs and mud holes. While passing through these woods, the brethren scattered on each side the road and went to hunting for wild game. We came to Belle-fontain where we first discovered refractory feelings in Sylvester Smith. We passed through a very pleasant country to Dayton Ohio, where we crossed the Miami River, which is a very beautiful stream; the water being only about two and a half feet deep, most of the brethren forded it. We arrived at this place on Friday the 16th. The brethren were in good spirits, and the Lord was with us. On Saturday the 17th we passed into Indiana, just on the line betwixt the State of Ohio and Indiana, where we camped for the Sabbath, having travelled forty miles that day. Our feet were very sore and blistered, and our stockings were wet with blood, the weather being very warm.
This night a spy from the enemy attempted to get into our camp but was stopped by the guard. We had our sentinels or guards appointed every night, on account of spies continually harassing us. On this evening there was quite a difficulty between some of the brethren and Sylvester Smith, on occasion of which brother Joseph was called to decide the matter. Finding quite a rebellious spirit in Sylvester Smith, and to some extent in others, he said that they would meet with misfortunes, difficulties and hindrances, “and you will know it before you leave this place”; exhorting them to humble themselves before the Lord and become united, that they might not be scourged. A very singular occurrence took place that night, and the next day concerning our teams. On the following morning when we arose we found almost every horse in the camp so badly foundered that we could scarce lead them a few rods to the water. The brethren then deeply realized the effects of discord. When brother Joseph learned the fact he exclaimed to the brethren, that for a witness that God overruled and had his eye upon them, that all those who would humble themselves before the Lord, should know that the hand of God was in this misfortune, and their horses should be restored to health immediately, and by twelve o’clock the same day the horses were as nimble as ever, with the exception of one of Sylvester Smith’s which soon afterwards died.
On Sunday the 18th we had preaching as usual and administered the sacrament. I did not attend meeting myself as I was writing a letter to my companion. Monday 19th we passed through Indianapolis where we crossed White River. The teams forded the river–most of the brethren crossed over the new bridge which was unfinished. We were threatened by our enemies that we should not go through the town, but we passed through quietly and were not molested, everything appeared to be in perfect silence as we went through, although the people looked aghast as if fear had come upon them. At night we camped on an open spot, the height of an eminence. Here we lost one horse. On Sunday the 25th we arrived at the edge of Illinois. We had no meeting but attended to washing and baking to prepare for our journey again. On Monday 26th, we resumed our journey. At night we were alarmed by the continual threatening of our enemies. I would here remark that notwithstanding so many threats were thrown out against us we did not fear not hesitate to proceed on our journey for God was with us, and angels went before us, and we had no fear of either men or devils. This we know because they (angels) were seen. On Tuesday the 27th we came to the Kaskaskia,–a deep river,–where we found two skiffs: we took and lashed them together and they served as a kind of ferry boat. We took our baggage out of our wagons and put it on board and ferried it across; then took our wagons and horses, and swam them across, and when they got them to the shore side, the brethren cast ropes into the tongues of the wagons, and helped the horses and wagons out of the river; others fell trees and laid them across the river, and thus helped themselves over. In this way we were all enabled to cross in safety. Wednesday the 28th we reached the town of Decatur. Here we lost another horse.
Saturday the 31st at night, we camped one mile from Jacksonville and prepared for the Sabbath. On sunday, June 1st, we had preaching all day, and many of the inhabitants of the town came out to hear. Brother John Carter preached in the morning. By this time the inhabitants began to flock down in companies to hear preaching, as they understood we were professors of religion and had had a meeting in the morning. Brother Joseph then proposed that some of the brethren should set forth different portions of the gospel in their discourses, as held by the religious world. He called upon brother Joseph Young to preach upon the principles of free salvation. He then called upon brother Brigham Young to speak, who set forth baptism as essential to salvation. He was followed by brother Orson Hyde who proved by the scriptures that baptism was for the remission of sins. He next called upon brother Lyman Johnson, who spoke at some length upon the necessity of men being upright in their walk, and keeping the Sabbath day holy. He then called upon brother Orson Pratt who delivered an excellent discourse on the principles of the final restoration of all things. The services of the day were concluded by a powerful exhortation from Eleazer Miller. His voice was said to be heard a mile and a half.
I would here remark concerning brother Eleazer Miller who was one of the first that brought the gospel to us in Mendon New York, when he used to retire to a little grove near my house for secret prayer, he would get so filled with the spirit and power of the Holy Ghost that he would burst out into a loud voice, so that he was heard by the surrounding inhabitants for more than a mile. After the day’s services were over at this place many strangers were in our camp making remarks upon the preaching which they had heard. They said that brother Joseph Young by his preaching they should judge was a Methodist. They thought brother Brigham Young was a close communion Baptist. Brother Orson Hyde they supposed was a Campbellite, or reformed Baptist.–Brother Lyman Johnson they supposed was a Presbyterian, and brother Orson Pratt a Restorationer. They enquired if we all belonged to one denomination. The answer was, “We were some of us Baptists, some Methodists, some Presbyterians, some Campbellites, some Restorationers &c.” On Monday morning when we passed through Jacksonville, they undertook to count us, and I heard one man say, who stood in the door of a cabinet shop that he had counted a little rising of five hundred, but he could not tell how many there were. This thing was attempted many times in villages and towns as we passed through, but the people were never able to ascertain our number.
One circumstance that occurred while we were traveling in Indiana, I will here mention, concerning some spies who came into our camp. One day while we were eating dinner three gentlemen came riding up on very fine looking horses and commenced their inquiries of various ones concerning our traveling in so large a body, asking where we were from, and where we were going. The reply was as usual some from the state of Maine, another would say, I am from York State, some from Massachusetts, some from Ohio, and some replied, we are from the east, and as soon as we have done eating dinner we shall be going to the west again. They then addressed themselves to Doctor Williams to see if they could find out who the leader of the camp was. The Doctor replied, we have no one in particular. They asked if we had not a general to take the lead of the company? The reply was, no one in particular. But said they, is there not some one among you who you call your captain, or leader, or superior to the rest? He answered, sometimes one and sometimes another takes charge of the company so as not to throw the burden upon any one in particular. These same spies who had come from the west passed us that same day, or the next.
On Monday, June 2nd, we crossed the Illinois River. The enemies had threatened that we should not pass over here, but we were ferried across without any difficulty. Here we were counted by the ferryman, and he declared we were five hundred in number, although there was only about one hundred and fifty of us. Our company had increased since we started from Kirtland, in consequence of many having volunteered and joined us from the different branches of the church, through which we had passed in our journey. We camped on the bank of the river until next day.
On Tuesday the 3rd, we went up, several of us, with Joseph Smith Jr. to the top of a mound on the bank of the Illinois river, which was several hundred feet above the river, and from the summit of which we had a pleasant view of the surrounding country: we could overlook the tops of the trees, on to the meadow or prairie on each side the river as far as our eyes could extend, which was one of the most pleasant scenes I ever beheld. On the top of this mound there was the appearance of three altars, which had been built of stone, one above another, according to the ancient order; and the ground was strewn over with human bones. This caused in us very peculiar feelings, to see the bones of our fellow creatures scattered in this manner, who had been slain in ages past. We felt prompted to dig down into the mound, and sending for a shovel and hoe, we proceeded to move away the earth. At about one foot deep we discovered the skeleton of a man, almost entire; and between two of his ribs we found an Indian arrow, which had evidently been the cause of his death. We took the leg and thigh bones and carried them along with us to Clay county. All four appeared sound. Elder Brigham Young has yet the arrow in his possession. It is a common thing to find bones thus drenching upon the earth in this country.
The same day, we pursued our journey.– While on our way we felt anxious to know who the person was who had been killed by that arrow. It was made known to Joseph that he had been an officer who fell in battle, in the last destruction among the Lamanites, and his name was Zelph. This caused us to rejoice much, to think that God was so mindful of us as to show these things to his servant. Brother Joseph had enquired of the Lord and it was made known in a vision.
This day, June 3rd, while we were refreshing ourselves and teams, about the middle of the day, Brother Joseph got up in a wagon and said, that he would deliver a prophecy. After giving the brethren much good advice, exhorting them to faithfulness and humility, he said, the Lord had told him that there would a scourge come upon the camp, in consequences of the fractious and unruly spirits that appeared among them and they should die like sheep with the rot; still if they would repent and humble themselves before the Lord, the scourge in a great measure might be turned away; but, as the Lord lives, this camp will suffer for giving way to their unruly temper, which afterwards actually did take place to the sorrow of the brethren.
The same day when we had got within one mile of the Snye, we came to a very beautiful little town called Atlas. Here we found honey for the first time on our journey, that we could buy; we purchased about two thirds of a barrel. We went down to the Snye and crossed over that night in a ferry boat. We camped for the night on the bank of the Snye. There was a great excitement in the country through which we had passed, and also ahead of us; the mob threatened to stop us. Guns were fired in almost all directions through the night.–Brother Joseph did not sleep much, if any, but was through the camp, pretty much during the night.
We pursued our journey on the 4th, and camped on the bank of the Mississippi River.–Here we were somewhat afflicted and the enemy threatened much that we should not cross over the river out of Illinois into Missouri. It took us two days to cross the river, as we had but one ferry boat, and the river was one mile and a half wide. While some were crossing many others spent their time in hunting and fishing, & c. When we had got over, we camped about one mile back from the little town of Louisiana, in a beautiful oak grove, which is immediately on the bank of the river. At this place there was some feelings of hostility manifested again by Sylvester Smith, in consequence of a dog growling at him while he was marching his company up to the camp, he being the last that came over the river.–The next morning Brother Joseph said that he would descend to the spirit that was manifested by some of the brethren, to let them see the folly of their wickedness. He rose up and commenced speaking, by saying, “if any man insults me, or abuses me, I will stand in my own defense at the expense of my life; and if a dog growl at me, I will let him know that I am his master. At this moment Sylvester Smith, who had just returned from where he had turned out his horses to feed, came up, and hearing Brother Joseph make those remarks, said, “If that dog bites me, I’ll kill him.”–Brother Joseph turned to Sylvester and said, “If you kill that dog, I’ll whip you,” and then went on to show the brethren how wicked and unchristianlike such conduct appeared before the eyes of truth and justice.
On Friday the 6th, we resumed our journey. On Saturday the 7th, at night, we camped among our brethren at Salt River, in the Allred settlement, in a piece of woods by a beautiful spring of water and prepared for the Sabbath. On the Sabbath we had preaching. Here we remained several days, washing our clothes, and preparing to pursue our journey. Here we were joined by Hyrum Smith and Lyman Wight with another company. The camp now numbered two hundred and five men, all armed and equipped as the law directs. It was delightful to see the company for they were all young men with one or two exceptions, and in good spirits.
We were now reorganized, according to the following order: Lyman Wight was chosen general of the camp; then Brother Joseph chose twenty men out of the camp for his life guard, I being one of the number. Brother George A. Smith was Brother Joseph’s armor bearer Hyrum Smith was chosen captain of the life guard. The remainder of the camp was organized into companies as before stated. We had twenty-five wagons, two horses in each and some three. One day while we remained here, our general marched us out on a large meadow or prairie.–He then proceeded to inspect us and examine our firelock, &c.; afterwards we marched in platoons and an object being placed, we discharged our pieces in order to try them. We were drilled about half a day and then returned to the camp.
On the 12th, we again resumed our march: many of the inhabitants went with us several miles; they seemed to have much respect of us. We traveled about fourteen miles, and camped on a large prairie.
Friday the 13th, my horses got loose and went back ten miles, with others. I pursued after them and returned back to the camp in about two hours. We tarried in the middle of this prairie which is about twenty eight miles across, on account of a rupture which took place in the camp. Here F. G. Williams and Roger Orton, received a very serious chastisement from Brother Joseph, for not obeying orders previously given. The chastisement given to Roger Orton, was given more particularly for suffering me to go back after the horses, as I was one of Joseph’s life guard, and it belonged to Roger to attend to the team; but, as the team was my own and I had had the care of it all through, he still threw the care on me, which was contrary to orders, inasmuch as the responsibility rested upon him to see to the team: In this place further regulations were made in regard to the organization of the camp.
A day or two after this Bishop Partridge met us direct from Clay county, as we were camping on the bank of the Waconda river in the woods. We received much information from Brother Partridge concerning the hostile feelings and prejudices that existed against us in Missouri in all quarters. It gave us great satisfaction to receive intelligence from him, as we were in perils, and threatened all the while.– I will here mention one circumstance that transpired during our stay at this place, which was, that of Brother Lyman Wight baptizing Dean Gould as he was not previously a member of the church yet had accompanied us all the way from Kirtland.
We pursued our journey and followed the bank of the river for several miles. As we left the river and came into a very beautiful prairie Brother William Smith, one of the Twelve, killed a very large deer, which made us some very nourishing soup, and added to our comfort considerably.
On Wednesday the 18th at night we camped one mile from the town of Richmond, Ray co. On Thursday the 19th, we arose as soon as it was light and passed through the town before the inhabitants were up. As Luke Johnson and others, were passing through before the teams came along, Brother Luke observed a black woman in a gentleman’s garden near the road. She beckoned to him and said, “come here massa.” She was evidently much agitated in her feelings. He went up to the fence and she said to him, there is a company of men laying in wait here who are calculating to kill you this morning as you pass through. This was nothing new to us as we had been threatened continually through the whole journey, and death and destruction seemed to await us daily.
This day we only traveled about fifteen miles. One wagon broke down; and the wheels run off from others, and there seemed to be many things to hinder our progress, although we strove with all diligence to speed our way forward. Our intentions were, when we started to go through to Clay county that day, but all in vain. This night we camped on an elevated piece of land between the two branches of the Fishing river, the main branch of which was formed by seven small streams or branches, these being two of them. Just as we halted and were making preparations for the night, five men rode into the camp, and told us we should see hell before morning, and such horrible oaths as came from their lips, I never heard before. They told us that sixty men were coming from Richmond, Ray County, who had sworn to destroy us, also, seventy more were coming from Clay county, to assist in our destruction. These men were armed with guns, and the whole country was in a rage against us, and nothing but the power of God could save us.
All this time the weather was fine and pleasant. Soon after these men left us we discovered a small black cloud rising in the west and not more than twenty minutes passed away before it began to rain and hail, but we had very little of the hail in our camp. All around us the hail was heavy; some of the hailstones, or rather lumps of ice, were as large as hens eggs. The thunders rolled with awful majesty, and the red lightnings flashed through the horizon, making it so light that I could see to pick up a pin almost any time through the night; the earth quaked and trembled, and there being no cessation it seemed as though the Almighty had issued forth his mandate of vengeance. The wind was so terrible that many of our tents were blown over and we were not able to hold them; but there being an old meeting house close at hand, many of us fled there to secure ourselves from the storm. Many trees were blown down, and others twisted and wrung like a withe. The mob came to the river, two miles from us; and the river had risen to that height that they were obliged to stop without crossing over. The hail fell so heavy upon them that it beat holes in their hats, and in some instances even broke the stocks off their guns; their horses being frightened fled leaving the riders on the ground, their powder was wet and it was evident the Almighty fought in our defense. This night the river raised forty feet.
In the morning I went to the river in company with Brother Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, and others, as we had it in contemplation to proceed that morning to Liberty, Clay county; but we could not continue our journey as there was no way to cross the river. It was then overflowing its banks, and we have seen the river since and proved that it was full forty feet from the top of the banks to the bottom of the river. Previous to this rain falling, it was no more than ankle deep. Such a time never was known by us before; still, we felt calm all night and the Lord was with us.–The water was ankle deep to us all night so we could not sleep.
At this place, W. W. Phelps, S. W. Denton, John Corrill, with many others from Liberty joined us, from whom we received much information concerning the situation of the brethren who had been driven from Jackson county, and the fixed determination of our enemies to drive or exterminate them from that county.
The next day when we moved into the country we saw that the hail had destroyed the crops and we saw that it had come in some directions within a mile, and in other directions within half a mile of our camp. After passing a short distance the ground was literally covered with branches of the trees which had been cut off by the hail. We went a distance of five miles on a prairie to get food for our horses, and also to get provisions for ourselves; and to get into some secure place, where we could defend ourselves from the rage of the enemy. We stayed here three or four days until the rage of the people was allayed.
On the 21st, Colonel Searcy and two other leading men from Ray county, came to see us, desiring to know what our intentions were; for said he, “I see that there is an Almighty power that protects this people, for I started from Richmond, Ray county, with a company of armed men having a fixed determination to destroy you, but was kept back by the storm and was not able to reach you.” When he came into the camp he was seized with such a trembling, that he was obliged to sit down in order to compose himself. When he desired to know what our intentions were, Brother Joseph arose and began to speak and the power of God rested upon him. He gave a relation of the sufferings of our people in Jackson county, and also of all our persecutions and what we had suffered by our enemies for our religion; and that we had come one thousand miles to assist our brethren, to bring them clothing, and to reinstate them upon their own lands; that we had no intentions to molest or injure any people, but only to administer to the wants of our afflicted brethren; and that the evil reports, which were circulated about us were false, and were circulated by our enemies to get us destroyed.
After he got through and had spoke quite lengthy, the power of which melted them into compassion, they arose and offered him their hands, and said they would use their influence to allay the excitement which everywhere prevailed against us. They accordingly went forth and rode day and night to pacify the people; and they wept because they saw we were a poor afflicted people, and our intentions were pure. The next day the Sheriff of that county, named Gilliam, came to deliver a short address to us. We formed into companies and marched into a grove a little distance from the camp and there formed ourselves into a circle, and sat down upon the ground. Previous to Mr. Gilliam’s address, he (Gilliam) said, “I have heard much concerning Joseph, and I have been informed that he is in your camp, if he is here I would like to see him.” Brother Joseph arose and said, I am the man. This was the first time he was made known during the journey. Mr. Gilliam then arose and gave us some instructions concerning the manners and customs of the people, their dispositions, &c., and what course we should take in order to gain their favor and protection.
On Sabbath day while we were in this place, being in want of salt, I took it upon me to go to some of the inhabitants and get some; Brother Smalling took his rifle and went along with me. After passing through a patch enclosed by hazel bushes, about two miles from the camp, I discovered a deer a little distance ahead of us standing across the path; I made motions to Brother Smalling, and he, drawing up his rifle over my shoulder, which served for a rest, fired and hit the deer just behind the shoulder, it ran a few rods and fell. We cut a pole and fastening it on the pole, got it on our shoulders and carried it along to the camp. When we got to the camp we dressed it and divided it among the different companies, and had an excellent feast.
Here Brother Thayre was taken sick with the cholera, and also Brother Hayes. We left them there, and also Brother Hancock who had been taken with the cholera during the storm. Brother Joseph called the camp together, and told us that in consequence of the disobedience of some who had not been willing to listen to his words, but had been rebellious, God had decreed that sickness should come upon us, and we should die like sheep with the rot; and said he, “I am sorry, but I cannot help it.” When he spoke these things it pierced me like a dart, having a testimony that so it would be. In the afternoon of this day, we began to receive the revelation known as the “Fishing River revelation.”
On Monday we held a council as follows:
Clay County, Mo., June 23, 1834.
A council of high priests met according to a revelation received the previous day, to choose some of the first elders to receive their endowment; being appointed by the voice of the spirit, through Joseph Smith jr., president of the church.
They proceeded: Edward Partridge is called and chosen, and is to go to Kirtland and receive his endowment with power from on high; and also, stand in his office as bishop to purchase land in Missouri.
W. W. Phelps is called and chosen, and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment with power from on high; and help carry on the printing establishment till Zion is redeemed.
Isaac Morley is called and chosen, and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment with power from on high in Kirtland; and assist in gathering up the strength of the Lord’s house, and preach the gospel. John Corrill the same as Isaac Morley.
John Whitmer is called and chosen, and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment in Kirtland, with power from on high; and continue in his office.
David Whitmer is called and chosen, and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment in Kirtland, with power on high; and stand in the office appointed unto him.
A. S. Gilbert is called and chosen, and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment from on high in Kirtland; and to assist in gathering up the strength of the Lord’s house; and to proclaim the everlasting gospel till Zion is redeemed. He said in his heart he could not do it, and died in about three days.
Peter Whitmer is called and chosen, and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment in Kirtland, with power from on high, and assist in gathering up the strength of the Lord’s house; and proclaim the gospel.
Simeon Carter is called and chosen, and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment in Kirtland, with power from on high; and assist in gathering up the gospel.
Newel Knight is called and chosen and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment in Kirtland with power from on high; and assist in gathering up the strength of the Lord’s house; and preach the gospel.
Thomas B. Marsh is called and chosen and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment in Kirtland with power from on high; and his office will be made known hereafter.
Lyman Wight is called and chosen, and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment in Kirtland with power from on high; to return to Zion, and his office shall be appointed to him hereafter.
Parley P. Pratt is called and chosen, and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment in Kirtland with power from on high; and assist in gathering up the strength of the Lord’s house; and proclaim the gospel.
Christian Whitmer is called and chosen and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment in Kirtland with power from on high; and assist in gathering up the strength of the Lord’s house; and proclaim the gospel.
Solomon Hancock is called and chosen, and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment in Kirtland with power from on high; and assist in gathering up the strength of the Lord’s house, and proclaim the everlasting gospel.
F. G. WILLIAMS, Clerk.
On the morning of the 24th we started for Liberty, Clay County, where our brethren were residing, who had been driven from Jackson County, taking our course round the head of Fishing River, in consequence of high water. When we got within five or six miles of Liberty, General Atchison, and several other gentlemen, met us, desiring that we would not go to Liberty, as the feelings of the people of that place was much enraged against us. Changing our course and bearing to the left, we pursued our way across a prairie; then passing through a wood until we came to brother Sidney Gilberts, where we camped on the bottom of Rush Creek, in a field belonging to brother Burket on the 25th.
This night the cholera came upon us, as we had been warned by the servant of God. About 12 o’clock at night we began to hear the cries of those who were seized with the cholera, and they fell before the destroyer. Even those on guard fell with their guns in their hands to the ground, and we had to exert ourselves considerably to attend to the sick, for they fell on every hand. Thus it continued till morning when the camp was separated into several small bands and were dispersed among the brethren.
I was left at the camp in company with three or four of my brethren in care of those who were sick. We stayed with, and prayed for them, hoping they would recover, but all hope was lost, for about 6 o’clock p.m. John S. Carter expired, he being the first that died in the camp.
When the cholera first broke out in the camp, brother John S. Carter was the first who went forward to rebuke it, but himself was immediately seized by it, and as before stated, was the first who was slain. In about 30 minutes after his death, Seth Hitchcock followed him; and it appeared as though we must sink under the destroyer with them.
We were not able to obtain boards to make them coffins, but were under the necessity of rolling them up in their blankets, and burying them in that manner. So we placed them on a sled, which was drawn by a horse about half a mile, where we buried them in a little bluff by the side of a small stream that emptied into Rush Creek. This was accomplished by dark, and returned back.
Our hopes were that no more would die, but while we were uniting in a covenant to pray once more with uplifted hands to God, we looked at our beloved brother, Elder Wilcox, and he was gasping his last. At this scene my feelings were beyond expression. Those only who witnessed it, can realize anything of the nature of our sufferings, and I felt to weep and pray to the Lord, that he would spare my life that I might behold my dear family again. I felt to covenant with my brethren, and I felt in my heart never to commit another sin while I lived. We felt to sit and weep over our brethren, and so great was our sorrow that we could have washed them with our tears, to realize that they had travelled 1000 miles through so much fatigue to lay down their lives for our brethren; and who hath greater love than he who is willing to lay down his life for his brethren. This increased our love to them. About 12 o’clock at night we placed him on a small sled, which we drew to the place of interment, with one hand hold of the rope, and in the other we bore our firelocks for our defense. While one or two were digging the grave, the rest stood with their arms to defend them.
This was our situation, the enemies around us, and the destroyer in our midst. Soon after we returned back, another brother was taken away from our little band; thus it continued until five out of ten were taken away. It was truly affecting to see the love manifested among the brethren for each other, during this affliction; even brother Joseph, seeing the sufferings of his brethren, stepped forward to rebuke the destroyer, but was immediately seized with the disease himself; and I assisted him a short distance from the place when it was with difficulty he could walk. All that kept our enemies from us was the fear of the destroyer which the Lord so sent among us.
After burying these five brethren, or about this time, I was seized by the hand of the destroyer, as I had gone in the woods to pray. I was instantly struck blind, and saw no way whereby I could free myself from the disease, only to exert myself by jumping and thrashing myself about, until my sight returned to me, and my blood began to circulate in my veins. I started and ran some distance, and by this means, through the help of God, I was enabled to extricate myself from the grasp of death. This circumstance transpired in a piece of woods just behind brother Stanley Gilbert’s house.
On the 26th, Algernon Sidney Gilbert, keeper of the Lord’s Store House, signed a letter to the Governor, in connection with others, which was his last public act, for he had been called to preach, and he said he would rather die than go forth and preach the gospel to the Gentiles. The Lord took him at his word; he was attacked with the cholera and died about the 29th.
Two other brethren died at brother Gilbert’s house about this same time. One of these was a cousin to brother Joseph Smith, the Prophet. The names of those brethren who were with me to assist in taking care of the sick, are as follows: Joseph B. Noble, John D. Parker and Luke Johnson, also brother Ingleson, who died soon after we left.
While we were here, the brethren being in want of some refreshments, brother Luke Johnson went to brother Burket to get a fowl, asking him for one to make a broth; but brother Burket denied him of it; saying: in a few days we expect to return back into Jackson county, from whence we were driven, and he should want them when he got there. When brother Johnson brought this report, judge how we felt, after having left the society of our beloved families, taking our lives in our hands, and traveling about one thousand miles through scenes of suffering and sorrow, for the benefit of our brethren, and after all to be denied of a small fowl to make a little soup. Such things as those never fail to bring their reward, and it would be well for the saints never to turn away a brother, who is penniless and in want, or a stranger, lest they may one day or other want a friend themselves.
I went to Liberty, to the house of brother Peter Whitmer, which place I reached with difficulty, being much afflicted myself with the disease that was among us. I stayed there until I started for home. I received great kindness from them and also from sister Vienna Jaques, who administered to my wants and also to my brethren may the Lord reward them for their kindness.
While I was here a council was called at brother Lyman Wights, which I attended with the rest of the brethren. The church was organized; a presidency and high council chosen and organized and many were chosen from them to go to Kirtland to be endowed.
From that time the destroyer ceased, having afflicted us about four days. Sixty eight were taken with the disease, of which number fourteen died, the remainder recovered, as we found out an effectual remedy for this disease, which was, by dipping the person afflicted into cold water, or pouring it on him, which had the desired effect of stopping the purging, vomiting, and cramping. Some of the brethren, when they were seized with the disease and began to cramp and purge, the fever raging upon them, desired to be put into cold water and some stripped and plunged themselves into the stream and obtained immediate relief. This led us to try the experiment on others, and in every case it proved highly beneficial and effectual, where it was taken in season.
On the 23rd of June, Brother Joseph received a revelation, as before stated, saying that the Lord had accepted our offering, even as he accepted that of Abraham therefore he had a great blessing laid up in store for us, and an endowment for all, and those who had families might return home, and those who had no families should tarry until the Lord said they should go.
I received an honorable discharge, in writing, from the hand of our General, Lyman Wight, to the effect that I had discharged my duty in my office and that I was at liberty to return home. Before we separated the money which had been put into the hands of our paymaster, and had not been used, was equally divided amongst the company, making one dollar and sixteen cents each. Some of these brethren had no money when we started from Kirtland, but they received an equal share with the rest.
During our stay in Missouri, Brother Joseph B. Noble was very sick for some time, and was taken care of by elders Brigham, and Joseph Young, at the house of Joel Sandford, in Liberty, Clay County. It was with great exertion that his life was preserved, and that by the application of cold water being drawn out of the well, and poured upon him, daily and hourly. He was deaf, discharged a large amount of corrupt matter from the ears, and was almost blind–and in fact the most who were saved from the cholera, were saved by throwing cold water upon them, or plunging them in the stream, by which means the cramp and purging were stayed–the sufferers invariably besought us to plunge them in pools, and springs of cold water, while their thirst for the same was very great, while our fears were, it would be an injury to them; yet by the blessing of heaven, it was the only means of saving them, that were saved from this destroyer, the cholera. Brother Nobles’ life was yet despaired of, but he was resolute, and nothing would satisfy him, but to return home. June 30, 1834, I started for home, in company with Lyman Sherman, Sylvester Smith, Alexander Badlam, Harrison Burgess, Luke Johnson and Zera Cole, with Brother Sylvester Smith’s team, as I had left mine in Missouri. About this time Brother Brigham Young started in company with about the same number that was with me, with James Foster’s team.
After proceeding about three miles, we stopped and made arrangements for travelling. They chose me to be their captain home, and all put their money into my hands, which amounted to forty dollars. From thence we proceeded until we came to Brother Thomas B. Marsh’s house; his wife gave us some dinner, and we proceeded on our journey. May the Lord bless her for it. This day we crossed a branch of the Fishing River, in a scow, and when we were pulling our wagon out of it, it was sinking. Here an enemy came and swore he would shoot us. From thence we continued on to one Brother Ball’s, where we stayed all night; some slept on the floor, and some in the corn crib. The next morning we pursued our journey, and after travelling about eight miles we came to the Missouri River, which we crossed in a scow, the current was so rapid that it carried us down one mile. After we had got over the river, and had travelled about two miles we came into the village of Lexington. Here we were threatened some by our enemies, but out of their hands the Lord delivered us.–From thence we proceeded daily, and receiving no harm, we travelled until we came within about half a mile of St. Charles. Here we pitched our tents by the side of the road and tarried all night.
The next morning we passed through the village which looked very gloomy as the cholera had nearly desolated the place. After travelling about eight miles, we came to Jack’s Ferry on the Missouri, where we again crossed the stream. We then proceeded about five miles and stopped to take some refreshment. Here we were again accosted by one of our enemies, who swore he would kill us that night; we travelled about ten miles after sunset and camped in the woods. The Lord again delivered us from the grasp of our enemies. We proceeded on our journey daily, the Lord blessing us with health and strength. The weather was very hot, still we travelled from thirty-five to forty miles a day, until about the 26th of July, when we arrived in Kirtland; having been gone from home about three months, during which time, with the exception of four nights, I found my rest on the ground. We did not travel on the Sabbath during our journey back, but attended to breaking of bread &c.
On my arrival at home, I found my family well, enjoying the blessings and comforts of life, and I felt to rejoice in the Lord that he had preserved my life, through many dangers, seen and unseen, and brought me to behold my family in peace and prosperity. After being at home two weeks and resting myself, I concluded I had finished my mission the Lord called me to, and I went to my old occupation. I established my business as a potter, and continued about three months until cold weather came on, when I was under the necessity of stopping for the time being, calculating on the opening of spring to commence business on a larger scale, thinking as did Peter of old, “I go a fishing.” I had got an idea similar to that which the ancient apostles had when the Savior was taken from them, and they went a fishing, so I went to the mechanic’s shop.
At this time the brethren were laboring night and day building the house of the Lord. Our women were engaged in spinning and knitting in order to clothe those who were laboring at the building, and the Lord only knows the scenes of poverty, tribulation, and distress which we passed through in order to accomplish this thing. My wife toiled all summer in lending her aid towards its accomplishment. She had a hundred pounds of wool, which, with the assistance of a girl, she spun in order to furnish clothing for those engaged in the building of the Temple, and although she had the privilege of keeping half the quantity of wool for herself, as a recompense for her labor, she did not reserve even so much as would make her a pair of stockings; but gave it for those who were laboring at the house of the Lord. She spun and wove and got the cloth dressed, and cut and made up into garments, and gave them to those men who labored on the Temple; almost all the sisters in Kirtland labored in knitting, sewing, spinning, &c., for the purpose of forwarding the work of the Lord while we went up to Missouri to endeavor to reinstate our brethren on their lands, from which they had been driven.
Elder Rigdon when addressing the brethren upon the importance of building this house, spoke to this effect, that we should use every effort to accomplish this building by the time appointed, and if we did, the Lord would accept it at our hands, and on it depends the salvation of the church and also of the world.- -Looking at the sufferings and poverty of the church, he frequently used to go upon the walls of the building both by night and day and frequently wetting the walls with his tears, crying aloud to the Almighty to send means whereby we might accomplish the building.–After we returned from our journey to the west, the whole church united in this undertaking, and every man lent a helping hand. Those who had no teams went to work in the stone quarry and prepared the stones for drawing to the house. President Joseph Smith Jr. being our foreman in the quarry. The Presidency, High Priests, and Elders all alike assisting.–Those who had teams assisted in drawing the stone to the house. These all laboring one day in the week, brought as many stones to the house as supplied the masons through the whole week. We continued in this manner until the walls of the house were reared. The committee who were appointed by revelation to superintend the building of the house, were Hyrum Smith, Reynolds Cahoon, and Jared Carter.–These men used every exertion in their power to forward the work.
On the 22nd of December a Grammar school was opened in Kirtland, under the superintendence of Sidney Rigdon and William E. McLellin teachers,–and nearly all the elders and myself, and many of the sisters commenced going to school. Most of us continued about six weeks, when a meeting was called for the camp of Zion to be assembled, to receive what was called a Zion’s blessing. After being assembled, the Presidency having duly organized the meeting, told us there were twelve men to be chosen, to be called the twelve apostles or travelling high council. See Book of Covenants sec. 43 paragraphs 5 and 6 as follows: “And now behold there are others who are called to declare my gospel, both unto Gentile and unto Jew; yea even twelve; and the twelve shall be my disciples, and they shall take upon them my name; and the twelve are they who shall desire to take upon them my name with full purpose of heart, they are called to go into all the world, to preach my gospel unto every creature; and they are they who are ordained of me to baptize in my name, according to that which is written. And now I speak unto the Twelve: Behold my grace is sufficient for you: you must walk uprightly before me and sin not.–And behold you are they who are ordained of me to ordain priests and teachers to declare my gospel according to the power of the Holy Ghost which is in you, and according to the callings and gifts of God unto men: and I Jesus Christ your Lord and your God have spoken it. These words are not of men nor of man but of me; wherefore you shall testify they are of me and not of man; for it is my voice which speaketh them unto you: and by my power you can read them one to another, and save it were by my power you could not have them: wherefore you can testify that you have heard my voice and know my words.
Sec. 6. And now behold I give unto you Oliver Cowdery and also unto David Whitmer, that you shall search out the Twelve who shall have the desires, and their works, you shall know them: and when you have found them, you shall shew these things unto them. And you shall fall down and worship the Father in my name: and you must preach unto the world saying, you must repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ: for all men must repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ: for all men must repent and be baptized, and not only men, but women, and children who have arrived to the years of accountability.”
Also Book of Covenants sec. 3. par 12. “The Twelve are a travelling presiding high council, to officiate in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Presidency of the church agreeably to the institutions of heaven, to build up the church, and regulate all the affairs of the same in all nations; first unto the Gentiles and secondly unto the Jews.” This was the day appointed for choosing. Accordingly the Presidents mentioned in the revelation above, proceeded to call forth those whom the Lord had manifested by his spirit to them, that they might make known their desires. It was far from my expectation of being one of the number, as heretofore I had known nothing about it, not having had the privilege of seeing the revelations, as they were not printed. I will now mention their names as they were first chosen: Lyman Johnson, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, David W. Patten, Luke Johnson, William E. McLellin, Orson Hyde, William Smith, John F. Boynton, Orson Pratt Thomas B. Marsh, and Parley P. Pratt. After having expressed our feelings on this occasion, we were severally called into the Stand, and there received our ordinations under the hands of Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris: These brethren ordained us to the apostleship, and predicted many things which should come to pass, that we should have power to heal the sick, cast out devils, raise the dead, give sight to the blind, have power to remove mountains, and all things should be subject to us through the name of Jesus Christ, and angels should minister unto us, and many more things too numerous to mention.
After we had been thus ordained by these brethren, the first presidency laid their hands on us, and confirmed these blessings and ordination, and likewise predicted many things which should come to pass.–After being chosen there being but nine of us present, we assembled from time to time as opportunity would permit, and received such instruction as the Lord would bestow upon us, and truly he blessed us with his spirit, and inspired his prophet to speak for our edification.
One evening when we were assembled to receive instruction, the revelation contained in the third section of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, on Priesthood was given to Brother Joseph as he was instructing us, and we praised the Lord. Sunday morning April 5, 1835.–The Twelve had not all as yet been together for the last three mentioned were not present at the time of choosing, and as the time drew near that we should travel to the east, we appointed this day to bear our testimony unto our brethren and friends. We were all assembled together with the exception of Brother Orson Pratt who had not yet been with us. At this time while we were praying, and wishing for his arrival, while opening the meeting he entered the house, we rejoiced at his presence, and thanked the Lord for it. He was then ordained, and we proceeded to speak according to our ages; the eldest speaking first. This day Brother Thomas B. Marsh, B. Young, D. W. Patten, and myself spoke. Sunday 12. Brothers O. Hyde, Wm. E. McLellin, Luke Johnson, and P. P. Pratt spoke. Sunday 19. Brothers Wm. Smith, O. Pratt, J. F. Boynton, and Lyman Johnson spoke closing the testimony of the Twelve to the people in Kirtland for the present. Sunday 26. We received our charge from President Joseph. May 3. We bid our brethren farewell, and on the morning of the 4th we started leaving Kirtland at 2 o’clock and proceeded to Fairport, where we arrived precisely at 6 o’clock. A boat was there as had been predicted by Brother Joseph on which we embarked for Dunkirk, where we arrived the same day at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, distance 150 miles. We stayed over night at Mr. Pemberton’s inn.
Father Joseph Smith and his brother, John Smith, were acquainted with the Kimballs: the families were connected by marriage.
My father, Solomon Farnham Kimball, was born in the state of Massachusetts, in the year 1770; he was raised from his boyhood with Judge Chase of Massachusetts, who was a blacksmith.
My father remained with him until he was married, when the Judge assisted him in establishing himself in the business of blacksmithing, in the town of Sheldon, Franklin County, Vermont.
My father married Anna Spaulding, who was born in New Hampshire, in the town of Plainfield on the banks of the Connecticut River. She was the daughter of Daniel and Speedy Spaulding.
My father rehearsed to me some of the scenes of the Revolutionary War. He engaged in clearing land, burning the wood into coal and ashes; he had also a forge in the manufacture of wrought iron.
He was bald headed, had dark brown hair, blue eyes, sandy whiskers and sandy complexion, five feet eleven inches high, weighed 200 pounds and upwards–was captain of a company of militia in Sheldon, and wore a cocked up hat, of the old English style, and a strait bodied coat and short breeches with a knee buckle, long stockings and Hessian boots with a pair of tassels.
About the time of the embargo, before the last war with England, my father lost his property, as it was invested in salts, potash and pearlash; the embargo having shut down the gate of commerce between the United States and England, left his property in his hands without much value.
He saddled his horse, put on his big portmanteau, which contained a change of raiment, and started for the West; arriving at the town of Scipio, Cayuga County, New York, he fell in company with Judge Towsley who employed him as a foreman in a blacksmith’s shop, where he labored six months; after which Judge Towsley and my father travelled still further westward, to within fourteen miles of the Genesee River, to West Bloomfield, Ontario County, where Judge Towsley assisted him in establishing the blacksmith’s business.
My father took up several hundred acres of timbered land, in, this new country, and after remaining six months, he returned to Sheldon to his family, having been absent a year.
In February 1811, he took my mother and six children in a sleigh with one span of horses, and what clothing we had upon us and a change; and a few blankets. We travelled on the ice, on Lake Champlain up to Whitehall, a distance of 110 miles, where spring being open, he traded his sleigh for a wagons and proceeded to West Bloomfield, where he continued his business of blacksmithing and farming, and commenced building.
He built an academy in West Bloomfield, also two tavern stands and several private dwellings. He made edge tools, such as scythes, augers, axes, knives, &c., also ploughshares and agricultural implements for the country around to a distance of fifty miles; and sometimes he had eight forges going at once, with a foreman and apprentice at each fire. He generally worked with his men and occupied one fire, and took the oversight of his work.
West Bloomfield was in the thoroughfare between Albany and Buffalo, on which the soldiery passed during the war of 1812-15. It was flourishing times there being plenty of business and money, and most men in business became involved, so that when the war closed bankruptcy became common, as every merchant, tavern keeper, and grog shop had banking establishment, and issued shin-plasters from a cent up to $5.
My father lost the greater portion of his property, which broke him up in that place, when he moved two and a half miles east, half way between East and West Bloomfield, where he bought a farm of Mr. Stewart, near a small lake, on this farm there was a little improvement. Here he established blacksmithing, built a tavern stand, barns and other outhouses, and set out an orchard of various kinds of fruit; this was in the year 1816, what was called the cold season, and the following spring we had but little to live on. For some three weeks we gathered milk weeds, boiled and ate them, not having salt to put on them. It was with difficulty that bread could be procured. My father paid 3 per bushel for potatoes. . . .
My parents had seven children, of whom I was the fourth, viz.; Charles Spaulding, Eliza, Abigail, Heber Chase, Melvina, Solomon and Daniel Spaulding, who were all born in the town of Sheldon, Franklin County, Vermont. Daniel Spaulding died when about seven months old. The record of my father’s family fell into the hands of my oldest sister, Eliza, to whom I have written for an account of the ages of my parents, brothers and sisters, but little not been able to obtain it: hence I have to omit the dates of their births. My father was a man of good moral character, and though he did not profess any religion, he taught his children good morals, and never would suffer them to swear, or play upon the Sabbath day without correcting them, but would have them remain at home and read good books or attend the church.
My mother was a Presbyterian, and agreeably to the strictest sense of their religion, she lived a virtuous life, and according to the best of her knowledge taught her children the ways of righteousness.
February 1824. My mother died of consumption in the town of West Bloomfield.
In the spring of 1826 my father came to Mendon and lived with me. He soon took sick and died of consumption, about a year after my mother’s death.
My oldest brother, Charles S., and his wife, whose maiden name was Judith Marvin, died in the year 1826 or 7, and were buried in Mendon by the side of my father.
I was born June 14th, 1801, in the town of Sheldon, Franklin County, Vermont.
Judge Chase, with whom my father was brought up, called to see my parents soon after I was born, and he proposed to call me Heber Chase.
About the time of the great eclipse in 1806, I commenced going to school, and continued some of the time until about the age of fourteen. I recollect the eclipse well, as my father was about to start on a journey, but was obliged to wait on account of the darkness.
When fourteen years of age my father took me into his shop and taught me blacksmithing. When nineteen, my father having lost his property, and not taking the care for my welfare which he formerly did, I was left to seek a place of refuge or home of my own. At this time I saw some days of sorrow; my heart was troubled, and I suffered much in consequence of fear, bashfulness and timidity. I found myself cast abroad upon the world, without a friend to console my grief. In these heartaching hours I suffered much for the want of food and the comforts of life and many times went two or three days without food to eat, being bashful, and not daring to ask for it.
After I had spent several weeks in the manner before stated, my oldest brother, Charles, hearing of my condition, offered to teach me the potter’s trade. I immediately accepted the offer, and continued with him until I was twenty-one. I was enrolled with my brother Charles in an independent horse company of the New York militia, under Captain Sawyer of East Bloomfield, with him and his successor I trained for fourteen years, and I never was found delinquent in my duty.
While living with my brother he moved into the town of Mendon, Munroe County, where he again established a pottery. After I had finished learning my trade I worked for my brother six months for wages.
On Nov. 7, 1822, I married Vilate Murray, daughter of Roswell and Susanna Murray, born in Florida, Montgomery County, New York, June 1, 1806. She lived with her parents in Victor, Ontario County.
Immediately after I was married I purchased the situation of my brother Charles and went into business for myself at the Potter’s trade, which I carried on in the summer season, and worked at blacksmithing in the winter; I also chopped cord wood and cleared land occasionally. I continued in the pottery business upwards of ten years, and in the meantime I made a purchase of five and a half acres of land, built a fine house, a wood house, barn, and other outhouses, and planted fruit trees, and had situated myself so as to live comfortably.
In 1823, I received the three first degrees of masonry in the lodge at Victor Flats, Ontario County.
In 1824, myself and five others sent a petition to the Chapter at Canandaigua, the county seat of Ontario, to receive the degrees up to the Royal Arch Masons: our petition was accepted but just previous to the time we were to receive those degrees, the Anti-Masons burnt the Chapter buildings in Canandaigua.
No man was admitted into a lodge in those days except he bore a good moral character, and was a man of steady habits and a member would be suspended for immoral conduct. I wish that all men were masons and would live up to their profession, then the world would be in a much better state than it is now.
My first daughter, Judith Marvin, was born in Mendon, Munroe County, N. Y., July 29th, 1823, and died May 20, 1824.
My son, William Henry, was born in Mendon, April 10, 1825.
Sept. 22, 1827, while living in the town of Mendon, I having retired to bed, John P. Greene, a travelling reformed Methodist preacher, waked me up calling upon me to behold the scenery in the heavens. I called my wife and sister Fanny Young (sister of Brigham Young) who was living with me; it was so clear that you could see to pick up a pin, we looked to the eastern horizon and beheld a white smoke arise towards the heavens, and as it ascended it formed itself into a belt and made a noise like the rustling of a mighty wind, and continued southwest, forming a regular bow dipping in the western horizon. After the bow had formed it began to widen out and grow clear and transparent of a bluish cast, it grew wide enough to contain twelve men abreast. In this bow an army moved, commencing from the east and marching to the west. They moved in platoons, and walked so close, the rear ranks trod in the steps of their file leaders, until the whole bow was literally crowded with soldiers. We could see distinctly the muskets, bayonets, and knapsacks of the men, who wore caps and feathers like those used by the American soldiers in the last war with Britain; also their officers with their swords and equipage, and heard the clashing and jingling of their instruments of war and could discover the form and features of the men. The most profound order existed throughout the entire army, when the foremost man stepped, every man stepped at the same time: I could hear the step. When the front rank reached the Western horizon a battle ensued, as we could distinctly hear the report of the arms and the rush.
No man could judge of my feelings when I beheld that army of men, as plainly as I ever saw armies of men in the flesh it seemed as though every hair of my head was alive. This scenery was gazed upon for hours, until it began to disappear.
Subsequent[y I learned this took place the same evening that Joseph Smith received the records of the Book of Mormon from the Angel Moroni. John Young, Sen., and John P. Green’s wife, Rhoda, were also witnesses of this scenery. My wife, Vilate, being frightened at what she saw, said, “Father Young, what does all this mean?” He replied in a lively, pleased manner, “Why, its one of the signs of the coming of the Son of Man.” The next night similar scenery was beheld in the west, by the neighbors, representing armies of men who were engaged in battle.
My daughter, Hellen Mar, was born Mendon, August 22, 1828.
My son Roswell Heber, was born in Mendon, January 10, 1831; and died June 15.
I mostly attended the meetings of the Baptist church, and was often invited to unite myself with them. I received many pressing invitations to unite with different sects, but did not see fit to comply with their desires until a revival took place in our neighborhood. I had passed through several of their protracted meetings, and had been many times upon the anxious bench to seek relief from the bonds of “Sin and Death,’ but no relief could I find until the meetings were passed by.
At this time I concluded to put myself under the watch care of the Baptist church and unite myself to them; as soon as I had concluded to do this, the Lord administered peace to my mind, and accordingly the next day I went with my wife and we were baptized by Elder Elijah Weaver, and we partook of the sacrament on that day for the first and also last time with them.
Although they believed in principles which I did not, I placed myself under their watch-care, to be a guard upon me, and to keep me from running into evils.
From the time I was twelve years old, I had many serious thoughts and strong desires to obtain a knowledge of salvation, but not finding any one who could teach me the things of God, I did not embrace any principles of doctrine, but endeavored to lead a moral life. The priests would tell me to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, but never would tell me what to do to be saved, and thus left me almost in despair.
About three weeks after I joined the Baptist church, five elders of the Church of Jesus Christ came from Pennsylvania to the house of Phinehas H. Young in Victor. Their names were Eleazer Miller, Elial Strong, Alpheus Gifford, Enos Curtis, and Daniel Bowen. Hearing of these men, curiosity prompted me to go and see them, when for the first time, I heard the fullness of the everlasting gospel. They declared that an holy angel had been commissioned from the heavens, who had committed the Everlasting Gospel and restored the Holy Priesthood unto Joseph Smith as at the beginning; and that all men were now called upon every where to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins, and receive the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost; and these signs should follow those that believe, viz., they should cast out devils in the name of Jesus, they should speak with new tongues, &c., and the reason why the Lord had restored these things, was because the people had transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, and broken the Everlasting Covenant.
As soon as I heard them I was convinced that they taught the truth, and that I had only received a part of the ordinances under the Baptist Church. I also saw and heard the gifts of the spirit manifested by the elders, for they spoke in tongues and interpreted, which tended to strengthen my faith. Brigham Young and myself were constrained, by the Spirit, to bear testimony of the truth, and when we did this, the power of God rested upon us.
On a certain occasion, while going to hear the elders, I passed the house of my brother, Solomon, and enquired of him if he had seen them, he answered he had, and had heard them pray, and prayed with them. I asked what he thought of them, he replied, “They are full of the Holy Ghost religion.” I told him I was going to see them, he said, “Go.”
Brother Brigham Young afterwards prophesied that my brother Solomon would yet believe the work and embrace it, and would lay hold of me, and wonder why I had come into possession of such great knowledge.
The family of John Young, Sen., of five sons, five daughters, and two sons-in-law, John P. Greene and Joel Sanford, had moved into Mendon a few years previously. They had the same principles in their breasts which I had in mine; truth was what we wanted and would have, and truth we did receive; for the Lord granted us testimony upon testimony of the truth of gospel.
Upon one occasion Father John Young, Brigham Young, Joseph Young and myself gathered together to get some wood for Phinehas H. Young. We were pondering upon those things which had been told us by the elders, and upon the Saints gathering to Zion, and the glory of God shone upon us, and we saw the gathering of the Saints to Zion, and the glory that would rest with them and many more things connected with that great event, such as the sufferings and persecutions which would come upon the people of God, and the calamities and judgments which would come upon the world.
These things caused such great joy to spring up in our bosoms, that we were hardly able to contain ourselves; and we did shout aloud, Hosannah to God and the Lamb.
These things increased our desires to hear. I took my horses and sleigh and started for Pennsylvania; Brigham and Phinehas Young and their wives went along with me. We stayed with the Church there about six days, attended their meetings, heard them speak in tongues, interpret and prophecy, which truly caused us to rejoice and praise the Lord. We returned confirmed in the truth, and bore testimony of that which we seen and heard, to our friends and neighbors.
April 14th, 1832, Brigham Young went forward and was baptized by Eleazer Miller, and the next day, or the day following, Alpheus Gifford came into my shop while I was forming a vessel upon the wheel, and while conversing with me upon the subject of this work, I said, “Brother Alpheus, I am ready to go forward and be baptized.” I jumped up, pulled off my apron, washed my hands and started with him with my sleeves rolled up to my shoulders, and went the distance of one mile where he baptized me in a small stream in the woods. After I was baptized I kneeled down and he laid his hands upon my head and confirmed me a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, and said unto me, “In the name of Jesus Christ and by the authority of the holy priesthood receive ye the Holy Ghost,” and before I got up off my knees, he wanted to ordain me an elder bet I plead with him not to do it, as I felt myself unworthy of such a calling, and such an office.
In about two weeks, my wife, Vilate, was baptized by brother, Joseph Young, with several others in a small stream close to my house, and we numbered about thirty in that Branch, viz.:-
John Young, Sen., and Mary his wife.
Brigham Young and Miriam his wife.
Phinihas H. Young and Clarrissa his wife.
Lorenzo D. Young and Persis his wife.
John P. Greene and Rhoda his wife, and their children.
Joel Sanford and Louiza his wife.
William Stilson and Susan his wife.
Isaac Flummerfeli and his wife with their children.
Ira Bond and his wife Charlotte.
Heber C. Kimball and Vilate his wife.
John Morton and Betsey his wife.
Nathan Tomlinson and his wife.
Israel Barlow, with his mother, brother and sisters.
Under the ordinances of baptism and laying on of hands, I received the Holy Ghost, as the disciples did in ancient days, which was like a consuming fire, and I was clothed in my right mind, although the people called me crazy. I continued in this way for many months, and it seemed as though my flesh would consume away. At the same time the scriptures were unfolded to my mind in such a wonderful manner it appeared to me, at times, as if I had formerly been familiar with them.
This alarmed the professing world around us and raised the devil to great rage, still our minds were calm and filled with peace, while the wrath of our enemies was raised to such a degree that they persecuted us. During one week some of those who had professed to be my greatest friends in the Baptist church and others, persecuted me to such a degree that five or six executions were taken out against me, and I turned out property to secure the same, but, to their great disappointment, God opened my way so that I obtained money to pay all my debts and liberate myself from them, and none of my property was sold at auction; and in the meantime, during my greatest trouble, not one of them were willing to step forward to assist me, excepting my brethren in the church, and my brother, Solomon.
I was ordained an elder by Joseph Young, and in company with himself and his brother, Brigham, I labored in Genesee, Avon and Lyonstown, where we baptized many and built up churches.
Brother Ezra Landan preached in Avon and Genesee, baptized eighteen or twenty, and being afraid to confirm them and promise the Holy Ghost, he requested me to confirm, them, which I did according to the best of my knowledge, pronouncing but a few words on the head of each one, and invariably saying, ‘receive ye the Holy Ghost in the name of Jesus Christ.’ Immediately the Holy Ghost fell upon them and several commenced speaking in tongues before they arose from their knees, and we had a joyful time; some ten or twelve spoke in tongues, neither of whom had ever heard any person speak in tongues, they being the first baptized in that place.
From the time Father Bosley located near Avon he found and ploughed up axes and irons, and had sufficient to make his mill irons, and had always abundance of iron on hand without purchasing.
In the towns of Bloomfield, Victor, Manchester and in the regions round about, there were hills upon the tops of which were entrenchments and fortifications, and in them were human bones, axes, tomahawks, points of arrows, beads and pipes, which were frequently found, and it was a common occurrence in the country to plough up axes, which I have done many times myself. I have visited the fortifications on the tops of those hills frequently, and the one near Bloomfield I have crossed hundreds of times, which is on the bluff of Honeyoy River, at the outlet of Honeyoy Lake.
In that region there are many small, deep lakes, in some the bottom has never been found; fish abound in them.
The Hill Cumorah is a high hill for that country, and had the appearance of a fortification or entrenchment around it. In the state of New York, probably, there are hundreds of those fortifications which are now visible and I have seen them in many other parts of the United States. We received the gift of tongues and interpretation a few days after we were baptized. The brethren who brought the Gospel to us belonged to the first Branch of the Church that received the gift of tongues, and the Branch at Mendon was the next. Brothers Brigham and Joseph Young and myself went of Kirtland, with my horses and wagon, to visit the Prophet, a distance of three hundred miles. We saw Brother Joseph Smith and had a glorious time; during which Brother Brigham spoke in tongues before Brother Joseph, it being the first time he had heard any one speak in tongues; he testified that the gift was from God, and spoke in tongues himself. Soon the gift of tongues became general in the Church in Kirtland. We had a precious season and returned with a blessing in our souls.
I continued rejoicing in the Lord and bearing testimony that God had spoken from the heavens, and of the things I had received until I sold my possessions and settled up my affairs. In the fall of 1833, I took my horses and wagon and started for Kirtland, Ohio; but to my great surprise some of my neighbors issued attachments against my goods, although I was not indebted to any one of them to the value of five cents, for I had been so particular in such matters, that I was well aware I was not indebted in any sum, to any person, unless two cents to one man, in a case where change could not be procured. Although there were some hundred dollars due to me, which I was obliged to leave uncollected: I settled their unjust claims. Elder Brigham Young and his two children went with me; we arrived at Kirtland about the last of October or first of November. I went into a house belonging to Mr. Elijah Smith and resided there until the next April. In the meantime I built myself a small frame house, which was put up by brother Brigham Young, who was a carpenter and joiner.
Soon after our arrival in Kirtland there was a contribution called for to finish the school-house and printing office; I contributed the glass for the house, and I gave brother Hyrum Smith $200 for the building of the [Kirtland] temple.
The brethren were engaged in building the House of the Lord [Kirtland Temple]. The commandment to build the House, and also the pattern of it was given in a revelation to Joseph Smith, Jun., Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams, and was to be erected by a stated time. The Church was in a state of poverty and distress, in consequence of which it appeared almost impossible that the commandment could be fulfilled, at the same time our enemies were raging and threatening destruction upon us, and we had to guard night after night, and for weeks were not permitted to take off our clothes, and were obliged to lay with our firelocks in our arms to preserve brother Joseph’s life.
Joseph was sued before a magistrate’s court in Painesville on a vexatious suit. I carried him from Kirtland to Painesville, with four or five others, in my wagon every morning for five days, and brought them back in the evening. We were often waylaid, but managed to elude our enemies by rapid driving and taking different roads. Esq. Bissell defended the Prophet.
Mobs were organized around Kirtland, who were enraged against us, ready to destroy us.
Brother Joseph received a revelation concerning the redemption of Zion. He gathered together as many of the brethren as he conveniently could, to go up to Missouri to the assistance of our persecuted brethren, according to the words of the Lord.
May 5th, I left Kirtland in company with brother Joseph and about a hundred others and arrived in New Portage on the 7th, where Zion’s camp was organized. I had a span of good horses and wagon which I took along and I gave in to the general fund all the money I had. I was appointed Captain of the third company, which numbered thirteen. I drove and took care of my own team, and took charge of my company. I walked the most of the journey, letting the lame and footsore ride in my stead. I frequently invited the Prophet to ride, seeing him lame and footsore, on such occasions he would bless my team and myself with a hearty good will: my team performed the journey very well.
May 21st, We passed through Indianapolis the capital of Indiana.
At the re-organization of the camp at Salt River, Missouri, I was selected as one of President Joseph Smith’s life guard.
June 19th, We camped on an elevated piece of land between two branches of Fishing River, where we encountered a severe storm of rain and hail accompanied by thunder and lightning; the hail fell all round the camp, and within a mile many of the trees were stripped of their branches; the streams which were fordable in the evening rose to the depth of thirty feet; and this interposition of divine providence preserved us from fighting our enemies who had gathered on all sides to attack us.
During our journey there was murmuring and complaining, and in some instances there was rebellion in the camp against the counsels of President Smith who prophesied that the Lord had prepared a scourge for the camp, and that the destroyer should be in our midst, and many should die like sheep with the rot; he further said, “Repentance may modify the calamity, but not altogether avert it; the members of the camp will be scourged for their wickedness.”
While on Fishing River, brothers Joseph Hancock, Ezra Thayer and Thomas Hayes were attacked with cholera.”
“24th.–The camp removed to Rush Creek, and encamped in brother Burgett’s field, some two-and-a-half miles from Liberty.
The destroyer came upon us, as we had been warned by the servant of God. About twelve o’clock at night we began to hear the cries of those who were seized. Those on guard fell with their guns in their hands to the ground, and we had to exert ourselves considerably to attend to the sick, for they were stricken down on every hand. Thus it continued till morning, when the camp was dispersed among the brethren. I was left with Joseph B. Noble, John D. Parket, Luke Johnson, and Warren Ingalls in care of those who were sick. We stayed with, and prayed for them, hoping they would recover, but all hope was lost, for about six o’clock p.m., John S. Carter expired.
When the cholera first broke out, he laid his hands on his brethren to rebuke it, but he was violently attacked and was the first who died. In about thirty minutes, Seth Hitchcock died, and it appeared as though we must all sink under the power of the destroyer.
We were not able to obtain lumber to make them coffins, but were under the necessity of rolling them up in their blankets, and burying them in that manner. We placed them on a sled, which was drawn about half a mile, and buried them by the side of a small branch of Rush Creek. This was accomplished by dark.
Our hopes were that no more would die, but while we were uniting in prayer with uplifted hands to God, our beloved brother Eber Wilcox died. At this scene my feelings were beyond expression. Those only who witnessed it can realize any thing of the extent of our sufferings, and I felt to weep and pray to the Lord, that he would spare my life that I might behold my dear family again. I felt to covenant with my God and my brethren, never to commit another sin while I lived.
We wept over our brethren, and so great was our sorrow that we could have washed them with our tears. To realize that they had travelled a thousand miles through so much fatigue to lay down their lives for their brethren increased our love to them.
Brothers Brigham and Joseph Young came from Liberty and assisted us to bury brother Wilcox; their presence gave us much consolation.
About twelve o’clock at night we drew brother Wilcox on a small sled to the place of interment, with one hand hold of the rope, and in the other we bore our firelocks for our defense. While two were digging the grave, the others stood with their arms to defend them.
While brother Luke Johnson was digging, the cholera attacked him with cramping and blindness; brother Brigham laid hold of him and pulled him out of the grave, and shook him about, talked to, and prayed for him, and exhorted him to jump about and exercise himself, when it would leave him for a few moments, then it would attack him again; and thus we had the greatest difficulty to keep the destroyer from laying us low.
This was our situation–the enemies around us and the destroyer in our midst. Soon after we returned, another brother was taken away from our little band; thus it continued until five out of ten were taken away.
The fear of the destroyer kept our enemies from us.
As I went into the woods to pray I was taken with cholera. I was instantly struck blind, and saw no way whereby I could free myself from the disease, only to exert myself by jumping and thrashing myself about, until my sight returned to me, and my blood began to circulate in my veins. I started and ran some distance, and by this means, through the help of God, I was enabled to extricate myself from the grasp of death.
On the 26th, Algernon Sydney Gilbert, keeper of the Lord’s Store House, signed a letter to the Governor, in connection with others, which was his last public act; for he had been called to preach, and he said he would rather die than go forth and preach the Gospel to the wicked. The Lord took him at his word; he was attacked with the cholera, and died about the 29th.
Brothers Erastus Rudd and Jesse Johnson Smith, a cousin of the Prophet, died at brother Gilbert’s about the same time.
I went to Liberty, to the house of brother Peter Whitmer, which place I reached with difficulty, being much afflicted. I received great kindness from them, and also from sister Vienna Jacques, who administered to my wants and also to my brethren. May the Lord reward them for their kindness.
The destroyer ceased, having afflicted us about four days. Sixty-eight were taken with the disease, of which number fourteen of the members of Zion’s camp died–eighteen died in all. Many of the brethren were cured by immersing them in cold water, or pouring it on them, repeating the application frequently.
On the 22d, Brother Joseph received a revelation, saying that the Lord had accepted our offering even as he accepted that of Abraham, therefore he had a great blessing laid up in store for us, and an endowment for all, and those who had families might return home, and those who had no families should tarry until the Lord said they should go.
I received an honorable discharge in writing from the hand of our General, Lyman Wight. Before we separated, the money which had been put into the hands of our paymaster, and had not been used, was equally divided amongst the company, making one dollar and sixteen cents each.
June 30, 1834.–I started for home, in company with Lyman Sherman, Sylvester Smith, Alexander Badlam, Harrison Brugess, Luke Johnson, Zera Cole, with brother Sylvester Smith’s team, as I had disposed of mine to Peter Whitmer.
After proceeding about three miles, we made arrangements for travelling. They chose me to be their captain, and all put their money into my hands, which amounted to forty dollars. From thence we proceeded until we came to brother Thomas B. Marsh’s house.
We crossed a branch of the Fishing River in a scow. Here an enemy came and swore he would shoot us. We continued on to brother Ball’s, where we stayed all night–some slept on the floor and some in the corn-crib.
The next morning we pursued our journey, and, after travelling about eight miles, we came to the Missouri River, which we crossed in a scow, the current was so rapid that it carried us down one mile, and landed us at Lexington, where we were threatened, but the Lord protected us.
We proceeded on our journey daily, the Lord blessing us with health and strength. The weather was very hot, still we travelled from thirty-five to forty miles a day, until about the 26th of July, when we arrived in Kirtland.
During the journey, with the exception of four nights, I slept on the ground. We did not travel on the Sabbath during our journey back, but attended to breaking of bread, &c.
I found my family well, enjoying the blessings and comforts of life, and I felt to rejoice in the Lord that he had preserved my life, through many dangers, seen and unseen, and brought me to behold my family in peace and prosperity.
After being at home two weeks, and resting myself, I concluded I had finished my mission to which the Lord had called me, and I established my pottery according to Joseph’s counsel, and continued about three months, until cold weather, when I was under the necessity of stopping for the time being, calculating on the opening of spring, to commence business on a larger scale.
At this time the brethren were laboring night and day building the House of the Lord. Our women were engaged in spinning and knitting, in order to clothe those who were laboring at the building; and the Lord only knows the scenes of poverty, tribulation, and distress which we passed through in order to accomplish it. My wife had toiled all summer in lending her aid towards its accomplishment. She took one hundred pounds of wool to spin on shares, which, with the assistance of a girl, she spun in order to furnish clothing for those engaged in the building of the [Kirtland] Temple, and although she had the privilege of keeping half the quantity of wool for herself, as a recompense for her labor, she did not reserve even so much as would make a pair of stockings, but gave it for those who were laboring at the House of the Lord.
She spun, and wove, and got the cloth dressed, and cut, and made up into garments, and gave them to those men who labored on the temple–almost all the sisters in Kirtland labored in knitting, sewing, spinning, &c., for the same purpose.
In the winter of 1834-5, I attended the Theological School established in Kirtland, in which the lectures on faith, contained in the book of Doctrines and Covenants, originated.
A certain number were appointed to speak at each meeting. On one occasion I was called upon to speak on the principle of faith. Several brethren spoke before me, and quoted every passage mentioned in the Scriptures on the subject. I referred to an original circumstance which took place in my family. My daughter had broke a saucer; her mother promised her a whipping, when she returned from a visit on which she was just starting; she went out under an apple tree and prayed that her mother’s heart might be softened, and when she returned she might not whip her; although her mother was very punctual when she made a promise to her children to fulfil it, yet when she returned she had no disposition to chastise her child. Afterwards the child told her mother that she had prayed to God that she might not whip her.
Joseph wept like a child on hearing this simple narrative and its application.
Dec. 22.–I commenced going to a grammar school, taught by Sidney Rigdon and Wm. E. McLellin; many elders and some of the sisters attended. I continued six weeks.
Feb. 14th, 1835.–I was chosen and ordained one of the Twelve Apostles.
May 4th, 1835.–I started in company with the Twelve on a mission to the Eastern churches.
I attended Conferences with the Quorum at Westfield, Chataque County, New York, at Freedom, Cattaragus County, at Lyonstown, Wayne County, and also at Pillow Point, Jefferson County; from thence I went to Plattsburg, where brother Orson Pratt and I separated from our brethren, and proceeded by steamboat to St. Albans. I visited Sheldon, where I was born, and on the Sabbath had an appointment to preach alone, brother Pratt having gone on. I preached to my friends and relatives several times. I passed over the Green mountains on foot and alone, ten miles between houses, through deep gorges. Attended a Conference in St. Johnsbury with the Twelve. I visited my connections at Plainfield, N.H., and preached to them amid much opposition, and attended Conference with the Quorum at Bradford, Massachusetts., also at Saco and Farmington, Maine.
My son, Heber P, was born in Kirtland, Geauga County, Ohio, June 1, 1835.
August 31.–We started for home; I passed through Concord, N.H., and at Plainfield I received seven dollars, a bequest left me by my aunt, which enabled me to proceed home. I went by stage, railroad, and canal, visiting my sister by the way, at Byron, and arrived at Buffalo, where I met the Quorum of the Twelve.
We went on board the steamer United States, and proceeded as far as Dunkirk, where she ran aground and sprung a leak; she made her way for Erie, where she arrived with difficulty, but we were under the necessity of running upon a sand bar, to save the boat from sinking, we re-shipped and arrived at Fairport; we reached Kirtland the same evening, Sept. 27.
A considerable portion of this mission was performed on foot, and I suffered severely from fatigue and blistered feet, which were sometimes so sore I could not wear my boots nor proceed without. I was frequently threatened and reviled by unbelievers, and had great difficulty in finding places to sleep and procuring food to eat.
I attended grammar school, taught by Elder Rigdon, about five weeks, and then commenced studying Hebrew under Professor J. Seixas, at which I continued during the winter.
March 27, 1836.–I attended the dedication of the House of the Lord, and received my washings and anointings with the Twelve Apostles; and received the washing of feet on the day of the solemn assembly. I received many manifestations of the power of God, and participated in all the blessings and ordinances of endowment which were then administered.
May, 1836.–I inquired of the Prophet Joseph if I should go on a mission to preach, or go to school, he replied, I might do either, for the Lord would bless me in the course I should pursue. Accordingly, on the 10th, I left Kirtland and proceeded to Fairport, where I took steamboat at 11 o’clock a.m., and next morning I arrived in Buffalo. From that place I passed on to the northeast, preaching where doors were open, and baptizing for the remission of sins such as believed.
June 13.–At Sackett’s harbor, I had the pleasure of meeting Luke Johnson and Orson Pratt, who were laboring with their might for the cause of God in that region.
I took the steamer United States to Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence County. About three miles from the village I was stopped by a shower of rain, and making known my calling, the people desired a meeting, and called in their neighbors, and I preached to them for an hour. Many stayed until midnight; and before I was up in the morning they called upon me, and requested that I should preach again that day in a school-house, which I did, and at night I was again thronged with those who were eager to hear. The second morning they likewise called on me, and would not let me go until they knew the truth of my testimony; and on the fourth morning I baptized three. I remained seven days, and continued preaching, and baptized and confirmed seven; and the promise was fulfilled, for those who believed spoke with tongues, and the sick were healed.
From thence I journeyed to Plattsburg, where I stayed all night with Mr. Mansfield, who was very friendly. I took steamer to St. Albans, Vermont, and visited my friends in Bakersfield; I was absent from Ogdensburg about five weeks, travelling through various parts of Vermont; and in my tour I visited Wright’s settlement on the top of the Green Mountains, where some were believing.
On my return to Ogdensburg, I met Elder Solon Foster at Potsdam. I preached there once, and eight or nine bore testimony to the truth of the Gospel which I declared. From there I went to Ogdensburg, and met the brethren whom I had baptized, and they rejoiced at my return. I tarried several days in those regions preaching and baptizing.
On the 25th of August while we were assembled for a meeting, our hearts were filled with joy by the arrival of Joseph Smith, Sen., the Patriarch, and his brother John Smith, who were on a mission to bless the churches.
On the 27th the Church came together and received patriarchal blessings under the hands of President Joseph Smith, sen. I wrote for him.
On Sunday, 28th, Father John Smith preached at 10 a.m. and four of us bore testimony to the Book of Mormon. In the afternoon we administered the sacrament, confirmed three, and blessed the little children of the branch.
Monday 29th. We ordained Alvin Simons an elder and Levi Chapins a Teacher to watch over the church; fathers Joseph and John Smith left us. I went to Black Lake, preached and baptized one; and I preached at Potsdam and baptized another. I returned to the township of Oswegatchie, called the Church together at Ogdensburg, which numbered twenty-eight, and bid them farewell. I left the church rejoicing in the Lord, and many around them believing the testimony.
From thence I pursued my journey to the town of Victor, Ontario County, where I met Vilate, my wife, visiting her friends: I tarried a few days with them. From thence we pursued our journey to Buffalo. Here a magistrate came forward and paid our passages, $5, to Fairport. We took deck passage; our company consisted of Swiss emigrants. After sitting and hearing them some time, the Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and I was enabled to preach to them in their own tongue they seemed much pleased and treated us kindly. We arrived in Kirtland on the 21st of October .
I was gone nearly five months, visited many of my friends, preached much and baptized thirty; the Lord was with me and blessed me and confirmed the word with signs following.
On or about the first day of June 1837, the Prophet Joseph came to me, while I was seated in the front stand, above the sacrament table on the Melchizedek side of the temple, in Kirtland, and whispering to me, said brother Heber, the Spirit of the Lord has whispered to me, “Let my servant Heber go to England and proclaim my gospel and open the door of salvation to that nation.”
The idea of being appointed to such an important mission was almost more than I could bear up under; I truly felt my weakness and unworthiness yet the moment I understood the will of my Heavenly Father, I felt a determination to go at all hazards, believing that he would support me by his almighty power. And although my family were dear to me, and I should have to leave them almost destitute, yet I felt that the cause of truth, the Gospel of Christ, outweighed every other consideration.
I met the Presidency at Elder Rigdon’s after meeting, and when they were about to lay hands on me, Elder O. Hyde stepped in and partaking of the Spirit of God, while hearing what was going on, he said, “Brethren I acknowledge that I have sinned before my God and you, and I beg of you to forgive me.’ The Presidency rejoiced and praised the Lord at this manifestation of repentance by brother Hyde, who said if they found him worthy, he desired to accompany me on my mission to England, or go on any other mission. The Presidency then laid hands on me, and set me apart to that mission and conferred great blessings upon my head; said that God would make me mighty in that nation in winning souls unto him, and angels should accompany me and bear me up, that my feet should never slip, that I should be mightily blessed and prove a source of salvation to thousands, not only in England but in America; after which Elder Hyde was set apart receiving similar blessings, and also Joseph Fielding who was a priest.
After being called on this mission I daily went into the attic story of the [Kirtland] Temple and poured out my soul unto the Lord, asking his protection and power to fulfill honorably the mission appointed me by his servants, that the God of Joseph, and all the holy Prophets and Apostles that were before him, would be with me by the administrations of his holy angels, and that I might have power so to live that all the blessings which had been conferred upon me in that house might be fulfilled.
Feeling my own weakness to go on such a mission, I asked the Prophet if brother Brigham might go with me. He replied that he wanted brother Brigham to stay with him.
At this time many had faltered in their faith, even some of Twelve were in rebellion against the Prophet of God. John F. Boynton said to me, if I was such a damned fool as to go at the call of the fallen Prophet, Joseph Smith, he would not help me a dime and if I was cast on Van Dieman’s Land he would not make an effort to help me. Lyman E. Johnson said he did not want me to go on my mission; but if was determined to go he would help me all he could; he took his cloak off his back and put it on to mine, this was the first cloak I ever had in my life.
Brother Sidney Rigdon, father Joseph Smith, brothers Brigham Young, Newel K. Whitney and others, said, “Go, and do as the Prophet has told you and you shall prosper and be blessed with power to do a glorious work.” Hyrum, seeing the condition of the Church, when he would talk about my mission, wept like a little child. He was continually blessing and encouraging me, and pouring out his soul in prophecies upon my head. He said to me, “Go, and you shall prosper as not many have prospered.”
June 12th. Elder Willard Richards arrived from his mission yesterday. I met him on the street today and told him I was now ready to fulfil my engagement with him. I told him I started for England tomorrow, and wanted him to go with me. Considering himself involved in business with brother Brigham, he did not believe he could go but upon consulting Presidents Hyrum Smith and Sidney Rigdon, and brother Brigham agreeing to take charge of his business responsibilities, he was set apart at 6 p.m., by brothers Hyrum and Sydney to accompany the mission to England.
I received the following letter of recommendation from the First Presidency.
At a conference of the elders of the Church of Latter-day Saints held in Kirtland, Geauga County, Ohio, on the second day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand, eight hundred and thirty-seven, Elder Heber C. Kimball the hearer of this was unanimously appointed, set apart and ordained to go at the head of this mission to England, to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of that nation, as it is believed and practiced by us–From the long acquaintance which we have had with this our worthy brother, his integrity and zeal in the cause of truth, we do most cheerfully and confidently recommend him to all candid and upright people as a servant of God and faithful minister of Jesus Christ. We do furthermore beseech all people who have an opportunity of hearing this our brother declare the doctrine believed by us, to listen with attention to the words of his mouth.
JOSEPH SMITH. SIDNEY RIGDON. HYRUM SMITH.
Presiding Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I laid my hands upon my family and blessed them and dedicated them to God.
June 13th 1837, I bade my family and friends in Kirtland farewell, and in company with elders Hyde, Richards, and Priest Fielding started on my mission arrived at Fairport, on Lake Erie, that afternoon, a distance of twelve miles; and about an hour after our arrival, took passage in a steamboat. Sister Mary Fielding gave me five dollars, with which I paid my passage and brother Hyde’s to Buffalo; after a pleasant voyage we reached Buffalo the next day.
There was means furnished by the Canadian brethren to help the mission but I never got a farthing of it.
I journeyed in company with Elder Richards to Richmond, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, where we spent one day visiting his father and mother, and were successful in obtaining $40 to enable us to prosecute our journey.
We arrived at New York on the 22nd day of June, where we met with brothers Goodson, Russell and Snider (they came by the way of Canada) all in good health.
Being scant of means we were obliged to rent a store house from Elijah Fordham’s father, on the floor of which we lay. He had as many as twelve beds which were empty.
While we remained in New York, we distributed O. Hyde’s Timely Warnings to the ministers of the different denominations, and taught the people the principles of the Gospel.
Elijah Fordham was the only Saint in New York, he gave me $10.
July 1st. We took passage on board the Garrick, and on the 20th landed in Liverpool. The mission consisted of elders Orson Hyde, Willard Richards, John Goodson and Isaac Russell and myself, also John Snider and Joseph Fielding who were priests.
While crossing the sea I dreamed that the Prophet Joseph came to me while I was standing upon the forecastle of the ship, and said, “Brother Heber, here is a rod (putting it into my hands) with which you are to guide the ship; while you hold this rod, you shall prosper and there shall be no obstacles thrown before you, but what you shall have power to over come,and the hand of God shall be with you; after this I discovered every kind of obstruction would be placed before the trip to stop its progress, but the bow being sharp, the obstacles were compelled to move out one side like a bulrush, and when the she would come to a mountain, it would plow its course right through, as though it was in water. This rod which Joseph gave me was about three and a half feet in length. His appearance was just as natural as I ever beheld him in the flesh he blessed me and disappeared.
Our passage was very agreeable, and the winds for the most part very favorable.
The last Sunday we were on the water, brother Hyde preached to the captain crew and passengers they gave good attention.
I was destitute of money. On the 22nd, we went by coach to Preston, thirty-one miles.
It being a public day, the streets presented a very busy scene indeed. I never witnessed any thing like it. Music playing, bags flying, thousands of men, women and children parading the streets, decked in ribbons, characteristic of their politics.
On one of the flags, which was just unrolled before us the moment the coach reached its destination was the following motto: “Truth will prevail,’ in large gilt letters it being so very seasonable, and the sentiment being appropriate to us in our situation, we were involuntarily led to exclaim. “Amen. So let it be.”
We took lodgings in St. Wilfred Street. Shortly after brother Fielding found his brother, the Rev. James Fielding, who requested to have an interview with some of us that evening. Accordingly elders Hyde, Goodson and myself went, and were kindly received by him, and Mr. Watson his brother-in-law. We gave them a short account of the object of our mission and the great work which the Lord had commenced, and conversed on these subjects until a late hour. The next morning we were presented with half- a-crown, which Mr. Fielding’s sister, Mrs. Watson, sent us.
Sunday the 23rd. We went to hear Mr. Fielding preach, praying to the Lord to open up the way for us. After he had got through his discourse, and without being requested by us, be gave out an appointment for us in the afternoon. It being noised abroad that some elders from America were going to preach, a large concourse of people assembled to hear us. I called their attention to the first principles of the Gospel, and told them something of the nature of the work which the Lord had commenced on the earth; after which brother Hyde bore testimony, which was received by many, with whom I afterwards conversed.
Brother Goodson preached in the evening, and brother Fielding bore testimony. On Wednesday evening, at the same place, Elder Hyde preached and brother Richards bore testimony. A number believed and began to praise God and rejoice, exceedingly. . .
The Rev. James Fielding shut his door against us and would not suffer us to preach any more in his chapel; and became one of our most violent opposers. He said respecting the first three sermons which were preached in that place, that “Kimball bored the holes, Goodson drove the nails, and Hyde clinched them.”
About day break, Sunday July 30th, Elder Isaac Russell came up to the third loft where Elder Hyde and myself were sleeping, and called upon us to pray for him, that he might be delivered from the evil spirits that were tormenting him to such a degree that he felt he could not live long, unless he obtained relief. We laid hands on him, I being mouth, and prayed that the Lord would have mercy on him, and rebuke the Devil. While thus engaged, I was struck with great force by some invisible power, and fell senseless on the floor; and the first thing I recollected was being supported by elders Hyde and Russell who were praying for me. They then laid me on the bed, but my agony was so great I arose, bowed on my knees and prayed.
I then sat on the bed and could distinctly see the evil spirits who foamed and gnashed their teeth upon us. We gazed upon them about an hour and a half, we were not looking towards the window but towards the wall, space appeared before us and we saw the devils coming in legions with their leaders, who came within a few feet of us, they came towards us like armies rushing to battle, they appeared men of full stature, possessing every uncomely form and appearance of men in the flesh, and every variety of stature and form, mean, mangled and deformed, who were angry and desperate, and I shall never forget the vindictive malignity depicted on their countenances, and any attempt to paint the scene which then presented itself; or portray the malice and enmity depicted in their countenances would be vain. I perspired exceedingly, and my clothes were wet as if I had been taken out of the river.
Although I felt exquisite pain, and was in the greatest distress for some time, and cannot even look back on the scene without feelings of horror; yet, by it I learned the power of the Adversary, his enmity against the servants of God, and got some understanding of the invisible world. We distinctly heard those spirits talk and express their wrath and hellish designs against us. However the Lord delivered us from them, and blessed us exceedingly that day, and I had the pleasure (notwithstanding my weakness of body) of baptizing nine.
Two of the candidates, on coming forward for baptism, ran a race; the younger, George D. Watt, outran the elder and was the first baptized in England.
Brothers Hyde, Richards and myself fasted one day every week.
Monday 3lst. We held Council, and appointed elders Richards and Goodson to go on a mission to Bedford; elders Russell and Snider to Alston, Cumberland; and elders Hyde, Fielding and myself agreed to labor in Preston and the regions round about. We continued in fasting and prayer until two o’clock in the morning. The next day the brethren took their departure for the different fields of labor assigned them.
We preached in private houses, by the fireside, at the corners of the streets, in the market places, and wherever the Lord opened the way; and baptized those who believed our testimony. Friday, August 4th. I baptized Miss Janetta Richards and confirmed her at the water side, being the first confirmation in England.
The following Sabbath, the 6th, we preached in the market place to a numerous assemblage, both rich and poor, who flocked from all parts to hear “what these dippers had to say.” We were opposed by a learned minister, who was confounded and went away disgraced in the eyes of the people.
In the evening those who had been baptized, numbering about fifty, met together at sister Dawson’s and were confirmed.
The Rev. John Richards an independent minister, father of Miss Janetta Richards, invited me, by letter, to preach in his chapel, at Walkerfold, Chaidgly, forenoon, afternoon in the evening, on Sabbath 13th, which invitation I fulfilled, and was kindly entertained by the Rev. gentleman, whose chapel was crowded with very attentive listeners. Mr. Richards gave out another appointment for me to preach on Monday evening, which I attended, and by request of the congregation, preached on Wednesday evening. A number believed the doctrines I advanced, and on Thursday six individuals, all members of Mr. Richards’church, came forward for baptism. James Smithies and his wife Nancy were two of the number. I baptized the most of Mr. Richards’ members, and he afterwards told me I had ruined his flock. I pitied the old gentleman, but I had a duty to perform which outweighed all other considerations. I shall ever remember with gratitude his generous hospitality.
About Sept. 12th, Brother Snider returned from the north, where he had traveled in company with brother Russell. They met with considerable opposition and had baptized 30 and others were investigating. After spending a few days with us, he and brother Goodson (who had returned from his mission to Bedford) took their leave of us and started for America on the 5th of October, brother Goodson pretending to have business of importance which called him home. He had over 200 Books of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, which he refused to let me have (although I proffered to pay him the money for them on my return), he carried them back to America and burnt them, from which time he left the Church.
The Rev. Robert Aitken delivered a violent and abusive discourse against the Saints in Preston.
The next Sunday, Elder Hyde and myself read the 13th chapter of 1st Corinthians and strongly urged upon the people the grace of charity which is so highly spoken of in that chapter, and made some remarks on the proceedings of the Rev. Robert Aitken, who had abused us and the Book of Mormon so very much; in return for his railing we exhorted our people to pray that the Lord would soften his heart and open his eyes, that he might see it was “hard to kick against the pricks.” This course had a very good effect, and that week we baptized fifty, a large number of whom were members of Mr. Aitken’s church. Thus the Lord blessed us exceedingly, notwithstanding the railing and abuse of the priest, and all this worked together for our good and the advancement of the cause for truth, and the work of the Lord continued to roll forth with great power. Calls from all quarters to come and preach were constantly sounding in our ears; and we labored both night and day to teach the people. We had to speak in small and very crowded houses and to large assemblies in the open air; consequently, our lungs became very sore and our bodies worn down with fatigue. At length we obtained a commodious place to preach in, called “The Cock Pit;” we had to pay seven shillings sterling per week rent, and two shillings for lighting it with gas. It had been recently converted into a Temperance Hall. When we leased it the area in the center was occupied by the singers, and our pulpit was the place where the judges formerly sat, who awarded the prizes at cock fights.
The temperance reformation in England commenced in Preston just previous to our arrival there, and it was often said by temperance men who joined the Church that the movement was a preparatory work or forerunner to the introduction of the Gospel; in most every place we went where there was a Temperance Hall we could get it to preach in, many believing that we made men temperate faster than they did; for as soon as any obeyed the Gospel they abandoned their excesses in drinking; and none of us drank any kind of spirits, porter nor small beer, nor even wine, neither did we drink tea, coffee or chocolate.
Our meeting was disturbed by some Methodist ministers. We got our hall, licensed, and policemen proffered their services to keep the peace and protect us from any further disturbances. Brother Hyde and myself made application to the quarter sessions and obtained licenses.
Although we had many persecutors, who would have rejoiced at our destruction and who felt determined to overthrow the work of the Lord, yet there were many who were very friendly, who would have stood by us under all circumstances, and would not have been afraid to hazard their lives in our behalf.
We divided the Church into several branches and ordained priests and teachers to preside over them. Thursday evening was appointed for prayer meetings to be held in different parts, and on Sundays for the whole church to assemble in the Cock Pit, when the Sacrament was administered, and such instructions given, as were thought necessary, for their spiritual prosperity and advantage.
After having attended to this duty, I again went into the county, where I spent the principal part of my time; leaving Preston on Monday morning and returning on Saturday night.
Having mentioned my determination of going to Chatburn to several of my brethren they endeavored to dissuade me from going, informing me that there could be no prospect of success whatever, as several ministers of different denominations and endeavored in vain to raise churches in these places, this did not discourage me in the least I went in the name of Jesus Christ. My testimony was accompanied by the Spirit of the Lord and was received with joy, and these people who were represented as being so hard and obdurate, were melted down into tenderness and love, and the effect seemed to be general.
I told them, that being a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ I stood ready at all times to administer the ordinances of the Gospel. At the close of my discourse I felt some one pulling my coat and turning around, I was accosted with, “Master! Master! Please will you baptize me,” “and me,” “and me,” exclaimed more than a dozen voices. Accordingly I went down into the water, and baptized twenty five and was engaged in this duty, and conversing with the people until 1 o’clock. The next morning I returned to Downham, where I had preached the evening previous to preaching in Chatburn and baptized between twenty-five and thirty in the course of the day.
Being absent from Preston five days, brother Fielding and I baptized and confirmed about 110 persons, organized branches in Downham, Chatburn, Waddington and Clitheroe–ordained several to the lesser priesthood to preside; this was the first time the people in these villages ever heard our voices, or ever saw an American.
We held a general Conference in Preston on Christmas day, the Saints assembled in the Cock Pit. There were about three hundred Saints present. There were delegates from each Branch to represent the branches around, which extended thirty miles. Brother Fielding was ordained an elder, and several others were ordained to the lesser priesthood to take charge of the branches. The brethren were instructed on the principles of the Gospel and their several duties enjoined upon them, as Saints of the Most High. We confirmed fourteen and blessed about one hundred children.
At this Conference the Word of Wisdom was first publicly taught in that county; having heretofore taught it more by example than precept and from my own observation afterwards, I am happy to state, that it was almost universally observed by the brethren.
I accompanied brother Hyde to Longton, where he had preached before, some were believing but none had been baptized. I preached a plain and simple discourse on the first principles of the Gospel, and after meeting baptized twenty-five. . . .
On a certain occasion while brother Fielding and myself were passing through the village of Chatburn, going to Downham, having been observed drawing nigh to the town, the news ran from house to house, and immediately the noise of their looms was hushed, the people flocked to their doors to welcome us, and see us pass. The youth of the place ran to meet us, and took hold of our mantles, and then of each others’ hands; several having hold of hands went before us, singing the songs of Zion, while their parents gazed upon the scene with delight, and poured out their blessings upon our heads, and praised the God of heaven for sending us to unfold the principles of truth, the plan of salvation to them. Such a scene, and such gratitude, I never witnessed before. “Surely,” my heart exclaimed, “Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise.” What could have been more pleasing and delightful, than such a manifestation of gratitude to Almighty God, from those whose hearts were deemed too hard to be penetrated by the Gospel, and who had been considered the most wicked and hardened people in that region of country.
In comparison to the joy I then experienced, the grandeur, pomp and glory of the kingdoms of this world shrunk into insignificance and appeared as dross, and all the honor of man, aside from the Gospel, to be vain. The prayer of my heart was,–“O Lord, do thou bless this people; save them from sin, and prepare them for thy celestial kingdom, and that thy servant may meet them round thy throne, and grant, O Lord, that I may continue to preach the Gospel of Christ, which shall cause the hearts of the poor to rejoice, and the meek to increase their joy in the Lord, which shall comfort the hearts of the widows, and cheer the soul of the orphan; and that I may be the instrument in thy hands of bringing them to Zion, that they may behold thy glory, and be prepared to meet the Savior when he shall descend in the clouds of heaven.”
We visited the branches, and imparted such instructions as the Spirit directed. We first visited the churches south of Preston, and after spending sometime in that direction, we journeyed to the north, accompanied by brother Richards, who had returned from the city of Bedford; his health being poor, he was not able to preach.
April 8th, 1838. We met in conference with the Saints in the “Cock Pit,” in Preston, at 9 a.m. There were about 700 present.
We appointed Joseph Fielding to preside, and Willard Richards and William Clayton his counsellors, who were unanimously sustained by the Saints. We ordained them high priests; we ordained elders, priests, teachers and deacons to minister in the various branches.
Evening. We held a council with the official members, numbering eighty, and instructed them further in their duty which meeting continued till one o’clock the next morning.
Most of the time during our stay in Preston, we made our home with sister Ann Dawson. We purchased our provisions; for our room, lodging, cooking and fuel, we paid two shillings sterling per week. We had no public contributions except for the poor; but, on leaving, the Church voluntarily contributed means to pay our expenses to Kirtland.
Throughout the entire mission we had no time to rest, being engaged constantly teaching the people in public and private. We frequently had to repair several times a day to the water to baptize, and sometimes were compelled to wear our wet clothing.
When we bade the Saints adieu, they wept like little children, thinking they would see our faces no more.
9th. At mid-day we took coach for Liverpool, elders Fielding and Richards accompanied us, in order to get all the instruction they could; but as we were detained several days by a storm, Elder Clayton and many of the Saints came to Liverpool to see us.
20th. Myself, elders Hyde and Russell, went on board the ship Garrick, and after a prosperous voyage of 22 1/2 days, we landed in New York. The sight of my native land filled my soul with gladness.
We found Elder Orson Pratt, who in company with his brother Parley P., had built up a branch of the Church in the city of New York, with whom we met, and whose hearts were encouraged by a rehearsal of the progress of the work in England. We continued our journey to Kirtland by steamboat, railroad and canal–arrived May 22nd–absent eleven months, and having been instrumental, in company with my brethren, in baptizing about 1500 souls, and establishing the Work in the heart of Great Britain.
I found my family in good health, and as comfortably situated as I could expect, for which I felt thankful to my heavenly Father.
As brother Joseph and the most of the Authorities of the Church had removed to Far West, Missouri, I took my family and journeyed, mostly by water, via Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri rivers, and arrived at Far West July 25th.
I had a happy meeting with Joseph, Hyrum and Sidney, and some of the Twelve. Joseph told me to preach to the Saints, and give them an account of my mission, and it would cheer them, which I did. The brethren felt deeply interested.
Bishop Partridge gave me a lot, and sufficient timber to build a house. While it was erecting, my family lived in a place I built for my cow, eleven feet square, in which I could hardly stand upright. The brethren were remarkably kind, and contributed to my necessities. Charles Hubbard made me a present of forty acres of timbered land, another brother gave me a cow.
While the bands of infuriated mobbers were burning the houses and destroying the property of the brethren in Daviess County, I went with the Prophet Joseph, and many of the brethren, to assist them to protect their families and disperse the mob. It was truly heart-rendering to see men, women and children, flying in every direction from the fury of their enemies. The mob forces increased until men from nearly every part of the state joined them, with the Governor (Lilburn W. Boggs) at their head, who ordered into service about 17,000 men, as reported by their officer of the state, for the extermination of the Saints.
The murders, house burnings, robberies, rapes, drivings, whippings, imprisonments, chainings and other sufferings and cruelties inflicted upon the people of God, under the illegal orders of Missouri’s Executive have been, only in part, laid before the world, and form a page in history, unequalled, unsurpassed, and unparalleled in the history of religious persecutions.
Each of these apartments had curtains hanging from the ceiling over head down to the top of the pulpit, which could be rolled up or dropped down at pleasure; and when dropped down would completely exclude those within the apartment from the sight of all others. The room itself was finished with slips and seats so calculated that by slipping the seats a little the congregation could change their faces toward either pulpit they chose; for in some cases the high Priesthood would administer, and in other cases the lesser Priesthood would administer. The room was also divided into four compartments by means of curtains or veils hanging from the ceiling over head down to the floor, which could be rolled up at pleasure, so that the house could be used all in one or divided into four rooms and used for different purposes. Thus the house was constructed to suit and accommodate the different quorums of the Priesthood and worship peculiar to the Church. The first story or lower room was dedicated for divine worship alone. The second story was finished similar in form to the first, but was designed wholly for instructing the Priesthood, and was supplied with tables and seats instead of slips. In the attic, five rooms were finished for the convenience of schools and for different quorums of the Church to meet in. There was no baptismal font in this temple, the ordinance of baptism for the dead not having been revealed.
At the time of dedication the first story was finished, also the attic, but the second story was in an unfinished condition.
At the dedication an address was delivered by Elder Rigdon, from Matthew 8th chap., 18th, 19th and 20th verses–more particularly the 20th. He spoke two hours and a half. The tenor of his discourse went to show the toils, sufferings, privations, and hardships the brethren and sisters had to endure while building this house, and compared it with the sufferings of the Saints in the days of the Savior. After the address the voice of the assembly was taken in reference to receiving and upholding the several presidents of the different quorums in their standing. The vote was unanimously in the affirmative in every instance. A hymn was sung, and then we had an interesting address from President Joseph Smith, and closed with a dedication prayer written by the Prophet.
During the ceremonies of the dedication, an angel appeared and sat near President Joseph Smith, Sen., and Frederick G. Williams, so that they had a fair view of his person. He was a very tall personage, black eyes, white hair, and stoop shouldered; his garment was whole, extending to near his ankles; on his feet he had sandals. He was sent as a messenger to accept of the dedication. The Priesthood was organized according to the proper order. During the whole of the dedication each quorum was placed in its respective station. Everything was conducted in the best of order, and profound silence maintained.
[The Kirtland Temple having been dedicated, the apostles and elders received their endowments, according to the promise of the Lord in Missouri. Says Heber:]
We had been commanded to prepare ourselves for a solemn assembly. At length the time arrived for this assembly to meet; previous to which the Prophet Joseph exhorted the elders to solemnize their minds, by casting away every evil from them, in thought, word and deed, and to let their hearts become sanctified, because they need not expect a blessing from God without being duly prepared for it, for the Holy Ghost would not dwell in unholy temples. This meeting took place soon after the house of the Lord had been dedicated.
When the Prophet Joseph had finished the endowments of the First Presidency, the Twelve and the Presiding Bishops, the First Presidency proceeded to lay hands upon each one of them to seal and confirm the anointing; and at the close of each blessing the whole of the quorums responded to it with a loud shout of Hosanna! Hosanna! etc.
While these things were being attended to the beloved disciple John was seen in our midst by the Prophet Joseph, Oliver Cowdery and others. After this all the quorums arose in order, together with the three Presidencies; and the Twelve then presented themselves separately and individually before the First Presidency, with hands uplifted towards heaven, and asked of God whatever they felt to desire; and after each individual petition the whole of the quorums answered aloud Amen! Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna! To God and the Lamb, forever and ever, amen and amen!
The 6th day of April being the day appointed for fasting and prayer, all the elders, priests, teachers and deacons, numbering about four hundred, met together in the House of the Lord to attend to further ordinances; none being permitted to enter but official members who had previously received their washings and anointings. Water being provided, the First Presidency, after girding themselves with towels, proceeded to wash the feet of the Twelve. After they got through the Twelve girded themselves and washed the feet of the Seventies. They then took their seats, each quorum seating themselves in their respective places and continued in fasting and prayer, prophesying and exhortation until evening. A sufficient quantity of bread having been provided to feed this whole assembly, it was broken by the First Presidency of the Church and Twelve, after which the congregation knelt while a benediction was pronounced upon it by the First Presidency; and afterwards the Twelve took it and administered to the congregation. Then wine, also being provided, was blessed by the First Presidency and in like manner served to the congregation by the Twelve. This order of things is similar to that which was attended to by the Savior, amongst His disciples, previous to His ascension. The meeting continued on through the night; the spirit of prophecy was poured out upon the assembly, and cloven tongues of fire sat upon them; for they were seen by many of the congregation. Also angels administered to many, for they were also seen by many.
This continued several days and was attended by a marvelous spirit of prophecy. Every man’s mouth was full of prophesying, and for a number of days or weeks our time was spent in visiting from house to house, administering bread and wine, and pronouncing blessings upon each other to that degree, that from the external appearances one would have supposed that the last days had truly come, in which the Spirit of the Lord was poured out upon all flesh, as far as the Church was concerned, for the sons and daughters of Zion were full of prophesying. In this prophesying great blessings were pronounced upon the faithful, and also great cursings upon the ungodly, or upon those who had smitten us. During this time many great and marvelous visions were seen, one of which I will mention which Joseph the Prophet had concerning the Twelve. His anxiety was and had been very great for their welfare, when the following vision was manifested to him, as near as I can recollect:
He [Joseph Smith] saw the Twelve going forth, and they appeared to be in a far distant land. After some time they unexpectedly met together, apparently in great tribulation, their clothes all ragged, and their knees and feet sore. They formed into a circle, and all stood with their eyes fixed upon the ground. The Savior appeared and stood in their midst and wept over them, and wanted to show Himself to them, but they did not discover Him. He [Joseph] saw until they had accomplished their work, and arrived at the gate of the celestial city; there Father Adam stood and opened the gate to them, and as they entered he embraced them one by one and kissed them. He then led them to the throne of God, and then the Savior embraced each one of them and kissed them, and crowned each one of them in the presence of God. He saw that they all had beautiful heads of hair and all looked alike. The impression this vision left on Brother Joseph’s mind was of so acute a nature, that he never could refrain from weeping while rehearsing it.
We were very much grieved, on our arrival in Kirtland, to see the spirit of speculation that was prevailing in the Church. Trade and traffic seemed to engross the time and attention of the Saints. When we left Kirtland a city lot was worth about $150; but on our return, to our astonishment, the same lot was said to be worth from $500 to $1000, according to location; and some men, who, when I left, could hardly get food to eat, I found on my return to be men of supposed great wealth; in fact everything in the place seemed to be moving in great prosperity, and all seemed determined to become rich; in my feelings they were artificial or imaginary riches. This appearance of prosperity led many of the Saints to believe that the time had arrived for the Lord to enrich them with the treasures of the earth, and believing so, it stimulated them to great exertions, so much so that two of the Twelve, Lyman E. Johnson and John F. Boynton, went to New York and purchased the amount of 20,000 worth of goods, and entered into the mercantile business, borrowing considerable money from Polly Voce and other Saints in Boston and the regions round about, and which they have never repaid. . . .
This order of things [apostasy in Kirtland and opposition to Joseph], increased during the winter to such an extent that a man’s life was in danger the moment he spoke in defense of the Prophet of God. During this time I had many days of sorrow and mourning, for my heart sickened to see the awful extent that things were getting to. The only source of consolation I had, was in bending my knees continually before my Father in Heaven, and asking Him to sustain me and preserve me from falling into snares, and from betraying my brethren as others had done; for those who apostatized sought every means and opportunity to draw others after them. They also entered into combinations to obtain wealth by fraud and every means that was evil.
At this time, I had many dreams from the Lord; one of them I will relate. I dreamed that I entered the house of John F. Boynton, in which there was a panther; he was jet black and very beautiful to look upon, but he inspired me with fear; when I rose to leave the house he stood at the door with the intention to seize on me, and seeing my fear, he displayed his beauty to me, telling me how sleek his coat was, and what beautiful ears he had, and also his claws, which appeared to be of silver, and thin he showed me his teeth, which also appeared to be silver. John F. Boynton told me that if I made myself familiar with him he would not hurt me, but if I did not he would. I did not feel disposed to do so, and while the panther was displaying to me his beauty, I slipped through the door and escaped, although he tried to keep me back by laying hold of my coat; but I rent myself from him. The interpretation of this dream was literally fulfilled. The panther represented an apostate whom I had been very familiar with. I felt to thank the Lord for this dream, and other intimations that I had, which, by His assistance, kept me from falling into snares. . . .
No quorum in the Church was entirely exempt from the influence of those false spirits who were striving against me for the mastery. Even some of the Twelve were so far lost to their high and responsible calling, as to begin to take sides, secretly, with the enemy.
. .”July 22nd , the Prophet Joseph arose from his bed of sickness, when the power of God rested upon him, and he went forth administering to the sick. He commenced with the sick in his own house, then visited those who were camping in tents in his own dooryard, commanding the sick in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to arise from their beds and be whole; when they were healed according to his words. He then went from house to house, and from tent to tent, upon the bank of the river, healing the sick by the power of Israel’s God, as he went among them. He did not miss a single house, wagon or tent, and continued this work up to `the upper stone house,’ where he crossed the river in a boat, accompanied by Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, John E. Page, John Taylor and myself, and landed at Montrose. He then walked into the cabin of Brother Brigham Young, who was lying very sick, and commanded him in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to arise and be made whole. He arose, healed of his sickness, and then accompanied Joseph and his brethren of the Twelve, and went into the house of Brother Elijah Fordham, who was insensible, and considered by his family and friends to be in the hands of death. Joseph stepped to his bedside, looked him in the eye for a minute without speaking, then took him by the hand and commanded him in the name of Jesus Christ to arise from his bed and walk. Brother Fordham immediately leaped out of his bed, threw off all his poultices and bandages, dressed himself, called for a bowl of bread and milk, which he ate, and then followed us into the street. We then went into the house of Joseph B. Noble, who was also very sick, and he was healed in the same manner.
“Joseph spoke with the voice and power of God.
“When he had healed all the sick by the power given unto him he went down to the ferry boat, when a stranger rode up almost breathless, and said that he had heard that Joseph Smith was raising the dead, and healing all of the sick, and his wife begged him to ride up and get Mr. Smith to go down and heal her twin children, about three months old. Joseph replied, `I cannot go, but will send someone.’ In a few minutes he said to Elder Woodruff, `You go and heal those children, and take this pocket handkerchief, and when you administer to them, wipe their faces with it, and they shall recover.’ Brother Woodruff did as he was commanded, and the children were healed.
“The mob spirits, when they saw men whom they thought were dying, arise from their beds, and pray for others, stood paralyzed with fear; yet those same men would have killed Joseph and his brethren if they had had an opportunity. Joseph recrossed the river to his own home and I returned to mine, rejoicing in the mercies and goodness of God. This was a day never to be forgotten by the Saints; nor by the wicked; for they saw the power of God manifest in the flesh.
“August 4th , being Sunday, the Saints met to partake of the sacrament, and received an exhortation from the Prophet Joseph, impressing upon them the necessity of being righteous and clean of heart before the Lord. He also commanded the Twelve to go forth without purse or scrip, according to the revelations of Jesus Christ.
“During the night of August 23rd, my son, David Patten, was born in Commerce, in the log cabin I had put up at the end of the Bozier house. We had a heavy thunderstorm that night, but the hand of the Lord was over us. As soon as my wife was able I moved my family into the new log house that I had built.”
Heber C. Kimball, Journal Excerpts and Letters
In another place, he [Heber C. Kimball] says: “I crossed the river to Commerce with several of the Twelve, and as I was standing by the railing of the boat, looking at the beautiful site of Nauvoo, and I remarked, `It is a very pretty place, but not a long abiding place for the Saints.’ These remarks reached Elder Rigdon and family and caused them to feel somewhat sad, as they were well situated in a nice stone house built by Dr. Isaac Galland, and otherwise comfortably situated. When we met in council in Joseph’s house, the case of . . . was brought up for investigation and disposed of in a summary manner. Elder Rigdon then arose and said he had some feelings toward Elder Kimball, saying, `I should suppose that Elder Kimball had passed through suffering and privations, mobbings and drivings enough to learn to prophecy good of Israel.’ I began to expect I was going to receive quite a chastisement from Elder Rigdon. Knowing his peculiar temperament, I arose upon my feet and said, `President Rigdon, I’ll prophecy good concerning you all the time, if you can get it.’ On hearing that, Joseph had a hearty laugh with the brethren, when Elder Rigdon yielded the point.”
On the 14th day of September, 1839, President Brigham Young left his family at Montrose and was brought by Brother Israel Barlow to my father’s house, where he remained sick until he started with father on their mission to England. He left his wife with a babe only ten days old and all his children were sick and unable to wait upon each other. On the seventeenth, Sister Young got a boy to carry her up from the river in his wagon to our house that she might nurse and comfort her husband to the hour of starting. My mother’s babe was three weeks old, and she was sick with chills and fever. The day before they started, my father had two very heavy shakes of the ague, and was very sick through the night.
On the morning of the 18th [September, 1839], Brother Charles Hubbard sent his wagon and span of horses with driver and their trunks were put into the wagon by some brethren who had come to bid them goodbye. Previous to starting, while they were taking breakfast, father got Brother Hubbard and another brother to cut down an old hollow tree which hung over the house. It had worried him so that he could not bear to leave until he saw it felled to the ground. When he heard it fall, he said, at the same time rising from the table, “Now I am ready to go.” The parting scene is best told by himself. He says:
“I went to the bed and shook hands with my wife, who was shaking with the ague, having two children lying sick by her side. I embraced her and my children and bid them farewell; the only child well was little Heber Parley, and it was with difficulty he could carry a two-quart pail full of water from a spring at the bottom of a small hill to assist in quenching their thirst. It was with difficulty we got into the wagon and started down the hill about ten rods; it appeared to me as though my very inmost parts would melt within me, leaving my family in such a condition as it were, almost in the arms of death. It seemed to me as though I could not endure it. I said to the teamster, `Hold up.’ Said I to Brother Brigham, `This is pretty tough, ain’t it? Let’s rise up and give them a cheer.’ We arose and, swinging our hats three times over our heads, we cried, `Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah for Israel!’ Vilate [Kimball] hearing the noise arose from her bed and came to the door; she had a smile on her face and she and Mary Ann Young cried out to us, `Good bye, God bless you.’ We returned the compliment and then told the driver to go ahead. After this I felt a spirit of joy and gratitude at having the satisfaction of seeing my wife standing upon her feet instead of leaving her in bed, knowing as I did that I should not see them again for two or more years.”
“We were without purse or scrip, and were carried across the prairie, about fourteen miles to a shanty near the railway where Brother O. M. Duel lived. We were unable to carry our small trunks into the house; Sister Duel, seeing our feeble condition, assisted the boy to carry them in. We were very much fatigued. As soon as we got into the house, she made us a cup of tea which revived us and prepared a bed for us to lie on. . . .
Next morning Brother Duel took us to Lima, about twelve miles. When he left us, he gave each of us a dollar to assist us on our journey. Brother Bidwell then carried us in his wagon to John A. Mikesell’s, near Quincy, about twenty miles. The fatigue of this day’s journey was too much for our feeble health. We were prostrated and obliged to tarry a few days in Quincy, when we began to recover. The brethren preached a few times in a meeting house close to the Congregationalist Church. They commenced their meeting at different hours from the brethren. Therefore they took a notion to disturb us by ringing their bell furiously after we had commenced our meeting. At one time, Elder John E. Page preached so loud as to drown the noise of the bell, and thus brought some hundreds who otherwise would not have come to meeting. I was prostrated with the chills and fever, and stayed most of the time at the house of Sisters Laura and Abigail Pitkin, who bestowed every kindness upon me they possibly could. Dr. Orlando Hovey, Sister Staley and her daughter were very kind to me and administered to me in my feeble state.
September 25th. We left Quincy at 11 a.m., feeling considerably better. My sorrow was great to see so many of our brethren sick and dying in consequence of being driven from Missouri and exposed to hunger and cold. Brother Lyman Wight took us in a one-horse wagon and carried us to Brother C. [Charles] C. Rich’s at Burton, where we stayed through the night. Brother Wight predicted many things and left his blessing with us when he bade us farewell. May God bless him and save him in His kingdom.
26th. Brother Rich carried us to Brother Wilbur’s; while on the road the chills came on me again, and I suffered much pain and fatigue.
On the 27th, Brother Wilbur took us in a buggy about 25 miles to the home of James Allred in Pittsfield, Illinois.
28th. Father Allred carried us to the place where Brother Harlow Redfield lived, where we preached to a small branch of the Church on Sunday 29th.
30th. Brother Rodgers carried Brother Brigham to Brother Decker’s and myself to Mr. Roswell Murray’s, my father-in-law. They were living within a few rods of each other near Winchester in Scott County. Here we also found a few brethren in the Church, who had been smitten and robbed of their property in Missouri. They were once more in comfortable circumstances, rejoicing in the Lord.
October 1st. We were carried to Lorenzo D. Young’s, a brother of President Young where we stayed and recruited our strength until the 4th, when he carried us to Jacksonville where we stayed the night. A sister in the Church hired a horse and buggy to carry us to Springfield, and Brother Babcock drove us there, a distance of 35 miles, where we were kindly received by the brethren and nursed. Brother Brigham was confined to his bed by sickness. Brother Libeus T. Coon, who was practicing medicine, attended upon him. Here he found Brothers George A. Smith, T. Turley and R. Hedlock. I went from house to house strengthening and comforting the brethren and teaching them the things of the kingdom. I was so far recovered that I preached on the Sabbath, which caused a great feeling of love towards us. They got a two horse wagon and harness, for which they paid fifty-five dollars, and collected thirty-five dollars in money for the company. Judge Adams, one of the judges of the Supreme Court of the state of Illinois, took me to his house. I stayed with him three nights and the most part of three days. He gave me five dollars when I left. I think he will come into the Church soon. My father-in-law went with me to visit his family and friends in the east.
October 11th. Resumed my journey in company with the brethren. We exchanged horses in Springfield, and with the assistance we received from the brethren living there, we succeeded in obtaining one horse and a two-horse wagon, in which the sisters fitted up a bed for Brother Brigham to ride on, as he was unable to sit up. We traveled eight miles with the three horse team, and put up at the house of Father Draper.
October 12th. We pursued our journey towards Terre Haute, traveled all day. Most of the brethren being very sick, I walked most of the way. At night I slept in the wagon with Father Murray and Brother Hedlock and caught cold. The next morning I had to go until twelve o’clock before I had anything to eat, and then it was transparent pork and corn dodger. The wagon broke down twice and the chills came on me about two in the afternoon and held me until night, and then the fever held me all night. I had the chills and fever three days, and lost my appetite.
The third chill was so severe that it seemed as though I could not live until night. We arrived at Terre Haute about dusk on the 17th. Brother Young and I put up at Dr. Modisett’s. Brothers Smith, Turley, Hedlock and Father Murray stayed at Milton Stowe’s, who lived in one of the doctor’s houses. In the evening, the doctor went to see them, as they were quite ill in health, and Brother Stowe very poor. The doctor expressed great sympathy for them when he returned to the house, relating over the poverty of Brother Stowe and the brethren’s ill health, and seeing them lying on a straw bed on the floor, he shed many tears to see the brethren going under such suffering circumstances upon such a long mission, but he did not have quite sympathy enough to buy them a chicken to make them some broth, or even give them a shilling, although he was worth four or five hundred thousand dollars. He said his taxes amounted to over four hundred dollars a year.
In the evening I became very ill. The doctor said he could give me something that would do me good, that would relieve me of my distress and I would probably get a nap, but the old man was so drunk that he did not know what he did, and he gave me a tablespoonful of morphine. His wife saw him pour it out but dared not say a word, although she believed it would kill me. In a few minutes after I took it, I straightened up in my chair complaining of feeling very strange and wanted to lie down. On my attempting to go to bed, I reeled and fell to the floor. There was hardly a breath of life in my body. Brother Brigham rolled me over on my back and put a pillow under my head and inquired of the doctor what he had given me, and then learned that he had given me morphine. I lay there for a long time. When I came to, Brother Brigham was attending to me with a fatherly care and manifesting much anxiety in my behalf. I said to him, “Don’t be scared, for I shan’t die.” In a short time he got me on the bed and nursed me through the night. . . .
It was through the closest attention of Brother Young and the family that my life was preserved through the night. I was scarcely able to speak so as to be understood. In the morning the brethren and Father Murray came to see us. The brethren laid their hands on me and prayed for me. When they left me, they wept like children. Father Murray felt very sorrowful. Said he, “We shall never see Heber again; he will die.” I looked up at them and said, “Never mind, brethren. Go ahead, for Brother Brigham and I will reach Kirtland before you will.” Brigham give them all the money we had except five dollars, and told them to take good care of the team and make all possible speed to Kirtland. They started that day. In about an hour after they departed, I arose from my bed.
October 22nd. Elder Babbit and Dr. Knight, an eminent physician, came from Pleasant Garden to see me. . . . Brother James Modisett took us in his father’s carriage twenty miles to the house of Brother Addison Pratt, from thence we were carried to Pleasant Garden. We found a few brethren and remained there three days preaching to the few brethren and those who wished to hear . . . Dr. Knight and some others gave us some money to assist us on our mission.
October 25th. I received a letter from my wife giving an account of her sickness since I left, also of the children William and Helen. I wrote her a comforting letter in reply, praying the Lord to bless her and the little ones.
26th. Sunday. Brother Scott sent his little son John, who carried us to Belleville, fifteen miles, several miles of the journey in a rain storm, which obliged us to put up at an inn for the remainder of the day and night. Brother Brigham was very sick and obliged to go to bed. I sat up to wait upon him and spent the evening with the landlord and his lady preaching to them. They received our testimony and were very kind to us.
28th. The landlord rose up very early and talked to the citizens about the travelers who had stayed with him the night previous and what he had heard us say concerning the gospel. The neighbors flocked in, made many inquiries and were very anxious we should tarry and preach in the place. The landlord said several times he hoped the stage would not come, that we might stay and preach as the people were very much excited by having had a great discussion between two popular religious preachers recently. The stage, however, came along about 10 o’clock and we started on our way towards Kirtland, and we left the landlord in tears. While in Pleasant Garden we obtained some money, so that with the five dollars we had left when the brethren left us on the 18th, now amounted to $13.50. When we got into the stage we did not expect to ride many miles. We rode as far as Indianapolis, Indiana, paid our passage and found we had sufficient means to carry us to Richmond, Indiana.
When we arrived at Richmond, we found we had means to take us to Dayton to which place we proceeded and tarried over night, waiting for another line of stages. We expected to stop here and preach until we got means to pursue our journey. Brother Brigham went to his trunk to get money to pay the bill and found we had sufficient to pay our passage to Columbus, Ohio, to which place we took passage in the stage and tarried over night. When we paid the bill, he found he had sufficient means to pay our passage to Wooster. We tarried until the after part of the day and then took passage for Wooster. When we arrived there, Brother Brigham went to his trunk again to get money to pay our bill and found enough to pay our passage to Cleveland.
When we got to a little town called Strongsville, about twenty miles from Cleveland, towards evening Brother Brigham had a strong impression to stop at a tavern when we first came into the town, but the stage did not stop there, and so we went on. We arrived at Cleveland about eleven o’clock at night, took lodgings and remained until next evening.
November 3rd. Sunday, in the morning, we went to the Episcopalian Church. While returning to the hotel, we met my father-in-law and learned that Elders Smith, Turley and Hedlock had just arrived in Cleveland. Father Murray was as much astonished to see me alive as though he had seen one risen from the dead. I don’t think I ever saw a man feel better than he did when I met him on the street. We walked with him a short distance and met the brethren, who were in good health compared with what they had been, and in fine spirits. We learned that they stopped at the tavern at Strongsville, where Brother Brigham had such strong impressions to stop the night previous. They had picked up Elder John Taylor at Dayton, where he was left at a tavern, very sick with the ague and fever a few days before by Father Coltrin, who proceeded to Kirtland. Brothers Taylor and Hedlock got into the stage with us which left early in the afternoon. They rode as far as Willoughby. We proceeded to Kirtland and arrived the same evening, where we found a good many brethren and friends who were glad to see us, thus fulfilling the prediction made on my sick bed.
Brother Brigham had one York shilling left and on looking over our expenses, we found we had paid out over $87.00 out of the $13.50 we had at Pleasant Garden, which is all the money we had to pay our passage with. We had traveled over 400 miles by stage, for which we paid from eight to ten cents a mile, and had taken three meals a day for each of which we were charged fifty cents, also fifty cents for our lodgings. Brother Brigham often suspected that I put the money in his trunk or clothes, thinking I had a purse of money which I had not acquainted him with, but this was not so. The money could only have been put in his trunk by some heavenly messenger who administered to our necessities daily, as he knew we needed.
Brother Brigham had one York shilling left and on looking over our expenses, we found we had paid out over $87.00 out of the $13.50 we had at Pleasant Garden, which is all the money we had to pay our passage with. We had traveled over 400 miles by stage, for which we paid from eight to ten cents a mile, and had taken three meals a day for each of which we were charged fifty cents, also fifty cents for our lodgings. Brother Brigham often suspected that I put the money in his trunk or clothes, thinking I had a purse of money which I had not acquainted him with, but this was not so. The money could only have been put in his trunk by some heavenly messenger who administered to our necessities daily, as he knew we needed.
There was a division of sentiment among the brethren in Kirtland, many of whom lacked the energy to move to Missouri and some lacked the disposition. November 10th, Sunday. Elder John Taylor preached in the temple in the forenoon. I preached in the afternoon, by way of comparison and had freedom and compared them to a parcel of old earthen pots that were cracked in burning, for they were mostly apostates that were living there. Immediately after I returned to the house of Ira Bond, Martin Harris, Cyrus Smalling and others came in and attacked me on what I had been saying, asking me who I referred to in my comparisons. Said I, “To no one in particular, but to any one that the coat fits.” I was so sick that I referred them to Brother Hedlock, who came in at that moment to talk with, as I was laying in bed having a chill and not able to talk. John Moreton and others declared I never should preach in the house again. Some of the people tried to make me angry, so as to quarrel with me, but they failed.
November 16th. I made my home at Dean Gould’s in the house of Ira Bond. They and families were all very kind to me and made me as comfortable as they could. I stayed with them most of the time I was in Kirtland, during which the weather was very stormy. I am thankful I got rid of the chills this time without the aid of medicine, but I continued afflicted with a cough which I caught by riding in the stage through the nights.
17th. Sunday. Brother Brigham preached in the forenoon and Brother John Taylor in the afternoon. In the evening Brother Brigham anointed Brother Taylor in the House of the Lord, he having previously washed himself in pure water. Then we all went to the temple. I was called upon and opened the meeting by prayer, when Brother Brigham anointed him with oil and pronounced such blessings upon him as the spirit gave utterance. Brother Taylor then arose and prayed. Brother Theodore Turley, one of the seventies, was then anointed by Daniel S. Miles, one of the presidents of the seventies, both of which anointings were sealed by loud shouts of Hosannah! Then their feet were washed and the meeting closed. A council was held with Brothers Kellog, Moreton and others, who took the lead in Kirtland. We proposed that some of the elders should remain there and preach for a few weeks. John Moreton replied that they had had many talented preachers and he considered that men of such ordinary talents as were on this mission could do no good in Kirtland. He thought probably that Brother John Taylor MIGHT do, but he was not sure.”
The following is the preface to a pamphlet [Journal of Heber C. Kimball (Nauvoo, Ill., 1840)] published by Robert B. Thompson giving an account of my father’s first mission to Great Britain and the commencement of the work of the Lord in that land.
“It is well known to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as to the community in general, that the labors of the elders has not been confined to this continent, but that the sound of the gospel of Jesus Christ has been heard upon the islands of the sea, and in Great Britain, numbers have heard and rejoiced in the same. Some communications have been published by the elders who have visited that land, which were read with deep interest by the Saints, who were informed in the last number of the “Elders Journal” published in Far West, Missouri, that I intended to publish a pamphlet giving a detail of all the principal transactions of the elders while in England, which publication was ardently desired by the Church and more particularly by those who had formerly dwelt and whose friends yet resided there. But on account of the unparalleled persecution which has taken place, and the scattered condition of the Saints, the publication of the same has been delayed. Although the Saints have endured great afflictions, and suffered many things, yet their desire for the prosperity of the cause of truth and righteousness is not abated, and their anxiety to hear of the labors of the servants of the Lord in a distant nation is probably greater than ever. A belief that the perusal of the journal of Elder Kimball would be a source of comfort to the Saints, and a cause of rejoicing to those who have had to drink of the cup of sorrow and affliction, and likewise a source of information and instruction to the Saints generally, has induced me to publish the same to the world. The generality of the Saints are acquainted with Elder Kimball, whose labor of love and humility is known by all who have had the pleasure of his acquaintance, while his uniform conduct and humility since he has been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, while engaged in different offices, and in circumstances the most trying and painful, render it superfluous for me to attempt to pass any eulogium on his character and speak louder than volumes in his praise.”
“My acquaintance with him [Heber C. Kimball] commenced in the spring of 1837. Feeling a deep interest in the mission about to be taken to my native country, I cultivated an acquaintance with all those who were going there; and it was no small gratification to me when I learned that Brother Kimball was to have the superintendence of that mission. The day appointed for the departure of the elders to England having arrived, I stepped into the house of Brother Kimball to ascertain when he would start, as I expected to accompany him two or three hundred miles, intending to spend my labors in Canada that season. The door being partly open, I entered and felt struck with the sight which presented itself to my view. I would have retired, thinking I was intruding, but I felt rivetted to the spot. The father who was appointed to superintend the mission to England was pouring out his soul to that,
“God who rules on high; Who all the earth surveys; That rides upon the stormy sky And calms the roaring seas.”
that he would grant him a prosperous voyage across the mighty ocean, and make him useful wherever his lot should be cast, and that He who “careth for sparrows” and “feedeth the young ravens when they cry,” would supply the wants of his wife and little ones in his absence. He then, like the patriarchs, and by virtue of his office, laid his hands upon them individually, leaving a father’s blessings upon and commending them to the care and protection of God, while he should be engaged preaching the gospel in a foreign land. While thus engaged, his voice was almost lost in the sobs of those around who tried in vain to suppress them. The idea of being separated from their protector and father for so long a time was indeed painful. He proceeded, but his heart was too much affected to do so regularly; his emotions were great, and he was obliged to stop at intervals while the big tears rolled down his cheeks, an index to the feelings which reigned in his bosom. My heart was not stout enough to refrain, in spite of myself I wept, and mingled my tears with theirs. At the same time I felt thankful that I had the privilege of contemplating such a scene.
I realized that nothing could induce that man to tear himself from so affectionate a family group, from his partner and children who are so dear to him — nothing but a sense of duty and love to God and attachment to his cause. I prayed that the Lord would bless the labors of his servant, give him a prosperous voyage, make him a blessing in my native land by bringing many into the kingdom of Christ, that He would be merciful to his family and when it was wisdom in God that he should return, that he might be brought home in safety and rejoice with his beloved family in recounting the mercies of the Lord. This the Lord has done in a remarkable manner and few, if any, have been as successful as Brother Kimball. Yet we do not find him boasting in his own strength; no, he knows it is the Lord’s doings, and that he was only an instrument in his hands, notwithstanding the great success which has attended the labors of this servant of the Lord, the same humility characterizes him, for which he has been so frequently admired.
The elders of Israel would do well to copy his example, and I hope they will receive some instructions from a perusal of this work particularly those who may visit Great Britain. One great cause of his usefulness was that he attended closely to the commandments of heaven and preached the gospel in its simplicity and plainness, without meddling with abstruse and dark passages, which are only a source of speculation and tend to strife rather than salvation. It undoubtedly would be pleasing to the elders who returned from distant lands to find their families enjoying the blessing of peace; but this was denied our brother, for after a hard and laborious mission, enduring great fatigue in traveling, and his body reduced by sickness, he in common with the Saints had to be driven from his home and be subject to all the hardships and trials consequent on a removal in the depth of winter form the state of Missouri. Yet none of these things moved him, for no sooner was his family in a place of safety and amongst the Saints, than he prepared for another mission, and with the Twelve Apostles, excepting Lyman Wight, John C. Page and William Smith, takes his journey to the scenes of his former labors.
The success which has attended the ministry of the elders in England and Scotland is certainly encouraging and hardly has its parallel in the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Although it has been principally received by the poor who have flocked to hear the tidings of salvation, yet there are some men of wealth and influence who have embraced the gospel with all their hearts, and who rejoice in its precious truths. The information received from the Twelve and elders who are now in that land, is of the most cheering character. A circumstantial account of which will be found in the Journal.”
From what has been already accomplished, the Saints can look forward with assurance that the purposes of the Almighty will be accomplished, and that the streams of knowledge shall flow throughout the world at which every honest heart shall drink and satiate until the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth, as the waters cover the deep.
When at first the work began, Small and feeble was its day; Now the word doth sweetly run, Now it wins its widening way; More and more it spreads and grows Ever mighty to prevail, Sins strong hold it now o’erthrows, Shakes the trembling gates of hell.
Robert B. Thompson.
“I found my family in good health, and as comfortably situated as I could expect; our joy was mutual. The Saints likewise welcomed us home, for which I felt thankful to my Heavenly Father.
But my journey was not yet ended, for soon after my arrival in Kirtland, I commenced making preparations to move my family to the state of Missouri, where Brother Joseph and the greater part of the authorities of the Church, and almost all the members who had any faith in Mormonism, had already removed. The cause of their removal to the west was the persecutions to which they were subject in Kirtland. Most of the brethren who yet resided there, although very kind and affectionate, were weak in the faith, in consequence of trials and temptations. This caused us to grieve exceedingly and we resolved to cheer them up as much as we possibly could. We preached in the House of the Lord a few times, recounted our travels, and the great success which attended our labors, also the marvelous work which the Lore had commenced in England. They began to take courage, their confidence increased, their faith was strengthened, and they again realized the blessings of Jehovah.
About the first of July  I commenced my journey with my family accompanied by Elder Orson Hyde, Erastus Snow and Winslow Farr, two brothers by the name of Badger with their families, and the Widow Beeman and her two daughters, Artemissa and Louisa, and Sarah Millekin, numbering about forty souls. We took wagons to Wellsville on the Ohio River, about 130 miles, then took steamboat to St. Louis, also from thence to Richmond on the Missouri River. Before we arrived at St. Louis, we were nearly all sick from the intense heat of the weather, and having to drink water from the muddy Missouri, they took every opportunity when the boat stopped to wood up, to go for clear water which the boat hands had warned them against, telling them it would make us sick. The cabin passengers had ice to use with it but we were not able to indulge in the luxury. The boat would often start before the brethren could get back but when they came running and shouting with their pails of water, they would go ashore and take them in and roar with laughter at their ludicrous appearance, more especially Brother Hyde who was very fleshy.
The water being very low, the boat was constantly running upon sandbars which made the journey very tedious.
Lyman E. Johnson, Sister Hyde’s brother who had formerly been one of the Twelve Apostles, was living in Richmond and he ordered a dinner at the hotel for all of his old friends, and treated us with very kindness. Brother Hyde and family remained there several days. Wagons were procured there to take us to Far West, where we arrived on the 25th of July.
The manners and customs of the western people and many things there were quite different from anything I had ever seen or heard of. The first peculiarity that I recollect was when we first landed in the west. Some orange girls came onto the boat and when the price of them was asked and they began talking of bits and picayunes, how we stared, it was all `Dutch’ to us and we had to get an interpreter. We stopped one night on the road from Richmond where they had Negroes and it was quite a novelty to hear them call the cows `sook cherry,’ etc. and see them tote, as they called it, the pails or tubs of milk on the heads and also water, a thing I had never seen before. Pails with bails was something unknown among them.”
The meeting between my father and the Prophet and others of his brethren was a happy one, some of whom were moved to tears when they took each other by the hand. Father was very weak and continued feeble for some time. He writes in his journal:
“Sunday, July 29th  I met Joseph, Sidney and Hyrum on the public square, as they started for Adam-ondi-Ahman, Joseph requested me to preach to the Saints and give them a history of my mission, saying it would revive their spirits and do them good, which I did, although I was hardly able to stand. I related many things respecting my mission and travels, which were gladly received by them, whose hearts were cheered by the recital, while many of the elders were stirred up to diligence and expressed a great desire to accompany me when I should return to England.”
“My dear Vilate: I am at Brother Evan Greene’s. We have held all of our conferences, have had two meetings, today being the Sabbath. Some have been added to the Church and prejudice is considerably laid. Monday we shall go to Jacksonville, then on to Springfield. I shall be home in two or three weeks if the Lord wills it so. Since I left you it has been a time of much reflection. I feel as though I was a poor, weak creature in and of myself, and only on God can I rely for support. . . . I have been looking back over my past life before I heard the everlasting gospel. It makes me shrink into nothing and to wish that I had always been a righteous man from my youth, but we have an advocate with the Father, and I can look back since I came into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with a degree of pleasure; but I can see if I had more knowledge I could have done better in my points. . . .I feel as though I had rather die today than be left to transgress one of his laws or to bring a disgrace upon the righteous cause which I have embraced, or a stain upon my character; and my prayer is day by day that God would take me to himself rather than I should be left to sin against Him or betray my dear brethren who have been true to me and to God, the Eternal Father. And I feel to pray to thee, oh Lord, to help thy poor servant to be true to thee all the days of my life, that I may never be left to sin against thee, or against thine anointed or any that love thee, that I may have wisdom and knowledge how to gain thy favor at all times, for this is my desire, and that these blessings may rest upon my dear companion and when we have done our work on this thy footstool that thou wouldst receive us into that kingdom where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the holy prophets have gone, that we may never be separated any more, and before I should be left to betray my brethren in any case, let thy servant come unto thee in thy kingdom and there have the love of my youth, and the little ones that thou hast given me. . . .
Now my dear Vilate, stand by me even unto death, and when you pray, pray that I may hold out to the end. . . . My heart aches for you and sometimes I can hardly speak without weeping and that before my brethren, for I have a broken heart and my head is a fountain of tears. My life in this world is short at the longest and I do not desire to live one day only to do good and to make you happy and bring up our little children in the ways of the Lord, and my prayer is that they may be righteous from the least to the greatest. . . The world has lost its charms for me, and I want to seek for that rest which remains for the people of God. I never had a greater desire to be a man of God than at the present, that I may know my acceptance with Him.”
His next letter was written from Springfield, October 25th.
“My dear companion: I have just returned from the office where I found a letter from you, and I need not tell you that it was a sweet morsel to me. I could weep like a child if I could get away by myself, to think that I for one moment have been the means of causing you any sorrow. I know that you must have many bad feelings and I feel to pray for you all the time, I assure you that you have not been out of my mind many minutes at a time since I left you. My feelings are of that kind that it makes me sick at heart, so that I have no appetite to eat. My temptations are so [indecipherable] it seems [indecipherable] I should [indecipherable] if I must sink beneath it. I go into the woods every chance I have, and pour out my soul before God that he would deliver me and bless you my dear wife, and the first I would know I would be in tears, weeping like a child about you and the situation that I am in, but what can I do but go ahead?
My dear Vilate, do not let it cast you down for the Lord is on our side; this I know from what I see and realize and I marvel at it many times. You are tried and tempted and I am sorry for you, for I know how to pity you. I can say that I never suffered more in all my life than since these things come to pass; and as I have said, so say I again, I have felt as if I should sink and die. Oh my God! I ask thee in the name of Jesus to bless my dear Vilate and comfort her heart and deliver her from temptation, and from sorrow.
Be pleased to look upon thy poor servant and handmaid and grant us the privilege of living the same length of time that one may not go before the other, for thou knowest that we desire this with all our hearts . . . and then Father, when we have done with our career in this probation, in the one to come may we be still joined in one, to remain so to all eternities, and whatever we have done to grieve thee be pleased to blot it out, and let us be clean and pure before thee at all times that we may never be left to sin or betray anyone that believes on thy name. Save us from all this and let our seed be righteous. Incline their hearts to be pure and virtuous and may this extend from generation to generation. Let us have favor in thy sight and before thine angels that we may be watched over by them and have strength and grace to support us in the day of our temptation that we may not be overcome and fall. Now my Father, these are the desires of our hearts and will thou grant them to us for Jesus’ sake and to thy name will we give all the glory forever and forever, amen.”
Here is a copy of the letter written [to] me from Pittsburg, July 10th, 1843: “My dear Helen:
I still remember what I told you when I left home, that I would write you. You have been on my mind much since I left home, and also your dear mother, who has the first place in my heart, then my dear children and brethren and sisters who have passed through much sorrow and pain for the cause of Christ.
My dear daughter, what shall I say to you? I will tell you, learn to be meek and gentle, and let your heart seek after wisdom, and always speak kindly to your dear mother and listen to her counsel while you have her with you, for there is no one that feels the care for you that she does. My child, remember the care that your dear father and mother have for your welfare in this life, that all may be done well, and that in view of eternal worlds, for that will depend upon what we do here, and how we do it, for all things are sacred. God knows my heart and how I feel for my dear family. My prayer is that he will incline our hearts to serve him all the days that we shall live on the earth and our children after us through all eternity, that none of them may ever swerve from these fixed principles of virtue and to be endowed with the wisdom of God, and to be kind and merciful to all the human family, as far as mercy can have any claim on the souls of men; so let our love abound. As we measure to the human family, so it must be crowned upon our heads, either in time or in eternity. It is always time to do good and as to wrath we will measure that out as God shall direct, and not as we will, for God says, “Vengeance is mine, and I will repay.”
Let us seek to be true to our integrity, wherever we shall make vows or covenants with each other. Then we have got in that narrow way that leads to eternal life. Now let us be careful that we do not make a breach, but let us learn by the things that we see others suffer, and not have to pass through them ourselves. You have some experience, and you see others walking through trouble and sorrow because those who have covenanted to be their friends have betrayed them. For instance, look and see what the Prophet has to pass through. This comes upon him because of the treachery of some who have promised to be his friends and the friends of God. We should have no trouble if it were not for such persons. They make league with our enemies, Judas like.
Oh, God, save me and my posterity from treachery, and let our hearts be filled with true integrity and benevolence to the human family, if we have ever varied from these principles, forgive and give us light to walk in the light, as thou, oh God, art in the light. Our hearts are known unto thee and we desire to continue in thee, as the branch cannot bring forth fruit except it abide in the vine, no more can we, except we abide in thee. Save us from our enemies, and let us live long and do much good, and see thy work prosper and spread forth on the right and on the left, and see our enemies fall and come to naught. Now, Father, I ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
I have written as it has come to me. I think this is the first that I have written to you. I hope it may not be the last. I hope we shall live to see many good days, and be a comfort to those of our kindred who have not yet come to the light of the gospel as we have. I have a longing desire to live many years and live that life that becomes a man of my profession, which is an apostle. I hope that I may live in honor of this title, that it may be handed down with delight by my posterity which shall follow me. Now, my dear Helen, pray for your dear father, that he may have strength to fight the fight of faith and win the prize and come off with honor in the sight of God, angels and men.
Now, Helen, study to be a comfort to all who are connected to us by the ties of nature, and also to those who have received the gospel of Christ. Be a pattern of good works and let your locks go down with honor. Envy no one, though they may think they are far above you. Now, listen with care and be meek, and no good thing shall be withheld either in time or in eternity, and you shall shine forth as the sun at noon day. Seek to be a comfort to your parents, brothers and sisters, and to your friends and connections, and all who love our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Probably I have said enough upon this subject at this time.
My health was tolerably good until I got to Cincinnati, then I had symptoms of chills . . . I was introduced to a very respectable family by the name of Baker, who were Baptists. They were very kind to me and my brethren. There was an English lady living with them as governess to their daughters, instructing them in education and taught them to play on the piano.
While I was there, she was taken sick and lay nigh unto death. She told me she could not live but told Mrs. Baker that she would like to have me pray for her. I did as she had requested and went back to my room, where I found Elder Pratt. In about twenty minutes, she came to our door and said she was well. She left the house and went around telling the people what had been done. After I had gone to bed, I was called up by Mr. Baker, as his daughter was very sick. I laid hands upon her and she was healed and went to sleep. She was well in the morning, and they were all believing. I baptized Mr. Baker and his daughter before I left.
We reached this place on the 1st day of July . I was taken with the influenza. It seemed to me I could not endure it, my lungs were so bad. I have not seen one well day since I came here. Elder Snow took it while on the boat, Elder Pratt also.
Last night I was taken with the cholera morbus. It seemed to me as though I could not live until morning. There were three brethren with me a good part of the night.
If you will examine the papers, you will find that this complaint is raging through the east. Elder Page is sick with it. There have been five baptized. They are a good people here. I think we shall leave this week for Philadelphia. . . . We are very sorry that Elder Brigham Young does not come on.
We have had some hints that Brother Joseph is taken with another writ. I wish that I could know . . . I expect that I shall find a letter at Philadelphia and get the news.
I received a letter from your mother by Phineas and was glad to get it. I have read it until it is almost worn out. Will write to her in a few days, have not been able to write before for some time. My head was so dizzy and I felt very poorly. I wrote one to William and hope that he has received it. Tell your mother to write without fail.
I hope to soon hear from poor William. How I long to hear from my dear family, for I love them with a perfect love, and there is no other thing that could induce me to leave them but the cause of Christ. That is all to us, for it is our meat and our drink to do the will of the Father in Heaven.
Now my dear child, be humble and pray for your dear parents, that they may have strength to win their way through with honor and integrity before God, angels and men, that we may be crowned together in the eternal worlds, where we shall never part, where pain and sorrow and grief shall not be known, where we can enjoy the society of our dear children and friends throughout all eternities.
Now, Helen, kiss your dear mother for me, and tell her to kiss the dear little babe for me. I can hardly think of him without weeping. I received the little lock of hair she sent me and carry it in my pocket. . . Give my love to Bishop Whitney and family, and to Sarah Noon. Tell her to be of good cheer, and also Brother and Sister Billings, and all that inquire for me.
If you should see President Smith, give my kindest love to him. I hope that he is not in the hands of his enemies. If so, God will deliver him.
My everlasting love to your dear mother and the children.
As ever, your dear father in Christ to his daughter in Christ.
Heber C. Kimball.”
The following I gathered from my father’s journal:
“Pittsburg, July 28th, 1843. Last evening Elders Brigham Young, George A. Smith and Wilford Woodruff came to our meeting as Elder Page was preaching. I must say that I was glad to see them, as Elder Orson Pratt and myself have been in this city nearly four weeks waiting for them. I thank my Father in Heaven that I have the privilege of hearing from my dear brothers and sisters and family; received three letters, one from my wife, one from my son William, and one from Helen. How precious to hear from my dear family whom I love and prize above all things here on earth, but I leave all for Christ’s sake and the gospel.”
From a letter received from my father, dated Philadelphia, August 13th , I gather the following:
On the 10th, I went to the post office and found a letter which gave me joy mixed with sorrow because you have been sick and you are so poor. O that I had you with me, to soothe your task and make your burdens lighter. Your letter was written on the 19th of July. You said that little babe had been sick and all the rest of the children. I am sorry, but hope they are all well now. O, my God, bless them and let their lives be precious in thy sight, is my prayer all the day long, and my desire is to make all happy and to have a pure heart before God, but I am frail and a poor weak man, and I need your prayers. I know that I have them and you are all remembered when I bow before my Father. . . .”
I have not got over the influenza yet. It has injured my memory, but it is coming back to me. . . . I seem to have favor in the eyes of the people, and I hope before my Father in Heaven. It is my meat and my drink to do his will. . . . I hope soon to get through with the business on hand.
From another letter dated “New York, September 3rd . We learned that they reached there on the 21st,” where they had spent nearly two weeks–Father had been very sick, and was quite feeble, and had lost much flesh. He said, “We intend to leave on the morrow, if the Lord will, for Boston. Our conference will be held there on Saturday and Sunday–when that is over, I shall make my way home as soon as possible. I shall go down through the state to see our friends and kindred. I suppose this will please you, my dear wife, but it will be no pleasure for me to go through that country without you; for you and my dear children circumscribe all other things on earth. The more I see of the world, the less I care for it. It is now more than a month since I have had a line from you. I have written once in eight or ten days since I left you, but you have more to press your dear body and mind, and I know it is a task to get along with your work, and to see to the children–how I would prize it to be with you to help bear your burdens. I will come as soon as possible, so keep up good courage.
“I received a letter from William Murray since I came here–said he should be in Buffalo on the first day of September, on his way to Nauvoo. They desired me to meet them there, for they had a seat reserved for me, but I expect they will get there before I do. If so, tell William he may build on that lot by Sister Pitkins, if he has a mind to and it will all be right.”
Mother received another letter from him, written at Boston on the 23rd of September . He wrote, “I have received your kind letter written on the first of August. We left New York on the 4th. On the 6th, Elder Brigham Young and myself went to Salem, and on the 18th, returned to Boston, held our conference on the 9th. Eight of the Twelve were present. What misery there is in this world; I think we are the best off of any others that I have seen in my travels. I long to see you and the children. I hold you precious in the sight of God, but I can leave you for the gospel’s sake, for my soul is bound up in the cause of Christ. I wish to seek the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness, for I want all things added to me here in this world, so that I can be crowned in the fulness of glory in the celestial world. These I know are your feelings, for you do not wish me to come behind in anything that will exalt us in the kingdom of heaven. I feel as though we should be united in whatever we may be led to do. You have been proven and tested, for you have been through the fire. I feel that we are one. I know of none who are more so than Heber and Vilate.
I hope Sarah is feeling well, and that I shall find you all well in body and in spirit. I did think that I would go and see your kindred, but I have changed my mind, and shall soon return to my family and my brethren and sisters, whom I love with my whole heart.
I have been blessed in temporal things since I came here to Boston–have sold a piece of land; have got some cash for the Nauvoo House and a little for the temple. It is hard times to do much. The Saints are coming up themselves and will fetch their money. Elder George A. Smith and myself intend to leave here tomorrow for New York if the Lord will, on my way home, will have to stop there one or two days, then a few days in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and also in Cincinnati. I will now bid you adieu for a little season.”
They arrived home in safety in the latter part of October, finding us all well. In the meantime, my Uncle William Murray had arrived with his family at Nauvoo, which was a great source of joy to both brother and sister whose happiness for a time seemed complete. He was the only one that ever received the gospel on either side, and when the welcome tidings came that he had listened to the sound of the gospel and obeyed it, my mother could hardly believe it, and was almost overcome with joy. Like every true Saint, the moment he received the true gospel, he could not content himself to remain with unbelievers. The people of God and those of the world are in opposition to each other. Christ has no fellowship with Belial.
How gross is the darkness that covers the minds of the people who are fighting against the principles of salvation. No one actuated by the spirit of God would do this or speak against his servants, but would be attended by the Holy Ghost, which would give them faith and reveal to them the power of God unto salvation; but which without faith, is impossible. We read that “the just shall live by faith,” and that “faith without works is dead.” We can understand the things of God only by the spirit and power of God. The revelations of Joseph Smith can never save others, unless they receive revelation from heaven of their truth, and they must seek for it in order to obtain it. Those who are too careless and slothful to read or to “search and believe in me, not in man,” as Jesus said for, “who leans on him leans on a broken reed,” will be left as many others have to stumble even at noonday. The sorrows and privations and all the persecutions endured by the Saints of God are light, when compared with the punishment of a guilty conscience and this is the punishment that awaits, not only those who persecute his people, but the ones who are too indolent to make inquiries for themselves, or to forego the momentary and fleeting pleasures of today, in the vain hope of gaining a little worldly pomp and praise. Here, we are as strangers in a strange land, and those who are too proud or obstinate to look up and read the directions so plainly written upon the guide board, which has been set by a Father’s loving hand, that his children may not miss the track and be lost in the darkness, or refuse to listen to his servants who are crying, “Come out of her my people, and be not partakers of her sins, that ye receive not of her plagues,” because He in his wisdom has chosen the meek of the earth who will do his bidding, being poor and unpopular in the world, renounce them as impostors, persecute and destroy them, will see their mistake when too late to retrace their steps and will have to pass through another probation.
Among the many pleasing incidents within my recollection was the [undecipherable] boat loaded with English who were obliged to leave the steamer at Keokuk in consequence of low water. They were singing the sweet songs of Zion as they came up the river at the close of the day and landed near the Prophet’s house, where stood scores of the Saints. Also many outsiders had gathered there and Joseph too, who welcomed them to Zion.
At another time the “Maid of Iowa,” in command of Captain Dan Jones, brought a company of two hundred and fifty Saints from New Orleans, who after unlooked for circumstances, causing a tedious journey of five weeks, arrived safely at Nauvoo, where Joseph and hundreds of the Saints were on the shore waiting to greet them with a warm and hearty welcome. A short but interesting account of their eventful voyage was given by Sister Priscilla M. Staines, in the “Women of Mormondom.” She was one of the passengers and happened to be an instrument in the hands of Providence to give the alarm of fire, or the boat would soon have been in flames. This was at Memphis, Tennessee. Some villain placed a half consumed cigar under a straw mattress, and other bedding that had been laid out of the ladies cabin to air.
They were mobbed and insulted at nearly every place where they stopped by the citizens along the river. They were not persecuted for polygamy–it was not upon those grounds that mobs collected and threw “stones through the cabin windows, smashing the glass and sash and jeopardizing the lives of the passengers,” for they had not heard of polygamy being practiced by the “Mormons” but they were treated more barbarously than foreign emigrants are treated today. So we know that polygamy is only an excuse and a most flimsy one too. This was their first experience in America, our boasted land of liberty–a refuge and home for the oppressed of all nations. Mobbing peaceful emigrants for nothing else, only that they were “Mormons.”
During the winter of 1843, there were plenty of parties and balls, and many were held at the mansion. The last one that I attended there that winter was on Christmas Eve. Some of the young gentlemen got up a series of dancing parties to be held at the mansion once a week. My brother William put his name down before asking father’s permission, and when questioned about it made him believe that he must pay the money for himself and the lady, whether he went or not, and that he could not honorably withdraw from it. He carried the day, but I had to stay at home, as my father had been warned by the Prophet to keep his daughter away from there, because of the blacklegs and certain ones of questionable character who attended there. His wife Emma had become the ruling spirit and money had become her God. I did not betray William, but I felt quite sore over it, and thought it a very unkind act in father to allow him to go and enjoy the dance unrestrained with others of my companions, and fetter me down, for no girl loved dancing better than I did and I really felt that it was too much to bear. It made the dull school still more dull and like a wild bird, I longed for the freedom that was denied me; and thought myself a much abused child, and that it was pardonable if I did murmur. I imagined that my happiness was all over and brooded over the sad memories of sweet departed joys and all manner of future woes, which (by the by) were of short duration, my bump of hope being too large to admit of my remaining long under the clouds. Besides my father was very kind and indulgent in other ways, and always took me with him when mother could not go, and it was not a very long time before I became satisfied that I was blessed in being under the control of so good and wise a parent who had taken counsel and thus saved me from evils, which some others in their youth and inexperience were exposed to though they thought no evil. Yet the busy tongue of scandal did not spare them.
A moral may be drawn from this truthful story. “Children obey thy parents,” etc. And also, “Have regard to thy name, for that shall continue with you above a thousand great treasures of gold.” “A good life hath but few days; but a good name endureth forever.”
The first New Year’s eve after the Prophet moved into the mansion, our choir, under the leadership of Stephen Goddard, to which I became a member some time previous, gave them a serenade.
We met at our usual place of practice, on the hill near the temple, and although the night was unfavorable, being dark and rainy, we, nothing daunted, started out between twelve and one o’clock, we struck up and sang the New Year’s hymn. The inmates were highly gratified and the Prophet came out and invited us to come in; but being late, we declined. After singing one or two anthems he pronounced his blessing upon the orchestra and choir, which repaid the brethren and sisters for all their trouble.
William Cahoon, John Pack, Stephen Hale and wives, William Pitt, William Clayton, Jacob Hutchinson, James Standing and many more, too numerous to mention, were members of the choir and most of the brethren belonged to William Pitt’s brass band. We enjoyed together many happy seasons, though of short duration.
Our music hall was built one block east of the temple but was not finished until after the death of the Prophet. Previous to that we held an occasional concert in the Masonic Hall which, according to history, was considered “the most substantial and best finished Masonic Temple in the western states.”
We were not wanting for amusements, even in the midst of some of the most trying scenes. The Latter-day Saints seldom drooped or pined for their “Leeks and Onions,” but adapted themselves to circumstances with an excellent grace.
Our first dramatic entertainments were given in the Nauvoo Masonic Hall in the spring of 1844, under the direction of Thomas A. Lyne and George J. Adams, the latter claiming Heber C. Kimball as his father in the gospel, took up his abode with us whenever he came to our city, was there during the summer of 1843, at which time my father being absent upon a mission, made it rather hard for my mother to get along, as I went to school and she was obliged to hire a woman to do the work, her own health being very poor and her baby sick, which he did not seem to realize as he never offered any recompense.
In the spring of 1844, during the dramatic season, he with his wife and sister stayed with us, but my father was at home which made quite a difference. I was just at the age to enjoy such amusements, which made time pass very agreeably. Miss Adams was a fine young lady and very gifted as an actress, in fact was quite a star, though a new beginner like all the rest, with the exception of Lyne, he spent much of his time at our house, as they were old friends, and he was a “Mormon.” Mrs. Adams was a dignified and quite a distinguished looking woman, and made a fine appearance upon the stage, but she played only one night–took the part of the countess in the “Orphan of Geneva,” and thought herself so disguised that no one would recognize her, but when she found that she was known she could not be prevailed upon to go on again, and as the play was to be repeated the next night, they were in a terrible dilemma, not knowing what to do as we had returned home, and it was then near midnight. One of them proposed my taking the part (Adams or Lyne), and the women and all set in flattering and teasing me to take it. But I was a timid girl of fifteen and frightfully bashful, and the idea of taking so dignified a part was to my mind utterly absurd, having only been upon the stage in two plays, first as one of the virgins in “Pizarro,” and another simple part, but all my excuses were useless and I was fairly pressed into service.
Adams said encouragingly, “I’ll help you out,” and as Lyne was leaving he said, “Now study the part over good tonight and then retire and sleep on it, and you’ll nearly know it in the morning,” which direction I followed, and having a quick memory was able to repeat every word at the rehearsal, but when before an audience I was so frightened that I remembered very little. My wits nearly deserted me, but Adams was true to his promise and by his readiness assisted me to recover from my confusion. Though he was never up in his own part, he was never at a loss for a substitute in every emergency, but which was anything but pleasing to those who depended upon him for their cue. He was a very good actor, and J. Hatch, a young lawyer, uncle to President Abram Hatch of Heber City, was also good as well as Amasa Lyman and W. H. Folsom and others. But no part in “Pizarro” was better played than was the priest by Brigham Young. There was some good acting done–some so life-like that at times nearly the whole audience would be affected to tears. Joseph [Smith] did not try to hide his feelings, but was seen to weep a number of times. Among our best comedians was Hiram B. Clawson, who I think was the youngest of the boys. That was forty years ago, and the scenes have been changing until but few are now left who took part in the first dramatic entertainments held in our beautiful city in 1845.
On the 11th of May  following, my brother William H. and Mary Davenport were joined in wedlock by father at the house of Winsor P. Lyons, and on the 13th he brought her home to live with us.
On the 17th [May 1844], a national convention was held, Joseph being candidate for the presidency. A great deal of enthusiasm was manifested by the people, which was not confined to our cities, but according to history, twenty-seven states were represented. My father and others of the apostles were appointed to go east to electioneer for General Joseph Smith.
By some it may be thought an excess of sentiment in me to publish extracts from so many of my parents’ letters, and I will here just say that I have not done so for the mere pleasure of rehearsing them, for I felt a delicacy in so doing and had it not been for the urgent request of others who expressed their pleasure in reading them, I should have ceased long since.
The correspondence from May 21st until June 30th, 1844, contains some interesting items, which will no doubt be read with unusual interest at this peculiar period of our history.
It was understood before my father left for the east that my mother should accompany George J. Adams to Philadelphia where she was to meet him, and that I should go too, if sufficient means could be procured. We were to start by the 2st of July. My mother, William and myself accompanied father to the steamer and remained on board until it started. When we parted he said to me, “Come with your ma if you can, but I beg you not to stand in the way of her coming but do all you can to help her off.” I had a great desire to go back and make a visit. Besides, I wanted to see something of the world and my feelings were sorely tried, as well as my weak faith. In fact, I was considerably disaffected and like many of our youth in these valleys, I imagined that all was fair and beautiful without, and that there my days would be one round of pleasures. At all events, I was bound to go whenever my mother went. She was feeble in health and one or more of the little boys were sick and withal there seemed an unusual gloom, or foreboding of something, they knew not what.
The following I extract from a letter commenced at Legrand, Missouri. Father [Heber C. Kimball] writes:
“Although I bade you farewell this morning, . . . no tongue could express my feelings. What a pleasure it would have been if I could have left you and the children well, and my heaven on earth in less confusion–for my home is my heaven here; but it was not so. How my heart beats with sorrow and pain; I feel as though it would melt within me. Every thread and fibre in my body feel it so keenly. It seems, sometimes, as though I could not endure the things that lie before me; but God is able to do all things for us, so hold on, my dear Vilate, for my sake and those little children that He has given us. O how I felt when I left them! Before I began this letter, I left the boat and went on top of a mountain and offered up a prayer to the Lord, that peace might be with us forever.
22nd. We are at the mouth of the Missouri River. I feel very unwell this morning–did not get much sleep. I was conversing with a lawyer from Pittsburgh until nearly twelve o’clock and laid down on the table and took cold–the staterooms were all full when we got on. The lawyer with whom I conversed said he was confounded and that I had knocked out all of his props, and he was almost persuaded to be a Christian–he should vote for Joseph Smith, anyhow. He said I was one of the strangest men that he had ever met. . . . Elders Wite, Miller and Dr. Young delivered speeches on politics. It has been business times on board this boat, but all good natured. This morning we have taken the election, the different candidates for president: For Joseph Smith, four ladies and sixty-three gents; for Clay, six ladies and twenty-seven gents; for Van Buren, two ladies and thirteen gents; for Cass, one; for Birny, two; Johnson, none; Calhoun, none.
There are one hundred and seventy passengers, seventeen cabin passengers. Mormonism is the topic this morning. I will be obliged to stop writing for confusion.
23rd. It was twelve o’clock when I got into bed last night. William Smith came on board before I was up. We have taken a boat bound for Pittsburgh–the best on the river. If I could just look in and say good morning, and see that pleasant smile I so often get, and those little children I so dearly love, what a comfort it would be. I hope you will come with Elder Adams. Start by the 1st of July, lest the water gets low. Remember me to Helen and Sarah Ann Whitney, and tell them to be good girls and cultivate union, and listen to counsel from the proper source–then they will get the victory.”
He wrote from Pittsburgh, saying they arrived May 30. They had had much peace and good feeling, had preached four times between there and St. Louis, and conversed most of the time when awake upon religion and politics. When he left us he had but fifty cents in money, and he sent us things that cost nearly twelve dollars, by Mr. Halliday, a merchant of Nauvoo. He wrote in this letter: “While at Cincinnati, I had eleven dollars given me with which I bought the groceries, etc., which I sent you, so you see how good the Lord is to us all the day long. We held a meeting last night. Elder Smith and myself spoke. We leave here at two o’clock for Washington.”
He wrote William a letter dated Washington, June 3rd, saying: “We arrived in this city last evening just as the sun was setting. We stopped one night in Cincinnati. In the morning at eight o’clock held a conference and left at ten. Those who were on board at Nauvoo came through with us to Pittsburgh. They were very hard on us when we went on board, but after conversing with them became very friendly, and said if that was the religion we believed they would bid us Godspeed, for it was what they believed.
We stopped one night at Pittsburgh. Elder William Smith and myself preached that night. Next morning took steamer up the Monongohela seventy-two miles, then took coach to this place–were twelve days and a half coming. We put up at the National Hotel–the best house in the city. This is where the Prophet stopped when here. Elder Wite and myself went one mile east of the capitol to one Mr. Linsly’s, one of the richest men in Washington. His wife is a member of our church, and also one of his servants. The old gentleman took us through his vineyard and garden–has all kinds of grapes and fruit trees. He has between two and three million of silk worms; it was a great sight. He is a friend to us and likes our doctrine. When we left they invited us to come and make our home with them while in the city . . . Judge Douglas came in last evening and had a long chat with us; says he will do anything for us that we wish–will give us an introduction to several of the congressmen today. Says there is no prejudice towards us in this place of any account. All there is, is among the ignorant class. Elder Pratt left here one week ago, Elder Hyde has been gone some time. We feel well in mind. . . . We went to see Judge Douglas this morning; he was not well, so we returned. The only time to get an interview with these men is in the evening. . . .
Now, my dear son, be tender with your mother, for she is a kind mother. Be patient and mild and use soft words. Also be kind to Helen and the little boys. Be a father to them, and keep them out of the wet and take good care of your own health. Tell Mary to do the same. I esteem her as my own daughter. Do not go hungry, nor in want, for I intend that my family shall have what they need for their comfort while I live. As we have only one life here, so let us do good and serve the Lord with pure hearts, and speak evil of no man. I have no fears but you will take good care of things. I want you and Helen to write me; I think much about her. It is now twelve o’clock and we are going up to the capitol.”
The following is from another letter dated June 4th. Father says: “We went this morning to see Judge Sample–he is from Alton, Illinois. He appeared friendly while with him. There was another judge came in. Said he, `Joe Smith has sent out fifty of his smartest men to preach his — doctrine and to electioneer for him.’ Said he had heard some of them preach and they were smart men. Judge Sample asked him if he had ever seen Joseph Smith. He answered he never had. `Judge, he is a smart man,’ said Sample. `I have one of his “views” which is very good.’ Said he, `These men are some of his (Smith’s) society.’ `Ah, indeed, are they? Will Smith get any votes in Illinois?’ Said Judge Sample, `They go strong in the west for him,’ . . . It is all politics in the east. Congress has spent three days on it, but it seems all stuff to me. I cannot take any pleasure in these things any more than I can in the religion of the sects.
I feel humble to cleave unto the Lord. I can bear testimony that He is good to me all the day long. I suffer less from fear than I have hitherto done. I feel different, and as though I had authority given me from God to speak as though I had been sent of God, and not as the scribes. After all, I suffer some before these great men; still they know nothing of God, all they know is about the politics of this world, and what is that? Why, it is like the sectarian religion, part true and part untrue; but a little more not true than true.”
The following is from a letter written me by my father in fulfillment of promise:
“Washington, June 9, 1844.
My dear daughter–I told you of the blessings that we have received from our Father which is in Heaven, so be obedient to the counsel you have given to you from your dear father and mother, who seek your welfare both for time and eternity. There is no one that feels as we do for you. Prove yourself approved of God and man, as a true, undeviating friend through poverty as well as riches. This has been the spirit I have endeavored to maintain since I have been a member of the Church of Christ. I want my children to be true and faithful in all things, and never swerve from the truth in any case. If you should be tempted or have feelings in your heart, tell them to no one but your father and mother. If you do, you will be betrayed and exposed to your hurt. Remember, my dear child, what I tell you, for you will find that I tell you the truth in Christ and lie not. You are blessed, but you know it not. You have done that which will be for your everlasting good for this world and that which is to come. I will admit there is not much pleasure in this world. Our circumstances are such that I see no way for it at present. Congress will not do anything for us, no nothing. Neither do I care whether they do or not, but we will tease them all the day long. They think they have got a great deal of power, and all of this world is theirs to give or retain. The devil thought he had all at his command when he wanted to hire Jesus to worship him. He had violated all rights or claims–so has Congress. We will go where we can find a home, and worship God in His own way, and enjoy our rights as free citizens, and this will not be long.
Now, my daughter, I have spoken plainly to you, more so than I ever did before. Be wise and you shall prosper in all things, and you shall lack for nothing that is good. Be true to the covenants that you have made, keep the company of those who are wise and keep close mouths. Solomon says, “A wise head keeps a close mouth.” . . . Do not slight your friends, be kind, be merciful, be gentle, be sober, and show yourself approved of God and of your friends. Be kind to your dear mother, take burdens off from her shoulders; be mild and pleasant to all. This is the way to get the good will even of a dog, for every spirit will beget its own likeness.
Now, Helen, let me tell you one thing that I want you to do. Take one of my large blank books and commence your life back as far as you can, and when I write my general history I can put yours in with it. I want William to do the same. Do not forget this–then you can put all the letters that I write you in their proper places to be handed down to our children for them to read. . . .
It will be three weeks tomorrow since I left my sweet home. O sweet home! it is a heaven to me.
The capitol stands on an eminence, like our [Nauvoo] temple. This building is a great deal larger than our temple will be. The stone of which it is built is a little whiter color than that of the temple. It is surrounded with a large park, decorated with trees of all kinds and flowers, with several pools of pure water, with fish in them. It looks like a paradise in point of decoration. O that we had such a place! We will when we build up a sure place. I want to see our Prophet here in the chair of state, then we would come to see him.
Elder Hyde came here on Saturday, and we held a meeting yesterday. Elder Wight and myself preached and it left a good impression on their minds. I think we shall leave here tomorrow for Delaware, and hold a conference. If you can get the means, come with your mother, but do nothing to hinder her coming. You shall have your chance in turn. Be wise, and when you get this do not fail to write me and direct to the city of New York. Be a good girl. May the Lord bless you and your dear mother and brethren. As ever your affectionate father,
Heber C. Kimball.”
I copy the following incidents from my father’s [Heber C. Kimball’s] journal.
“May 28th, 1845. This day the timbers were raising in the attic story of the temple, on the dome or steeple.
May 29th  . Spent a short time at Bishop Whitney’s–had a good time talking of the order of salvation. . . . In the evening met with my brethren at Willard Richard’s office. . . . We called on the Lord for rain, and for the brethren upon the islands of the sea, for those who had gone west, for the sick, and for union. Great union prevailed.
May 30th. Sister Sarah M. Kimball came and took myself and wife in her buggy. . . . I got out at Warsaw Street. Went to General Charles C. Rich’s. . . . Then to Elder John Taylor’s where I found the Twelve. . . . William Smith was dissatisfied, otherwise the Twelve were one. Took dinner with Elder Taylor. Mother Smith came into our council at 2 o’clock to express her feelings before the Twelve–called us her children. The feelings of the Twelve were expressed by our president towards the families of the Smiths–that we would do all that we could for them.
Sunday, June 1st . I went to the stand. . . . Meeting was opened. I was called upon to speak. . . . Spoke one half hour. John Taylor followed, then President Brigham Young spoke for some time. There was much joy among the Saints, as we had not been on the stand before for three weeks–had been obliged to hide up. In the evening met at Elder Richard’s for prayer–prayed for rain, had a good time and broke up at half past one in the morning.”
That day was my mother’s 39th birthday, which my father [Heber C. Kimball] mentions in his journal. The 2nd day of June he speaks of five of the Seventies coming to dig his cellar, and says: “We had a fine shower in answer to prayer. We praised the Lord for His great goodness. 2nd day. Began to lay stone in my cellar. . . . The day pleasant–all peace and harmony in our city.”
About two years previous to this, a brick addition was made to our log house. The log part was now torn down and a two-story one of brick built in its place. Father had purchased a good house and lot adjoining ours of Brother John Tibbits, and presented it to my brother William. The chamber of it we occupied until the upper part of ours was finished and painted, containing a parlor, two bedrooms and a clothes press to each, with hall. The largest room, with exception of the parlor, was mine, with two large windows, one opened to the south and the other east, towards the temple. The rooms on the basement were very similar. The hall passed east and west, front door opening towards the river, and over it was a large stone on which my father had his name engraven. This was the first nice house that he had been able to build us, his time having been previously engaged in the Father’s vineyard with his brethren, the Apostles and then, much of the time they were obliged to keep themselves hidden or disguised to escape writs being serve don them. They had to adopt different disguises, which were sometimes very droll and ludicrous, and which afforded us no little amount of fun and amusement. The last year spent in Nauvoo, though it was not all gladness and delight, was the liveliest and I took more real pleasure and can look back to it and my associations there as the brightest and happiest that I ever experienced in that city. “Pleasures are brightest as they take their flight.”
I [Helen Whitney] find many things mentioned in my father’s [Heber C. Kimball’s] journal which I remember as I read them, and they bring to my mind other incidents which had it not been for his record, would probably have been buried in oblivion. I will copy a few as they were written by his own hand in 1845. He says:
“On the morning of the 18th of June , I went to John Taylor’s to read history. President Brigham Young, George A. Smith, John Taylor and myself–Brother Ezra Benson read for us. The same morning Phineas Young and Charles Shumway returned home from their western mission. At four o’clock they came in where the brethren were reading, and we stopped to listen to a letter from Brother Dunham, and they gave to us a history of their travels. They have had some difficulties, but all will work right in the end.”
Next day he writes, “I and others of the Twelve were sent for by Sister Jennetta Richards (Brother Willard’s wife,) to meet there and pray for her, as she felt that she could not live long. We also prayed for my wife, who is very sick, and offered up prayer for Bishop Whitney, who has gone to St. Louis, that he may be prospered.”
The same day, he writes, “Brigham Young, George A. Smith, and myself went to the temple to see how things were progressing. The rafters were mostly on, all things going well. Returned home and found Sister Whitney. She anointed my wife and sang in tongues; I also sang and the Lord blessed us. June the 20th , I again met with my brethren to read history–were in that part which describes the persecutions in Jackson County, Missouri. We stopped reading at two o’clock in the afternoon. I found my wife worse–sent for Sister Whitney. We clothed ourselves according to the order of the holy priesthood and anointed and prayed for her. The Lord heard us, for she was better and had a good night’s rest. The Lord shall have the glory. All is quiet in our city.”
He speaks of feelings having arisen from what William Smith had said on the stand the previous Sabbath, that he and his connections had been neglected, etc., which was false, and he says, “This gives me sorrow, but the Lord will cause all things to go right.”
“June 22nd , Bishop Whitney got home from St. Louis.” At four o’clock the same day, William Smith was married by Brigham Young. On the 25th, met with the police, the Bishops and many others at the Masonic Hall. William Smith was present and said he was afraid of his life. He received a rebuke from Brigham.” We read that, “The wicked flee when no man pursueth,” which words applied to William Smith, and he justly deserved that rebuke. In Joseph’s life he was quarrelsome and frequently had to be dealt with before his brethren for unchristian-like conduct. He became very wicked and unprincipled, and his conduct towards Joseph was at times unbearable, but he exercised towards him all the kindness and forbearance that was possible. He was very deceitful and tried by his allurements to lead away some of Joseph’s young wives by picturing to them the grand sights to be seen, and the more pleasant and agreeable life that they could lead if they would accompany him to the eastern cities. He had a plurality of wives, but his first wife was an invalid and was then living in Philadelphia with her little children.
Bishop Whitney was informed of his wicked course taken against Joseph, but his counsel was to keep it from him, as he had trouble enough already upon his shoulders. He, William [Smith], was certainly an odd one in that family, was very genteel, good looking and capable of appearing in the most refined modern society, like some others of the kid-gloved gentility of these days, but if all of his conduct had been exposed to Joseph, the consequences might have been more serious. He came from the east when hearing of his brother’s martyrdom, and the next day after his arrival at Nauvoo, instead of coming to the meeting, which was held by the roadside east of the temple, he rode flauntingly by in a fine carriage dressed in deep mourning with none but himself and driver. He could have taken any other road as well, but it looked as though he did it just for the purpose of creating a sensation. He aspired to stand as the leader and fully expected to take some of his brother’s wives, if not all. He afterward professed or feigned repentance and humility before the Twelve Apostles and the people.
I had the honor of the perusal of a long and eloquently worded epistle written by him [Willaim Smith] to one of Joseph’s young wives, telling not only his devotion to her, but of a wonderful vision or revelation that he had received, concerning her and himself, picturing out her future state in glorious colors. But I suppose her mind had not sufficiently expanded or else she possessed too little of the spiritual to appreciate such visions, especially from that quarter, even to deign a reply, but cast his letter to the flames. His poor suffering wife had passed away previous to this and he thought it a flattering inducement to offer a young lady the privilege of standing first. But she knew his former history, being one of the number that he tried to fascinate and lead away from his brother, the Prophet, while he was still living. After allowing her sufficient time to answer his epistle, he called one morning, and I happened to be present and heard him ask her for “that letter,” when she coolly informed him that it had been destroyed. His countenance, which had already become a shade or two darker with the pent up wrath, (which he did not try to conceal), grew darker still and the look he gave her as he turned to leave resembled anything but that of a Saint.
What made his sins still greater was that he tried to hide them under the cloak of religion, and in such there is no such thing as repentance or remission of sins. He soon after married a very pretty young girl, and though the character she bore was not of the best, she was good enough for him. I met them both at a dinner given on the 6th of the following August , at Brother John Benbow’s who owned a large farm on the prairie. My parents, with about fifty persons, were present. William Smith’s countenance that day plainly bespoke the bitterness that was raging within. It was said that he only married the girl for spite, at all events they were not happy, and it was only a short time before they separated. His brethren labored with him and tried to do him all the good they could, and my father spoke truly, for William Smith was always dissatisfied, otherwise the Twelve were one.
June 27th , being one year from the day that Joseph and Hyrum were killed in Carthage Jail, was set apart for fasting and prayer. Father [Heber C. Kimball] writes in his journal:
“O Lord, I thank thy holy name, that thou dost hear thy servants and have brought trouble upon those who have spilt the blood of thy servants and persecuted thy Saints. Even now they are dumb–that they cannot do business and are thrown into confusion in answer to prayer, as we have felt to plead with thee, with uplifted hands in token of our regard to thee. I thank thee, O our Father, for thou dost hear us in all things when we are agreed, and this thou hast granted to thy servants this day, and I pray that thy blessing and peace and prosperity may rest upon all thy Saints, even so, amen.”
Saturday, June 28th , father wrote, “The old stand in the grove west of the temple was prepared for holding meetings. The Twelve were present. We spent most of the day at the temple.
Sunday, 29th, meeting was held at the old stand. The congregation was very large. It seemed like old times when we used to hear from Joseph and Hyrum. . . . The day passed off well and heaven’s blessings were with us. In the evening went and baptized fifty-one persons.” He mentions the fourth of July, and says, “Many of the Saints spent the day riding and had bands of music, and amused themselves in different ways. The steamer Di Vernnon came up from St. Louis, some from Quincy and other places for pleasure. There were nearly one hundred and fifty who stopped in our city and went all over it–were very civil. All things passed off well. General Demming and Sheriff Backenstoes came to my house and spent the evening.”
In justice to the wives who were sealed to William Smith, I will here say that they were pure and noble women, and they had supposed him to be a righteous man. The Lord took the first one, and the others, finding out his true character, soon left him. After the young wife left he married again. I understood her to be a sister of his first wife. But she, like him, was void of the spirit of this gospel, and she must also have been blind to his faults, or to put the most charitable construction, it might have been for the sake of her sister’s children. None of us are capable of passing judgment upon one another. That we should leave to him who will soon come to judge both the living and the dead.
One of the most interesting incidents within my recollection was the laying of the capstone on the southeast corner of the [Nauvoo] temple. This was on Saturday morning, May 24, 1845. The description of it is accurately given by one of the Apostles, who, with the rest, came out from their secret retreat long enough to perform this ceremony, when they again returned to their hiding places.
The Apostle wrote: “The singers sang their sweetest notes, and their voices thrilled the hearts of the assemblage; the music of the band, which played on the occasion, never sounded so charming; and when President Young placed the stone in position and said, `The last stone is now laid upon the [Nauvoo] temple, and I pray the Almighty, in the name of Jesus, to defend us in this place, and sustain us until the temple is finished and we have all got our endowments.’ And all the congregation shouted, “Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna! to God and the Lamb, amen! amen! and amen! and repeated these words the second and third time, the spirit of God descended upon the people, gladness filled every heart, and tears of joy coursed down many cheeks. The words of praise were uttered in earnestness and fervor. It was a relief to many to be able to give expression to the feelings with which their hearts were overcharged. Altogether the scene was a very impressive one and we doubt not that the angels looked upon it and rejoiced.”
“So let it be,” said President Young, concluding the ceremonies, “this is the seventh day of the week, or the Jewish Saboath. It is the day on which the Almighty finished his work and rested from his labors. We have finished the walls of the temple, and may rest today from our labors.”
They also had to labor with their hands. My father worked at his house all the time that he could possibly get. July 7th he wrote, “Twelve men came to work on my house, six of them were masons. Much work was done. . . . I went to Willard Richard’s to read history in company with Brigham Young and George A. Smith. An Italian brother Joseph Toronto (now of this city) came there and gave up all he had, which was $2,600.
“Tuesday, 8th. Fourteen men came to work on my house. . . . Went with Brigham Young and Willard Richards to the temple. Had council with the trustees. Gave the $2,600 to the bishop. Visited some sick in the evening.”
My mother’s babe was very sick at this time, which fact father mentions in his journal as being a source of anxiety and sorrow to witness his suffering. Two successive days some of his brethren came into join him in prayer for him in the holy order.
“Sister Jane (Uncle Joseph Young’s wife) and Sister Whitney were present and spent much time with us to minister to our babe.
“On the morning of the 9th of July,” he says, “I was sent for by Brother Willard Richards to administer to his wife who appeared to be dying. About ten o’clock I went again. Brother George A. Smith and his father, (John Smith), Levi Richards and John Taylor were present. We anointed and prayed for her after the holy order and she died in about half an hour. She (as is well known) was one of my father’s earliest converts in England.”
I will here mention one or two incidents though this and much more has been published in his [Heber C. Kimball’s] history, concerning her. She was the daughter of a Mr. Richards, a Presbyterian minister, and when father first met her, she was visiting a family in Preston with whom he was acquainted. As soon as they were introduced she entered into a conversation with him on the subject of the gospel. He found her a very intelligent lady and very anxious to hear and understand the doctrines of the true gospel. She went to hear him preach that evening and the following, and then she was fully convinced of the truth and sent for him and expressed her desire to be baptized, which request he cheerfully complied with, and confirmed her at the water’s edge. And as an illustration of his prophetic character, the first time he met Brother Willard Richards, he exclaimed, “Willard, I have baptized your wife today.” He writes in his journal that Sister Jeannette Richards was buried at six in the afternoon of the 11th.”
“On the evening of the 9th,” he says, “the bishops made a feast at the mansion.” Brother John Pack had charge of the house, Joseph’s family having moved back into the white house, nearer the river. Father says, “I went to John Pack’s to wait upon the Smith family as the bishops made a feast. About one hundred persons present. All things passed off well.
“Thursday, July 10th . The Saints met at the stand at ten o’clock in the morning and gave alms to the poor. I spoke, also Brigham Young, George A. Smith, John E. Page and Orson Pratt. Adjourned at two in the afternoon, as the heat was so intense. A great many are sick.”
After the meeting of fasting and prayer, father says, “I met with my brethren in the evening and prayed for rain.” And on the 13th he wrote, “On Sunday morning it began to rain very hard–have had a beautiful shower. This was in answer to our prayers. The Lord be praised for His goodness.” He wrote the day previous that his wife, Sarah Peeke, was very sick at Brother Stephen Winchester’s, and he sat up with her most of the night. The evening of the 16th, after witnessing the death of Brother William Gheen, who died at 7 o’clock in the evening, father took Sarah and Sister Winchester to the river and baptized them for their health. He was paying them for the board of his wife and two daughters, whom he had adopted. Brother and Sister Winchester and their family, if they had been our nearest kin, could not have thought more of one another than we had done from the time that we were neighbors in Kirtland, Ohio, and in Missouri.
“Brother William Gheen,” father says, “was buried on the evening of the 17th, at 6 o’clock. Most of the Twelve were present.” Brother Gheen and family were among the Saints who came from Pennsylvania. He had given two of his daughters (Anna and Amanda) to my father as wives, and did not consider it a dishonor to be thus connected with him, but quite the reverse. They have each borne him a numerous family. And though Anna has left us to join him and thousands of loved ones beyond `this vale of tears,’ her name will ever live in the hearts of countless numbers besides the many who are connected with her by family ties.
For five successive days father wrote in his journal that his time was spent working on his house, visiting the sick, in council, and a variety of other duties. “Saturday, [July] 26th ,” he says, “I visited many sick and attended council. We nominated several officers for our August election. All goes well, and the Lord is on our side.” Sunday he mentions going to meeting with his wife and daughter Helen. “Brothers George Miller and Amasa Lyman spoke a few words upon the Nauvoo House, then Brigham Young spoke.”
Most of his time on the following Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday was spent visiting the sick; and he [Heber C. Kimball] speaks of a funeral that he attended with Brigham Young, and speaks of them reading history and going on the [Nauvoo] temple. The house of the Lord was well on towards its completion. And they could truly say that this was one of the results of faith with works. These things may look strangely to those who are unacquainted with the principles of our faith and the great work which we have been engaged in for over fifty years, and especially that our people should continue working at the Nauvoo House and temple, and at the same time preparing to leave them to the mercy of a set of sacrilegious mobocrats to demolish. I think that this should be a convincing proof (at least) of the sincerity and honesty of their motives. Nothing could daunt their spirits; but if they had not enjoyed something superior to any man-made religion they could never have been supported under all those sorrowful and trying scenes. It was through the united faith and prayers of the faithful few that we were permitted to remain there long enough to finish that temple, that they might be endowed with the blessings which the Lord had promised them, and for which they cheerfully gave their mite and labored faithfully to finish the house which the Lord had commanded to be built. Words cannot express the gratitude that I feel for being counted worthy to have place among the ones of whom the Lord has made a “peculiar people,” which is the only church ever established upon the earth since the one we read of in the days of Christ, who believe and accept the whole of the gospel as taught in the ancient scriptures, instead of choosing that portion only which agrees with our peculiar ideas and notions. The ones who do this are blind indeed.
If Christ is truly our pattern, and He had to submit to bear all manner of crosses and sink below all things, that He might rise above all things, how are we to become joint heirs with Him unless we have a similar experience in this life? This people have proven their willingness to submit to be persecuted and hated of all men for righteousness’ sake; and where is there another people who have manifested such true Christian patience, and faith enough to trust in an unseen hand under all circumstances and still believe in and rely upon those promises made by our Savior, who also commanded that we should become one in all things, and said, “Unless ye are one ye are not mine.” And because we are striving to obey this command and every other Christian and God-like principle that we may be saved and have part with Him in that celestial glory prepared for the faithful and pure in heart of all nations, and that they may hear the same glad tidings of great joy and be gathered with us into the fold of Christ, making sacrifice of our idols and rejoicing even in the midst of our sorrows, when we part with our beloved brethren, husbands, fathers, and sons, who are going forth in the service of our Master to save the souls of men that they may also be partakers of this joy which is unspeakable and that life-giving power which has ever brought comfort and cheer to the humble heart and is free to all who will seek for it; and because we have sought to become of one heart and one mind, we have ever been looked upon with a jealous eye, and hated by the world, who refuse to hear and understand the truth, but will misjudge us and all our motives. Union is power; and this is the great bug-bear, and because they cannot break up and destroy it, they consider us a dangerous rival, and in their madness cry polygamy as the only plausible excuse for breaking up and destroying this power.
They do not understand the character and the unwavering integrity of an honest Latter-day Saint; but we can well afford to be charitable, for we know what is in store for them and many of us have drunk deep enough of the bitter cup of adversity to know how to feel for our fellow creatures, and I fervently pray for those who are deceived in consequence of the great prejudice which is in the world, because of the awful lies which have been manufactured and set afloat, for effect, by the wicked in our midst; and our foes are more to be pitied than we are. They certainly have met with poor success so far, and feel rather chagrined at the present time. And Longfellow says, “If we could read the secret history of our enemies we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.”
Supposing they should oblige us to leave here, it would be doing for themselves a more sorry job than when they drove us from the United States, and if they were wise they would leave us alone; for it has long since been proven that we are like a mustard stalk, which, if disturbed, will only multiply the more.
The following interesting items I gather from my father’s [Heber C. Kimball’s] journal: “August 4th [?] , which was Sunday,” he says, “President Brigham Young preached in the forenoon, and warned the Saints to beware and not forget their God.” This is a warning we would do well today to accept and profit by the same.
“Monday, 5th, [?]” he says, “our county election was held. Had a bee the same day to get wood for the Nauvoo House; had one hundred and fifty teams.” By the 20th, it seems, they had gotten eight courses on two sides of the Nauvoo House. But Satan became more and more enraged as he saw the work of God continuing to progress, and his power was arrayed against the Saints, and on the 15th of September, while my father and others of his brethren were in council, at Brother Joseph Kingsbury’s, two sheriffs came after the following men: Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, George A. Smith, John Taylor, Willard Richards, George Miller, John Karns, Orson Pratt, Orson Hyde, and John Page. These men said they were requested not to serve a writ on William Smith. They did not find any of them and soon left the city.
[September] 16th , father [Heber C. Kimball] met with his brethren to consult about what measures to enter into, and concluded to stop the work on the Nauvoo House. Adjourned at twelve o’clock, and met again at two. “We had not been in more than ten minutes,” father says, “before J. B. Backenstos, a sheriff and lawyer, not a Mormon, and Porter Rockwell came in. Learned that a mob rushed upon them suddenly and chased them from Warsaw. In the struggle to get away from the mob, Porter Rockwell shot one man, and Backenstos one or two more.” Orders were sent to the precinct by the sheriff for them to be in readiness. “About ten in the evening Colonel Markham went to Carthage, with fifty men. My Father in Heaven, wilt thou help thy people and deliver us from our enemies, as thou art our Father and our God.” He wrote that on the evening of the 18th several companies went out to take prisoners; Brother Redfield came in at the same time with tidings from Lima. On the 19th, the Twelve were in council most of the day at Bishop Miller’s. Father mentions one young man by the name of Tippen, being shot by accident in the camp. He says, “Visited the camp about ten o’clock. Tippen died about that time as we were going to see him.”
“20th [September 1845], Saturday. Rose early in the morning, went to the council room. Two hundred men went in wagons to meet Backenstos at the junction. Tippen was buried; had a short discourse by Brigham Young and myself on the public square. Most of the army came home.”
“Monday, 22nd, held council with a committee from McDonough County, at John Taylor’s. Chose three men to meet them on Tuesday at McComb, as follows. A. Babbit, Bedell and Wells.”
“Tuesday, 23rd. The day pleasant. Much rumor from Camp Creek, spent most of the day in council, . . . receiving letters from different parts of the country. Write out for twelve or thirteen men.”
“Wednesday, 24th. All the Twelve and about thirty others went to Carthage to give ourselves up for trial. Went before Squire Barns and were dismissed. We went to see the jail where Joseph and Hyrum were killed. Most of the people had left the place; got home about sunset and met a committee from Quincy. Met in council at John Taylor’s. Wrote a proposition to the mob; broke up at one o’clock in the morning.”
Friday, 26th, father speaks of attending council at Brother Taylor’s, the same day at one o’clock, he says, met for prayer and council at Willard Richards, from thence went into the public square, and saw one hundred families come in from Camp Creek and other places. Brigham Young spoke to them, then we went and laid hands upon the sick, eighteen of them.”
Saturday, [27th September 1845] he mentions being again in council, then went with General Charles Rich to visit the sick. At three in the afternoon he and brethren went to the mansion. He says, “Brother Rose came in with news from Beardstown. He saw General Hardin with two hundred and fifty men, on his way to our city. From thence we went to the temple, then to see the troops on the square. My health being poor, went home early.”
“Sunday, 28th, being rainy, few met at the stand. Brigham Young spoke a few words, by counsel, to get in their grain and other things. Went to see the sick, Sister Woolley and others. . . . Met in Council. Bedell got back from Springfield. The news good from the Governor Backenstos went to Carthage to meet General Hardin. The tide of the mob is low at this time. . . . William Clayton came in with a proclamation from General Hardin, and a letter. He is now in Carthage with his troops. Dr. Colston came in.”
29th [September 1845]. At nine o’clock met in council at Daniel Spencer’s. Five Lamanites were present. Adjourned at twelve, met at one for prayer and council at Willard Richards’. . . . Brother Bent and Isaac Morley met with us to present the names of those to go west. In the evening went down to the river. Brigham Young baptized three red men, and confirmed them at the water’s edge.”
“30th. The council met at the Seventies Hall, adjourned at twelve o’clock, as General Hardin had come into town with his posse to search for property and lost men. He wished to have council with the Twelve, so we went to his camp on the hill. He read to us his orders, which he had received from the governor; after which they searched the temple, Masonic Hall, and the Nauvoo Barn, then went down the river to camp. The Twelve and bishops met at Willard Richards’ for prayer and council. We asked the Lord to frustrate the designs of our enemies and to blind their eyes, and cause the troops to leave our city. Held council in the evening at John Taylor’s. Wrote another proposition to people of the state, that we were going away, to come and purchase our lands and houses and we would leave.”
General Hardin, Judge Douglas McDougal, and Colonel Warren met them next day in council at John Taylor’s. Father wrote, “After much conversation we adjourned about eleven o’clock. Went to the temple with them and their army. They went all over the temple. Took dinner at Brother Taylor’s. Met in council in the after part of the day with the same men. I discovered a spirit in them not to do much for us. Went back to their camp at four or five o’clock. We met again in the evening. Brother Andrew Perkins, and Dr. Colston came in from Carthage, said there were three hundred of the mob.
“Oct. 1st . Engaged in council . . . and visiting the sick. October 2nd. The Twelve and others met in council with General Hardin’s staff. His regiment left early in the morning, and the general left about eleven o’clock for Carthage. Then Brigham Young and myself went to visit the sick. Went also to the temple. They were laying the lower floor for the conference.” The same day he mentions attending the funeral of Sister Daniel Spencer, and from thence went to Willard Richards’ for council and prayer. Says, “Great union prevailed.”
The following items I take from my father’s journal: “Meeting opened at five minutes to eleven by President Brigham Young as a form of dedication prayer. Great joy and gratitude was felt by the Saints to realize this blessing which they had so long looked for. There were five thousand persons seated comfortably. Elder John Taylor preached respecting our moving to the west. Some few companies were called out preparatory to organizing for removal. In the afternoon the four companies were addressed by President Brigham Young.”
“Monday, 6th [October 1845]. Our General Conference assembled in the [Nauvoo] temple for the first time; much business was done. The Twelve met in council and for prayer, morning and evening, to our Heavenly Father to stay the wrath of our enemies, and to overthrow all their designs, which He has done thus far, and we thank His holy name. Tuesday, 7th. In the morning the Twelve met for prayer in the usual place. Conference met in the temple. I preached in the morning, together with Amasa Lyman. In the afternoon, when the Conference was assembled, Major Warren came in with his posse of troops and surrounded our cannon. Supposing it was a mob, President Young dismissed the conference and told the brethren to go home, and let every man be prepared. Warren commenced to search one or two houses–they then went back to Carthage.”
“Wednesday, 8th [October 1845] . . . Conference met–much business was transacted. President Young spoke upon the thieves who were in the place, and Mother [Lucy Mack] Smith spoke at some length. . . . This day was the close of the conference. All things went off in union, not a dissenting voice in the congregation, and a perfect union exhibited by the Saints to remove from the country the coming spring. All these things transpire in answer to the prayers of the Saints, who meet together constantly after the Holy Order; and the glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, for His blessings upon Israel.”
“Thursday, 9th [October 1845]. In the morning I, with my brethren, met for prayer and then met in the temple to counsel them on going east, etc., to sell property, and much business presented. . . . In the evening the usual company met for prayer; the following things were prayed for–the prosperity of the elders in the United States, and the brethren on the South Pacific Islands, and the brethren in the west among the red men of the forest, that our enemies may be frustrated in all their designs, that confusion and disorder and treachery might enter into their ranks, that the sick of His people might be healed, union preserved, and that all of His servants may be saved from their enemies, that they should not have power to serve their vexatious writs, that the temple and font may be finished, and dedicated and consecrated to the most high God, that His servants and handmaids may obtain their ordinances and sealing powers of the priesthood, and the way be opened for His Saints to go to the west, etc.”
On the 12th [October 1845] he [Heber C. Kimball] mentions twenty-five captains being appointed, and all the companies to number nine called out. Next day he, with President Young, met for counsel with two Lamanites, Joseph Herring (Shawnee tribe) and Lewis Dana (Oneida nation). He says, “We ordained Joseph Herring an elder, Lewis Dana having previously been ordained. We had much conversation with them and received much counsel from them as to the traits of character of the red men . . . J. B. Backenstos and several others came to my house in the evening, and several tunes were played on the piano by Sister Pitchforth.” I remember this incident, and the lady whom my father mentions was my music teacher–her name I could hardly remember and was pleased to see it mentioned in his journal.
She had a little, delicate frame and was inexperienced, like thousands who have emigrated from the cities of the old country to the western frontier, more especially those who have cast their lot with the Latter-day Saints. But she, though in poverty with her children, was never sad–her countenance always wore the same pleasant smile. She was happy in the knowledge that she had gained a key that would open the door to the true riches that cannot perish. She early sank under the many hardships and privations which befell the latter-day pilgrims while journeying westward, but members of her family are still living in Utah, who honorably represent her name.
I also remember the following incidents, copied from father’s journal:
“Tuesday, 14th [October 1845]. Mary Gont was sealed to Lewis Dana, a Lamanite, by Brigham Young, being the first Lamanite having a wife sealed to him under the New and Everlasting Covenant for time and all eternity, she being a white woman.” Her husband was civilized, and had been an elder about four years–he being the first Lamanite ever ordained an elder in the Church of Latter-day Saints.
Wednesday morning, the 15th, father received a letter from Sheriff Backenstos, requesting an interview. “At two o’clock,” he says, “I met J. B. Backenstos at his room in the mansion. . . . He then and there gave me his mind and views concerning the religion we professed to believe, he firmly and positively believed it to be the truth, and he intended to embrace it by going forward in the waters of baptism soon, and he would go with us the whole extent to the expense of his life and all he possessed.”
“Saturday, 18th [October 1845]. . . . Much rumor of war. . . . Elder Hyde returned home from the east and brought five thousand yards of topsail Russia duck.” This was for tents and wagon covers. “Sunday, 19th,” he wrote, “met at the temple in company with the Twelve. Elder Hyde preached. At four in the afternoon the Twelve met their company to organize them in the following manner by placing captains over fifties and tens, and each captain organizing his own company.” On the 20th, he says, “General Arlington Bennett came into our city–had an interview with him at Dr. Richard’s. . . . I solicited him to meet us at John Taylor’s in council this evening. He met according to agreement–continued with us until ten o’clock.” Next day a posse of the governor’s troops came into the city, but did not interfere with anyone and soon left.
He wrote on the 23rd, “The governor’s posse, consisting of thirteen men, came into the city to take Bogus Press, and searched Brother Woodworth’s house (one of our near neighbors) and then left the city. . . . On the 24th, one of the governor’s troops was shot by Brother Bieglow in self-defense (not mortally). Report says that General Arlington Bennett was hissed out of Carthage yesterday. . . . At this time matters look dark–our enemies are much enraged. . . . Wherein we have asked the Lord, He has answered us in every instance; I therefore feel to praise and exalt His holy name for the blessings and favors to His people Israel.”
On the 28th [October 1845], he says, “J. B. Backenstos came to Brother Goddard’s (as we were then concealed) saying to us that Major Warren wished to have an interview with the Twelve. Accordingly at three p.m., Brother Brigham and myself met the following at Dr. Richard’s, Major Warren, Captains Turner and Morgan. During our interview John Taylor, George A. Smith, A. Lyman, also J. Backenstos were present. Major Warren wished to know whether we were willing that writs should be served on the citizens of this place. President Young told him we were perfectly willing so far as he and brethren were concerned, as he and his brethren did not hold any official office in the city or county, that we only governed the matters pertaining to the Church. This seemed to calm his apprehensions. They left us at five p.m. with pretty good feelings.”
Father wrote, “Wednesday, 29th [October 1845]. We spent part of the day at Brother Rockwood’s. Many of the brethren came in for counsel. Joseph Herring (the Lamanite) was one, about going home west to his tribe. . . . This night I returned home as the posse had left with their writs. Thursday, 30th. Bishop Miller and Brother Burdell returned from Springfield, whither they had been to visit the governor.”
Saturday, November 2nd , he speaks of Elder Hyde preaching upon the subject of trusting in God. “Elder Taylor followed and gave an excellent exhortation much in the same strain. I also spoke and counseled the Saints to pay their tithing, etc. In the afternoon I met the first emigration company and came to a partial organization, and gave much counsel and instruction on our intended removal.”
At this time President Young was sick and unable to attend to business. On the 7th, father mentions a large raft of pine lumber, which came down the river, and he says, “On the 10th, Brigham Young, Bishop Miller and I borrowed six hundred dollars and paid Brother Russell, as he had bought one hundred thousand feet of pine boards. This will finish the temple.”
On the 11th [November 1845], he says, “The young people had a dance at the mansion–J. B. Backenstos and myself took supper with them by the request of Benjamin Johnson–from thence I returned home.”