Temple Lot Case
Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,
complainant, vs. the Church of Christ, Independence, Mo.
(Lamoni, Iowa: 1893)
James Whitehead, of lawful age, being produced, sworn, and examined on the part of the complainant, testified as follows, in chief: --
My name is James Whitehead; I live at Lamoni, Iowa; I have lived 7 there nearly three years. Before that I lived at Alton, Illinois, for about forty years. Before going to Alton I lived at Nauvoo, Illinois. I landed in Nauvoo, the thirteenth day of April, 1842; lived there till the fall of 1847; I was engaged while there in church work. I was the private secretary of Joseph Smith from early in June, 1842, until he was killed in 1844. I was there when he was killed;
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I knew the officers in the old church; I was a member of the church when I went to Nauvoo. I was baptized the eighteenth day of October, 1837, at Preston, Lancashire, England; was baptized by Heber C. Kimball.
8 I was acquainted with the general doctrine and tenets of the old church from 1842 to 1844. I am acquainted with the doctrine, tenets, and teachings of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The doctrine, tenets, and teachings of the old church in the days of Joseph Smith the prophet, and the doctrine, teachings, and tenets of the Reorganized Church now are identically the same; the books of doctrine of the old church are the same books that are used by the Reorganized Church, the plaintiffs in this case; I mean, of course, the standard books, the books of doctrine. The standard books in the Reorganized Church and also in the old church are the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Book of Doctrine and Covenants; these are the three books that are standard. They were the standard books of the old church in the days of Joseph Smith; they are recognized as the standard, both by the old church and by the Reorganized Church.
Besides being the private secretary of Joseph, I held the office of a high priest in the original church, from 1841 until this time; I was ordained at the first General Conference in Manchester, England. I hold the same office now in the Reorganized Church, a High Priest. The duties of the High Priest are to preach the gospel as it is written according to the divine will of the Master; to preside at meetings, 9 to give instruction according to the standard of the faith; but the teachings must be in harmony with the word of God.
I recollect a meeting that was held in the winter of 1843, at Nauvoo, Illinois, prior to Joseph Smith's death, at which the appointment was made by him, Joseph Smith, of his successor. His son Joseph was selected as his successor. Joseph Smith did the talking. There were present Joseph and Hyrum Smith. John Taylor, and some others who also spoke on the subject; there were twenty-five I suppose at the meeting. At that meeting Joseph Smith, the present presiding officer of the complainant church, was selected by his father as his successor. He was ordained and anointed at that meeting. Hyrum Smith, the Patriarch, anointed him, and Joseph his father blessed him and ordained him, and Newell K. Whitney poured the oil on his head, and he was set apart to be his father's successor in office, holding all the powers that his father held. I cannot tell all the persons that were present, there was a good many there. John Taylor and Willard Richards, they were two of the "Twelve," Ebenezer Robinson was present, and George J. Adams, Alpheus Cutler, and Reynolds Cahoon. I cannot tell them all; I was there too.
I know what the doctrine of the old church was from the time it was established in 1830 down to 1844, with reference to marriage. The doctrine of the church was, that one man could have one wife
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only. The doctrine of polygamy was never taught by the elders, or high priests, or by any other person or persons of authority in that church, so far as I know or ever heard between the years 1830 and 1844. The doctrine of polygamy has never been, to my knowledge, 10 taught or practiced by any person in the Reorganized Church, the complainant herein, since its organization, because we did not believe in it; and if anybody had taught or practiced it, they would have been cut off mighty quick. None of the books of the Reorganized Church teach or countenance the practice of polygamy, nor did any of the books of the original church teach or indorse that practice. Exhibit C, being King James' translation of the Bible, was used by the elders and members of the original church as a book of doctrine. Exhibit DD, being the original Book of Mormon, was one of the books of doctrine of the old church, and is also a book of doctrine of the Reorganized Church. It was acknowledged and accepted both in the old church and the Reorganized Church. The book marked exhibit E, being the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, was indorsed by the original church, and also by the Reorganized Church, the plaintiff in this case, being the 1835 edition. 11 Exhibit F, being the 1874 edition of the Book of Mormon, published at Lamoni, Iowa, is the same in text as exhibit DD, and is correct, and was recognized by the original church as a book of doctrine, and is also by the Reorganized Church. Exhibit G, being the 1845 edition of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants; and exhibit H, being the 1846 edition of the same book; and exhibit I, being the 1852 edition of the same book; and exhibit J, being the 1880 edition of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, were all recognized books of doctrine of the original church from 1830 to 1844. The books themselves show what portions have been added since 1844.
The book now handed me is the Times and Seasons. That was the authorized church publication recognized as official up to the time of Joseph and Hyrum Smith's death in 1844, and up to that date is recognized and acknowledged as official by the Reorganized Church. The Times and Seasons was the official church publication or paper until 1844, and was recognized as such by the church, and is so recognized by the Reorganized Church. The books marked exhibit K and exhibit L, being the Times and Seasons from November, 1839, to November 11, 1842. volumes 1, 2. and 3. were published by the church at Nauvoo, Illinois, of which Joseph Smith was the head or president. It was published by authority of the church, and was 12 recognized by the church as the church paper and authority. Joseph Smith was editor part of the time; John Taylor was the editor at the time Joseph Smith was killed. John Taylor, who appears as the editor of the Times and Seasons, is the same person who went with the Brighamite portion of the church to Salt Lake Valley. In 1844, Joseph Smith was President of the church, and Bishop Miller was President of the High Council at Nauvoo, Illinois. William Marks was President of the Nauvoo Stake, and also President of the High
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13 Council at the time Joseph Smith was killed in 1844. This William Marks sustained the relationship to the Reorganized Church, after 1844, of Counselor to Joseph Smith the present President of the Church. He was a member of the original church, President of the High Council in 1844, when Joseph Smith was killed; President of the Nauvoo Stake at that time; afterwards was a member of the Reorganized Church, and was one of the President's counselors.
CROSS-EXAMINATION.I was born in England; I landed in this country at New Orleans on the first day of April, 1842; and at Nauvoo, Illinois, the thirteenth of April, 1842. I was a member of the church when I came to Nauvoo. Before I came to this country I took a certificate from the church in England, certifying that I was a member there, and when I came here handed it to the President of the branch, and was recognized as a member here; the branch at Nauvoo, Illinois. At that time there were about ten thousand (10,000) Latter Day Saints in 14 Nauvoo. There were about twenty-five thousand (25,000) there when Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed in 1844. There were branches of that denomination at other places at that time; one at Carthage, one at Fort Madison, and at other places. At the time that Joseph Smith was killed there were about two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) adherents or members in this country and other countries; there were more in England than at Nauvoo. I do not know how many there were in the United States; I guess probably one half the membership, or more. I do not know how many members there are in the Reorganized Church; I suppose there are 15 over thirty thousand (30,000) in this country, and there are some in other places. Now that is my opinion as to the number.
I took the position of private secretary to Joseph Smith on the eleventh day of June, 1842. Was in the office before that, but not as his secretary. My duties were to keep his correspondence, letter books, and everything of that nature belonging to the office as his secretary. He had a good deal of correspondence. I did not keep the historical records nor the church records. There was a historian for that purpose; William Richards, who lived at Nauvoo, was the historian. James Sloan was Church Historian before William Richards; he is now dead. I do not know whether he went to Salt Lake or not. I think the records were all taken to Salt Lake; I know all the church records that I had anything to do with were taken there; I know they were, because I packed them myself. I 16 was ordered by Joseph Smith's administrator, Mr. Joseph Coolidge, to pack them up. I did so, and delivered them to the ''Twelve" according to his instructions.
I stayed at Nauvoo until I had finished up my business with the church, then went to Winter Quarters, at Omaha, Nebraska, where Brigham Young and the rest of his followers were. I went there to make my report to what claimed to be the High Council, or ''Twelve." I suppose the Twelve went from there to Salt Lake, but
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I did not go with them. I went to Omaha, in the fall of 1847; got there in December, and stayed there until early in the following April. I was appointed private secretary of Joseph Smith in 1842, held that position until he was killed, the twenty-seventh day of June, 1844, and had certain records in my possession as private secretary all the time until 1847, when they were turned over by order of Joseph Smith's administrator, to the "Twelve," at Omaha. And at Omaha, in 1847, I helped to repack the church records, and 17 left them in the possession of the "Twelve;" then I returned to Alton, Illinois.
The persons who composed the Twelve at that time, were Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, George A. Smith, William B. Smith, Wilford Woodruff, Parley Pratt, Orson Pratt, Lyman Wight, J. E. Page, John Taylor, and Amasa Lyman. All those persons composing the ''Twelve" went to Salt Lake City with Brigham Young, except John E. Page, Lyman Wight, William B. Smith, and Amasa Lyman; they refused to follow his leadership. I had never lived at Alton prior to 1848, but had friends living there. I did not believe in the way they were doing. There was so much wickedness and corruption among them that I could not stay with them; all kinds of wickedness, drinking, carousing, and everything else. I do not mean in the church at Alton, but mean the followers of Brigham Young at Omaha. That was the reason I went to Alton; I was not suited with their practices; their drinking, wickedness, and carousing. That was not what Joseph Smith had taught, and so I left them, disgusted.
I do not know how many there were at Omaha; there were a great many started for there, but they got scattered in every direction. I do not know how many there were in Winter Quarters at Omaha, 18 nor how many belonged to the branch at Alton, Illinois. When I went there I did not become a member of the branch; I had left the church entirely, and did not have anything to do with them. I afterwards became a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in September, 1865. I remained out of the church about seventeen (17) years. I became a member of the Reorganized Church at Alton, Illinois; I joined a branch at St. Louis, because there was none at Alton. I was pretty well acquainted with the movements of the Reorganized Church from the time of its organization to the time I joined it; and the reason I became a member was because I knew that Joseph Smith was the right man to lead that church; I knew that he had been ordained and set apart by his father as his successor in office, and he came out and made that proclamation to the conference of the Saints, and they received it.
I always believed in the doctrine and teaching of the church, and intended to go back to it when the right time came, and the right man assumed the leadership. I did not become a member earlier, because Joseph Smith was a boy about twelve (12) years old when he was ordained, and he was not to take his place as the President of the
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Church until the Lord called him; and he did not become the president until 1860.
The ordination of young Joseph Smith, the gentleman who is now the President of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, took place in the winter of 1843. I do not know the 19 exact date; if I had the history or minutes of that meeting, I could tell you; but the history or minutes of the meeting all went to Salt Lake City, and it has been so long that I cannot remember the date. Of course I do not know whether the records ever reached Salt Lake or not; they started for that place; I was not with them; I cannot say what became of them after they left my hands.
The ceremony of the ordination of young Joseph Smith by his father was performed at Nauvoo. Young Joseph was called into the meeting, anointed with oil by his Uncle Hyrum Smith, Patriarch of the church. Newell K. Whitney, the Bishop of the church, held the oil, and Joseph Smith, his father, laid his hands upon him, and blessed him and ordained him to be his successor in office. I am 21 acquainted with the Book of Mormon, with the book of Doctrine and Covenants, and they are the standard books of the church. I have read them and do read them regularly. They do not teach that anyone can be a prophet unless they have the Urim and Thummim.
I was acquainted with and familiar with the prevailing doctrines 23 of the church, at the time it was under the presidency of the elder Joseph Smith. They were the same then that they are now, according to what is taught in these books of doctrine of the church. The doctrine of Baptism for the Dead was taught at one time under the Presidency of Joseph Smith, and Paul believed in and taught it. I have never heard the Reorganized Church say anything about that doctrine. I am a priest and a preacher in the Reorganized Church, and I do not know whether the doctrine of Baptism for the Dead has ever 24 been taught in the Reorganized Church. I do not know that it has, but I believe that it has not been taught in it. It is not taught that I know of. It was a doctrine of the church in the days of Joseph the Martyr, but I have never heard it taught in the Reorganized Church. I do not know of its being practiced in the Reorganized Church, and it was not practiced in the original church for a long time before Joseph was killed. The doctrine of the gathering of the Saints I preached in the old church a great many times. It was simply directing the Saints to gather together in holy places and to be true to the doctrine and teaching of the word of God. Holding property in common was not taught in the old church, to my knowledge. I have never heard it preached in the Reorganized Church either; and it is not the doctrine of the Reorganized Church.
I never heard the doctrine of holding property in common preached in either church. I have heard the doctrine of polygamy taught, and I hate and despise it. It is a doctrine of the Devil; there is no question about that. I do not believe in it, or countenance it in any way. I heard Brigham Young preach it at Nauvoo,
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after Joseph Smith was killed; that was one reason why I left the church. I saw enough to convince me that it was time for me to leave the church. They were preaching the doctrine of] polygamy 25 when they left Nauvoo, in 1846. I do not know whether all that believed in the doctrine left or not; I expect they all did. I was in Nauvoo at the time the Expositor office was destroyed. I was not 26 familiar with the paper, had nothing to do with it, never read one; knew there was a paper published there by that name. Do not know by what authority the paper was published. I never heard anything about the doctrine of polygamy until after the time Joseph Smith was killed. I do not think I ever heard of such a thing before his death. I knew Austin Cowles and William Law; they were at one time members of the old church, but not members at the time of the death of Joseph Smith. I know when William Cowles left the church; he was expelled for the crime of adultery. It was not 27 for polygamy, but for adultery. The church never took any action on the question of polygamy, before the ordination of young Joseph; there was no occasion for any action on the question of polygamy.
The church did take action as a body on the question of the ordination of young Joseph as his father's successor; the church consented to it. That was done first by the indorsement of the High Council, and then it was brought up before the whole body of the congregation, the whole people; and there were thousands there. That was done at the meeting held in the grove at the east end of the temple. I should think there were three thousand (3,000) there. 28 There was a record kept of it, but the record was taken to Salt Lake. I was present on that occasion. There was a vote taken, the congregation voted, and agreed to the appointment of young Joseph as the successor of his father. The vote was taken by raising the right hand I think. A negative vote was taken, but nobody voted in the negative; Joseph Smith had been preaching that day, and at the close of the sermon made the announcement to the congregation, that his young son Joseph had been appointed as his successor. The question was submitted to the congregation for approval or rejection. The congregation or members knew that the subject would be brought up that day. This vote was taken after the ordination of young Joseph.
I have read the first edition of the book of Covenants through. This book is the first Book of Covenants I had; I do not know whether there was one before that or not. I cannot keep in my memory all the doctrine taught in this book, but I know about what 29 it contains, and what is in it. This book contains the same doctrine that I first saw and read in 1838, as far as I can remember. I do not know any difference in the books. I have read it through more than once, but I cannot remember everything in it. My recollection is that they are the same. The book in testimony contains the same doctrine as the book I first read. Of course I cannot specify every sentence that is in it; I think the two books are the same entirely.
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This is the 1835 edition; the one I first read was published in 1835. I have read that one there, over and over again, the edition of 1848. I think the 1835 edition contains the same doctrine entirely. I have read the Book of Covenants, and the 1835 and 1848 editions were the same. The particular book that you hold now, I probably have not read; but these books are all published in the same edition. I have read this same edition but in another book.
I have read the Book of Mormon time and again; cannot say I ever saw this identical book before. I read the matter that is in the particular 30 book you present, but it might have been in another volume, and it might be that I have read it in that one. I have read out of a great many of these books. They are all alike so far as text is concerned. I have not read the Palmyra edition of the Book of Mormon; the text is the same in all the editions.
I have read the Times and Seasons before; I have them at home, every one of them, six (6) volumes. I do not know that I ever saw 31 those identical books before, but I have seen the Times and Seasons, have them, have read them, and have them now.
I have the Inspired Translation of the Holy Bible;' I have read it, but not in the old church, or in Joseph's day. It was not published then; it had not been printed. It was in manuscript the time he died* It was published afterwards by the Reorganized Church. It was translated by Joseph Smith, president of the original church, prior to 1844. I have the book called the Times and Seasons, I cannot say that I have read this identical book, but I have read the same kind, the same issue. There never was but one edition of the book, and I have read that. I read one just like this.
I left the church on account of its corruption, after Joseph was killed, but not right away after he was killed. As soon as I finished my work as secretary, and made my report, I left. The church I now belong to, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is the same church, teaches the same doctrine as Joseph taught, and is the same church I belonged to in 1844, at Nauvoo. It 33 is the same church that was established in 1830, and continued until 1844, the time Joseph was killed. It is not the same church that I left; that was the apostate church; they had denied their faith and principles. After 1844, I left them, and the church I now belong to is the reorganization of the old church, as it existed in the days of Joseph the Martyr.
I have heard Joseph the Martyr preach many times; never heard Joseph Smith announce that there should be no more baptisms for the dead, but I heard of it. That announcement was made, as I recollect, in America, before I came here. I witnessed one baptism for the dead after I came to this country, that was myself. I have been in the temple at Nauvoo many times; I used to measure the stone work, and carpenter work, and all that. There was a font in the temple for the baptism for the dead. It stood on twelve (12) oxen, cut out of stone. It never was used, because Joseph Smith
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was killed and the temple was never finished. There was a General Conference of the church held every half year, while I was in Nauvoo, they held them every six (6) months then. They held their meetings in the grove; there was no building large enough to 35 accommodate them. I was acquainted with the organization of the church in Nauvoo, Illinois; do not know that I can give all the details of the' organization.
The organization was the same as the organization of the church now. There were district presidents; I am sure there were district presidents; I know there were. At that time we had rules of order. The present Reorganized Church has a book of Rules of Order. 37 The Reorganized Church has rules of representation; that is, they have delegates to General Conference sent from all the branches. It is a system that represents the branches. We had the same system in the original church, of representation, that we now have in the Reorganized Church. We had conferences the same as we do 38 now. We might not have them as often now as we did then. I do not know whether they allowed members and sisters to act as delegates in the conferences at Nauvoo. I have never seen lay members or ladies delegates in the Reorganized Church.
I knew William Marks at Nauvoo; he was a brother in the church, was a high priest, member of the High Council, and president of the stake, at Nauvoo. I believe he is dead now. I did not say the "Twelve" were all at Omaha; there were only eight of the persons I named as the members of the "Twelve" that went to Omaha. There 39 was such a thing in the old organization as "stakes;" Nauvoo was a stake. There were a great many different districts; Kirtland was once a stake, probably the first one.
REDIRECT EXAMINATION.When I was at Omaha, at Winter Quarters, in 1847, quite a number of the persons I named as members of the Twelve were not present. The church there, (it would be hard to say what it was,) was not what it was in the days of Joseph Smith. It was the apostate church, for they did not carry out the principles that were taught 40 by the books, or Joseph Smith. There were all manner of abominations committed among them there. They taught and practiced these abominations openly. They did not teach or practice the same doctrine that was taught and practiced at Nauvoo, prior to 1844, and during the lifetime of Joseph Smith; they practiced quite the contrary. I withdrew from the church there on account of its wickedness. They had become so corrupted and wicked, that I could not tolerate them, so I withdrew; but the original faith, I believed in it always, all the time, from the day I was baptized, and do yet. The first Book of Doctrine and Covenants I ever saw I got in 1838, in England.
I turned over, by direction of the administrator of Joseph Smith, to the Twelve, all the papers and records that I had; but of course 41 I did not have them all. I do not know what the other men had. I
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did not have control of the record of the membership of the church. I think James Sloan was the man who at that time had something to do with the records, and that was what he did I think. The records I refer to as having turned over to the Twelve, are the records of Joseph Smith's private office, and the records that belonged to the building of the temple, and the records of deeds. I recorded them, or a great many of them, and had the records in my office.
The original manuscript of the Holy Scriptures was not in Joseph Smith's private office. That was in the possession of his wife, Emma Smith. That was not turned over to the administrator of Joseph Smith. It was not turned over to anyone, because it did not belong to the church. Emma Smith never turned it over to anybody until it was turned over to the Reorganized Church for publication.
The time that elapsed between the selection of Joseph Smith as his father's successor and the time of the public announcement, was four (4) or five (o) days. The selection and confirmation was on Wednesday evening, and on the Sunday following, after the sermon was delivered, Joseph Smith made the declaration that his son Joseph had been selected as his successor in office.
The general talk in Nauvoo was that young Joseph would succeed his father as leader of the church. I do not know whether the Twelve took any action in their own quorum about the selection, I was not at their meeting.
42 Brigham Young, said to me at different times, "I am not the leader of the church, nor the prophet of the church; we know who that is; it is Joseph, the son of Joseph the Martyr."
I mean by this ordination of young Joseph as his father's successor, that he was ordained to the same position that his father was in, to be the leader of the church, the First Elder of the church; he was ordained as his father's successor. His authority would not commence until after the death of his father, nor would he take his position until the proper time came.
RECROSS EXAMINATION.43 Joseph Smith prior to 1844, held the position of prophet, seer, and revelator to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He held the Melchizedek priesthood. Holding that priesthood would constitute him the Presiding High Priest or first Elder in the Church.
There was no ordination of young Joseph to be a prophet, priest, and king. The authority for selection and ordination of Joseph Smith to be his father's successor in office, was by revelation. I do not know whether the ordination was in the usual form or not. I never saw except the one ordination of that kind. I do not know by what authority Hyrum Smith did the anointing. His authority was all right. There is authority in the books of doctrine of the church for using oil at an ordination. Aaron was anointed with oil at the
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time of his ordination. The word king, was never used during the ordination of young Joseph Sitith as his father's successors.
I heard what is known as the "King Follett" sermon preached. That sermon was published. Joseph Smith did not in that sermon teach the plurality of gods. It was the general understanding and belief among all the members of the church at Nauvoo, that young Joseph was to be his father's successor. I never heard any dissent from it, either before or after the ordination, or before or after the declaration made by Joseph Smith at the meeting at the east end of the temple, that his son had been selected as his successor. That declaration was made to the people.
There might have been three thousand (3,000) or more present; there might not have been quite so many. I do not know the exact number. The people were assembled in Nauvoo, at the east end of the Temple; there was a stand there, and Joseph Smith preached there that day, and made the announcement to the congregation that his son Joseph had been selected as his successor, and that was the time that the people sanctioned it. The people who were there present at that time and sanctioned that ordination belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The people were not called together on the Sunday following the ordination of young Joseph Smith for the purpose of sanctioning the selection and appointment. It was the regular preaching service every Sunday afternoon, there was no calling about it. They gathered to hear the preaching and at that meeting it was declared by Joseph Smith himself that the selection and ordination of his son Joseph as his successor in office had been made, and the people agreed to it, by a vote in the usual way, voting by the uplifted hand....
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47 Joseph Smith of lawful age being produced, sworn, and examined on the part of the plaintiff, testified as follows, in chief: --
I live at Lamoni, Decatur county. Iowa; lived there since the fall of 1881. Prior to that time I lived at Piano, Kendall county, Illinois. I lived at Plano, Illinois, from 1866, to 1881. I lived at Nauvoo, Illinois, from 1839, to 1866. I lived in Missouri a while and in Ohio a while; but I was very young at that time. I am the son of Joseph Smith, who was the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was born November 6, 1832, at Kirtland, Ohio.
I am the President of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and its Presiding Elder, and am also engaged as the Editor of their church publication called the Saints' Herald. I have been the Presiding Elder of that church since April 6, 1860.
The way the Reorganization of the Church of Latter Day Saints was effected, and the parties that effected the reorganization are in substance as follows: --
It began in the year 1851, as I understand it, by the meeting together of persons who were, or had been members of the church,
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but who refused to recognize the western authorities, by their convening themselves together and conferring in regard to the conditions as they then existed. After they had done this, they issued a call, or an appeal, to the scattered members of the church, and they met in conference in the year 1852, and appointed some of their members as missionaries, and sent them out to look after the scattered individuals.
I became acquainted personally with the movement sometime in 1856, by the visit to me of two of them. I united with them in the spring of 1860, on April 6. I met with them in conference at Amboy, Lee county. Illinois. I had been baptized into the church by my father in the fall of 1843, or the spring of 1844, the date I do not recollect, and have no record of the date. I was received into the Reorganized Church, like others, on my original baptism, and became identified with the movement, and was chosen to preside over its reorganization, and was ordained as a high priest, and chosen to preside over the body, and ordained by them.
William Marks. Zenas H. Gurley, Sr., and W. W. Blair, are the ones who officiated at the ordination. William Marks was a member of the original church, I recollect him as being a member as long as I can remember any man outside of my own family. Zenas H. Gurley was a member of the original church in my father's day, but I did not know him then, but I knew William Marks well. At the time I knew William Marks in Nauvoo, he was a high priest and presided over the stake at Nauvoo, and over the High Council of the stake. He was presiding officer over the stake and the High Council there at Nauvoo. That was the highest office in the local organization. ,
I do not know personally what position Gurley held in the old church, further than by general reputation.
48 The meeting at Amboy, Illinois, at which I united with the church was the yearly conference of the organization, the General Annual Conference.
I was chosen as the presiding officer of the church, by a motion being made to that effect, and put to the vote of the conference, by a motion and vote of the people there assembled -- the vote on the motion properly made by some person, and properly seconded, which was put to the meeting by the presiding officer. The vote was taken by a show of hands, and the vote was unanimous.
My recollection is now that Zenas Gurley, Sr., was the presiding officer at that time. William Marks was present, but I believe Zenas Gurley, Sr. was the presiding officer of that conference.
The conference was composed of persons who had been members' of the old church principally, together with the number that had been baptized by means of their preaching. There were persons there from other States than Illinois; there were members present from Wisconsin, from Iowa, from Illinois, and there may have been members from other States.
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There were present at that conference, that were members of the church, possibly one hundred and fifty (150) people; there may have been more. The meeting was in a hall, and it is hard to say how many were present, but I think there were at least that many.
Besides Elders Marks and Gurley there were quite a number present, who were members of the old church, but I cannot state the number definitely. Among the people that were present were Elders Isaac Sheen, Dwight Webster, Zenas Whitcomb, Israel L. Rogers, and Hiram P. Brown. I do not know that I can now recall to mind the number, but at that time I doubtless remembered and knew who were there that were members of the old church.
I can only make an estimate as to the number of elders, high priests, and other officers of the old original church who had united themselves with the reorganization prior to 1860. I can only approximate the number, but there must be some thousands of them. 50 The major part of that body were members of the old church, and had united themselves with the reorganization either before or since 1860. I cannot say as to the period prior to 1860, but since that time there has been a great many of them united with the church as it now exists.
My Uncle William Smith, and his three sisters, and the husband of the youngest of them, Arthur Milliken, William Aldrich, John Gaylord, John C. Gaylord, Archibald Wilsey, Asa Manchester, and a great many others have united with the Reorganized Church, who were members of the old church. How many in the aggregate I am unable to say. Those are the ones I remember at the present time. They are not all, by any means; I might think of a great many more if I had time to think it over.
After my father's death, my mother remained at Nauvoo, until in the fall of 1846, September, I think. At the time of the disturbance there, we then moved north to Whitesides county, where we remained until February, 1847; we then returned to Nauvoo, and remained there.
My father's mother went to Knoxville, Illinois, and resided there a while with her daughter. She remained there and at Nauvoo and Colchester, with my family and her youngest daughter, until she died, about 1855.
My Uncle William removed first to Knoxville, then near Amboy, and from there to Pennsylvania, and finally settled some twenty (20) odd years ago in Clayton county, Iowa, where he is living at the present time.
My father's brothers, Hyrum and Samuel, both left families. The family of Hyrum and a part of Samuel's family went to Salt Lake Valley. Part of Hyrum's family did not remove immediately, but his oldest daughter went in 1860 or 1862 to Salt Lake Valley.
The three (3) sisters of my father did not leave Illinois at all; they did not go west. They with their children remained in Illinois, and 51 Catherine is still living there, but the other two are dead. Two of
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my father's brothers were living at the time he died, Samuel and William. Samuel died soon after my father, about two months later. William is still living, or was up to a day or two ago. He is a member of the Reorganized Church, and all the family united with the Reorganized Church, excepting my grandmother, and she died in 1855, before I became connected with it.
My mother went with me to the Amboy conference in 1860, she was received as a member at the same time I was. She was a member of the original church. I mean, when I say the subject of the Reorganization of the church came to my knowledge in 1856, that before that I had simply heard a rumor of-the gathering of the people, and the work of reorganization. I heard of it at that time, or before that time; but at that time they brought a particular message to me, and asked me to come and join with the movement.
Samuel Gurley, son of Zenas Gurley, and Edmund C. Briggs came to see me. When I went to the Amboy conference in 1860, the first thing done in which I was personally interested was, I made application to be received upon my original membership, and it was so done upon motion and vote, and my mother was received the same way. Both were received as members, and our original membership acknowledged at that time. After I became a member by vote of the conference, I was, by the vote of the body, ordained to the Melchizedeck priesthood, or made a High Priest, and was then chosen to preside over the priesthood and the church. I was chosen to preside by vote of the people. That vote was taken upon a motion properly put to the conference, and voted upon, and declared carried. I think the vote was taken by uplifted hand, in the same method as the former vote.
I was ordained at that conference by President Marks, 52 Zenas Gurley, and W. W. Blair. They officiated at the ordination. President Marks was at that time a High Priest. He was a High Priest in the original church, and at the time I was in Nauvoo, he was President of the Stake, and also President of the High Council, at the time of my father's death I mean.
From the time of the disorganization of the old church, up to 1860, and 1861, there were two branches of that church that remained intact; one in the northern part of Illinois and the southern part of Wisconsin, and one in Jeffersonville, m Wayne county, presided over by Thomas P. Greene. Mr. Greene, with most of his members, were received into the Reorganized Church. Their branch was organized about 1842.
I was about twelve years old when my father died, would have been twelve on the sixth day of November, and he was killed on the 27th day of June, 1844.
About my selection by my father to be his successor in office, I remember of being called in his office, or into a room adjoining his office, and receiving the laying on of hands, and a prophetic blessing or setting apart, whatever it may be called. I remember that, and
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also remember that just before his departure for Carthage, with a number of others, I was called into a room in the Mansion House, and there again received the laying on of hands, and the blessing. I was also present at a meeting in the grove near the temple, and I remember my father laying his hands on my head, and saying to the people that this was his successor, or was to be his successor. I remember some of the parties that were on the stand, a few of them I remember, but I do not remember all of them. William Marks, George J. Adams, and I think Willard Richards were on the stand at the time.
I am acquainted with the faith and doctrines of the original church, as they are laid down in the public records, and the books of the church. I am also acquainted with the doctrine and faith of the Reorganized Church. I am also acquainted with the doctrine that was preached when I was a boy, and was taught in the Sunday school.
So far as I can comprehend, the disruption and disorganization. of the church occurred from the apparent usurpation of authority on the part of President Young, and some of his compeers, and the practice or private teaching of the doctrine, if it can be called a doctrine, of the plurality of wives; to which practice and teaching a great many refused to accede, my mother and President Marks being among the number, and others that I remember. It was culminating or rather brewing for some time, but culminated as I understood it in the winter of 1846, when a great many members of the church refused to follow these teachings and withdrew.
53 The political troubles that occurred there at that time, I do not remember very much about, as I was too young to retain any very distinct recollection regarding them, and I may say that about all I know is what I heard about that matter. They were driven out from the city, and scattered around, and a great many of them were scattered all throughout Iowa, and this western country, and a great many more went east and settled down in different places. The principal cause of this disruption and scattering of the church was due to the introduction of doctrines, that were not in accordance with the published doctrine or faith of the church that the people had been taught or baptized into. Volume 3 of the Times and Seasons, which is marked exhibit L, contains an epitome of faith of the original church. It is found commencing with these words, "We believe," on page 709 of exhibit L, down to the words "after these things," on page 710. It is as follows: --
"We believe in God the eternal Father, and in his Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
"We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression.
"We believe that through the atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
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"We believe that these ordinances are, 1st, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; 2d, Repentance; 3d, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; 4th, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
''We believe that a man must be called of God by 'prophecy,' and by 'laying on of hands' by those who are in authority to preach the Gospel, and administer in the ordinances thereof.
''We believe in the same organization that existed in the primitive church; viz., apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc.
"We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelations, visions, healings, interpretation of tongues, etc.
"We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
"We believe all that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal, and we believe that he will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
"We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the ten tribes. That Zion will be built upon this continent. That Christ will reign personally upon the earth, and that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisaic glory.
"We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
54 "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
"We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul, 'we believe all things, we hope all things;' we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely or of erood report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."
My father's name is signed to the epitome of faith about which I have been testifying. The pamphlet marked exhibit M is an authorized publication of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and it contains the epitome of faith of the Reorganized Church. The epitome of faith is found on pages 16 and 17 and reads as follows, omitting the references to the Bible and other church publications shown therein: --
"EPITOME OF FAITH.''We believe in God the eternal Father, and his Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
''We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression.
"We believe that through the atonement of Christ all men may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
''We believe that these ordinances are, --
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"1. Faith in God, and in the Lord Jesus Christ. "2. Repentance.
"3. Baptism, by immersion, for the remission of sins.
''4. Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
"5. We believe in the resurrection of the body; that the dead in Christ will rise first, and the rest of the dead will not live again until the thousand years are expired.
"6. We believe in the doctrine of Eternal Judgment, which provides that men shall be judged, rewarded, or punished, according to the degree of good or evil they shall have done.
''We believe that a man must be called of God and ordained by the laying on of hands of those who are in authority, to entitle him to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
"We believe in the same kind of organization that existed in the primitive church; viz., apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc.
"We believe that in the Bible is contained the word of God so far as it is translated correctly. We believe that the canon of Scripture is not full, but that God by his Spirit will continue to reveal his word to man until the end of time.
"We believe in the powers and gifts of the everlasting gospel; viz., the gift of faith, discerning of spirits, prophecy, revelation, healing, visions, tongues, and the interpretation of tongues, wisdom, charity, brotherly love. etc.
''We believe that marriage is ordained of God, and that the law of God provides for but one companion in wedlock, for either man or woman, except in cases where the contract of marriage is broken by death or transgression.
"We believe that the doctrines of a plurality and a community of wives are heresies and are opposed to the law of God. The Book of Mormon says: 'Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord; for there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife, and concubines he shall have none, for I, the Lord God delighteth in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me saith the Lord of Hosts.'
"We believe that in all matters of controversy upon the duty of man towards God, and in reference to preparation and fitness for the world to come, the word of God should be decisive and the end of dispute, and that when God directs, man should obey.
"We believe that the religion of Jesus Christ as taught in the New Testament Scriptures, will, if its precepts are accepted and obeyed, make men and women better in the domestic circle; better citizens of town, county, and State; and consequently better fitted for the change which cometh at death.
"We believe that men should worship God in spirit and in truth, and that such worship does not require a violation of the constitutional law of the land.
''We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according
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to the dictates of our conscience, allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, and what they may.'' -- Epitome of Faith and Doctrine.
The two epitomes of faith are mainly alike. There are some 56 differences in the language that is used, and in regard to the question of marriage, this matter being stated more fully in our reorganized epitome of faith, and in the enlargement of the texts cited; but the principles are the same in both. I do not remember that there is any specific principle, in the epitome of faith of the original church, that is not contained in the epitome of faith of the Reorganized Church, except as I stated before on the question of marriage, the principle is the same, but it is enlarged in the epitome of faith, and specifically mentions the plurality of wives, which is not in the epitome of faith in the original church. There is nothing stated at all in the original epitome of faith on that matter I believe.
The book handed me, marked exhibit E, is the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. It was published in 183."), and contains lectures on faith and doctrine, and the commandments of God to the church, and the rules and regulations adopted by the church in 183"). The doctrine of the original church with reference to marriage was monogamy; one man and one wife, one man and one woman only to be united in wedlock. The doctrine of the original church as to marriage is found on page 251, section 101, of exhibit E. The subject of the title is "Marriage." Section 10 prescribes the forms that shall attend the marriage ceremony, etc.; the duties of parents towards their children, and of children to parents, etc.
There are other parts of this book that refer to the same subject. In paragraph 7, of section 13, of exhibit E, there is a commandment to the church, and which is recognized by the church in reference to marriage. That is on pages 121 and 122, and on page 192, 57 paragraph 3. section 65 of exhibit E. there is a declaration in reference to marriage, or the connection between husband and wife. The publication of the Doctrine and Covenants of the years 1845, 1852, 1854, and 1869, contain the same statement with reference to marriage as the statement on that subject in exhibit E, the 1835 edition of the same book, it is the same in every publication of the Doctrine and Covenants that is used in every faction of the church, that I know anything about, down to 1869. They do not contain any other form or doctrine of marriage, than what is set out in exhibit E, that I now hold in my hand. There is no other form of marriage indorsed or recognized than what is set out in exhibit E, and that reads as follows: --
"MARRIAGE."1. According to the custom of all civilized nations, marriage is regulated by laws and ceremonies; therefore, we believe that all marriages in this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, should be solemnized in a public meeting or feast, prepared for that purpose; and that the solemnization should be performed by a presiding
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high priest, high priest, bishop, elder, or priest, not even prohibiting those persons who are desirous to get married, of being married by other authority. We believe that it is not right to prohibit members of this church from marrying out of the church, if it be their determination so to do, but such persons will be considered weak in the faith of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
"2. Marriage should be celebrated with prayer and thankgsiving; and at the solemnization, the persons to be married, standing together, the man on the right, and the woman on the left, shall be addressed, by the person officiating, as he shall be directed by the Holy Spirit; and if there be no legal objections, he shall say, calling each by their names: 'You both mutually agree to be each other's companion, husband and wife, observing the legal rights belonging to this condition; that is. keeping yourselves wholly for each other, and from all others, during your lives,' and when they shall have answered, 'Yes,' he shall pronounce them 'husband and wife,' in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by virtue of the laws of the country and authority vested in him. May God add his blessings, and keep you to fulfill your covenants from henceforth and forever. Amen.
''The clerk of every church should keep a record of all marriages solemnized in his branch.
"All legal contracts of marriage made before a person is baptized into this church should be held sacred, and fulfilled. Inasmuch as this Church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife; and one woman but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again. It is not right to persuade a woman to be baptized contrary to the will of her husband, neither is it lawful to influence her to leave her husband. All children are bound by law to obey their parents; and to influence them to embrace any religious faith, or be baptized, or leave their parents without their consent, is unlawful and unjust. We believe 58 that all persons who exercise control over their fellow beings and prevent them from embracing the truth, will have to answer for that sin."
Paragraph 7, section 13, on pages 121 and 122 of exhibit E, is as follows: --
"And again I say, thou shalt not kill; but he that killeth shall die. Thou shalt not steal; and he that stealeth and will not repent, shall be cast out. Thou shalt not lie; he that lieth and will not repent, shall be cast out. Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shall cleave unto her and none else; and he that looketh upon a woman to lust after her, shall deny the faith, and shall not have the Spirit, and if he repent not, he shall be cast out. Thou shalt not commit adultery; and he that committeth adultery and repenteth not, shall be cast out; but he that has committed adultery, and repents with all his heart, and forsaketh it, and doeth it no more, thou
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shalt forgive; but if he doeth it again, he shall not be forgiven, but shall be cast out. Thou shalt not speak evil of thy neighbor, nor do him any harm. Thou knowest my laws concerning these things are given in my Scriptures; he that sinneth and repenteth not shall be cast out."
The book now handed me marked exhibit D is the Palmyra edition of the Book of Mormon, published in 1830. It is the first edition of the Book of Mormon that was published. The original church indorsed that book as a book of doctrine. The Reorganized Church indorses and recognizes that book as one of its standard authorities on the question of doctrine, and has had it printed several times. I do not really know that I could point out all the passages or references that there is in exhibit D on the question of marriage, but I could give some of them. On pages 126 and 127 exhibit D there is an express declaration in regard to the question of having more wives than one. It is declared that they are to be confined to one wife. That is found in the second chapter of Jacob, and is as follows: "But the word of God burthens me because of your grosser crimes. For., behold, thus saith the Lord; this people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the Scriptures; for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son. Behold David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord. I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph. Wherefore, I, the Lord God, will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old. Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord; for there shall not any man among you have, save it be one wife: and concubines, he shall have none; for, I, the Lord God, delighteth in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me: thus saith the Lord of hosts."
59 That is about all that is necessary to quote, but there is more here in this same chapter that bears on the same subject, but I think I have read enough to show that the practice of polygamy is expressly prohibited. Now on page 128 in the Book of Ether, so called, there is also a reference to the same matter, and also on page 128. The reference on page 128 is as follows: "Behold, the Lamanites your brethren, whom ye hate, because of their filthiness, and the cursings which hath come upon their skins, are more righteous than you; for they have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our fathers, that they should have, save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none; and there should not be whoredoms committed among them. And now this commandment they observed to keep; wherefore, because of this observance in keeping this commandment, the Lord God will not destroy them, but will be merciful unto them; and one day they shall become a
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blessed people. Behold, their husbands love their wives, and their wives love their husbands, and their husbands and their wives love their children; and their unbelief and their hatred towards you is because of the iniquity of their fathers."
The facts are that every member of the church was under obligation to observe the marriage rules given in the Book of Mormon, in the Book of Commandments and Covenants, and also as taught in the Bible, and always to obey the law of the land in regard to it.
With reference to the members of the church being under obligation to observe the marriage rules given in the books of the church, the fifth paragraph, section 13 of exhibit E reads as follows: "And again, the elders, priests, and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in the which is the fullness of the gospel; and they shall observe the covenants and church articles to do them, and these shall be their teachings, as they shall be directed by the Spirit; and the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith, and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach. And all this ye shall observe to do as I have commanded concerning your teaching, until the fullness of my Scriptures are given," etc.
60 On page 123, paragraph 16 of the same section is found the following with reference to the obligation of the members of the church to observe the laws of the church: "Thou shalt take the things which thou hast received, which have been given unto thee in my Scriptures for a law, to be my law, to govern my church; and he that doeth according to these things, shall be saved, and he that doeth them not shall be damned, if he continues."
And on this same subject, section 4, paragraph 8, exhibit E, reads as follows: "And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received, which vanity and unbelief hath brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all; and they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon, and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written, that they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father's kingdom, otherwise there remaineth a scourge and a judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion; for shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land? Verily I say unto you, Nay."
Answering the questions with reference to the priesthood, and how they are to be ordained, and by what authority, section 2 of the second part, paragraph 17, of exhibit E reads as follows: "Every president of the high priesthood, or presiding elder, bishop, high counselor, and high priest, is to be ordained by the direction of a high council, or general conference.
And on this same subject paragraph 11, section 3 of exhibit E reads as follows: "Of necessity there are presidents, or presiding
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offices, growing out of, or appointed of, or from among those who are ordained to the several offices in these two priesthoods. Of the Melchizedek priesthood, three presiding high priests, chosen by the body, appointed and ordained to that office, and upheld by the confidence, faith and prayer of the church, form a quorum of the presidency of the church. The twelve traveling counselors are called to be the twelve apostles, or special witnesses of the name of Christ, in all the world; thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling. And they form a quorum equal in authority and power to the three presidents, previously mentioned. The seventy are also called to preach the gospel, and to be especial witnesses unto the Gentiles, and in all the world -- thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling; and they form a quorum equal in authority to that of the twelve especial witnesses, or apostles, just named. And every decision made by either of these quorums must be by the unanimous voice of the same; that is, every member in each quorum must be agreed to its decisions, in order to make their decisions of the same power or validity one with the other."
And on the same subject, section 5 paragraph 6 this same exhibit E reads as follows: "The president of the church, who is also the president of the council, is appointed by revelation, and acknowledged, in his administration, by the voice of the church; and it is 61 according to the dignity of his office, that he should preside over the council of the church; and it is his privilege to be assisted by two other presidents, appointed after the same manner that he himself was appointed; and in case of the absence of one or both of those who are appointed to assist him, he has power to preside over the council without an assistant; and in case that he himself is absent, the other presidents have power to preside in his stead, both or either of them."
Paragraph 2 section 14 of exhibit E on the same subject reads as follows: "But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift, except it be through him, for if it be taken from him he shall not have power, except to appoint another in his stead; and this shall be a law unto you, that ye receive not the teachings of any that shall come before you as revelations or commandments; and this I give unto you that you may not be deceived, that you may know they are not of me. For verily I say unto you, that he that is ordained of me shall come in at the gate and be ordained as I have told you before, to teach those revelations which you have received, and shall receive through him whom I have appointed." The paragraphs and sections that I have referred to in exhibit E are the same in the publication of the same book, published by the Reorganized Church, as they were in the 1835 edition. The reading matter is the same, but the sections have been differently arranged -- most of them have. The sections are placed in different order, but there is no change in text. The sections and
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paragraphs also are given, so that one can find any reference in one book by comparing it with the other.
The book handed me marked exhibit N is the Church Record belonging to the Reorganized Church, and containing the minutes of" some of the first conferences held, and also the record of the different branches of the church. The record of membership, etc., conference minutes, etc. That is the official record of the church so far as it has been held.
This record exhibit N, with reference to the belief of the Reorganized Church on certain questions, reads as follows: --
62 Resolution 5: ''Resolved that we believe that the Church of Christ organized on the 6th day of April A. D. 1830, exists as on that day, wherever six or more saints are organized according to the pattern in the book of Doctrine and Covenants."
Resolution 6: "Resolved that the whole law of the Church of Jesus Christ is contained in the Bible, Book of Mormon, the Book of Doctrine and Covenants," etc.
Resolutions: "Resolved that this conference believes it the duty of the elders of this church who have been legally ordained, to cry repentance and remission of sins to this generation through obedience to the gospel as revealed in the record of the Jews, Book of Mormon, and Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and to not faint in the discharge of duty."
Those are the resolutions passed at the General Conference about 63 which I have been interrogated, and the book referred to therein as the record of the Jews is the Bible, the Old and the New Testaments.
I was present at the General Conference held in September, 1878. I do not know that I can remember specifically what was done. I do not know that I can remember anything in reference to this record. I know there was something done in reference to the records of the church, and the standard books, but my recollection is that it was in the way of reaffirming something that had been done prior to that time; but I would not like to say from memory what was done. I was present and knew at the time the action taken, what was being done, but just the things that were done I could not tell from recollection.
After having refreshed my recollection by referring to exhibit M offered and introduced in this case, I am compelled to state now what was done. I presided at that meeting, and put the resolution when it was presented. The resolution was presented for recognizing the standard books of the church, the Scriptures, Book of Mormon, and Book of Doctrine and Covenants. The books referred to, in the action of that General Conference in 1878 were the same in text as the Book of Mormon, which is marked exhibit D in this case; and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants which is marked exhibit E, and exhibit J being the 1880 edition of the book of Doctrine and Covenants.
The paper now handed me and marked exhibit B is the Articles of
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Incorporation of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, of date June 6, 1891, and I was one of the Incorporarators; my name is signed to these articles.
These are the Articles of Incorporation of the church from whose records I have been citing passages during the taking of my 64 deposition. The church government expressed in these Articles of Incorporation, is the church government of the church of which I am the president. The articles of church government set out in the Articles of Incorporation above referred to are the same as the articles of church government set out in the standard works of the church under exhibits D, J, and E.
And the order of church government as set out in the Articles of Incorporation of the Reorganized Church, dated June 6, 1891, is the same order of church government as that set out in King James' translation of the Bible, which was introduced in this case, marked exhibit C.
I do not know of any difference between the two, if there is any, it has escaped my attention.
I am familiar with the practice and usages of the church with reference to the acceptance of revelations by the church. On that subject the usages and practice is, both in the original church of 1830 to 1844, and also in the Reorganized Church, that whatever purports to be revelation is referred to the church for action to be taken on it by the church before it can be binding upon the body.
It must be examined by the leading quorums of the church, and be accepted by them before it can be presented to the body. If accepted by these quorums, then it is presented to the body for its action, and upon their acceptance becomes binding upon the church.
65 By the term quorum, I mean certain organizations of the ministry, such for instance as the First Presidency, or the Quorum of Twelve. The first president of the church and his council form the first quorum, which consists of three members when full. The next quorum is that of the Twelve, and is known as the twelve apostles, and when full contains twelve persons. The next quorum is known as the Seventy, and it' may consist of seven quorums of seventy each, when full.
Now the matter of revelation is submitted to each of these quorums separately, to be examined by them separately, and when they have decided, it is either accepted or rejected. They can of course examine the matter separately or conjointly, and after they have passed on it, it is presented to the body and acted upon by the body of the church. If accepted by the body, it then becomes a law of the church and binding upon the members.
Exhibit O now handed me is the Times and Seasons, published by the church at Nauvoo, Illinois. This is the official publication of the church, from page 423 of exhibit O, under date of Thursday, February 1, 1844, is the following, which I now read in answer to the question asked me: --
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"As we have lately been credibly informed that an elder of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, by the name of Hiram Brown, has been preaching polygamy, and other false and corrupt doctrines, in the county of Lapeer, State of Michigan, this is to notify him, and the church in general, that he has been cut off from the church for his iniquity; and he is further notified to appear at the Special Conference on the 6th of April next, to make answer to these charges.I was a member of the original church at the time the notice I have just read to the reporter was issued, and the book from which I have read, being the Times and Seasons, exhibit O was held out by the 66 original church, as a church paper, and authorized by the church, up to 1844, and it has been recognized since then by the Reorganized Church as the official publication of the original church. It was understood to be so by me until the death of Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith in 1844, and has been so regarded by the Reorganized Church, and by everybody else that has ever had anything to do with the church. Now that is my understanding of it. The book exhibit O has always been regarded as an original and authorized publication of the church up to the time of the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and has been so treated so far as I am aware. Between the elders of the Reorganized Church and those of other factions or churches, between myself and other factions of the same church and other churches, in all public and private discussions, it was always regarded as the current, official, and authorized publication of the church up to 1844.
67 The attitude of the original church from 1830 to 1844, (June 27,) towards the government of the United States is shown from the authorized books of the church as follows: Exhibit E, page 137: --
"Let no man think that he is ruler, but let God rule him that judgeth, according to the counsel of his own will: or in other words, him that counseleth, or sitteth upon the judgment seat. Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God, hath no need to break the laws of the land: wherefore, be subject to the powers that be, until He reigns whose right it is to reign, and subdues all enemies under his feet. Behold the laws which ye have received from my hand, are the laws of the church; and in this light shall ye hold them forth. Behold, here is wisdom."
Paragraphs 21, 22, and 23, of section 13, the same book, with reference to the same subject, are as follows: --
Paragraph 21: "And again, every person who belongeth to this Church of Christ, shall observe to keep all the commandments and covenants of the church. And it shall come to pass that if any person among you shall kill, they shall be delivered up and dealt with
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according to the laws of the land; for remember that he hath no forgiveness; and it shall be proven according to the laws of the land."
Paragraph 22: "And if any man or woman shall commit adultery, he or she shall be tried before two elders of the church or more, and every word shall be established against him or her by two witnesses of the church, and not of the enemy, but if there are more than two witnesses it is better; but he or she shall be condemned by the mouth of two witnesses, and the elders shall lay the case before the church, and the church shall lift up their hands against him or her, that they may be dealt with according to the law of God. And if it can be, it is necessary that the bishop is present also. And thus ye shall do in all cases which shall come before you. And if a man or woman shall rob, he or she shall be delivered up to the law of the land. And if he or she shall steal, he or she shall be delivered up unto the law of the land. And if he or she shall lie, he or she shall be delivered up unto the law of the land. If he or she shall do any manner of iniquity, he or she shall be delivered up unto the law, even that of God."
Paragraph 23, "And if thy brother or sister offend thee, thou shalt take him or her between him or her and thee alone; and if he or she confess, thou shalt be reconciled. And if he or she confess 68 not, thou shalt deliver him or her up unto the church, not the members, but to the elders. And it shall be done in a meeting, and that not before the world. And if thy brother or sister offend many, he or she shall be chastened before many. And if any one offend openly, he or she shall be rebuked openly, that he or she may be ashamed. And if he or she confess not, he or she shall be delivered up unto the law of God. If anyone shall offend in secret, he or she shall be rebuked in secret, that he or she may have opportunity to confess in secret to him or her whom he or she has offended, and to God, that the church may not speak reproachfully of him or her. And thus shall ye conduct all things."
That is not all that exhibit E contains with reference to this subject. There is a declaration of the attitude of the church in regard to government. It is section 102 of this book, exhibit E, pages 252, 253, and 254, as follows: --
"OF GOVERMENT AND LAWS IN GENERAL."1. We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man, and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, either in making laws or administering them, for the good and safety of society.
"2. We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property and the protection of life.
"3. We believe that all governments necessarily require civil officers and magistrates to enforce the laws of the same, and that such
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as will administer the law in equity and justice should be sought for and upheld by the voice of the people, (if a Republic.) or the will of the Sovereign.
"4. We believe that religion is instituted of God, and that men are amenable to Him and to Him only for the exercise of it, unless their religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others; but we do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of worship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or private devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain crime but never control conscience; should punish guilt but never suppress the freedom of the soul.
"5. We believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective governments in which they reside, while protected in their inherent and inalienable rights by the laws of such governments, and that sedition and rebellion are unbecoming every citizen thus protected, and should be punished accordingly; and that all governments have a right to enact such laws as in their own judgments are best calculated to secure the public interest, at the same time however, holding sacred the freedom of conscience.
"6. We believe that every man should be honored in his station, rulers and magistrates as such -- being placed for the protection of the innocent and the punishment of the guilty; and that to the laws all men owe respect and deference, as without them peace and harmony would be supplanted by anarchy and terror; human laws being instituted for the express purpose of regulating our interests as individuals and nations, between man and man, and divine laws, given of heaven, prescribing rules or spiritual concerns, for faith and worship, both to be answered by man to his Maker.
"7. We believe that Rulers, States, and Governments have a right, and are bound to enact laws for the protection of all citizens in the free exercise of their religious belief; but we do not believe that they have a right, in justice, to deprive citizens of this privilege, or proscribe them in their opinions, so long as a regard and reverence is shown to the laws, and such religious opinions do not justify sedition or conspiracy.
"8. We believe that the commission of crime should be punished according to the nature of the offence; that murder, treason, 69 robbery, theft, and the breach of the general peace, in all respects, should be punished according to their criminality and their tendency to evil among men, by the laws of that government in which the offence is committed; and for the public peace and tranquility all men should step forward and use their ability in bringing offenders against good laws to punishment.
"9. We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.
"10. We believe that all religious societies have a right to deal
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with their members for disorderly conduct according to the rules and regulations of such societies, provided that such dealing be for fellowship and good standing; but we do not believe that any religious society has authority to try men on the right of property or life, to take from them this world's goods, or put them in jeopardy either life or limb, neither to inflict any physical punishment upon them, -- they can only excommunicate them from their society and withdraw from their fellowship.
"11. We believe that men should appeal to the civil law for the redress of all wrongs and grievances, where personal abuse is inflicted, or the right of property or character infringed, where such laws exist as will protect the same; but we believe that all men are justified in defending themselves, their friends, and property, and the government, from the unlawful assaults and encroachments of all persons, in times of exigencies, where immediate appeal cannot be made to the laws, and relief afforded.
"12. We believe it just to preach the gospel to the nations of the earth, and warn the righteous to save themselves from the corruption of the world; but we do not believe it right to interfere with bond servants, neither preach the gospel to, nor baptize them, contrary to the will and wish of their masters, nor to meddle with or influence them in the least to cause them to be dissatisfied with their situations in this life, thereby jeopardizing the lives of men: such interference we believe to be unlawful and unjust, and dangerous to the peace of every government allowing human beings to be held in servitude."
CROSS-EXAMINATION.I have testified in answer to the interrogatories with reference to 70 the number of publications filed as exhibits in this case, and among others have stated that the Book of Mormon is an authority in the church to which I belong. That is a fact, and I have so stated it; and I have also stated that it was authority in the church before I left Nauvoo, Illinois.
The Reorganized Church uses the same edition of the Book of Mormon that the Nauvoo church did; the Palmyra edition published in 1830, and the Liverpool edition, one published by Mr. Huntley, -- I do not remember the date of the edition, -- and also one published by ourselves. We regard these editions as authority. The one published by ourselves was in 1863 or 1864, and the edition was issued either in Chicago or Cincinnati. We understand the subject matter in these editions to be the same.
My knowledge is that they are not identical in words; that is, they are not all identical as far as words go. There was an edition gotten up in Nauvoo, at one time, and that edition is not exactly the same in words as the Palmyra edition, but the substance and teaching is the same. We regard all the editions alike. We use this one, meaning the book in my hand, because it is versified and is more easily handled on that account; but we have all of them, and they are of
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equal authority with us, for there has been no specific change in any of them; that is, in any of the Books of Mormon, published by anyone that I know anything about.
I have also testified that the book called the Book of Doctrine and Covenants is an authority in the Reorganized Church, and that the same book was an authority in the original church prior to 1844. There are different editions of that book; all the edition that I have seen that was used in the church prior to 1844, is the edition of 1835. The 1835 edition was published at Kirtland, Ohio; then there was an edition of 1845, and 1846, published at Nauvoo, Illinois. 71 There were editions published in 1852, and in 1854 in Europe. One was published by Albert Carrington in 1869. All these editions, 1835, 1845, 1846, 1852, 1854, and 1869, are the same in substance so far as I have had an opportunity to examine them. Some of them I have examined thoroughly, and some I have not examined so thoroughly; but to the best of my judgment they are practically the same.
There are what purports to be revelations in some of the later editions of the book of Doctrine and Covenants that are not in some of the prior editions; but in so far as they have been published contemporaneously or purport to give the teachings of the church as it existed in the time prior to the death of my father and Hyrum Smith, and which were authorized by the church to which we belong, or by the body of the church, and were published in book form, they are identically the same.
Yes sir, I say that some of the later editions of the Doctrine and Covenants have subject matter in them that former editions do not have, and in that regard they are not identically the same. I do not know that I can tell what editions of this book contain matter not in the first edition published in 1835, and the editions published subsequent thereto in 1845 and 1846. I think, however, there was a revelation said to be given sometime in 1834 that is not in the later editions. And in the edition published by us we have added what has been given us in the way of direction and commandment, or what has been recognized by the church since 1844.
There is not much of the book composed of that matter, a few pages, possibly twenty-four pages in all. These new revelations are in the book which has been presented in this case, and marked Exhibit J, and are regarded as authoritative by the Reorganized Church.
The edition marked Exhibit J was published in 1882. In 1878, 72 there was an authoritative declaration made by the church authorizing the Board of Publication to insert these later revelations in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and ordering the publication. The church was reorganized in 1852, and from 1852 to 1878 used the 1835, 1845, and 1846, editions of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. 'They contained all of the revelations that had been authoritatively received by the church up to that time. The revelations given after the publication
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of 1845, regarded as authoritative by the Reorganized Church, were given in 1861, 1863, 1865, 1873, 1882, and 1887.
At first these were not comprised in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and were not published until they were accepted and authorized by the church. All that had been received up to 1878 were ordered printed in the book.
Now these revelations given from 1861 to 1882, after they were accepted by the church, became a rule to the church, and are authoritative and binding upon the church, as much so as any given prior to June 27, 1844. They were accepted as authority by the church, at least some of them prior to the time of their publication, and were accepted at the time of the revelation, or about that time. In the Book of Doctrine and Covenants that is now the rule of action 73 in the Reorganized Church and binding upon the church, there are certain rules and doctrines that are not found in the original book of Doctrine and Covenants published in 1835, 1845, and 1846, which references have been made in my examination, nor are they found in any book published before 1835 and 1836, that I know anything about. The part to be found in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants now used and held as authority in the Reorganized Church that is not found in the editions of 1835, 1845, and 1846, is simply revelations given in 1861, and thereafter; they have been adopted by the church, but all other matters contained in these books are substantially the same.
The methods which were used in their adoption by the Reorganized Church required that they should be presented to the quorums, and acted upon by them; they are then presented to the body, and accepted by the body in conference. The body in conference is the membership assembled in conference. It is the official membership recognized as ex officio conference members and delegates appointed by the different branches and districts of the churches forming the conferences,
The official membership of the conference is composed of the president of the church, the twelve, the high priests, the seventy, and the elders; these are ex officio members of the conference; they attend and vote each for himself. They may be ex officio delegates or not, or they may be lay delegates, or I should say lay members, and cast the vote of their district. Delegates are selected by the branches and by the members of the districts at the district conferences. Branches are church organizations, or congregations they may be called, I suppose. The districts are officially designated territories, composed of two or more branches contiguous to each other. Branches are presided over by officers chosen by the branch in case there is an organization, districts by the person appointed by the conference temporally; but usually one who may be selected by the members of the district and called the district president.
Each isolated branch is entitled to one representative, if there is only a few members in it; if the number of members is over twenty-five,
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it is entitled to two members in conference. Districts are represented in conference by delegates chosen at their district 74 conferences. Branches and districts are the only organizations below the conference. The churches exist in the branches and districts, where they are organized; but branches may exist without a district organization.
The next higher government in the order of the church above the district, is the General Conference. It represents the whole body of the church everywhere. It means the church wherever it may exist, without reference to the location, or what country it may be in. The General Conference represents the Church everywhere it exists, whether at home or abroad.
The quorum to do business in the conference, is the membership present, ex officio's, and delegates. There has never been any designated number required to form a quorum. Proceedings of Annual Conferences are kept by secretaries; that is, they are kept through a permanent secretary of the church being present, with his assistants, and keeping a record of the proceedings of the conference. If he is not present the proceedings are kept by a person selected temporarily to perform that duty, and reported to the secretary. The proceedings of the conferences are usually published to the church through the medium of the official publication or organ of the church, but the written record itself is kept by the Secretary and Recorder of the church in his office.
I believe the proceedings of the conferences are uniformly published. At least they have been regularly published since my connection with the church in 1860. I do not know that the minutes of the conference held by the Reorganized Church were published prior to 1860, for the reason that the Reorganized Church had no official 75 organ prior to 1860. I cannot say anything about the minutes of the conferences of the church from 1832 to 1844, only as I see them represented in the published records or journals of the day.
I have never seen the records of the conferences held from 1832, to 1845, only as I have seen them published in the journals of the day, the Times and Seasons and the Millennial Star. The Millennial Star was published at Liverpool, England. I said that I had never seen any of the original official publications of the conference minutes of the church from 1830 down to 1845, unless it has been in the current journals of the time. I have never seen the written originals. I do not know whether the proceedings of the conferences I have seen in the publications before referred to are authentic or not, but I have no doubt but that they are authentic. I do not know it from my own knowledge.
I do not know what became of these records of the church prior to 1844. We have in our possession one of the minute books of the church, the record of the First Quorum of Elders. There was a record kept by a Mr. Norton, who died up in Michigan, and who sent it to us.
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I cannot say whether there is any sect or faction of the church which claims to have these records from 1830 to 1845-6; I do not know anything about that.
I believe there is a sect that claims to be the true church and claims to practice the doctrine and faith, governed by the same rules as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from 1830 to 76 1844. That sect or church has existed all the time from 1845 to the present time. I do not know whether that church has these records before referred to or not. I have never seen them, know nothing about them.
The minutes of the last General Conference of the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints is authoritative as published. Minutes of a conference are usually ordered to be published, and this last spring they were ordered published in pamphlet form as supplement to the Saints' Herald, and were so published. There are no other official publications of the Reorganized Church aside from the proceedings of the General Conferences, unless it be the current journal of the church. There are no others unless the Saints' Herald was authorized to be published. It was selected by the Board of Publication maintained by the church, and from time to time the official proceedings of the church are published in it, by vote of the conference; I mean the General Conference of the church. That prior to 1844 was held twice a year, and such are now held once each successive year. This publication was authorized at every conference from 1859. I think that it was first published by Isaac Sheen, at Cincinnati, Ohio. It is now published under the charge and control of a Board of Publication, appointed by the church at each annual meeting; that is they either retain the old Board of Publication or select, as the case may be, a new Board; this Board retains a certain number of 77 persons to edit and manage it, then in addition there is a mechanical department that sets the type, and men that make the copy and read the proofs, and persons who mail it after it is printed. Only the Board of Publication is selected by the conference, and they appoint all the other employees. The paper has two editors appointed by the Board of Publication.
That part of the paper or publication which bears the official signature is authentic; that is, the authorities who represent themselves. For instance, the Bishopric when it sends out anything over its signature, that would be authentic as coming from them; and if the Twelve would do the same thing, it would be authentic as coming from them; or if the elders would do it, it would be coming from them; and the writers of communications are responsible for their own communications.
Everything that appears in that way in the church publication is authentic as coming from the source it purports to come from, but it is not binding upon the church until it has been accepted by the church.
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I have not offered anything in the church publication as testimony in this case. The Herald has not been offered as testimony in this case, to my knowledge.
I know the paper called the Times and Seasons, that was the journal published in Nauvoo, from 1839, to 1844; I think it was published in pamphlet form and issued to subscribers. I do not know that I can describe it specifically. It partook of the character of a church publication at the time it was published, and it was undoubtedly an official organ of the church. The church organized in 1830, and existed at that time. It was never an official organ of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was not used by them, but was accepted by them from 1839 to 1844, that is, for what it purports to be.
I have had frequent opportunities of observing these volumes of the Times and Seasons identified in this case, and part of them are from my library; they are not complete, part of them are missing. The first three volumes are complete, I do not know that there is anything missing from them. The last three I have not examined and do not know whether they are complete or not; if there is 77 anything incomplete, it is leaves that have dropped out by wear and time, or which have been accidentally torn out. All the volumes of the Times and Seasons placed as exhibits in this case are of date between 1840 and 1844, I think these are the dates, but the whole number ran to 1846. I have not identified any of the volumes after 1844, I have in my possession the volumes after 1844, but not here. All that were brought here, Mr. Kelley has.
So far as the old church is concerned, we regard all of them as official until the death of Joseph Smith, in 1844, June 27; after that they were published by other parties, and we do not regard them as of any weight with us after that date.
They were published after June 27, 1844, by those who continued there at Nauvoo, under the parties who took charge of the church after the death of Joseph Smith; they were Brigham Young and others.
The publication of the Times and Seasons was begun under Joseph Smith's presidency of the church, and continued until he was killed, and the publication was continued some years afterwards by the parties who claim to succeed him. I do not know that his presidency had anything to do with the publication of the newspaper, but part of the time he was editor of the paper. I mean to say that he was editor only part of the time while he was living; when he was not editor, Ebenezer Robinson and Don Carlos Smith run the paper, and John Taylor a part of the time. They were not all on the paper at 79 one time. John Taylor conducted the paper after the death of Joseph Smith; he was editor at the time Joseph Smith was killed, and I think remained editor until the suspension of the paper. It was suspended some time in 1846. I believe John Taylor was editor of the paper before my father's death, a part of the time. He is the
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same John Taylor who after my father's death went to Salt Lake; he went with the church to Salt Lake at the time that Brigham Young went, as I understand it; that is what I am informed is the fact, but do not know that it is a fact, for I was not with them at the time. My information is that he went to Salt Lake with them at the time Brigham Young went and was president of the church in Utah, after the death of Brigham Young; I mean president of the Utah church after Brigham Young.
The Times and Seasons at the beginning of its career, was an individual concern published by Ebenezer Robinson, and Carlos Smith in partnership. It is not a fact that the paper was never published by the church; the paper was purchased by the church and published by it, that is after Robinson and Smith ceased publishing it; it was purchased by the church and published in the interest of the church. I do not remember the date it was purchased. After it was purchased from Robinson and Smith it was considered as an authority in the church, and was so considered as an authority up to the time of the death of Joseph Smith, June 27, 1844; and I presume that by those who published it, it was considered an authority after June 27, 1844, but was never so regarded by the Reorganized Church; the members of the church who were members of 80 the church before my father's death, and who did not take affiliation with the incoming authority, or the authority under Brigham Young.
There was a history of Joseph Smith written for the public, and published. The publication was begun in the Times and Seasons, and I am not sure but what it was in the paper published here, Independence, Missouri. I am not certain about the date, it must have been about 1833. It began to be published again in the Times and Seasons, very nearly at the start of that paper; I do not recollect the date. The publication was continued after the death of my father. It purported to be the life of Joseph Smith, as written by himself; that part of it which appeared after his death June 27, 1844, is not accepted by the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as correct.
Exhibit M, now handed me, is an authorized publication; it was published by the Board of Publication of the Reorganized Church. Exhibit M has never been passed on by the General Conference; not as a pamphlet it has not. The document marked Exhibit M, was printed this winter, probably in the month of December, 1891. It was published by the Board of Publication, and so shows on its face; 81 I mean the Board of Publication of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, at Lamoni, Decatur county, Iowa. All these facts are stated on the first page.
It is a fact that what the Board of Publication does as the agent of the church is the work of the church, until it is questioned and proved otherwise. By being printed by that Board, it is not authority the same as if it had been indorsed by the church in its conferences,
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for the reason that it is yet subject to the church in conference, there to be approved or disapproved upon its merits by that body.
Exhibit M was printed and published after the institution of this suit. It was not published with a view of being used in the taking of these depositions. No sir, it was not. It was published as a pamphlet for our men in the field, for the information of the men in the field, giving as it does a statement of the position of the church in succession.
Now that it might be used in this suit was of course presumed, but at that time I knew, nothing of the taking of these depositions; it was not compiled for use in this suit. That was not the object of its compilation. The Board of Publication is composed of Bishop E. L. Kelley, David Dancer, W. W. Blair, James H. Peters, and Robert Winning. I assisted in compiling exhibit M, and helped to read the proofs.
It is not a fact that anything that is printed and published by the Board of Publication is an authentic publication of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We print a good many things that are the authentic declarations of other-men, and we 82 publish them as such, for what they are, or purport to be; but it does not follow from that, that they are the declarations of the church, or binding upon the church. We just publish these things for what they purport to be, and nothing else. The matter that is found in exhibit M quoted, we obtained from the published and authorized works of the church, and other published documents. Not all of exhibit M is original matter; some' portions of it are original. The parts that are used by the writers to connect it together are original with the writers. The writers were W. W. Blair, E. L. Kelley, and Joseph Smith. At the time we were compiling this pamphlet, the expectation was that it might be used in this examination. It is not a fact that at the time of the compilation of this pamphlet we were fixing up testimony for this case. No sir, that is not true. I think I have answered the question; if I have not, I do not think it is possible for me to answer it. To answer the question again I will say, It is not a fact that at the time we were compiling this pamphlet, we were fixing up testimony to use at the trial of this case, or at this examination; nor is it true that we were fixing up a mass of facts to be used as testimpny in this case.
I said yesterday that in order for revelations to become authentic and binding upon the church as authoritative, they must first pass through the quorums of the church, and be accepted by the body of the church. These quotations on pages 16 and 17 of exhibit M have been adopted by the church; they have not been passed through and examined by these quorums of the church; I did not so state; nor did I state that things of that kind were required to pass through that ordeal. A declaration of doctrine and faith must necessarily 83 pass through such an ordeal, but they are presented to the church
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and accepted by the church before they are received as authoritative. They were presented to the Reorganized Church for adoption (I do not know the exact date from memory) at Plano, Kendall county, Illinois, and since the year 1860, when I became connected with the church. It was prior to 1878.
I did not say pages 16 and 17, introduced here from exhibit M, were presented to the church in the regular way, and indorsed in such a way as to render them binding upon the church. No sir, I did not say that; but I did say that the subject matter upon the sixteenth and seventeenth pages of exhibit M was presented, and indorsed by the church, but not the pages themselves; the pages themselves were only compiled this winter, or rather this pamphlet was only compiled this winter.
I mean by the subject matter on these pages the Epitome of Faith there presented, and I mean that every statement in this Epitome of Faith has been presented to and passed upon by the church, and approved by the church; but I am unable to state the date that it was done, without examining the record. I helped compile that Epitome of Faith myself, and was present when it was presented and was with 84 the body when it was adopted as the Epitome of Faith. We did not include in this Epitome of Faith what is on page 17 of exhibit M under the head of "church record." We did not for the reason that it is not a part of the Epitome. I believe what is stated there, however, is authoritative; and it is taken from the church records presented in this case yesterday. The minutes of the conference, and it is authentic, for what is taken from the church records is authentic, and the whole of it is taken from the church records.
The resolution shown on the minutes of the conference is as follows: ''Resolved that the whole law of the Church of Jesus Christ is contained in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants." It was considered at the time it was adopted by the conference, true, that was in June, 1852.
It is not a fact that this is as true at the present time as it was then, simply because there have been additions to the church rules since that time. Yes sir, I state as a positive fact that there have been additions to the rules of the church since 1852; additions authorized by the church at its General Conferences, and by its various quorums.
I did not say, and have not said, that all revelations to be authentic and of binding force upon the church must be presented to the quorums, and be approved by them; I said that before a revelation, or what purports to be a revelation, could be accepted as binding upon the church, it must be submitted to that ordeal. It cannot become a law and be binding as law until it is submitted to the quorums and indorsed by them, and approved by the body; but it may be accepted by the members and acted upon subject to inquiry and examination. The acceptance of revelations by the quorums and the church makes it binding upon the church, but it may be a revelation
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without such acceptance and indorsement, but before it can be binding upon the church as a church, it must be acted upon and accepted. That was the doctrine of the church prior to the death of Joseph Smith, in 1844.
I could not say there were any revelations given and published by my father, that he submitted to the quorums, from personal 85 knowledge. I do not know whether, the revelation spoken of by Mr. Whitehead in his testimony, by which I was selected by my father as his successor was submitted to the quorums; I do not know that it was, and I do not know that it was not. I do not claim that it was, and so far as I am concerned, I do not make the statement that there was any such a revelation given. So far as I am concerned I did not, and have not made any such a statement. My statement is, that I do not know anything whatever about it. I do not know whether the revelation was given or not. I cannot say that if such a revelation had been given and had not been submitted to the quorums, that it would or would not be valid. I could have been properly ordained under the laws of the Reorganized Church to the office I now hold, without a revelation to that effect from my father. Yes sir, you understand me correctly; I claim that I could properly be ordained and qualified and put in the possession of the office which I now hold, without a revelation to that effect to my father. I make that claim.
If my father received such a revelation, I cannot say whether I was ordained under it or not. I would not like to say that, for I have already said I did not know there was such a revelation. I understand that the ordination was legally done according to the rules of the church, and that was all that was necessary. Yes sir, I stated that I was ordained at Amboy.
I cannot say that my ordination was made without reference to the alleged revelation to my father. My ordination was made upon the authority of the understanding of the law, as they had it, and from the fact that they regarded it as a fact that there had been such a revelation, but personally I know nothing whatever about it.
Personally I do not know whether there was or was not such a revelation. I know that there was such an appointment of myself as my father's successor in office, but I do not know whether it was by virtue of a revelation or not. As a rule, before a president or high priest can be ordained there must be some kind of a manifestation in 86 regard to it individually, before he can be ordained to any office in the Melchisedek priesthood. There is no law of the church that such a revelation or manifestation before it can be enforced must be accepted by the quorum. It requires an acceptance by the body; I should say, acted upon and accepted by the body before which it comes, either a branch, district conference, or General Conference. It is owing to the nature of the revelation. For instance; a man may be called and ordained in the body or branch. In a congregational organization he may rise and speak what he considers is the voice of the Spirit, and be ordained by reason of this manifestation,
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without the matter being submitted to the different quorums; but if it is a matter to be presented to the body, and to become a rule of action for the general body it must be presented in that way; but in rising in a local congregation it must be acted on immediately by the voice of the people there assembled.
I do not know that I can just turn to the law of the church to that effect. There are precedents in the Book of Mormon for it. You are asking for a special law of the church to that effect; I have stated that I do not know where I can find it. or whether I can find it. It is in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants that has been identified here. That is, the principle is undoubtedly there. Yes, sir, the principle is in the authorized publications of the church prior to 1852, but I do not know that I can give you the exact location of it. What you read to me in your question, to wit: "There is a way by which all revelations purporting to be from God to any man can be tested," down to the words, "Brother Joseph said, 'let no revelation go to the people until it has been tested,' " that in itself is not a law of the church; it is a statement of one Orson Hyde with reference to what was the rule of the church; I say that is not the law of the church, as it is contained there. That is a statement of Orson Hyde, as to what was the rule, and he belonged to the Utah Church. I believe the statement to be a correct one.
87 The Millennial Star was a publication published in England. I do not know whether it is being published now or not.
Yes, sir, it is stated in our Epitome of Faith that, "We believe in the same kind of organization that existed in the primitive church," apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc., and is a statement of the belief of the Reorganized Church.
The book marked exhibit N came from Lamoni, Iowa. It was brought to Lamoni. from Plano, Kendall county. Illinois, by the Secretary of the Church. Henry A. Stebbins is and was at the time the secretary. That book, exhibit N. purports to contain the records of the church from June, 1852, down to sometime in the seventies; I do not know exactly what the year is. It contains the records of the conferences held between these dates, I think; I know it does some of them, but do not know positively that it contains all of them. I cannot say that it contains records of other meetings besides conference meetings. Henry A. Stebbins was not in charge of it all the time; Isaac Sheen had charge of it before Mr. Stebbins. No other person was in charge of it during that time to my knowledge. I said Henry Stebbins brought it from Plano, but really I do not know7, for I did not see him bring it:' but he was Secretary of the Church, and had charge of the books. I have seen the book in his possession at Lamoni, and at Plano, and this is the same book that I saw in his possession at those places. When the book is at Lamoni, it is in the custody of the Secretary of the Church, and in his office -- the office of Henry A. Stebbins; he is the Secretary of the Reorganized Church. 88 I brought the book here myself at the request of Bishop Kelley; the
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package of books was made up at his request, and I brought it with
I recognize the resolution you read, "Resolved that we believe that the Church of Jesus Christ, organized on the 6th day of April, 1830, exists as on that day, wherever six or more Saints are organized according to the pattern in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants," as having been introduced in testimony yesterday from this book. The name of the church referred to in this resolution is the Church of Jesus Christ. Of course I am not sure of that, because I was not there at the time; I know only by the general appellation that was given it.
It has been called the "Church of Christ." the "Church of Jesus Christ," and the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints."
From my own knowledge I cannot tell what was the real and technical name of the church from its organization in 1830 down to 1844. The historical appellation accepted by the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is. The Church of Jesus Christ, and the words "of Latter Day Saints" is added, descriptive.
I do not know of my own knowledge that the word Jesus was in the name of the church in 1830; all I know about it I get from my readme: of the books of the church, and the records.
I have in my hand the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, first edition, exhibit E. I could not read the title page for the reason that there is none. It has been lost, apparently. I would like to read it for you if I could. The headlines on page five of exhibit E, which you ask me to read, are, --
"THEOLOGY. LECTURE FIRST ON THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH OF THE LATTER DAY SAINTS. OF FAITH."The words "of Jesus Christ" are not there; they do not appear in 89 that headline. I am safe in saying I am reasonably acquainted with the book marked exhibit E; I have read it. I cannot say from memory whether I ever saw in the book exhibit E the words "Church of Jesus Christ."
The fifth resolution in this book, exhibit N, is in the record of the conference of June 12, 1852. I cannot say that because in section 2 of exhibit E the church is denominated the "Church of Christ," that it is not properly named in said section. I will say this. Colonel; that if it be the same body, it is immaterial as to what specific name be given it by writers writing about it or by documents in reference to it. It may be called the "Church of Christ," the "Church of Jesus Christ," the "Church of Christ Jesus," or the "Church of the Latter Day Saints," or the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," or what the denominated title of the church was at the time; and whatever the title of the church has been since that time is immaterial.
I do not know what the title of the church was before I became connected with it, only from the information I gather about it by
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reading and otherwise; but what the title of the church has been since my connection with it, I am prepared to testify about.
I cannot see that if at the time of the presidency of the church by 90 my father, it had been called the Methodist Church, and the church I now belong to, was called or designated as it is, that it would make any difference, if as a matter of fact the principles were the same; the name has very little to do with it, if the doctrine, rules, and practices are the same.
I am not prepared to say what might have been the distinctive title of it before my connection with it. except as I get it from history. I cannot say what the particular, specific name of the church was from 1830 to 1834. I can testify in a manner of course, but I am not prepared to testify from my own knowledge, for I do not know anything about it from personal knowledge or experience, but only as I get it from history. I have read the history to some extent. The history as I read it says that it was called the "Church of Latter Day Saints," the "Church of Christ," and it is referred to as the "Church of Jesus Christ," in the histories I have read referring to the matter of name. I do not know that it was given specifically in all these cases as the name, but the title of the church appears in all these forms. I am not sure that such was the case prior to 1834; I know it only as I get it from history. I have no personal knowledge of it. I am sure the history so states; that is my remembrance of having so read it. That is the only means of knowledge I have. Of course I was there at the time, but it was only as a child, and I do not recollect how that was; but that is my recollection of my reading upon the subject. As a child I could not remember, or be expected to remember what the distinctive title or name of the church was at that time, from actual, personal knowledge and observation.
I have read the Book of Mormon; there is a statement in it indicating that there was a dispute over the name of the church, what it should be. I think the question was not settled. I did not so under. stand it to be stated in the Book of Mormon to have been settled. I recognize what you read from the Book of Mormon, exhibit D, page 507, as authoritative teaching of the book so far as it is read. The part of exhibit B read by counsel to witness is as follows: "And they which were baptized were called the Church of Christ." 'And it came to pass that as the disciples of Jesus were journeying, and were preaching the things which they had both heard and seen, and were baptizing in the name of Jesus, it came to pass that the disciples were gathered together, and were united in mighty prayer 91 and fasting. And Jesus again showed himself unto them, for they were praying unto the Father in his name; and Jesus came and stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them. What will ye that I shall give unto you? And they saith unto him, Lord we will that thou wouldst tell us the name whereby we shall call this church; for there are disputations among the people concerning this matter. And the
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Lord said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Why is it that the people should murmur and dispute about this thing? Have they not read the Scriptures which say, Ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name, for by this name ye shall be called at the last day; and whoso taketh upon him my name, and endureth to the end, the same shall be saved at the last day; therefore whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake; and how be it my church save it be called in my name?"
But the same author of the history read, the same individual said, "My name is Jesus Christ," specifically; the same individual whose language you have read said, "My name is Jesus Christ," and in the Bible it is so recognized that that is his name. That is the name in which his disciples are to do everything they do, the name of Jesus Christ. And if you read the whole book through you will find that those quotations are only partial, for it is called the "Church of Christ," precisely the same way that it is called in this resolution.
I do not know of any church referred to in the Book of Mormon, that is called the Church of Latter Day Saints. I do not believe there is any church referred to in the Book of Mormon called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I do not know of any by these names in the Book of Mormon.
91 I think the Church of Latter Day Saints and the Church of Christ is mentioned in the first edition of the Book of Covenants; I am not certain about the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." I understand the name, "Church of Christ," is the name in which defendant is sued.
There is a book not put in testimony, or on exhibit; it is called the Book of Commandments. I do not know that that book holds any place in the laws of the church. The Reorganized Church does not indorse or hold the Book of Commandments as a book of authority in the church -- not as a fragmentary book. Things that are in the book, as published in the Book of Covenants subsequently, from 1835, we recognize; but the matter that is in the Book of Commandments, so far as that matter is authorized, we recognize. We recognize the matter in the Book of Commandments, that has been passed upon and accepted by the church, as authoritative. Whatever in the Book of Commandments there is that has been acted upon by the church, we accept. We do not accept all the matter in the Book of Commandments as published. We do not recognize it as a complete book accepted by the church. The Book of Commandments was a fragmentary work, the publication of which was interrupted here in this very city, and the leaves scattered; and subsequently to that, a committee was appointed whose work it was to compile that book, but as the work was uncompleted and never accepted or passed upon
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by the church, we never regarded it as an authentic publication. The Reorganized Church never did.
93 We recognize the Book of Doctrine and Covenants as authorized by the church in 1835, as the declared law of the church to govern it. I cannot tell you whether there was a revelation given through my father in 1838 giving the name of the church as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I do not know whether there was such a revelation or not. I do not remember of publishing an editorial in the Herald, in which I stated that to be a fact. I would recognize the paper if I saw it. I recognize 94 the paper handed me, it is a copy of the Herald published at Lamoni, Iowa. I recognize the article on the first page as the leading article. Questions and Answers. I recognize it as an article written by one of the editors. The editors are Joseph Smith and W. W. Blair. Joseph Smith, that is myself. I indorse that article as an editorial utterance of the editor who wrote it, simply indorse it as the utterance of the editor who wrote it. The statements and citations given there are stated to be from current and written history, but as to their correctness and truthfulness, I could not say. We considered the authority from which we quoted as being indicative of what the understanding at that time was, and as evidence concerning the name of the church.
We get authority for the addition to the name of the church, from the fact understood by us that it was a reorganization of the elements into a new organization of the elements of the church that had been scattered abroad. We get it from the logic of events, things that transpired, and the membership. They were gathered together in that way from different sections. We recognize in the Reorganized Church the rule of logic of events, when we are compelled to do so. No, sir, we do not recognize the logic of events of every character whatever, for the guidance of the Reorganized Church; there are facts of various descriptions and character, and they may be for us or against us.
The name that is given is a question to be determined hereafter, 95 whether it is for us or against us. That is a question I presume that will have to be determined hereafter, it appears to be the issue in this case.
We adopted the word reorganized as a kind of distinctive title from that of the church in the Utah Valley at Salt Lake, or Deseret. We did not get it by revelation, nor out of the Book of Mormon, nor the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, nor out of the Times and Seasons, nor the Millennial Star; we did not get it out of any of these, Colonel. We got it from the apparent necessities of the time, and our disposition in regard to it. I cannot give you the date when the church was first designated as the Reorganized Church; the name was formally and definitely adopted at our conference. I do not know that any title had been agreed upon in 1860, at the time I became connected with it.
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From 1860 down to the present time I have been the president of the church, the position I hold is that of Presiding Elder. 96 Yes, sir, additional revelations were put in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants about the year 1879. I do not remember the number of pages that were added. It is not a fact that the additions were made to the Book of Covenants making the change of name very appropriate. It is not a fact that a change in name of a religious body would necessarily be appropriate by the addition of rules and regulations to govern the body, I did not say it in that way. It would be the same body after the additions to the rules were made. The additional laws to govern a body would make no difference.
96 Yes, sir, I maintain that if a church organization had a dozen or any other number of rules or regulations made for the government of the church, and afterwards there were added one hundred other and supplementary rules and regulations, that the body of the church would be the same; that is, it would be the same unless there was a radical change made in its organic structure, or faith and doctrine; but it would be the same body if the rules and regulations added were in harmony with its organic laws, and particularly would this be the case if the same body of people substantially remained with it and came under the government of these rules and regulations. So that it is the same church even if it has additional or added rules for its government in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, so long as they are not in conflict with its organic laws and fundamental 97 principles. We do not propose to reorganize a dead body, in the case of the reorganization of the church the body was alive all the time from 1844, although for a time its vitality was very low.
Those individuals who had been members of the original church met together, as they had the undoubted right to do and renewed their faith by entering into a representative organization, few at first, but gradually gathered others who had also been members of the original church during the lifetime of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. That was the way it was done, and out of the scattered remnants of the original church who remained steadfast in the faith the work of reorganization was begun and carried through to its successful consummation.
At the time of the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith there was a change of administration, which a great many of the adherents of the church, could not and did not accept, and these parties scattered throughout a great many different counties in Iowa, Wisconsin, and 98 Illinois, and having confidence and faith in the church to which they had belonged, and having been consistent members of it, they essayed an organization upon the principles existing prior to the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.
They met by the authority that all individuals had to meet who were constitutional members of the church before its fall. No single individual member had the right to assemble the church, but he had a right to commence the movement however. A dozen individuals
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would have the right to assemble in a church of their own free will and accord, and there was no restriction in that, except of course they must have been members of the old original church. I am not aware of the fact, that I have made any such a statement or claim, that the church had been dissolved, I have not and did not make any such statement. The church had not dissolved, for they were its members, and had the undoubted right to claim the privilege of exercising the rights of membership. They were undoubtedly members, and were in reality of the church.
Some of them had been attending church in certain places, but not attending conferences, for the reason that none had been held by those who believed with them; but conferences had been held by other parties who afterwards came into the church.
Conferences were held by the old church in the usual way, I think they were both semiannual and annually held. That was according to custom, not according to law, for the law simply says they should meet from time to time. The times of meeting were fixed by the church itself, and fixed according to custom and convenience, I presume. There was an interval between the dates of the semiannual conferences. These people who met in 1852, met in accordance with the custom. The custom of meeting together for conference and for preaching and for song service, and for prayer service, that is how they happened to come together, they would be in their local assemblages of course.
99 I cannot tell you who notified them to come together at Newark, Wisconsin. I cannot tell that anyone did, that was before my connection with the church, and I have no personal knowledge of the facts and circumstances surrounding that meeting. I cannot say anything about that, for the reason that the conference was held in 1852, and I became connected with the church first in 1860.
Yes sir, I stated that I did not go with those who left Nauvoo, in 1846 or 1847, and went to other places, and also that quite a number of others refused to go, and that my refusal to go was based upon additions to the doctrine and practices of the church, or rather I should say practice of members claiming to belong to the church. I considered that I was doing right in refusing to go.
I could unite with the reorganization and be consistent because there was no rule or doctrine changed or added by the Reorganized Church that differed in any material degree from what was in the original church, -- nothing that was in any respect in conflict with the organic structure of the church as it existed in the days of my father.
There has been nothing added in the rules and regulations since I have been a member, that has been subversive of the rights of the people or the organic structure of the church, while in those we 100 objected to we considered there were.
The authority that has governed me in this matter is my own individual opinion, of what the rules and organic structure of the
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church, its doctrine, and faith, and principles as laid down in the recognized standards are. My estimate of these things, as a matter of course, governs me in my choice of principles and doctrine.
I do not know what governed the individual opinion of the other parties who joined in this movement with me; I do not know what their motives may have been. The persons who effected the reorganization, in 1852, affirmed that they were directed by revelation; but whether they were or not is a matter for them to testify to, and not for me; that is their testimony, and not mine.
In respect to uniting with the Reorganized Church, I was led by revelation. If the affirmations of the - people who reorganized the church in 1852 are correct, it was reorganized in pursuance of revelation; that is what they say, but of course I cannot testify as to that. That is a matter that I am not a competent witness to prove.
I cannot tell you how you can ascertain whether they were deceived or not. I cannot tell you how you-can ascertain whether I was deceived in uniting with the reorganization.
101 I do not fill the gap between the disruption at Nauvoo and the coming together again in 1852, by the assumption that the people were authorized to come together in 1852 by revelation. My understanding of the matter is this: persons invested with a right of membership in the original church did not lose that right because of the introduction into the church of new doctrines and teachings which they held to be pernicious or incorrect doctrines, because of their conflict with the fundamental principles of the church into which they had been baptized; and these parties remained in the country round about, one in one direction, and one in another, and began again to collect together. They had done this prior to the conference of June 12, 1852, although this was the first regular conference that had been held after the dispersion. They had met together in small bodies prior to this and had agreed among themselves, and by a call to others, to meet together at Newark, Wisconsin, to take in consideration what they should do in regard to their membership. Now that is the way I understand it; but what moved them to that course, personally I do not pretend to say. I do not know the facts of that, only as I have been told and from the records of the conference.
I do not think there is any history authorized and accepted by the church. There was a statement made by one of the men who was present at that meeting, I think the one who presided at that conference, and he gives a historical statement, which is accepted by the 102 Reorganized Church as a true statement. That is accepted by the individual members of the church as being substantially a true statement of the conference and the matters that transpired there, but as to that I do not know personally. I do not think there has been any historical statement of that conference accepted by the Reorganized Church as to what transpired there. I think Zenas H. Gurley wrote an article which is entitled, perhaps, a history of the Reorganized
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Church, and it was published perhaps in the Herald. I do not know that it was ever completed, but it was simply published as his statement, and so stands in the columns of the Herald.
I am only casually familiar with the minutes of the conference, offered here and identified as an exhibit. I have read them in a general way, and not with any intention of charging my mind with the contents to a sufficient degree to state confidently what they contain. I was not a participant in any of the meetings or gatherings 103 of the Reorganized Church from 1852, to 1860, and therefore of my own personal knowledge I do not know anything about them. I heard from time to time that there was an attempt being made at reorganization; I do not remember anything positively until 1856, when two of the members visited me. The two persons who visited me I think were elders; that is my understanding, but I do not state it as a positive fact.
I understood they had a president of the Reorganized Church, provisionally or temporarily, from 1852 to 1860. I do not know of my own knowledge about that. There is a provision of the law that would authorize a provisional president in a promiscuous assemblage -- the one holding the highest authority presides. That is a principle, however, that is acceded to by us in the Reorganized Church, that in a promiscuous assemblage where there is not any organization, the one holding the highest authority present presides.
I stated the fact to be, that in 1860 I was elected or ordained to preside over the church as its president. As I understand it, I am to preside over the organized assemblies held from time to time, and have a spiritual watchcare over the whole church, in connection with my colleagues.
104 At present I am Associate Editor of the Herald, but it is not inherent to the office of President of the Church.
The priestly functions connected with the office would be presiding over the authorities of the church, or over the priesthood of the church. Yes sir, I am a high priest and the Presiding High Priest. The rule of law requires that there should be three when the quorum is full, chosen from amongst the high priesthood, and the President of the Church is called President of the High Priests or High Priesthood. These three form a presiding quorum called the First Presidency. There are but two, who are at present acting.
There was the same organization at Nauvoo, prior to 1844. Prior to 1844, June 27, my father and his counselors comprised the First Presidency. The right of revelation did not inhere in the First Presidency, because the right of revelation inheres to every member of the church who is possessed of the gift, but the gift to receive revelation for the church and its guidance inheres in the Presidency of the church, and whatever purports to be revelation is still tested, as has been the custom; that is, whatever purports to be revelation for the doctrine or government of the church, or affecting either in any material issue, before it becomes authority, must be presented
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to and acted upon by the presiding quorums of the church, -- the Presidency, the Twelve, and the Seventy especially.
I think we have the record showing that this was done with revelations given through my father. It is not in the law, it is in the records of the General Assembly held on the 17th of August. 1835, on page 255, of Exhibit E, and the same history is found in the current literature of the time. That statement is accepted as the minutes of an assembly held on that day, and only that. It is accepted for what it purports to be, and nothing more. I do not know that 105 there is any doctrine in it, it is a simple statement of events as they transpired. The same record, or substantially the same, was published at the time in the Evening and Morning Star, or the Messenger and Advocate. I do not know just which it was, but it was one of these publications. I cannot tell you whether the facts recited in the minutes of that assembly were true or not. I took it from history for what it purports to be, for a record of a thing that occurred. I was not there at the time; at that time I was not yet three years old, so I do not know anything about it, of my own knowledge.
The proceedings and action taken at that meeting, August 17, 1835, are a precedent to the Reorganized Church of the present day. They are a precedent, that is all. All the revelations, with perhaps one or two exceptions, that are recognized as binding upon the church, the Reorganized Church, are found in this Book of Doctrine and Covenants published by the Reorganized Church in 1882. There are some later that we have not as yet printed in the book. I mean there are one or two that we have not printed in the book as yet; that is, they are not as yet printed and bound in the book that you have there.
I think likely there are some matters regarded as authority in the Reorganized Church, not found published in the Book of Covenants. In the spring of 1891 there were instructions received and acted upon by the church that are not incorporated in that book; but they are received, accepted, and acted upon by the church, but are not in the book.
I do not know whether the revelation of February, 1834, was accepted and adopted by the quorums before Joseph Smith was killed. I could not tell you whether that revelation is in the first Book of Covenants; I hardly think it is. I would not say positively, but I am pretty sure it is not.
106 The revelation given June 28, 1834, on Fishing River, Missouri, has been received by the Reorganized Church for what it purports to be. It is recognized as a rule of action by the church of which I am now the president. We recognize it in so far as it purports to be a rule of action. I do not know whether that was in the first edition of the Book of Covenants or not. I could not say that it was ever received by the General Assembly or by the quorums before the death of Joseph Smith.
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Section 105, of exhibit J, entitled "The word of the Lord given unto Thomas B. Marsh," at Kirtland. I hardly think that is in the first Book of Covenants, because the first Book of Covenants was published in 1835; this was given in 1837. I do not see how it could have been printed in the first edition.
That is regarded as authority by the Reorganized Church for what it purports to be; it is accepted for what it purports to be. I do not know that it was ever adopted by the assembly and accepted by the quorum before the death of Joseph Smith.
The revelation of July, 1838, exhibit J, section 106, is a rule of action; so far as it purports to be it is. It is accepted and acted upon for what it purports to be. And the same is true with regard to the revelation of January 19, 1841, on page 301 of exhibit J.
107 The letter of Joseph Smith dated Nauvoo. September 1, 1842, found on page 320 of exhibit J, the Reorganized Church accepts simply as a letter, what it purports to be. We understand it to be a letter of instruction at the time written by Joseph Smith to the members of the church. We have regarded it as indicative of what our action should be. We regard it as his opinion. But we examine these things for ourselves, but give due weight to his opinion as expressed in that communication.
The letter dated September 6, 1842, is of the same nature; it is a matter of instruction, and may or may not be considered authoritative as the question may be considered.
Section 113 of exhibit J is simply considered by the Reorganized Church as a narration of circumstances attending the killing of Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, and as being written by parties competent to write it. That is all so far as the relation of the facts is concerned; it is true so far as I know; they are in connection with the event, and we believe it to be a true historical narrative of the transaction, and nothing more.
Page 336, exhibit J, after the word supplement, is what purports to be the action of the conference of the Reorganized Church, I believe it is regarded as authoritative. It was intended to be so regarded, and I believe it is.
The subsequent pages of exhibit J from page 336. contain deliverances from the President of the church. These were delivered to the church by me as the President of the Reorganized Church. 108 These have been accepted by the church to which I belong.
I do not understand that there has been any addition to the 112 doctrine of the church, all that has been done is in reference to methods of procedure, and elucidation of what has already been written. That is all that this which you call additions consists of.
The doctrine of the church to which I belong and its teaching and practices are the same as the doctrine and teaching of the original church from 1830 to 1844. I do not understand that there was any 113 doctrine of the church prior to 1844 or 1860, cautioning the church
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against the ordination of men of the negro race to office in the church. I do not understand that there is now.
There was authority in the old church for a district organization, I think. I do not know that I could specifically point it out. It is a matter growing out of the organization, and the word district is used in distinguishing conferences or organized branches, the one from the other. It is possible that the term is used with that understanding. In the organic law the declaration is made that the elders shall meet in conference once in three months, or from time to time to do the business, whatever it may be, at the time, and in the manner that the conference shall appoint. It is also the duty of the branches to send a list of their membership who last joined, or who 114 were disfellowshipped. Branches consist of congregations of the church. Elders, priests, teachers, and deacons, whatever officers there are, except in some districts where they have adopted a system of representation by delegates, or delegate representation. The law to which I refer says the several elders shall hold conferences. It says also that the branches shall send some officer or teacher, or by the hand of some priest their reports.
I do not think that the revelation on conduct and cleanliness is an added law of the church. It is a matter of instruction, an elucidation in the way of instruction. It is merely a matter of instruction, and it is in harmony with the revelation found in the first Book of Covenants, published in 1835.
The revelation contained in the first Book of Covenants does not prohibit the use of tobacco entirely. It is called a Word of Wisdom and instruction and not by way of constraint; you can use tobacco for some purposes. It does not permit the use of a small amount for a man to chew or smoke, that is my recollection of the way it reads. Yes, sir, this law to which I refer has something to say about the ornamentation of the person. It says let your ornamentation be the work of your own hands, but does not limit the amount, leaving that to the individual's taste. I think the word used is ornamentation, but it may be embellishment.
115 Revelations as I understand it, are received in different ways, sometimes by impression, sometimes by the person becoming conscious of it, and sometimes by audible voice heard by the individual by whom the revelation is received, and sometimes by a direct messenger, and sometimes by what we understand to be the intervention of the Spirit. No, sir, it does not rest on a man's own judgment as to whether or not the revelation is received by impression, or by 116 audible voice from without. I do not so understand it. If anybody says anything to me I understand that they say it, and if I hear what they, say clearly and comprehend it, it is not a matter of my own judgment as to whether I hear it or not. I am forced to accept it and judgment as to whether or not I heard the thing is not called into question, for it is a matter that is not involved in doubt at all. Whether I accept it depends on circumstances under which the communication
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is received, such as whether there is a reason for it, or occasion for it, or whether it comports with that already received upon that subject, if anything has been said upon that subject. A man may be mistaken even though he be the President of the Church, as to the genuineness or authenticity of revelations claimed to have been received. Revelations received are not binding upon the church, nor do they become law or rules of action for the church until they have been formally adopted by the body; when they are accepted by the church, then they become binding upon it. Yes, sir, it is a law of the Reorganized Church that new revelations may be given and accepted by the church, and thereby become law to the church. Yes, sir, that is done under our declaration of faith. We believe that God has revealed himself in times past, that he does reveal himself, and will continue to reveal himself to men upon this earth whenever such revelations are needed according to his divine judgment. We believe this because we know it to be so, and we therefore look for further revelations in the future at such times and places and through such instrumentalities as he sees fit to make the medium of his communication to this earth.
Of course the church that existed from 1830 up to the time of the disruption in 1844 had none of these subsequent revelations, nor those given to the Reorganized Church. I cannot tell you whether the church from 1830 to 1844 as a fact had the same rules and laws of doctrine as are to be found and set forth in the 1835 edition of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. If the laws or revelations 117 contained in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants published in 1835 were received and accepted by the body before 1835, then they had them, then they had the ones that are contained in that edition; but the church could not be governed by the law prior to the time of the passage of the law. It would be like attempting to govern a territorial community under a State law. I understand that the law is not enforced until after it is enacted. We may receive a revelation and act upon it, and the matter afterwards be submitted to the body authorized to pass upon the revelation, and it be sanctioned. That has been done in the church. .
I would not be willing to state upon my oath, or even make a statement without being on oath, that the church prior to 1844 received and acted upon revelations that were not given until after that time. No, sir, I would not make that statement under oath, or upon my own judgment; it would not be true.
Yes, sir, I understand the controversy in this case is to obtain control and possession of the ''temple lot" in the city of Independence, Missouri. I am the chief officer in the church which claims to bring the action. As to what right the church that was reorganized in 1852 has in and to the property in controversy, my answer is, that 118 so far as my knowledge goes, the Reorganized Church has paid money out on account of that temple lot, and to-day is occupying a
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part of that temple lot; I do not know how large a portion, but it is by metes and bounds. I believe that is a fact, that they are occupying a portion of that temple lot. I do not state that as a positive fact, I state it as my best knowledge and belief. I do not know that I mean a part of the particular ground or land that is in dispute in this case; I mean a portion of what is known as the "temple lot." I do not know that the church has ever paid anything in that way, except it has paid a portion of the taxes.
I do not know of any revelation that will authorize the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to take property from other people who have paid their money for it, and not give them anything in return. I am one of the incorporators of the Reorganized Church. I believe the most of the incorporators reside at Lamoni, Iowa. If they do not all reside there, by an examination of the names I could probably give the names and their places of residence. Robert Winning, whose name is attached to the Articles of Incorporation, resides at St. Joseph, Missouri; J. B. VanMeter lives at Tuskeega, Iowa; he is one of the incorporators. Edwin A. Blakeslee at Galien, Michigan. All the rest of the incorporators 119 live at Lamoni. These parties whose names appear upon the Articles of Incorporation, incorporated of their own accord by direction of a General Conference, or by permission or instruction of a General Conference of the church. I think it was by permission or by direction of the Spring Conference of 1891.
The parties whose names appear to the Articles of Incorporation were not authorized by name to incorporate; it was not necessary to do so. The majority of them were residents and living at Lamoni, and were members of the church or branch there; and they were present at the meeting at the time this incorporation took place, and signed the Articles of Incorporation. I mean the meeting held at Lamoni, of the local organization for the purpose of incorporating. They proceeded to adopt the Articles of Incoporation at that meeting, and signed them at that meeting; and I believe that every member that was there present signed them. That was the regular meeting of the branch. , By regular meeting of the branch, I mean a meeting that is held at regular intervals -- a fixed meeting, a meeting that is held for the transaction of the regular routine business of the branch, The meeting was called Saturday evening; it was a stated meeting, and notice had been given of what would take place. It was a meeting of the local branch at Lamoni. There was no resolution passed at that meeting authorizing these persons to effect this incorporation; that was done by the conference at Kirtland; but the Articles of Incorporation were presented to the meeting 120 and were adopted by the meeting, approved and signed upon such adoption. Yes sir, the people did that; those present. I think every member present signed these. The people whose names appear here signed to the Articles of Incorporation were present.
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After the articles were accepted and signed, they were filed in the office of the Recorder of the county.
This paper here I recognize as the original Articles of Incorporation. That is the original and my name is signed to it. I think most of the names were signed in my presence, but some of them may not have been signed there, those of course I did not see. There were some parties who signed these articles who were not members of the local church at Lamoni. Robert Winning, Mr. Kelley, and Mr. Blakeslee.
Yes sir, there is now a presiding High Priest over the high priesthood recognized by the Reorganized Church; that person is myself. I was ordained to that office in April, I860; I was ordained at that time at Amboy, Illinois, at the conference held at that time. I was ordained twice at that conference; the first ordination was as a high priest, the second as President of the High Priesthood; that is the order in which the ordinations took place.
The published minutes of that conference are correct in that respect; I think so. I think they are. but I cannot be positive on that 121 point however, I think they are correct. The pamphlet handed me I recognize as a copy of the Herald, published in May, 1860. I do not recognize the publication of the minutes of that conference contained in the paper handed me as an official publication. No sir, that is a copy of the publication as it appeared in the Amboy Times, a local paper. I cannot tell you as to their correctness; they are the minutes as published by Isaac Sheen; he was editor at the time, but whether these minutes are correct in this report or not, is something I could not say positively.
The minutes of that conference as shown in the record, exhibit N, with reference to my ordination, appear on pages 59 and 60, and read as follows: ''Joseph Smith, son of Joseph Smith the prophet, seer, and revelator, and lineal heir to said office and station according to the law and order of the holy priesthood, was then introduced to the conference, and he delivered an address, explanatory of his views, principles, doctrines, and faith. On motion of Isaac Sheen it was resolved that Brother Joseph Smith be chosen prophet, seer, and revelator of this Church of Jesus Christ, and the successor of his father.*' That is the first reference, the reference on page 60 is, "By unanimous vote, Brother Joseph Smith was ordained President of the High Priesthood of the church by Brothers Z. H. Gurley and William Marks.'' The two ordinations as high priest, and President of the High Priesthood, took place at the same time; I was ordained first as high priest and then as President of the High Priesthood. Yes sir, the minutes show an ordination as Presiding High Priest, or President of the Priesthood.
122 I hardly think it would be proper to ordain a President of the High Priesthood, without there being first an ordination to the office of a high priest; but in this case I know that I was ordained a high priest. There is no manner of doubt of that, and afterwards was ordained
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to the Presidency. I know that as well as I know anything that ever happened within my experience. My ordinations took place, one before the other. I do not think any proceedings of any kind intervened between the ordinations; I think not. My impression is that there was a motion made and a vote taken on that motion to ordain me a high priest at that conference.
Exhibit J, paragraph 11, page 291, which reads, "Of necessity, there are presidents, or presiding officers, growing out of, or appointed of, or from among those who are ordained to the several offices in these two priesthoods. Of the Melchizedek priesthood, three presiding high priests, chosen by the body, appointed and ordained to that office, and upheld by the confidence, faith and prayer of the church, form a quorum of the presidency of the church," -- I recognize that as a rule of government of the church.
I recognize this also as a law. On page 294, exhibit J: "Wherefore, it must needs be that one be appointed, of the high priesthood, to preside over the priesthood; and he shall be called president of the high priesthood of the church, or, in other words, the presiding high priest over the high priesthood of the church. From the same comes the administering of ordinances and blessings upon the church, by the laying on of hands.''
123 Yes, sir, I am the successor of my father in this office. I so understand it; it is so understood by the church to which I belong, that I am by his choice. I am in a position to exercise the gifts of president if required and directed so to do. When directed to do so, or required to do so, I stand in a position to receive. The church to which I belong looks upon the whole Book of Mormon as a revelation, including the part which you have read. The part which you have read is just what it purports to be, a narration of what was said by these two people at that time, the king and Ammon.
126 No, sir, I did not state that I was ordained by my father; I did not make that statement. I was not ordained by my father as his successor; according to my understanding of the word ordain, I was not. I was blessed by him and designated, well in a sense chosen, and the word ordain could not be applied in any other sense than by the act of pointing out or indicating only, and he indicated or designated me as his successor.
I do not know what significance you might attach to the word call, but I understood it at the time, and understand it now to have been a blessing conferred upon me, and by the act conferring certain privileges upon me, or to designate me to do certain work, depending as I understood it then, and understand it now, upon good behavior, and upon any subsequent call I might receive.
I claim to be his successor by lineal right, and by his blessing, and lastly by the right of selection and appointment. It is not necessarily a birthright to be the President of the Church. It comes by virtue of fitness and qualification, I may say, good behavior and the choice of the people, recognizing a call or a right.
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Lineal rights do not necessarily assume these qualifications. In my case I cannot say that it assumed these qualifications; that is a matter I apprehend to be proven. I do not know whether the doctrine of lineal right was a doctrine of the church prior to the death of my 127 father. I do not know other than what may be found in the books, and they are open to the inspection of all, there is a traditional teaching in the books to that effect. In the church to which I belong it is not a lineal right, excepting so far as it is found in the books. The right of the firstborn is found in the Book of Mormon, and also in the Bible. That is the traditional right of the firstborn to whatever may attach to the parent. That right is expressed or understood in such a way that whatever rights I hold or am gifted with by reason of the position I hold, would descend to my eldest son, with certain qualifications, all other things being equal. The same attaches to the firstborn of every family. Now the claim of the Reorganized Church to the succession of the original is a claim of the individuals who were members of the church at the time of my father's death, and who hold their membership, and their rights to be regarded as members of the body in the Reorganized Church. I do not regard my lineal successorship as one of the claims, not necessarily. The existence of the Reorganized Church does not depend on my lineal successorship as I understand it.
I have never seen the records of the church that were kept from 1830 down to 1844, and I do not know anything about them, with the single exception I told you about -- the minutes of one of the quorums of elders.
I have never seen any report of the accounts of Bishop Partridge. I do not remember that I ever saw a publication of it.
There was an office in the old church designated as the office of Patriarch; that occurred along towards the latter times of the church at Nauvoo. There is no such office in the Reorganized Church. There is a provision in the organic law of the church for the office, but we have no patriarch ordained. The right to that "office" is the same as the other, subject to the qualification -- that all other things 128 being equal and the test of personal fitness. I made a statement or suggestion a while ago, that it does not simply inure to one, but it attaches to all eldest sons. All who are officers of the church, everybody, every family, whatever right belongs to or pertains to the sire descends to the son, all other things being equal. It is not a right that must be enforced, for it may never be exercised, or it may be held in abeyance. That is a traditional rule of the Reorganized Church. It is not laid down in the teaching of the church, nothing more than what appears in the Bible, and Book of Mormon, and the Book of Covenants. I do not know whether that rule was practiced in the church prior to the death of my father.
Yes sir, the Reorganized Church has a Book of Rules that pertains distinctly to that church. I do not know whether it is here or not. There was a book of rules of the old church. I have in my library
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Jefferson's Manual; that was used as the parliamentary practice by the people of the old church. It was in my father's library and came to me in that way. Our Book of Rules is not Jefferson's Manual; it is a book that was compiled by the authority of a committee of the conference, and appointed by the conference for the purpose of compiling a book to govern in debates, public meetings, etc.; and when the book was compiled it was accepted by the church.
We have no school, denominated the School of the Prophets in the Reorganized Church. I understood there was at Kirtland, but I cannot say whether there was one at Nauvoo or not. I cannot testify to these things, for they are matters of history, and that is where I get my information, simply. My knowledge in regard to the customs of the old church is derived principally from reading and what occurred during my boyhood. We have a body called the apostles, but there are not twelve in number at present. The Reorganized Church has never had the full number of twelve; 1 believe the old church had, that is my understanding. I think it had a full number at the time of the death of my father. The Twelve are the traveling ministers whose duty it is to travel and preach, and take charge of the 129 ministerial work; that was their duty in the old church, prior to the death of my father, as I understand it.
I might say that they were the leading quorum in the church, and their work was of necessity.of great importance to the church and its welfare. So far as the work of preaching was concerned they constituted the leading quorum in the original church and also do in the Reorganized Church.
I believe the majority of the Twelve at the time of my father's death afterwards went with Brigham Young to Salt Lake City. I think nine of them went.
Possibly it may have been at the conference of 1852, of the Reorganized Church, (the history states,) that there was a number of apostles appointed of the reorganization. Seven were chosen from among the people, or the elders or ministers present, and they were chosen and set apart to act in the apostolic office.
Notwithstanding the fact' that the son succeeds to the right of the father, we had a right to select a new Quorum of the Twelve, simply because the conditions had changed and were not equal. The right of the son to succeed to the office or function of the father, does not depend upon his lineal descent alone; it has a codependence, and that is the fitness and moral qualification of the son to succeed the father. In this case other things besides the question of lineal descent were not equal.
The ones that went west to Salt Lake Valley were preaching and openly proclaiming and practicing a doctrine contrary to the fundamental principles of the church, and all its teachings, and they who reorganized the church in 1852 repudiated that doctrine and it is not likely that in the reorganization they would ordain the sons of men who were preaching a false and pernicious doctrine.
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They assumed to do that by the inherent right of manhood and humanity, to assert their opinions, and defend their principles and rights. That was the right, sir. and the people who met together in 1852 and reorganized the church asserted that right by reestablishing the church in its purity. Yes, sir, they had the ecclesiastical 130 right the same as they always had. Their hope of salvation depended on the proper and pure exercise of these functions, and they were responsible to God and not to man for the way in which they exercised the gift that God had given them. Yes, sir, that law is found in our standard books. It is to be found in the Bible, in the Book of Mormon, and in the Book of Covenants. I can point it out to you. Some of it is as follows: "He that loveth me keepeth my commandments, and the same is my disciple," and also the statement of our Savior to John, "If you continue in my doctrine, then are ye my disciples indeed;" and he also says, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Now these people who went to Utah were addicted, before they went, to the practice of polygamy, and continued the practice after they went there to a great extent still, and that is something that is forbidden in the books that are authority in the church. That is not simply my opinion, no sir; I know it. So far as John Taylor's opinion and judgment is concerned it may be as sound and legal as mine concerning his own deportment, but when John Taylor or any other man presumes to preach and practice a doctrine contrary to the teachings of the books of the church, or the books that the church has authorized and recognized as authority, it is the right of everybody, either individually or collectively to say whether or not they shall follow his example or associate with him, or anyone else who preaches these doctrines that are forbidden and condemned by the church in its authorized books of doctrine and practice.
Yes sir, every individual who retained his self-respect and integrity according to his judgment had the right to pass on that and repudiate it if he felt so inclined; and this is just what the Reorganized Church did do collectively, what the individual had the right 131 to do by himself. There has been no arbiter between myself and the church at Utah, nothing but the books, -- the commandments and the law as we found it. No sir, the question between the Reorganized Church and the Utah Church has never been ecclesiastically adjudicated; there is no competent ecclesiastical tribunal before which the question of heresy and orthodoxy can be tried this side of the judgment seat of Christ; but there are standards among men, especially among the Latter Day Saints, which are equivalent to them at least. We have the standards and the guides that are laid down as rules of action in the lives of men, and when men go contrary to that, we have the right and every man has the right to refuse to follow the false teachers and leaders, and to denounce their action and teachings. Yes sir, if one man has the right to fix his standard of action, another has the same right.
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It may be a fact that more of the people who adhered to the church during the time of my father went off with the Salt Lake faction, than afterwards came into the Reorganized Church, but I think more remained behind than went to the valley, I mean Salt Lake Valley.
I can give you some data if you choose to accept it. At the time of the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith there was something like one hundred and fifty thousand (150,000) or two hundred thousand (200,000) members of the church in America, Europe, and the islands of the sea; and there was at Nauvoo and the State adjacent something like twenty-five thousand (25,000); that was the number there then. And in 1850 there was something like fifty thousand (50, 000) in Utah Territory, and the census of 1880 gives us something like one hundred and forty-three thousand (143,000) as belonging to the entire Utah Church that apostatized. Under this showing there is a question whether or not there were not more who did not go west, but remained behind, and became scattered to the four quarters of the globe. All who remained and did not go to Utah have not united with us. There were a great many who went off with different 132 factions, and others who have not united with any faction of the church, but who have dropped out of it altogether. There are other factions of the church that claim succession, just like the one does here, at Independence, Missouri.
The Utah Church is usually recognized as or by the name of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I do not know when that name was first adopted. That is the name of the church that existed at Nauvoo, before the death of my father. The difference between the name of the Reorganized Church and the name of the Church in Utah, is the prefix reorganized. My knowledge of the name of the church has been ''The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter 133 Day Saints," and I only know that from history as I read it, that the body was called at one time "The Church of Latter Day Saints."
138 Yes sir, I hold the same office in the Reorganized Church, that my father held in the original church. I am an apostle; I was ordained an apostle; I mean by that I was ordained a high priest which made me an apostle, but I am not standing in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. All high priests are apostles when they are engaged in apostolic work.
I believe I know what is meant by the rejection of the church, as 140 that term is used. We understand it to mean the introduction of doctrines and practices subversive of the faith of the church, and that in such case the church in its organized quorum capacity that introduces such doctrines and practices is rejected of God. Yes sir, you can put it that way, rejected by God, if you desire, and also rejected by those who remained pure and steadfast in the principles as they held them and believed them, and under which they were baptized; that is the way we understand it. Colonel.
We draw the line for the acknowledgment of authority at the time
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of the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. June 27, 1844. All baptisms performed in the church prior to that time we consider valid and good, but baptisms performed subsequent to that time we consider them to be subject to inquiry as to their character.
141 I recognize the paper which you hand me; it is a copy of the Saints' Herald published at Plano, Illinois, date, October 1, 1879; I think I was editor at the time. I recognize the article on the first page entitled, "Last Testimony of Sister Emma." The article is a statement made by my mother; her name at the time was Emma Bidamon; she was the wife of my father, and his only wife as I understand, yes, sir. The article purports to be questions asked her, and her answers to them. The time of the interview was 1879; it was published October 1, 1879, according to the date of this paper. Mrs. Bidamon died during the month of April, 1879; the minutes of the interview were written at the time the questions were asked and the answers given. I was present at the time of the interview, her husband was also present all the time. Her husband was Lewis C. Bidamon, of Nauvoo, Illinois, at the time. I took minutes at the time the interview was had, the minutes as published October 1, 1879, were the same as the minutes which were taken at Nauvoo in February. They were not changed in any particular; substantially the interview is published just as it occurred. I will not state as to the consecutiveness of the questions and answers. I cannot say why the minutes were not published before her death, any more than that we were pressed for room at the time, and she was taken sick not a very great while after that, and I attended on her all through her sickness, and helped to bury her.
REDIRECT EXAMINATION.142 There have been a great many churches since 1844 that have claimed to be the successor of the original church founded in 1830. Their name is almost legion. There was the organization that went west under the presidency of Brigham Young, and there was another under the leadership of James J. Strang, at Voree, Wisconsin, and Beaver Island, in Lake Michigan; there was an organization under Alpheus Cutler, at Fisher's Grove, Iowa, and there was one at Preparation, Iowa, under Charles B. Thompson; and there was one under the leadership of Gladden Bishop at Little Sioux, Iowa; and there was another one attempted by one James Colin Brewster at various times since 1844; there was one by William Bickerton called the "Bickertonites." and there was one by Granville Hedrick, and one by William Smith; one by Joseph Morris called the "Morrisites;" one by a man called William Davis, called the "Davisites," or Canaanites, a portion of which are at Walla Walla at the present time; and one by David Whitmer, and that is I believe what is called "The Church of Christ." I do not remember any others just now, but there may 143 be others for all I know to the contrary. Yes, sir, there was a faction under the leadership of Sidney Rigdon, that settled in the Cumberland
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Valley, in Pennsylvania. There were a great many of these factions into which the church broke up at the time of the disruption; there were lots of aspirants to Moses' seat. Sidney Rigdon was a member of the old original church, he was at the time of my father's death a counselor or one of the First Presidency. There was also a faction under the leadership of one of the original Twelve, Lyman Wight, that located in Texas, he was one of the Twelve at the time of my father's death. There were one or two more factions that I remember now, one led by Zadock Brooks, and one by W. A. Miner, and I think another called the ''Church of Zion" that was led by Dr. W. McClellan and others. I do not know that I have named all of them, but that is all I can think of just now.
All of these different factions and leaders I have named as I understand it, did take more or less in numbers from the original church. I know some of the members that went with each of these leaders. Rigdon, Lyman Wight, Alpheus Cutler, Bishop, Brewster, Bickerton, David Whitmer, William Smith, Charles B. Thompson, and some others. I knew them when they were members of the original church, and after they were united with these other parties. Nearly all, I may say, of these factions that I have named have come into the Reorganized Church. There has been large accessions to the Reorganized Church from these various factions or organizations. 144 Notably, this is a fact from the church in Salt Lake Valley, the Salt Lake Church. There have been large accessions to the Reorganized Church from the organization in Utah, and from that inter-mountain country; those who went there under the leadership of Brigham Young; and the "Strangite" faction under Mr. Strang, and a number of those that were with Mr. Smith, Alpheus Cutler, Lyman Wight, Charles B. Thompson, Gladden Bishop and others. I may say that nearly all of them have since united with the Reorganized Church. William Smith, himself is with the Reorganization, and the majority of those who were with Alpheus Cutler at Fisher's Grove, Iowa.
Mr. Sloan, he was the Recorder of the Church at Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1844. He afterwards became a member of the Reorganized Church. He died near Salmon Falls, California, not many years ago. I knew him when I was a boy at Nauvoo.
The Reorganized Church gets its authority for submitting to the quorums and body for their indorsement, revelations, after they have been received, from the Bible -- the teaching of the Bible, the 'Book of Mormon, and the revelations to the church in an early day, which required that the common consent of the people should be obtained, I may say shall be obtained; for I take it that it is mandatory.
We have an illustration in the giving of the law from Sinai, and its submission to the people by Moses, and its acceptance by them, and the consequences attending its acceptance or rejection according to the word of God.
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This is not a new mode that has been introduced into the church since the reorganization. The reorganization has endeavored to follow the teaching and precepts of the old church from its inception.
Now there is one item of the law that requires or states, that the three leading quorums of the church have what may be called 145 concurrent jurisdiction, and the decision by either one of them is equivalent to a decision by either of the others, thus exercising or maintaining a neutralizing power in cases of conflict, so that the rights of the people may be kept free from imposition by false doctrine or theory by anybody; and also in the rules of the Doctrine and Covenants, which require that matters of that importance shall be submitted to the body for their action, for approval or disapproval, at the conferences held from time to time when they meet.
As part of the direct examination of this witness, plaintiff now offers in evidence paragraph four, section forty-three, of Exhibit E, being the 1835 edition of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, as follows: --
"And now if your joy will be great with one soul, that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy, if you should bring many souls unto me? Behold you have my gospel before you, and my rock, and my salvation: ask the Father in my name in faith believing that you shall receive, and you shall have the Holy Ghost which manifesteth all things, which is expedient unto the children of men. And if you have not faith, hope, and charity, you can do nothing. Contend against no church, save it be the church of the devil. Take upon you the name of Christ, and I speak the truth in soberness, and as many as repent, and are baptized in my name, which is Jesus Christ, and endure to the end, the same shall be saved. Behold Jesus Christ is the name which is given of the Father, and there is none other name given whereby man can be saved: wherefore all men must take upon them the name which is given of the Father, for in that name shall they be called at the last day: wherefore if they know not the name by which they are called, they cannot have place in the kingdom of my Father."
I was asked on cross-examination to read from the Book of Covenants with reference to the name of the church. I read, I think it was, the title page of Exhibit E and afterwards the heading, or headlines.
146 The book now handed me, marked Exhibit H, is the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, published at Nauvoo, in 1846; it is the fourth American edition and was printed by John Taylor. The book marked Exhibit H contains the doctrine and usages of the original church and also that of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, so far as it was printed at that time. So far as it was published in collated form in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, it is all there. The title page of Exhibit H is as follows: "The Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter
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Day Saints, carefully selected from the revelations of God, by Joseph Smith President of said church. Fourth American edition, Nauvoo, Illinois. Printed by John Taylor, 1846."
The book marked Exhibit I, which is now handed me, is the 1852 edition of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, published at Liverpool, by Samuel W. Richards. This book, Exhibit I, contains the doctrine and rules of the original church and of the Reorganized Church so far as they were collated and published up to that date. They are Exhibit I in compiled form. The title page of Exhibit I is as follows: "The book of Doctrine and Covenants, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; selected from the revelations of God by Joseph Smith, President. Third European Edition stereotyped. Liverpool: Published by S. W. Richards, 15, Wilton Street. London: Sold at the Latter Day Saints' Book Depot, 35, Jewin Street; and by all booksellers. 1852."
I received the book marked Exhibit H as a present from my Uncle Samuel H. B. Smith, on January 17, 1888. He belongs to the Utah Church, the Brighamite Church so called. The title or name of that church is ''The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," of which Brigham Young, John Taylor, and the present President Woodruff, have been presidents since its removal there under the leadership of Brigham Young. Samuel H. B. Smith is an elder in that church, but what specific office he holds in the church, I cannot say.
I received Exhibit I from John Lawson, a member of the old church, who after the disruption went to Utah with the party under Brigham Young, but he subsequently united with the Reorganized Church. I gave him one of our later editions for it on account of the date of its publication.
Yes sir, there are rules for the trial of the President of the 147 Church, both in the old church and in the Reorganized Church. He is amenable to the High Council of the church. The High Council is the highest tribunal in the church. I am not sure, but I think the High Council is composed of twenty four (24) high priests. It is fifteen or twenty-four. If he is a member of the First Presidency there has to be a conjoining of the other high priests in order to make up the deficiency. The law to which I refer is section one hundred and four (104), paragraph thirty-seven (37), of Exhibit J, and the same law is found in Exhibit I and H on page (81), paragraph thirty-seven (37), section three (3), of Exhibit I, and on page 109, section 3, paragraph 7, Exhibit H. In Exhibit E, section 3, paragraph 37, page 87, the law referred to is as follows: "And inasmuch as a president of the high priesthood shall transgress, he shall be had in remembrance before the common council of the church, who shall be assisted by twelve councilors of the high priesthood; and their decision upon his head shall be an end of controversy concerning him. Thus, none shall be exempted from the justice and the laws of God; that all things may be done in order and in
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solemnity, before him, according to truth and righteousness." Section 14, paragraph 2, page 126, of exhibit E, introduced by plaintiff, reads as follows: "But verily, verily I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him, for if it be taken from him he shall not have power, except to appoint another in his stead: and this shall be a law unto you, that ye receive not the teaching of any that shall come before you as revelations or commandments: and this I give unto you, that you may not be deceived; that you may know they are not of me. For verily I say unto you, that he that is ordained of me shall come in at the gate and be ordained as I have told you before, to teach those revelations which you have received, and shall receive through him whom I have appointed."
I know only from history, when the faction or organization that 148 claims succession to the original church, headed by J. J. Strang, came into existence; the dates are difficult for me to remember; I remember men and faces all right, but it is difficult for me to remember dates. I know the time as I know any other historical fact I read. The faction came into existence very soon after my father's death, possibly in 1844 or 1846; there was a faction known as the "Strangites;" they began organizing at Voree, Wisconsin, and afterwards they went on Beaver Island in Lake Michigan. I cannot give their number, only from hearsay and general observation. I have personal knowledge of one or two branches or churches that are paying allegiance to the faith as taught by Mr. Strang. There are one or two branches in Kansas but I am not sure of the name of the place; there are a number of followers of Mr. Strang in Michigan; they are not organized into branches; some about Coldwater; I do not know how many there are in that organization; they are divided and subdivided in opinion and location. I do not think there are more than forty or fifty in that branch at Muscotah.
The most of the Cutlerites united with us, but a few of them went into Minnesota, and located at Clitherall. The followers that now remain of the Cutler faction are in Minnesota. The organization 149 headed by Gladden Bishop is dissolved; some of the members remained at Little Sioux, Iowa, and some of them united with us, and one of the principal men of that faction, J. A. Forgeus, united with us before he died. I do not know how many there was at any one time; I knew Gladden Bishop and J. A. Forgeus and his family well.
The faction headed by Zadock Brooks went to pieces about Kirtland. Some of them united with us and others left there and went to Texas. I cannot say whether the Brooks faction went to pieces before 1860.
I do not know what became of the faction led by James Colin Brewster; one or two of the members of that faction have united with us, but I do not know them personally; they live in New Mexico. The Brewster faction does not exist now; it has not been in existence for many years.
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The faction led by W. A. Miner, I do not know much about, and never did. I met him, however, in Southern Wisconsin or Northern Illinois,, about 1867, and it had no existence then.
The William Bickerton faction split up into different divisions; a part of them remained ic Pennsylvania, a part of them went into Kansas; I think there is a portion of them in both places yet, but I do not know how many. The part that is in Kansas still holds to Mr. Bickerton, though he himself has been dismembered from the body.
The faction led by William Smith went to pieces like the rest of 150 them, at Covington and Binghampton, Illinois. A great many of the Smith faction united with us; some of them are still-living at different places. That faction does not retain an organization. William Smith, the leader of that faction, united with us, as well as some of the members of the faction he headed. That is my Uncle William B. Smith; he belongs to the Reorganized Church, together with a great many of the members of the organization which he led.
The faction headed by Joseph Morris was broken up, Joseph Morris was killed at Weber, Utah. Numbers of the faction, that he led have united with us. There are Elder Forscutt, and Samuel Ackerley, and a number of others.
The faction led by Sidney Rigdon went to pieces up about Pittsburg, in the Cumberland Valley; the faction does not retain an organization I believe.
The faction led by Lyman Wight, or a part of it, located in Texas; but it finally went to pieces, so to speak. It became scattered, and a great many of them came into Iowa, and united with us. Lyman Wight's sons are with us, or a part of them, and one of them lives in Missouri, and is a member of our organization, along with his family. Lyman Wight's widow united with us and also his grandchildren.
The William McClellan faction was located, I believe, at Kirtland, 151 Ohio. They published a paper there at all events. The last I knew of McClellan he lived here, at Independence, Missouri.
There was a faction led by Granville Hedrick, located at first, as I understood it, at Bloomington, Illinois. Mr. Hedrick published a paper there a portion of the time; I believe it was in 1864. I never got acquainted with the organization, though I knew a number of the party. I met Mr. Hedrick several times, and others who were members of the organization of which he was a leader.
RECROSS-EXAMINATION.I have not attempted to give the specific dates at which these different organizations were formed. I do not know the dates and did not pretend to give them, but I stated it was between the death of Joseph Smith; that is, subsequent to his death, in 1844, and down to 1852; I think some of them were before 1852. I would not be positive that some of them were not after 1852. Yes sir, I presume it is a fact that the Reorganized Church was about as weak or weaker than
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some of the other organizations; I do not know that to be a fact, I state I presume it was; I do not know that it was a fact. I say again that I presume that is a fact as far as numbers are concerned. It was comparatively weak until 1860, but it was gathering strength all the time, however. At the time I became connected with it, I expect 152 there were probably three hundred (300) in the membership; I think that was about the number that were identified with it then; that was in 1860. There may have been more; I cannot say. There were some thousands belonging to it in 1870, we had built some church buildings; there were possibly five thousand (5,000) in 1870; there may have been more than that number, and there may not have been that many. If I had the statistics I could tell you just how many there were. Yes sir, I have stated that after the organization of what is now called the Reorganized Church, that quite a number of the adherents of other bodies came into the Reorganized Church. That is true of my own knowledge.
I say that the members of some of them came in, and a large proportion of them came in. These persons who came into the Reorganized Church, 153 who were members of these different factions, who were baptized prior to my father's death, were received on their original baptism upon their request to be so received, and if they required rebaptism, they were rebaptized; but it was not required of them; if they desired they were received on their original baptism as members of the church.
Yes sir, I have stated that William B. Smith was one of the Twelve 155 in my father's day, he was ordained by the church that existed under my father's presidency, that was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I did not say that he went off with one of these factions; 156 I said that he had organized or helped organize a faction, claiming to represent the church. When he was received into the Reorganized Church his former ordination as an apostle was not recognized. He was received as a high priest. We received him as a high priest in the right of the body to direct in regard to its officers, and in a sense we recognized his former ordination. I do not know that William B. Smith was ever ordained an apostle; that is a matter of history I believe; I do not know what the history says.
According to the laws of the Reorganized Church, a man is ordained to the office of an apostle upon its appearing to the satisfaction 158 of the body that he is called to the office; then he is nominated and received by vote of the body, then ordained. We understand the call must be by revelation in some form. I could not tell you whether William B. Smith was so called. Yes, sir, that is my understanding of the law of the church, that a member must be called by revelation. That is the rule that is laid down in all the standard books both of the old original church and the Reorganized Church. If William B. Smith was so called by revelation to the office of an apostle in the old church, it would depend upon the conditions and
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circumstances surrounding and attaching to the case whether the Reorganized Church would receive him in such office.
165 The position assumed by the Reorganized Church in 1852 is that it stands in the position or in relation to those who were members of the original church in 1844 and prior to that time that the Catholic Church does to its membership, though they may be scattered, and belong to other churches, yet the mother church never renounced its claim upon her children; we claimed they were in error, and we made an effort to redeem them, or I should say, an effort for their reclamation. We held that they were members of the old church and for that reason it was our duty and privilege to make this effort to reclaim them. I never heard anything other than that a Josephite was a monogamist.
Duly subscribed and sworn to, testimony having been read over by witness....
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William B. Smith, of lawful age, being produced, sworn, and 166 examined on the part of the plaintiff, testified a follows, in chief: --
My full name is William B. Smith, my age eighty years; I was born in Royaltown, Vermont. I do not recollect that I lived there more than four or five years. My father's name was Joseph Smith. There were seven children in his family.
I belong to the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at the present time. As near as I have any knowledge of the history of the church, it was reorganized in 1860 or '61, about those years.
The church of which this was a reorganization was founded in 1830 by my brother, Joseph Smith. I was a member of the original church; became identified with it in 1830, in the State of New York, at a place called Fayette. The church remained there as a body until 1831, when they removed to Kirtland, Ohio. There was a considerable number of that class of people at Kirtland at that time; that was in 1831. I remained at Kirtland from 1831 to 1837 or '38.
167 From Kirtland we came into the State of Missouri. Not all of the people that were identified with the church came to Missouri, but it was a pretty general movement. They came to Caldwell county to a place now called Far West. I at that time was recognized as one of the Twelve Apostles of that church; that was my official position. I occupied that official position up to the time of my brother's death, June 27, 1844. I mean the death of my brother Joseph, the president of the church.
After his death I considered that I still held the right of my apostleship and therefore continued to preach according to the doctrine that I had received. During that time my preaching was in the county of Lee, State of Illinois, at a place called Rocky Ford of the Inlet, probably eighty miles from Nauvoo; I went from Nauvoo to that place. There was no one went with me except Aaron Hook. He was an elder in the church also and an elder at the time of my
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brother's death. I do not know how long he had held that position, 'but we recognized him as an elder in the church under the supposition, as I understood it, that he was regularly ordained to that position.
I suppose the reason why he was the only man that went with me was because about that time a separation had taken place between me and the balance of the Quorum of Twelve; opposition had sprung up between me and them because of certain practices they were 168 guilty of. I do not know that I could state the cause of the separation properly. Well, in substance, the reason of the separation was that the church I had absolved myself from had changed the doctrine in a manner that the teachings of the church did not justify, in respect to several things, and especially in respect to the marriage relation.
The first I ever noticed of the change in that regard was in 1845, at Nauvoo, Illinois; I refer to the practice of polygamy. The principal participants at that time were Brighain Young, Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor, Willard Richards, Orson Hyde, and Parley P. Pratt. They were the principal participants in that doctrine.
The church at that time and from 1832 had an officer known as a Bishop. His name in 1832 was Edward Partridge. I knew him personally; he lived at Kirtland, Ohio, when I did. From Kirtland, Ohio, he came to Jackson county, Missouri, in the year 1832, probably between '32 and '33.
The duties of the office of Bishop were to hold the treasures of the church and to have the same at his command to dispose of according to the direction of the church in conference. I think he held that position until the time of his death. I do not know when he died.
169 What caused him to come to Missouri was, he was authorized by the church at Kirtland, Ohio, after collections of money had been made for the purpose of coming here, into Jackson county, Missouri, to purchase land for the church, and especially to purchase a place for the temple lot. I call to mind that we enlisted a special number of the church to attend to the purchase of land for the church, and that the other parties interested in relation to money matters in connection with the church fund were Sidney Gilbert, N. K. Whitney, F. G. Williams, John Carl, William Marks, John Carter, Reynolds Cahoon, and Titus Billings.
These parties raised the funds that were lodged with the Bishop for the purpose of purchasing lands in Jackson county, Missouri. I was personally acquainted with these men. They were among the first members of the church. William Marks, at that time, held the office of High Priest. I don't know what office the other parties held, but they were the ones selected to gather the money together for the purpose of lodging it in the hands of Bishop Partridge to purchase this land in Jackson county, Missouri, and the Bishop afterwards did purchase the land. I did not come to Missouri until
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sometime in 1837. I came then to Caldwell county; did not come to Jackson county.
170 William Marks moved from Nauvoo, Illinois, and settled in a section of country called Shabbona Grove, Illinois. I do not know how long he remained there. The next I heard of him after that was when he united with the Reorganized Church. I think he united with the church at Plano, Illinois, and I think it was in 1862 or in the neighborhood of that time, although he may have belonged to the Reorganized Church before that time; that is as early as I know anything about his connection with the Reorganized Church. He was a member of the church at the time of his death.
At the time of the reorganization of the church I was living in Lee county, Illinois, at a place called Rocky Ford of the Inlet. I had a following of about thirty members at that place. I became identified with the*Reorganized Church about sixteen years ago; I united with 171 it at Plano, Illinois. The following I had, I turned them over, as far as I was concerned, into the hands of my nephew. My reason for doing that was because I recognized him as the legal head of the church, the legal President of the Church. I mean by that, the legal President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. When I say my nephew, I mean Joseph Smith, the man known by that name and the same party by that name who has been testifying in this case. There is no portion of that organization that was led by me now in existence; they all united with the reorganization excepting two men, and they are both dead.
I know the doctrine of the original church as taught by the church and by the elders; I am also familiar with the doctrines taught by the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I hold the position now of high priest in the Reorganized Church and held the office of an apostle in the old church. Holding these two positions, I have had the right to preach and baptize under the order 172 that I had received originally from the original church, and also under the order received from the Reorganized Church.
There were three or four propositions or doctrines that were introduced into the church after the death of my brother in June, 1844, under the council of a part of the Twelve. One point was—and it had never been taught previous to that time—that Adam was God, and also that Moses was a man-god. Another doctrine was that of ''blood atonement," meaning that if a man disobeyed the propositions of that council, meaning the remaining Twelve, he had to pay for it by the forfeiture of his life and atone for the sin by the shedding of his own blood, or allowing it to be shed by others. That was blood atonement for you, and it had never been taught in the old church, nor had the Adam-God doctrine ever been taught in the old church. So they brought the matter down to the Adam- God doctrine, and the Moses-god doctrine, and finally these men that were left or composed the Twelve at that time brought in Joseph Smith as another god, one of their gods under the Adam-God doctrine and the blood-atonement
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doctrine. Another point was the marriage question in regard to the plurality of wives that was taught after the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, my brothers. These new doctrines that I spoke of were what caused the separation between me and that body of people, and neither of them were taught previous to 1844 nor for some time after 1844.
The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does not now and never did teach or hold to these doctrines. The branch of the Mormon Church that did teach these doctrines is what are called the Utah Mormons.
I was well acquainted with the doctrines of the original church from 1830 to 1844; that is, the doctrine that was taught in the 173 church. The doctrine of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a perfect representation of the doctrine as taught by the original church founded in 1830. I have no knowledge whatever in relation to any difference in the doctrine taught by the Reorganized Church and that taught by the original church from 1830 down to 1844.
CROSS-EXAMINATION.174 The name of the church of which I was a member before I came to Kirtland, Ohio, was called the Church of Christ. I first became a member in 1830, was baptized by Oliver Cowdery, in Seneca Lake; that was in the State of New York. I think I became an officer in the church in 1832. I was admitted then to what is known in the order of the church as a teacher. I was admitted or received into that office by being ordained and accepted into that office by the sanction of the church. The church at that time was called the Church of Christ. I refer to the year 1832 as the year I was ordained and received into the church as a teacher, at Kirtland, Ohio, at the time of the Annual Conference of the church.
At that time I should think there were probably three or four hundred members in the church. They were all members of the one organization. There wasn't any other organization of the same faith or order under the name of the Church of Christ.
There were other denominations in that section of country known as the Disciples, Methodists, Presbyterians, and other worshipers; but there was no other church organization acknowledged as the church in 1830.
About that time there was an organization headed by Mr. Brewster that claimed they were the appointed church, but I do not recollect that they attempted to come under the colors of the Church of Christ. This Church of Christ at Kirtland spread out in 1832 and had other 175 organizations or branches in other places that began before 1832.
It was during the seasons of '31 and '32 that elders who had received the faith were appointed to travel in different localities and parts of the country, and the result of these travels was that hundreds of individuals embraced the doctrine, which was recognized under the name of the Church of Christ. The number of organizations
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that were formed prior to 1835 was probably one thousand or fifteen hundred; I mean that many members, not that many different organizations.
The first conference of the church was held after its organization at Father Whitmer's, in Fayette county, New York, on the sixth of April, 1830. There was a conference held in Kirtland in 1832. 176 Persons are elected to office in the church when the members become satisfied that the individual is worthy of holding office in the same. It is generally signified by some means or another and the name of the person is placed before the conference, to be ordained to that office upon a recommendation as to his fitness for the place; or, in short, a person is elected to an office by the consent of the church through the means of the conference.
I was ordained teacher by one of the first members of the Quorum of Twelve, a man by the name of Luke Johnson, and John Whitney officiated at the ordination. I held the office of a teacher in the church about one year, then I was ordained a priest by Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer, in the year 1833, at the time of the conference.
The conference was made up of persons occupying conspicuous positions in the church and lay representation. There were delegates sent up to the conference from different parts of the country. The conference wa's composed partially of delegates that were sent in from different sections of the country, and persons who were not only members, but who at the same time were holding offices that came to represent the different sections of the country in the conference where they resided. That is, they represented the different sections of the country where they variously lived. Lay delegates were allowed to take part in the conference by a vote of the conference. 177 Lay delegates in the conferences could make and second motions, and vote as any other delegates. They exercised the privilege of making motions the same as any other delegates or members of the conferences, who were members by reason of their official position; but they could not have done that unless they had been invited by a vote of the conference. They would not assume to take a position 178 of that kind if they were not invited, but being invited, they had the same right as other delegates.
I was appointed and ordained a high priest in 1835 by the authority of the conference setting me apart as a person worthy of the office of high priest. The conference then set me apart as a member of the Quorum of Twelve, and I was ordained a member of that quorum. I never was ordained to any office higher than that of a high priest, but I was appointed by the conference as an apostle. We hold in the articles or ordinances of our church that an elder is an apostle and especially is this so if he is a high priest; for then the nature of his office and position makes him an apostle. I was ordained a high priest by Sidney Rigdon and Martin Harris. I was called to that office by the first Presidency of the church then, the same as the
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other members of the quorum, and we were appointed by that conference.
The date of the organization of the Twelve was April, 1835, that is, when they were appointed. The appointment was authorized, if I understand your question, by the conference, and the conference appointed persons who filled those offices. It was decided that the priesthood that was assembled there on that occasion, the First President, and the elders, and the high priests, might by their consent appoint certain parties to fill the offices of apostles. That was done and they made up the Quorum of Twelve, so called. I don't know that there was any other quorum authorized besides that at 179 that time. That is the only one that I remember anything about. When a member of the quorum died the place would be filled by the appointment of some one in the same manner that the person who died was appointed by the sanction of the church. There is only one Quorum of Twelve in the Reorganized Church.
There is a Quorum of High Priests, the Quorum of Seventies, and the Quorum of the First Presidency of the church, consisting of three persons.
I could not tell how many quorums there are in the Reorganized Church; I haven't counted them lately. Edward Partridge, the Bishop of the church, left Kirtland in 1832; that was before the Quorum of Twelve was organized. I think he returned to Kirtland afterwards, but could not say positively. I understand he is dead, but I do not know anything about when or where he died. I am not acquainted with his history after he came to Jackson county, Missouri. I never saw him after he left Kirtland to come to Missouri. He may have returned to Kirtland after 1832, and I would not have known anything of it. My mission was in the Eastern States, and of course I was where my work was.
I can name some individuals that I know gave Edward Partridge, the Bishop of the church, money before he came to Missouri, to help pay for the purchase of the land for the church. My father gave him some money, N. K. Whitney gave him some—I could not say how much -- and Sidney Gilbert. There may have been others that I personally knew at the time that I don't call to mind now.
The general understanding and report to the church of the facts
180 concerning the amount of money that was raised by the committee that was appointed show that there was contributed for the purpose of purchasing the land, quite a sum of money, the exact sum of course I can't remember. I know that Edward Partridge came west for the purpose of purchasing land for the church and that the land was purchased. My recollection is that the amount of money that was called for to purchase land for the church was something like three thousand dollars, and my understanding is and was that the amount called for was paid in in 1832. I don't know whether any persons except members of the church at Kirtland contributed or not.
William Marks also contributed to the fund for the purchase of the
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land, and it has always been my understanding that for the amount of money he contributed for the benefit of the church and purchase of land here in Jackson county that he got a deed to the temple in Kirtland. That was placed in his hands to secure him for the money he had placed in the hands of the Bishop to purchase land in this country. Mr. Marks was a member of the church; he would not have been in this land deal if he had not been. He was also an officer in the church. For the money Mr. Marks advanced, he had a 181 title to the Kirtland temple in his own name, to secure its repayment. That was done on account of the debt which the church owed to him.
The title of the temple property in Kirtland was put in the name of William Marks to secure him for a part of the money that was sent out info Missouri for the purpose of purchasing this land for the temple, and the purchase of a printing press for the printing office, and material of that kind for the printing establishment. Of 182 course I didn't see all the money paid over, but then, you know, Col. Southern, that there are a great many things we know that we do not see, and yet we know it just as well as any other fact we have seen. If the people of Independence should contribute fifty thousand dollars to send to feed the Russian poor, and you had never seen one cent of the money that was contributed, or a barrel of the flour of all that was contributed, would it follow that you would conclude that Jackson county had not contributed that amount? I did not go 183 around individually to the members who made the contributions and ask particular amounts each one paid in order to see every fifty cent piece that was paid out, but I know that the amount called for was contributed. I couldn't say to the dollar how much it was, but at all events it was enough for Edward Partridge to come west and purchase this land in Jackson county.
I don't know whether Edward Partridge ever made any report to the church at Kirtland of how much money he received, or how much land he purchased; I suppose he did, but if he did, I have forgotten it as a matter of memory. I don't know that he reported to any body of the church as to his mission of purchase in Jackson county; I don't know that he lived here long enough to make a report. By the time they got the printing press and establishment, the people here in Missouri were driving Partridge out of the country. That is about as I recollect the history of the matter, and I don't recollect what Partridge's movements were after that. He was sent out to purchase, this land.
At that early history of the church, I do not think any appointments were made in regard to districting the country; do not know any arrangements in regard to that. The church was comparatively weak to what it was afterwards, and it was not necessary to do so; in other words, the proper stage in the growth of the church had not arrived which rendered it necessary to district the country or divide the church off into districts. The proposition for districting came 184 up before the conference at Nauvoo in 1841 or '42. That was a proposition
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to district the United States, placing it under the direction of certain presiding officers. That arrangement had not as yet been completed or perfected at the time of the death of Joseph Smith, and it was never completed. Joseph Smith died before that districting took place. I don't know that it has ever been districted since the death of Joseph Smith unless it has been districted under the Reorganization, or under the organization of the Reorganized Church as district presidents. The plan of appointing quorums of seventies came in 1835. The subject was suggested at the time of the organization of the Quorum of Twelve. The plan was never perfected in the days of my brother Joseph. I think it was perfected in the 185 Reorganized Church, if I am not mistaken concerning its history. I remained in Nauvoo after the death of my brother until 1845, -- three or four months in 1845.
I never, prior to the death of my brother, or subsequent to his death, taught or preached the doctrine of polygamy. I never did at any time or any place preach the doctrine of polygamy, and any history that states that I did teach the doctrine of polygamy, if any does state it, is false.
My first labors as a minister after I left Nauvoo were in Lee county, Illinois, in the year 1845. I was in Nauvoo from about the twenty-fifth day of May until the last of October, that would be about four months. My brother Joseph was killed in 1844. I was not living at Nauvoo at the time of his death; I was living in the State of New York. I returned to Nauvoo after his death in the month of May, 1845, and remained until the latter part of October.
I left Nauvoo in 1845 because my life was in danger if I remained there, because of my objections and protests against the doctrine of 186 blood atonement and other new doctrines that were brought into the church. After I left I published an account of my separation from the church and the causes which led up to it. I think it occupied sixteen pages. It gave the cause of my separation from the church, and contained a statement of the apostasy of the leaders of the church at Nauvoo. I had five hundred of these pamphlets struck off. The original copy of the pamphlet or statement can be found now on the files of the St. Louis Republican and on the files of the Warsaw Signal. I haven't a copy of it myself.
After that, I followed lecturing several months in different parts of the country, in Cincinnati, St. Louis, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and other places where I had ministered before the death of my brother. I went where I had been successful in making converts to the faith prior to his death. I gave lectures in these places explaining the cause of separation between me and that part under the leadership of Brigham Young. After this I immediately proceeded to organize a branch of the church, I mean the Church of Christ as organized in 1830. The church I organized, by vote of its conference, appointed me as the president of the organization. That appointment was after 1844. Of course the church referred to as having
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elected me as its president was the one I organized myself after I 187 had left Nauvoo. It was called the Church of Christ. That was the first name the church received in 1880 and I suppose it was sanctioned by my brother, who was the president of the church. Now the name of the "Church of Christ" was occasionally used or called the "Church of Jesus Christ" or the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," but as a general thing it was called the Church of Christ in so far as my connection was concerned. The church to which my brother belonged at the time he was. killed was called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the one that I organized was invariably called the Church of Christ.
I have stated that the title or name of the church at the time of its organization in 1830 was the Church of Christ, that was the first name. Then about 1835 there was a change made in the name of the church; it was called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, that was the name of the church after the change was made. By making an explanation, I think you will probably understand what I mean. We, as a class of people, believed that we were living in what was called the last days, and the term Latter Day Saints seemed to be a sort of a tribute to that in relation to the confession of our faith in the doctrine as we held it at that time, and as a natural consequence that addition to the name of the church did not come any later than in 1834; believing as we did that we were living in the last days, and it was suggested by that fact, and the idea that persons who obeyed the gospel became saints of latter days, not of 188 former days. The term, Latter Day Saints was always associated or connected with the articles of faith. I know that was the idea we had, and that was why the title came to be added to the church.
I think there was a revelation about 1835 or '38; no, it was about 1834, on the question of the title of the church. That title was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There was also a revelation given on tithes. I cannot state when it was given. I mean in the old church. I went to Far West, Missouri, and I think it must have been in 1837. I went for the purpose of settling there. I purchased land there. There was a body of my people there. I should think there were about twelve hundred families, many of them from the Eastern and Northern States. I am not aware that 189 there were any of them from Nauvoo. Nauvoo did not have an existence at that time; I mean, so far as there being such a place as Nauvoo in the connection of any Mormon dispensation. It did not have any existence in 1837. I don't remember whether the revelation regarding tithing was given while we were at Far West, or not, cannot say. I know that there was such a revelation; that the rule of tithes and offerings was a law of the old church. They commenced to practice it, but did not practice it very extensively. It seemed to be a matter that sprung up all at once and did not become very generally known.
It is a law that is practically recognized in the Reorganized
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Church; they have it in operation in the Reorganized Church. That revelation upon tithing was generally accepted by the old church
I was at Nauvoo in 1841. I think my brother Joseph had a revelation in relation to building the temple and in regard to church officers. (Witness here reads from Exhibit J, page three hundred thirteen, entitled "Book of Doctrine and Covenants" as follows, in answer to the question of Col. Southern): "I give unto you, my servant Brigham Young, to be a president over the twelve traveling council, which twelve hold the keys to open up the authority of my kingdom upon the four corners of the earth, and after that to send , my word to every creature; they are: Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Orson Hyde, William Smith, John Taylor, John E. Page, Wilford Woodruff, Willard Richards, George A. Smith. David Patten, I have taken unto myself; behold, his priesthood no man taketh, from him; but verily I say unto you, another may be appointed unto the same calling." I recognize that as a revelation 190 delivered about that time; it is in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants.
I consider my appointment as one of the Twelve to extend during my whole life from the time of my appointment. There was a time prior to 1844 that the original church practiced the doctrine of baptism for the dead. They did at one time, but it did not continue very long. There was a time when there was a doctrine of that kind taught and practiced. I think it must have been somewhere about 1839 to '41, as near as I can remember, but the teaching and 191 practicing of that doctrine was abandoned before the death of my brother in 1844; but how long, I cannot say. It was abandoned because of a revelation which was given specifically mentioning it, that it was not to be resumed until after the building of the temple I think. The doctrine of baptism for the dead has never been practiced or taught in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to which I now belong.
I never heard the doctrine of the plurality of Gods taught prior to the death of my brother Joseph Smith. I was not in Nauvoo when my brother was killed. I left there in 1841 and did not return until 1845, except once on a visit between 1841 and '45. I was there a couple of weeks before my brother's death, attending a council that was being held in the first part of June; that was June 1844. That was the council of the Twelve, so called. The subject discussed at that council meeting was, as I recollect it, over the propriety of appointing certain men presidents of certain districts, but they did not do it at that time, and never did in the old church.
192 At the meeting of that council, in June, 1844, I did not receive any ordination as the successor of my brother, and I have never made any such claim directly. Answering indirectly, I held the view that in case the legal successor, as I saw it, never came forward himself to occupy that place, that I held sufficient claim under my apostleship to be properly the legal successor of my brother, Joseph, in
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case that position was never held at the time by persons who at that 193 time were legally entitled to that position. I had never been qualified with the functions of that office.
My brother never attempted to confer that authority on me any further than the ordination and confirmation as an apostle, and that would not give me any priority over any other person holding the 194 same office I held. What I wanted to say, so far as the term priority is concerned, there was a vote taken in the Council of Twelve that the oldest man in that quorum should have the right to preside over that quorum and act as chairman in all business transactions. That was a privilege that was accorded to the oldest man amongst us out of respect to his age. That is all there is to priority.
I know, and during his lifetime did know, an elder by the name of Zenas H. Gurley, and I knew Jason W. Briggs. At one time Mr. 195 Briggs acknowledged the organization that I had effected after my brother's death for a short time. He became dissatisfied with my organization for the reason he considered the legal succession somewhere else, thought I did not exactly fill the bill, and he with others went back on my succession and assumed another succession.
Mr. Briggs claimed that the legal succession did not come from me from the fact that there was a more authoritative succession, the right by heirship, the right of inheritance, because in the succession of the priesthood there was a law that the priesthood was handed down from father to son. But I did not stand exactly in that relation, and because he denied my authority as successor, he was cut off from the church I had organized.
W. W. Blair now holds in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ 196 of Latter Day Saints the office of counsellor to the President. He is not acknowledged as a president of the church, he is simply one of the counselors of the President and member of the Quorum of the First Presidency. The church that I organized myself became disorganized a short time before the reorganization of the church that took place at Amboy in 1860. A short time previous to that reorganization the body of Saints that I had reorganized and kept together occupied their position until it was known that my nephew, Joseph Smith, had come forward and had taken his place as the head of the reorganization and it was understood he was the legal successor of his father to the office that his father held; I never made any attempt after that to try and reorganize.
I had already determined that the legal succession to the presidency lay in the family of Joseph Smith in succession, and that I held the 198 authority that I was exercising under my ordination as an apostle under the consideration, that in case my nephew never came forward to take that place, I considered that I would have a right by virtue of the law of inheritance, and the right to keep the succession in that family, and exercise supremacy over the priesthood, and still endeavor to retain the organization of the church as it was in 1830; and as soon as my nephew came forward and took his place, as I had
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understood the doctrine to be that it was his right to be the successor 199 of his father, I gave up all my claims to that right that I would otherwise, had he not come forward, insisted upon holding. That is the way it was, and it stands right there, and has ever since in that organization.
200 One of my brother Hyrum Smith's sons holds the office of patriarch in the Utah Church. The old church that was established and organized under the direction of my brother, Joseph, was not a kingly government. It was not such a government as taught that successorship would descend to the oldest son of the office that the 201 father held, no further than the doctrine of succession was generally taught and understood as applying to all offices of that nature.
The doctrine of successorship was generally taught by the ministry of the church. They were the only authorized teachers, and it was generally understood in the church as taught by them. I think the doctrine that was taught by them is exemplified in the Book of Covenants, where it says, "This priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son," and the law says in the book we are governed by, ''Ye are lawful heirs according to the flesh." That is what the law says, and consequently that is why I surrendered all the claim which I had assumed or professed to have received, as soon as my nephew came forward to assume the position which I had previously acknowledged to be his according to his natural right as the legal successor of his father. I have tried to explain as best I could. Of course there are a great many of these things that have to be explained, and I do not know how I have succeeded, but I have done the best I could.
Individually. I have no claim or interest in the property in controversy in this action any further than the interest I have in it as a member of the church to which I think it rightfully and lawfully belongs, and I hold that interest in general with the church to which I belong. Of course, as a member of the church, I claim to have a right to the lot in common with the rest of the church, and that claim is made because the lot was purchased with the property or money that was collected in the church for that very purpose during the time that I was a member of the church in 1832 and '33.
I know of my own knowledge that a man was appointed for the 202 purpose of purchasing the property in controversy. The money was collected and placed or deposited in his hands, and he was sent out into this county to purchase land, and he did purchase it. Now these are facts that I know as well as I know anything; but still it is a fact that I did not see the money paid over, nor did I see him when he purchased the land; but it is here and shows for itself that he did purchase it.
It was not a mere rumor that the money was used in purchasing this land. It was a matter of general conversation and knowledge. It was bought with money that was contributed, too, when I was a member of the church. I did not personally pay any.
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I can't say that I knew Austin Cowles. The name sounds familiar. I think I became acquainted with Austin Cowles in Kirtland. I have an indistinct recollection or memory of knowing a man there by that name. Did not know him at Nauvoo. It might have been at Nauvoo, but I think it was at Kirtland where I knew him. 203 William Marks I knew intimately. The others I did not know intimately. I have no recollection of any item of doctrine of the church during the time of my brother that they were commanded not to publish. There was no such doctrine. (To refresh the recollection of the witness, the counsel reads from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, Exhibit J, page 101, as follows: "And I command you that you preach naught but repentance, and show not these things unto the world until it is wisdom in me.") Witness: Well, I have read that thing, and seen it a thousand times before; but this is the first time I have ever heard it insinuated that there was anything secret about it. I never understood that there was anything secret about it before, or that anything secret could arise from it.
REDIRECT EXAMINATION.205 I meant when I said that the church was looking forward to an endowment, that it was an additional outpouring of spiritual blessings through the measure of their industry and sacrifice incurred and undergone on account of the building of the temple. That was recognized as an endowment, simply an outpouring of the Spirit, showing that those performing the work would be blessed by the Spirit as a reward for the industry and sacrifice that marked its erection. It was simply an outpouring of the Spirit, the same as on the day of Pentecost, something similar, something that was generally expected and talked of. That would probably be the application of what was meant by the endowment.
206 I claim that I still hold the office of an apostle on the ground that the priesthood so held in our church is an everlasting principle that has been handed down through all time, from Adam down to the days of Moses, and from Moses to Christ. The ordained authority of the priesthood is everlasting, or lasts through life, and I held that I had been ordained an apostle of the church, in the days of Joseph as an apostle, and my ordination in relation to that I held conferred upon me that priesthood which is represented by Paul in Hebrews as being "without father and without mother, and without descent." It is an eternal principle handed down by God through his apostles and disciples, and who are ordained thereby, and I consider that I still hold, under the rule, ordination to that office.
I do not hold any office of apostle in that respect under the Reorganized Church, for I have never been invited by the Reorganized Church to that position, neither have I asked them to accept me to 207 that position. I understand that in the reorganization of the church, it was simply not with the idea of the introduction of any new doctrines
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to be organized into the church as a part thereof, or as- a part of its doctrine, but simply as a transmission of the old doctrine that was taught in the old church in 1830 and keeping it in the reorganization. I understand that the idea of the reorganization was simply to collect together that kind of doctrine or matter and the scattered elements of the old church, and bring them back again into the fold, and restore the old church through the medium of this reorganization, to the same condition it was in before the disruption; in other words, to simply fill up the break that was caused by the death of Joseph Smith and the disruption of the church that followed that event and the reuniting of the scattered fragments of the church that still adhered to the doctrine of the old church as taught in 1830 down to 1844.
My understanding of the law of the church, both of the original and the Reorganized Church, is that the priesthood descends from father to son; it descends to the eldest son. My understanding of the law is that if the legal heir in succession had no fitness for that office, or should apostatize, the highest authority in the church at that time would have the right to take control of the management of the 208 church. If the legitimate heir was an idiot, I should not consider that he had a right or was a fit subject to govern or preside over the church. I would consider also that the apostasy of the father would of course destroy the right of the son by inheritance to the office, or to succession.
209 I stated that the reason of the breakup in my organization was that these parties who had forsaken my organization found that there was another claim that was entirely superior to my claim, that some one else had a claim superior to mine. That claim was, as they publicly stated, the claim of the right of young Joseph Smith as they called it, and they based that claim on the ground that he was the oldest son of my brother Joseph, the first president of the original church, and he was entitled to the presidency of the church by right of inheritance; and I recognized that claim as soon as he asserted it publicly. That is the present president of the Reorganized Church.
210 I recollect when the name of the church was changed. The name was changed from the "Church of Christ," and the church was denominated "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," in 1834, and the circumstances surrounding the change of name were, the walls of a temple had been put up in Kirtland, Ohio, and the matter was talked over in regard to a change of the name, or as to what inscription should be placed on that temple, and of course when this subject was being talked over in regard to the inscription to be placed on the temple, it was said the name was to be called "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," and that was the inscription placed on the temple in 1834. That was the first knowledge I had of the matter in relation to the title of the church. After that it was entitled "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter ... [sic] ... Day Saints," and the church was know [sic] by that title up to the time of Joseph Smith's death. [sic]
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I was at one time a member of the legislature of the State of Illiois, 211 representative from Hancock county. From 1860 to '65, I was serving in the army as a soldier from the State of Illinois.
RECROSS-EXAMINATION.The Salt Lake Church claims the same name that was adopted by 212 the original church in 1834. I was present at Kirtland at the time i of the endowment of which I have previously testified. The endowment consisted of prayer meetings, prayers, testimonies given, individual experiences, and ceremonies of that kind. I don't know that there was any anointing connected with it; if there was, I do not 213 recollect about it. I have not learned that the Reorganized Church . practiced the ordinance of the washing of feet. I have understood that the subject is under consideration by the Reorganized Church, and that it is to be adopted at some time in the future when that ordinance will be resumed.
214 Young Joseph Smith, the president of the Reorganized Church is the oldest son of Joseph Smith, his father, I so understand it. Joseph Smith, my brother, was not the oldest son of my father; Hyrum was the oldest son. He was older than Joseph was, five years older than I.
I am sure the inscription was placed on the temple at Kirtland in 1834. Yes, sir, I am sure of that. The church was nominally at one time known as "The Church of Latter Day Saints," that is in common conversation among ourselves, we would speak of it as the 215 Church of Latter Day Saints. But when any person asked us what the title of the church was, we would tell him it was "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." It was never known officially as the Church of Latter Day Saints.
The right to reorganize certainly arises out of an especial principle 216 of law, for in the government of all matters which through any cause or from any reason become dissolved by the influence of destructive elements, whether temporally or otherwise, as a natural consequence there should be a resurrection or gathering together of the scattered elements into one body. In that case, it seems eminently proper that the title of the reorganized body should state the fact that it is a reorganization. There is no other organization of that old church organized in 1830 which is known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There was when I had a church; but mine was not a true succession from the old 217 church. I organized it to save the doctrine of the old church from disruption, and to save many of the people from apostasy and things of that kind that led to heresies. I picked up some of the fragments of the old church. My church as long as it existed was as much entitled to be called the "Reorganized Church" as the present reorganization. I started in to save as many as I could, and have been picking up fragments ever since.
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James Whitehead, being sworn on the part of the Plaintiff testified as follows in Rebuttal: -- I testified in this case in February last, and on that occasion testified that I was the private secretary of the prophet Joseph Smith, and I was.
I was engaged in that capacity a little over two years, and was so engaged at the time of the death of the prophet. I was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, during the time that I acted in the capacity of private secretary for the prophet Joseph Smith.
93 I do not know anything about the doctrine of polygamy ever having been taught in the church by Joseph Smith, at any time prior to his death. I never heard him teach it, either publicly or privately, he never said a word to me about it at all, and. I never heard it taught either publicly or privately by him, or by an elder or any other officer in the church prior to his death; and I had a good opportunity of knowing it if any such a thing had been taught 94 by the prophet or anyone else, because I was there in his office and with him continually.
I was well acquainted with his family and with his wife Emma, and I never saw anything, or heard of any such a thing, being taught
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there in Nauvoo, prior to the time of the death of the prophet. I never even heard of it one way or the other.
There was no elder in the church nor anyone else in authority in the church, during the time I was there in Nauvoo, occupying the position of private secretary to the prophet, that taught or practiced polygamy. I never heard anybody teach any such principles prior to the prophet's death. I have heard persons holding office in the church preach upon doctrinal points a great many times, both Joseph Smith and others.
I have heard Joseph Smith talk to the elders and other officers in the church upon doctrinal points; have heard him preach to them a great many times, upon doctrinal points, and heard him talk to them in a conversational way, upon doctrinal points or upon the doctrine of the church.
These conversations took place frequently in the office when I was 95 there, but they would not always be in his office, sometimes talks would occur at his house. I have heard him talk in his office and in his house, about the doctrines of the church, upon the doctrines of the faith of Christ, in fact all the leading doctrines, tenets, and principles of the church. I never heard him say anything about a plurality of wives.
I knew a man by the name of Kingsbury, he was in the storeroom there in Nauvoo, as a clerk, delivering supplies, provisions, etc., to the ones that labored on the Temple, and other places for the church, under the direction of Newell K. Whitney, Bishop of the church. His name was Joseph C. Kingsbury, he did not have anything to do whatever, with the duties of secretary to the prophet Joseph Smith.
I also knew William Clayton, knew him in England before he came to this country, and also knew him after he came to Nauvoo. During the time that I was performing the duties of private secretary to the Prophet, he was a clerk in the office for quite a while; he did not have the same duties to perform that I had; he was there helping on the books and doing whatever he was directed to do.
He was a clerk and attended to a great deal of the out door business, while I was the private secretary of the prophet; had his private papers and did that kind of work.
William Clayton was Joseph Smith's private secretary in some parts of the business. He attended the outside business and did 96 whatever he was directed to do. William Clayton was there in the office before I was, but was not there all the time after I came. He was removed from his position as private secretary, by Joseph Smith and the committee -- the temple committee -- about the time I was appointed, because there was something took place in connection with Clayton's work that gave dissatisfaction; there was some money disappeared and he was blamed for it, and for that reason he was removed from that office, that occurred in 1843, in the beginning of the year.
After he was removed as private secretary or clerk in the office,
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he did outside work, looking after the property of the church outside. The church at that time owned considerable property, and would buy in property and sell it out again; and he attended to that kind of business.
I heard about the order of the church on the question of sealing, I cannot tell the date that I first heard of it, that is the time of the year, but it was in the early part of the year 1843, I think it might possibly be the latter part of 1842, but I would not be positive about the date. That was the ordinance of sealing as they called it, of 97 husband and wife. They would be married according to the ordinances of the laws of God, not only for time but for eternity as well.
That applied only to husband and wife, and a man could not have but one wife, they were not allowed to have more than one wife, but could have one wife and could be sealed to her for this life, as well as for the life to come.
Newell K. Whitney, the bishop at one time showed me a revelation on the question of sealing. The revelation that Whitney showed me was on the matter of sealing, that was before they went to Salt Lake City, it was after the death of Joseph Smith that he showed me the revelation on sealing.
The circumstances under which he came to show it to me were; I went up to Winter Quarters or to Omaha to settle my account with the church, and make my report. That was after they had left Nauvoo, and were in Winter Quarters at Omaha, or near there. I 98 went there to make my report and settlement with the church, and while I was there I stayed all night with Bishop Whitney, and he showed me this revelation; that was in the spring of 1848.
I do not recollect the date that the revelation purported to have been given; I do not recollect the date positively, but my recollection is that it purported to have been given in 1842, or 1843. The document was about as much as would fill both sides of a sheet of foolscap, about three sides of a sheet of paper like that.
It was written, I did not write it. I read it. I think it was in the handwriting of William Clayton.
I have never seen it since that time. I have never been near the Utah Church since that time. I do not know what became of it. I never saw it in print. I saw what they claimed was it, or what purported to be it, published in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, by Brigham Young in Salt Lake.
But the one published in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants by the Utah Church was not the one that Bishop Whitney showed me 99 at Winter Quarters. It was not the same at all. It was entirely changed. It was so changed that it sanctioned polygamy, and that change was made by the Brighamites. For there was no such thing in it when I read it. You can find it for yourself in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants published by the Brighamites in Salt Lake, and you will see in it, as published by them, that it sanctions and
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imposes polygamy on the church, but there was no such thing in the revelation that Whitney showed me.
I remember when I first saw that revelation, they have in their Book of Doctrine and Covenants, it was brought to me by a man from Salt Lake, and he showed it to me, and asked me what I thought of it, and I told him that it was spurious. I did not recognize the revelation published in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants from Salt Lake, 100 as the revelation I had seen at Winter Quarters. It was not the same. It was changed so that it sanctioned polygamy, and there was nothing about polygamy or plural marriage in the revelation that Whitney showed me.
It was entirely changed, but there were some points of similarity in it. It did not have the same language at all. I knew, that, when I read it I considered that they had got that revelation from Bishop Whitney, and had changed it and added to it, it had nothing to do with polygamy when I read it at Winter Quarters; and when it was published, they had changed it around until they made it sanction polygamy; and the revelation that Whitney had, did not say anything about polygamy
When I lived at Nauvoo, I resided, maybe, three hundred yards from where Joseph Smith's house was, I saw him there frequently, perhaps not every day, but almost every day, that he was in Nauvoo.
101 I was there in his office, as his private secretary, at the time he was killed. I was in his office on that day, and was keeping the books at that time.
Joseph Smith had one wife and her name was Emma; I do not know any other woman who claimed to be the wife of the prophet, there at Nauvoo, nor at any other place. I do not know of any other wife he had other than Emma, at any time or place. I never heard of such a thing during his lifetime.
I do not know of any woman who claimed to be his wife or plural wife. I never saw any of them, do not know anything about that. 102 I never heard anybody claim, except Emma Smith, that she was the wife of Joseph Smith. There was never any woman who came to me, or Joseph Smith in my presence, during the time of my employment as his private secretary, for money, claiming that she was the wife of Joseph Smith, except his wife Emma.
There was no entry of that kind ever made on the books, of money paid by me or by him to any woman claiming to be his wife, except Emma.
CROSS EXAMINATION.The book marked Exhibit "A," and entitled "The Doctrine and Covenants," published by the Utah Church at Salt Lake City, is the book that contains the revelation on polygamy, I believe. I have read page (464). I have read what is in that book before, but I never heard of it or saw it anywhere but in there. I knew nothing about that at all until I saw it in that book.
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I can swear positively that it is not the same as the Whitney revelation 103 that was handed to me and that I read at Winter Quarters; because that revelation that Whitney had, had no such words in it to my knowledge, that was put into it by Brigham Young, or some of his clique, for it was not in there at the time that Whitney showed it to me, of that I am positive.
I did not say that there was enough of the Whitney revelation in this revelation in the Utah Book of Doctrine and Covenants for me to identify it. I did not say any such thing. There was nothing of the sort in it.
I said they had taken parts of that revelation and added to it in such a way as to change its meaning entirely. I did not say that was the same revelation, and I do not say now that it is or that it is not, but if there is any part of the revelation that Whitney showed 104 me in this, it has been so mutilated, and changed around, as to entirely change its meaning from what it was.
I say that I could read over two or three pages of manuscript forty years ago, and now tell the substance that was in it, for it was something that particularly impressed itself on my memory, and was something that left a very strong impression on my mind, for that 105 was the first time I had seen that revelation on sealing, and the only time I saw it, and I was interested in it to a great extent, and I observed it closely, and I remember about what the doctrine was that it taught, and I know that this doctrine of polygamy was not taught in it.
I will swear positively that that revelation that Whitney showed me was not the same as this published in this book, they were not the same at all. I can tell from my memory that there are principles taught in this book, "Exhibit A," in this alleged revelation, that were not taught in the revelation that Whitney had. I know that of my own knowledge. I have given the reasons why I would be likely to remember this revelation, and what was in it, that Whitney showed me, and I do remember it in substance, and I know that the principles that were taught, in the one that Whitney showed me, are not the ones in this book, "Exhibit A." and if it is the same revelation, it has been added to, and changed, so that there is not 106 the same meaning in it, that was in the original. The one that Whitney showed me did not teach any such stuff as this here in "Exhibit A," nor any like stuff.
I knew William Law at Nauvoo. while I was private secretary to Joseph Smith, he became disaffected towards the church while I was there at Nauvoo, and went off along with John C. Bennet, before Joseph Smith's death.
I was not the secretary of the church, I was the private secretary 111 of Joseph Smith, and kept his journals and his letter books.
Brigham Young was never chosen President of the church to my knowledge. If he was ever chosen President I do not know anything about it. They claimed at Winter Quarters that he was
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chosen President, at the time they held a conference there at Kanesville, but I was not there, and do not know anything about it of my own knowledge.
He was the President of the "Twelve" while I was at Nauvoo, before the death of Joseph Smith, but I do not know when he was chosen President of the Twelve.
He was not accepted at Nauvoo, after the death of Joseph Smith as the President of the church, not at Nauvoo, no, sir. I am positive that he was not chosen President of the church at Nauvoo.
I am acquainted with the publication known as the Times and Seasons, that was the church publication just the same as the Herald is now. I have read from page (637), of the Times and Seasons the part you requested me, as follows: --
SPECIAL MEETING.113 On the eighth of August, 1844, at a special meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, convened at the stand in the city of Nauvoo, President Brigham Young called the audience to order, and arranged the several quorums according to their standing and the rules of the church. The meeting had been previously called, as stated, to choose a guardian or trustee for said church.
That does not refresh my recollection, I knew that before I read it to-day, as well as I do now, and I say now, notwithstanding the quotation I have read, that Brigham Young, on the eighth of August, 1844. was not the President of the church, and I say at that time he was not elected President of the church, and he was not the acting President of the church at that time. He was the President of the Quorum of Twelve and that was all.