unOFFICIAL WILLIAM SMITH HOME PAGE
1840 - 1845
(1844 spr.) Slander Refuted [4 pg. pamphlet]
(1844 spr.) Defence of Elder Wm. Smith [24 pg. pamphlet]
(1844-45) The Prophet [off-site articles: under constr.]
(1845 Aug) "Gospel of St. William" [off-site articles - excerpt]
(1845 Sep) Proclamation... to All the Saints [off-site articles series]
(1845 Oct) " Faithful Warning to LDS" [off-site articles series]
(1845 Nov) " Faithful Warning to LDS - reprint" [off-site articles series]
(1845 Nov) Reply to Orson Hyde [off-site articles series]
1846 - 1849
(1846 spr.) Minutes of a Conference [broadside]
(1846 Nov) Letter to Sangamo Journal [off-site articles series]
(1847 Oct) Manifesto - against Strang [off-site excerpt]
(1847 fall) Wm. Smith, Patriarch and Prophet [under constr.]
(1848 Mar) Zion's Standard [off-site full text]
(1848 spring?) "Revelation Given to Wm. Smith in 1847"
(1849 Feb ff) Melchisedek & Aaronic Herald [off-site excerpts]
(1849 Sep) "Revelation Given to W. Smith in 1849" [text]
(1849 Sep) Letter against J. J. Strang [off-site articles]
(1849 Oct) Letter against Salt Lake Mormons [off-site articles]
(1849 Nov) Appeal to the Public [off-site excerpt]
(1849-50) Remonstrance Against Deseret [off-site full text]
1850 - 1869
(1850 Mar) "Revelation...Given in 1850" [text]
(1850 May #1) "Spiritual Doctrine" letter [under constr.]
(1850 May #2) "Strictly Confidential" letter [under constr.]
(1850 May #3) Letter cutting off Isaac Sheen [under constr.]
(1851 Jan?) Epistle of the Twelve
(1851 Dec) Letter to David Powell
(1854 Aug) Letter to Brigham Young
(1857 May) Willard Richards killed Samuel Smith [off-site articles]
(1868 Oct) Letter to Joseph III [off-site articles]
(1869 Jan) Letter to Joseph III [off-site articles]
1870 - 1889
(1872 Nov) Letter to Joseph III [off-site articles]
(1877 Sep) Letter to Joseph III [off-site articles]
(1878 Feb) Letter to Joseph III [off-site articles]
(1878 Jul) Letter to Joseph III [off-site articles]
(1878 Dec) Letter to Joseph III [off-site articles]
(1879 Apr) Willard Richards killed Joseph & Hyrum [off-site articles]
(1879 May) Letter to Joseph III [off-site articles]
(1879 Nov) Letter to Joseph III [off-site articles]
(1880 Apr) Letter to Saints' Herald [off-site articles]
(1880 Aug) Letter to Saints' Herald [off-site articles]
(1880 Oct) Letter to Saints' Herald [off-site articles]
(1883 Apr) " Report to RLDS Conference [off-site articles]
(1883 Jun) " Letter to Saints' Herald [off-site articles]
(1883 Dec?) William Smith on Mormonism [off-site link]
(1884 Apr) " Letter to Saints' Herald [off-site articles]
(1884 May) " Letter to Saints' Herald [off-site articles]
(1884 Jun) " Letter to Saints' Herald [off-site articles]
(1884 Jun) " Old Soldier's Testimony" [off-site articles series]
(1884 Oct) " Letter to Saints' Herald [off-site articles]
(1884 Nov) " Letter to Saints' Herald [off-site articles]
(1885 Mar) " Letter to Saints' Herald [off-site articles]
(1886 Jul) " Letter to Saints' Herald [off-site articles]
1890 - 1893
(1892 Aug) Sermon on early Mormonism [off-site articles series]
(1893) Temple Lot Case Testimony
(1893 Dec) Ensign Obituary [off-site articles series]
(1893 Dec) Herald Obituary [off-site articles series]
(1894 Jan) his "Last Statement" [off-site articles series]
4 pg. Pamphlet
Philadelphia?: spring, 1844
cf. larger 1844 pamphlet
[ 1 ]
TO THE PUBLIC.
Respected Friends and Brethren,
No. 1. on the list is Zilph Hornor, with three, four or five illegitimate children in her arms, (She speaks
This is to certify, that Elizabeth Hornor was present at the council mentioned, when all the members present were called upon, if they had any thing against Eld. Wm. Smith, to bring it forward, that I heard her say that she had nothing against him. ANN MOORE.Since the council, she makes a different statement, and is reporting falsehoods concerning me.
The above are the weapons that A. Burtis fights with, worthy weapons indeed! quite characteristic of his cause. Charles Asson is A. Burtis' right hand man, that is enough for me, or any reasonable man; for what does he know about church government, that he should dictate the Elders and condemn the decision of a council, or A. Burtis either?
Not one of the statements, made by the above named persons, taken all separately, has ever been proven true, by one, two or three witnesses, as the law of God requires;
consequently they are not entitled to the least credit whatever. The witness of one person (if true) is not
sufficient to condemn an Elder, without that witness could prove his or her statement by two or three witnesses and
then the testimony is to be weighed and looked upon, according to the character or credibility of the witness, and
if every one of the above named persons, were to swear to every word that Burtis has said, their testimony would be
entitled to no more credit than what their characters truly merit; for my own part, I believe it would not amount to
much in the minds of reasonable and judicious men, with Zilph Hornor at the head of the train, and Charless Asson and
A. Burtis, as firemen, with their worthy confederates can punch up the fire, and raise the steam, on the most
approved plan of high pressure locomotive, go ahead of modern times with every car chained to its fate, they will (no
doubt) soon arrive in port, unless the leading car should run off the track; which depends very much on the management
of the head engineers.
ELDERS' NAMES OF COUNCIL.
James Curtis, Israel Ivins, Joseph H. Newton, J. M. Grant, I. R. Robbins, B. Winchester, John Sill, Wm. Smith,
To all whom it may Concern:
called, convened together, by Elder Wm. Smith, and held a council expressly to try Elder Burtis.Now all I have to say is, can a man do more than to prove himself innocent, any more than this I shall not attempt to do One thing more I wish to mention, which is, that Burtis is trying to make the people believe that he had not the privilege of introducing his testimony against me before the council; this is a mistake, he was called upon a number of times, to bring forth his testimony, and did not, but got angry and left the council, who was to blame for this? was the council to run after the man and catch him, and bind him hand and foot, and bring him into council and compel him to talk? This is the true statement of the case as the minutes of the council will shew, which will shortly appear in due form, with a statement of the whole affair. And I wish it distinctly understood that A. Burtis and Charles Asson, are cut off, for lying and slandering the authorities of the Church, (and that their testimony is no longer received against the members of the Church, according to the laws of the same.) And that all who have lied about me, may soon expect to share the same fate.
If any believe their lying tales hereafter, it is because they have not the love of the truth, but take pleasure in unrighteousness and believe a lie that they might be damned.
When an enemy like Burtis and others commence a warfare upon me without any cause or provocation they must expect I will make my defence and if I hear any more of their lying tales, I will give them their character in full.
It has been reported that I have spoken disrepectfully of the Burtis connections; this is a falsehood! I never had any acquaintance with them, consequently never had any occasion to say anything against them, and as this is only one out of the hubdred and ninety and nine lies, that Burtis has told, I shall take no further notice of it.
TO THE PUBLIC.
The following document, which was signed and delivered in the presence of A. W. Babbitt Esq., will show how much honesty, sincerity, or good faith there is in Wm. Smithís pretended claims to any portion of the Church property. In the first place, he had no claim: But, to avoid any difficulty or contention, the Trustees agreed to give to his mother the property mentioned in the following.
TO ALL TO WHOM THIS MAY CONCERN:
THIS is to certify, that we, the members of the Smith family, in consideration of Mother
Smith have received from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a deed of conveyance of a house
and lot in the city of Nauvoo, Hancock county; built and occupied by Joseph B. Noble,
valued, in ordinary times, at the sum of twelve hundred dollars. We hereby in consideration of
the above named and mentioned donation, and deed of conveyance, declare ourselves perfectly satisfied
with the dealings of said church with Mother Smith; and freely acknowledge that the said church is
hereby released from all moral and legal obligation to us of either of us.
Cincinnati: spring, 1846
[ 1 ]
From the Reporter.
[1 pg. Broadside, Ottawa Free Press,
Ottawa, Illinois, September, 1847]
William Smith, Patriarch & Prophet
And to more immediately accomplish this work, we solicit and invite our friends east or elsewhere to unite their means with us to raise a printing press, which may be devoted to the dissemination of useful knowledge and the preservation of the faith once delivered to the Saints. The brethren that are abroad, and those that have remained in a scattered state since the death of our Prophet and Patriarch, and have locked on with becoming interest in regard to coming events; and those that have stood aloof from all parties, waiting to see the deliverer of Zion come in time to save the Church from irretrievable ruin, we hope will now lay to a helping hand to strengthen that servant of God, who shall attempt to raise his feeble voice to accomplish so desirable a purpose. Let the Elders now arise and proclaim the redemption of Zion at hand, until she can be built up and her gates become a praise to the Lord Most High. Your most hearty co-operation with all the Saints is particularly solicited. Notice -- Elders are requested to hold conferences in all the branches of the church, and representatives to be sent up to this stake of Zion. Letters, &c., post paid, directed Shelburn, Lee county, Illinois. The semi-annual conferences will be held at this stake of Zion on the 1st of October and the 6th of April, as usual. Elders, see to this, and be on hand in time.
Pres. Ch. of Jesus Christ of Lat. D. Sts.
And now I say unto you, my servant, William, in thy humility I have visited thee, yet thy chastisement is great because thou didst listen to the enticements of thine enemies who have sought, not thy salvation, but have sought to get power over thee that they might destroy thee. Behold, I say it was not for thy good -- the thing that thou hast done, nevertheless, I have delivered thee again out of their hands, and it shall work for thy good hereafter, for I will try them that say they are my shepherds and are not my shepherds, and them that say they are my people and are not my people, that their works may be manifest of what sort it is. Ye shall know them by their fruits. And verily I say, he that hath not a forgiving spirit is not of me, and he that will not forgive his brother his trespasses shall not be forgiven, and I will measure unto him double in the day of the judgment of the unjust; and have I not said that cursed is the man that spilleth man's blood, for by man shall his blood be shed; therefore, I say unto my saints, who are my saints? Be ye not deceived, for I have proven them in this, once more for your sakes that ye may know that they are not of me. And now again command you all, my saints, to go no more after them who are not my shepherds, whom I have not chosen to lead my sheep, and who cease not day nor night to destroy my flock. Let my servant William, therefore gather around him wise men; and, behold I say, he shall not neglect the poor of my people, nor despise him of low estate, for I will gather into my kingdom the halt, the lame, and the blind, that my supper may be full, and my house, and this is my work. I have appointed, also, that the poor of my people may be exalted and the high and lofty ones brought low, and in mine own due time I will appoint unto my people, that are pure in heart, a stake of Zion that shall be for a place of safety, and for a place of refuge for my people in the day of great tribulation. And in this stake that I will appoint, my people shall build unto mean house that shall be for the cleansing of the sanctuary, and for the saving of the sons of Jacob, and all the house of Israel, his companions; and the greatness of the glory thereof shall be as I have said, and as it is written. But for the present I appoint unto you a stake of Zion in this land, even in the land of Palestine, wherein thou dwellest, to be a place of gathering for the time being, for your temporal salvation and for your work of preparation until the day cometh that the people of this land will not hearken to my counsel. And all they who shall repent and hearken to the counsels of my servant and his counsellors and obey the gospel, behold they shall find favor in my sight, and I will shew mercy unto them in an abundance, even unto all those who will shew mercy to the people of mine own right hand's planting, for they shall prosper in the land. And now I command my servant William Smith and my servant Aaron Hook, whom I have appointed to be thy counsellor, to begin from this hour to proclaim the glad tidings of salvation, even the redemption of Zion, and to set in order all things pertaining to my church. Let there be counsellors appointed for this stake, and a bishop, as the law requires; and a proclamation be prepared and sent abroad unto all the church, in the spirit of meekness and loving kindness, and thy tongue shall be unloosed and they who seek to bind thee shall be bound. And, behold, verily I say, that all who shall strengthen the hands of my servants, and continue in the true faith, shall be called the truly chosen and faithful.
8 page pamphlet
Philadelphia: Nov., 1848
cf. Mar., 1848 pronouncement
[ 1 ]
Verily I say unto you, my servant William Smith, that the time has come when it is needful that my Vineyard should be pruned with a faithful and mighty pruning, for there never was a time when the hearts of my people mourned more bitterly, or in which the cries of the innocent ascended upon high with greater fervency in pure and acceptable prayers for deliverence; for grievous wolves have crept into my flock, and like subtle foxes destroyed almost all of my beautiful vineyard: and it grieveth me that I should cut down all the trees thereof -- for in the latter part of the third chapter of the Book of Jacob, in the Book of Mormon, my purposes are made manifest. What more could I have done? I have been a Father unto them, yet they, in the pride of their heart, would not hearken to my counsel, nor to the counsel of my servant Joseph and the brethren of his fatherís house, for they have oppressed the poor and built to get gain, and not to do my will. They have robbed God, and yet they say, in what have we robbed God? In tithes and in offerings by which ye clothe yourselves in fine apparel and say, have we not the power of God? Yet ye distress the poor and neglect the widow and fatherless children, whose cries have come up before me, saith the Lord your God. Such works are an abomination unto me, and I give unto thee a commandment, even unto my servant William Smith, that thou shalt call on the honest in heart to gather themselves together in fasting and prayer, and to purify their hearts for the judgment of the great day; for great troubles await the rebelious in this generation, yet the obedient and pure in heart shall find rest to their souls. Therefore, my servant William, gird up thy loins and put on thy whole armor for the work whereunto I have appointed thee, for though thy spirit has not been altogether pure, yet because thou hast humbled thyself before me, and because of the integrity of thy heart in the proclamation of the truth, and because thou hast nobly and manfully defended the cause of thy fatherís house, the cause of the innocent and my servant Joseph who was the Prophet and head of the Church in these last days, a church of my own right handís planting, not to be destroyed or thrown down; yea, because of these things I have forgiven thee, and accepted thy offering. I said unto my servant Joseph that his blessing should remain upon the head of his posterity, and be handed down through the lineage of his fatherís house according to the flesh; therefore the true Church continueth with this priesthood -- that same high-priesthood with which thou art invested and to which thou hast been ordained by my servant Joseph, thy brother, and which thou dost inherit by lineage from thy father Joseph Smith, jr., [sic] who was a descendant of Joseph the son of Jacob who was sold into Egypt; and no power on earth can deprive thee of thy authority and priesthood. Moreover I have appointed thee, my servant William Smith, to take the place of my servant Hiram Smith, thy brother, as Patriarch unto the whole Church, and to preside over my people, saith
[ 2 ]
[the] Lord your God, and no power shall remove thee therefrom; and thou shalt be the Prophet,
Seer Revelator, and Translator unto my church during the minority of him whom I have appointed from the loins
of Joseph thy brother; go on, therefore, and organize and set in order all the branches, for I have given thee
full power and authority. Now if the lawful heir of Joseph whom I have appointed as Prophet, Seer [Revelator],
and Translator, shall be true and faithful, and shall serve me with a perfect heart and a willing mind in his
minority, he shall be great in his majority, even like unto Joseph, thy brother; but if he does that which is
wicked and corrupt before me, and hardens his heart and stiffens his neck with pride and rebellious scism, then
thou my servant William, shall continue to exercise all the authority with which I have this day invested thee,
and thou shalt not only be the successor of Hiram, thy brother, but of Joseph, thy brother also, in all things;
and if thou shouldst transgress, I will chastise thee with sore and grievous buffetings -- be thou faithful, therefore,
and humble thyself before me, saith the Lord thy God, and I will uphold thee, and thy authority shall never end --
for thou art the "President of the High-Priesthood of the Church." Now let the elders understand the true
order of Heaven, for the kingdom cannot be perfect without a president of the high-priesthood, inherited by lineal
descent, -- therefore I say unto my servant William Smith, arise and set all things in order, and according to the
pattern made known in the revelations given unto my servant Joseph, as recorded in the Book of Doctrine and
Covenants: for unto my servant William have I given to act in the place of the legal heir of Joseph whom I have
appointed to receive commandments for my church, if he continue faithful. Now hearken to the voice of the Lord thy
God, for those who were my servants, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff,
Willard Richards, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Hyde, George A. Smith, and all who follow them into the wilderness or
hearken to their abominable and iniquitous counsels which are not of me, are cut off from before my face and my
power have I taken from them, and they are removed out of their place, and others will I put in their stead, for
they are like salt that has lost its savor, and are only fit to be hewn down and cast into the fire: but those who
will humble themselves and repent of their abominations, and return to the true order of the church as established
by my servant Joseph, will I pardon and accept: provided they hearken to the counsel of the three presiding high
priests, my servant William and his two counsellors in the Presidency. I will accept the former free-will offerings
of my people; yet no more will I accept them at the hands of those who were my servants, but have spoiled my
vineyard, for upon them cometh wailing, distress calamity and destruction, unless they speedily repent; for have
not the wicked and corrupt rulers of my people taught their brethren to steal from and wrong the Gentiles? when I
have said "Thou shalt not steal:" and have they not taught other abominable doctrines and formed secret combinations
whereby many have transgressed the laws of the land and disobeyed my commandments, even those which were given unto
my servant Joseph as a law unto my church? Yet many of my chosen ones shall tarry and find deliverance, and shall
not go into the wilderness, but shall remain in their inheritances, and in the stakes, and shall be blessed of me.
[ 3 ]
teach war no longer; but humble themselves before me, and be of a meek and lowly spirit, and do the works of righteousness -- forsaking all their abominations: and let the Smith family gather themselves together, and not go into the wilderness, for so I have commanded. Let them give heed to the counsel of my servant William, and remain in the inheritance that I have appointed to my servant Joseph. The wicked and the abominable may flee from before me and seek to hide themselves in the wilderness; but the true and faithful shall not be moved out of their place, for it is by transgression and not by me that any are removed and seek to hide themselves in the wilderness. Again I say unto my people that the time has not come for you to hide up in your chambers; for none will seek to hide themselves, either in their chambers or by fleeing to the wilderness but the adulterers, the whoremongers, the thieves, the liars, the hypocrites and the abominable, -- therefore, obey my voice and continue to labor, to build up the church, to cease to do evil and learn to do well, to be holy and watch unto prayer, to obey the laws of the land, and honor the Book of Mormon, and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and obey the scriptures of Divine Truth contained in the Old and New Testaments; for, verily I say unto you that it is wisdom in me that all these things shall be done. And my aged handmaid who is the mother of the Prophet I counsel to continue to remain in the land of her inheritance, and the glory of my kingdom shall continue to roll on, for this is the land of Joseph and the land I have appointed for the Zion of the last days and the gathering of my people; and verily I say that he that selleth the Temple shall be as Esau who sold his inheritance for a mess of pottage -- for his inheritance another shall inhabit. The Temple that is built out of the tithings of the poor may be sanctified by prayer because of the poor of my people; yet no ordinance performed therein will I bless, until the wicked shall cease to pollute that sanctuary: then will I pour out upon all that are pure in heart a blessing and endowments shall be given as I have said, but not until an atonement is made because of the wicked rulers of my people. Now as the Temple has not been built according to the pattern given to my servant Joseph, I will not accept therof until the atonement be made and my people hearken to my counsel: so let all my saints be sober and watch unto prayer, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord, for my coming is nigh even at your doors. And the work of my servant Joseph I have accepted, and to none have I given power to do his work over again, nor are his labors disannulled; therefore all your sealings and baptisms performed under his hand or by his appointment shall stand forever, and none shall have authority by lawful right to disinherit his brethren of his own fatherís house -- and now I say unto my servant William stand in thy lot and place, thou hast authority to perform the work whereunto I have appointed thee, and lead my people into all truth and endow the faithful with the rich blessings, which I have committed to thy care, and which thou shalt confer on all who will hearken to my counsels: and thine adversaries shall be broken to pieces, for out of heaven I will thunder upon them. I will judge the ends of the earth, and give strength to my chosen one and exalt the horn of mine Anointed.
The blessing of Joseph Smith, the Prophet of God, upon the head of William Smith, given in Kirtland, Ohio, December 18, 1833, taken from the old Church Record Book:
Brother William is as the fierce lion which divideth not the spoil because of his much strength, and in the pride of his heart he will neglect the more weighty matters until his soul is bowed down in sorrow, and then he shall return and call on the name of his God and shall find forgiveness, and shall wax valliant in the cause of truth, therefore he shall be saved to the uttermost and shall be endowed with power from on high, at his rebuke in the name of the Lord, the eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped, the tongue of the dumb shall be made to speak,
[ 4 ]
and the lame man shall leap as an hart, and his adversaries shall not have power to withstand his words. Hell shall tremble because of him, and Satan shall flee from before his face, and he shall be as a roaring lion of the forest in the midst of his prey. So shall his hand be in the midst of his enemies, among those who know not the Lord, and seek the injury of the righteous; and the hand of his generation shall be lifted up also against those who are set on high, that fight the God of Israel; fearless and undaunted shall they be in battle, avenging the wrongs of the innocent and relieving the oppressed. Therefore the blessings of the God of Jacob shall be on him to the uttermost, and in the midst of his house from generation to generation forever, and he shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall come up before the Lord like a full shock of corn laden with his tens of thousands as a reward of his labors, with songs of everlasting joy, with hosannas upon his lips to God and the Lamb to go no more out. Amen. JOSEPH SMITH
A special Conference convened at the house of Brother Thomas Tourillott, on the 10th of January, 1848. On motion of WILLIAM SMITH --THOMAS TOURTILLOTT was appointed Chairman, and John Landers Clerk of said conference.
After the prayer by the President, the following resolution was read and adopted:
Resolved, that we deem it expedient that some measures be adopted for the speedy relief and redemption of the Saints, and that a statement be made of the principal causes that have led to this evil in the church, and brought so much suffering upon the innocent, whereby many are now scattered to and fro in the earth, like sheep, having no shepherd. And whereas, we believe that the Lord has not deprived this people of a Prophet -- therefore,
Resolved, that a committee of six men be appointed to write a Proclamation to all the Saints, setting forth the true order of the Church, according to the Law of God.
Wherereupon, Thomas Tourtillott, Aaron Hook, Alva Smith, John Landers, William Smith, and Nathaniel Berry, were unanimously chosen said committee.
[ 5 ]
TO THE SCATTERED SAINTS.
BELOVED BRETHREN: ó Having been appointed by a special Conference of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, to write you, setting forth the true order of the Church, and the causes of our
present troubles, we enter upon the duty devolving upon us, praying that God, who sees and knows the intents of our
hearts, to [indite] the matter of this Epistle:
[ 6 ]
In investigating the claims of J. J. Strang, the same evils, in part, have characterized this man. It is a
notorious fact, that in every instance where men have usurped their authority they have made loud boasts of the law,
and have pretended to build their favorite schemes and false claims upon the established laws of the church. Yet
their works have proven them to be violators of the law. It is the professions they make that in many instances has
allured some of our brethren in their nefarious schemes. We cannot admit that Strang has any claims to the leadership
of the church; and what evidence there may be that has given this man any notoriety whatever, we consider it on a par
with his phosphorus deception practised upon the people at Voree. Consequently it proves nothing in has favor, but a
deceiver, and the people deceived who follow him, to say nothing of his Pontificate, J. C. Bennett, (his, Strang's,
right-hand man), Dukes, Lords & Cardinals, the introduction of officers into his church that did not belong to the
church of Christ; and however much we may appreciate the zeal and labor of those who cry out for a reform in the
church, yet we must deprecate the idea of any departure there may be from the strict rules and laws of the church,
we feel ourselves justified in saying that there is no other principle upon which the church can continue to be built
up and prosper in the land, but strictly adhering to the order of the church and following out the principles of
righteousness as laid down in our books. We most assuredly have reasons to exact this manner of conduct and
consistency in character and course, in those who claim to be our leaders, or we are not authorised by the word of
the Lord to receive them as the servants of God. Christ says "the tree is known by its fruit," neither can we coincide
with the views of some, who in church building are laying their foundation (not upon the foundation of prophets and apostles,)
upon what they call the transgressions of the martyred prophet -- receiving and rejecting a part of his mission -- alleging
also that a part of his revelations were from God and a part of them the works of a fallen prophet. That Joseph may
have committed errors in his lifetime, we do not pretend to deny. But we are constrained to the belief that he lived
and died a Prophet of God -- or we are led to the conclusion that the whole system of Mormonism connected with the
Prophet is a humbug from the beginning. We hold that it is the abuses (and not in the use) of the principles of
Mormonism, that has brought us into this disrepute before the world. Elijah was a man subject to like passions as
other men, and it would be singular indeed if Joseph Smith had committed no offences while he lived to the time of
his death! It is true he was slain by his enemies, but we are not authorized to reject the mission of the Prophet
during any period of time prior to his death while God upheld and sustained him at the head of his church, and
however much men may glory in the death of Joseph Smith, we can only say that such has been the fate of Prophets
more or less in all ages of the world, and not without the change [sic - charge?] of crime, they have been slain: --
Stephen they stoned to death, the apostles were slain, and Christ they hanged on a tree, as treasonable characters;
and so they fell as Joseph died, (but not as a fool dieth,) by the hands of their enemies.
[ 7 ]
to ordain a Patriarch over the whole Church, which authority belonged to the first
Presidency, and you will readily see the Twelve had not this power as they were a travelling High Council and not a
local Presidency. Book of Doctrine and Covenants, 2d edition, page 103, the Brethren will also notice that William
held equal authority in the quorum of the Twelve at the death of his brothers, and therefore the impropriety of his
Brethren assuming the right to ordain him to an office that belonged to him of right and which he had received from
a higher power in the Church, which office the Twelve had no control over, consequently had not the power to cut him
off from the Church. We deem it most absurd that the Twelve should claim this right to ordain one of their number
holding equal authority with themselves and place him under the direction of their Presidency; it is well known that
in Hiram Smith's lifetime the Twelve had no right to preside over his Patriarchal priesthood, then, we would ask,
what right have they to claim the Presidency over his successor in office? A stream can never rise higher than its
fountain. The authority that the Twelve had not power to give they most assuredly could not take away this
superiority of power William held by birthright from his father, combined with the ordination of his brothers to the
Apostleship, and also to the office of Prophet, Seer and Revelator, presents us, as we view it, a full and sufficient
right to the Presidency of the Church, and no man could present a stronger claim, and the attempt on the part of
any to set aside this authority from the Church is a gross violation of law and rights, and an act of injustice
towards those who were among the first to lay the foundation of this great work of God in these last days, and have
always sustained so exalted a station in the Church, and have suffered in all its afflictions, and now to set this
family aside, regardless of the word of God, is an outrage that should not be countenanced by the Brethren abroad
lest a greater evil come upon them. The investments of right by lineage, the Brethren will find recorded in the
Book of Covenants, section 6th, paragraph 3, also sec. 3 par. 18, also sec. 4 par. 2. We deem these quotations
sufficient on this subject, and in regard to the true order of the Church, we find it laid down in the Book of
Covenants in the following order:
[ 8 ]
by the love and respect you have for the martyred Prophets, to come out of your hiding places and sound the Gospel
trumpet to the people; we conjure you to lie still no longer while the spirit and bride say come. We ask, shall the
Macedonian cry remain unheard and sinking, inquiring souls to be left to die? The Gospel is glad tidings of great joy,
and is the same we had embraced from the beginning, pure and holy, its intrinsic qualities are worth possessing, and
oh! that it could be proclaimed and its healing influence fill every heart; then would the captive go free and the
chains of the prisoners fall off; peace and not war would fill every part of our land; the warrior's club return to
his hearth and the soldier to his home, to comfort the bleeding heart, and administer joy to his wife and friends.
ALVA SMITH, AARON HOOK,
WILLIAM SMITH, NATHíL BERRY.
Philadelphia, Nov. 1848.
Presidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints.
A Revelation given to W. Smith, Isaac Green and Lyman Wight in Covington... September 6, 1849, concerning Twelve Apostles being appointed and concerning the redemption of Zion. *
Behold I say unto you my servant, Lyman Wight, I am well pleased with his offering and he shall be saved for he is mine, sayeth the Lord your God, and his enemies shall not have the power over him and their secret designs shall be manifest upon the house-tops, Behold now, even now, thine enemies lie in wait to destroy you and to hinder my work, the redemption of Zion, but it shall be as I have said, no weapon that is formed against Zion shall prosper and the hand or tongue that is raised against you in judgment I will condemn. And now behold I give this commandment unto you my servant, W. Smith, and my servant Isaac Green and my servant Lyman Wight, that you choose among you twelve men, yea, chosen men, twelve apostles, full of grace and truth and send them immediately among all the churches bearing my name and will, concerning the redemption of Zion. Let my servant Lyman Wight, whom I have appointed to stand with my servant William in the quorum of the First Presidency of my Church, send men, chosen, faithful and true, to the eastern land to assist my servants to gather up the scattered remnants of Israel. This commandment I give unto you, my servant Lyman Wight, that you shall ordain, lay your hands upon them who are chosen among you, and immediately proceed to organize my church according to the pattern given by my servant Joseph, and then you shall prosper in the land and flourish upon the mountains. Let no dissension be among you, but study peace with all men; honor the judge and keep the law of the land and joy shall fill every heart and I will reveal more perfectly unto you in the future the law of Zion, concerning all your property and concerning all your temporal affairs and concerning your dead. Make haste then, and do as I have commanded. Organize yourselves according to the law of my church, and ye shall be mine when I come to make up my jewels. Therefore let my servant Lyman Wight, whose labors I have blest, continue in the charge of the mission I have appointed him in the Valley of the Cordilleras Mountains and preside over my people there. Let my servant William Smith and Isaac Green remain in the land for a season and continue to build up my church and to gather up the scattered remnants. Behold this is wisdom in me, for the enemy prowleth round the branches. Behold, he cometh by stealth like the wolf from the mountains, therefore I say be wise and faithful in all things for I have appointed unto you my priesthood and my church. And nowI say a word concerning my servant George Miller. He is not altogether right; let him humble himself and return to my fold and abide the counsel of my servant Lyman Wight, whom I have appointed to hold the keys of the priesthood with my servant William and my servant Isaac Green over my church and if he do this he shall be mine also. Let him perform his duty as a bishop of my church, stand in his lot and place, and my spirit will I pour out upon him for great wisdom and knowledge concerning my work, and behold he shall be great in the land and a great work will I require at his hands, even so, Amen!
* Reproduced from pages 16-17 of John Marvin Hunter's 1925 booklet, The Lyman Wight Colony in Texas, Came to Bandera in 1854. Text transcribed from diary entries by Lyman Wight's son-in-law, Spencer Smith.
A Revelation, given March 20, 1850, in Covington, Kentucky, to William Smith, Isaac Sheen, George Bailey, Samuel Heath, and other Elders who were present, and to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, for their salvation both temporal and spiritual. *
Behold, I say unto you, my servants, who have assembled yourselves together on this occasion to obtain knowledge from me what ye shall do concerning your temporal affairs. Behold, I say hearken to my voice, ye that have purified yourselves by obeying my gospel; this is my will concerning you, yea, even all of you who have named my name, prepare ye, and get ye up from this land, and go ye out among the gentiles who have decreed thy destruction, and who now in their secret plottings have evil designs against you, for I have decreed an overflowing scourge, and the land shall be desolate & all the people shall mourn, and it shall come to pass that my word shall be fulfilled concerning the wicked; and in summer and in winter shall it be, and the plague shall not tarry, but it shall be even as I have spoken; and there shall be no safety in this land except only among those whom I have appointed to tarry, therefore let my servant William Smith, and my servant Isaac Sheen, and my servant George Bailey, and my servant Samuel Heath, gather together all their means, with their families and with the poor, and the halt, and the lame, and the blind of my Church, so far as they have abilities and power to do, and depart immediately from this land, to the land that I have appointed for the gathering of my people, in the land of Texas, to the place of my servant Lyman Wight, where my people may rest in peace, where they may plant and not another inherit, and where they may build onto me an house, that shall be called the house of my glory, and prepare themselves for the redemption of Zion, and for the endowments, and for the ordinances, and for the redemption of their dead, and for their priesthood qualifications. These things I have spoken (not in a mystery) that ye may understand, and that ye may become wise, for now is the day of salvation, and the day of my visitation upon the face of the whole earth, for I will speak unto the nations by lightnings, judgments, and earthquakes, wars, rumors of wars, and by bloodshed, and the kings upon their thrones shall tremble and they that are clothed in rich scarlet, and purple, and fine linen, shall be cast down, and in one hour shall they be brought to nought, and they who have slain the prophets shall also be condemned and destroyed and overthrown, and they who do wickedly and have divined deceit for the ruin of my people. Behold I am God and besides me there is no saviour, I am he, that maketh the earth to tremble, and the wicked are as grasshoppers before my face, nor can they purchase my favor with their gold, nor turn aside the just for a thing of nought. Behold ye are my servants and my Church and the plant of mine own right hand planting, therefore none can remove thee from the place I have appointed for thy salvation, and for thy rest, and for thine endowments, and for thy keys, and for thy municipals and for thy anointing, that I have ordained. Now I say concerning my servant Otis Hobart whom I have taken unto myself, whose works I have accepted, and is justified before me, behold he is with me, and his spirit mingleth in the councils of the martyred prophets, and his testimony in your behalf shall be heard in the councils of the just. He is mine, I have called him hither. It was for Zionís sake. Let therefore wisdom direct you, my servants and my Church, to get up from this land and gather to the valley of the Cordilleras mountains, to await the day of my vengeance which shall come like a whirlwind, upon the wicked, and prepare for my coming in a place of refuge and safety that I have provided for my people. For there will I give safety and great peace to all the quorums of my church as I have commanded and make loud proclamation of these things to the nations of the earth. Behold I say gather yourselves together, gather ye out and flee to Zion with all your gold and silver, raiment, horses, and chariots with you, for behold the plague cometh and scarcely shall the righteous escape. These words and this commandment have I given unto my servants and unto my Church. Amen.
* Reproduced from the April, 1850 issue of William Smith's Covington, Kentucky Melchisedek & Aaronic Herald.