William B. Smith (1811-1893)

William's Chronology   |   William in the Press   |   William's Genealogy

1840 - 1845

(1842-43) The Wasp  [off-site articles series]
(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 Apr) "To the Public" [Nauvoo broadside]
(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) Letter against Utah LDS [off-site articles series]
(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 Jan) Letter to Joseph III [off-site articles]
(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

(1891) Refutation of claims against Rigdon  [off-site articles series]
(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
p. 1  
p. 2  
p. 3  
p. 4  


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Solomon says, "answer a fool according to his folly."


Respected Friends and Brethren,

As this is a day of great developements, and wonderful explosions, it stands every person in hand, to look well on all sides before they judge. In the first place we should understand, that when a man has enemies that have sworn to do him all the injury they can, out of malice and revenge, it will be expected that all manner of lies will be put into circulation concerning him.

Now I will just suppose a case, and then leave the matter for you to judge. Suppose you had an enemy, and he was to report five slanders concerning you, to the injury of your character; and you were to call a council of eight men of the first respectability, (Elders in Israel) and then prove four of the slanderous reports to be false; what ought the people to think of the fifth one? This is exactly the true statement of the case; only, the fifth one was not known at the time of the council, and never would I presume, if it had not have been to help these Mormon Apostates to carry out their plans of putting me down, and that was manufactured out of whole cloth, -- a notorious falsehood; and now you have to judge between the weight of testimony for me and the testimony against me, and see which is the strongest, and entitled to the most credit. I have herein inserted the names of the persons used against me, and wish to place them along side of the names of the following councilors, for your inspection and candid judgment.


2                                 SLANDER  REFUTED.                                

High pressure locomotive.
==> This line leaves every hour, precisely to a minute
Fare reduced -- half price -- 12 1/2 cts.

No. 1. on the list is Zilph Hornor, with three, four or five illegitimate children in her arms, (She speaks for herself.)

No. 2. Is Sarah Burtis, who was suspended from the fellowship of the church, for disorderly conduct in meeting, as a mocker, frowner, and other unchristian conduct, and a liar as the certificates of certain individuals plainly show, in a pamphlet, entitled 'Defence of Elder Wm. Smith, against the Slanders of Abraham Burtis and others."

No. 3. A statement that Mr. Burtis says Hannah W. Allen has made, and as I never saw the statement, and it has never been proven true, I do not know that Hannah W. Allen, ever attached her name to any such statement, written or verbal, therefore it amounts to no testimony at all, true or false.

No. 4. The forth and last is Elizabeth Hornor, sister to the first in this train on the list, and a liar, as the following certificate will prove

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;


                                SLANDER  REFUTED.                                 3

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.

But lest there be a bursting of boilers, I have concluded not to take passage on this train, for the fare, 12 1/2 cents, is too cheap for the times.


James Curtis, Israel Ivins, Joseph H. Newton, J. M. Grant, I. R. Robbins, B. Winchester, John Sill, Wm. Smith, Wm. Richards.

Seven of the above voting to cut Burtis off from the church, Winchester voting to suspend and take his license, but not to cut off. It would be a singular thing, indeed, if A. Burtis could make the people believe that the above council made a mistake, and cut off the wrong man, and that seven councilors out of nine should all be wrong, and Abraham Burtis right. But all who please may rely on the testimony of the enemies' row.

And I will risk my cause upon the decision of the councils of Heaven, composed of the Elders of Israel here on earth.

Here follows a certificate given me by the council, signed by the President and Clerk, in the name of the council.

To all whom it may Concern:

This is to certify, that we, the undersigned members of the above Council, do hereby state, that Elder William Smith, was not before us for trial, that no charge was prefered against him, and that the Council was not called to try him, but on the contrary, that Elder William Smith prefered charges against Elder A. Burtis, and that we were


4                                 SLANDER  REFUTED.                                

called, convened together, by Elder Wm. Smith, and held a council expressly to try Elder Burtis.

That Elder William Smith, did, of his own free will and accord, bring forward testimony, sufficient to our full satisfaction, or any reasonable man, or set of men, (whose minds were unbiased and untrammelled,) to prove himself clear of the foul charges that Elder Burtis and others had circulated concerning him, prefectly exonerating himself from any implication, in the fowl [sic] aspersions, that had been heaped with an unsparing hand upon him.
J. M. GRANT, President of said Council,   JAMES L. CURTIS,
JOSEPH H. NEWTON, Clerk,                    ISRAEL IVINS,
ISAAC R. ROBBINS,                                  B. WINCHESTER,
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.
WM. SMITH.     


Nauvoo Broadside
printed Apr. 14, 1846


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.


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.

In testimony whereof, we have hereunto set our hands, this thirteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty six, at Nauvoo, Hancock county, Illinois.

WM. SMITH,    


Conference Broadside
Cincinnati: spring, 1846

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                                        Cincinnati, Ohio, Jan. 6th, 1846.

At a meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, held at the house of Wm. Jerman, in Cincinnati, Ohio, January 6th, 1846, Wm. Smith was appointed Chairman of the meeting, and Wm. Jarman, Clerk.

After singing "Know thou that every soul is free, to chose his life and what he'll be," and prayer by the President, the President arose, and stated the object of the meeting to be, to appoint a state of Zion, according to the revelations of God, and to take into consideration, the necessary measures for saving the Church from ruin, by apostates.

Whereupon, Wm. Jarman offered the following resolutions:

That, whereas, we, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, believe that Joseph and Hyram Smith our martyred brothers, lived and died accepted of the Lord: and whereas the Church in Cincinnati, believe that heresies have crept into the Church that tend to ruin and lead the church into apostacy; Therefore, Resolved, that we highly approve of the exertions and labors of our beloved brother Wm. Smith, the Patriarch, as an instrument in the hands of God, in saving the Church from apostacy and utter ruin, and that we will use every exertion, by our prayers and faith in God, to help and strengthen this our brother, in his luadable and praiseworthy undertaking.

And further, forseeing the evils that would arise, should the saints go into the wilderness en masse, the suffering of the aged, the poor of the Church, the starvation that must inevitably take place, in the event of such an "Exodus."

Resolved, That we, the Church, do not approve of the exertion of any one to lead our brethren and sisters into the wilderness, and further, that we do not believe that God has commanded this move, and that it is by transgression that many wish to leave these United States. Therefore, it is not by the sanction of the Book of D. & C., second edition, page 400. [----- --------- ------ ------ -- -------- ---------- ------ -- -------- ------ ------- ------ ------ -- -------- -- -------- ------ -- ------- -- --------- ---------- ------ ----] ...For this anointing have I put upon his head, that his blessing (Joseph's) shall also be put upon the upon the head of his posterity, see Book of D&C, page 42 and 18th par. And

Resolved, That we sanction the sentiments adopted by the High Council, held in Augusta, Iowa, formed March 10th 1845, acknowledging Joseph Smith, the son of Joseph Smith, the deceased Prophet, Seer and Revelator to the Church, also, first Presidency of the High Priesthood, and successor of his father, holding the keys of this dispensation, with power and authority from his father, according to Book of D. & C.; also Emma Smith, wife of Joseph Smith, martyred Prophet, to stand in her place as Counsellor in the Church, appointed her by her husband, should she claim it.

And, that we receive Wm. Smith in his office as set forth in said resolution, as Patriarch and Counsellor to the whole Church, standing in the place of his brother Hyram; also the decision of the High Council, held in St. Louis, Dec. 1, 1845, in the cutting-off of the Twelve from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; and, further, we recommend the order therein [and] down, to all the churches in the world, that God's kingdom may roll on and the Church be conducted according to the pattern of the Book of D. & C., and the rights of all God's people, -- Priesthood -- by blood and lineage. Book D. & C. page 129, 3d par. And

Resolved, That whereas we are convinced that our beloved brother Wm. Smith, has been unrighteously dealt by in Nauvoo, by his brethren of the quorum of the Twelve; and inasmuch , during the life time of his brothers Hyram and Joseph Smith, that this our brother Wm. Smith always sustained a good character in the Church and Ministry; and whereas, we believe his [life] has been sought after by those that should have been his friends and the friends of the Church [as] well as friends of the Prophet Joseph his brother, and thereby, he was obliged to leave Nauvoo [to] save his life from the hands of assassins; therefore,

Resolved, That we do not consider the Twelve friends to Joseph Smith or the Smith family [or] any that now speak against him, neither can [we] approve of any Elder or members that will [speak] evil of that family, who was the first to build [up] the kingdom in this last dispensation, and that we receive Mother Lucy Smith as a mother in Israel and the whole Smith family in their place [and calling];


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and father, that we do not believe the charges, the lies that the Twelve and many others are circulating against them, as it is done for self aggrandising purposes, and to establish their false claims to the Presidency of the Church. And

Resolved, That this Branch of the Church be organized into a stake of Zion, with Twelve High Priests, and Wm. Jarman, President of said Stake.

And further, we, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, disfellowship all persons or doctrines that abrogate the marriage contract, that teach holy sealing, and sanction the shedding of innocent blood, or the re-establishment of the law of Moses, -- and that entices the poor Saints in England and elsewhere, from their homes, to ruin them by their false claims, their pretended endowments in coming up to Nauvoo, whereby they rob the poor and destroy the innocent.

Resolved, That a Conference be held in St. Louis, on the 6th of April, 1846, and that the Saints every where are cautioned against these apostates as they are trying to deceive the innocent, and lead them into further trouble.

Voted, that a Conference be held in Cincinnati, on the 22d May next. Carried unanimously.

Meeting adjourned, after singing "glorious things are sung of Zion," and prayer by the President.
                                               WM. SMITH, President.
Wm. Jarman, Clerk.

                                          From the Reporter.
A Proclamation to all the Faithful

Having received this communication from a source that can be relied upon, regarding the movements of some, who still adhere to the original principles of Mormonism, we desire to place it before the public, so that he that ears to hear, let him hear what the spirit saith to the churches. In the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, or the law governing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, it says that Twelve High Priests form a High Council in any [----- ------ ------ -- -------- ---------- ------ -- -------- ---------- ------ -- -------- ----] ... station or take his place; only being prevented by the usurpation of the Twelve, who are depriving the rightful heir of his place in the Priesthood. Thus the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is in a disorganized state. Forseeing the course that would be pursued by the Twelve, to usurp the authority of others, a Council of High Priests, forming a High Council according to Book of Doctrine and Covenants, which are of equal authority with the Twelve in any Stake in Zion, did on the 10th day of March, at Augusta, Iowa Territory, pass the following resolutions unanimously, viz: -- That we, (the High Council at Augusta) receive Joseph Smith, son of Joseph Smith deceased, as President of the Priesthood of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, with all the power and authority held by his father.

That we receive William Smith, brother of Joseph and Hyram Smith, as the Patriarch, Guardian, and Councillor of the Church, holding the same office and authority as his brother Hyram.

Also, That we receive Emma Smith, wife of the deceased Prophet, in the Church with all the authority conferred upon her by her husband, and also, as a Councillor in the Church.

Also that we disfellowship the Twelve as the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ, or High Priesthood, only acknowledging them in their office and calling, laid down in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, as witnesses to open the gospel to the nations of the earth.

Also, that we disfellowship, all power and authority in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which does not acknowledge Joseph Smith, son of the Prophet, as Prophet, Seer, and Revelator to the Church; also First President of the Church and High Priesthood; and successor of his father, holding the keys of this dispensation, with power and authority from his father, according to Book of Doctrine and Covenants.
                                           JARED CARTER, Pres.High Council
J. Lewis, Clerk.

Also, High Council at St. Louis, formed Dec. 1st, 1845, in which it was voted unanimously that we fully coincide in the views and resolutions passed by the High Council, formed at Augusta, the 10th of March, 1845, as well as the proceedings of said Council, commencing the succession of the Priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, according to Book of Doctrine


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and Covenants. Also voted unanimously, that we, (the High Council at St. Louis,) knowing the acts, abominations, wickedness, heresies and lying of the Twelve, the present leaders of the organization at Nauvoo, are beyond the reach of mercy, do, by virtue of the holy Priesthood, cut them off from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and deliver them over to spirits congenial with themselves, as well as to the laws of the land, to answer for their heinous crimes.

Also resolved unanimously, that whereas, the Quorum of the Twelve, as well as those under their control, have basely and wickedly midrepresented the conduct of William Smith, while in this city, to destroy his influence, and prevent people from understanding the extent of their wicked designs, to declare that while his conduct was upright, as a man of God, and worthy the esteem and regard of those who work righteousness --

Resolved, That whereas, the crimes, abominations and secret combinations of the Twelve, and their organization, to destroy the original organization of the Church, as well as the government of the several States and defame and villify the character of those who will not enter into their wicked and hellish designs -- we do declare to all the world that they are unworthy the confidence of all honorable men and those who are the lovery of morality and virtue; and we hold them up to the world as base and wicked apostates, who design to overthrow the Church and the pure principles set forth by Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the Church.

Resolved, That whereas, by the wickedness of the present leaders at Nauvoo, whose crimes and secret combinations have reached the ears of the God of Israel, who has rejected them, and is suffering them to go into the wilderness, that they may be destroyed; who have hardened their hearts against the truth, -- therefore, we warn the Saints that they are following usurpers, and abominable men, who are leading them to destruction; that they come out from them, lest swift destruction overtake them.

Resolved, That whereas, the present leaders at Nauvoo design to sell or rent the Temple and [----- --------- ------ ------ -- -------- ---------- ------ -- -------- ---------- ------ -- -------- ----] ... [where] all the endowments and baptisms for the dead can be attended to without so much expense and danger in crossing the ocean; the poor and aged may have the gospel preached to them.

It was Joseph's instructions at the last, that Stakes of Zion should be established in different parts of these United States, and in proper time in England, and further, I would inform the Saints, that I have not been legally cut off from the Church, neither have they, the Twelve, power to disinherit the legal Priesthood of the Church; and that I was obliged to leave Nauvoo in the month of September, 1845, for safety, my life having been threatened by a band of men called city police, known as Brigham Young's body guard, the guard of the quorum of the Twelve, &c., in truth of which statement there are many witnesses, whose names will hereafter appear. The accused has a right, in all cases, to a hearing before the Council of the Church, to speak for himself and make his defence. See Book of Covenants, second edition, page 126, 9th par. This privilege you will discover I did not have. And at this time the Twelve at Nauvoo, with Brigham Young as the principal head and President of the quorum, are indicted for counterfeiting the coin of the nation; and Mr. Turly, an Elder, and one of their designers, and foreman in the business, principal workman, &c., &c., is now in jail at Alton, Illinois, awaiting his trial.

And for these and other enormities that I forbear to mention, the Twelve are cut off the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and are cast forth as branches that are withered and only fit for the burning day, and will receive, no further nourishment and support from the body, and all that harbor them will cherish vipers in their bosoms, and apostates from the true Church of Christ. So let none be deceived by these abominable and wicked characters, who endanger the lives and liberties of their brethren, by leading them into such unhallowed practices and transgressions of the law of God.

The charge brought against me by Samuel Brannan and others, published in the New York Messenger, and copied into the Times and Seasons published at Nauvoo, November 15, 1845; resolutions offered by said Brannan, also Times and Seasons published December 1st, 1845,remarks made upon the publishing of the Prophet in New York, and other matters of a singular


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character, I pronounce as base and wicked falsehoods, and it must be evident to all that it shows not only the imbecility and weakness of their cause, but the wickedness and corruption of these men, whose deeds, if fully revealed to the light, would make the very heavens blush and the meanest fiend in hell hide his face for shame to own such friends and associates, and should teach them not only a lesson of silence for one half hour, but for the space of three days and nights, or during a life in the gloomy walls of a state penitentiary, where, if justice had its demands, they would have been safely lodged with their dear brother Turly long before this; and it would be well for them to remember that the agents of the law are on the alert, and that they will find a safe home there yet, unless a sudden Exodus takes place from these United States, as documents and testimony is on hand in abundance.

It will be seen by a reference to the New York Prophet, that I was editor of that paper from the spring of 1844 until the winter, November 23d, 1844; and that the Saints may judge of the credibility of Mr. Brannan's remarks made of late concerning me, I will give you an extract of his remarks made at the time of my leaving, and as I have not visited New York since, I leave the Saints to judge.

From the New York Prophet, April 26th, 1845: S. Brannan, Editor.


Who has been making preparations to journey west with his family, that has been very much afflicted, is now in Philadelphia, and contemplates leaving as soon as possible, to join his quorum in Nauvoo, in Council and in teaching. We truly feel to regret the departure of Elder Smith -- his straight forward course, firmness, and decision of character, (that has ever been so characteristic of his family) has won the heart of every Saint that was engaged in the warfare against apostates. He surely proved himself a servant of God, in reproof and rebuke, in teaching and example, and as he is called to leave us for a season, may Israel's God be found his friend and companion.

And further, that the Saints may see the [----- --------- ------ ------ -- -------- ---------- ------ -- -------- -- ------- ------- ------ ------ -- -------- ---------- ------ -- ------- -- --------- ---------- ------ ----] ...

From the New York Prophet, January 18th, 1845:

...O ye saints -- ye servants of the Most High! What a labor is yours -- what a work is before you! And what manner of persons ought you to be? Verily I say unto you, you ought to be like Jesus Christ, both in example, in word, and in the power and gifts of God.

His meakness, his patience, his goodness, and his long-suffering towards the children of men, are examples to us. Why will we be impatient with men because their traditions have blinded them? Why not rather pity and love them, and bear long with them, endeavor to teach them the way in kindness and in love.

But I must forbear any further reflections at present. I have wandered from the subject on which I commenced, viz. the present state of the Churches in the east.

I must now hasten to a close by saying, that I highly approve of the course pursued by Elder Wm. Smith, and the presiding officers in general in this region, in relation to the late difficulties and trials which the Church has been called to encounter, and in relation to the apostacies and dissensions with which they had to grapple.

They seem, as far as I can learn, to have taken a decided stand against rebellious, wicked, and corrupt men; and by a strict and just administration of the laws and discipline of the Church, they have been enabled to cut off from the tree, those branches which were most bitter, and to excommunicate those members which were seeking the destruction of the society in which they were -- thus they have preserved the Church in union, by the aid of the Spirit of God. The Church seems noe in a fair way to prosper and bear fruit, and also to receive new grafts of young and tender branches, which may in due time grow and flourish, and produce natural fruit.

It now remains for the presiding officers and other Elders to labor faithfully and to set a good example in all things; and a great and good work will be accomplished, and the kingdom of God will grow and flourish.   Amen.
                                                  PARLEY P. PRATT.
New York, January 11th, 1845.

Thus falls the baseless fabric of wicked apostates. As soon as they turn from holy commandments they are overcome by the world and deny the faith, and for a covering they hide themselves under falsehood and make lies their refuge. But their folly shall be made manifest, and they shall proceed no further. Well we might ask what is truth? and Jesus said to his disciples, will ye also go away? He was left alone. Pilate and Herod sought to do him wrong, and the amnitious rulers were not satisfied until they had stained their garments with his blood. Judas was one that took sop with him at the Last Supper,


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and yet sold him for thirty pieces of silver; he was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and so he opened not his mouth; neither have we, until forbearance is no longer a virtue. Many turned away from Joseph, and in these evil times (of tempting gold) it is not strange that apostates should plot against his father's house, as did the wicked rulers against the child of promise.

Traitors, it is true, we expect, and a departure from the faith in the last days; but when this term and charge is applied to the mother in Israel, her who bore the Prophet and his brother, that has seen eighteen years of hard labor, since the finding of the golden plates, and three sisters, a widowed wife and fatherless children, it comes with very bad grace from these men, who ought to have known their duty and the will of God better; but so it is. Jesus said, there must needs offences come, but wo unto them by whom they come; and with patience we have endured all things, been mobbed, threatened, whipped, and persecuted all the day long, without a murmur or a complaint, in view of the blessed promise of eternal life, that, after much tribulation, then cometh the blessing. Far be it from me to wish to do these men any harm; but for men who have seen the fate of former apostates, to do as they have done -- they must have known their reign was short, and soon would be left to wallow in their own mire, to live on their ill-gotten power, and poisoned ooze entangled in their own net, they must perish, fade away, and die; cut off from the body of Christ, having no life in them. God grant that they may repent.

And as these evil minded persons, or rather apostates, are trying to make a dissension in the Church, by reporting false stories concerning myself and my brothers, Hyram and Joseph Smith, the truly martyred Prophet and Patriarch, and for the correction of these mis-statements, that we were not on friendly terms, a statement which is false, and to show that the most Christian feelings that could possibly exist between brothers existed at the time of their deaths, and before I take the liberty to publish the following certificate for the benefit of all the Saints, who may [please to read:]

[----- --------- ------ ------ -- -------- ---------- ------ -- -------- ------ ------- ------ ------ -- -------- -- -------- ------ -- ------- -- --------- ---------- ------ ----] ... but you are warned in [time] of the proceedings of these apostates, that you may be aware of them. They will use the name of Joseph to carry out their wicked plans, and although they say he is in the wilderness, go not after them. Circumstances that have come to light and developments that are making since the Oct. Conference; the sufferings of the poor that come from England and elsewhere, to visit Nauvoo -- with many other things I might mention if I had room on this sheet, have induced me to give you this warning, and I am also authorised to say, from my mother Lucy Smith, the mother of the Prophet Joseph, that the plans of the Twelve, in moving to California, she does not approve of, neither does any of the remnants of the Smith family, and as the representative of that family I now speak, and for proof of this statement, I give below an extract of a letter from mother Smith, written to me in St. Louis.

                                                Nauvoo, October 28, 1845.
"We received your letters and proclamations, and were very glad of them, for the people are calling to get them. We are no Californians, nor no new countrymen here. The family all send their love to you. May Israel's God bless you, my dear son William, and speed you on your Mission. You have our prayers," &c. &c.

I would give more of this letter, but for want of room. So try the spirits and be aware of false prophets that come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are raving wolves, you shall know them, by their fruits. No lie is of the truth; and the truly faithful God will preserve, but the wicked and abominable, the whore-monger and adulterer, God will judge, and give them their portion in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. I am at this time an exile driven from my home, but I shall pursue the work of God, and continue, as in former years, to build up the kingdom of Joseph, and to honor his name by works of righteousness forever; and may you, dear brethren, be wise for yourselves, and unto salvation, is the prayer of your unworthy brother and fellow laborer in the gospel of Jesus Christ,     WILLIAM SMITH.
Patriarch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

N. B. The Elders that feel an interest in the Church, are requested to meet in St. Louis, on the 6th of April, 1846.     W. S.


[1 pg. Broadside, Ottawa Free Press, Ottawa, Illinois, September, 1847]

William Smith, Patriarch & Prophet
of the Most High God.

Latter Day Saints, Beware of Imposition!

by Wm. Smith.

It has been the practice of the apostate Twelve, who have located their Zion west, to frequently report themselves in good standing before the Church, when the facts of the case are these -- they have been cut off by two (proceedings) High Councils. One of them was organized at Augusta, lowa; the other was organized by my direction, in St. Louis, Missouri, and in either ease, sufficient evidence was introduced against these men, with the exception of three -- myself, J. E. Page, and L. White [sic] -- to lawfully excommunicate them from the Church and from the fellowship of all good men, according the rules and regulations that govern the Church of Christ. And farther, I wish to call the attention of the Saints to a revelation that has been received especially on this subject, showing that they have been cut off by the word of God, direct from heaven. Let the Saints and the public understand it, and be deceived no more on this subject. The Twelve Apostles, or nine of these men, with Brigham Young at their head, that are now trying to settle a colony of their followers in the west, hold no official capacity whatever in the Church, except what they have usurped by disobeying the rules and discipline of said Church. The public press, in general, has given publicity to these notorious characters by calling them Mormons; but we would inform the public that these men are not Mormons. It is well known that Mormonism, or the name Mormon, is derived from the fact that some believe in the divine call and office of the prophet Joseph Smith. But the following extract from a letter written by Mr. O. Hyde, one of these excommunicants, will show his or their faith in this respect: "William," says he, "cease your whining about your martyred brothers; cease your whining about your poor old mother; cease your preaching, and go to work at some business and get money, and join the camp in the west. Go to the camp, if you have to go on foot without money.'' At other times again, when it suits their purpose, they will affect to be strong in the faith of the prophet's religion, and yet have spread all manner of calumnies against the Smith family; and when remonstrated with for so illy and ungratefully treating that family, they resort to some silly stories of their own fabrication, and will prophesy to appease the wrath of the multitude -- "O," say they, "William and all the family will be with us by and by." Not having influence and moral character enough to build themselves upon, they live on the name and on the credit of their neighbors, whom they affect to despise when it suits them best to accomplish their designs. In England the most base and unhallowed means have been resorted to, to destroy the Smith family. A few days since Mr. Hyde came from his western camp, loaded with his Devil's documents to strengthen up his starving followers; and whether this Devil's messenger had been the dupe of some joker, or whether he was the author of his own libels he peddled out in St. Louis while he was there, we leave the Saints to judge. Mr. Hyde had latter start on another mission soon through the United States and to England to blacken the character of those who oppose him in his wicked purposes, or he will have the covering pulled out from some more of his blackened deeds. It is astonishing to see these poor ignorant dupes hastening back every few days from the camp to visit a government they have denounced, and begging for a dime or two, prowling about the Saints, whining and telling their tales of sorrow and distressedness, while they live the life of robbers in the wilderness, and are laboring with all the talents and means they possess to raise a conspiracy among the Indians, and set them against the American people. Such, we would say to the public again, are not Mormons, but are the basest of apostates from the true church. Their true title is Brighamites, and not Mormons of the Joseph stock, for that whole family protest most solemnly against this Brighamite faction, and their western wild goose California expedition, as being all of the Devil; and as the representative of the family I speak, and such are my present views on the subject; and I therefore warn all my friends to beware of these wolves in sheep's clothing, for I have tried and proven them to be false prophets and fallen. It will be seen by the following revelation, that a stake of Zion has been appointed in the Land of Palestine, Lee county, Illinois, and the Saints would do well to act wisely, and come up and help us possess the goodly land. The land is fertile, and locations can be had cheap, and the people are friendly. No part of Illinois that I have ever visited, excels this point for timber convenient to praire, and for facilities of almost every kind, mills, &c., and water power to carry any amount of machinery. There is at present a grist mill within three miles of this place, called a valuable, first-rate flouring mill, that runs the year round. There is also a saw mill in this place, and a still in full operation, which could be easily converted into a cloth-dressing machine, carding machine, or a flouring mill. The stream is durable, I am told, excepting only in very dry seasons. This part of the country is equal to any part of Illinois. If any difference, it excels in point of soil, it being a black sand or loamy soil. Corn, wheat, and all kinds of grain are raised here, and in growing time the fields look green and luxuriant with grain, well rewarding the laborer's toil. Palestine Grove, or Rocky Ford, now known as the town of Shelburn, is situated on a public state road, leading from Peru (the head of navigation on the Illinois river) to Dixon, Rock River, and Galena -- the emporium of the west and the mining district -- is 30 miles from Peru, 12 from Dixon, 80 from Galena, and 90 from Chicago; and, as soon as the canal is completed, will be blessed with one of the finest markets in the west, and one of the finest thoroughfares in the country but 30 miles distant from this place. It is our intention to give a more full account in another article, so we shall leave this subject for the present, to give place to another that I deem of greater importance to the Saints in accomplishing the work of God in these last days and to fulfill his commandments, which are not only that the Saints may be gathered and prepared for the coming of the Son of God, but it is essential that there be immediately some well established medium through which to communicate the doctrine of the church, and the designs that Jehovah has revealed, and will reveal to the Saints, throughout the whole length and breadth of this earth, forgetting not those that are afar off and upon the islands of the sea. "This gospel of the kingdom must be preached in all the world,'' said the Savior, "for a witness unto all nations, and then should the end come." Mathew xxiv. 14.

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.        

A Revelation
Given to William Smith, August 28th, 1847.

Verily I say unto you, my servant, William Smith, arise and put on thy whole armor as I have commanded you before, and fear not them that can destroy the body, but fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell, and do the work I have appointed unto thee to do, for it is needful that my servants should work in the days that I have appointed unto them to work, for the time speedily cometh wherein no man can work. Now this is the work that I have commanded my people do in these last days, to preach my gospel, and build up my church. And this is the evil that has come upon many, because they have departed from the right way, and, like Balaam, the son of Bosor, they have cursed my people, Israel, when I have said that they shall be blessed; and have also gone after other gods and the worship of idols made in the image of man and perishable clay, four footed beasts, and birds, and fallen down to worship them; and verily I say unto you who were my people, for all these things I will bring you into judgment; and your rulers have I cut off from before my face, and their authority is no more, for they have ceased to preach my gospel, oppressed the poor, and seek to get gain and not to do my will, saith the Lord your God. Therefore their houses are left unto them desolate, and another people will I plant in their stead to do my work that shall be true and faithful.

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.

(under construction:
text has not been proofread)


8 page pamphlet
Philadelphia: Nov., 1848
cf. Mar., 1848 pronouncement

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Given to WILLIAM SMITH, in 1847,


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.

No acceptable endowments will be given in the Temple my people have builded unto me, because of their sins, and because of the pollution of that holy land, and the defiling of my house. All the baptisms for the dead performed before the death of my servant Joseph are acceptable unto me, and from this time let my servant William appoint stakes in every state, and let this ordinance, and all washings, anointings, endowments, and other ordinances, be performed by those whom I shall hereafter appoint in those stakes, until I shall command otherwise; for it is needful that my people should continue to work and to preach the gospel to the gentiles, at present, and to save their dead, for so I commanded my servants in all ages of the world; and my kingdom and the glory thereof shall not fail, neither shall it be given unto another people. I further command my people to return to peace, and


[ 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 whereas, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, has suffered much from the imposition of men professing to be prophets and leaders of the Church, and have led their followers into sin and iniquities of the grossest kind, and have thereby brought the principles of our Holy Religion into disrepute before the world.   Therefore

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.
After the mature and sufficient deliberation, the committee reported the following, which was sanctioned by the Conference, and ordered to be printed and circulated among the Saints, for their instruction and deliverance from further ruin.


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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:

Viewing, as we do, the perilous condition that the Church is in, it is with mingled feelings of joy and grief that we take our pen to write, and we sincerely hope that the Brethren will not misconstrue our intentions on this subject, for we truly feel anxious that something should be done for the Salvation of the church, and it is our desire that the spirit of humility, charity and truth should characterize our present undertaking, while we attempt to remove the stumbling blocks that have been placed before the world by those who have not honored their profession. While we write, we must say, that in order to do justice to our feelings, for some time past we have been disgusted, and grieved at heart, at the many discordant factions that have destroyed the peace of the church. We cannot view these evils in any other point of light, than a departure from the faith, and a usurpation on the part of some to lead the church that God has not appointed to that authority. The evils that have broken up Nauvoo are not without a cause, and the greatest evil that ever cursed any people or nation, is usurpation and the violation of law and rights, and such is the true character of the present leaders who have gone West. We look upon the doctrine taught by them, that the gospel is taken from the Gentiles, as a mark not only of their assumption of power, but an evidence of their departure from the true faith of the church -- and we do most solemnly protest against the doctrine of secret oaths and covenants -- and we also view this as among the principal causes that have overthrown our brethren, and for no other cause than to hide the crimes they have committed, have they sought their abode in the wilderness. We feel confident that the feelings of hundreds, yea, thousands, of our scattered brethren will respond to the sentiment when we say, that this removal to the wilderness must end in the destruction of the lives of most of those who have ventured to this uncalled for and hazardous undertaking.

The bones of our brethren and sisters must lie bleaching upon the Western wilds, and for no other cause than that of gratifying their ambitious rulers, by screening them from the just penalties of the law; and we have no need to tell our brethren, that the more civilized portion of this land will afford us all the facilities necessary for carrying forth the work of God, without so much peril in parts of the earth where the priesthood is not needed. The time has not come to carry the gospel to the sons of Ephram, and the plea set up by some that such is the fact, and that God has cursed the gentile nation, we can view in no other point of light than as a pretext to justify these men in their usurpation and wickedness. The fact that the Indians have proven recreant to the promise made by those men, have also proven their prophecy as we are now gravely told. Since their defeat, starvation and want, they are about to return their gospel to us again. Another instance of the hypocricy of these men -- you will notice that notwithstanding all their professions of enmity against the government, they enlisted 500 of their elders in the war with Mexico. A singular way indeed to carry the gospel to the Sons of Jacob!

We are particular dear brethren, in calling your attention to some of these points, that you may see the gross impositions that have been practised upon the church, and by whom; and also that you may see who it is that has brought upon us our present trouble and distress.


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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.

And in regard to this most unhappy affair, viz: the death of our Prophet and Patriarch, we most sincerely regret and sympathise with you on this subject, and although grievous wolves have entered in to destroy the flock on the dissolution of the Prophet, yet marvel not dear brethren, these things must be or the Scriptures could not be fulfilled, for Paul plainly tells us there should be a departure from the faith, and perilous times should come in the last days and that the day of the Lord Jesus should not come except there be a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed the son of Perdition. This we conceive to be the true state of affairs, according to the sayings of the Prophets, yet we would say to the brethren, take courage, God has not left himself without a witness; neither will he suffer things always to remain in their present condition. Joseph is yet alivem we speak figuratively. Absalom sought to steal the hearts of the people to destroy David and overthrow his kingdom, but did not prevail, as in the present case. The works of all those will be brought to nought, who have, by treachery and deceit, sought to destroy the Smith family, the lawful Priesthood of the Church, and more particularly William Smith, one of the subjects of this Epistle, to whom we wish now to call your attention as the only remaining brother of the martyred Prophet, as a man approved of by God, and from our own personal acquaintance with him for the last twelve months, we have no hesitancy in saying that we place the most implicit confidence in his teaching and doctrine and since he has been amongst us and the spirit of God has borne witness with our spirits that he is a servant of God, and further, we feel it our indispensable duty to state that we believe that this, our Brother William Smith, has been most unrighteously dealt with by those who have usurped the authority of the church. We feel that injustice has been done to this family, and it is a fact that cannot be denied that at the death of Joseph and Hiram Smith, the right of the Patriarchal Priesthood belonged to William Smith, and we also think that here is a point of authority that has been heretofore unnoticed by the Church, but the Brethren cannot help but see that notwithstanding the Twelve had a right to ordain Evangelical ministers in all large branches of the Church, yet this did not give them power


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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:

First, a Presidency of three, sec. 3 par. 11.

Secondly, the travelling High Council, to act under the direction of the First Presidency, par. 12, and in addition to this is the council of twelve High Priests who form a standing council for the Church in Zion, including the Seventies, Elders, Bishops, Priests, Teachers and Deacons, all acting in their several capacities as defined in the Book of Covenants.

Third, We hold the Book of Covenants as a law unto the Church until the coming of Christ, immutable and unchangeable, therefore we have no right, neither an angel from Heaven to violate this law. Provisions are also made in this law for the filling up of vacancies that may occur, without the administration of an angel for that purpose, sec. 13, par 4, sec. 5 par 5 and 6.

The gate into the Church is baptism, and the right to the Presidency of the Church comes by ordination of those holding the authority in the church, and by the appointment of the church. The President may also be appointed by revelation and acknowledged by the church in his administration, and such is the power and authority invested in this our Brother William Smith, and we now call upon you, as servants of the Living God, to rise up and lay hold.

And help us to roll on the great work of God. The time is fast hastening when the Gospel must be preached in all the world for a witness, and then shall the end come. This prophecy of the Saviour has not yet been fulfilled; scarcely one-fourth of the world have heard the sound of the Gospel, hundreds, yea thousands of our fellow-mortals have not enjoyed the light that we enjoy, and the Macedonian cry is heard from all parts of our land, "Come over and help us[;"] the Gentiles have not been sufficiently warned of the near approach of the Saviour, and will you neglect your high calling and let this cause, more precious than silver or gold, sink on your hands, and surrender your Priesthood to the God of this world? We conjure you


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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.

We hope that the Saints will gather with us, and help to strengthen and build up this stake of Zion -- Palestine the city of our God. With sentiments of esteem and high considerations for your future welfare and happiness in the kingdom of our God, we subscribe ourselves your humble servants and fellow-laborers in the Gospel.   Amen.


                                                                        Philadelphia, Nov. 1848.
DEAR BRETHEREN: -- Permit us to say to you that it was Josephís instructions to the Church to divide these United States into districts, and appoint stakes in every State, and High Priests to preside over each district, that the poor, the lame, the halt, and the blind might have the gospel preached to them. But the council of Brigham Young notwithstanding this Divine injunction of the Prophet, have fled to the wilderness in the far off west -- and now invites the Saints to gather with them to perish in a desert land, Brethren we say, and God says stay at home, you can get salvation in this land without going to the valley of the Great Salt Lake, Brigham Youngís hiding place (or Sareglo Eden,) the Saints will understand therefore, that it will be their privilege if they desire it, to be baptised for their dead, and attend to all of the ordinances of Godís House, in the respective Branches of the Church where they reside, so far as the servants of God are permitted to administer.

WILLIAM SMITH,           
AARON HOOK,           
ALVA SMITH.           
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.

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