I, John Murdock, was born July 15th, in the year of our Lord 1792 in the town of Kortwright, Delaware County, state of New York, being the third son of John Murdock, who was the son of Samuel Murdock, whose father emigrated with his family, from Scotland, as near as I can learn, about the middle of the eighteenth century, to America. He had three sons viz: Samuel, William, and Eliphalet. My grandfather Samuel Murdock, with his family, consisting of seven sons and four daughters viz: Hezekiah, Eli, Dan, Troop, Samuel, John, Joshua, Lydia, Submit, Betsy, and Eunice, lived in and about Bennington and Rutland Counties, Vermont and Washington County, New York, where my father married Eleanor Riggs, who was the eldest child of my Grandfather Riggs who was born in England, and married his wife, in Ireland by the name of McLaughry, and emigrated to the city of New York, North America, where he taught the higher branches of education. He had three sons and two daughters viz: Edward, Thomas, Matthew, Eleanor and Mary Ann. Eleanor, their eldest daughter, was my mother. She was possessed of a good education, and was much given to reading, and prayer, and was noted for piety, and was very ready to teach and instruct her children. She was a member of the Seceder Church, who dissented from the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. My father belonged to the same body during the lifetime of my mother; but in [on] April 7th, 1796, my mother died leaving my father with four sons. They had buried two children, besides one that was buried in the grave with my mother.
My parents were united in matrimony January 27th, the year of our Lord A.D. 1785. Their children were born as follows: James S. Murdock, March 3rd, 1786. Edward, November 11th, 1787, and an infant was born and died 1790. Polly, my sister, was born April 15th, 1791, and died January 10th, 1792. I was born July 15th, 1792. Samuel was born August 24th, 1794. This is my genealogy as far back as I am able to trace it.
After the death of my mother, which was April 7th, 1796, my father married Betsy Shepherd; but she caused him and his children rather an unhappy life during her stay with him which was from the winter of 1797 till 1813, when she died, having born him four children, viz: Sally Betsy, Eleanor Meriah, Tessie Sheperd [Shepherd], and Emiline who were born as follows: The first, Sally Betsy was born September 10th, 1799. E. M. [Eleanor Meriah], May 9th, 1801. T. S. [Tessie Shepherd], August 12, 1803. E. [Emiline], February 24th, 1807.
My father, soon after marrying my mother, removed to Kortwright, Delaware County, where he remained till after the death of my mother. Immediately after marrying Betsy Shepherd he removed to Harpersfield where he remained during the lifetime of my stepmother. My stepmother was a very high-spirited woman and very partial towards her children; which was the cause of difficulty in my father's family, and she was a smart, enterprising woman, and a very excellent housekeeper, and learned [taught] her girls to work.
My brother James, about the age of sixteen, by the consent of my father, left home to learn the blacksmith trade, but found he was not able to work at it, and then applied himself to study, and taught school for many years. My brother Edward left my father, by his consent, at about twenty years of age to learn the carpenter trade with Shuble Palmer, but finally farmed for a living. At 15 years of age my father hired me to Robert Leal for one year. My father was to have forty dollars in cash and I was to have three months schooling in the year, and about four or five months before my year was up, my brother Edward came into the neighborhood where I lived to work at his trade, it being about twenty miles from my father's house. He sent word to me by Edward to come home as soon as my year was out, but finding that I could live from home peaceably, and fearing that I could not live so at home, I resolved to not go home, but did not make my intentions known to Edward, or anybody else. Accordingly, the morning that my clothes were prepared for me to start home, I tried to obtain a small portion of my wages to carry with me for spending money, but my excuse was that I wanted to buy something along the road, but I could not obtain any from Mr. Leal, without an order from my father. Consequently, I started without any money in my pocket to seek my fortune in a world of strangers; and instead of going twenty miles up the river, I, that day, went twenty miles down the river further from home, and lodged overnight with Amos Dibble, a mill carpenter, who had built a mill for Robert Leal. The next morning, by his recommend, I hired to a man one month for five dollars. I think his name was either Townsen or Downer.
My brother Edward found out the same night that I started that I had gone from home, and sent word to my father, who after searching about three weeks, came to me one Sunday evening, as I was going to the well for a pitcher of water, but he talked very kind to me and gave me the choice to go with him or stay. I told him if I could live peaceably at home, I would rather do it. He thought I could and accordingly I went with him, for the people where I was were a wicked people, and I realized it though I was but sixteen. Soon after I went home I requested my father to let me learn the trade of leather making but he said he had let two of his sons go to trades and he would not spare me; but I could not be content under the government of my stepmother. My brother Samuel, at the age of about eight years, had gone to live with my Uncle Edward Riggs, a worthy man. He remained with him till he was twenty one, and I not being satisfied at home had a great desire to leave; and finally wished for something to happen that I might have an excuse to go; and in September, after I was seventeen years old, I fell on a scythe and became a cripple by a severe wound in my wrist, having cut two of the main leaders I came near bleeding to death; yea death stared me in the face, but I covenanted with my Heavenly Father that if he would preserve my life, I would serve him. A surgeon by the name of Gregory was sent for to dress it. He took up the two veins on his needle and gave it to my father to hold till he would tie them, and he let them slip, and they had to be taken the second time. But amidst all the pain and affliction that I endured that night I bore up under it very well until my stepmother found fault with me for being careless. I thought it a bad time to find fault, and I could not forbear weeping; but during one year I remained in my father's house. She would very often find fault with me because I was a bill of expense, and not able to work, although I did work some with both hoe and scythe by tying my hand to them. When I was eighteen I obtained liberty to go about four miles to visit my brother James, who was teaching school.
I will notice some of the operations of my mind during this year and about this time. Having lived with my Uncle Michael Sixsmith, the man who married my Aunt Mary Ann, from ten to thirteen years of age, and they being very pious, taught me to pray, and made me learn the 23rd Psalm, besides many other things; I therefore became pious, when young, and would always pray to my Heavenly Father when in trouble, or when out by night, and to pass through the woods, or any lonely place, I would pray before passing, and return thanks after I was through and I never saw the place, or time, but what I would go, if duty called me but would not be hired to go, where duty did not call. At one time I dreamed, and thought I was in a room with my young friends, and a throne appeared in the room, with a light on it, resembling a burning candle. I endeavored to show it to them, but they could not see it. I told them it was preparing for one and although when I awoke, I well remembered the dream, yet till I embraced the fullness of the gospel, I had no correct views, of the meaning of the dream, and from that, and many other circumstances, I see that the Lord by his spirit, and providence, has wrought on my mind from infancy up, to prepare me to embrace the true points of his doctrine.
The loss of my mother and the wound in my wrist, were both special provinces [providences], that caused me to search after truth. The summer that I was eighteen years old, I went to school some little, but being persecuted by my stepmother, which made me uneasy and discontented and I from that time forth decreed in my heart, that a second wife in my house, should never tyrannize over a first woman's children; but my trust was in the Lord, and when in trouble I would call on him, and he would comfort me.
As I before mentioned, I visited my brother James, the fall after I was eighteen. I laid my situation before him, and he had pity for me and he had agreed to pay one half of my board, and give me my tuition, if father would pay the other half of my board, and Thomas McClaughry, a cousin to my mother, agreed to board me for seventy five cents per week, and accordingly I left my father's house, being possessed of a very slender education, and very poorly clad, and not able to do a day's work. I went to school six months to my brother, and he paid the bill and educated me freely, a favor that I thank the Lord for, and pray the Lord to have mercy on my brother and his family and save them in his kingdom.
I was enabled to teach a school the next year, during the summer season, and went to school again to my brother in the winter, and finally recovered the use of my hand, so far as to again labor.
When I was twenty years old I went into partnership with my brother Edward on a new farm, and labored with him about six or eight months, which time my stepmother died, and my father having sold a part of his farm, and taken goods in payment therefore, and my father wishing to travel into the western country to dispose of his goods, sent for me to come home and take charge of his farm and family. I dissolved partnership with my brother and went home to my father, and took care of the family two years, and then bought the farm and gave my father a mortgage of one thousand dollars to secure the pay.
I received my deed in March and sold the farm in April for about eleven hundred dollars, and the girls became uneasy because of the persuasions of their mother's sisters, and they went to live with them, and Tessie, went to live with my father, who had bought a farm on the Cowneskey River, Tioga County, Pennsylvania. I broke up housekeeping and took a farm and summer fallowed and sowed thirty acres of wheat and rye; and sold my share to my brother Edward. I was then twenty three years old and had never stayed overnight in a tavern. I then commenced travelling to see the different parts of the country.
My first journey was to Argyle, Washington County, to visit my brother Samuel, and my mother's relatives, who were all very zealous in sectarian religion. Generally of the Presbyterian Seceder Order. But I did not unite to any sect till I was about twenty five years old. [It] was as I had been from my youth up, engaged in prayer and meditation on the things of God; and I was at work alone. One day I was engaged in meditation, and a vision passed before my mind. It appeared to me as if the judgement had sat, and the Lord was on his throne, and called the people to him one at a time and questioned them respecting their conduct in this life; and it appeared as if they answered truly for they durst not answer otherwise; for the judge knew all that was in them, and I thought that I was about the third person called, and the first question put to me was if I had commemorated the death and sufferings of the Savior, by obeying the ordinances, at which I was aroused as from sleep being insensible of the vision, and of my situation, till I found myself convicted of a lack of duty. I immediately began to look for a society that I might receive the ordinances with.
Being traditionated into sectarianism, I did not understand the vision, and did not inquire of the Lord as I ought, but united with the Lutherian [Lutheran] Dutch Church, and soon found they did not walk according to the scriptures; but as I, with my brother Samuel, about this time removed from Washington County to Delaware County. We there commenced laboring on a new farm, where we continued in partnership about two years. I there united with the [Presbyterian] Seceder Church, where my mother used to be a member, I soon became dissatisfied with their walk, for I saw it was not according to the scriptures, and I talked with their Deacon respecting disorderly members, and he told me they were accountable for their own conduct. I told him the scriptures forbid eating and drinking with such. He gave me no satisfaction.
I soon dissolved partnership with my brother Samuel, and I travelled into the western country. My brother Edward had been a member of the Calvinistic Baptist Church for some years, often tried to convince me of the truth of immersion, being the only true mode of baptism, but he, being ignorant of the scriptures, could not do it; but as I was travelling in Tioga, Pennsylvania, I stayed overnight with a Mr. Short and he put into my hands a pamphlet treating upon baptism and it gave me some light on the subject. Soon after I had the opportunity of reading the Church History, and one particular thing which I looked for was to find the ancient mode of baptism, and at length I found, according to that historian, that immersion was the ancient mode with the church and this caused me to search the scriptures to see if these things were so, for I had learned that my father, or mother, or priest, or anybody else, saying a thing was so, did not make it so. There is nothing makes it so, only its being truth. I found the scriptures to read so although immersion, or plunging is not named in them; yet to my understanding that is the whole tenor of the scriptures. I then searched closely, the Padobaptist writings to see what proof they had, and the more I searched their confessions of faith, Catechisms and Scott's Notes on the Bible and all such writings, the more I disagreed with them.
I, at length, found the Pedobaptist to not have one solitary proof positively in their favor, but in all their arguments are on the negative side of the question, dealing in suppositions like they suppose the Apostle could not immerse three thousand on the day of Pentecost, or Paul and Silas could not baptize the jailor and his household by night. And in the meanwhile allow that immersion in baptism; but say that sprinkling, or something else, will do as well; but they do greatly err not knowing the authority of the priesthood, nor the order of God. I found by the scriptures that a proper subject of baptism was one that exercised faith and repentance; and as Christ died to redeem the world from sin, consequently an infant has no need of baptism, but they that are of mature age. I being convinced of these facts, began to examine whether I was worthy of baptism. I made application and was baptized in Chagrin River, Cuyahoga County, Orange, Ohio, about ten o'clock at night by Elder Hanks a Baptist Priest.
Being thirty years old. In my travelling I came to this place this year where I abode nine years; and now I took an active part in carrying on meetings with the Baptists for awhile. But some misunderstanding taking place between me and some of the members, and finding they held so strongly to Calvinistic Doctrine which I did not believe, and finding their walk not to agree with their profession, I withdrew myself from them and stood about two years aloof from all religious sects and my wife in company with me; (for I had married my wife Julia being the eldest daughter of Orice and Phebe Clapp of Mentor of Geauga County, Ohio. She was born February 23rd, A.D. 1796. We were married December 14th, 1823, I being 31 years old and she being 27 years old; she bore me six children as follows - Orrice C., December 24th, 1824. John R., September 13th, 1825. Phebe, March 10th, 1828. An infant we buried September 1829. Joseph S. and Julia, April 30th A.D. 1831 and my wife died six hours after their birth, and Joseph Smith, the Prophet, took my two infants to bring up) during which time I frequently attended Methodist meetings and was frequently invited to preach to them. I did so and always spoke according to the light I had; and when I did not please them I would have to be silent among them awhile; and I could not agree with them.
I kept searching the scriptures and looking to find a people that lived according to them, but could not find such a people. At length word came to me that a people had risen up that were baptizing for the remission of sins, and promised any person remission of sins that would be baptized and that they had caught a whole Baptist Church in Mentor, and they would receive a drunkard or any profane person. I reasoned with myself on the subject and said it was impossible that they should have caught that whole Baptist Church in such a gross error all at one haul; but said I, they have found something in the scriptures that the rest of the religious world does not have any understanding of, and I sat me down with my Bible in my hand and opened to the 3rd chapter of John's testimony and read the words of the Savior, "Except a man be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of Heaven; and, again, except a man be born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven." I queried what it was to be born of water. I concluded being born of the Spirit was to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, but to be born of water I did not understand. I said the evangelist does not make it plain and I must see what the practice of the Apostles were [was] in receiving members into the Church; and that will explain the being born of water.
Accordingly, I turned to the 2nd chapter of Acts of the Apostles and found after Peter had preached Jesus and him crucified, the truth pricked them in the heart, and I concluded they were born again, so they could [see] the Kingdom of Heaven and desired to know how to get into it agreeing with 1st Peter, 1st chapter, 23rd verse--being born again not of corrupting deeds but of incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever. They were born of the word and the word showed them the Kingdom of Heaven, and they cried out to know what they should do that they might enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Peter told them to repent and be baptized, everyone, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; this was being born of water, I thought, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; and this was being born of the Spirit; I thought, and I was so sensibly struck with the truth that I said to my wife Julia, "Here is a truth that the religious world has not seen." I read it to her and she saw it and embraced it with me. I then read the Acts of the Apostles through and found many facts agreeing with the idea; also other parts of scripture agreeing therewith.
About two weeks after, my wife's brother, Thomas Clapp, came to see us being armed with many passages of scriptures to convince me of the late discovered truth; for he was among the late converts, at Mentor. I sat and heard his story, and found him to be precisely in the same tract with myself, and understood the scriptures I did; which was the doctrine of the new sect, known by the Campbellites. It caused me to rejoice believing that I had at last found a people that believed the scriptures as they had. I was much engaged about this time searching the scriptures and many times after retiring to my bed, my mind would be exercised to that degree, that it would not be satisfied till I would get up, light my candle, and read my Bible an hour or two, and then I would go to my bed and sleep sweetly.
I, finding the people called the Campbellites, so well agreeing with my feelings, and they professed to be in search of truth as I was, therefore I united with them. I think it was in the year A.D. 1827. Elder Sidney Rigdon was one of the leaders in this part of the country; and I believe that he, with many others were honestly seeking for truth, for awhile; but when the truth came, because it did not come as they wanted, they rejected it. I continued a member with them, about 3 years, I think; but at length finding their principal leader, Alex [Alexander] Campbell, with many others, denying the gift and power of the Holy Ghost, I began to think of looking [for] me a new home. I had firmly became [become] convinced that all the sects were out of the way; so much so that I asked Brother B. Covey, supposing all the different churches to be out of the way, as we believe they are, and we find the ancient manner of building up the Church according to the scriptures, as we believe we have (for by reading we found the ancient manner of building up the Church was by baptizing for the remission of sins and laying on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.) Where is the man to commence the work of baptizing? or where shall he get his authority? Can he go to those who are out of the way and obtain authority? I told him no. If they are out of the way as we believe; they have lost all authority, and I said to him, the only way the authority can be obtained is, the Lord must either send an angel to baptize the first man, or he must give a special command to someone to baptize another.
About one month after this interview with Brother Covey, word came to me that four men had arrived at Kirtland from the state of New York, who were preaching, baptizing, and building up the church after the ancient order; it was one Sunday morning as I was going to attend an appointment to preach, that I was informed on this; I was also told that Elder Rigdon, with many others of the Campbellite Church, were baptized by them. I replied to my informer that it was an insinuation of the devil but I was immediately checked in my feelings, and I made no more harsh expressions respecting them. I attended my appointment and got along with my meeting as easy as I could and went home, and went to reading my Bible and frequently heard of the new preachers until Thursday the same week. I went to see for myself, a distance of about twenty miles. I heard the sayings of many people by the way, some for the new preachers, and some against, but I observed the Spirit that stimulated those for, and those against. I met Squire Waldo, who was a Campbellite [who?] was bitterly opposed. He tried to have me take another road, and not go to Kirtland, but I told him I was of age, and the case was an important one, of life, and death, existing between me and my God, and I must act for myself, for no one can act for me. I rode about three miles further and met another man of the same order, I had about the same kind of discourse with him and passed on.
And arrived at father Isaac Morley's about dark, and was soon introduced to those four men from New York, and presented with the Book of Mormon; I now said within myself, I have items placed before me that will prove to me whether it be of God or not viz: four men professing to be servants of the most high God, authorized to preach the gospel, and practice the ordinances thereof, and build up the Church after the ancient order; and having a book professing to have come forth by the power of God, containing the fullness of the gospel; I said if it be so their walk will agree with their profession, and the Holy Ghost will attend their ministration of the ordinances, and the Book of Mormon will contain the same plan of salvation as the Bible. I was sensible that such a work must come forth, but the question with me was, are these men that are to commence the work. I did not ask a sign of them by working a miracle, by healing a sick man, by raising a dead man, or, by casting out a devil; only I desired to know whether the Spirit would attend their ministration if the Book of Mormon was not true, neither if they were not sent forth by God. Accordingly, that night was held the first confirmation meeting that was held in Ohio. And I said within myself it is a good time for me. For thought I, this night must prove it to be true, or false; I did not find out respecting the meeting till about ten o'clock at night. And at that time they had all left but three men; and I found they wanted to go to the meeting, and did not want those in, that had not been baptized. I said to them go, for if you wish to be alone, I do not blame you. The case is one of importance. They went and I stayed alone, and read the Book of Mormon.
During the evening previous to the meeting, a Nathan Goodwell, a Campbellite came and conversed with Elder Oliver Cowdery for he was the principal one of the four, and I watched the Spirit of each one of them in their conversation, and I found that Goodwell bore down with warmth, whereas Cowdery wished not for contention, and endeavored to evade controversy, and I, seeing this, spake to Goodwell as follows, saying, Brother Goodwell I have come to Kirtland, not to contend either for or against these men, for I do not know whether they are true or false, but I have come to see what they have brought. I want to converse with you if you are willing. I said I had some questions to ask you. He said he would try to answer them.
1st, Do you not think that you and I are possessed of the form of godliness? He replied, yes. I said, you and I agree on that point.
2nd, Do you think we have the power of godliness? He stammered at the question, but concluded we had. I told him that I doubted it. But, said I, we will try it by the word, as follows. Mark 16th chapter, 14th verse, to the end of the chapter, "Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye unto all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen."
Luke 24th chapter, 49th verse. "And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." Acts 1st chapter, 8th verse, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Verse 12th. "Then returned they unto Jerusalem, from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey. And when they were come in, they went into an upper room, where abode both Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholemew, Matthew, James, the son of Alpheus, Simon Zelotes and Judas, the brother of James. These all contained with one accord in prayer, and supplication with the women, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren." Chapter 2nd, verse 1st [through 5th]. "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad the multitude came together, and were confounded because that every man heard them repeat in his own language; and they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans and now hear we every man, in our own tongue, wherein we were born."
Matthew, 28th chapter and Mark 16th chapter, say the Apostles were to preach the gospel to every creature in all the world. Luke 24th chapter, 49th verse and Acts 1st chapter, 8th verse say they were to receive power to do so, after the Holy Ghost was come upon them, and the power of the Holy Ghost, on the servant of God, is the power of godliness, for there is no man but a godly man that can profess that power with God. The history says they tarried in Jerusalem, and were engaged in prayer, till the day of Pentecost was fully come, at which time the Holy Ghost came on them, and it qualified them to preach the gospel and hear testimony to every creature which they could not do, till they received power of God to speak in other tongues. Paul said the churches which he had built up among the gentiles were not behind in any of these gifts of God.
And in 2nd Timothy, 3rd chapter, 5th verse, that in the last days men should arise, having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof and he says from such turn away. Now in denying the power of godliness they will deny the gift of tongues and other gifts by the power of the Holy Ghost, and as for myself, I mean to turn away from them. He was confused, and could not answer.
I read till it was late and went into Father Morley's chamber to bed and had not been long in bed, before they returned, and some half dozen or more came into the same house, and as soon as they came into the house, although I was in bed up [in the] chamber, the spirit of the Lord rested on me, witnessing to me of the truth of the work. I could no longer rest in bed but got up and went down and found Elder Rigdon among the number, and he said to me I might go back to bed, for he would not talk to me that night, but I sat in a chair and conversed with them, and I found they appeared very tender in their feelings and I retired to bed again. I could not help secretly rejoicing on the occasion. The next morning I conversed with about half a dozen men separately who had been confirmed in the meetinghouse the night before. I found their testimony agreed on the subject that there was a manifestation of the spirit attended the ministration of the ordinance of laying on hands, and I found the items placed before me, that I before noticed, all testified that it was of God.
About ten o'clock that morning, being November 5th, 1830, I told the servants of the Lord that I was ready to walk with them into the water of baptism. Accordingly, Elder P. [Parley] P. Pratt baptized me in the Chagrin River and the spirit of the Lord sensibly attended the ministration, and I came out of the water rejoicing and singing praises to God, and the Lamb. An impression sensibly rested on my mind that cannot, by me, be forgotten. It appeared to me that notwithstanding all the profession of religion that I had previously made and all that I had done, that by my act of now being baptized I had just escaped a horrible pit of destruction. This was the third time I had been immersed, but I never before felt the authority of the ordinance, but I felt it this time and felt as though my sins were forgiven. I continued with the brethren till Sunday at which time they preached in Mayfield and baptized a number, and on Sunday evening they confirmed about thirty. I was one of the number. Elder Oliver Cowdery was administrator. I was also ordained an elder; and it was truly a time of the outpouring of the spirit. I know the spirit rested on me as it never did before and others said they saw the Lord and had visions.
I tarried till Monday morning, took breakfast, and attended prayers with the brethren, and then rode home a distance of seven miles, and it seemed as I was in vision of the spirit as I rode, for it seemed as if I could see how Israel would gather according to Isaiah 43rd chapter, 5, 6, 7th verses, "Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him."
I endeavored to bear testimony to my neighbors whom I met by the way, but they would not believe. At length I arrived home. My family gladly received me and my words, thank the Lord. And my wife and Brother Covey both believed the Book of Mormon, for I brought it home with me, and read it to them, and I was filled with the spirit as I read.
At length the first day of the next week arrived and the New York brethren held meeting in Warrensville, four miles west of my house, and I bore testimony to the truth, my wife, Brother Covey, and 3 others were baptized. Brother Ziba Peterson, held meeting in my house the evening before, and I bore testimony to my neighbors. On Monday morning the New York brethren, accompanied by F. [Frederick] G. Williams, a late convert, took leave of us and started for the upper Missouri.
At length another week passed away and Sunday arrived and I attended my appointment in Orange, and preached to the people in great plainness and some believed, and some opposed the truth, and I baptized three: Brother Judd, his wife and daughter. The next Sunday arrived, and I attended my appointment in Warrensville, I preached in great plainness to the people, and baptized three more, viz: Israel Huff's wife, Steven Burnet, and Louisa Gardner. I confirmed them by the laying on of hands, and the two last received the outpouring of the spirit so that their strength was taken from them, and they with myself and wife stayed all night at Brother C. Baldwin's, and took breakfast next morning and while attending prayer, Brother Steven was carried away of the spirit, and said he must go to see his uncle Warren Thorp, and family, before he went home for so the spirit directed him. I went with him, and he bore testimony to them of the work, but they would not believe.
We then went to his father's and my wife also. Brother Baldwin and his wife, and some others, when we came there they had just moved into their new house. I asked Mr. Burnet what he thought of these things. He said he believed it to be like the Freemasons. One got catched [caught] and he would not tell till they caught another, but after awhile supper was ready, and we sat round a long table, and Brother Steven at one end of the table, and I at the other, and Mr. Burnet asked me to give thanks, and while I was doing so, Brother Steven was overcome with the spirit, so as to lose his strength. Some removed from the table without eating, others ate awhile. His father and mother sat in tears.
At length agreed to have meeting at his house, and I preached various times and was helped in my ministry, in Orange and Warrensville, and through my ministration there was added to the Church in that place, in and about the following four months, these people viz: Myself and my wife Julia, Benjamin Covey, Caleb Baldwin, Nancy Baldwin, Charles Taylor, the above were baptized by P. [Parley] P. Pratt, and confirmed under the hands of Oliver Cowdery, and the following under my ministration, Philo Judd, Nancy Judd, Sally and Rebecca Judd, Nancy Eames, Stephen Burnet, Louisa Gardner, Nancy Huff, Isaac Eames, Louis Carpenter, Grace Carpenter, Ira Sherman, Phebe Sherman, Lance and Cyrus Barnet, Hason, Alouson Cleviland, Julia Smith, Betsy Gates, James Rich, Elias Hutchings and Sally Rhoda Gates, Benjamin Carpenter, Helen Woodard, Lydia _____, Benjamins Evans Turner and Jeddiah Hubbel, Eunice Woodard, Arenath Carpenter, Olive Hutchings, Seliman Hubbel, Benjamin Blagg, Nobles Hubbel, Hannah Bragg, Rhoda Kimball, Rither Gates, Sophia Covey, Justus Arnold and his wife, Electa Jonathan, Eunice, Phebe, Seeth, and Elisha Covey, Justus Pooler, Elan Barbar, Louisa Covey, Ludinda Hubbel, Nancy M. and Caleb T. Baldwin, William and Nancy Dunchy, Amos Cleveland, Harry Hutchins, Zenos Barnet, and some others.
I continued to labor in the ministry, preaching and building up the Church in that region from November 1830, till June 1831, when I could leave my family. And in order that I might the better leave my family, I left my own house, and moved my family to Brother C. Baldwin's, in Warrensville, in December and my wife died 30th of April and left 5 living children. Two of them but six hours old; and on the 6th of June 1831, a conference of the Elders of the Church was held in Kirtland and myself was advanced to the High Priesthood, under the hand of Joseph Smith, Junior, the Prophet, and so were others. Soon after, a number of us received a revelation to travel to Missouri, Doctrine and Covenants (Section 52:8) page 192.
Agreeably to this revelation we, Hyrum Smith and Lyman Wright [Wight], John Corrill and myself, took our journey from Kirtland June 14th and went on board the steamer Wm. [William] Penn at Fairport and arrived at Detroit Wednesday, 15th, 11 o'clock at night. Left the boat and took lodging in a tavern. We were accompanied by Mother Smith and Sister Alvira Mack to this place. We breakfasted and dined freely with a merchant's wife, sister to Alvira, and we first labored from morning till noon to get a chance to preach, but could not. I was turned out-of-doors for calling on the Wool Carver [Carder] to repent. After dinner, we took leave on the two females and the family with whom we had dined and upon our feet as a testimony against that city, Brother Lyman and John took the North Route through Oakland County, Brother Hyrum and myself took the Chicago Road through White Pigeon Prairie. We journeyed 12 miles to Pekin, Thursday 16th.
We continued in that neighborhood till Monday the 20th and preached at times. 22nd, we preached according to a former appointment. A Methodist Circuit Preacher challenged us to prove from the scriptures that baptism by immersion was true. We, accordingly, took up the subject, proved it from the scriptures and he left the house angry. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday we preached one discourse and travelled 76 miles. Sunday we preached one discourse. Monday travelled 30 miles wading large streams. Tuesday preached in the evening. Wednesday preached and travelled nine miles. Thursday preached another discourse at 2 o'clock, at Pigeon Prairie one hundred and fifty miles southwest of Detroit. July 1st left Pigeon Prairie, travelled 20 miles and lodged with the Potawatamie Indians. Received supper and breakfast from them and gave them some articles we had for their kindness. Saturday, 6 miles and took breakfast and 5 more to Elk Hart Prairie. Sunday 3rd, preached one discourse. 4th travelled 12 miles. On Thursday the 7th we were at Logan's Port on the Wabash River, 115 miles S. S. West [south southwest] from White Pigeon Prairie.
Sunday 10th, preached twice Monday. 11th read and expounded the scriptures all day and preached in the evening. 12th travelled to Laffayette [Lafayette] and preached in the evening, 11 miles. Wednesday 13th, travelled 25 miles and passed through where Brother Solomon Hancock and Simeon Carter built a church and arrived at Attica on the Wabash River 70 miles S.W. [southwest] of Lozar's Port. 14th preached twice--16th preached once. Sunday 17th, preached twice, 18th once. 19th once. 20th passed through Dansville 30 m. s. w. [miles southwest] of Attica. Thursday preached once. 21st preached once and on the 23rd arrived at the old trading house on Sagamon River 47 m. s. w. [miles southwest] from Dansvill [Dansville]. 24th preached once. 25th preached at Decator [Decatur?] the seat of Sagamon C. W. 27th preached once. 28th and 29th preached twice. 30th travelled 20 miles, preached in the evening. Barton Stone, New Light Preacher, present.
31st same preacher visited us early in the morning and tried to put us down by his learning, but we told him we did not understand other languages and we believed there was sufficient in the English scriptures, if a man would obey them, to secure his salvation. Therefore, we would confine ourselves to them only and on these premises we were ready to meet him and investigate the Plan of Salvation. We shut his mouth, he could not get round it. We preached at 9 o'clock and as we had the evening before shown the first principles of the gospel--repentance and baptism for the remission of sins and the laying on of the hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. We set forth the promises of the Saviour to the Apostles. Then alleged that the same promises were to all who believed, and showed the same blessings were obtained by the same obedience, for the gospel of salvation is the same in all generations. And then bore testimony that all must repent, both professor and nonprofessor, both priests and people, and we had great liberty by the spirit. Priest Store [Stone] trembled, but would not yield. We travelled 2 miles and filled another appointment.
August 1st travelled 28 miles and crossed the Illinois River. 2nd, 30 miles to Mississippi River Louise-Ana [Louisiana] Ferry and got my feet wet by which I took a violent cold by which I suffered near unto death. 3rd, crossed the river into Missouri. Travelled 25 miles to New London, found it a very wicked place.
As we slept in a tavern, in the night Brother Hyrum lay on the far side of the bed with his hand out on our clothes, which hung on a chair by the bedside, and a person seized his wrist. Brother H. [Hyrum] cried out, "Who is there," and at the same time broke his hold, which awoke me. We heard the bedstead in the other room creak which notified us that he had gone to bed. Thursday 4th, arrived at Salt River where we preached next day, but I was sick and went to bed, and we continued there near one week and then I gave my watch in pay to Wm. [William] Ivy to carry me in a wagon to Charidon 70 miles. We stayed there 2 days.
Met Brother J. [Joseph] Smith, Jr., S. [Sidney] Rigdon and others, and received the revelation recorded in the Book of Covenants [D&C] on page 202 or 308. We also fell in company with Brother Harvey Whitlock and David Whitmore [Whitmer], and we four put our money together and bought a pony. I rode him to Lexington, 60 miles, and on the way we four slept one night in a chamber where one half of the floor was laid, and the other not and a window being open, on the opposite side of the chamber from me, and I had a raging fever and had occasion to go to the window; it being dark, I stepped off the floor and fell across the joints.
The next day when I rode into Lexington, I was so weak I fell from the horse and lay till the brethren came and picked me up. They took me into a house and left me there four days and travelled on. After which, Brother Lyman Wight and Solomon Hancock came with a horse and carried me to Thomas Hopper, where I remained in a few days and was then carried in a wagon to Brother Joshua Louis, in Jackson County, where I lay sick two or three months, so much so that 2 or 3 days was lost time to me. Although I was so very sick that I could not pray vocally, yet my belief was so firm that it could not be moved. I believe[d] that I could not die because my work was not yet done. After I had a little recovered, went to Brother Newel Knight awhile and thence to Lyman Wight's and so remained with the brethren till the 24th and 25th of January 1832, which 2 days we held a conference. Brother Partrige [Partridge] presided and on the 26th Brother L. [Lyman] Wight, P. [Parley] P. Pratt, Levi Hancock and myself had just recovered from sickness. We four travelled in nearly the same places till we passed the black water and so into Seline [Saline?] County.
February 3rd we four arrived at Wilkinson's, Feyette [Fayette] County, held meeting in the evening. Remained there till Sunday 5th. Brother Levi and I preached once and then travelled on. 8th we arrived at Ruben Gentry's, Esquire, and abode with him 2 days. We preached in the Baptist meetinghouse on the 9th. 10th, Mr. Gentry accompanied us half mile to put us in the road and in much friendship bid us farewell. Mr. G. [Gentry] notified the preceding meeting. 10th we arrived at Wm. [William] Ross, Cooper County, it was near night. He was a Methodist and when we told him our mission, he rejected us but the spirit of the Lord rested on us, and I preached the Book of Mormon and the great work of the Lord in the last days and that we had been called of God to roll his work forth, and Brother Levi bore testimony in power, Mr. R. [Ross] trembled and took us in and kept us freely all night. Sent his son and called in his neighbors. We preached to them that evening and he read much in the Book of Mormon that night and next morning till breakfast time.
The 11th, Squire Beeding carried us across the LaMonic Creek. We arrived at a Mr. Young's in Lebanon Settlement. They opposed bitterly but we warned them till they said it was sufficient. We then travelled to Mr. Ware, a Cumberland Presbyterian Preacher. He received and kept us freely till Monday morning. We preached in his meetinghouse, next day being Sunday, and about 20 persons visited us during the evening; they inquired much and did not know what to say of the Book of Mormon. 13th after breakfast we bid Mr. Ware adieu; he wished us to pray for him and I do pray the Lord to have mercy on him according to his kindness to us. 14th travelled 8 miles to Mr. Howard's, preached to them and found them believing. One mile further to Thos. [Thomas] Smiley's and preached in the evening, they were believing and bought a Book of Mormon.
15th preached in the evening. 16th preached, evening prayed with and laid hands on a woman; had some clothes washed at James Kinney's 17th. 18th preached in Jefferson City, seat of government. Paid our fare 19th. Charles Low ferried us across the creek and gave us breakfast free. While breakfast was preparing, we preached the Kingdom of Heaven to him. Thence 8 miles across the Osage River. Thence 3 miles to William Kelly's and preached to the family that evening. 20th crossed the Sasknawd R. [River] and found the others [brethren?] --Parley and Lyman. 21st travelled 10 miles and I was seized with the ague and fever. Parley and myself stopped with Loel Stark overnight. 22nd thence 2 miles to Louise David's. Parley had a fit of the ague.
23rd Parley preached in the evening, 3 exhorted. We had the ague day about. 24th travelled 5 miles and found Levi and Lyman at Rebecca Perkins'.
They went on but we tarried till Monday 27th. I had a severe fit of the ague and did not recover from it so as to get up till noon. I lay and thought on our mission and our calling of God. We had but very little money and while sick we were continually on expense. I saw we could not stand it, so I determined in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to arise and pursue my journey. I called Bro. P. [Brother Pratt] to the bed and told him my determination, and requested him to lay hands on me in the name of the Lord. I arose from my bed, we took dinner and gave the widow a Book of Mormon for her kindness and started on our journey, it being 7 miles to the next house. I had a severe headache, and would frequently sit down and have Bro. P. [Brother Pratt] lay hands on me. At length we arrived at the 7 mile house and tavern overnight. 28th Bro. P. [Brother Pratt] had a shake before he was out of bed and then arose. We took a little breakfast and travelled 20 miles. 29th travelled 16 miles. I had a shake about 10 o'clock forenoon and travelled through it. Paid 12Ç cents for dinner. March 1st. Preached at An. Caldwell's. 2nd preached at Mr. Farrier's, people tender. We tarried till Sunday 4th and preached--5th travelled 20 miles and preached. 7th taught the people. 8th thence 7 miles to St. Louis 200 miles east of where we started in Jackson County. Found Brother Lyman and Levi who had visited the Catholic Bishop and other Priests, they said, and tried to get public meetings in the city but was refused. They said they had preached in the markets and corner of the streets. We 4 crossed the Mississippi and stayed at Mr. Short's. 9th we recrossed the river to St. Louis and tried to obtain the courthouse to preach in but could not, and recrossed the river. Travelled 13 miles to Eportis and preached in the evening, Brother Lyman and Levi passed on. 10th preached at the Canteen Baptist meetinghouse. 11th Sunday, preached. 7th we preached.
13th we awoke at 12 o'clock at night by the hallowing of Isaac K. McMahan who followed us 27 miles to be baptized. He insisted on being baptized immediately. We arose and travelled back with him 4 miles, and baptized him at 2 o'clock [in the] morning, and ordained him an Elder and among other teaching we taught him to go to Zion. We preached in Grenville. 15th baptized Joseph Young and preached in the evening. 16th arrived at Joseph Walerdes and preached. 17th preached in Vandalia, the seat of government of Ills. [Illinois].
18th we this morning waded the ocean bottom 2 miles across. Great part of the way knee-deep in water, and some of the way mid deep. We were two hours in crossing and nearly perished. Only travelled 5 miles that day and put up. 19th thence about 20 miles and when we were on the prairie 5 miles from any house, Brother Parley [Pratt] had a shake of ague, and when the fever came on took his strength from him so that he lay down on the prairie. I said, "Brother P. [Pratt], can you travel any further?", said he "could not." I asked, do you believe the Son will heal you? He said, "The Son would heal him according to his faith", by [but] "my faith is small." I said, "Do you want me to lay hands on you?" He said, "Yes." I fell on my knees and with many tears laid my hands on him in the name of the Lord Jesus, and prayed for him and we both arose and travelled on and gave glory to God for his goodness, and Bro. P. [Brother Pratt] gained health and strength from that time, but I was seized that night with ague and fever, which affected me much till we arrived in Ohio, in the Church in the month of June, about 12 months after leaving my children. Between Vandalia and Orange, Ohio, we preached 31 times and arrived there about the 1st of June, found my little son Joseph had died. I had left my eldest son Orrice with Benjamin Bragg and John with Philo Judd and Phebe with Syrenus Burnet. I had to pay them all full price for keeping my children during my absence. But my daughter was still doing well with Bro. [Brother] Joseph, the Prophet.
I then continued with the Church preaching to them and strengthening them and regaining my health till the month of August when I received the revelation recorded in the Book of Covenants [D&C], page 806, at which time I immediately commenced to arrange my business and provide for my children and send them up to the Bishop in Zion, which I did by the hand of Bro. [Brother] Caleb Baldwin in September. I gave him 10 dollars a head for carrying up my three eldest children. I then settled my business and on the 24th of September I visited Father Clapp's family, preached the gospel to them. They were very unbelieving and hard. I returned to the brethren in Kirtland on the 25th and on the 27th started, in company with Brother Zebedia [Zebedee] Coltrin, and on that day called on Mr. Conning's family, Father Clapp's family and Benjamin Brich's family; all unbelieving. Stayed with Bro. [Brother] Kingsbury, in Painesville, preached in the evening. He gave us each 75 cents, God bless him. Met with a Dr. Matthews, a very wicked man, and [he] reviled against us, the Book of Mormon, and the doctrine we taught. We bore testimony according to the commandment and the Lord helped us in tending to the ordinance.
September 27th Geauga County, Ohio commenced preaching the gospel and baptizing and building up the Church. Baptizing about thirty persons in that region of country in company with Zebedee Coltrin. We continued our labors till about the next April in this region of country, excepting a short time that I was at Kirtland, at school, during which time I boarded with Bro. [Brother] Joseph Smith, the Prophet.
(On the 3rd day of April 1833, Bro. [Brother] Zebedee Coltrin and myself started on a mission to the eastern country.) During the winter that I boarded with Bro. [Brother] Joseph, as just mentioned, we had a number of prayer meetings, in the prophet's chamber, in which we obtained great blessings. In one of these meetings the prophet told us if we could humble ourselves before God, and exercise strong faith, we should see the face of the Lord. And about midday the visions of my mind were opened, and the eyes of my understanding were enlightened, and I saw the form of a man, most lovely, the visage of his face was sound and fair as the sun. His hair a bright silver grey, curled in most majestic form, His eyes a keen penetrating blue, and the skin of his neck a most beautiful white and he was covered from the neck to the feet with a loose garment, pure white, whiter than any garment I have ever before seen. His countenance was most penetrating, and yet most lovely. And while I was endeavoring to comprehend the whole personage from head to feet it slipped from me, and the vision was closed up. But it left on my mind the impression of love, for months, that I never felt before to that degree.
On the 3rd day of April, 1833, as mentioned above, we started for the eastern country and arrived at Elk Creek where we remained till the 9th. Baptized one, confirmed two, and healed one by laying on hands in the n. [name] of the Lord. 10th arrived at Westfield, New York, preached once. 12th arrived at Jame's Town [Jamestown], found 2 brothers and 2 sisters sick with smallpox. We fasted, prayed, and laid on hands in the name of the Lord, and they were healed. On Sunday we broke bread with the Church, and strengthened them. 15th arrived at Pomfret. Found the Church healthful both temporally and spiritually. Preached to them and strengthened them. 18th arrived at Silver Creek, found a branch of 50 members, preached once. 19th arrived in Collins, found 10 members healthful but ignorant and weak in mind. We preached twice and strengthened them.
24th arrived at Bro. [Brother] Lyon's near Warsaw. We met with the Brethren--Lyman Johnson, Orson Pratt, Sylvester Smith, and Harper Riggs. We held a number of meetings in this region of country together. Continued till near the 1st of May. Brother Z. being sick which terminated in smallpox that he caught at James Town; And I left him in the care of Bro. [Brother] Lyons, and on the 1st of May Bro. L. [Brother Lyman] Johnson came to me in the morning from Geneseo, and said that he and Bro. [Brother] Orson Pratt had been to Geneseo, visited Ezra Landen, Elder, who denied the vision in the Book of Covenants and some of the revelations, and a number of the Church joined him. They wanted me to go and help deal with them. Bro. [Brother] Rich and myself went with him.
We met Bro. [Brother] Landen in conference, 6 o'clock afternoon, four High Priests forming the council viz: Bros. [Brothers] Rich, Lyman, Orson and myself. I acted as moderator and opened the conference by dedicating ourselves in prayer to the Lord. Bro. [Brother] Orson laid the case before the conference, by stating that Bro. [Brother] Landen said "the vision was of the devil," And that he did not believe it, any more than he believed the devil was crucified, and many like things which Bro. [Brother] Lyman witnessed too. Landen stated that he would not have the vision taught in the Church for one thousand dollars and was very much opposed. Landen rose after this statement and thanked God that he was permitted to speak for himself, and was quite haughty about it, and with a wining [whining] sectarian tone tried to work up sympathy in us and everyone present, by telling the sacrifices he had made, the hardships he had endured, and the good he had done for the cause.
I answered him, "He had told us quite a story but what did it all amount to?"
It was true I had made as great sacrifice as perhaps he had made, but this was nothing to the case. Ezra Booth also suffered privations and hardship and travelled through Missouri, and afterwards denied the revelations and was cut off from the Church. Landen became ashamed and I exhorted him to repent. He became bound in spirit and was willing to be taught the vision. We adjourned till next morning at eight o'clock and met agreeable to adjournment.
Brother Orson led in explanation of the vision and the other revelations. Myself and Brother Lyman followed. We continued till Ç after 12, dismissed and came together at one. Brother Landen acknowledged the things we taught. Brother Orson said he did not like his confession for it seemed to be exhorted from him, but Brother Landen confessed that he had talked hard to the brethren, asked them forgiveness, said that he heartily received all that we taught and would teach it to the Church, and said he would not for two thousand dollars be set back where he was when we came to him. We allowed him to stand in his office and a good portion of the Church met that afternoon and we taught the same things to the Church and they promised obedience to them and to all the commandments of the Lord, and the Spirit attended.
6th of May I started from Geneseo, alone. I preached and bore testimony by the way as I travelled through the country. 18th I arrived at Brother David Crocker's on the Shenango River, Broom [Broome] County. And had to leave my knife in bondage [pawned] for 2 cents. I here met Brother S. Smith and H. [Harpin] Riggs. I remained with the brethren 2 days and preached once and received money and redeemed my knife.
21st started for Delaware County. Lodged overnight with Mr. Stowell in Collesville [Colesville]. They received me with gladness and believed me to be a man of God, were sorry they could not treat me better. The man had been very sick. They requested me to pray with them in the evening. I did so, but in the morning I preached the gospel to them. He received it well till he found what order I belonged to and he then raged as one of the Sons of Belial [Baal], although he was a professor of religion, but he had given me my supper and lodging before he knew me.
I arrived at my brother Samuel's on the 23rd, Deleware [Delaware] County, the land of my birth, where I remained preaching and baptizing and building up the Church till September 16th, the Lord confirming the word by signs following. By tempests and healing the sick and etc. During the time, a mighty wind passed through Kortwright [Courtwright?] and Harpersfield. It broke a peach tree off by the root about a foot in diameter and carried it half a mile and others in like manner and carried off houses and barns, and bridges. Tore up orchards by the roots, likewise sweeping forests to the astonishment of all who beheld. It was said by some that a large ball of fire passed in the whirlwind.
3rd of September visited Allen Davis's family, found his wife's mother sick with a severe pain in her head. At her request I prayed with her and laid hands in the name of the Lord. She was made whole from that time. I tarried with them overnight. They had a child sick with the canker. It being in much pain, and cried. I arose at 3 o'clock morning and laid on hands in the name of the Lord. The child fell asleep and did well from that time. The same day I returned to Brother Turner's and found Sister Turner sick and we united a prayer and I laid hands on her in the name of the Lord and she arose and magnified the Lord. On the 7th, after a journey of 60 miles in two days, I arrived at Brother David Crocker's in Broom [Broome] County where I remained till Dec[ember] 5th, preaching in all the country round about the meeting with much opposition, and arrived on the 16th of Dec[ember] in the morning, half a mile east of Westfield and met Bros. [Brothers] Lyman Johnson, Orson Pratt, and Amasa Lyman. I turned east with the three brethren, and we travelled and preached through the country till the 28th.
We arrived in a branch of the Church in Avon Livingston County, New York, where we had been in May previous. Where we all remained for a time, regulated, teaching and confirming the Church, and then the 3 brethren returned to Ohio, but I remained with the Church and travelled and preached in the regions round about till the 15th of March, at which time Brother Joseph the Prophet, and a number of other brethren from Kirtland came to regulate the churches, and gather brethren to march to Missouri for the relief of our brethren. We all remained there till the 20th of March, at which time Brother O. [Orson] Pratt and myself travelled south. (I here sacrificed the last property I was in possession of, being about seventy dollars, in Books of Mormons [copies of the Book of Mormon], for the building of the temple in Kirtland. We journeyed through various parts of the country preaching and baptizing some forty persons till the 28th of April. After an absence of more than one year, we arrived in Kirtland where we tarried two days.
May 1st 1834, I started with some of the brethren [Zion's Camp] for Missouri for the first time that I had consented to take firearms to go into the field of battle, for I had never shed the blood of any man, nor with firearms, any animal, save one dog. But I took my rifle on my shoulder, my pistol in my pocket, my Dirk by my side, and on the 3rd day arrived at New Portage where we tarried till the 7th of May till our company had all gathered. At which time our company, being 125 in number, took up the line of march with our armour, tents, camp equipage and baggage wagons, in martial array. A camp of Israel by the order of God.
And June 26th we arrived at our journey's end, in Clay County, Missouri, a distance of 1000 miles, through a country which felt enemical to us. When we arrived there we were 200 men in number. Our enemies oft tried to come upon us and destroy us, but the Lord by his providence as oft defeated them. June 18, we arrived and camped within one mile of Richmond, Ray County Seat, Missouri, and the next morning, in lieu of staying in camp as usual till we took of breakfast, the Prophet gave strict orders to attend our prayers, strike our tents, harness our horses and march forthwith. We did so. Our camp had but passed through Richmond when 200 mounted riflemen came into town with calculation to have headed us and stop us there. They followed after us calculating to attack us that night, and another army forward intended to make the attack in front. We had been in the habit of marching from 20-30 miles a day till then, but that day we were hindered in different ways so that we could only travel 15 miles, which compelled us to camp on a high dry hill, by a meetinghouse between Little and Big Fishing Rivers which were fordable that evening, but it is said they were some 20 feet deep next morning because of the heavy rain during the night, for the rain was extreme all night and the thunder terrible and the hail so severe that our enemies had to flee for shelter, but we saw no hail in our camp but it was all round us. We thanked God for the rain and next morning when we started out from our camping ground and saw the ground covered with limbs and leaves of trees, we thanked God for the hail. But although the Lord delivered us from our enemies, yet he had a whip for us, for whom he loveth he chastens, and some of us had become slothful in duty and found fault, and on the 24th the camp marched 15 miles to Brother Burkett's, and camped.
Health generally prevailed and had down all the road. I awoke in the night and heard some vomiting in the camp and in the morning some Ç dozen were sick with the cholera, and it increased and raged during the day. I, this afternoon, left the camp for the first time since we started from Kirtland, being 86 days. I went to the Coleville [Colesville] branch of the Church, where I remained 4 days and the army was disbanded the day after I left, being the 26th. On the 30th, word came to me that my daughter Phebe was sick nigh unto death, of cholera, and Brother A. [Algernon] S. [Sidney] Gilbert, with whom she lived, was dead. I immediately went and took care of her till July 6th when the Spirit left the body just at the break of day, being 6 years, 3 months, 27 days old. Two young brethren, namely Reid Peck and Henry H. Rawlins, assisted me and we buried her by little after sunrise in the morning. She was decently laid out, and they dug a grave and we laid 2 split shakes in the bottom and one each side and laid in some straw, and laid the corpse on it, laid 2 sticks across and covered it over, and that was her coffin.
I then took breakfast and went to Brother Lyman Wight's and as I passed the road through the town of Liberty, a man asked me, if there was any new cases of cholera among our people. I told him I had not heard of any. He said it appeared like a judgement on our people. I said it did very much so. He said he thought it was a judgement, I said I think so for we read, "Judgement is to begin at the house of God" and I think it has begun. He was confounded. I continued in this region of country visiting, gaining my health and laboring for the good of my sons, and ministering to the sick in many instances, for many were sick. And from 15 to 20 died of cholera.
September 23 I baptized my son, John, he being 8 years old.
September 24, I started east for Ohio with Brother Zebedee Coltrin. 25th arrived at John Scones', Militia Colonel of Ray County. Presented to him the petition to the Governor of Missouri to petition the President of the United States for a guard for the safety of our people in Jackson County. He said he approved of it for it was righteous. But he thought it better to draw a petition, and our people sign it themselves to the governor. Showing that they felt grieved, for the liberty of the people he considered to be at stake. He desired us to leave a copy of our petition in Richmond. He said he would call a meeting of the people of the county on the occasion. We left a copy according to his request.
October 24th arrived in Eugene at Brother Hubbard's on the Wabash River, Indiana, more than 300 miles from Jackson County where I remained preaching till November 17th, when I traveled 40 miles down river. Brother Gee, having left me on the 11th for Ohio, in company with Brother Noah Hubbard. I found George Harris, a brother, and wife in Terrehaut. And Elder O. [Orson] Pratt, in that section of country out of health. I brought him to Brother Harris' for them to nourish and I preached round about till he recruited, and on the 27th we started east preaching to everybody we could by the way.
And on December 4th arrived at Brother John Grey's on Sugar Creek, 20 miles east of Indianapolis, the seat of state government. We met with two young elders here viz: Louis Robins and Lorenzo Barnes, and we here preached till the 9th, at which time Brother L. Robins and myself pursued our journey east, and on the 12th of January arrived at Brother Palmer's, New Portage, Medina County, Ohio. Brother Robins proceeded on to Kirtland and I tarried till February 10th regaining my health. In passing through the state of Indiana, a distance of 150 miles, I preached in 10 villages. 19th of February I arrived at Brother Joseph's, the Prophet. 20th received a patriarchal blessing under the hand of Joseph Smith, Sr., the Patriarch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as follows:
John thou art bless [blessed] of the Lord, and shall have a patriarchal blessing even the blessing of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and thy children shall be blessed of the Lord, and the Holy Priesthood, after the holy order of God shall be established with thy children, and thy children's children unto the end of the earth, and thou shall be healed of the infirmities of thy body, and thou shalt have power to bring souls unto Jesus, by proclaiming the gospel till the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, in power and glory and if they shall cast thee into prison the prison shall rend and if thou cleavest to the Lord and desirest with all thy heart thou shall be lifted to glory in a chariot of fire like Elijah of old. Thou shall be blessed with many blessings. Thou shalt go forth in the Spirit and power of the Lord, in winning souls unto Christ, and great shall be thy reward, even so Amen. Entered at Far West, Record B. Page 65.
March 5th I travelled east and after preaching much, attending to conferences, visiting and regulating different branches of the Church and baptizing some in [on] July 30th, I arrived in Delaware County, New York, 500 miles east of Kirtland and the land of my nativity where I remained preaching and laboring in the ministry in Delaware, Schopary and Otsego Counties till November 10th, at which time Brother John Lawson and myself travelled north to Vermont, Bennington County preaching to every person and congregation we could and spent 3 days preaching and warning individuals and trying to get a public meeting in the cities of Abany (Albany), Troy and Lansingbourgh, but could not, and returned back to Brother B. Turner's December 9th and in the month of January I received notice by the paper edited by our brethren in Kirtland that I was wanted there, and the 4th of February, Sister Amoranda Turner, and myself were joined in matrimony, Brother Eleazor Willis, Elder, Administrator, and on the 10th started on foot for Kirtland. On the 24th arrived in Kirtland, but I rode some.
March 3rd, was washed by Peter Whitmer and anointed by Brother Simeon Carter, as one of Zion's Counselors, and not only as a Counselor, but also as a President.
19th was blessed and sealed up by the Presidency. April 7th started on a mission and visited my brother James in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, and returned May 4th to Kirtland, and went to work with Brother Wm. [William] Felshaw. On the 28th of May, Brother John Lawson arrived with Brother Nathan Louis and family and my wife Amoranda.
The patriarchal blessing of Amoranda Murdock, who was born in Kortwright, Delaware County, New York, July 12th, 1810, pronounced by Joseph Smith, Sr., Patriarch of the Church of Latter-day Saints, June 1st, 1836.
Sister Murdock, in the name of Jesus Christ, the son of the Living God, I lay my hands upon thy head, and bless thee with a father's blessing, yea I seal the blessing in common with thy husband upon thee. Thy sins are forgiven and thy name registered in the Lamb's book of life, for thou art faithful thou shalt be blessed with long life and posterity. Thy seed shall be great before God, and some of them shall be filled with the spirit at 12 years old and prophecy all things. Thou shalt stand in the great feast and many of thy relatives with thee. The blessings of the earth and of the heavens are thine, yea if thou art faithful all things are thine which thou canst desire in righteousness. Thy life shall be long. Thy days many and filled up with duty and usefulness. Thou shalt be an inhabitant of Zion, and have an inheritance there with thy husband. Thou shalt truly be his helpmate and participate with him in the joys and sorrows incident to frail mortality, and when thou shalt have passed through this checkered scene be wafted home to glory. These blessings I seal upon thee; And I seal thee up to eternal life even so Amen.
June 3rd. This day Brother John Lawson, myself, Amaranda [Amoranda], my wife, and Brother Davis Nelson and his wife, started from Brother Edmund Bosley's for Missouri, and travelled till the 16th, and arrived at Wm. [William] Ides' five miles west of Dayton, Ohio. And left Mr. Nelson and wife at his cousin's. On the 17th we pursued our journey till the 14th of July, at which time we landed near Crooked River, in Ray County, Missouri about ten o'clock at night.
When we landed on Crooked River, in Ray County, we found from one to two hundred families of the brethren encamped in this neighborhood. Some by the wayside, some in the woods, and some in buildings of different descriptions, all in suspense, waiting to know what to do; for the inhabitants of Clay County had rose [risen] up in defiance of law and gospel, and forbid any further move of our brethren into that county and had passed a decree that those who were in the county should leave. Now these brethren were from the far east, strangers in a strange land, and to add to their affliction, some of them nearly moneyless and many of them sick, and others daily sickening and they might well use the words of the poet, "We have no home nor where to go." Under these trying circumstances the High Council and the Presidents, W. [William] W. Phelps and John Whitmer, and the Bishopric met in council in Clay County, and agreed on a removal of the Church to Shoal Creek. I proclaimed the same to the brethren in this vicinity and on the 30th, according to previous agreement, I, in company with Elder John Corrill met the Ray County Committee, and laid our complaint before them, and desired of them that if we could not have a home with them that they would grant us the privilege of settling on Shoal Creek in the Territorial part of the state; and after calling in a meeting of the county, they granted the latter but would not let us live with them.
August 3rd. This day I started for Shoal Creek, and on the 5th arrived in the section of country, where the brethren W. [William] W. Phelps, John Whitmer, in company with the Bishopric, E. Partridge, I. [Isaac] Morley and John Corrill, had looked out a location, agreeably to the instruction of Brother Joseph, the Prophet. But few of the High Council got there till next spring. The two Presidents did all the business independent of Bishopric or High Council and the Church was dissatisfied.
April 3rd, 1837. At a meeting of the High Council, convened in the town of Far West, seven Counselors present, it was moved and carried [by?] vote that Elias Higbee be clerk of the High Council. After ascertaining that the members of the High Council present were united in their feelings, we resolved to make a request of the two Presidents that they give us explanation of certain items, and we invited the two Presidents, the bishop and his counselors, T. [Thomas] B. Marsh and David Paten [Patten], two of the Apostles, to meet with us on the 5th instance. They did so. And President Phelps was for having the Bishopric and two Apostles to withdraw. I being the oldest of the council told him no, or I, with the High Council, would leave also. And at the snap of a whip the whole Church will leave you. So he yielded the point. And in the course of a three days' meeting, we regulated business and to begin upon, we propounded the following questions.
1st. By what authority was this place pointed out for a city and House of the Lord, and by whom?
2nd. By what authority was a committee appointed and ordained to superintend the building of the House of the Lord?
3rd. By what authority was Jacob Whitmer ordained to the High P. [Priesthood]
4th. Have two Presidents authority to lay out a city, and build a House of God, independent of the High Council and the bishop and his C. [Counselors]
5th. By what authority was one of the High Counselors disfellowshipped, in the name of the High Council, without their knowledge?
6th. Has any individual, or individuals a right to prepare a charge to the Presidency in Kirtland against any High Counselor without the knowledge of the council or individual?
7th. Should not the High Council and Bishopric of Zion who are appointed to as business for Zion receive their inheritance in the core of the city in preference to one that is not particularly required to labor for Zion, or an unbeliever?
8th. Shall any intelligence relative to the building up of Zion, be withheld from the Council of Zion?
9th. Are the two Presidents entitled to the profits arising from the sale of lands on which this city is to be built, independent of the authorities who have been appointed to labor with them for Zion, and have suffered like tribulation with them?
During the three-days meeting we put the High Council and Bishopric in their place in company with the two Presidents. And from this time forth I was a member of the High Council, and being the oldest, presided while in Far West. August 16th. My wife Amoranda died, having been sick about 3 weeks, being 27 years, 1 month and 4 days old. We having lived together 1 year, 2Ç months. May 3rd, 1838, I married Electra Allen, the daughter of Gedeon and Rachel Allen. T. [Thomas] B. Marsh, Elder Administrator.
June 23rd. George M. Hinkle and myself, being sent by the High Council, by direction of Brother Joseph the Prophet, bought the undivided half of the town plot of Dewitt, Caroll County, Missouri, for five hundred dollars, giving our note for the same, Bishop Partrige [Partridge] being our endorser and we with our families proceeded forthwith to settle in Dewitt, it being sixty miles from Far West. About the last of July a committee sent by the mobbers of Carlton, the county seat, namely, Abbot Hancock, John Smart, and Secial Wood, came and ordered us to leave the county by the 7th of August and on the 20th a mob of more than a hundred men came, and ordered us off, but finally gave us ten days and threatened if we were not away in that time they would exterminate us without regard to age or sex and throw our property into the river. The same day, the Sheriff took Elder Hinkle, by virtue of a writ upon the oath of Secial Wood, who was then a Camberland Presbyterian Priest, who swore he was afraid of his life and then did not appear against Hinkle, but remained with the mob to [mob] Hinkle's family during his absence. Also Abbot Hancock is a priest of the same order.
Sometime the last of August or the forepart of September, I having business in Daviess County, and in order to avoid being troubled by the mob on the way, traveled in the night and went 5 miles to David Thomas' and waited till dark and drove 33 miles on a prairie road and arrived at the house of a Brother Wilson, in Teney's Grove, Caldwell County, just at the break of day, and being in a one-horse wagon, and having corn in the wagon, I loosed my horse and tied him to the wagon to eat, and went into the house and found no person in the house, but found the house swept clean and three beds made up. I turned the clothes of one bed down, got into it and fell asleep. I had not been there long till I was awoke by some Ç dozen females around me who appeared to be scared to find a man in bed, but they soon found I was their friend. They informed me of the reason why they all left the house. The mob were so exasperated and threatened the city of Far West, so that the brethren through the whole country had been called to the defense thereof and consequently all the brethren of the Grove had gone, and the sisters had all collected at one house for safety during the night. From thence I drove 22 miles to Far West, and found all the soldiery thus under arms and the whole country in an uproar, within Caldwell and Daviess County. I remained there that night and the next day I borrowed a large pistol of Brother Vester Foot; and Rufus Allen, my wife's brother, went in my wagon with me to Adamon-diaman [Adam-ondi-Ahman], 25 miles.
During the day, we met a number of our brethren under arms going to Far West; but when we had got within 5 miles of Adamon-diaman [Adam-ondi-Ahman], we were traveling on a trot on a smooth prairie road, an elevated rye of land nearby it, running parallel with the road on our left, and just the other side of the ridge a large body of timber, and when we were there, 3 men, armed with rifles, came on horseback into the road forward of us, and cocked their rifles, but I still supposed they were of our brethren, and my horse kept the trot till they stopped him. I, laughing them in the face, did not discover the mistake till the forward one, whose name was E. [Elijah] Frost, cried out, "Damn you. Who are you and where are you going?"
Said I, "Who are you and where are you going?"
And I discovered they were ruffians and as there was three of them and two of us, I thought we would not give up so easy and put my hand to my pistol, but at the same time discovered more of the same company, coming over the ridge. I did not draw my pistol, and they soon were all round the wagon, and I felt very safe, for the Lord took all fear from me. Elijah Frost and some Ç dozen others cocked their rifles at me and damned me, and threatened me very hard if I did not take the pistol out of my pocket, and damned me for putting my hand to my pistol.
I said to them, "Gentlemen, show me two men among you that shall be traveling the road peaceably on their own business as we were doing, and let them be attacked by 3 ruffians, as we supposed we were and if they will not defend themselves, I will show you two cowards and scoundrels."
Said they, "I swear it is a truth."
Those who were threatening me so roughly were on my right and spoke to a man across the wagon on my left, and called him captain. I said is that your captain? They said, "it was." I said, "That is the man I will talk with," and turned away from those Ç dozen that had their rifles cocked at me, and they uncocked them, and I commenced talking with their captain who informed me his name was Cornelius, generally called Neil Gillam. I conversed with him to know what they wanted of us. Some said we should go to Gallatin, the county seat, but the captain said no, we must give up our arms and then pass on. I asked him if we could pass peaceable without being ill-treated. He said we should. I told him our brethren had the same promise in Jackson County and then were driven out the next day at the point of the sword and bayonet.
They then, with one consent, cried out, "Damn you" and cocked their rifles.
I said gentlemen, I have the pledge of your captain, that we are to be well used, and he said, "I have not yet forfeited my word." I don't know you have, said I.
And they again uncocked their rifles, and when we had concluded the conditions of the surrender, which was we were to pass unmolested, and when peace was concluded we were to receive our arms. I surrendered my pistol and Brother Rufus his rifle and Frost wished us well and wanted to shake hands with me. I did so, and told him before he could die well he must repent. They again cried out, "Damn you," we do not repent, and again cocked their rifles, but after a little uncocked them, and I said to them, gentlemen, if you are done with me, and have no further business with me, I want you to open up right and left, and give me room to drive, for I will neither drive through you, or around you. And they opened up right and left, and I drove off on a walk about 10 rods, stopped my horses, stood up in my wagon. They had just formed a line facing me, and I counted them 22 or 23 in number and then drove on to Adamon-diamen [Adam-ondi-Ahman], and found the brethren all under arms for their own defense. We remained till 2 o'clock next morning when we returned to Far West in company with 60 of the brethren from Caldwell, and I remained till past noon the next day and I returned to Dewitt, found my family well.
October 1st. The mob assembled from 1-200 strong and encamped on an old camp meeting ground, at old cross, one mile from Dewitt, and at the same time a mob assembled on the opposite side of the river to prevent us crossing into Salene [Saline?] County, and the mob about Dewitt continued to harass us day and night by shooting at our people in the woods, in corn fields, and firing into town, and into our camps. George M. Hinkle took the command of our men. I of ten men. H. S. Sherwood of ten, Brother Turley ten. I was continually employed, day and night, guarding.
One night we expected an attack, and I travelled all night from one sentinel to another to keep them to their duty, and the next morning at 10 o'clock, 2 of the enemy came to drive our sentinel from his post, John Wakely by name. He stood near a big oak tree and he took shelter by it and fired on them, and continued to load and fire, and another young man being nearby, also treed with him and did likewise, and they kept the enemy in check till our men were on the ground, in line of battle, consisting of about 30. The enemy numbered 150 according to their own report. We exchanged shots with them about Ç hour, but a deep ravine and a good many tree tops lay between us and them, consequently, they were some 30-40 rods from us in the woods. The head of both lines were near a cornfield, besides the road they came in on, and about 30 of their men, at the head of their ranks, got scared at seeing some execution done in their ranks, ran in the woods to the other end of their line and came in contact with 10 of our men, under Captain Surley, who were in ambush, behind a big log, and that scared them again, and they ran back swearing the Mormons were surrounding them, jumping over into the cornfield, and this scared the rest and they followed suit, and away went the whole 150, that were able to run from 30.
But soon Brother Joseph and some 30-40 others came to our assistance, and for a month or two we had been importuning to the Judge Austin A. King, the circuit judge, and the Governor Lilburn W. Boggs, for peace, and protection in our rights, and all our exertion failed us, right in the midst of a state boasting of freedom and liberty of conscience and after maintaining our ground and holding the place about 10 days, against a force 8-10 times our number, we were forced, contrary to the law of the land, or any just right, of either God or man, to surrender the place; although we had bought it with our own money and on the 13th-15th of October, the brethren arrived in Caldwell County. There being from 40-50 families, for quite a number had come on from the eastern country.
The mob immediately withdrew from DeWitt in Carroll County and went to Daviess County, and commenced depredations among the brethren, by taking prisoners and threatening others, whipping, shooting, burning and by destroying cattle, and other property, and then the war was carried on against the Saints, being encouraged though secretly by the authority of the state. Companies and armies gathered in different parts of the country, till October 29th, at which time Generals Lucas, and Wilson, from Jackson County, marched in view of Far West way within 1 mile with an army of 3500 armed men, and three pieces of cannon and there lay devouring and destroying the cattle, sheep, hogs, corn, and every other kind of property, that an ungoverned soldiery could lay their hands on, even shooting cattle and hogs they did not want to make use of.
The people in the country were stealing and carrying off horses, wagons, sheep, hogs, and cattle, and property of every kind. Household furniture and everything they could lay their hands on, abusing men, women, and children, ravishing females, even threatening them with drawn pistols, and dirks, all which conduct continued to be practiced less or more while the Saints remained in the state this army lay their the 31st near the going down of the sun, at which time our beloved brethren were taken into custody by our enemies, being betrayed by G. [George] M. Hinkle, our commanding officer, and others also became deserters from the faith.
And on the 1st of November, the Saints surrendered their arms, and the enemy's whole army marched into Far West, with a troop of 1400 men, and at the same time sent General Wilson of Howard County to Adamondiaman [Adam-ondi-Ahman], with 1000 men, and the saints surrendered to them and so yielded to the authority of the land, although it had become mob authority, and so were subject to the power that was. Generals Lucas and Wilson, and their officers aided by dissenters, such as G. [George] M. Hinkle, John Corrill, Reid Peck, Wm. [William] E. McClellan, Samson Avard, and others at the point of the sword and bayonet, compelled the Saints to sign a deed of trust, and agreed to leave the state, and make many other sacrifices, too numerous to mention, and in the meantime, took our beloved brethren whom I before spoke of, being betrayed, who by name were J. [Joseph] Smith, Jr., Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight, Hyrum Smith, P. [Parley] P. Pratt, and George Robinson, and carried them to Jackson County as Generals Lucas, and Wilson returned, with their men to that place; and General Clark, with his army, being if possible, a more hungry swarm than the first, took what they could get, and laid very heavy burdens upon the Saints, and declared that Governor Boggs had ordered him to exterminate the Mormons or drive them from the state immediately; but he would not do either immediately but if they were not out before raising another crop, he would come upon them with his army and massacre them in toto, without regard to age or sex.
And about the 8th or 9th withdrew his army, taking with him 50-60 of the Saints as prisoners, to Richmond, Ray County, and sent for our brethren who were taken to Jackson County at the same time, and took them also to Richmond, and there dealt with them treacherously, casting some into prison without any just cause, putting others to bail, unjustly, and so deceitfully taking and holding the property of the Saints. They brought up false accusations against them to condemn them, but would allow no testimony on the part of Saints. I travelled 30 miles on foot, principally after night as a witness, but was not allowed to testify.
As I had the command of 10 men in DeWitt, so I also had in Caldwell County, and Robt. [Robert] Snodgrass owned a horse mill, about 3 miles from Far West and he, with his family, dissented from the Church, and ran away out of the country, and I was sent with my ten to guard his mill, and other 10 under Allen Tally, to gather the corn for our army. We did so and said Snodgrass returned with Lucas's army and was so mad as one of Belial's sons could be, and I was told that he swore he would shoot me the first sight. I could have left the country, but I saw it would bring others into trouble for Snodgrass would be on them and I talked to the brethren, Isaac Morley and E. [Edward] Partridge, and laid my plan before them, they approved of it. Accordingly, I went to Snodgrass. He was in his mill. I said to him I wished to talk with him, but we cannot hear each other in the mill, and he walked out with me. He stood and whittled with a large Dirk knife while I talked with him. I said I wish to talk with you about what has taken place, but do not wish to multiply anymore words with you than is really necessary, but I want to know how you are willing to settle the past. He said if I would give him $100 in corn and $9 in cash for wheat he said he bought of Brother James Hendricks and left in the mill, and owed him for it, he would settle. I told him I would give him an answer in 3 days. He said well. I again counseled with Brothers Partridge and Morley and returned answer that I would do so.
Accordingly, I drew up a subscription paper and visited the brethren through the county and had them sign the paper, and attach the number of bushels they would give, till I got the quantity signed, which was 500 bushels. As also, the $9, and also 25 bushels of corn to pay F. H. Gardner, for a hog, he said had been killed. And they both signed receipts as follows: Received 25 bushels of corn in full for a hog, and other damages received by the people called Mormons up to this date. Caldwell County, December 31, 1838. F. H. Gardner. Received the subscriptions of certain individuals to the amount of $109 in full, for damages received by the people called Mormons, up to the present date, as I hereby certify. Robert Snodgrass.
1839 And I arranged my business, having consecrated 3 acres of land in Jackson County, worth $60, and 40 acres near Far West, to Bishop Partrige [Partridge], a year previous and sold 40 acres with 6 acres improvement, for $60, to an enemy, because I could get no more, and left my one city lot, and another half paid for with a house on it in Far West and 5 acres on the commons and on the 4th of February, I started without any team or animal or carriage of any kind to leave the state. My household furniture, and my wife in Brother S. Humphrey's wagon. My son Orrice with me and on the 7th we arrived at Dewitt in October, before I gave the calf and $1 to the man for taking up. I also found that George M. Hinkle was in Keetsville and his family on the way to him to leave the state, and I said to Henry Root and Robt. [Robert] Skelly, the two men that we bought of. George M. Hinkle is in Keetsville and has the deed you gave us and all the rest of the papers, and I am here with my family, and all I have, and if you want anything of me, you must get it now, for the faith that I possess I believe, and I intend to preach it, and I do not calculate to hold property hereafter, but if you will go and fetch Hinkle back, I will remain here till you come, and if you will deliver those notes into my hands, I will give up my deed and right to this place. They said they would, and they did so. And I have here bought a yoke of 3-year old steers, for $25, and a wagon for 30 which took nearly all my money.
And I left on the 14th and reached the bank of the Mississippi River March 1st, and crossed over into Quincy on the 9th, and camped in the woods 1Â miles from Lima where we remained 2 years, where my mind was exercised about preaching, but Father Morley said that we had done enough preaching, and it was our duty to stay and take care of our families, and in the spring of 1841, we moved to Nauvoo, and I was ordained a Bishop over the 5th Ward, August 21st, 1842, where I presided till November 29th, 1844.
And June 9th, 1844, I wrote the following letter to the inhabitants of Delaware County, state of New York, and particularly to the town of Kortwright, greeting the Republic, and fellow citizens, it is with great respect to those who inhabit the soil, and place, that gave me birth, as also esteem for the Constitution, that bind our nation together, as also a love and desire to maintain that I, on the present occasion, address you, desiring that the same boon may be entailed unto our children. I am sensible you are not ignorant of the present factions in government, the riots and mobs throughout the land as also the turmoils, jars, strives, and fights at Washington, for shame: Oh! Virtue where art thou fled! Now what is the cause of all this.
I will show you by a parable. Which of you having six sons, and desiring to have order in his family will let one son deprive the rest of their just rights. Will the rest not by and by do likewise, and will it not cause disorder in the family? Oh what Mayor, or Governor of a city, will let in part of his subjects trample on the rights of others, and those injured apply to him for redress and he tells them "their case is a just one but he cannot help them." Can he expect to govern that people and have order, I say no. And every man and woman of [any] sense says no. Impossible, it is contrary to all logical reasoning, that order should exist under such circumstances. It would be a house divided against itself and Jesus says, "A house or kingdom divided against itself cannot stand." Washington says, "United we stand and divided we fall." And I say so too.
And I would that I could thunder it loud enough to be heard through the world. Republic, that the mountains might tremble, and the inhabitants thereof with those on the valleys and everywhere else, give heed, and in truth and righteousness, and a candid upright step, act accordingly and then we, as a nation, can maintain what our fathers bestowed on us.