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Sermon delivered at Nauvoo temple grounds on Friday May 26, 1844
Source: Leo Hawkins manuscript (CHL: MS 155 Box 4 folder 6) prepared from a ms by Thomas Bullock. [Thomas Bullock's original notes of the sermon have not been located. See Historian's Office Journal (LDS Archives). However, it is likely that Bullock's original corresponds to what is left when the evident insertions and deletions are removed.]

Prest. J. Smith read the 11th Ch. 2nd Corinthians. My object is to let you know that I am right here on the spot^where I intend to stay. I, like Paul have been in perils _ and oftener than anyone in this generation- as Paul boasted _ I have suffered more than Paul did _ I should be like a fish out of water if I were out of persecutions; perhaps my brethren think and it requires all this to keep me humble _ the Lord has constituted me so curiously that I glory in persecution;- I am not near so humble as if I was not persecuted. If oppression will make a wise man mad, much more a fool._ If they want a beardless boy to whip all the world, I will get on the top of a mountain and crow like a rooster; I shall always beat them _ when facts are proved, truth and innocence will prevail at last. My enemies are no philosophers; they think that when they have my spoke under, they will keep me down_ but for the fools. I will hold on, and fly over them. God is in the still small voice _ in all these affidavits, indictments it is all of the devil_ all corruption. Come on ye prosecutors, ye false swearers, all hell boil over, ye burning mountains roll down your lava, for I will come out on the top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole^ church together since the days of Adam _ a^large majority of the whole have stood by me:- neither Paul, John, Peter nor Jesus never did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as me _ the followers of Jesus ran away from him, but the Latter Day Saints never ran away from me yet. You know my daily walk and conversation. I am in the bosom of a virtuous and good family.people How I do love to hear the wolves howl: when they can get rid of me, the devil will also go. For the last three years I have a record of all my acts and proceedings^ for I have kept several good faithful and efficient clerks in constant employ, they have accompanied me every where & carefully kept my history, and they have written down what I have done, where I have been & what I have said therevfore my enemies cannot charge me with any day or time^ or place _ but what I have written testimony, to prove my actions, and my enemies for they cannot prove anything against me. They have got wonderful things in the Land of Ham. I think the grand jury have strained at a gnat and swallowed the camel. A man named Simpson says I made^ an affidavit against him &c Mr Simpson says I arrested him. I never arrested Mr Simpson in my life. He says I made^ an affidavit against him. I never made an affidavit against him in my life. I will prove it atin court.^ I will tell you how it was: Last winter I got ready with my children to go to the farm, to kill hogs. O. P. Rockwell was going to drive. An Englishman came in and wanted a private conversation. with me I^ told him I did notdont want say private conversations. I demand one of you, such a one I am bound to obey any how: Said he I want a warrant against the man who stabbed bro. Badham; he said it was a man who boarded at Davis'. He said it was Mr Simpson. It answered his description. I said I haved no jurisdiction out of the city. He said the man must be arrested, or else he will go away. I told him: "You must go to Squire Wells, Johnson or Foster." Mr Lytle stepped up and said I am a policeman. I jumped into my carriage and away I went. When I came back, I met Mr Jackson. He said you did wrong in arresting Mr Simpson. I told him I did not do it. I went over and sat down, and related the circumstances. He turned round and said Mr Smith I have nothing against you, I am satisfied. He went and supped with me._ He declared in the presence of witnesses that he had nothing against me. I then said I will go over to^ Esquire Johnson, and testify what the Englishman told me. I told him not to make out that I believe he is the man, but that I believe he is innocent. I don't want to swear that he is the man. Mr Coolidge, Rockwell, Hatfield, and Hawes were present. Mr Johnson made made one out in due form, and as I sat down in a bustle the same as I do when one of the Clerks brings a deed for me to sign Johnson read it. I said I can't swear to that affidavit _ I don't believe it, tear up that paper. Mr Simpson agreed to come before Badham and make it up. I did not swear to it. After a while Dr Foster and others came in - they called me up to testify. I told it all the same as I do here. Mr Simpson rose up and asked "do you believe now that I am the man who stabbed Mr Badham." I replied No sir, I do not now, nor ever did; the magistrate says I did not swear to it." He considered, and made a public declaration that he was satisfied with me. Aaron Johnson went before the Grand Jury and^swore I did not swear to it: when Dr Foster goes and swears that I swore to it, and that he was in the room _ when he was not in, Chauncey wanted me to stay and have a conversation, Dr Foster asked Aaron Johnson for the writ and affidavit. He handed them to Dr Foster who read them, and then threw them into the fire. I said Dr you ought not to have burned it, it was my paper. Dr Foster goes to the Grand Jury and swears he did not burn only one^. but I say he burnt both He burned both. This is a fair sample of the swearing that is going on against me. The last discharge was the 40th. now the 41st 42nd 43rd all through falsehood. Matters of fact are as un profitable as the gospel, and which I can prove: you will then Know who are liars, and who speak^ the truth I want to retain your friendship on holy grounds _

AnAnother indictment^ has been got up against me. it appears an holy prophet has arisen up^ and he has testified against me_ the reason is, he is so holy _ the Lord knows I do not care how many churches are in the world _ as many as believe me, -may- if the doctrine that I preach is true, the tree must be good- I have prophesied things that have come to pass, and can still. Inasmuch as there is a new church, this must be old,^and of course we ought to be set down as orthodox - from henceforth let all the churches now no longer persecute orthodoxy I never built out^upon any^ other man's ground. I never told the old Catholic that he was a fallen true prophet God knows then that the charges against me are false _ I had not been married^scarcely 5 min. and made one proclamation^ of the gospel before it was reported that I had seven wives. I mean to live^ and proclaim the truth as long as I can._ This new holy prophet^ (William Law) has gone to Carthage and swore that I had told him that I was guilty of adultery,_ this Spiritual wifeism - ^why a man dares not speak, or wink, for fear of being accused of this _ William Law testified before 40 Police^men. anda whole number the assembly room full of witnesses, that he testified under oath, that he never^ had heard, or seen, or knew anything^ immoral or criminal against me. He testified under oath that he was my friend, and not the Brutus. There was a cogitation who was the Brutus.- I had not prophesied against William Law. He swore, under oath, that he was satisfied, that he was ready to lay down his life for me, and he swears that I have committed adultery _ I wish the Grand Jury would tell me who they are - whether it will be a course or blessing to me.- I am quite tired of the fools asking me.- A man asked me whether the commandment was given that a man may have seven wives;- and now the new prophet has charged me with Adultery. I never had any fuss^ with these men until that Female Relief Society brought out the paper against adulterers and adulteresses.1- Dr Goforth was invited into the Laws' clique- and Dr Foster and the clique were dissatisfied with that document- and they rush away and leave the Church, and conspire to take away my life; and because I will not countenance such wickedness^ they proclaim that I have been a true prophet, but that I am now a fallen prophet. Jackson has committed murder, robbery,^& perjury, and I can prove it by half a dozen witnesses Jackson got up, and said "By God he is innocent;" and now swears that I am guilty- he threatened my life. There is another Law, not the prophet, who was cashiered for dishonesty and robbing the government. Wilson Law also swears that I told him I was guilty of adultery. Brother^ Jonathan Dunham can swear to the contrary I have been chained _ I have rattled chains before_^ in a dungeon for the truth's sake I am innocent of all these charges, and you can bear witness^ of my innocence; for you know me yourselves. When I love the poor I ask no favors of the rich _ I can go to the cross, I can lay down my life; but don't forsake me. I want the friendship of my brethren - let us teach the things of Jesus Christ _ pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a downfall _ be meek and low^ly upright and pure; render good for evil _ If you bring on yourselves your own destruction, I will complain _ It is not right for a man to bear down his neck to the oppressor always. Be humble, patient in all circumstances of life. We shall then triumph more gloriously _ What a thing it is for a man to^ be accused of committing adultery, and haveing seven wives, when I can only find one

I am the same man, and as innocent as I was 14 years ago. and I can prove them all perjurers. I labored with themse^ apostates myself until I was out of^ all manner of patience, and then I sent my brother, Hyrum whom they virtually kicked him out of doors. I then sent Mr Backenstos when they declared that he might tell the Laws enemies if they had any cause against me I would go before the the Church and confess it to the world. He was summoned time and again, but refused^. to come Dr Bernhisel and Elder Rigdon know that I speak the truth._ I cite you to Captain Dunham,^ Esquires Johnson,& Wells^bro Hatfield and others for the truth of what I have said. I have said this to let my friends know that I am right _ As I grow older, my heart grows tenderer for you. I willam at all times willing to give up everything that I is wrong for I wish this people to to am wanted, in order that good may have a virtuous leader _ I have set your minds at liberty by letting you know the things of Jesus Christ Jesus _ when I shrink not from your defense, will you throw me away for a new man who slanders you?_ I love you for your reception of me _ Have I asked you for your money?_ No, you know better. I appeal to the poor. I say cursed be that man or woman who says that I have taken of your money unjustly. Brother Babbitt will address you. I have nothing in my heart but good feelings.


1. Emma Smith had been using the organization to harass plural wives and while she avoided public confrontation with her husband on the issue, it had become a wedge between them. Emma's support for the practice varied, partly depending on her worries about the issues swirling around Nauvoo and her husband, and at times, feelings of jealousy. See 26May42, 15Oct43.

Copyright © 2000, 2007. W. V. Smith and the Book of Abraham Project. All rights reserved. Hawkins ms copyright © 2001, Intellectual Reserve. Files in The Parallel Joseph may be read at this site, but may not be copied to reside anywhere else. They may not be printed or distributed in any manner without written permission of the copyright holder.