Mormon History, Aug 29, 1842

-- Aug 29, 1842
[Polygamy] to 29 Aug 1842 Smith sends 380 Elders across the country to deny allegations of his polygamy. Joseph Smith calls and holds a special conference in Nauvoo. At that conference 380 elders volunteer to travel nationwide to distribute a broadside (a two-paged newspaper) filled with affidavits and certificates in a massive effort to convince the public, among other things, that that Joseph Smith was not a polygamist. Smith spearheads this endeavor, which is one of his greatest efforts to deny he was practicing plural marriage. It was such a tremendous undertaking and was promoted with such zeal that it can rightly be called a crusade. Smith had been arrested on August 8 by Missouri officials on charges that he had been an accomplice in the attempted assassination of former Missouri governor,Lilburn Boggs. The Prophet was released the same day of his arrest by the Nauvoo Municipal Court. He then went into hidingfirst in Iowa, and then back in Nauvoo. Upon his return to Na
uvoo, Smith recorded: "I advised the Twelve to call a special conference on Monday next (August 29), to give instructions to the elders, and call upon them to go forth upon this important mission; meantime, that all the affidavits concerning Bennett's conduct be taken and printed, so that each elder could be properly furnished with correct and weighty testimony to lay before the public." On Monday, August 29, a vast crowd of concerned Saints gathers at the Grove near the Temple for the conference. Near the close of Hyrum's address, Joseph, who had not been seen in public for three weeks, walks up onto the stand and sits down. Joseph's sudden appearance is a great surprise, for there was speculation among the Saints that he had gone to Washington or Europe, while others believed he was still in Nauvoo. After Hyrum concludes speaking, Joseph addresses the large congregation. He referrs to the affidavits and certificates which he had been busily preparing, by giving both a plea
and a prophecy as he proclaimes: "Let the Twelve send all who will support the character of the Prophet, the Lord's anointed; and if all who go will support my character, I prophesy in the name of the Lord Jesus, whose servant I am, that you will prosper in your missions." (LDS History of the Church 5:139) After the Prophet speaks, 380 elders volunteer to go on "missions" to spread the Affidavits and Certificates throughout the nation (see Dean C. Jessee, The Papers of Joseph Smith 2:447). These men leave their families, homes, and jobs to travel thousands of miles to distribute the Affidavits and Certificatesand to give their own testimonies that Joseph is not a polygamist. LOCATION: Nauvoo, IL SOURCE: LDS History of the Church 5:131132; RLDS History of the Church 2:613; ; see also Dean C, Jessee, The Papers of Joseph Smith 2 [Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1992]: 443444) (1)

-- Aug 29, 1842 (Monday Morning)
[Joseph Smith Sermon] Location: Grove Near Temple, Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, USA
Source: Manuscript History of the Church (Words of Joseph Smith, 127-29)
Near the close of Hyrum's remarks I went upon the Stand. I was rejoiced to look upon the Saints once more, whom I have not seen for about three weeks. They also were rejoiced to see me, and we all rejoiced together. My sudden appearance on the Stand under the circumstances which surrounded us, caused great animation and cheerfulness in the Assembly. Some had supposed that I had gone to Washington, and some that I had gone to Europe, while some thought I was in the City; but whatever difference of opinion had prevailed on this point, we were now all filled with thanksgiving and rejoicing. When Hyrum had done speaking I arose and congratulated the brethren and Sisters on the victory I had once more gained over the Missourians. I had told them {formerly about fighting the Missourians, and about fighting alone. I had not fought them with the Sword, or by carnal weapons; I had done it by stratagem, by outwitting them, and there had been no lives lost, and there would be no lives
if they would hearken to my Council. Up to this day God had given me wisdom to save the people who took Council. None had ever been killed who abode by my Council. At Hauns Mill the brethren went contrary to my Council; if they had not, their lives would have been spared. I had been in Nauvoo all the while, and outwitted Bennett's associates, and attended to my own business in the City all the time. We want to whip the world mentally and they will whip themselves physically. The brethren cannot have the tricks played upon them that were done at Kirtland and Far West, they have seen enough of the tricks of their enemies and know better. Orson Pratt has attempted to destroy himself and caused all the city almost to go in search of him. Is it not enough to put down all the infernal influence of the devil, what we have felt and seen, handled and evidenced of this work of God? But the Devil had influence among the Jews after all the great things they had witnessed to cause the de
ath of
Jesus Christ by hanging him between heaven and earth. O. Pratt and others of the same class caused trouble by telling stories to people who would betray me, and they must believe those stories because his Wife told him so! I will live to trample on their ashes with the souls of my feet. I prophecy in the name of Jesus Christ that such shall not prosper, they shall be cut down in their plans. They would deliver me up Judas like, but a small band of us shall overcome. We dont want or mean to fight with the sword of the flesh, but we will fight with the broad Sword of the Spirit. Our enemies say our Charter and writs of Habeas Corpus are worth nothing. We say they came from the highest authority in the State and we will hold to them. They cannot be disannulled or taken away. I then told the brethren I was going to send all the Elders away, and when the Mob came there would only be women and children to fight and they would be ashamed. I dont want you to fight but to go and gath
tens, hundreds, and thousands to fight for you. If oppression comes, I will then shew them that there is a Moses and a Joshua amongst us; and I will fight them, if they dont take off oppression from me. I will do as I have done this time. I will run into the woods. I will fight them in my own way. I will send brother Hyrum to call conferences everywhere throughout the States and let documents be taken along and show to the world the corrupt and oppressive conduct of Boggs, Carlin, and others, that the public may have the truth laid before them. Let the Twelve send all who will support the character of the Prophet, the Lord's anointed, and if all who go will support my character, I prophecy in the name of the Lord Jesus, whose servant I am, that you will prosper in your missions. I have the whole plan of the kingdom before me, and no other person has. And as to all that Orson Pratt, Sidney Rigdon, or George W. Robinson can do to prevent me, I can kick them off my heels, as ma
ny as
you can name, I know what will become of them. I concluded my remarks by saying I have the best of feelings towards my brethren, since this last trouble began, but to the Apostates and enemies, I will give a lashing every opportunity and I will curse them}. During the address an indescribable transport of good feeling was manifested by the Assembly and about 380 Elders volunteered to go immediately on the proposed Mission. (2)

1 - Joseph Smith Polygamy Timeline,
2 - The Woodland Institute,

LDS History Timeline

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