To refute John C. Bennett's allegations Joseph Smith authorizes publication of affidavits in the Mormon publication THE WASP accusing first counselor Sidney Rigdon's daughter Nancy and Orson Pratt's wife Sarah of sexual misconduct with Bennett. This is part of an ongoing pattern to attack the moral character of women who have publicly told of being approached regarding the still-secret practice of polygamy. (1)
Nauvoo, Illinois. Joseph Smith rode to a grove near the Nauvoo Temple with his wife, Emma Smith, to attend a meeting of the Relief Society. (2)
-- Aug 31, 1842 (Wednesday)
[Joseph Smith Sermon] Location: Grove, Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, USA
Source: Nauvoo Relief Society Minutes (Words of Joseph Smith, 129-31)
Prest. Joseph Smith opened the meeting by addressing the Society. He commenced by expressing his happiness and thankfulness for the privilege of being present on the occasion. He said that great exertions had been made on the part of our enemies, but they had not accomplished their purposeâ"God had enabled him to keep out of their handsâ"he had war'd a good warfare inasmuch as he had whip'd out all of Bennett's host his feelings at present time were that inasmuch as the Lord Almighty had preserv'd him to day. He said it reminded him of the Savior, when he said to the pharisees, "Go ye and tell that fox, Behold I cast out devils, and I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected." &C.
He said he expected the heavenly Father had decreed that the Missourians shall not get himâ"if they do, it will be because he does not keep out of the way.
Pres. S. continued by saying, I shall triumph over my enemiesâ"I have begun to triumph over them at home and I shall do it abroadâ"All those that rise up against me will feel the weight of their iniquity upon their own headsâ"Those that speak evil are abominable characters and full of iniquity. All the fuss and all the stir against me, is like the jack in the lantern, it cannot be found. Altho' I do wrong, I do not the wrongs that I am charg'd with doingâ"the wrong that I do is thro' the frailty of human nature like other men. No man lives without fault. Do you think that even Jesus, if he were here would be without fault in your eyes? They said all manner of evil against himâ"they all watch'd for iniquity. How easy it was for Jesus to call out all the iniquity of the hearts of those whom he was among? The servants of the Lord are required to guard against those things that are calculated to do the most evilâ"the little foxes spoil the vinesâ"little evils do the most
injury to the church
If you have evil feelings and speak of them to one another, it has a tendency to do mischiefâ"these things result in those evils which are calculated to cut the throats of the heads of the church.
When I do the best I canâ"when I am accomplishing the greatest good, then the most evils are got up against me. I would to God that you would be wise. I now counsel you, if you know any thing, hold your tongues, and the least harm will be done.
The Female Relief Society has taken the most active part in my welfareâ"against my enemiesâ"in petitioning to the Governorâ"these measures were all necessaryâ"Do you not see that I foresaw what was coming beforehand? by the spirit of prophecy?â"all had an influence in my redemption from the hand of my enemies.
If these measures had not been taken, more serious consequences would have resulted.
I have come here to bless you. The Society has done wellâ"their principles are to practice holiness. God loves you and your prayers in my behalf shall avail muchâ"let them not cease to ascend to God in my behalf. The enemy will never get weary, I expect he will array everything against meâ"I expect a tremendous warfare. He that will war the christian warfare will have the angels of devils and all the infernal powers of darkness continually array'd against him. When wicked and corrupt men oppose, it is a criterion to judge if a man is warring the christian warfare. When all men speak evil of you, blessed are ye, &C. Shall a man be considered bad when men speak evil of him? No! If a man stands and opposes the world of sin, he may expect all things array'd against him.
But it will be but a little season and all these afflictions will be turned away from us inasmuch as we are faithful and are not overcome by these evils. By seeing the blessings of the endowment rolling on and the kingdom increasing and spreading from sea to sea, we will rejoice that we were not overcome by these foolish things.
Prest. S. then remark'd that a few things had been manifested to him in his absence respecting the baptism for the dead, which he should communicate next Sabbath if nothing should occur to prevent.
Prest. S. then addressed the throne of grace.
Prest. S. said he had one remark to make respecting the baptism for the dead to suffice for the time being, until he has opportunity to discuss the subject to greater lengthâ"that is, all persons baptiz'd for the dead must have a Recorder present, that he may be an eye witness to testify of it. It will be necessary in the grand Council, that these things be testified let it be attended to from this time lest if there is any lack it may be at the expense of our friendsâ"they may not come forth &C. (3)
-- During 1842 Aug
[Lucy Mack Smith] Joseph goes into hiding. (4)
[Prophecy] LDS settle in Rocky Mountains - "I prophesied that the Saints would continue to suffer much affliction and would be driven to the Rocky Mountains, many would apostatize, others would be put to death by our persecutors or lose their lives in consequence of exposure or disease, and some of you will live to go and assist in making settlements and build cities and see the Saints become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains." (Documentary History of the Church 5:85) -- Church critics Jerald and Sandra Tanner claim that this alleged prophesy was inserted into Smith's "Manuscript History" after his death (in a different handwriting). (5)
1 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com
2 - BYU Studies Journal, volume 46, no. 4: A Chronology of the Life of Joseph Smith
3 - The Woodland Institute, http://www.woodlandinstitute.com
4 - Proctor, Scott and Maurine Jensen, editors, History of Joseph Smith by His Mother: Revised and Enhanced
5 - Wikipedia, Prophesies of Joseph Smith, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prophecies_of_Joseph_Smith,_Jr.
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