[Joseph Smith Sermon] The October general conference of the Church began with discussion of Sidney Rigdon's case . After considerable discussion, Joseph felt that Sidney had exonerated himself in the Carlin matter and was willing to have him continue in his position. However, Joseph said he had a lack of confidence in Sidney. The minutes of these sessions are found in Times and Seasons 4:329-331. (1)
-- Oct 7, 1843
[Joseph Smith Diary] Saturday, October 7th 1843 Attended conference. See minutes on case of S[idney] Rigdon. (2)
[Nauvoo Temple] At a special conference (6-9 October 1843), the first held in the Temple, William Clayton again brought charges against the Temple Committee for partiality in the distribution of provisions to the workers. Hyrum Smith rose in defense of the Committee, and the congregation sustained the members in their positions. (3)
-- Oct 7, 1843 (Saturday Morning)
[Joseph Smith Sermon] (Source: Times and Seasons 4 -15 September 1843-: 329-30 -Words of Joseph Smith, 250) Saturday, 10 o'clock A.M.
Conference assembled and proceeded to business.
President Joseph Smith was called to the chair, and Gustavus Hills chosen clerk.
Opened with singing by the choir, and prayer by elder Almon Babbitt.
The president stated the items of business to be brought before the Conference, to be,
1st. The case and standing of elder Sidney Rigdon, counsellor to the First Presidency.
2d. The further progress of the Temple; after which, any miscellaneous business.
Elder Sidney Rigdon addressed the conference on the subject of his situation and circumstances among the saints.
President Joseph Smith addressed the conference, inviting an expression of any charges or complaints which the Conference had to make. He stated his dissatisfaction with elder Sidney Rigdon as a counsellor, not having received any material benefit from his labors or counsels since their escape from Missouri. Several complaints were then brought forward in reference to his management in the Post Office; a supposed correspondence and connection with John C. Bennett, with Ex-Governor Carlin, and with the Missourians, of a treacherous character: also his leaguing with dishonest persons in endeavoring to defraud the innocent.
President Joseph Smith related to the Conference the detention of documents from J. Butterfield, Esq., which were designed for the benefit of himself, (President Smith,) but was not handed over for some three or four weeks, greatly to his disadvantage. Also, an indirect testimony from Missouri, through the mother of Orin P. Rockwell, that said Rigdon and others had given information, by letter, of President Smiths' visit to Dixon, advising them to proceed to that place and arrest him there. He stated that in consequence of those, and other circumstances, and his unprofitableness to him as a counsellor, he did not wish to retain him in that station, unless those difficulties could be removed; but desired his salvation, and expressed his willingness that he should retain a place among the saints.
Elder Almon Babbitt suggested the propriety of limiting the complaints and proofs to circumstances that had transpired since the last Conference.
President Joseph Smith replied, and showed the legality and propriety of a thorough investigation, without such limitation.
Elder Sidney Rigdon plead, concerning the documents from J. Butterfield, Esq., that he received it in answer to some inquiries which he had transmitted to himâ"that he received it at a time when he was sick, and unable to examine itâ"did not know that it was designed for the perusal and benefit of President Joseph Smithâ"that he had, consequently, ordered it to be laid aside, where it remained until inquired for by Joseph Smith. He had never written to Missouri concerning the visit of Joseph Smith to Dixon, and knew of no other person having done so. That, concerning certain rumors of belligerent operations under Governor Carlin's administration, he had related them, not to alarm or disturb any one, but that he had the rumors from good authorities, and supposed them well founded. That he had never received but one communication from John C. Bennett, and that of a business character, except one addressed to him conjointly with Elder Orson Pratt, which he handed over to Pre
Smithâ"that he had never written any letters to John C. Bennett.
The weather becoming inclement, Conference adjourned until Sunday 10 o'clock A.M. (4)
-- Oct 7, 1843, Saturday
[William Clayton Writings] Saturday 7th. ... At 7 we started in the stage and arrived at Montrose soon after 9 got over the River at 10 and arrived at home at Â¼ before 11. All my family were gone to conference but M. we had a joyful meeting, and she gave me a warm evidence of her love, and never did my affections glow more warmly than during our meeting embrace and during the time we had the privilege to be alone which was untill 3 o clock when the rest of my dear family returned home. My bosom heaved with joy to find them all well ... P.M. went to Morrissons. Sis. Booths, Burbanks &c. S.A. had been at home 2 weeks ago and had gone back. I felt very much disappointed (5)
-- Oct. 7-9, 1843
[Joseph Smith] A special conference is held in Nauvoo. Joseph addresses the congregation to try to convince them that he is dissatisfied with Sidney Rigdon as counselor, and that he thinks Sidney has done a poor job in the management of the post office, has had secret connections with John C. Bennett, and conspired with ex-Gov. Carlin when Joseph was arrested and almost taken back to Missouri on June 23. Joseph says the rift between himself and Sidney has grown too wide, and he does not want him as his counselor anymore. Sidney Rigdon then stands and pleads his case in a highly emotional manner, claiming that he is innocent of any ill feelings toward Joseph, and has never conspired with either John C. Bennett or Gov. Carlin. The weather deteriorates and the meeting is adjourned until the next day, Oct. 8, when Rigdon continues his appeal, listing the many sufferings and trying experiences he and Joseph have gone through together throughout the history of the Church. Elder Alm
on W. Babbitt andJoseph's second counselor, William Law, each speak in defense of Rigdon. Hyrum Smith also asks for mercy for Rigdon. Hyrum Smith seconds a motion by stake president William Marks that Sidney Rigdon be retained as counselor in the First Presidency. It is passed in spite of Joseph's objections. Joseph rises and says, "I have thrown him off my shoulders, and you have again put him on me. You may carry him, but I will not." (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (7 volumes) 6:47-49. For the history of Joseph's growing distrust of Sidney, see F. Mark McKiernan, The Voice of One Crying in the Wilderness. Sidney Rigdon. Religious Reformer 1793-1876 115-24.) (6)
1 - The Parallel Joseph, http://www.boap.org/LDS/Parallel/
2 - Faulring, Scott (ed.), An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith Diary, 1843-44, http://amzn.to/jsdiaries
3 - Brown, Lisle (compiler), Chronology of the Construction, Destruction and Reconstruction of the Nauvoo Temple
4 - The Woodland Institute, http://www.woodlandinstitute.com
5 - Fillerup, Robert C., compiler; William Clayton Nauvoo Diaries and Personal Writings, A chronological compilation of the personal writings of William Clayton while he was a resident of Nauvoo, Illinois. http://www.boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/clayton-diaries
6 - Conklin, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology
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