Mormon History, Dec 12, 1843

-- Dec 12, 1843
After prodding from Joseph Smith to embrace plural marriage, John Taylor is sealed to his first plural wife, Elizabeth Kaighan. (1)

-- Dec 13, 1843
[Joseph Smith] In Missouri, Orrin Porter Rockwell has been in prison for over nine months, never having had a trial. Recently, however, his mother visited him and gave him $100, with which he could afford to hire Mr. Doniphan as counsel. Within two weeks Doniphan got him into court. There being no evidence that could convict Rockwell on the charge of shooting Boggs, he was charged with breaking the Independence jail. In spite of the fact that the Missouri law states that in order to break a jail, "a man must break a lock, a door, or a wall" (and all Porter had done was to walk out when the door was open), Judge King nevertheless orders that Porter has broken jail. He is sentenced to five minutes in the county jail. He is kept there five hours while the Missouri lawmen try to bring another charge against him. Failing to do so, they finally free him at 8 P.M. on Dec. 13, 1843. Doniphan warns him not to walk in daylight or on any known road. Rockwell, having only ragged clothes
and shoes, walksthree or four days toward Illinois. His feet become so raw that at times he pays people 50 cents or 75 cents to carry him on their backs for several miles. After riding on horseback or walking the 150 miles, he finds a small boat in which he can cross the Mississippi to Nauvoo. (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (7 volumes) 6:135-42.) (2)

[Joseph Smith Diary] Wednesday, December 13th 1843 At home. [several lines left blank] About this time Philander Avery having made his escape from M[iss]o[uri] Jail arrived at Nauvoo. (3)

-- Dec 14, 1843
[Joseph Smith] Joseph receives a letter from Governor Ford stating that he will not call out the state militia for the general protection of Nauvoo, except on rare and very specifically defined occasions. He tells Joseph not to worry about past offenses by the state of Missouri, and says, concerning any affidavits about their wrongs in Missouri given to him by the Mormons the previous August, "I have not yet read them and probably never will." Joseph records his personal anger at Ford's letter. (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (7 volumes) 6:113-15.) (2)

[Joseph Smith Diary] Thursday, December 14th At home. (3)

Nauvoo, Illinois. Joseph Smith received a letter from Thomas Ford, governor of Illinois, saying that, as governor, Ford had no place to interfere in individual crimes committed against the Saints in this matter and that punishment belonged to the judicial power and not the executive. (4)

-- Dec 15, 1843
[Joseph Smith Diary] Friday, December 15th 1843 I [Joseph Smith] awoke this morning in good health, but was soon suddenly seized with a great dryness of the mouth and throat and sickness of the stomach, and vomited freely. My wife waited on me assisted by my scribe and Dr. L[evi] Richards, who administered to me herbs and mild drinks. I was never prostrated so low in so short a time before, but by evening was considerably revived. [several lines left blank] Very warm. (3)

Nauvoo, Illinois. After becoming ill in the morning, Joseph Smith was administered herbs and mild drinks by Levi Richards and was considerably revived by evening. (4)

-- Dec 16, 1843
[Anointed Quorum] Evening prayer circle meeting. Wilford Woodruff wrote: "I met with the quorum. President Young & others took the lead of the meeting" (as source for Elden Jay Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1801-1844 [Salt Lake City: Smith Secretarial Service, 1968]., also Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Period I: History of Joseph Smith the Prophet, andÂ…Period II: From the Manuscript History of Brigham Young and Other Original Documents, ed. B. H. Roberts, 7 vols. [Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1902-32; 2d ed. rev. -Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1978].; Document rifled "Meetings of anointed Quorum - Journalizings," for 26 May 1843 to 28 Feb. 1844, retitled "Journal kept for Joseph Smith the Prophet," Smith papers, microfilm, Lee Library, RLDS archives, and Marriott Library. lists date only). (5)

[Brigham Young] --16-- Attended city council. We signed officially the memorial to congress. Evening, attended prayer meeting; I took the lead.

--17 (Sunday)-- I met in the Assembly Room with the Quorum. Brother Samuel H. Smith received his endowments. Brother Joseph preached to us. (6)

1 - Hales, Brian C., Joseph Smith's Polygamy: History and Theology, 2 vols., Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2011 (
2 - Conklin, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology
3 - Faulring, Scott (ed.), An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith Diary, 1843-44,
4 - Joseph Smith Resource Center: Daily Events in the Life of Joseph Smith,
5 - Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Signature Books, 1994, Appendex: Meetings and Initiations of the Anointed Quorum, 1842-45,
6 - Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1801-1844, ed. Elden Jay Watson (Salt Lake City: Smith Secretarial Service, 1968).

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