Mormon History, Mar 10, 1844

-- Mar 10, 1844
[Brigham Young] --10-- I attended council with the Twelve, arranging appointments for conferences the ensuing season through the United States. (1)

Joseph Smith holds a preliminary meeting for the Council of Fifty. Participants are sworn to "perfect secrecy." (2)

[Joseph Smith Diary] Sunday, March 10th 1844 /A.M./ I attended meeting at the Stand by the Temple and preached on the subject of the spirit of /Elias/ Elijah, and Mesiah clearly defining the offices of the 3 personages. The Savior will not come this year /nor 40 years to come/. The bow has been seen in the cloud and in that year that the bow is seen seed time and harvest will be, but when the bow ceases to be seen look out for a famine.

4 1/2 P.M. I met the 12 [Apostles] Bishop [George] Miller Temple Committee at Nauvoo Mansion. Letter was read from Lyman Wight and others Dated February 15th 1844 to B[righam] Young, W[illard] Richards, &c. about removing to the table lands of Texas /Saxet [Texas]/&c. &c. Also a letter to Joseph Smith &c. from Lyman Wight and others a committee of the branch at the pinery, Black River Falls, Feb[ruary] 15[th] 1844, on the [ . . . [same issue]]

Joseph asked, can this council keep what I say, not make it public, all held up their hands. [Joseph then proceeded to organize the Council of Fifty to oversee the settlement of Texas and eventually to rule over the political Kingdom of God on earth.]]

Copy the Constitution of the U[nited] S[tates], [placed in the]] hands of a select committee [as a guide in drafting a constitution for the council].

No laws can be enacted but what every man can be protected [from?]. Grant their petition, go ahead concerning the Indians and Southern states &c. [several lines left blank]

Send 25 men by /the yrenip [Pinery]/ through to Santa Fee /Atnas Eef[Santa Fe]/ &c, and if Houston /Notsuoh[Houston]/ will embrace the gospel [ . . . ] [We]] can amend that constitution and make it the voice of Jehovah and shame the U[nited] S[tates.] Parley Pratt in favor. Hyrum concured. Said Joseph, "Let us adjourn till after supper to the school room."

7 Eve assembled at the assembly room over the store, Joseph, Hyrum, Brigham, 12 [Apostles], Temple committee, Phelps, A. Fielding, J. Phelps, Wasson. Joseph required perfect accrecy of them

Evening in council over the store. {page (3)

-- Mar 10, 1844, Sunday
[William Clayton Writings] Sunday, March 10. ... Evening attended Council with the First Presidency and the Twelve on important business arrising from a letter from the Pine Country. Bro., W. Richards was appointed Chairman and myself, was appointed Clerk. (4)

[William Clayton Writings] The philosophical roots for the organization of the Council of Fifty reached back many years, and were directly related to the millennial expectations of the church. The immediate impetus, however, came from two letters signed by Lyman Wight and four other brethern who were working in the church's lumber camps in Black River Falls, Wisconsin Territory. These were read at a special meeting of the Twelve, Bishop George Miller, and the Nauvoo Temple Committee on the evening of 10 March 1844. The letters proposed a grandiose plan for Mormon colonization in the Southwest, and led to an important discussion where, according to Clayton, ``many great and glorious ideas were advanced.'' (4)

-- Mar 11, 1844
[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] /11th A Council of <fifty> Elders was organized to day or had it Commencement to further the interest of kingdom of God./ (5)

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] March 11 We spent the day and night at Br Ben-bows. Our son had a sick night. It was a cold rainy time. (5)

[Brigham Young] --11-- Joseph commenced the organization of a council for the purpose of taking into consideration the necessary steps to obtain redress for the wrongs which had been inflicted upon us by our persecutors, and also the best manner to settle our people in some distant and unoccupied territory; where we could enjoy our civil and religious rights, without being subject to constant oppression and mobocracy, under the protection of our laws, subject to the constitution.

The council was composed of about fifty members, several of whom were not members of the Church.

We prepared several memorials to congress for redress of grievances, and used every available means to inform ourselves of the unoccupied territory open to settlers. We held a number of sessions and investigated the principles upon which our national government is founded; and the true foundation and principles of all governments.

Joseph Smith was appointed chairman, William Clayton, clerk, and Willard Richards, historian of the council.

--12, 13 and 14-- Attended special councils.

--17 (Sunday)-- Attended prayer meeting. (1)

1 - Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1801-1844, ed. Elden Jay Watson (Salt Lake City: Smith Secretarial Service, 1968).
2 - On This Day in Mormon History,
3 - Faulring, Scott (ed.), An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith Diary, 1844,
4 - 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.
5 - Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993,

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