The endowed quorum meets for prayer. (1)
-- Mar 22, 1844, Friday
[William Clayton Writings] Friday 22nd. P.M. met the Twelve in prayer at B. Youngs. (2)
-- Mar 23, 1844
[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] 23d I spent the day drawing 100 rails from Mr Middletons to the Lot I bought of Hiram Kimball. (3)
[Brigham Young] --23-- Returned to Nauvoo and attended a political meeting. (4)
Joseph Smith gives "the charge" to the apostles and other members of the Council of Fifty. William Clayton writes in his Journal: "A.M. rode with President Joseph and brother Neibaur to Doctor [Robert] Fosters. He was gone to appanose and his wife was at Mr. Gilmans. We went down there and saw her. President Joseph asked Sister Foster if she ever in her life knew him guilty of an immoral or indecent act. She answered no. He then explained his reasons for asking and then asked if ever he had used any indecent or insulting language to her, she answered, never. He further asked if he ever preached any thing like the spiritual wife doctrine to her only what he had preached in public. She said no! He asked her if he ever proposed to have illicit intercourse with her and especially when he took dinner during the Doctors absence. She said no. After some further conversation on the subject we left. Mrs. Gilman was present all the time." (5)
Joseph Smith is informed that William Law, Wilson Law, Robert D. Foster, Chauncey L. Higbee, and Joseph Jackson are conspiring to kill the Smith family. (6)
-- March 23rd 1844
[High Council Minutes]
High Council met according to adjournment at the residence of Prest W. Marks. No buisness. Adjourned till next Saturday the 30th at 1 o'clock P.M.
Hosea Stout Clerk (7)
-- Mar 23, 1844
[Joseph Smith Diary] Saturday, March 23rd At home. Rode out and spent the day in councilling. Warmer. (8)
Nauvoo, Illinois. Joseph Smith and William Clayton appealed for donations for supplies for Latter-day Saint lumbermen laboring in Wisconsin. (9)
In the presence of witnesses Joseph Smith confronts R. D. Foster's wife to diffuse rumors R. D. Foster had been spreading about the Prophet. (1)
Joseph Smith is warned by two non-members concerning plans laid by William and Wilson Law, R. D. Foster, Chauncey L. Higbee, and Joseph H. Jackson. The Warsaw Signal publishes "The Buckeye's First Epistle to Jo, probably penned by Wilson Law. (1)
-- Mar 23, 1844, Saturday
[William Clayton Writings] Sunday 24th ... A.M. ... went to the Temple heard Pres. J. speak a little also O. Spencer and S. Rigdon (2)
-- Mar 24, 1844
[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] 24th March Sunday I met with the saints at the Temple. When I arived President Joseph Smith was speaking. The following is the substance of what I herd him say:
I have been informed by two gentleman that a conspiricy is got up in this place for the purpose of taking the life of President Joseph Smith his family and all the Smith family & the heads of the Church. One of the gentleman will give his name to the public & the other wishes it to be hid for the present. They will both testify to it on oath & make an affidavit upon it. The names of the persons revealed at the head of the conspiracy are as follows: (Chancy Higby Dr Foster, Mr Jackson, Wm. & Wilson Law). And the lies that Higby has hatched up as a foundation to work upon is, he says that I had mens heads Cut off in Missouri & that I had a sword run through the hearts of the people that I wanted to kill & put out of the way. I wont sware out a warrent against them for I dont fear any of them. They would not scare of an old setting hen.
I intend to publish all the iniquity that I know of. If I am guilty I am ready to bear it. Their is honor among enemies. I am willing to do any thing for the good of the people.
I will give the names of one of the gentleman who have divulged the plot. His name is Eaton. He will sware to it. He is a bold fellow. Jackson said a Smith should not be alive 2 weeks not over two months any how. As concerning the Character of these men I will say nothing about it now but If I hear any thing more from them on this subject I will tell what I know about them.
Elder O. Spencer Addressed the people as follows: I thought of a figure ie. if a physician was going to dissect a body he would not begin at the limbs but cut the head of first. So the Adversary has laid a plan to cut off the head of the Church with the intention of scattering & destroying the whole body. It was so in the days of Jesus Christ. The enemies sought to kill him that the body might be destroyed, which was also the case in the days of Elijah, Daniel, & many of the ancients.
I once herd a man say who was opposed to this work that it might be true but it gave Jo Smith Power. True said I. But if his power be subordinate to the power of God it is right. If a man set up a kingdom by the power of God then let others seek power from the same source. God sets up kingdoms & pulls down kingdoms. This makes men mad that will not submit to the kingdom of God.
We all know the result of the power of Moses who was the representative of God. Judging from what is past how will it be when God sets up his kingdom in the last days? Whether their is a conspiracy now or not I dont know, but no doubt their will be if not know for it has always been so. In the days of the Nephites they had their Gadianton robers. I have not any doubt but that the Apostates will Join with the others wicked powers to try to put down the power of God. And I am glad to have the power of the kingdom of God tested & when it is fully tried it will stand.
I care not what sacrifice I am Called to make for such a kingdom, if its friends, welth or even life at the purchase of such a kingdom it is Cheap. Did the ancient Apostles, Prophets or Saints who died pay two much for that kingdom? They did not. It is necessary that men be put in possession of the knowledge & mysteries of the kingdom of God in order to sin as far as they wish that they may go to the highest pitch. How often men lay down their lives for their country & other purposes. Much better then to die for the cause of God.
Good and righteous men will administer Justice & rebuke evil & the Church should be Clensed from bad men & the Lord will take his own way to Clens the Church. We should lift up our voice against wickedness of all kinds.
But will the rulers of our land do it? No they will not. They will be Cowards untill their is no man to fight & then be brave. When goverment will not do it some man should take the helm of government that will do it. Will it be called treason if the God of heaven should set up a kingdom? May the Lord give you more & more of his spirit light & intelligence untill you are cemented together in union & love. Amen.
President S Rigdon arose & addressed the assembly in an interesting manner for a length of time. The following are a few Items of his remarks:
If according to the remarks in the morning A conspiracy does exhist with the persons that have been named, It is one of those kind of associations that Could not exhist in any thing except against the kingdom of God.
A word Concerning power. History refers us back beyound Civilization in treating upon this subject. In consequence of power, their is strength & glory. Whare their is no power it is like flies without any order or rule. I have viewed the nations of the earth & the way they are relaxing in power & the course they are persuing. One hundred years will not pass away till there would not be a man or woman on the earth, and nothing but the hand of God can save it, & this is why God would send Elijah to do his work, for all the power the nations will soon have is to destroy each other. For soon nation will be against nation party against party the rich against the poor & the poor against the rich untill they are destroyed from under heaven.
Tradition says the pope destroyed the Church of God. Rome followed the Church as long as their was a saint & now you say the pope killed fifty millions of Christians. You lie sir. Their was not a Christian on Earth, for when rome killed the Christians & would not have God rule they wanted a pope & God gave them one or permitting them to have one & he killed fifty millions, its true. But they were not Christians for they wer already dead, but it was of their own number ownly differed from them in sentiment. Here was power with a vengance.
But as soon as God sends a man to use the power of God then they are afraid of power. Now the world says the religion of Jesus shed this blood & the bible &c but men must be vary ignorant of the bible & the religion of Jesus Christ to, to say such things. For it was for the want of religion & the bible that Caused the blood to be shed. For God Jesus Christ nor religion had any more hand in it than you had. The power of God & Jesus Christ & religion would have saved if they had had it.
(President Joseph Smith again arose & said In relation to the power over the minds of mankind which I hold, I would say it is in consequence of the power of truth in the doctrins which I have been an instrument in the hands of God of presenting unto them & not because of any compulsion on my part. I will ask if I ever got any of it unfair. If I have not reproved you in the gate. I ask did I ever exercise any compulsion over any man? Did I not give him the liberty of disbelieveing any doctrin I have preached if he saw fit? Why do not my enemies strike a blow at the doctrin? They cannot do it, it is truth. And I am as the voice of one crying in the wilderness repent of your sins & prepare the way for the coming of the son of Man, for the kingdom of God has come unto you and henceforth the ax is laid unto the root of the tree and evry tree that bring-eth not forth good fruit, God Almighty (and not Jo Smith) shall hew down & cast it into the fire.) (3)
1 - Hales, Brian C., Joseph Smith's Polygamy: History and Theology, 2 vols., Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2011 (www.JosephSmithsPolygamy.com)
2 - 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
3 - Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
4 - Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1801-1844, ed. Elden Jay Watson (Salt Lake City: Smith Secretarial Service, 1968).
5 - On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com
6 - The Woodland Institute 'On This Day Historical Database,' http://www.woodlandinstitute.com
7 - Minutes of the High Council of the Church of Jesus Christ of Nauvoo Illinois: Nauvoo Hancock County Illinois, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
8 - Faulring, Scott (ed.), An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith Diary, 1844, http://amzn.to/jsdiaries
9 - Joseph Smith Resource Center: Daily Events in the Life of Joseph Smith, http://josephsmith.net/josephsmith/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=e581001cfb340010VgnVCM1000001f5e340aRCRDlocale=0
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