Mormon History, Mar 31, 1844

-- Mar 31, 1844
[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] 31 Sunday Spent the day at home. (1)

William Clayton, Joseph Smith's personal secretary, writes that his two wives "received their anointing for which I feel thankful . . . my greatest desire is to so live that I may secure for myself and mine the highest degree of exaltation and glory which is possible for me to obtain, and to be with my friend Joseph smith in the eternal world." The "anointing" Clayton speaks of is the endowment. They didn't receive their second anointing until Jan 26, 1846. Joseph Smith signs his petition to the U.S. Government to allow Joseph "the privilege of raising 100,000 [military] volunteers to protect the Texas, Oregon, &c." (2)

Nauvoo, Illinois. Joseph Smith signed two petitions to the United States Congress and one to United States president John Tyler that he wrote the previous day. (3)

[Joseph Smith Diary] Sunday, March 31st 1844 At home this morning. At 9 [A.M.] went to my reading room and signed a Memorial to Congress for the privilege of raising 100,000 volunteers to protect the Texas, Oregon, &c. dated 26th. Also a Memorial to the Presi[dent] for the same purpose if the other fail and an introductory letter to Orson Hyde who was going to car[r]y the Memorials to Washington.

About noon the funeral of Gen[eral] Wilson Law's wife was attended.

About this time Bro[ther] Mills, one of the police, informed me that [blank [Chauncey]] Higby /&c/ drew a pistol on him the night before &c. I instructed him to make complaint to Esqu[ire] Wells and have him apprehended. A very cold time for a week past. (4)

-- During 1844, March
[Joseph Smith] In a meeting with the Twelve Apostles and others, charges the Twelve to govern the Church in the event of his death, explaining that he has conferred upon them all the ordinances, authority, and keys necessary to do so. (5)

-- During Mar 1844
Joseph Smith gives the power of the Church to the Apostles [per the Apostles]. (6)

[Nauvoo Temple] A second crane was erected and rigged during the month. Elisha Averett was the principal mason who worked from this crane. He was called the "principal backer up," because he laid the inside courses of stone. His assistants were his brothers, Elijah and John, as well as Truman Leonard. Those who hoisted stone on the crane were John Harvey, Thomas M. Pearson, George M. Potter and William L. Cutler. (7)

-- During Mar. 1844
[Joseph Smith] Delivers Last Charge to the Twelve Apostles, putting responsibility for the work of the kingdom on their shoulders. (8)

-- During March 1844
Concerned with protecting his people's rights, Smith sent Pratt to Washington, D.C., in March 1844. There Pratt published the Prophetic Almanac. When he learned in late July that Smith had been assassinated the previous month he returned to Illinois. In Nauvoo, the apostles defended their right to leadership of the church, worked to complete the temple, and introduced the Saints to the temple ceremonies. Meanwhile, Orson Pratt went to New York to preside over the church there and to publish The Messenger. (9)

[Relief Society] Four meetings were held in March 1844, but because of Emma Smith's stance against plural marriage, and her use of the society as a forum for her protests, further meetings were proscribed. (10)

-- During March-April 1844
[Nauvoo] Joseph Smith conferred the keys of temple work upon the Twelve Apostles. (11)

-- Apr 1, 1844
[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] April 1st I went out onto the praire & I finished sowing my spring wheat. I put in four acres in all. (1)

Heber C. Kimball writes in his journal: "Apriel the first day 1844 I Heber C Kimball received the washing of my feet, and was annointed by my wife Vilate fore my burial. that is my feet head Stomach. Even as Mary did Jesus, that She mite have a claim on him in the Reserrection" [original spellings retained] (2)

[Joseph Smith] Several minor lawsuits are held concerning the Higbees, Foster, and others. (12)

[Joseph Smith Diary] Monday, April 1st 1844 Easton was brought up as being accessory to whipping Chism. I referred the case to Alderman Wells. On investigations, it appeared to the satisfaction of the court that he had been on trial for the same offence before Robert D. Foster and acquitted. It was evident to all present that it was a mock trial and so conducted designedly to frustrate the ends of justice, but it was thought best to acquit Easton and appeal from /to/ county court.

Francis L. Higby was fined $10.00 by Alderman Wells for abusive language to the Marshal. Francis L. Higby and Chaunc[e]y L. Higby were brought up for assualting the police before Wells and acquitted. Cool and windy. (4)

1 - Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993,
2 - On This Day in Mormon History,
3 - Joseph Smith Resource Center: Daily Events in the Life of Joseph Smith,
4 - Faulring, Scott (ed.), An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith Diary, 1844,
5 - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, Salt Lake City, Utah
6 - Tidd, N. R., "Mormon Chronology"
7 - Brown, Lisle (compiler), Chronology of the Construction, Destruction and Reconstruction of the Nauvoo Temple
8 - Highlights in the Prophet's Life, Ensign, June 1994
9 - Utah History Encyclopedia: Orson Pratt,
10 - Utah History Encyclopedia: Relief Society,
11 - LDS Church News: Nauvoo -- The City of Joseph,
12 - Conklin, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology

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