Mormon History, Jun 22, 1844

-- Jun 22, 1844
[Joseph Smith Diary] Saturday June 22d, 1844 Wrote letter to Governor. Almon Babbit arrived from Carthage this morning at request of the Gov[ernor,] who thought it not wisdom to have Richards, Phelps &c. city council to go to Carthage and best to let people pass in and out of the city. Lucien Woodworth was delegated to go to the Gov[ernor] in place of Dr. Richards. Dr. Robinson made affidavit. Joseph wrote to the Gov[ernor].

12 noon Woodworth started with Wood Esq[ui]r[e] of Burlington.

James Olive made affidavit [in the] Maj[or] Gen[eral's] office also Geo[rge] G. Johnstone and 7 P.M. issued Gen[eral] orders to Co[lo]n[el] Dunham [acting] Major Gen[eral] in command for intreachment [entrenchment].

6 P.M. Prophesied that /in/ the sickly season that sickness would enter into their houses and vex them until they would fain repent in dust and ashes and they will be smitten with the scab &c.

7 [P.M.] received a written invitation from James Hamilton and 5 or 6 others to preach to morrow. (1)

Joseph Smith counsels William Clayton to put the records of the Council of Fifty "into the hands of some faithful man and send them away, or burn them, or bury them. He buries them immediately. (2)

-- Jun 22, 1844, Saturday
[William Clayton Writings] On the evening of June 22 William Clayton called on Joseph Smith to discuss the best measures to be taken in case of mob attack. He then went home, but suddenly, at 1 A.M., he was roused with the message that Joseph wanted him. (3)

[William Clayton Writings] On the following evening the governor sent in a posse of about thirty men, bearing a letter in which he made use of severe threats, and said that if the prisoners did not appear at Carthage on the morrow, he should take it as a resistance to the law and should immediately call in force sufficient to take them, even if it required all the militia of the State.

On receiving this information the President and one or two others concluded to leave the city and go over to Iowa in the night. (3)

[William Clayton Writings] Saturday June 22. Joseph whispered and told me either to put the r. of K. into the hands of some faithful man and send them away, or burn them, or bury them. I concluded to bury them, which I did immediately on my return home. (3)

-- 1844. June 23
(Hyrum Smith) : Hyrum, Joseph, Willard Richards, and Porter Rockwell rowed across the Mississippi River into Iowa to escape lawmen trying to arrest the Prophet for ordering the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor. "I advised my brother Hyrum to take his family on the next steamboat and go to Cincinnati. Hyrum replied, 'Joseph, I can't leave you.' Whereupon I said to the company present, 'I wish I could get Hyrum out of the way, so that he may live to avenge my blood.'" (4)

-- Jun 23, 1844
[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] On the 23d day of June 1844. we heard a Call upon the Legion to muster in Main Street near the Mansion House then I again saw our General in his uniform and small house frame, and he again spoke unto the legion Laying his hand on the head of Levi W. Hancock who was sitting at his feet, saying this day the Lord has shown unto me that which was never shown me before that I have thousands of friends who never pretended friendship, while others have sought to crawl into my bosum because of my good feelings towards them and now they are vipars, and do seek my life and if they shall take it they will pursue you they will do it anyhow when you are oblieged to fight be sure you do not stain your hands with the Blood of women and Children And when your enemies call for quarters be sure that you grant them the same - and then you will gain power over the world. He then raised his hand from Levi W. Hancock Head and also raised his voice saying you will
forever be named the Nauvoo Legion And as I have had the honor of being your General and Leader I feel to say a few words to your Comfort and I wish to ascertain your interest of faith in your future mission of Life that you are engaged in (p. 30) even the same cause with the power of the Priesthood sealed upon you, and your calling is to minister Life and Salvation unto all Nations upon the Earth Although things appear at the present crisis, by the works of our Enemies that they hold an Everlasting power over us But I will liken these things to a wheel of fortune, if we are at this time under the wheel it is sure to be rolling on, and us sure will the Saints some time be on top. of the great wheel if they hold on for their fortune in view If it was not for the tender hands of Love, that binds me to you my friends and Brethren death would be to me sweet as Honey. Our Enemies are after me to trust my life amongst by their voucher and honor of State, and that by the Governor
and Authorities of the State of Illinois. I therefore will say to you as Saints and Elders of Israel be not troubled nor give yourselves to uneasiness so as to make any rash move, or to take any hasty steps in doing any wrong, whereby you will be cut short in your Calling in preaching the gospel to this generation, for you will yet be called upon to go forth and Call upon the freeman from Main to gather themselves to gather to the Rocky Mountains and the red man from the west, and all people from the North and from the South, and from the East to go to the west to establish themselves in there strong holds in their gathering places, and there you will gather the red Man to their center from their scattered and dispersed situation to become the strong arm of Jehovah who will be a strong Bulwark of Protection from your foes these things I feel to tell you before hand that you may always be ready for your duty (p. 31) for at this time I need the best of Friends to stand by me -
- and on this occasion I would like to know of you all by your own answers -- yes or no! are you willing to lay down your lives for me? --) (Then the answer was heard with one unanimous voice Yes!!!) I am your Father! shall I not be your Father? -- Then all with a loud Exclamation said Yes!!! Then he again said to us, Now I am willing to lay my Life down for you, and if innocent blood is spilt on this occasion (then he drew his sword) out of the scabbard raising it above his head &) saying I will call upon the Mighty Gods to bear witness of this, I have drawn my sword and it shall never be sheathed again untill vengeance is taken on all our Enemies I will call upon the Elements for our defence. -- The winds with the whirlwind and the Thunders and the Lightnings and the Hailstorms. The Heavens shall Tremble and with Earthquakes shall the Earth be shaken with the seas heaving themselves beyond their bounds These things shall be brought to bear against our Enemies for our prese
rvation as a people of the Lord. We have given up our arms and they have taken away right of Protection by our City Charters; and they desire I shall surrender myself into their hands which I consented to do; I ownly go to return to you again. With this blessing upon us we were dismissed to go to our homes. [from the Appendix of Wilford Woodruff's Diary] (5)

1 - Faulring, Scott (ed.), An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith Diary, 1844,
2 - Hales, Brian C., Joseph Smith's Polygamy: History and Theology, 2 vols., Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2011 (
3 - 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.
4 - Van Wagoner, Richard and Walker, Steven C., A Book of Mormons,
5 - Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993,

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