Mormon History, Sunday, August 17th, 1845

[Apostle John Taylor diary] In morning at meeting at the Stand [p. 107] I felt pained and distressed when William [Smith] was speaking so did a great many of the congregation, and many of the people left, being disgusted at the remarks he made; it was not so much on account of some of the principles advanced by him as the manner in which they were stated, and the unfitness of the congregation to receive such teaching, in the crude manner in which it was thrown forth; it was calculated to lead astray many of the young men, elders and women, and to lead to corruption, adultery and every other wicked thing both in men and women letting loose the reins of government; if not exactly licensing such things, throwing out such insinuations as to encourage them; whatever his intentions might be this must necessarily be the result of such teaching. After he got through, as none of the rest of the twelve were present I felt that it was a duty devolving upon me to make some remarks on tha
t subject. I felt exceedingly pained at being under the necessity of doing so as he was one of the Twelve by brother in the Quorum, and the brother of Joseph; if Elder Young had been there it would have been his place necessarily to have corrected him, or if many of the rest of the Twelve had been there I could have counselled with them; but as there was none of them there but me, I had to undertake it myself unpleasant as it was. I therefore arose and without appearing to advert to him, wishing to leave him out of the question as much as possible; and told the people I must preach from William's text as he had not neglected to preach from it himself and made some few pleasant remarks not to leave any feeling and read over a verse or two in Isaiah and then referred to things more particularly and said, I believed many of the things advanced by Bro. William were true that [so far as] they were contained in the scriptures was concerned it could not be objected to, but who will
say that this doctrine will apply to us, because Jacob had four wives and David had several hundred can we say that we can have a nuber of wives.
Bro. William then arose and said he did not wish me to comment, to criticize or to make any remarks upon his doctrine or preaching, that if I did he should reply to me. I paused until he got through, and again commenced speaking, when he again interrupted me; and said as often as he thought proper to rise he would answer any thing that I might advance.
I then stated that Bro. William misunderstood me, that I did not arise to interfere especially with his doctrine or with what he had been advancing, but rather to speak on principles and to guard the people against drawing wrong conclusions from what he had advanced. When he again arose and said, that I had no business to qualify his remarks and that in so doing I was implicating him and teaching principles that were incorrect. I again waited until he got through when I felt con
strained by the Spirit of God, which rested upon me in power to proclaim with energy that God had called me to be a watchman upon the towers of Zion and that when I saw any danger or evil approaching I would lift up my voice and warn the people in the name of Israel's God and that no man should shut my mouth, when I had spoken these words the congregation cried with a loud voice,'--Amen.
I then stated whatever the opinion of Bro. William might be, I knew that there was a great deal of hypocrisy and deception wherein the innocent were led away by false pretences, and that I had been called upon to expose the corruptions of some men who were in secret publishing the doctrines contained in a book written by Udney H .Jacobs which was a corrupt book; they state that it was Joseph's views, published under a cloak of another man's name and the character of Joseph Smith was implicated in the matter and whether [he] addressed the congregation on these things or not I should have s
poken on that subject. That I respected William as a Latter Day Saint, as one of the Quorum of the Twelve, and as the brother of the Prophet Joseph; and that I had never directly or indirectly, in public or in private, said anything that was prejudicial to his character, and I call on the congregation here present, to answer me that; and of there was any one that had ever heard me, I wanted them to speak. That I was Bro. William's friend and I knew that if he only heard me through, he would acquiesce in the principles I advanced.
He then arose and made an apology for what he had said, and stated that he knew nothing of this book that had been spoken of and did not know anything of the principles advanced in it. He had always been me friend and was my friend still, says he, 'Bro. William and Bro. Taylor are right, I expressed it different, and meant no harm by what I have said.' Monday, August 18th, 1845. In council with Twelve and Bishops at Pres. B. Young's. It was couns
elled that Bro. Benjamin Johnson from Macedonia, should take the Mansion House, or the Masonic Tavern. I also counselled with my brethren about sending two men, Bro's Saml. Bent and Charles C. Rich, in the counties around to collect subscriptions for the papers and the support of the press. This morning they commenced laying brick on the Nauvoo House. I was present when they commenced. Elder Kimball made a prayer on the occasion; there were a great number of bricklayers on hand ready to commence and all seemed to enjoy good spirits.

[source: 'The John Taylor Nauvoo journal, January 1845-September 1845,' BYU Studies 23:3 (1983) edited by Dean C. Jessee]

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