Mormon History, Sep 8, 1844

-- Sep 8, 1844
[Brigham Young Sermon] At the trial of Sidney Rigdon (second address)

President Young arose again and said he wanted to read some testimony which had been presented to him relative to this case, but did not wish to mention the names of the individuals at the present time, if it could be dispensed with. He continued: honest men may be deceived for a time, but they will generally see their error and turn about. There are some who are trolling off and wanting to make divisions amongst us. Brother Sidney says, "if we go to opposing him he will tell all of our secrets!" but I would say, oh don't, Brother Sidney! don't tell our secrets, oh don't!But if he tells of our secrets, we will tell of his -- tit for tat. He has had long visions in Pittsburgh revealing to him wonderful iniquity amongst the saints. Now, if he knows of so much iniquity, and has got such wonderful power, why don't he purge it out? He professes to have got "the keys of David." Wonderful power, and revelations, and he will publish our iniquity! Oh dear, Brother Sidney, don't publi
sh our iniquity! Now don't! John C. Bennett said in his exposure, he knew all of Brother Joseph's secrets, and he would publish them. Joseph H. Jackson, says he has published all Joseph's secrets, but nobody believes their tales, because they lie! and if Sidney Rigdon undertakes to publish all of our secrets, as he says, he will lie the first jump he takes. If Sidney Rigdon knew of all this iniquity why did he not publish it sooner? If there is so much iniquity in this church, as you talk of, Elder Rigdon, and you have known of it so long, you are a black hearted wretch because you have not published it sooner. If there is not this iniquity you talk of, you are a blackhearted wretch, for endeavoring to bring a mob upon us and murder innocent men, women and children! Any man that says the Twelve are bogus makers, or adulterers, or wicked men, is a liar; and all who say such things shall have the fate of liars, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Who is there that ha
s seen us do such things? No man. The spirit that I am of tramples such slanderous wickedness under my feet. And if they take my life I will go where they cannot hurt me.

Brother Joseph did cast of[f] Sidney, and his power and authority was taken from him, and put upon Amasa Lyman. We told Brother Sidney to come along with us, and if he will do this we will build him up. Let him do as Elder Amasa Lyman has done. Now we don't expect ever to move without revelation and they that have the keys of the kingdom can get revelation. If any thing would make me fight it would be to hear any one heap charges on Brother Joseph who is dead. They cannot let the dead alone so great is their corruption and wickedness.

Here is another secret leaked out of their secret meetings. They say the man of sin spoken of in the revelations, is the Twelve. A pretty large man I should say. Now this is the testimony we present before this council to know if we are to fellowship Elder Rigdon any longer.

I shall now wait and see if there is any one to produce testimony in favor of the opposite side of the question. [Nauvoo, Illinois - T&S 5:664-665] (1)

[Brigham Young Sermon] At the trial of Sidney Rigdon (third address)

President Young arose and replied I feel it a duty to make some remarks in reply to what Brother Marks has said with regard to Brother Rigdon's character. I have not been beyond the last fall conference to fetch evidence. -- There was enough brought forward at the conference, and abundance more could have been presented, but Brother Hyrum plead so hard it was kept back. Brother Rigdon did enough when he came from Missouri, to cut him off from the priesthood. He said he never would follow Brother Joseph's revelations any more, contrary to his own convenience. He said Jesus Christ was a fool to him in sufferings; was this not enough to cut him off? There was enough to cut him off long ago, but Brother Marks has endeavored to soft soap the people. I have known that Brother Marks "had no evidence but the written word" But if this people have no evidence but the written word, it is quite time to go to the river and be baptized for the remission of their sins. Who cannot see that
Elder Rigdon would sacrifice this people? Brother Marks says, if there are any ordained to offices equal with Elder Rigdon he don't know it. He don't know all the ordinations, nor he won't till he knows something more than the written word.

I know the reason why Brother Joseph said all was right between him and Elder Rigdon; he (Rigdon) was whining all the while because of his sufferings. He wanted to go back to Kirtland. Brother Hyrum went to Brother Joseph and plead with him again, and begged of Joseph to "bless him -- hold on to him, for I believe he will yet straighten out," and he finally got him ordained. But did he help Brother Joseph after this? No. There was then another revelation given for him to move his family near to Brother Joseph. He finally did, but did he then go to Brother Joseph and assist him in his councils? He did not.

If I had the same feelings towards this people that Elder Rigdon and some others have I should hope you would cast us off to day. Elder Rigdon is now preaching secretly to the people, to have them go back to Pittsburgh -- go back to the "leeks and onions." He has prophesied in the name of God that we won't build this temple. As has been previously stated, Elder Rigdon was not in our councils before he went away. But, Brother Hyrum used to go and see him, and labor with him, and Sidney would make great promises, which would cause Hyrum to come and plead with Joseph again, and say, Brother Joseph bless him, he will come back &c. He is going contrary to Joseph's instructions, and he shall not lead the innocent to destruction; I say it in the name of Israel's God. His orders was to go to Pittsburgh and build up a kingdom, but he was positively prohibited from taking any one with him from this place, but, now he wants to divide the people and take them somewhere, to the mountains
near Pittsburgh. Elder Rigdon can go to Carthage, and to Warsaw, and he is in no danger from the mob; but can a prophet of God go there with safety? No, he cannot. -- If I was to lay down my authority in this church, they would soon say, Mr. Young how do you do, I approve of your course. As to Elder Rigdon's revelations, they are from the same source as Oliver Olney's, Gladden Bishop, Mr. Strang's, &c. They are from the Devil. John C. Bennett passed up the river last Tuesday, and called at the upper landing. He sent a messenger to Elder Rigdon and wished to see him, and Elder Rigdon would have gone had not a Mr. Lawrence, (who professes no kind of religion) rebuked him. If you make Sidney Rigdon your president and leader, you will soon have John C. Bennett here, with the Laws and Fosters and all the murderous clan. Elder Rigdon was the prime cause of our troubles in Missouri, by his fourth of July oration. He is liable to be deceived, and has already been deceived. As to a
person not knowing more than the written word, let me tell you that there are keys that the written word never spoke of, nor never will.

All I ask of men or women to do, is, if they believe in Sidney Rigdon and want him to lead them, I want they should be bold enough to go with him, and not say they want to tarry with the church. They say they believe in Joseph Smith, and at the same time all their operations are to destroy and tear down what he has built up. Nauvoo, Illinois T&S 5:686-687

[Elder W. W. Phelps arose and offered a motion, that Elder Sidney Rigdon be cut off from the church, and delivered over to the buffetings of satan until he repents.

Bishop Whitney then presented the motion to the High Council, and the vote was unanimous in the affirmative.

Elder W. W. Phelps then offered the same motion to the church, upon which]

President Young arose and requested the congregation to place themselves so that they could see all who voted. We want to know who goes for Sidney and who are for the Twelve. He then called upon the church to signify whether they was in favor of the motion. The vote was unanimous, excepting a few of Elder Rigdon's party, numbering about ten.

[Elder Phelps then motioned, that all who have voted to follow Elder Rigdon should be suspended until they can have a trial before the High Council.

An amendment was offered, as follows: "or shall hereafter be found advocating his principles."

The vote was unanimous in the affirmative.]

Elder Young arose and delivered Sidney Rigdon over to the buffetings of Satan, in the name of the Lord, and all the people said, amen. [Nauvoo, Illinois - T&S 5:666-667] (1)

1 - Elden J. Watson, ed. Brigham Young Addresses, 1801-1877: A Chronological Compilation of Known Addresses of the Prophet Brigham Young, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Privately published, 1971)

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