Mormon History, Oct 11, 1845

Circular Regarding When Saints Were Leaving-- In this original printed Circular of Brigham Young and the Quorum of the Twelve extracts from the October, 1845, General Conference minutes are used along with the Message "To the brethren of the Church. . ." In the DHC the Conference minutes and the Message appear separately. The printed Circular bears no date other than that of the extracted Conference minutes of October 6, 7, 8, 1845. In the DHC a date of October 8 is given as a heading for the Message. However an entry for October 11th says: ". . . we finished an extract from the conference minutes for the circular." The printed Circular contains a list of Captains for Companies removing in the Spring. This same list appears in DHC under the date of October 11, 1845. It seems evident that the Original Printed Circular here reproduced did not appear before October 11, 1845. The Message and the extracts from the Conference minutes constitute a call and instructions to the Church
to move West. A postscript indicated that there are many good locations for settlements on the Pacific, especially at Vancouver's Island. For additional background see: DHC 7:456-482; CHC 2:538-541.
CIRCULAR to the whole Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FIRST MEETING IN THE TEMPLE. On Sunday the 5th day of October, through the indefatigable exertions, unceasing industry, and heaven blessed labors, in the midst of trials, tribulations, poverty, and worldly obstacles, solemnized in some instances by death, about five thousand saints had the inexpressible joy and great satisfaction to meet for the first time in the House of the Lord in the city of Joseph. From mites and tithing, millions had risen up to the glory of God, as a Temple where the children of the last kingdom, could come together and praise the Lord.
It certainly afforded a holy satisfaction to think that since the 6th of April, 1841, when the first stone was laid, amidst the most straitened circumsta
nces, the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints had witnessed their bread cast upon waters, or more properly, their obedience to the commandments of the Lord, appear in the tangible form of a Temple, entirely enclosed, windows in, with temporary floors, pulpits, and seats to accommodate so many persons preparatory to a General Conference: no General Conference having been held for three years past, according to the declaration of our martyred prophet:
"There shall be no more baptisms for the dead, until the ordinance can be attended to in the font of the Lord's House; and the church shall not hold another general conference until they can meet in said house. For thus saith the Lord."
President Young opened the services of the day in a dedicatory prayer, presenting the Temple, thus far completed, as a monument of the saints' liberality, fidelity, and faith,-concluding, 'Lord we dedicate this house and ourselves unto thee.' The day was occupied most agreeably in hearin
g instructions and teachings, and offering up the gratitude of honest hearts, for so great a privilege, as worshiping God, within instead of without an edifice, whose beauty and workmanship will compare with any house of worship in America, and whose motto is: "Holiness to the Lord."
EXTRACT from the Minutes of a General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, held in the House of the Lord in the City of Joseph, Oct. 6th, 7, & 8, 1845.
Conference assembled on Monday the 6th inst., and opened at half past 10 A. M. with singing by the choir, and prayer by Elder P. P. Pratt.
Elder W. Richards then stated that Gen. Hardin had requested us to make out a list of all the buildings and property belonging to our brethren which had been burned by the enemies, and also had requested that all those who have had their buildings or other property destroyed should make affidavit of the same before a Justice of the Peace, and have their affidavits ready to be forwa
rded to him at as early a season as possible.
President Brigham Young then said, the first business that will come before this conference, will be the authorities of the church, to ascertain whether they are in good standing.
Father John Smith, the president of the stake, then arose to present the Twelve as the presidents of the whole church.
On motion, it was unanimously voted that president Brigham Young be sustained as the president of the Quorum of the Twelve apostles.
The Quorum of the Twelve apostles, the High Council, Presidents of the High Priests, Seventies, Elders, Priests, Teachers and Deacon's Quorums, with the two presiding Bishops were then presented and sustained in their several standings, with two or three exceptions, by unanimous vote.
In the afternoon Elder P. P. Pratt addressed the conference on the subject of our present situation and prospects. He referred to the great amount of expense and labor we have been at to purchase lands, build houses, the
Temple &c.; we might ask, why is it that we have been at all this outlay and expense, and then are called to leave it? He would answer that the people of God always were required to make sacrifices, and if we have a sacrifice to make, he is in favor of its being something worthy of the people of God. We do not want to leave a desolate place, to be a reproach to us but something that will be a monument of our industry and virtue. Our houses, our farms, this Temple and all we leave will be a monument to those who may visit the place of our industry, diligence and virtue. There is no sacrifice required at the hands of the people of God but shall be rewarded to them an hundred fold, in time or eternity.
The Lord has another purpose to bring about and to fulfill. We know that the great work of God must all the while be on the increase and grow greater. The people must enlarge in numbers and extend their borders; they cannot always live in one city, nor in one county; they canno
t always wear the yoke; Israel must be the head and not the tail. The Lord designs to lead us to a wider field of action, where there will be more room for the saints to grow and increase, and where there will be no one to say we crowd them, and where we can enjoy the pure principles of liberty and equal rights.
When we settle a country where the air, the water, soil and timber is equally free to every settler without money or without price, the climate healthy, and the people free from unjust and vexatious lawsuits, mobocracy and oppression of every kind, we can become vastly more wealthy, have better possessions and improvements, and build a larger and better Temple in five years from this time than we now possess.
It has cost us more for sickness, defence against mobs, vexatious prosecutions, and to purchase lands in this place, than as much improvement will cost in another.
One small nursery may produce many thousands of fruit trees, while they are small. But as they
expand towards maturity, they must needs be transplanted, in order to have room to grow and produce the natural fruits. It is so with us. We want a country where we have room to expand, and to put in requisition all our energies and the enterprise and talents of a numerous, intelligent and increasing people.
In short, this people are fast approaching that point which ancient prophets have long since pointed out as the destiny of the saints of the last days.
After many other spirited remarks touching similar points, he was succeeded by Elder George A. Smith, on the same subject. Elder Smith observed that a revelation was given in Missouri in regard to the saints consecrating their property which was not understood at the time; but they were soon brought to their understanding, for the Lord in his providence caused it all to be consecrated, for they were compelled to leave it.
He is glad of the prospect of leaving this county and seeking a place where we can enjoy the fruit
s of our labors and God himself be the sole proprietor of the elements.
Here is one principle in which he wants this whole people to unite. When we were to leave Missouri the saints entered into a covenant not to cease their exertions until every saint who wished to go was rem
oved, which was done.
We are better off now than we were then, and he wants to see the same principle carried out now, that every man will give all to help to take the poor; and every honest industrious member who wants to go. He wants to see this influence extend from the West to the East sea.
On motion, it was unanimously resolved that this people move, en masse, to the West.
On motion, it was unanimously resolved that we take all of the saints with us to the extent of our ability, that is, our influence and property.
The Conference then adjourned to Tuesday at 10 o'clock A. M.
To the, brethren of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, scattered abroad throughout the United States of America.
The following circular is hereby sent, greeting: BELOVED BRETHREN: You will perceive from the foregoing interesting extracts from the minutes of the General Conference, just held in the Temple in this place, not only the unparalleled union of the great body of the Saint
s convened, but also that a crisis of extraordinary and thrilling interest has arrived. The exodus of the Nation of the only true Israel from these U. S. to a far distant region of the West, where bigotry, intolerance and insatiable oppression will have lost its power over them, forms a new epoch, not only in the history of the church, but of this nation. And we hereby timely advertise you to consider well, as the spirit may give you understanding, the various and momentous bearings of this great movement, and hear what the spirit saith unto you by this our epistle.-Jesus Christ was delivered up into the hands of the Jewish nation to save or condemn them-to be well or mal-treated by them; according to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. And regard not that event in the light of a catastrophe wholly unlooked for. The spirit of prophecy has long since portrayed in the Book of Mormon, what might be the conduct of this nation towards the Israel of the last days. Th
e same spirit of prophecy that dwelt richly in the bosom of Joseph has time and again notified the Counsellors of this church, of emergencies that might arise of which this removal is one: and one too, in which all the Latter Day Saints throughout the length and breadth of all the U. S., should have a thrilling and deliberate interest. The same evil that was premeditated against Mordecat awaited equally all the families of his nation. If the authorities of this church cannot abide in peace within the pale of this nation, neither can those who implicitly hearken to their wholesome counsel. A word to the wise is sufficient. You all know and have doubtless felt for years the necessity of a removal provided the Government should not be sufficiently protective to allow us to worship God according to the dictates of our own consciences, and of the omnipotent voice of eternal truth. Two cannot walk together except they be agreed. Jacob must be expatriated while Esau held dominion.
It was wisdom for the child of promise to go far away from him that thirsted for blood. Even the heir of universal kingdoms fled precipitably into a distant country until they that sought to murder were dead. The ranklings of violence and intolerance and religious and political strife that have been waking up in the bosom of this nation, together with the occasional scintillations of settled vengeance, and blood-guiltiness cannot long be suppressed. And deplorable is the condition of any people that is constrained to be the butt of such discordant and revolutionary materials. The direful eruption must take place. It requires not the spirit of prophecy to foresee it. Every sensible man in the nation has felt and perhaps expressed his melancholy fears of the dreadful vortex into which partizan ambition, contempt of the poor, and trampling down the just as things of nought, were fast leading the nation. We therefore write unto you, beloved brethren, as wise men that will fore s
ee the evil and hide yourselves until the indignation be overpast.-Concerning those who have more immediately instigated our removal by shedding the blood of our prophet and patriarch, and burning the habitations of scores of families in the midst of the most desolating sickness ever known in the western valley; and who oblige us to watch for our lives night and day-we have nothing to say. We have told such tales to our father the President, and to all the high-minded Governors, until we are weary of it. We look far beyond those by whom offenses come, and discover a merciful design in our heavenly Father towards all such as patiently endure these afflictions until he advises them that the day of their deliverance has come. It is our design to remove all the Saints as early next spring as the first appearance of thrifty vegetation. In the mean time the utmost diligence of all the brethren at this place and abroad will be requisite for our removal, and to complete the unfinish
ed part of the Lord's house, preparatory to dedication by the next general conference. The font and other parts of the Temple will be in readiness in a few days to commence the administration of holy ordinances of endowment, for which the faithful have long diligently labored and fervently prayed, desiring above all things to see the beauty of the Lord and enquire in his holy Temple. We therefore invite the saints abroad generally so to arrange their affairs as to come with their families in sufficient time to receive their endowments, and aid in giving the last finish to the house of the Lord, previous to the great immigration of the Church in the spring. A little additional help in the heat of the day from those abroad, to those here, who have been often driven and robbed will sweeten the interchanges of fellowship, and so far fulfil the law of Christ as to bear one another's burdens.-The sacrifice of property that will probably accrue from a virtually coerced sale in a gi
ven short time together with the exhaustion of available means, that has arisen from an extensive improvement of farms, and the erection of costly public and private edifices together with persecutions and abundant labors of elders in preaching the gospel to the nations and also in self-defence from traitors and foes, hypocrites and knaves, are things that will suggest themselves to all the thoughtful humane and philanthropic. And we are confident in our Lord Jesus Christ that the balm and cordial adequate to the present crisis of affairs will come from the saints abroad to the utmost of their ability. And you cannot furnish it better, than to come up unitedly to the counsel of our epistles promptly, diligently and to the letter. Therefore dispose of your properties and inheritances, and interests for available means: such as money, wagons, oxen, cows, mules, and a few good horses adapted to journeying and scanty feed. Also for durable fabrics suitable for apparel and tent
s; and some other necessary articles of merchandise. Wake up, wake up dear brethren, we exhort you, from the Mississippi to the Atlantic, and from Canada to Florida, to the present glorious emergency in which the God of heaven has placed you, to prove your faith by your works, preparatory to a rich endowment in the Temple of the Lord, and the obtaining of promises and deliverances, and glories for yourselves and your children and your dead. And we are well persuaded you will do these things though we thus stir up your pure minds to remembrance. In doing so the blessings of many, ready to perish like silent dew upon the grass, and the approbation of generations to come, and the hallowed joys of eternal life will rest upon you. And we cannot but assure you in conclusion of our most joyful confidence, touching your union and implicit obedience to the counsel of the Great God, through the Presidency of the Saints. With these assurances and hopes concerning you, we bless you and
supplicate the wisdom and furtherance of the Great Head of the church upon your designs and efforts.
P. S. Let all wagons that are hereafter built be constructed to the track of five feet width from centre to centre. Families may properly travel to this place during winter in
their wagons.
There are said to be many good locations for settlements on the Pacific, especially at Vancouver's Island, near the mouth of Columbia. BRIGHAM YOUNG, Pres't. Willard Richards, Clerk.
LIST OF COMMITTEES, Appointed at the general conference, for the sale of lands in Hancock county.
Nauvoo.-Winslow Farr, Edward Hunter, Rufes Beach, A. W. Babbit, Joseph L. Heywood and Daniel Russell.
Laharpe.-Lyman Cory, John Clark and John L. Bartolph.
Macedonia.-Wm. G. Perkins, Isaac Clark and Andrew H. Perkins.
Camp Creek.-L. A. Bingham.
Bear Creek.-Nelson Higgins, Samuel Shepherd and Daniel Allen.
Knowlton's Settlement.-Sidney A. Knowlton, Eleazer Brown and James Rawlins.
Highland Branch.-James Duncan, Wm. A. Duncan and John Loveless.
Montebello.-Eleazar Miller and Jesse Spurgin.
Yelrome.-Solomon Hancock and Horace Rawson.
In Iowa, every man is appointed to act as a committee of the whole for the sale of lands.
Twelve; 2, Samuel Bent; 3, Alpheus Cutler; 4, Isaac Morley; 5, Shadrack Roundy; 6, Reynolds Cahoon; 7, Daniel Spencer; 8, Peter Haws; 9, Joseph Fielding; 10, John D. Parker; 11, David Fullmer; 12, Charles Shumway; 13, Charles C. Rich; 14, Jedediah M. Grant; 15, Erastus Snow; 16, Benjamin F. Johnson; 17, Andrew H. Perkins; 18, George Coulson; 19, David Evans; 20, Daniel C. Davis; 21, Jonathan H. Hale; 22, George P. Dykes, (Ottoway;) 23, Mephibosheth Sirrine, (Michigan) 24, Hosea Stout; 25, Wm. Huntington. {1845-October 11-Original Circular}

[source: Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)]

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