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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1856

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood, 1856.” You can view other years here.

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1856:    6 Jan.:  Don’t ask why–just do it.

“[Brigham Young speaking] There is no other way for man to get an exaltation but to follow their file leader.  The Twelve have no right to ask the Presidency why they do this or that, or why they tell the Twelve to do this, or that, only go and do as they are told.  And this same principle should go through every quorum in the Church and Kingdom of God on earth, and when this rule is observed, then the kingdom will be ours.”  (JH 6 Jan., 1856)

13 Jan.:  Priesthood linked in Temples/Resurrection of JS.

“The priesthood will turn the hearts of the children of the fathers anciently, and the children of the fathers now, and those to come will be made perfect; the chain cannot be broken and no man can be saved by any other way.  This priesthood must be linked together, so that all the children may be linked to Adam.  It may be asked, when is this to be done?  This will be done in Temples in our day, and in the days of our children.  Men will go into the Temples and be pillars, and go no more out.  They can plant trees and eat the fruit thereof.  I will call it the Millennium.  I carry it in my heart.  I say it has begun.  Every saint carries it with him.  Then let us overcome everything and we will extend this influence from Zion until it roots out every evil; and bring all into subjection to the Kingdom of our God.  We will administer in the Temples that we have now begun and that is one point gained.  And we will seal man to man by the keys of the Holy Priesthood.  It is a higher ordinance, one of the last ordinances of the Lord; and above all the endowments that can be given you.  It is a final sealing, an eternal principle, and when once made, can never be broken by the devil.  When we return to Zion and build the great Temples which Joseph saw, and the centre of Zion is established, the Glory of God will be upon it by day and night.  And those that are prepared may see the face of the Son of Man.  They may see Joseph and Hyrum in the flesh, in their resurrected bodies.  Then the armies of Israel will be terrible, and one will put a thousand to flight.  But who will resurrect Joseph’s body?  A man named Moroni has received the keys of the resurrection, from whom Joseph received the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood; and probably John and Peter, from whom Joseph received the keys of the Melchisedeck Priesthood.  You will see Jesus and he will eat peaches and apples with you, but the world will not see it, or know it, for wickedness will increase.  Joseph and Jesus will be there.  He will walk and talk with them, and no man mistrust who he is, Joseph will lead the armies of Israel whether he is seen or not.  He has got to receive the keys of the resurrection for you and me.  After he is resurrected, he will say, ‘Go and resurrect brother Brigham, and Brother Heber and Brother Carlos.’  And when that is done ‘Now go brother Brigham and gather up your wives and children and resurrect them.’  And no one knows anything about it.  The wicked will be round about, and they will be struck with fear.  That’s the way the resurrection will be.  Joseph will say, ‘Be baptized for this one and that one; and seal such a man to such a man, and connect the priesthood together.’  I tell you there will not be much done until Joseph comes.  Our hearts are turned to theirs this day, and their hearts to us.  It is the order of the Holy Priesthood to go on to administer in the holy ordinances.  He will not officiate in this low capacity any more.  Neither did Jesus after his death, or He would have baptized Saul, but He was exalted above the earth, and told Saul to go to a certain man, and he would administer to him the ordinances of the earth.  I say dont hurry the things you ought not to do–it is not time to hury, but we may not undertake to do what must be done in 50 years.  What has to be done today?  Purify your hearts, and receive the manifestations of the Spirit.  Before you sow your wheat, you prepare your ground, then sow your wheat and watch it until harvest.  It is so in the Priesthood, you will be just as busy as you can be, to do the thing to be done today.  Now don’t be in a hurry.  I say we are going to have time.  I say I will be on the earth to do all I can to fight the devils, and be here at the winding up scene.  I want to see righteousness prevail, and the saints have power on the earth.”  (Brigham Young, 13 Jan., 1856; JH 13 Jan., 1856)

27 Jan.:  If we could understand the nature of priesthood.

“If we could understand the nature of the Priesthood–could comprehend it fully, this people, as a community, the Elders, as Elders of Israel, quorums, as quorums, when they present themselves before the Lord, would possess keys to unlock the treasury of heaven, and we could receive as one person receives from another.  To us, as a people, the keys of the rich storehouse of the Lord are committed, yet we do not fully know how to unlock and receive.  We receive a little here and there, and the hearts of the people are comforted by the very Priesthood we are in possession of, which has been given to this people for the express purpose of their receiving that which God has given them, though not yet to possess it independently, but as means for trial.

This Priesthood is given to the people, and the keys thereof, and, when properly understood, they may actually unlock the treasury of the Lord, and receive to their fullest satisfaction.  But through our own weaknesses, through the frailty of human nature, we are not yet capable of doing so. . . .

An individual who holds a share in the Priesthood, and continues faithful to his calling, who delights himself continually in doing the things God requires at his hands, and continues through life in the performance of every duty, will secure to himself not only the privilege of receiving, but the knowledge how to receive the things of God, that he may know the mind of God continually; and he will be enabled to discern between right and wrong, between the things of God and the things that are not of God.  And the Priesthood–the Spirit that is within him, will continue to increse until it becomes like a fountain of living water; until it is like the tree of life; until it is one continued source of intelligence and instruction to that individual.

This is one of the most glorious and happy principles that can be set before any people, or any individual who will be faithful to his God and to his religion.  Upon whoever are bestowed the keys of the eternal Priesthood, by a faithful life, will secure to themselves power to see the things of God, and will understand them as plainly as they ever understood anything by gazing upon it with their natural eyes, or as clearly as they ever could distinguish one object from another by their sensations.

It is the privilege of every person who is faithful to the Priesthood, who can overcome the enemy, thwart the design of death, or him that hath the power of it, to live upon the earth until their appointed time; and they may know, see, and understand, by revelation, the things of God just as naturally as we understand natural things that are around us.”  (Brigham Young, 27 Jan., 1856; JD 3:191-193)

27 Jan.:  Bishops and Teachers to care for the poor.

“I will here remark that I hope the Bishops in the different wards of the city will see that the poor do not go hungry, that they will keep themselves posted up as to the situation of the poor in their wards, and send round the Teachers and assistants to ascertain the condition of the people.”  (Jedediah M. Grant, 27 Jan., 1856; JD 3:200)

2 Feb.:  Endowment = power in the Priesthood.

“The power of the Priesthood is rapidly increasing in the earth, and that increase is first felt in Zion, and like streams from an inexhaustible fountain, it is diffused through the earth by those who are sent abroad from that place.  Some will, perhaps, query in their minds, ‘What is this power?’  Why simply that which Christ referred to, when he bade his disciples tarry in Jerusalem until they should be endowed with power from on high.  This is one reason why a continual change is taking place among the Elders, some returning home that the fire may be kindled anew in them, while others are sent to labour in their places.  For this and other reasons, the Saints may expect that a great increase of faith and Priesthood will be brought to bear on the work of the Lord in these lands, under the administration of these our brethren.  The Saints, instead of settling down at ease in Babylon, may expect to be stirred up to an increase of energy, faith, and good works.  Where we in our weakness have failed to accomplish their deliverance, we trust that brothers Benson and Snow, by their greater experience and wisdom, will be enabled to devise more efficient plans for the gathering of the poor than we have been able to bear on the subject.  Inasmuch as those who are sent to the Saints have an increase of efficiency and power, they should endeavour to arouse their slumbering energies to increased exertions for themselves.”  (Editorial [F. D. Richards, Editor], MS 18(5):75-76, 2 Feb., 1856)

5 Feb.:  Teachers should find them out.

“Every move should be understood through every block, and the whereabouts of every man, and if there’s stealing going forward or whoring, the Teachers should find them out.”  (Jesse C. Little [Counselor to Presiding Bishop Edward Hunter], 5 Feb., 1856, “Presiding Bishops Office, Aaronic Priesthood Minutes; quoted in Hartley, “Ordained and Acting Teachers in the Lesser Priesthood, 1851-1883,” BYU Studies 16(3):381, Spring, 1976)

10 Feb.:  Cut off for profanity.

“Meeting at the Tabernacle.  Orson Pratt preached to the people upon the subject of our every day duties.  He thought the saints ought to be more faithful and interested in the spiritual things of the kingdom of God.

He said that Allan Huntington, who was appointed a missionary to the Indians, had been guilty of using profane language a great deal, he had heard him.

It was then moved and seconded that he be cut off from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it was carried unanimously.”  (JH 10 Feb., 1856)

12-16 Feb.:  Seventies’ Jubilee/Seventies’ Hall dedicated.


Pursuant to previous notice, the Seventies convened at their Hall, on Tuesday, the 12th inst., and continued until Saturday, the 16th.

The hall had undergone quite an improvement since last winter, having had a thorough finishing coat of plaster and whitewash; a commodious stand, superbly painted, had been erected; the singing gallery and body of the hall had been seated and painted; also the clerk’s office and entrance to the gallery;–giving to the interior of the building a neat and airy appearance.  The stove in the basement, connecting with the drum and pipe in the body of the hall, very much improved the temperature.  This building was erected by the Presidents of Seventies, and a few others, by issuing $20 shares.  Some two hundred shares have been issued, making the cost of its erection about $4,000.

. . . .

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 1856.

At 10 a.m., the congregation assembled, composed of the first eight quorums.

. . . .

Prest. J. Young announced that preaching and prophesying was the privilege of the elders during the meeting.

. . . .

Thursday, 14.

. . . .

Elder G. Clements dwelt upon the necessity of the Seventies improving their minds by study from the best books, and of paying some attention to the formation and establishment of the Seventies’ Library.

. . . .

Friday, 15.

. . . .

Pres. A. P. Rockwood introduced the subject of the library, exhorting the saints to prepare their minds in what pertains to their duties here and their exaltation hereafter.”  (DN 5(51):408, 27 Feb., 1856)

17 Feb.:  Cut off all sinners.

“Meeting at the 14th Ward school house in the evening, Elder Parley P. Pratt preached a good discourse.  He told the Bishop to cut off from the Church all the liars, thieves, adulterers, and profane swearers; for they would contaminate the whole body if they continued in it.”  (JH 17 Feb., 1856)

29 Feb.:  Heirship in the Priesthood.

“I seal a father’s blessing upon thee, this is a seal of promise and of Priesthood, to continue with thee, for thou are numbered by covenant with the Sons of Abraham, which covenants and Priesthood continue with thee and thy posterity after thee . . .

Thou art a descendant of Ephraim, a rightful heir to the keys of Priesthood, which Priesthood is an eternal principle whereby all things are to be governed whether in this life or the life to come.”  (Patriarchal Blessing of Leonard E. Harrington, by Isaac Morley, 29 Feb., 1856; UHQ 8(1):22-23, Jan., 1940)

2 Mar.:  Reformation: Elders to preach like pitchforks.

“Amasa Lyman spoke to the people and was followed by Pres. Young who reproved the people.  He considered they were not only asleep, but working wickedness.  He considered that many of the people were like a company of men working to a precipice on a dark night, when neither horse or rider could see anything, but would soon be dashed to pieces.  He wanted the Elders to put away their velvet lips and smooth tongues and preach sermons like pitchforks with tines downward, that the people might wake up.”  (JH 2 Mar., 1856)

7 Mar.:  Mediation of case by Teacher.

“Went after chair timber.  At evening I was called by William Bundridge, as teacher, concerning a case between G. R. Grant and Washington Barber.  The charge was taking the name of his God in vain, and other unchristian-like conduct.  I was called and testified that G. R. Grant did, on the fifth of March, make use of the name of God in vain.  Four witnesses testified that on the 7th he made use of the same.  He denied it and said the witnesses were mistaken, but plead guilty to the charge of the fifth.”  (Israel Justus Clark diary, [the Salmon River Mission], 7 Mar., 1856; in Our Pioneer Heritage, 7:166, 1964)

8 Mar.:  God became a god via the Priesthood.

“It is a subject of the greatest importance, for man to understand how he may, with certainty, walk in the way of life and be continually led by celestial influences, until he is exalted among the pure intelligences of heaven.  In order to understand the source from whence we receive our blessings, let us see what constitutes a God, so far as we in our low condition can comprehend.  Such a being is a personage of tabernacle, who, while in a state of trial, obeyed the laws of life and exaltation, for which reason the eternal Priesthood was bestowed upon him.  By obeying its influence and practising the principles of increase, he obtained power over matter under its variety of organizations.  Among them are tabernacles in His own image, and He has become a subordinante centre of influence, from which radiate light, intelligence, and the powers of life.  From this He has added knowledge to knowledge, until He has ascended in the scale of intelligences so far as to understand the principles which govern the higher spheres and eternal organizations.  Through this knowledge He can fully comprehend evil, and overcome it with the principels of righteousness and truth.  In fact, through the fulness of that Priesthood He has learned, by practical experience, how to overcome all things that oppose his upward progress in knowledge and dominion.  Nothing can be plainer to the understandings of men, than that truth is unchangeable, and consequently that the principles of the Priesthood are unalterable, or that their ‘course is one eternal round.’  Therefore, there has been but one way for intelligences to rise in the scale of being.  The Priesthood has been the saving power, in the worlds which have been created, to purify and exalt their inhabitants, when they would yield willing obedience to its dictates.  This has been the way of salvation to the bright celestial spheres which now govern in the vast circles of infinitude.

The Lord God, who created this earth, fitted it up for the purpose of sending His children forth upon it, that they might exercise their free agency in choosing good or evil, and work out their own salvation or condemnation, either of which will be the natural consequences of the course they pursue.  Certainly no one, who has any correct idea of God, can be so narrow in his conceptions, as to suppose that the great fountain of all wisdom was so limited or deficient in His plans, as to send forth His children here, to again combat with the powers of darkness, without making known to them some certain guide, by which they might continually know whether they were walking in the way of life, or of death.  This knowledge mankind have always been able to attain to, whenever they have been in a condition to make a proper use of it.  This knowledge, and all the conditions pertaining to it, are embraced in the Melchisedek Priesthood.  This Priesthood embraces all the knowledge and power necessary for the exaltation of man.  It is a matter of the first importance to mankind, to know how to obtain this Priesthood, and then how to progress in it from step to step, from one exaltation to another.  The works preparatory to obtaining a portion of it are repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins, which prepare men for the reception of the Holy Ghost, which is administered through the laying on of the hands of those who are authorized to impart it.  The Holy Ghost is one of the elements of the Godhead.  It is the power of life unto salvation, and will lead men into all truth, if they will follow its dictates.  How to do this is the next important consideration.  The powers and principles of the Priesthood, although they exist as eternal truths, can only be made manifest to men through beings of tabernacle like unto themselves, and these personages must be able to make menifest its powers to those whom they directy, by being practical examples of obedience to others who are still superior to them.

We have now come to one of the great leading principles of the universe–obedience.  This must be rendered by all things in their proper spheres, by the vegetable creations, by the tiny insect that floats in air, or gambols unseen by the naked vision in the purest dro of water, by the fowls of heaven, the monsters of the great deep, the beasts of the field and of the forests, by man in all his variety of capacities and conditions, by the worlds and the systems of worlds that revolve in the infinitude of space, and finally by the Gods of eternity who created and govern them.  All must bow to a higher power, to which they are indebted for their organizations.  Man, with all his free agency and boasted wisdom, may yield blind obedience to the dictates of evil, because it is congenial to his depraved nature, but the time will come when he must comprehend the reward of his doings, and yield, from choice, to that higher power which created him.

Adam was the first man on this earth who held the Priesthood, and in order to save his children he bestowed it upon them.  This Priesthood includes all the great truths and principles of the Godhead.  It is without ‘beginning of years or end of days.’  It circumscribes all the powers of the universe.  Every principle which tends to exaltation, increase, and dominion, belongs to it.  It involves the principles on which all matter is organized throughout the vast dominions of the Almighty, and on which creations will continue to exist and increase forever.

When this Priesthood is bestowed upon man, and he renders obedience to its requirements, he begins to learn those things practically which have exalted others to be Gods.  The more of its power he receives, the nearer he approaches to being one.  The great crowning blessings pertaining to this Priesthood are the power of perpetuating eternal lives, and an infinite increase in all the vast variety of organizations which are spread out in the universe of worlds.  Those who have received this power of progression have continued to succeed eath other in an eternal round of increase, exaltation, and dominion.

The most perfect obedience to higher powers is rendered by all who receive these blessings.  When a new world is ushered into existence, teeming with its myriads of organizations, all the Gods rejoice in the addition to their glory, for their interests are so perfectly blended together, that selfishness is unknown, and perfect harmony reigns in the vast accumulations of worlds.

Among His numerous spiritual children, God saw that there was a great variety of capacities, that some were more noble than others; the more noble ones He set apart to be rulers in His kingdom at their appointed times.  These have had power to bestow the Priesthood, and administer salvation to those of their brethren who would be obedient to their authority.  They have appeared on the earth at the times before appointed them in the councils of heaven, and in their sphere their power is absolute and independent.  Those to whom they have been sent will be saved or damned, according as they have obeyed or disregarded their counsels.  This Priesthood has been handed down in succession, from one to another, to the Apostles and Prophets of the present day, and men are free agents in accepting their teachings, or in blindly following evil influences to darkness and death.  The Lord Jesus Christ stands first among these noble sons of the Father who are rulers in His kingdom.  He is the heir by birthright of his Father’s kingdom.  He proved himself worthy of this exalted station, by becoming the sacrifice that was necessary for the redemption of his Father’s family.  Therefore the Father will bestow upon him the ruling power over this earth, when it is redeemed and brought fully under His dominion.

In course of regular succession from Adam, came Noah, from whom the Priesthood descended to Abraham, Isac, Jacob, and the Prophets of the Mosaic Dispensation.  We are not informed of any time from Adam to Jesus and his Apostles, when there was not a portion of the Priesthood on the earth to minister salvation to those who were worthy.  The Scriptures give us but a very meagre account of these holy personages, who have acted such an important part in the great work of redemption.  But there are some things of the first importance to be considered with regard to them.  They are men whom God the Father has deputed to convey His instructions to the children of men, and to act in His stead for their salvation.  They are as independent in the sphere assigned them, as God is in His.  They have all laboured for the same great object.  They have all acted under the same Priesthood, and therefore must acknowledge the authority and position of the others.  Their works are blended together, therefore none can be made perfect without the others.  They have been the ministers of salvation to men, for whom there is no salvation except in obedience to their instructions.  No that blind, servile obedience which the slave renders to his master, through fear of punishment, but a free and enlightened obedience, dictated by the Spirit of revelation, with the assurance that it is the way of life.  Many instances might be adduced to show the necessity of obedience to such men.  Noah was a preacher of righteousness to a wicked and an adulterous generation.  The Lord told him to declare unto them that, if they did not repent of their sins, they would be swept off by a flood.  They ridiculted the idea, and chose blindly to follow their own way without seeing the end thereof.  The event proved that Noah was in God’s stead to that people.  This was also the relative position of Moses and the children of Israel.  The Lord had regard to Moses as His agent, and would condescend to talk with none of all that mighty host but him.  When Israel would not listen to his counsels, the Lord scourged them into obedience, and there was no other way through which salvation could come to them, but through Moses.

Numerous instances might be adduced from the Scriptures, to show that salvation has been admininstered to mankind  by the Lord bestowing the Priesthood upon men, and making them agents to their brethren.  Continuial obedience to such men has always been a necessary condition of salvation.  All Prophets, Apostles, and holy men will be rewarded with the fruits of their labours, and have glory added upon them for ever and ever, and be exalted to be Gods, and crowned in the kingdom of their Father.

The Lord, for the encouragement of the faithful of His people in these days, has raised the veil a little, which obscures their vision, by revealing to them the present position of some of those ancient worthies.  When the Lord revealed the law of Celestial Marriage to the Prophet Joseph, speaking of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, He said, ‘And because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones; and are not angels, but are GODS.’  All who live on the earth, and faithfully work righteousness, as did these fathers, will receive a like reward of power and dominion.  All men, being in theimage of their father Adam, even as he is in the image of his father, and possessing a similar knowledge of good and evil, when they receive the keys and powers of the same Priesthood, and honour it by obedience, will, like Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the Prophets, and Jesus and his Apostles, bear rule and dominion over their own works, and have power to redeem, purify, and exalt their posterity.

The time came when those days of heavenly light and pure intelligence–when the earth was blessed with the Holy Priesthood, and with Prophets and Apostles to minister in the ordinances thereof, must be followed by ages of apostacy, error, and darkness.  The Son of Man who aforetime, in the councils of heaven, had offered to become a sacrifice for the redemption of His father’s family, came in the meridian of time to do his appointed work.  His own brethren in the lineage of the Priesthood, rejected and slew him.  Both they and the Gentiles afterwards persecuted and slew his Apostles, and shed the blood of his Saints, until the inhabitants of the earth had become wholly unworthy of having the Priesthood in their midst.  They denied the Spirit of revelation, and it left them to wander in darkness, and blindly follow the evil impulses of their corrupt hearts, until they and their posterity, in a measure, had suffered the reward of their transgressions, and a more righteous seed could be raised up on the earth, from the loins of those who were not guilty of innocent blood, who would be fit instruments for establishing the kingdom of God, when the generations of the wicked are cut off.  Joseph Smith is a literal descendant of that righteous seed.  In his veins flowed the pure blood of the Priesthood.  For this reason, and because of the integrity of his heart, he was chosen to stand at the head of the Dispensation of the fulness of times.  This Dispensation will complete the work of, and circumscribe all others, that the generations of the righteous may be perfected, and the chain of salvation be completed.  In this view of the subject, the Prophet Joseph occupies a position, the importance of which is scarcely conceived of, much less comprehended.  After a preparatory work, the keys of the Melchisedek Priesthood were conferred upon him by Peter, James, and John, who were the last organized presidency of that Priesthood on the earth.  The particular incidents of this important event have not yet been published to the world, but in a revelation given to Joseph Smith in September, 1830, the Lord says, ‘And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be Apostles, and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry, and of the same things which I revealed unto them: unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of the Gospel for the last times.’

Many have received the keys of this Priesthood through the ministry of the Prophet Joseph, that they might assist in carrying out the plan of salvation, as revealed through him.  Thus has the continuous succession of the Priesthood been maintained, and the former Gospel dispensation connected with the present, and there will never again be a time, in which there will not be living Apostles and Prophets to lead the obedient in the way of eternal life.  There is no other way of salvation to this generation than through Joseph Smith.  In the language of the Prophet Brigham, ‘No man or woman should be deprived of going into the presence of the Father and the Son, and enjoying an exaltation, if they would walk in the path he has pointed out.‘”  (“The Priesthood,” unsigned lead article [F. D. Richards, Editor], MS 18(10):145-148, 8 Mar., 1856)

“THE DUTIES OF THE PRIESTHOOD.–Much has been said and written on the subject of Priesthood; and yet those holding portions of it, and the Saints generally, have but a limited conception of what is implied in it.  When a man receives an ordination in this Church, there is an increse of responsibility upon him.  If he does not live in the spirit of that office, he is under condemnation.  Additional power, to do good or evil, has been placed upon him, and he cannot remain stationary.  If he is not using the power given him to do good, he may rest assured of the fact, that the devil is working through him to do evil.  If a man who holds the Priesthood is cold and indifferent to his duties, his spirit is felt in the midst of the Saints, and he is a dead weight on others who wish to do better, and that in proportion to the magnitude of the office which he holds.  This is a fact which comes under the observation of every faithful Elder who labours in the ministry.  Is there a Branch or Conference where the majority of the Priesthood are weak in the faith, and indifferent to their duties, it will be found that most of the Saints are in the same condition.  When the Spirit of the President of a Branch or Conference is known, it is a pretty good criterion by which to judge of the condition of those under his charge.

Let a man who is filled with the Holy Ghost, and the Spirit and power of his calling, be placed over a body of the Saints who have become dispirited, and their faith weak, and the fire that is burning in his bosom will soon begin to kindle up in theirs, and they will feel as though resurrected to newness of life.  These are plain, simple facts, and taht is the reason we mention them.  They come right home to the understanding, and it becomes those who hold the Priesthood, to look well to their ways, in order that their skirts may be clear of the sins of others.  The more power a man holds in this kingdom, the more effectually will his damnation be sealed, if he suffers evil to grow out of it.

Our leading article this week contains a few remarks on the subject of Priesthood, showing the importance of obedience to those invested with it, in their various spheres.  The subject is as extensive as the plan of salvation, and it will require an eternity of dilligent study to practice and to comprehend it.”  (Editorial [F. D. Richards, Editor], MS 18(10):153-154, 8 Mar., 1856)

16 Mar.:  The stewardship of Bishops.

“I will now refer to a portion of the discourse delivered here this afternoon, and say to the Bishops, that it would be highly gratifying to me, and to all of us, if you would prove yourselves wise stewards.  You have a good opportunity to exhibit your abilities, and I say to the Bishop who has just addressed us, won’t you do as I have formerly directed you, and appoint good, wise, judicious men to go through your Ward, to find out what is in that Ward, and the situation of every family, whether they have money, flour, or costly clothing, or whether they are destitute and suffering?  This is your business and calling.  kBut many of our Bishops are sleepy and good for nothing, and if I were going to cleanse the Church, knowing the character of individuals, I think I should commence with the Bishops.  Theirs is one of the most laborious and responsible offices in the whole Church; it is an office which requires men of the best skill, judgment and talent, to fill, and is one of the greatest importance.  Bishops, will you take hold and try to make men of yourselves?  After all I have said now and heretofore, if you were going to search your Wards, you would be very apt to come to me to inquire what you should do.  I will tell you, do not let there be one place, in the habitations of the Saints in your Wards, about which you are uninformed.  Brother Wooley has reported the circumstance of a Bishop finding a woman who had been living upon the charity of her neighbors, and who, at the same time, had valuable property, and money hid up.  I can refer you to scores of like circumstances, and what is more, to some of the Elders, those who are supposed to be among the best of our Elders, who have been preaching abroad and brought their hundreds into the Church, who come here with a lie in their hearts and on their tongues, with regard to their means, and declare, emphatically, that they have no means to help themselves with, neither money nor goods. . . .

Were I a Bishop, I would know to a reasonable degree of accuracy, the value of the clothing owned by those in my Ward, who were calling upon me for assistance, and I would be familiar with every nook and habitation, and watch carefully that money was not secreted, and the owners begging from those poorer than themselves.  I would know whether they had money hoarded, or hid away. . . .

Bishops, will you try to magnify your calling?  I will give you a few words of consolation; at our next Conference we expect to drop a good many Bishops, and appoint others, and we intend to keep doing so, until we get men with good hearts and active brains, to fill that responsible station.”  (Brigham Young, 16 Mar., 1856; JD 3:244-245)

16 Mar.:  RLDS: Organize a church as the Nephites did.

“It has been manifested to me in a few days past to organize as the Nephites did with a High Priest to preside over the whole church with elders, priests, and teachers, the High Priest to be elected by the voice of the people.  This requires a man of God and of great faith.  This I should wish to defer until I could get a more general expression of the brethren.”  (William Marks to James J. Adams, 16 Mar., 1856, typescript; Inez Smith David papers, P23 f61, RLDS Archives)

17 Mar.:  Rebaptism of Wilford Woodruff’s family.

“I spent the day in the Committee Room & in the evening I met with the Regency & at 10 oclok I went to a stream of water & Baptized all my family that was over 8 years old.  Three wives 8 Children & a lamanite Boy Called Moroni.  I returned to My house & confirmed them all.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 17 Mar., 1856)

10 Jun.:  Settling of disputes.

“Trial before the Bishops court June 10th 1856 of Charles King and Elmira Tufts.  Charges prefered: the complainant Chas King says that Elmira Tufts owes him two dollars for setting two tires on her waggon wheels which she refuses to pay him.  The court heard the evidence that was given and decided that Mrs. Tufts pay the complainant one dollar and take each other by the hand and live their religion.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 10 Jun., 1856)

22 Jun.:  We take the Priesthood to the next life.

“When the faithful Elders, holding this Priesthood, go into the spirit world they carry with them the same power and Priesthood that they had while in the mortal tabernacle.  They have got the victory over the power of the enemy here, consequently when they leave this world they have perfect control over those evil spirits, and they cannot be buffeted by Satan.  But as long as they live in the flesh no being on this earth, of the posterity of Adam, can be free from the power of the devil.”  (Brigham Young, 22 Jun., 1856; JD 3:371)

29 Jun.:  Peter, James and John.

“That Son called twelve men and ordained them to be Apostles, and when he departed the keys of the kingdom were deposited with three of those twelve, viz: Peter, James and John.  Peter held the keys pertaining to that Presidency, and he was the head.

How did these keys come to us?  Did not Peter, James and John ordain Joseph Smith our Prophet?  They did.  And Joseph Smith called and ordained br. Brigham, br. Heber, br. Parley and others, enough to make twelve Apostles.”  (Heber C. Kimball, 29 Jun., 1856; DN 6(24):188, 20 Aug., 1856)

21 Jul.:  The office of Pastor in the British Mission.

“Before proceeding any further, I will allude to one thing that has existed in the policy of the Church, in the British Isles, which has not been carried out in other missions of the Church, in the latter days, that I am aware of.  I will show satisfactory reasons why it has been pursued here; the matter will then be before Elders Pratt and Benson, and it will be for them to decide whether it is advisable for a change to be made now, or at any other time, or to continue as at present.

It was through certain instructions, which most here will recollect, in a General Epistle from the First Presidency, that the Presidency of these lands selected some from among the most faithful native Elders, to hold the office of Conference President, and, at the same time, at a Council of this kind in London, brethren from Zion were appointed to hold the office which we have called that of Pastor, to take charge of three or four Conferences, to preside over the Presidents, and to teach and counsel them by the light of the spirit of Zion.  Since then, there has been a Pastor, accessible in each field of labour, who has been enabled to answer questions on many matters, on which counsel has been wanted, that would otherwise have been sent to Liverpool, to the Presidency there, and have kept some one continually writing letters to answer them.  Then, again, the Lord has revealed many things in Zion which He has not revealed abroad, and it was my desire to bless the Conferences as much as possible, and, by appointing Elders to preside over them, as Pastors, who had come from Zion, I believed that that end would be accomplished, in a great measure.

I am happy to say, that all I anticipated in those appointments, taking the Conferences generally, has been realized.  Such has been the case in every Conference, where the President has duly appreciated that office.  I could cite some instances where Presidents of Conferences have considered the Pastor to be a spy upon them, but it is my opinion that whenever a President feels like this, he has great need of some one to look after him.  Such a feeling is unworthy of men in such positions, and is calculated to bring affliction wherever it is found existing.  If we are not all one in our object, and in our mode of attaining to that object–if a oneness does not exist, right down to the last and the lowest in the Priesthood, there the cause of God is impeded.  It cannot prosper in the hands of those who do not feel one with those who are placed over them, for the spirit of life and salvation is not there.

Wherever such persons are, there is a particular reason why a Pastor should be there to direct and teach him.  I am happy to say,l that such cases have been of rare occurrence; but, wherever such a spirit has been manifested, it has tended to shut out light and knowledge from the people of God.  I hope no such persons are present on this occasion.

I have now stated why the office of Pastor was instituted; and I leave it to the decision of Elders [Orson] Pratt and [Ezra Taft] Benson, whether it shall be dispensed with hereafter or not.”  (F. D. Richards, 21 Jul., 1856, “Minutes of a Special Conference of the Authorities of the European Missions,” MS 18(35):545-546, 30 Aug., 1856)

2 Aug.:  Peter, James and John ordained Joseph.

“This was not alone the work of the Prophet, but it was that he had received a commission from the Almighty, that he had been ordained by Peter, James and John, who were sent unto him as messengers or ministers from the heavens with proper authority, and had given him the legal authority of God, for what?  To build up the Kingdom of God upon the earth, to organize it and set it in order, and to ordain proper officers to execute the law.”  (Jedediah M. Grant, 2 Aug., 1856; DN 6(26):203, 3 Sep., 1856)

30/31 Aug.:  Home missionaries in Lake City.


Minutes of a quarterly conference held in Lake City, Utah County, August 30, and 31, 1856.

August 30, 10 A.M.  Present, Patriarch John Young, Elders Joseph G. Hovey, and Daniel D. Hunt, home missionaries, and Bishops L. E. Harrington, D. Evans, and H. Walker.

Singing.  Prayer by Elder Thomas Crooks.

Voted that Joseph G. Hovey preside over the Conference, and that William Greenwood act as clerk.

Elder Hovey made a few introductory remarks.

Patriarch John Young spoke on the necessity for Saints to be inspired with the Holy Spirit at all times.

Elder Hunt spoke on upholding our Bishops and bore a strong testimony to the truth of brother Young’s remarks.

Elder Hovey bore testimony to the truth of the remarks made by the brethren, and urged the necessity of attending the Conference.

Singing.  Prayer by brother J. Young.  Adjourned until 2 P.M.

Singing.  Prayer by Bishop David Evans.

Elder Hunt bore testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, that the mantle of Joseph was upon Prest. Brigham Young.

Bishop Evans spoke upon the importance of preserving our grain, and paying our tithing.

Elder Hovey spoke of the peaceful times we enjoy in the valleys of the mountains, yet some murmer.  Exhorted us to pay our tithing in season.

Singing.  Benediction by Bishop Walker.  Adjourned until to-morrow at 10 A.M.

Sunday morning, 10 A.M.  Singing.  Prayer by Patriarch John Young.

Prest. James C. Snow and Bishop Blackburn of Provo, were present, also many from the surrounding settlements.

Elder Hovey spoke of the good feeling prevailing, and of the good prospect before us.

Elder Hunt refered to the coming immigration, and exhorted us to be ready to assist them, and pronounced a blessing upon all present, in the name of Jesus, for their union, good feeling and good order.

Bishop Blackburn expressed his thankfulness for the privileges of the gospel, and alluded to our having to be tried in all things.

Singing.  Prayer by Prest. J. C. Snow.  Adjourned until 2. P.M.

Singing.  Prayer by Elder Hunt.

Patrairch John Young said that every man and woman creates to themselves a heaven or not, and that no person can govern without they submit to be governed, and that the priesthood is a perfect system of government.  Also spoke of family order, &c.

Prest. James C. Snow said that he had been pleased with the remarks that had been made, and exhorted all to pay their tithing, that the temple may be built, that we may redeem our dead.

Elders Hunt and Hovey expressed their gratification with the good order and spirit that prevailed in the congregation, and with the principles taught.

Sunday evening the High Priests had a meeting, and much good instruction was given by the home missionaries, and Patriarch John Young.

Monday evening, a social meeting was held at the school house, the home missionaries still being with us, much good feeling was manifested, and much excellent instructions given.

William Greenwood, Clerk.”

(DN 6(29):228, 24 Sep., 1856)

Fall:  Rebaptized and ordained an elder simultaneously.

“In the fall of 1856, time of the reformation, James Whittaker Sr. rebaptized me and at the confirmation Bp. Smith confirmed me.  After the ceremony of confirmation he bent down, asked what Priesthood I held.  I answered none.  He continued and ordained me an Elder.”  (Christopher J. Arthur autobiography, part II, page 25; LC Collection)

6 Sep.:  We are positively heirs of the Priesthood.

“There is another thing that brother Joseph said–viz., that we were positively heirs of the Priesthood; for he had seen us as such in his vision; yes, just as much so as my children are that have been born since I received my endowment.  Our fathers were heirs to that Priesthood, which was handed down from father to son, and we came through that lineage.”  (Heber C. Kimball, 6 Sep., 1856; JD 5:216)

7 Sep.:  Priority of Peter, James and John.

“I bear this testimony, this day, that Joseph Smith was and is a Prophet, Seer and Revelator, an Apostle holding the keys of this last dispensation and of the kingdom of God, under Peter, James and John.  And not only that he was a Prophet and Apostle of Jesus Christ, and lived and died one, but that he now lives in the spirit world, and holds those same keys to usward [?] and to this whole generation.  Also that he will hold those keys to all eternity, and no power in heaven or on the earth will ever take them from him, for he will continue holding those keys through all eternity, and will stand, yes again in the flesh upon this earth, as the head of the Latter Day Saints under Jesus Christ and under Peter, James and John. . . .

We will be judged by br. Joseph, and he will be judged by Peter, James and John and their associates.  Br. Brigham, who now presides over us, will hold the keys under br. Joseph; and he and his brethren, who hold the keys with him, or under his direction, will judge the people, for they will hold those keys to all eternity, worlds without end.  By those keys they will have to judge this generation; and Peter, James and John will hold the keys to preside over and judge and direct br. Joseph to all eternity; and Jesus Christ will hold the keys over them and over us, under his Father, to whom be all the glory.”  (Parley P. Pratt, 7 Sep., 1856; DN 6(42):332, 24 Dec., 1856)

13 Sep.:  Rebaptism/teachers to report to bishops monthly.

“Prest. [J. M.] Grant called upon the people to repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins; advised that the teachers in each district of the ward report to the bishop at least once a month the standing of the members.”  (“Great Reformation,” report of a conference at Kaysville, Davis County, 13-14 Sep., 1856; DN 6(29):228, 24 Sep., 1856)

14 Sep.:  Rebaptism of Kaysville Ward.

“Prest. [J. M.] Grant enjoined upon the Saints to observe the utmose decorum and reverence while the sacred ordinance of baptism was being attended to.  After prayer, he proceded to baptize Bishop Allen Taylor and his counselors, Reddick N. Allred and Dorr P. Curtis.  Nearly 500 Saints were immersed under the direction of Prest. Grant, aided by Bishop Taylor, Elders Clements, Allred, Curtis, Weinel, Wm. Booth, jr., Payne, and Dinsdale; Prest. Grant baptized upwards of 80 with his own hands.  After baptism the Saints repaired to the bowery, where the ordinance of confirmation was attended to by Presidents Grant and J. Young, assisted by Elders Clements, Willes, Hunt, Taylor, Allred, Curtis, Ellison, T. Squires, Payne, S. Henderson, Dinsdale, Weinel, McPherson, and Matthews.”  (“Great Reformation,” report of a conference at Kaysville, Davis County, 13-14 Sep., 1856; DN 6(29):228, 24 Sep., 1856)

14/15 Sep.:  Home missionaries.

“[14 Sep.]  Prest. [J. M.] Grant imparted some valuable instructions in relation to government in the branch and family circles; counseled the Bishop to call upon the brethren to follow a systematic course to sustain the home missionaries who stood in need of assistance, taking care to credit each contributor to the fund, and deliver an annual report of the same in writing to Prest. B. Young and his counsel, and to forward the contributions of the people to the houses of the home missionaries.  He gave the same counsel to the Seventies in relation to Prest. Joseph Young. . . .

[15 Sep.]  Prest. Grant delivered a powerful addres, at the conclusion of which he called upon all the home missionaries to arise in turn and bless the people, which they did in the name of the Lord, and by the power of the Holy Priesthood poured forth the blessing of the new and everlasting covenant on the congregation.  Every heart was made glad and the people were deeply affected by the power of God.

During the conference the greatest kindness and hospitality were shown by the people to the home missionaries.”  (“Great Reformation,” report of a conference at Kaysville, Davis County, 13-15 Sep., 1856; DN 6(29):228, 24 Sep., 1856)

16-18 Sep.:  Work of home missionaries in reformation.

“Minutes of meetings held in Farmington, Davis County, Sept. 16, 17, and 18, 1856.

[16th] President J. M. Grant and some of the Elders of the home mission, in returning from holding a quarterly conference at Kaysville, held a meeting in the upper room of the court house, commencing at 6 1/2 p.m.

. . . .

Prest. Grant said that he, in connexion with the home missionaries, had been laboring for the last four days in the ward southwest from Farmington, with the most gratifying results, having baptized, confirmed and blesed over four hundred persons, and blessed many children. . . .

Prest. Grant said that the spirit in him said stay to-morrow, and if need be the next day, and commence the work of reformation as they had in the ward north, and so continue through the wards south, from here to Great Salt Lake City.  That he would send a messenger to Prest. Brigham Young with an invitation for him to come, or to send some others to assist.  Requested the congregation, if it was their wish for them to stay and commence preaching and baptizing, to rise, when the whole assembly rose with a sudden rush. . . .

[17th]  After entering into covenant, with uplifted hands, to keep all the commandments of God, inasmuch as they were made known, four hundred and six persons were baptized by Prest. Grant, Bishop Hess, and Elders D. D. Hunt, Gilbert Clements, John S. Gleason and D. A. Miller. . . .

[Prest. Grant] remembered that, when the chariots of Israel passed over through the Temple in Kirtland, High Priests fell to the floor and laid for hours, and remarked that, if Joseph or any of the angels of God had come into this room to-day, he doubted whether there were ten men or five women that would not have fallen to the floor and laid there for days.”  (DN 6(30):237, 1 Oct., 1856)

21 Sep.:  Necessity of rebaptism.

“I repeat that, as for as [sic] those who are disposed to refrain from their evils, to renew their covenants and live their religion, I will have the honor and you the privilege of going forth and renewing your covenants, otherwise their must be a separation.”  (Brigham Young, 21 Sep., 1856; JD 4:44)

21 Sep.:  Grant on Blood Atonement/need for Reformation.

“I feel that the remarks which we have heard this morning are true, and they apply directly to you who are now present, and to the inhabitants of this city and of the Territory generally, and we do not excuse any of you.

If the arrows of the Almighty ought to be thrown at you we want to do it, and to make you feel and realize that we mean you.  And although we talk of the old clay’s being ground in the mill, we do not mean it to apply to some other place, for we have enough here who have been dried ever since their baptism, and many of them are cracked and spoiling.

Some have received the priesthood and a knowledge of the things of God, and still they dishonor the cause of truth, commit adultery and every other abomination beneath the heavens, and then meet you here or in the street and deny it.

These are the abominable characters that we have in our midst, and they will seek unto wizards that peep, and to star-gazers and soothsayers, because they have no faith in the holy priesthood, and then when they meet us they want to be called saints.

The same characters will get drunk and wallow in the mire and filth, and yet they call themselves saints and seem to glory in their conduct, and they pride themselves in their greatness and in their abominations.

They are the old hardened sinners, and are almost–if not altogether–past improvement, and are full of hell, and my prayer is that God’s indignation may rest upon them, and that he will curse them from the crown of their heads to the soles of their feet.

I say that there are men and women that I would advise to go to the President immediately, and ask him to appoint a committee to attend to their case; and then let a place be selected, and let that committee shed their blood.

We have those amongst us that are full of all manner of abominations, those who need to have their blood shed, for water will not do, their sins are of too deep a dye.

You may think that I am not teaching you Bible doctrine, but what says the apostle Paul?  I would ask how many covenant breakers there are in this city and in this kingdom.  I believe there are a great many; and if they are covenant-breakers we need a place designated, where we can shed their blood.

Talk about old clay; I would rather have clay from a new bank than some that we have had clogging the wheels for the last nineteen years.  They are a perfect nuisance and I want them cut off, and the sooner it is done the better.

We have men who are incessantly finding fault, who get up little party spirits and criticise the conduct of men of God.  They will find fault with this, that, and the other, and nothing is right for them, because they are full of all kinds of filth and wickedness.

And we have women here who like any thing but the celestial law of God; and if they could break asunder the cable of the Church of Christ, there is scarcely a mother in Israel but would do it this day.  And they talk it to their husbands, to their daughters, and to their neighbors, and say they have not seen a week’s happiness since they became acquainted with that law, or since their husbands took a second wife.  They want to break up the church of God, and to break it from their husbands and from their family connections.

Then again there are men that are used as tools by their wives, and they are just a little better in appearance and in their habits than a little black boy.  They live in filth and nastiness, they eat it and drink it, and they are filthy all over.

We have Elders and High Priests that are precisely in this predicament; and yet they are wishing for more of the Holy Ghost, they wish to have it in larger doses.  They want more revelation, but I tell you that you now have more than you live up to, more than you practise and make use of.

If I hurt your feelings, let them be hurt.  And if any of you ask, ‘do I mean you?’ I answer, yes.  If any woman asks, ‘do I mean her?’ I answer, yes.  And I want you to understand that I am throwing the arrows of God Almighty among Israel; I do not excuse any.

I am speaking to you in the name of Israel’s God, and you need to be baptized and washed clean from your sins, from your backslidings, from your apostacies, from your filthiness, from your lying, from your swearing, from your lusts, and from every thing that is evil before the God of Israel.

We have been trying long enough with this people, and I go in for letting the sword of the Almighty be unsheathed, not only in word but in deed.

I go in for letting the wrath of the Almighty burn up the dross and the filth; and if the people will not glorify the Lord byi sanctifying themselves, let the wrath of the Almighty God burn against them, and the wrath of Joseph and of Brigham and of Heber and of high heaven.

There is nothing to prevent you from being humble and doing right, but your own little, foolish, and wicked acts and doings.  I will just tell you that if an angel of God were to pass Great Salt Lake City, while you are in your present state, he would not consider you worthy of his company.

You have got to cleanse yourselves from corruption, before you are fit for the society of those beings.  You may hear of people in other cities being baptized and renewing their covenants, but they are not sinners above all others; and except the inhabitants of G. S. L. City repent and do their first works they shall all likewise perish, and the wrath of God will be upon them and round about them.

You can scarcely find a place in this city that is not full of filth and abominations; and if you would search them out, they would easily be weighed in the balances, and you would then find that they do not serve their God and purify their bodies.

But the course they are taking leads them to corrupt themselves, the soil, the waters, and the mountains, and they defile everything around them.

Brethren and sisters, we want you to repent and forsake your sins.  And you who have committed sins that cannot be forgiven through baptism, let your blood be shed and let the smoke ascend, that the incense thereof may come up before God as an atonement for your sins, and that the sinners in Zion may be afraid.

These are my feelings, and may God fulfil them.  And my wishes are that He will grant the desires of my brethren, that Zion may be purified, and the wicked purged out of her, until God shall say I will bless the rest; until he shall say I will bless your flocks, your herds, your little ones, your houses, your lands, and all that you possess; and you shall be my people and I will come and take up my abode with you, and I will bless all those that do right; which may he grant, in the name of Jesus.  Amen.”  (Jedediah M. Grant, 21 Sep., 1856; DN 6(30):235, 1 Oct., 1856)

25 Sep.:  Kingdom is deprived of its legs and feet.

“Let an individual be ordained as a Teacher, some kind friend or other tells him he is not in his right place as it was high time he should be ordained High Priest or Seventy, by this means the Kingdom of God is deprived of its legs and feet.”  (Bishops Meetings with Presiding Bishopric, Minutes, 1849-1884, entry for 25 Sep., 1856[?]; quoted in Hartley, “Ordained and Acting Teachers in the Lesser Priesthood, 1851-1883,” BYU Studies 16(3):392, Spring, 1976)

25 Sep.:  Sins that could not be remitted by baptism.

“Prest. [J. M.] Grant enquired whether there were any in the congregation that had committed sins that could not be remitted by baptism, if so, he forbid their coming to the water as candidates for the administration of that ordinance.”  (Minutes of a conference held in Centerville, Davis County, 25 Sep., 1856; DN 6(31):248, 8 Oct., 1856)

27 Sep.:  Reformation.

[Sunday Evening Meeting]  “The inhabitants of the ward met according to previous appointment at 7 o’clock.  Meeting opened by singing and prayer (prayer by Bishop Sheets).

The Bishop arose and said that Prest. [Jedediah M.] Grant had gave the Bishop instructions to get up a refformation in their wards that they might reform and be honest, pay their debts and tithing and live as Saints of the most high.  The Bishop exorted all of us to be more faithfull and keep all of the commandments.

Bro. Samuel Woolley arose and said that he was astonished to hear the remarks of the president [Grant].  When he arrived home he spoke of the contrast between the people of the valleys and those of the world.  He also exorted the Saints to be faithful and live up to counsel.

Bro. Woodward also spoke on the same subject exhorting the Saints to search their own hearts and put away every thing that is evil, and prepare for the blessings that the Lord had in store for them.

Bro. Houtz spoke of the cause of some apostatizing also of us preparing for to renew our covenants &c. . . .

The Bishop made a few closing remarks respecting having more meetings.  He appointed meetings to be held on Thursday Evenings of each week.  Meeting closed by Bro. Woolley.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 27 Sep., 1856)

4 Oct.:  Baneemyites.

“Minutes of a meeting at the Historian’s Office, Oct. 4, 1856, 6 p.m.  Present were Pres. Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Jedediah M. Grant, Wilford Woodruff, Franklin D. Richards, Daniel Spencer, Go. D. Grant, William H. Kimball, James Ferguson, Joseph A. Young, Nathaniel H. Felt, James McGaw, Edmund Eldridge, Cyrus H. Wheelock, Albert P. Rockwood, Horace S. Eldredge, Edwin D. Woolley, Bryant Stringham, Daniel H. Wells, Albert Carrington, Nathaniel V. Jones, Seth M. Blair, Samuel W. Richards, Samuel L. Sprague, Hiram B. Clawson and Leo Hawkins. . . .

[Franklin D. Richards] Winchester came to see me at Florence.  He ran for representative, but it came out he was a ‘Mormon.’  He is making brick.  Quite a number of this Texan company are from Lyman Wight’s company.

Pres. Young.  Did you hear anything of the Baneemyites?

W. H. Kimball.  I saw the president of that company; he gave me an invitation to go up to their City of Preparation.  He has lost all his families but 20, and they are leaving him.  Strang is dead and his followers driven from Beaver Island.”  (JH 4 Oct., 1856)

30 Dec.:  Rebaptisms of Legislative Assembly.

“Baptisms and confirmations of the Legislative Assembly and Missionaries in the baptismal font, Temple Block, 30 Dec., 1856.  Confirmed in the upper room of the Endowment House, G. S. L. City, 6 p.m.  [54 names listed.]”  (JH 30 Dec., 1856)

2 Oct.:  Dedication of baptismal font/rebaptism of leaders

“I met with Presidents B. Young H. C. Kimball & J. M. Grant at the House of the Lord at 6 oclok P.M. for the purpose of Dedicating the Baptismal Font which has of Late been built on the east side of the House of the Lord.  There was also present Besides the Presidency W Woodruff E Hunter Joseph Young D H. Wells A Carrington L. W. Hardy J. C. Little & Gilbert Clements.

We went to the Font & knelt down around it & dedicated it unto God.  President B. Young called upon President Heber C Kimball to be Mouth in the dedication Prayer.  The following is a synopsis of the dedication Prayer reported by W. Woodruff:

He Said O God the Eternal Father we bow down before Thee upon this Font which has been made by thy servants to baptize thy people in, for the purpose of dedicating it unto the Lord our God.  We dedicate ourselves before Thee O Lord & we ask the in the name of Jesus Christ to forgive us all our sins that we may have Thy Holy Spirit to guide us in all things that we may be guided in the ways of the Lord & that we may never do wrong.  Look upon us O God that have now bowed before thee around this Font & help us to do thy will in all things Acknowledge the in all things and honor The & worship Thee at all times.  Help us to Honor our Tabernacles that we may never disgrace ourselves in any thing.  Grant unto us thy Holy spirit that it may quicken our understanding & bring to our rememberance all things which are necessary for us in the discharge of our duties.

We now dedicate this Font unto thee O God.  We consecrate it unto thee in the name of Jesus Christ.  Let thine Angel O Lord touch this water & this Font with his Finger that it may be holy unto Thee Lord.  May no unclean thing ever enter into this Font to pullute it.

We dedicate ourselves our wives Children & all that we have unto the O Lord Our God.  May we be thine forever & all that we have.

Now O Lord except of this dedication at our hands and as we go into this water may our sins be forgiven & not be remembered against us any more.  May we feel the power of God and have power to work a great Refermation among this people.  And may this people triumph over our enemies & may not our enemies ever again have power over us but wilt thou cause thine indignation to burn against them that they shall not have any power to do thy people harm.

Now O Lord look down upon thy servant Brigham & cloth him with thy power that he may know the workings of the power of the devel in the Earth & among this people & do thy work.

We now dedicate this Font to Baptize the Living & the Living for the dead & for evry purpose which is necessary to perform the work of the Lord our God, even that the generations which are dead & passed away may be saved & that the sins of the Living may be washed away & that the sick may be healed of evry infirmety that we may be renewed in body & spirit in all things.  Except of this dedication at our hands O Lord & hear our prayers and we will give all the glory to God our Heavenly Father and we ask it in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

After the Font was dedicated President Brigham Young went down into the water in the Font & Baptized Presidents Heber C. Kimball & J. M. Grant & he laid his hands upon them & confirmed them members in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints & blessed them in the name of the Lord.  He blessed Heber C Kimball & Heber C Kimball was mouth in blessing J. M. Grant.

President Young said unto Heber C. Kimball Brother Heber Chase In the name of Jesus Christ I lay my hands upon your head and I Confirm you to be a member in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints & I seal unto you the gift of the Holy Ghost & Eternal life and I ordain & seal upon your head to be a prophet, Seer & Revelator in the church & kingdom of God & over the hosue of Israel and I seal upon you all the keys of the Kingdom of God on the Earth that was ever sealed upon the head of any man & I seal these blessings upon you in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Heber C. Kimball then said to Jedediah M. Grant Brother Jedediah In the name of Jesus Christ we lay our hands upon your head & we confirm you to be a member in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints & we seal upon you all the keys of the Holy Priesthood even to be Prophet seer & Revelator in the Church & kingdom of God & evry blessing which has ever been sealed upon you & we seal upon you the gift of the Holy Ghost & we seal you up unto Eternal Life in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

President Brigham Young then Baptized me & all the Presidency laid hands upon me & J. M. Grant was mouth in confirming me & said Brother Wilford Woodruff in the name of Jesus Christ we lay our hands upon your head & we confirm you to be a member in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints & we seal upon your head all the gifts & blessings of the Apostleship & priesthood & evry blessing which has ever been sealed upon you in any Temple or place we seal & confirm upon you in the name of Jesus Christ & we bless you for your infirmaties & ill health & pray that you may be healed & have the gift of writing the truth as a historian & we ask our Father in heaven to grant unto you these blessings in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

President B. Young then baptized Bishop Edward Hunter & Confirmed him.  He was mouth & said Brother Edward Hunter we lay our hands upon your head in the name of Jesus Christ & we confirm you to be a member in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints & we seal upon you the gifts of the Holy Ghost & the Priesthood & bishopprick & the keyes thereoff and we seal upon your head all the gifts Blessings priesthood & power which has been sealed uon you by the prophet Joseph or any of the Servants of God & we say that you shall have power to magnify your calling as the chief bishop in the Church & Kingdom of God on Earth the spirit & power of the Holy Ghost & Revelation shall rest upon you in power & we seal you up unto Eternal Life & we seal upon your head evry blessing your heart Can desire in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

President Young then baptized the following persons:  Joseph Young D. H. Wells A. Carrington L. W. Hardy J. C. Little & Gilbert Clements & was mouth in confirming them all except D. H. Wells.  H. C. Kimball spoke upon his head.  This made 10 persons which President Young Baptized & confirmed.

Heber C Kimball then baptized President Brigham Young & confirmed him & said (J. M. Grant also laid on hands) Brother Brigham Young we lay our hands upon your head & confirm you to be a member in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints & we seal upon your head the Holy Priesthood with all the keys powers & blessings appertaining thereunto even to be a prophet seer & revelator in the church & kingdom of God & over the House of Israel & we seal upon your head all the blessings which were sealed upon you by the Prophet Joseph & we say unto you that you shall have power over your Enemies & you shall not be slain by them but you shall live to see them overthrown & to see the saints come off victorious over there enemies & I seal these blessing upon you in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

At the Close of the dedication & baptism I attended meeting with J. M. Grant & other Missionaries at the 17th ward.  Elder Johnson spoke to the people followed by J. M. Grant who spoke in the spirit & power of God in calling upon the people to repent & reform.  He was followed By Gilbert Clements & W. Woodruff who bore testimony to what had been said.  We had a soul stiring meeting.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 2 Oct., 1856)

2 Oct.:  Some quorum officers as corrupt as the Devil.

“Go to all the quorums in this city, and you will find some of their Presidents and Officers as corrupt as the devil.  We have men that can beat the Gentiles in any mean tricks they are a mind to start up, but those who intend to serve God should do right.

I want to see the Bishops of the Wards right, then I want to see the Teachers right; I want to see them all filled with the Holy Ghost, then they can do something. . . .

There are many of the Seventies who are spiritually dead and damned, and so are many of the Elders.  Many of the Presidents of Quorums are like pipe which needs to be burnt out, before it is fit to be used.  It is the same with many of the High Priests and others.  I pray God that this people may rise up and get the Holy Ghost, and wake up and live their religion.”  (Jedediah M. Grant, 2 Oct., 1856; JD 4:188-189)

2 Oct.:  Teachers given a new set of questions for people.

“It is your duty to keep clean.  I have given the Teachers a new set of questions to ask the people.  I say to them, ask the people whether they keep clean.  Do you wash your bodies once in each week, when circumstances will permit?  Do you keep your dwellings, outhouses, and dooryards clean?  The first work of the reformation with some, should be to clean away the filth about their premises.  How would some like to have President Young visit them and go through their buildings, examine their rooms, bedding, &c.?

Many houses stink so bad, that a clean man could not live in them, nor hardly breathe in them.  Some men were raised in stink, and so were there fathers before them.  I would not attempt to bless any body in such places.  You may inquire why I talk so.  Can you talk in a better style about dirt, nastiness, and filth?  If you can, I cannot, and at the same time make people feel enough upon the subject to put away their filth and be clean.  If you want me to speak smoother, do better and keep cleaner.  Were I to talk about God, heaven, angels, or anything good, I could talk in a more refined style, but I have to talk about things as they do exist among us.”  (Jedediah M. Grant, 2 Oct., 1856; JD 4:188-189)

4 Oct.:  Baneemyites.

“Minutes of a meeting at the Historian’s Office, Oct. 4, 1856, 6 p.m.  Present were Pres. Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Jedediah M. Grant, Wilford Woodruff, Franklin D. Richards, Daniel Spencer, Go. D. Grant, William H. Kimball, James Ferguson, Joseph A. Young, Nathaniel H. Felt, James McGaw, Edmund Eldridge, Cyrus H. Wheelock, Albert P. Rockwood, Horace S. Eldredge, Edwin D. Woolley, Bryant Stringham, Daniel H. Wells, Albert Carrington, Nathaniel V. Jones, Seth M. Blair, Samuel W. Richards, Samuel L. Sprague, Hiram B. Clawson and Leo Hawkins. . . .

[Franklin D. Richards] Winchester came to see me at Florence.  He ran for representative, but it came out he was a ‘Mormon.’  He is making brick.  Quite a number of this Texan company are from Lyman Wight’s company.

Pres. Young.  Did you hear anything of the Baneemyites?

W. H. Kimball.  I saw the president of that company; he gave me an invitation to go up to their City of Preparation.  He has lost all his families but 20, and they are leaving him.  Strang is dead and his followers driven from Beaver Island.”  (JH 4 Oct., 1856)

4 Oct.:  Reformation/rebaptism.

[Sunday Evening Meeting]  “Bro. Joseph Hovey (home missionary) also addressed the meeting on the subject of a reformation among the Saints.  He spoke on the subject of cleanliness, of their attending to their secret & family prayers and of preparing themselves for a renewal of their covenants by baptism.  The Bishop said the remarks of Bro. Hovey were good and wished the people to live their religion.  The congregation arose and sung Praise God from Whom All Blesings Flow.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 4 Oct., 1856)

5 Oct.:  Rebaptism of families of General Authorities.

“At the Close of the meeting we repaired to the prayer Circle had prayers then we went unto the Font & President Brigham Young went down into the Font of water & baptized men women & children of his own family about 75 in number.  Then President Heber C. Kimball went down into the water & baptized about 75 mostly of his family.  Some were of my Family & others of the Twelve.  Then Lorenzo Young went into the water & baptized about 25 persons making 175 persons all of which were confirmed under the Hands of H. C. Kimball J. M. Grant W. Woodruff Joseph Young J. Vancott & D. H. Wells Confirmed a few of the Last.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 5 Oct., 1856)

6 Oct.:  Unanimous negative vote in General Conference.

“President BRIGHAM YOUNG stated that the Semi-annual Conference was now open, and that the first business was to forthwith start assistance to those now on the Plains.  Called upon those who were willing to go, or send teams, to come to the stand and report; saying that if there were not enough teams, teamsters, &c., volunteered, he would close the Conference, and, with brother Kimball, start back to help those companies.

President KIMBALL remarked, it is moved and seconded that Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Jedediah M. Grant go back to help the P. E. Fund Emigrants.  Unanimously negatived.”  (6 Oct., 1856, General Conference Minutes; MS 19(8):113, 21 Feb., 1857)

6 Oct.:  Reformation:  the quorums have been asleep.

“I want now to say a few words upon the subject of our reformation.  The Presidency have called upon us to reform our ways, to renew our covenants, and to commence to live the lives of Saints.  I take this liberty because I have the opportunity of speaking to you.  I say then that they have called upon us to put on the whole armor, to reform our conduct.  Men having authority have called upon us to forsake our wickedness and our follies, and I may here say that the Presidency have preached to the people in this Territory, not only for the last month, but for the last year, and I have thought that it was a good deal like throwing a ball against a rock, it did not penetrate but bounded back, but they have told us that we were asleep as a people, and we have been told of the condition that we are in by the Prophets of God, and as brother Grant has said, we may take the Church as a body with the Priesthood, with but few exceptions, and we have been asleep.  What! should the Apostles of Jesus Christ go to sleep, men who ought to have their minds upon nothing else but the things of the kingdom of God?  No, they should not, they should not be asleep, but they have not always felt as they should feel.

You may take the Twelve, and the Seventies, and High Priests, and all the other quorums, except the First Presidency, and they have been more or less asleep.  I believe the First Presidency have been awake or they would not have known that we were asleep, and they now think that it is time for us to awake and arise from our slumbers, and I feel so too.

I will tell you how I feel about it; men bearing the Priesthood of God, it is a solemn truth, and you know it as well as I do, that almost all the male members in this land bear the holy Priesthood of the Most High, and yet at the same time we have had more stealing, more lying, more swearing in one year than there should have been in a thousand; we have had more stealing here in Utah than has been for our credit, and when you have taken up that you may also take up every other sin and pile them up together and what is our condition before God?  Why, we have violated our covenants which we made at the waters of baptism.  What is the use then of our saying that we have been righteous, that we have been holy, when we have actually been in a sound sleep, when we have been so much out of the way?  It is no use whatever, and the time of sifting and purifying the Saints has come, and for one I am willing to put on the garment, and keep it on, until we burn out all the evil that exists.

Why will we suffer our hearts to be set upon the things of the world, when they should be upon the Lord and the building up of His kingdom?  And as long as the angels are ready to write down our actions, and the Spirit of God is taken away from the nations of the earth, and they are filled with wickedness and abominations of every kind, and the judgments of God are ready to fall upon the earth, for ‘Hell has enlarged herself, and the pomp and glory of the world will descend into it.’  And where should men be awake if not here in Zion?

It is our duty, brethren, to live in that way and manner before our God, that we find no difficulty in administering in any of the ordinances of the kingdom of God; we should live so that the spirit and power of the Holy Ghost will rest down upon us; we should humble ourselves before the Lord in our closets, and live day by day, so that we can know what is right and what is wrong, and when the Presidency give us any instruction or charge, to live so that we will be ready to follow their counsel.

I believe that the majority of the people are ready to wake up; I believe that they already begin to feel the reformation spirit in them, and it is certainly time, for there are great events at our door, and I likewise feel that we will have as much labor upon our hands as we will be able to perform; it is a great and an important day that we live in, and when we look upon the work of the Lord as Elders, as High Priests, as Seventies, and as men should who bear the Priesthood, we should never be asleep, but be ever ready to do the work of God, and to build up His kingdom, for the day is now come when we must awake and become the friekds of God; we must not allow anything to standj between us and our God, or we shall be cut off.”  (Wilford Woodruff, 6 Oct., 1856; JD 4:97-98)

7 Oct.:  Progress of reformation/rebaptism.

“A work of reformation has commenced among the Saints here.  We receive much good teaching from the First Presidency.  They tell us that we are all partially asleep to the things which pertain to the kingdom of God, and our eternal welfare, and that the time has come when we must show our true colours, and live our religion as Saints of the living and true God.

We are all commanded to be re-baptized for the remission of sins, and renew our covenants.”  (George Romney [SLC] to Miles Romney [England], 7 Oct., 1856; MS 19(6):91, 7 Feb., 1856)

8 Oct.:  Reformation/rebaptism.

[Thursday Evening Meeting]  “The Bishop arose and said that Bretheren & Sisters were backward about coming to meeting.  He spoke of the good conference that we had had and of the dividing line that was about to be drawn and of the people waking up and doing their duties, of paying their tithing and of doing all other necessary things that was required of them as Saints of God that they might get a recommendation to be baptised.  Bro. Woodard exorted the saints to respond to the call of the Bishop that they might get a recommend to be baptised.  Bro. Houtz said that many said that they were doing as well as they could but there was a chance of doing better yet.  He wished to settle all of their hard feelings where any existed and not let strife and contention be amongst them so that the spirit of God might be with them in all of their doings.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 8 Oct., 1856)

11 Oct.:  Excommunication in Sacrament Meeting.

[Sunday Evening Meeting]  “Meeting opened by the Bishop.  Afterwards he arose and said that we had assembled together to worship God and he was glad to see such a goodly number of the Bretheren & Sisters to meeting.  He also was glad to see some of our Bretheren from other wards with us and that if we would draw out our minds to God they would instruct us by the power of the Holy Ghost. . . .

The Bishop arose and bore testimony to what the Bretheren had said and then brought before the meeting the case of Br. Wm. Hansen.  He said that Hansen had not lived the life of a saint since he had been in the Valley that he had not payed his tithing (nor was he willing to do it) and that he cursed and took the name of God in vain.  Also Hansen said that he would not give five cents difference between Heber C. Kimballs curses or blessings.  The Bishop said that he had been to see him and get him to walk up to his duty as a Saint, pay his tithing, &c.  He would not give the Bishop any definite answer only that maybe he would do that & maybe he would do this.  Bishop gave him one week to make satisfaction and he told him if he did not he would lay his case before the ward.  He came at the end of the week but would not say positive whether he would do better or not.  The Bishop said that the Teachers had visited him often to get him to do right, but it was of very little use.  The Bishop then move[d] that he be cut off from the Church, which was seconded and carried unanimously.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 11 Oct., 1856)

12 Oct.:  Re-baptisms must be agreeable to order laid down

“When brother Brigham predicts that certain things will happen if the people persist in a certain course, that prediction will be fulfilled, except the people make a retraction and an atonement sufficient to satisfy the demands of justice; for that is what God requires.  When that is done, the sins of the people will be remitted.  I speak of this, that you may understand that your re-baptisms must be agreeable to the order laid down.  It is not simply a man’s saying, ‘Having been commissioned by Jesus Christ, I baptise you for the renewal of your covenants and remission of your sins,’ but you must be subject to your brethren and fulfil the law of God.”  (Heber C. Kimball, 12 Oct., 1856; JD 5:202-203)

19 Oct.:  Teachers to see that there are no idlers.

[Sunday evening meeting]  “The Bishop said that he was glad to see so many of the Bretheren & Sisters to meeting.  He wished them to live their religion, to keep themselves clean that the Holy Ghost might abide with them, and for them to get ready for baptism.  He also wished the Teachers to see that there was no idlers in the ward that they might not be spending their time [in] idleness.  He wanted all to be busy while good weather lasted, that none might suffer for want of food and fuel.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 19 Oct., 1856)

22 Oct.:  “Teachers’ Court.”

[Teachers Meeting]  “A special meeting of the Teachers was called this evening.  Meeting opened by Bro. Hale with prayer.  The Bishop arose and stated the object of the meeting which was to inquire of the Bretheren if they had their provisions for the ensuing winter, and to wake up some of the members of this ward that had not walked in the line of their duty for a long time back.  He brought Bro. Oliver’s case before the meeting and said that he had not done his duty for the last 6 or 7 years, and that he had lied to the Teachers &c.  He wished Bro. Oliver to rise and state his feelings and wished to know his intentions for the future.  Bro. Oliver arose and said that he had formerly neglected his prayers but that he had now commenced them again.  He also stated his reason for not attending ward meetings.  He believed that Joseph was a prophet and that Brigham is his successor.  He said that he was in for the refformation and promised in the future to walk up this duties.  The Bishop said that there was an old difficulty existing between Bro. Oliver and Bro. Foster which if they would settle and shake hands and be friends he would bless them, which they did.  Also Bro. Foster & Bro. Everett had not been on good terms and he wished them to be friends and settle their difficulties which they did, shook hand[s] with each other and burried the hatchet.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 22 Oct., 1856)

29 Oct.:  Teachers to prepare people for rebaptism.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Bishop made some remarks respecting the teachers being waked up and energetic in their duties in order to get the people of the ward ready for baptism.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 29 Oct., 1856)

30 Oct.:  Brigham’s exhortation to reform.

“Brother Orson [Pratt], and brother Ezra [T. Benson], humble yourselves before the Lord of Hosts, and get the Spirit of the Almighty to fill you up; receive the Holy Spirit, and let it live in your bosoms, and pour it out upon the people; arouse the people, the old and the young; the Elders and the Priests; the Seventies and High Priests; the Teachers, and Deacons, and all the Saints, to a sense of their obligations: cause them to sanctify themselves before the Lord of Hosts; make them practise cleanliness in their persons and houses, that the power of the Highest may rest down upon them.  Let brother Benson and yourself, as much as possible, go through all the Conferences and Branches, and stir them up; and call and ordain Elders, and send them forth into every neighbourhood, parish, and town, into every ward of the cities, and let the Elders meet often and pray, and talk about the things of the kingdom, and get the Holy Ghost.  Trim off the dead branches, so that the tree may thrive, grow, and expand: so that it may furnish the living waters, where the Saints can come, and drink of the fountain.

Make the Elders, the Priests, Teachers, and Deacons work; cause them to awake from their stupor, and redeem the time they have lost while asleep; throw the arrows of the Almighty at them till you get them right; till you get them fired with the Holy Ghost; till you get them aroused and active, and see if the Lord does not pour you out a blessing greater than there is room to receive.”  (Brigham Young [SLC] to Orson Pratt [England], 30 Oct., 1856; MS 19(7):98, 14 Feb., 1857)

“REFORMATION.–In this Number of the Star, we publish a letter from President Brigham Young, written by the wisdom and power of the Holy Ghost.  Let the Saints read the warnings and counsel therein, and receive the same, as the word of God. . . .

When the Saints have been pruned and the dead branches lopped off–when they have repented, reformed, and become thoroughly converted, re-baptized and confirm them; and all who refuse to renew their covenants by baptism, let them be dropped and have no standing nor fellowship with the Saints.  Remember that re-baptism will do no good to those who do not forsake their sins: they must live in newness of life, or else the Spirit will not dwell with them.”  (Editorial [Orson Pratt, Editor], MS 19(7):104-105, 14 Feb., 1857)

30 Oct.:  “High time for them to reform.”

[Thursday Evening Meeting]  “The Bishop arose and addressed the meeting with the spirit of the times of our reforming.  He spoke of the condition that the people had fallen in, they thought that they had not committed any great crimes.  He said that some had neglected their prayers, another had got drunked and blassphemed the name of God, another had told a white lie in trading, some neglect to pay their tithing and some had stole a little and that it was high time for them to reform.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 30 Oct., 1856)

1 Nov.:  Progress report on Reformation.

“About a week before we arrived, a work of reformation had been efficiently started, and we were just in good time to share its cheering effects with the people.  As good an evidence of this as I can offer, may be found in the fact, that on Sunday and Monday, at a Conference of the Territory, it required strong efforts of the Presidency and others, to raise between fifty and sixty teams to go and bring in our brethren coming by the hand-carts on the Plains; whereas, on the last Sunday but one, a few remarks from brother Kimball, to a congregation of this city only, induced one hundred and fourteen to give their names to furnish teams, and one man put down fifteen yoke of cattle.  The change in the feelings of the people is indeed wonderful already, and yet it has but just begun.  Bishops are dropped, and their counsellors, when slothful at their duties, or when ruled by their wives, so are the Teachers, if they do not perform their duties, which are, to know every man and woman in their several districts, and to live their religion themselves.  Misdeeds are not only publicly denounced, but the doers and their deeds are named before the public congregations.  The arrows of the Almighty are with the Presidency.  The terrors of the Lord are upon them, and are coming upon the people.  The high and the low are all feeling the scorching of the fire that has begun to be kindled in Zion.  Already the power of the Holy Ghost has, in some instances, been so great upon them, that they have had to refrain from speaking, for the people have shrunk before them, because of the power of their words, while in other instances, congregations have been dismissed because of their darkness, and their unbelief in the word spoken.  Many powers and responsibilities, heretofore retained in the hands of the Presidency, have been handed down to the Bishops.  A thorough waking up has commenced, that must reach the habitation of every Saint in Utah, and then extend to every Mission and Branch of the Church throughout the earth.  Therefore, dear brethren, cry aloud, and spare not, show unto the people the awful consequences of sin, that they may obtain strength from God, to keep His commandments, and sin not.  The Lord grant you mightily of His Spirit, to make your words powerful as a two-edged sword.

On the evening of the 6th of October, President Young kindly permitted me and my family to be baptized in the new font on the Temple Block.  Oh how precious this was to us, after having first witnessed the administration of this sacred ordinance to the family of President Young, under his own hands, and those of Presidents Kimball and Grant, in like manner, each in their own order.  The next evening I was privileged to baptize about forty souls, the families of the returned missionaries, in the same hallowed place.  I believe the Bishops have been re-baptized also, and their wards will be when the works of pruning and reformation have sufficiently appeared.”  (F. D. Richards [SLC] to Orson Pratt, Ezra T. Benson and James A. Little [England], 1 Nov., 1856; MS 19(7):108-109, 14 Feb., 1857)

2 Nov.:  Bishops and teachers to weed out unrighteous.

“If the Bishops and Teachers will go to work, together with every officer in the Church, we can soon find out those who are not disposed to do right; and let their names be written down, and let the offence and place of residence be written against the name, that we may know who are living in sin, where they live and what their offences are.

I know that a great many people are full of sympathy, and yet they talk of the celestial law that they are going to keep and abide; but let me tell you that if yo violate that law, you must meet the penalty.  How many have we got here that would sympathize with those who are guilty of breaking their covenants, and thereby virtually partake of their crimes?  I believe it to be a correct doctrine that the sympathizer is more or less implicated.  The President enjoined it on the High Priests to expose those they knew to have committed or to be committing evil, and if they did not, hereafter the sin would be upon their heads.

Let the whole people take warning; and let every man and woman in Israel understand that the indignation of the Almighty rests upon that person who fails to expose iniquity.  And let the wrath of God be upon any officer of the Church that knows of abomination, unless he comes out and makes known that abomination.  I believe this ought to be, for we want the evil deeds of every person exposed.

We want to feel after the people and hunt them up; and we want the wrath of Brigham, and the wrath of Heber, and the wrath of all the men and woman on earth that are right, and the wrath of Joseph, and the wrath of Michael, and the wrath of Raphael, and the wrath of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the wrath of Almighty God and of all the Gods in eternity to burn against those that will sin.  And we want the indignation and fire of the Almighty to sweep through the land like the locusts of Egypt, until every nauseous weed that grows among the Saints of God is destroyed.

Words are said to be light and windy, but I tell you that talking these things foreshadows what will be literally and really.  I would be glad, when I speak to the people, that the Lord would let His Holy Spirit accompany my words, for I do not want my words to go alone.  We have to speak to this people often, and when we talk to them like a man reading off a sermon that is written, it takes but little effect.  When words go to the people alone, they are not profited by them.”  (Jedediah M. Grant, 2 Nov., 1856; JD 4:72-73)

5 Nov.:  Home missionaries and Reformation.


The cheerfulness with which the Home Missionaries are met, the crowded meetings attending their appointments, the full and frank confessions, the manifestations of the Spirit and the general and hearty response to the summons to renew covenants all clearly show forth an anxious desire to keep the commandments of God and abide the counsels of his servants.”  (Editorial, DN 6(35):277, 5 Nov., 1856)

9 Nov.:  Instructions on rebaptism.

“Last evening I attended the High Priests’ Quorum, and perhaps there were a hundred or a hundred and fifty High Priests present.  In that meeting brother Brigham gave permission to the members of that Quorum to be baptized in the font; but he objected to any one going into that font, to be baptized for the remission of sins, until he had actually repented of and made restitution for the sins he had committed.  If any of them had done anything wrong, he wished them to confess to those they had aggrieved or injured, and make restitution; and wherein they had committed sins and violated their Priesthood and their covenants, they must make satisfaction to those they had injured; and not step into that font, until they had done these things.

That is the course to take; and how do you expect to get a remission of your sins, and be forgiven by the Father, and His Son Jesus Christ, and by the Holy Ghost, so that you can have the Holy Ghost rest upon you, unless you repent and make restitution or restoration, and make atonement for the sins that you may have committed?

I pray to my Father, in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, that the High Priest or any other person that attempts to go into that font without previously making restitution for such evil as he may have committed, may be cursed and withered until he does make restitution.”  (Heber C. Kimball, 9 Nov., 1856; JD 4:80)

9 Nov.:  Church organization patterned after heaven.

“When you go into heaven, into the celestial world, you will see the Church organized just as it is here, and you will find all the officers down to the Deacon.  Our Church organization is a manifestation of things as they are in heaven, and you are all the time praying that the Church here may be brought into union and set in order as it is in heaven.”  (Heber C. Kimball, 9 Nov., 1856; JD 4:82)

9 Nov.:  Bishops and teachers to keep people straight.

“If all the people in a Ward do right, will the Bishop chastise them?  No; but if they do not do right, the Bishop is placed under the necessity of coming forth, clothed in the armor and power of the Almighty, to put them right, and of calling upon the teachers to assist him in this work.  And when the people repent and are found to be on the right track, the Bishop lays the rod on the shelf.”  (Jedediah M. Grant, 9 Nov., 1856; JD 4:85-86)

9 Nov.:  Public confession.

[Sunday Evening Meeting]  “The Bishop arose and said that there was some business to attend to in relation to Bro. Benjamin Dallow.  Bro. Dallow being present rose and said that he had of late gone astray and had not lived and served God as a saint and that he now wanted to reform and mend his ways.  He wished his Bretheren & Sisters to forgive him and he would do better in the future.  The Bishop moved that Bro. Dallows acknowledgement be received and he be retained in good standing, which was carried unanimously.  The Bishop spoke on the subject of restitution.  He wanted the Bretheren & Sisters where they had injured any person to go and make restitution.  He wish[ed] them to live in the future their religion, quit their lying, stealing, cheating, swearing and back biting, that confidence might be restored in each other that the spirit of God might be with us to direct us into all truth.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 9 Nov., 1856)

16 Nov.:  Cut off by vote in Tabernacle.

“I move that Henry J. Jarvis, Thomas S. Williams, Lorin W. Babbitt and those who went with said Babbitt to California be cut off from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for their wickedness, their slandering and their meanness.  I wish every one present to vote one way or the other.  All those in favor that the persons above named and alluded to be cut off from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints will signify it by raising their right hands.  {Apparently, every right hand was raised.}  All those opposed to those persons being cut off, will signify it by the same sign.  {Not a hand was seen raised.}

In regard to Lorin W. Babbitt, he desired the privilege of going to Beaver Valley to make a settlement and be the Presiding Elder there.  He led a few people there and was made President of that Branch, and was elected Probate Judge of Beaver county.  He came back here and sold his property, and has now gone, hook and line, to California.  You may consider every one of them cut off from the Church henceforth and forever, until they heartily repent.

There are many others, if they do not repent of their sins and abominations and make restitution, that will also be severed from the tree.  If the High Priests, Seventies, Elders, Priests, Teachers and Deacons will not prune their quorums, we will do it.  Iniquity must be put down, and we shall take a course to accomplish that object, until we prune the vineyard, or until we cleanse the platter inside and out.”  (Heber C. Kimball, remarks in the Tabernacle, 16 Nov., 1856; DN 6(38):298, 26 Nov., 1856)

16 Nov.:  Reformation/rebaptism.

[Sunday Evening Meeting]  “The Bishop said that there was a cloud of darkness there this evening and there was two powers operating.  He counseled the Bretheren not to go into debt or make contracts where they could not fulfil them.  He said that some had invited the devil in and had lied to the Holy Ghost.  He said that where you find a nasty stinking hole there you find the devil.  He said there is nothing but chastisement for the Saints at present for if we were right it would not be twenty four hours before we would be invited to come and be baptized.  He said that we must not justify ourselves or we never will get right.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 16 Nov., 1856)

19 Nov.:  “Acting Teachers.”

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Bishop, Council[ors] & Teachers met agreeable to appointment.  The minutes of last meeting were read and excepted [sic].  The Bishop said Prest. John Young wished him to call the high priests of this ward together and set a teacher over them.  He appointed Bro. Edward P. Duzette and Bro. Levi Stewart to assist him.  It was motioned & carried that the Bretheren of the ward that felt to take an interest in the ward to have the privillege of meeting with the Teachers.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 19 Nov., 1856)

20 Nov.:  Reformation.

[Thursday Evening Meeting]  “The Bishop said that by the look of the congregation being so small he thought was an evidence that the ward was not more than half waked up yet in regard to the refformation.  He made some very appropriate remarks on the subject of refformation.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 20 Nov., 1856)

23 Nov.:  Reformation/rebaptism.

[Sunday Evening Meeting]  “Bro. William Willis gave us a very interesting discourse on the refformation.  He said that it was as useless for the sisters to rebel against the holy priesthood as it was to kick against a stone wall.  He spoke of the spirit that was contending against the refformation, of people tattling from one ward to another.  The Bishop spoke on the subject of baptism.  He wished to see this ward advanceing so that it might be ready for baptism as soon as the rest of the wards if not before them.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 23 Nov., 1856)

26 Nov.:  Settling of disputes by Teachers.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Bishop said he wanted the Teachers to search into the heart of Sister Haven, for she was destitute of the spirit of God and would not attend meeting, and that she had a bad spirit, and wished the Teachers to save her if possible.  Br. Martain Teasdale appeared before us and expressed his determination to do better.  Said he had not served his God here but had violated his laws, but felt to do better in the future.

The Bishop then spoke to Br. Harison Oliver about setting his house in order and bringing his wife and family to serve God and tell the truth that the Holy Ghost might dwell with them.  Br. Oliver acknowledged himself not having the spirit of God as he wanted to have but would try to be faithful and right up affairs at home.  Many encouraging remarks was given by the Bishop to the Teachers to search the ward with the Holy Ghost in their hearts and save Israel.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 26 Nov., 1856)

27 Nov.:  Reformation.

[Thursday Evening Meeting]  “Br. Davis spoke to us on the subject of the reformation.  The Bishop then said that we had [been] halfway Mormons long enough, but now we had got to be Saints or we could not belong to this church.  Said that we was not half waked up yet and warned us of judgments of God if [we] do not repent.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 27 Nov., 1856)

4 Dec.:  The quorums must purify themselves.

“To those who delight in rightness I am all blessings, from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet; but I am heavy on the tracks of sinners, because I know that if they do persist in their course, and if the Quorums do not purify themselves quickly, you will see something that will make you lament; some are nourishing a cankerworm that they will not easily get rid of.”  (Heber C. Kimball, 4 Dec., 1856; JD 4:137)

21 Dec.:  1st Council of 70 openly criticized.

“And here are brothers Pulsipher, Herriman and Clapp, members of the first Presidency of the Seventies, sitting here as dead as door nails, and suffering these poor curses to live in our midst as Seventies.  As the Lord God Almighty lives, if you do not rise up and trim your quorums, we will trim you off, and not one year shall pass away before you are trimmed off.”  (Heber C. Kimball, 21 Dec., 1856; JD 4:140)

21 Dec.:  Call for rebaptism among priesthood quorums.

“Wake up, you Bishops, Elders, and High Priests, and go and be baptized for the remission of sins, that you may receive the Holy Ghost, for it will not rest on you until you do.  I say to brother John Young, President of the High Priests’ Quorum, baptize those who will repent; and to brother Spencer, it is your duty to exercise a careful oversight of the affairs in this Stake of Zion, and I will not ask you to be any more obedient to me in my calling than I will be to you in yours.”  (Heber C. Kimball, 21 Dec., 1856; JD 4:142-143)

21 Dec.:  Call to quorums to wake up.

“The Twelve Apostles have got to rise up and magnify their calling, or they will be removed out of their place.  The High Priests, the Seventies, the Bishops, and every other Quorum of the Church and Kingdom of God have got to do the same, or they also will be removed; we cannot sleep any longer with the Priesthood of Almighty God resting upon us, and the work that is required at our hands.  WE CANNOT SLEEP.  I do not wonder that calling on the people to wake up has killed one man [Jedediah M. Grant], and it will kill more if we do not respond to the call; mortality cannot endure the visions of eternity that rests on them when they look on the Priesthood and see the position they are in; it has nearly laid brother Young in the grave; he felt he could not live until some man rose up and started the work of reformation.

I know it is my duty to wake up and enter into the labors of my calling, and it is the duty of Elder Hyde, and the duty of every other man in Israel that bears this Priesthood to do the same; it is our duty to bear off that burden and labor which has been resting like a mountain upon the leaders of this Church.  I know they have groaned under the load that has rested on them, when they have seen all Israel going to sleep.

Let the Twelve Apostles, and the Seventy Apostles, and High Priest Apostles, and all other Apostles rise up and keep pace with the work of the Lord God, for we have no time to sleep.  What is man’s life good for, or his words or work good for when he stands in the way of men’s salvation, exaltation, and glory?  They are of no use at all.”  (Wilford Woodruff, 21 Dec., 1856; JD 4:147)

23 Dec.:  Moved that all old 1st Presidents retire.

“Several of the Twelve were present who advised all the First Presidents of the seventies except Joseph Young to resign their office and let men be put in their place who would magnify their calling and not stand at the head of all the 40 Quorums of Seventies and obstruct the work of the Lord and keep back the Spirit of God &c.

All present responded to this with a hearty & heart thrilling Amen.  Some of the Presents expressed a willingness to do so, which if the[y] do I venture to predict that there will be more spirit power influence among the 70’s than has ever been known for those presidents seem as dry branches in the House of Israel.”  (Hosea Stout diary, 23 Dec., 1856.  Editor’s footnote:  “Although the church leaders were very pointed in their suggestions that all the older presidents of the Quorum of the Seventy resign and make room for new and more active men to take over, it would seem that none followed the counsel.”)

30 Dec.:  Unanimous resolution: Rebaptism and Reformation.

“Adjourned till to morrow at ten a. m. and joint session met in committee of the whole on the state of the Reformation and passed an unanimous Resolution to repent of and forsake our sins and be rebaptized for their Remission and in conformity therewith went to dinner then repaired to the Font filled it with water and some fifty-five were Baptized.  I was baptized by F. D. Richards one of the Twelve and confirmed under the hands of A. P. Rockwood & Thomas Grover.”  (Hosea Stout diary, 30 Dec., 1856)

“Both houses met in joint session and Prest. Kimball required every member to repent of all their sins and be baptised for the remission of the same before any business could be done.  Preparations were then made and all the members repaired to the Endownment House qand were baptised in the font, and were confirmed and all were made to rejoice with joy and gladness unspeakable.”  (Isaac C. Haight diary, 30 Dec., 1856; LC Collection)

“It was finally moved that all member of the Legislative Body of the Territory of Utah repent of their sins & go to font at 6 oclok On the Temple Block & be baptized for the remission of their sins which was Carried unanimously & the Legislature met at the font & had to fill it with Buckets from the Creek & as the Presidency & Twelve wo had been here had been baptized F D Richards went into the font & Baptized Elder Orson Hyde & some 17 others.  Then James Cumings went into the font & Baptized the rest also the missionaries 37 in number making [ ] Baptized in all.  We the Twelve laid hands upon 

Elder O Hyde & Confirmed him.  W Woodruff was mouth then we Confirmed the whole Company.  I was mouth in Confirming 9 persons & assisted in Confirming 12 others.  

This was a New feature in Legislation.  We believed that if we Could get the spirit of God we could do business faster & better than with the spirit of the Devel or the spirit of the world.  There was 55 in all Baptized and Confirmed.  The Twelve done most of the Confirming.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 20 Dec., 1856)

30 Dec.:  Rebaptisms of Legislative Assembly.

“Baptisms and confirmations of the Legislative Assembly and Missionaries in the baptismal font, Temple Block, 30 Dec., 1856.  Confirmed in the upper room of the Endowment House, G. S. L. City, 6 p.m.  [54 names listed.]”  (JH 30 Dec., 1856)