Testimony of Jane Parish Lindsay
Written in Byron, Wyoming: April 2, 1904
Edited By: David J. Wardell (1991)
This testimony was written by Jane Parish Lindsay about ten years before her death in 1919. Although recorded many years after the events discussed took place, the intervening years had firmly established her testimony. On not less than three occasions, Jane and her family were literally asked to give up everything they had for the Church, as well as to endure other hardships that we, in the late 20th century, can scarcely realize.
The span of years notwithstanding, grandmother has earned the right to be believed through her faithful service and dedication.
This version of the testimony is extensively annotated with historical references that provide background for the events described.
A Testimony of
The Prophet Joseph Smith
Jane Parish Lindsay
"I wish to leave my testimony to my family, children, grandchildren, or anyone that may wish to hear it of the Prophet Joseph -- that I do know he was a true prophet in these last days. He has done more for the salvation of the human family than anyone besides the Savior(1). That I do know him and have heard him talk. I heard him prophesy that the Saints would come to the Rocky Mountains to find their home in peace(2). I was there when the rainstorm came while he was speaking and Joseph said,
'If you can sit and listen I can stay and talk to you',
and no one moved. I have heard him say his days were short on earth, but death would taste sweet to him. He said that he would roll this work from his shoulders onto the twelve.
'Round up your shoulders and bear it', he said to them.(3)
We did not know, nor could we understand, that his days were so short. The last time he spoke in Nauvoo he said,
'Greater love hath no man, that he should lay down his life for his friends'. (4)
I saw him after he was dead and in his coffin. There were thousands (that) went through that day and saw the remains of Joseph, and also Hyrum. And Oh! The gloom that hung over that city! It seemed like the Heavens and earth both wept.
I was there when Sidney Rigdon spoke and said he was the next leader, but we felt he was not the right one. (5) Before he was voted on the twelve all came home, and at the meeting (6) Brother Brigham took the stand. He was the prophet, the right one in the right place. I never witnessed the Spirit more plainly manifested that I did that day. (7) You would of thought it was Brother Joseph himself. Both his face and the expression on his face were like Joseph's. (8)
Therefore, I know for a surety that this is the only true church, and I want all my children to know as I do, and I know that Joseph was a true prophet in these last days, and I want my children to live and keep all His commandments and gain a salvation for them-selves, and live as I have done. Keep the Word Of Wisdom strictly and pay a good tithing. Live more humble and prayerful, obey counsel, and be worthy of His salvation, and rise in the morning of the First Resurrection.
These are the testimonies of your humble mother, which I know are true. As I am advanced in years, and don't know how soon Father will call me home again, I shall leave this testimony. Amen." (9)
Jane Parish Lindsay joined the Church in Missouri, in August, 1841, at the age of almost 16. This was almost three years prior to the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith. As a mature teenager and young adult, she had ample opportunity to observe, evaluate, and interpret the events and teachings of the Prophet and other early Church leaders, both preceding and following the Martyrdom in June, 1844.(10)
Jane Parish lived another 15 years after recording this testimony and died November 26, 1919.
(1) "Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it."
- D&C 135:3 (Written by Elder John Taylor, of the Council of the Twelve).
(2) "Saturday, 6. Passed over the river to Montrose, Iowa, in company with General Adams, Colonel Brewer, and others, and witnessed the installation of the officers of the Rising Sun Lodge Ancient York Masons, at Montrose, by General James Adams, Deputy Grand-Master of Illinois.
While the Deputy Grand-Master was engaged in giving the requisite instructions to the Master-elect, I had a conversation with a number of brethren in the shade of the building on the subject of our persecutions in Missouri and the constant annoyance which has followed us since we were driven from that state. I prophesied that the Saints would continue to suffer much affliction and would be driven to the Rocky Mountains, many would apostatize, others would be put to death by our persecutors or lose their lives in consequence of exposure or disease, and some of you will live to go and assist in making settlements and build cities and see the Saints become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains."
- History of the Church, Volume 5, Chapter 4, page 85:1
"It is thought important that the following statement from a biography of Anson Call, by Edward Tullidge, should be made part of the history of this prophetic incident, as doubtless the testimony of Brother Call relates to the same incident as that described in the Prophets text of the History, notwithstanding some confusion of dates that exists in the Call testimony.
"It will be seen that the Prophet fixes the date of his prophecy on Saturday, the 6th of August, 1842. In Whitney's History of Utah, volume 4(a), the date on which call heard the prophecy, is given as the 8th of August, 1842. While in Tullidge's biography of Call the date is given as the 14th of July, 1843, evidently an error. There is no entry in the Prophet's journal for the 8th of August, 1842, and the entries for the 8th of August, 1843, and the 14th of July, 1848, relate to matters of quite a different character.
"Tullidge, in relating Anson Call's recollection of the incident also says that J. C. Bennett was present on the occasion, which must also be an error, as the rupture between Bennett and the church and its authorities occurred and he had left Nauvoo previous to the 6th of August, 1842. In the Call statement as published by Tullidge, the name of Mr. Adams, the Deputy Grand-Master Mason in charge of the ceremonies, is given as George, it should be James."
STATEMENT OF ANSON CALL:
'On the 14th of July, 1813, with quite a number of his brethren, he crossed the Mississippi river to the town of Montrose, to be present at the installment of the Masonic Lodge of the "Rising Sun." A block schoolhouse had been prepared with shade in front, under which was a barrel of ice water. Judge George (James) Adams was the highest Masonic authority in the state of Illinois, and had been sent there to organize this lodge.
'He, Hyrum Smith, and J. C. Bennett, being high Masons, went into the house to perform some ceremonies which the others were not entitled to witness. These, including Joseph Smith, remained under the bowery. Joseph, as he was tasting the cold water, warned the brethren not to be too free with it. With the tumbler still in his hand he prophesied that the Saints would yet go to the Rocky Mountains; and, said he, this water tastes much like that of the crystal streams that are running from the snowcapped mountains'.
We will let Mr. Call describe this prophetic scene:
'I had before seen him in a vision, and now saw while he was talking his countenance change to white; not the deadly white of a bloodless face, but a living brilliant white. He seemed absorbed in gazing at something at a great distance, and said: 'I am gazing upon the valleys of those mountains.' This was followed by a vivid description of the scenery of these mountains, as I have since become acquainted with it.
'Pointing to Shadrach Roundy and others, he said: 'There are some men here who shall do a great work in that land.' Pointing to me, he said: 'There is Anson, he shall go and shall assist in building up cities from one end of the country to the other, and you, rather extending the idea to all those he had spoken of, shall perform as great a work as has been done by man, so that the nations of the earth shall be astonished, and many of them will be gathered in that land and assist in building cities and temples, and Israel shall be made to rejoice.'
'It is impossible to represent in words this scene which is still vivid in my mind of the grandeur of Joseph's appearance, his beautiful descriptions of this land, and his wonderful prophetic utterances as they emanated from the glorious inspirations that overshadowed him.
'There was a force and power in his exclamations of which the following is but a faint echo: 'Oh the beauty of those snowcapped mountains! The cool refreshing streams that are running down through those mountain gorges!' Then gazing in another direction, as if there was a change of locality: 'Oh the scenes that this people will pass through! The dead that will lay between here and there.' Then turning in another direction as if the scene had again changed: 'Oh the apostasy that will take place before my brethren reach that land!'
'But,' he continued, 'The priesthood shall prevail over its enemies, triumph over the devil and be established upon the earth, never more to be thrown down!' He then charged us with great force and power, to be faithful to those things that had been and should be committed to our charge, with the promise of all the blessings that the Priesthood could bestow. 'Remember these things and treasure them up. Amen.'"'(b)
(a) Biographical section of the history, page 143
(b) Tullidge's Histories, volume 2: History of Northern Utah, and Southern Idaho, Biographical Supplement, page 271 et seq.
- History of the Church, Volume 5, Chapter 4, Notes 85:1 - 86:2
(3) "Wilford Woodruff, one of the Twelve, in a letter from Salem, Massachusetts, under the date of October 11, 1844, declared that he heard the Prophet make this statement:
'(Joseph) addressing the Twelve exclaimed 'upon your shoulders the kingdom rests, and you must round up your shoulders and bear it; for I have had to do it until now. But now the responsibility rests upon you. It mattereth not what becomes of me.'"
- Joseph Fielding Smith, Succession in the Presidency, page 84
- Widtsoe, John A, Joseph Smith: Seeker After Truth, Prophet Of God,
Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1957, page 307
(4) "There is no greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. I discover hundreds and thousands of my brethren ready to sacrifice their lives for me."
- Joseph Fielding Smith (comp.), Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith,
1843-44, Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1938, Page 315.
(5) The remarks to which she refers probably took place in more casual circumstances and are not preserved (they took place prior to the return of the Twelve).
What follows immediately is the text of remarks by Elder Sidney Rigdon and President Brigham Young, at a meeting of the Twelve Apostles (excepting John Taylor), the High Council of the Nauvoo Stake of Zion, the President of the Stake (William Marks), and the High Priests,(a) held 4:00pm, Wednesday, August 7, 1844. Although these are not the remarks by Sidney Rigdon to which she refers, they must have been similar, in substance, to what follows. President Young's remarks follow, to provide continuity for the proceedings.
"President Brigham Young called upon President Rigdon to make a statement to the church concerning his message to the saints, and the vision and revelation he had received.
President Rigdon said:
'The object of my mission is to visit the saints and offer myself to them as a guardian. I had a vision at Pittsburgh, June 27th. This was presented to my mind not as an open vision, but rather a continuation of the vision mentioned in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants.(b)
It was shown to me that this church must be built up to Joseph, and that all the blessings we receive must come through him. I have been ordained a spokesman to Joseph, and I must come to Nauvoo and see that the church is governed in a proper manner. Joseph sustains the same relationship to this church as he has always done. No man can be the successor of Joseph.
The kingdom is to be built up to Jesus Christ through Joseph; there must be revelation still. The martyred Prophet is still the head of this church; every quorum should stand as you stood in your washings and consecrations, I have been consecrated a spokesman to Joseph(c), and I was commanded to speak for him. The church is not disorganized though our head is gone.
We may have a diversity of feelings on this matter. I have been called to be a spokesman unto Joseph, and I want to build up the church unto him; and if the people want me to sustain this place, I want it upon the principle that every individual shall acknowledge it for himself.
I propose to be a guardian to the people; in this I have discharged my duty and done what God has commanded me, and the people can please themselves whether they accept me or not.'
President Brigham Young said:
'I do not care who leads the church, even though it were Ann Lee; but one thing I must know, and that is what God says about it. I have the keys and the means of obtaining the mind of God on the subject.
I know there are those in our midst who will seek the lives of the Twelve as they did the lives of Joseph and Hyrum. We shall ordain others and give the fullness of the priesthood, so that if we are killed the fullness of the priesthood may remain.
Joseph conferred upon our heads all the keys and powers belonging to the Apostleship which he himself held before he was taken away, and no man or set of men can get between Joseph and the Twelve in this world or in the world to come.
How often has Joseph said to the Twelve, "I have laid the foundation and you must build thereon, for upon your shoulders the kingdom rests."
The Twelve, as a quorum, will not be permitted to tarry here long; they will go abroad and bear off the kingdom to the nations of the earth, and baptize the people faster than mobs can kill them off. I would like, were it my privilege, to take my valise and travel and preach till we had a people gathered who would be true.
My private feelings would be to let the affairs of men and women alone, only go and preach and baptize them into the kingdom of God: yet, whatever duty God places upon me, in his strength I intend to fulfill it.
I want to see this people, with the various quorums of the priesthood, assembled together in special conference on Thursday (d) next at 10 a.m.'
Which was carried unanimously by vote."
- History of the Church, Volume 7, Chapter 18, pages 229:4 - 230:11
- "The number in attendance is not known, but there were several hundred High Priests in Nauvoo and the surrounding districts."
- B.H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church, Volume 2, Chapter 64, page 415 fnt
- "Undoubtedly Elder Rigdon referred to the continuation of the "Vision" of The Three Glories, now published in Section 76 of the current edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, though what the connection could be is difficult to see."
- History of the Church, Volume 7, Chapter 18, page 229 fnt
- "In the previous publication of this historical item (Millennial Star, volume 25, page 216), the language is:
'I want to see this people with their various quorums of the Priesthood assembled together in special conference on Tuesday next.'
This would have brought the meeting on Tuesday the 13th of August. Evidently the word "Tuesday" was a misprint and should have been, as changed in the text, "Thursday", which was the day following the council meeting and as a matter of fact it was the next day following, August 8th, that the general public of the Church with the quorums assembled in their order to settle this matter of the presiding council in the church that the meeting was held."
- History of the Church, Volume 7, Chapter 18, page 230 fnt
This appointment was made on the 12th of October, 1833. See D&C 50.
(6) The precise chronology is given as follows:
"Thursday, August 8th, 1844 At a special meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in Nauvoo, at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 8, 1844, by the request of President William Marks, (who was then presiding over that stake of Zion) to choose a guardian, or President and Trustee, Sidney Rigdon took his position in a wagon, about two rods in front of the stand, and harangued the saints for about one and a half hours, upon choosing a guardian for the church. The meeting was then dismissed, when President Brigham Young gave out an appointment for the brethren to assemble at 2 p.m.
"At the appointed time the brethren came together. Present, of the Twelve, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Willard Richards, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith. (a) The several quorums were organized on and around the stand according to order."
- History of the Church, Volume 7, Chapter 19, page 231:3-4
"It will be observed that there were seven of the Apostles present, a majority of the quorum. Of the absent ones. John Taylor was confined to his home, not yet recovered from his wounds. Orson Hyde, John E. Page and Wm. Smith had not yet arrived in Nauvoo: and Lyman Wight was still in the east."
- ibid, page 231 fnt
THE REMARKS OF PRESIDENT YOUNG
IN BEHALF OF THE CLAIM OF THE TWELVE
TO LEAD THE CHURCH
IN THE ABSENCE OF THE FIRST PRESIDENCY
"The meeting being opened, President Brigham Young arose and said:
'Attention all! This congregation makes me think of the days of King Benjamin, the multitude being so great that all could not hear. I request the brethren not to have any feelings for being convened this afternoon, for it is necessary; we want you all to be still and give attention, that all may hear. Let none complain because of the situation of the congregation, we will do the best we can.
'For the first time in my life, for the first time in your lives, for the first time in the kingdom of God in the 19th century, without a Prophet at our head, do I step forth to act in my calling in connection with the Quorum of the Twelve, as Apostles of Jesus Christ unto this generation--Apostles whom God has called by revelation through the Prophet Joseph, who are ordained and anointed to bear off the keys of the kingdom of God in all the world.
'This people have hitherto walked by sight and not by faith. You have had the Prophet in your midst. Do you all understand? You have walked by sight and without much pleading to the Lord to know whether things were right or not.
'Heretofore you have had a Prophet as the mouth of the Lord to speak to you, but he has sealed his testimony with his blood, and now, for the first time, are you called to walk by faith, not by sight.
'The first position I take in behalf of the Twelve and the people is, to ask a few questions. I ask the Latter-day Saints: do you, as individuals, at this time, want to choose a Prophet or a guardian? Inasmuch as our Prophet and Patriarch are taken from our midst, do you want some one to guard, to guide and lead you through this world into the kingdom of God, or not? All that want some person to be a guardian or a Prophet, a spokesman or something else, signify it by raising the right hand. (No votes).
'When I came to this stand I had peculiar feelings and impressions. The faces of this people seem to say, we want a shepherd to guide and lead us through this world. All that want to draw away a party from the church after them, let them do it if they can, but they will not prosper.
'If any man thinks he has influence among this people to lead away a party, let him try it, and he will find out that there is power with the Apostles which will carry them off victorious through all the world, and build up and defend the church and kingdom of God.
'What do the people want? I feel as though I wanted the privilege to weep and mourn for thirty days at least, then rise up, shake myself, and tell the people what the Lord wants of them; although my heart is too full of mourning to launch forth into business transactions and the organization of the church, I feel compelled this day to step forth in the discharge of those duties God has placed upon me.
'I now wish to speak of the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If the church is organized, and you want to know how it is organized, I will tell you. I know your feelings do you want me to tell your feelings?
'Here is President Rigdon, who was counselor to Joseph. I ask, where are Joseph and Hyrum? They are gone beyond the veil; and if Elder Rigdon wants to act as his counselor, he must go beyond the veil where he is.
'There has been much said about President Rigdon being President of the Church, and leading the people, being the head, etc. Brother Rigdon has come 1,600 miles to tell you what he wants to do for you. If the people want President Rigdon to lead them they may have him; but I say unto you that the Quorum of the Twelve have the keys of the kingdom of God in all the world.
'The Twelve are appointed by the finger of God. Here is Brigham, have his knees ever faltered? Have his lips ever quivered? Here is Heber and the rest of the Twelve, an independent body who have the keys of the priesthood the keys of the kingdom of God to deliver to all the world: this is true, so help me God. They stand next to Joseph, and are as the First Presidency of the Church.
'I do not know whether my enemies will take my life or not, and I do not care, for I want to be with the man I love.
'You cannot fill the office of a prophet, seer and revelator: God must do this. You are like children without a father and sheep without a shepherd. You must not appoint any man at our head; if you should, the Twelve must ordain him. You cannot appoint a man at our head; but if you do want any other man or men to lead you, take them and we will go our way to build up the kingdom in all the world.
'I know who are Joseph's friends, and who are his enemies. I know where the keys of the kingdom are, and where they will eternally be. You cannot call a man to be a prophet; you cannot take Elder Rigdon and place him above the Twelve; if so, he must be ordained by them.
'I tell you there is an over-anxiety to hurry matters here. You cannot take any man and put him at the head; you would scatter the saints to the four winds, you would sever the priesthood. So long as we remain as we are, the heavenly Head is in constant cooperation with us; and if you go out of that course, God will have nothing to do with you.
'Again, perhaps some think that our beloved Brother Rigdon would not be honored, would not be looked to as a friend; but if he does right and remains faithful he will not act against our counsel nor we against his, but act together, and we shall be as one.
'I again repeat, no man can stand at our head, except God reveals it from the heavens.
'I have spared no pains to learn my lesson of the kingdom in this world and in the eternal worlds; and if it were not so, I could go and live in peace; but for the gospel and your sakes I shall stand in my place. We are liable to be killed all the day long. You have never lived by faith.
'Brother Joseph, the Prophet, has laid the foundation for a great work, and we will build upon it; you have never seen the quorums built one upon another. There is an almighty foundation laid, and we can build a kingdom such as there never was in the world: we can build a kingdom faster than satan can kill the saints off.
'What do you want? Do you want a patriarch for the whole church? To this we are perfectly willing. If Brother Samuel H. Smith had been living, it would have been his right and privilege; but he is dead, he is gone to Joseph and Hyrum, he is out of the reach of bullets and spears, and he can waft himself with his brothers, his friends and the saints.
'Do you want a patriarch? Here is brother William (Smith) left; here is Uncle John Smith, uncle to the Prophet Joseph left; it is their right. The right of patriarchal blessings belongs to Joseph's family.
'Do you want a Trustee-in-Trust? Has there been a bishop who has stood in his lot yet? What is his business? To take charge of the temporal affairs, so that the Twelve and the elders may go on their business. Joseph condescended to do their business for them. Joseph condescended to offer himself for president of the United States, and it was a great condescension.
'Do you want a spokesman? Here are Elder Rigdon, Brother Amasa Lyman (whom Joseph expected to take as a counselor) and myself. Do you want the church properly organized, or do you want a spokesman to be chief cook and bottlewasher? Elder Rigdon claims to be spokesman to the Prophet. Very well, he was; but can he now act in that office: If he wants now to be a spokesman to the Prophet, he must go to the other side of the veil, for the Prophet is there, but Elder Rigdon is here. Why will Elder Rigdon be a fool? Who knows anything of the priesthood, or of the organization of the kingdom of God. I am plain.
'Does this church want it as God organized it? Or do you want to clip the power of the priesthood, and let those who have the keys of the priesthood go and build up the kingdom in all the world, wherever the people will hear them?
'If there is a spokesman, if he is a king and priest, let him go and build up a kingdom unto himself; that is his right and it is the right of many here but the Twelve are at the head of it.
'I want to live on the earth and spread truth through all the world. You saints of latter-days want things right. If 10,000 men rise up and say they have the Prophet Joseph Smith's shoes, I know they are impostors. In the priesthood you have a right to build up a kingdom, if you know how the church is organized.
'Now, if you want Sidney Rigdon or William Law to lead you, or anybody else, you are welcome to them; but I tell you, in the name of the Lord that no man can put another between the Twelve and the Prophet Joseph. Why? Because Joseph was their file leader, and he has committed into their hands the keys of the kingdom in this last dispensation, for all the world; don't put a thread between the priesthood and God.
'I will ask, who has stood next to Joseph and Hyrum? I have, and I will stand next to him. We have a head, and that head is the Apostleship, the spirit and power of Joseph, and we can now begin to see the necessity of that Apostleship.
'Brother Rigdon was at his side not above. No man has a right to counsel the Twelve but Joseph Smith. Think of these things. You cannot appoint a prophet; but if you let the Twelve remain and act in their place, the keys of the kingdom are with them and they can manage the affairs of the church and direct all things aright.
'Now, all this does not lessen the character of President Rigdon: let him magnify his calling, and Joseph will want him beyond the veil let him be careful what he does, lest that thread which binds us together is cut asunder. May God bless you all.'"
- History of the Church, Volume 7, Chapter 19, pages 231:5-236:1
(8) "It was while delivering this speech that a transformation of President Brigham Young is said to have occurred, that is to say in voice, person and manner. He seemed to be the personification of Joseph Smith, on the testimony of many who were present. The late President George Q. Cannon of this event said:
'If Joseph had arisen from the dead and again spoken in their hearing, the effect could not have been more startling than it was to many present at that meeting; it was the voice of Joseph himself: and not only was it the voice of Joseph which was heard, but it seemed in the eyes of the people as if it were the very person of Joseph which stood before them. A more wonderful and miraculous event than was wrought that day in the presence of that congregation we never heard of. The Lord gave his people a testimony that left no room for doubt as to who was the man chosen to lead them'.(a)
In the Journal of Elder William C. Staines of the date of August 8, 1844, the following statement is recorded:
'Brigham Young said: "I will tell you who your leaders or guardians will be the Twelve I at their head." This was with the voice like the voice of the Prophet Joseph. I thought it was he, and so did thousands who heard it. This was very satisfactory to the people, and a vote was taken to sustain the Twelve in their office, which with a few dissenting voices, was passed.'
Wilford Woodruff described the event as follows:
'If I had not seen him with my own eyes, there is no one that could have convinced me that it was not Joseph Smith, and anyone can testify to this who was acquainted with these two men'(b)
(a) (Life of Brigham Young, Tullidge, 1877, p. 115).
(b) Deseret Evening News, March 12, 1892
- History of the Church, Volume 7, Chapter 19, page 236:1-4 fnt
(9) "President Brigham Young again arose and said:
'There is more business than can be done this afternoon, but we can accomplish all we want to have done without calling this convention of the whole church. I am going to present to you the leading items.
'I do not ask you to take my counsel or advice alone, but every one of you act for yourselves; but if Brother Rigdon is the person you want to lead you, vote for him, but not unless you intend to follow him and support him as you did Joseph. Do not say so without you mean to take his counsel hereafter.
'And I would say the same for the Twelve, don't make a covenant to support them unless you intend to abide by their counsel; and if they do not counsel you as you please, don't turn round and oppose them.
'I want every man, before he enters into a covenant, to know what he is going to do; but we want to know if this people will support the priesthood in the name of Israel's God. If you say you will, do so.
'We want men appointed to take charge of the business that did lay on the shoulders of Joseph. Let me say to you that this kingdom will spread more than ever.
'The Twelve have the power now the seventies, the elders and all of you can have power to go and build up the kingdom in the name of Israel's God. Nauvoo will not hold all the people that will come into the kingdom.
'We want to build the Temple, so as to get our endowment; and if we do our best, and satan will not let us build it, we will go into the wilderness and we will receive the endowment, for we will receive an endowment anyhow.
'Will you abide our counsel? I again say, my soul for any man's, if they will abide our counsel, that they will go right into heaven. We have all the signs and tokens to give to the porter at the door, and he will let us in.
'I will ask you as quorums, Do you want Brother Rigdon to stand forward as your leader, your guide, your spokesman. President Rigdon wants me to bring up the other question first, and that is. Does the church want, and is it their only desire to sustain the Twelve as the First Presidency of this people?
'Here are the Apostles, the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants they are written on the tablet of my heart. If the church want the Twelve to stand as the head, the First Presidency of the Church, and at the head of this kingdom in all the world, stand next to Joseph, walk up into their calling, and hold the keys of this kingdom, every man, every women, every quorum is now put in order, and you are now the sole controllers of it
'All that are in favor of this, in all the congregation of the saints, manifest it by holding up the right hand. (There was a universal vote). If there are any of the contrary mind, every man and every woman who does not want the Twelve to preside, lift up your hands in like manner. (No hands up). This supersedes the other question, and trying it by quorums.
'We feel as though we could take Brother Rigdon in our bosom along with us; we want such men as Brother Rigdon. He has been sent away by Brother Joseph to build up a kingdom; let him keep the instructions and calling; let him raise up a mighty kingdom in Pittsburgh, and we will lift up his hands to Almighty God. I think we may have a printing office and a gathering there. If the devil still tries to kill us he will have enough to do.
'The next is President Marks. Our feelings are to let him stand as president of the stake, as heretofore. We can build the Temple, etc.
'You did not know who you had amongst you. Joseph so loved this people that he gave his life for them; Hyrum loved his brother and this people unto death. Joseph and Hyrum have given their lives for the church. But very few knew Joseph's character; he loved you unto death you did not know it until after his death: he has now sealed his testimony with his blood.
'If the Twelve had been here we would not have seen him given up he should not have been given up. He was in your midst, but you did not know him; he has been taken away, for the people are not worthy of him.
'The world is wide, I can preach in England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, etc. I can preach in all the world, and the devils cannot find us. I'll swear to you I will not be given up.
'There is much to be done. You have men among you who sleep with one eye open. The foundation is laid by our Prophet, and we will build thereon; no other foundation can be laid but that which is laid, and we will have our endowment, if the Lord will.
'As the authorities do not want us to do military duty, don't do it. If it is necessary, my neck is ready for the knife; as for myself, I am determined to build up the kingdom of God: and by and by there will be a gleaning of grapes, and it may be said, "To your tents, O Israel."
'We can build on the foundation that was laid by the Prophet. Joseph has finished his work, and all the devils in hell and all the mobbers on earth could not take his life until he had accomplished his work. God said, I will put a veil over his eyes and lead him up to the slaughter like a sheep to be killed, for the people are not worthy of him, though God loves this people.
'Let no man suppose that the kingdom is rent from you; that it is not organized. If all the quorums of the church were slain, except the high priests, they would rise up with the keys of the kingdom, and have the powers of the priesthood upon them, and build up the kingdom, and the devil cannot help himself.
'You can go to a healthy country, buy the land, and don't let a cursed scoundrel get in your midst. Let there be good men, good women, and whenever a man comes with a wheelbarrowful of goods don't sell him land, don't let him a house, nor buy of him.
'Suppose we had ten thousand such places, and increasing in greatness, perfectly free from these poor devils, we should feel better than we do now. Let us all be humble and get our endowments all be humble, industrious and prudent, what sort of a kingdom would it be? The foundation is laid for more than we can think or talk about today.
'Is it the will of this congregation that they will be tithed until the Temple is finished, as they have hitherto been? If so, signify it by the uplifted hand. (The vote was unanimous).
'The men will act that have never acted before, and they will have the power and authority to do it. Is it the mind of this congregation to loose the hands of the Twelve, and enable us to go and preach to all the world? We want to know the feelings of the people. Is it your will to support the Twelve in all the world in their missions? (The congregation sustained this question by a unanimous vote). Will you leave it to the Twelve to dictate about the finances of the church? and will it be the mind of this people that the Twelve teach what will be the duties of the bishops in handling the affairs of the church? I want this, because twelve men can do it just as well as calling this immense congregation together at any other time. (A unanimous vote).
'We shall have a patriarch, and the right is in the family of Joseph Smith, his brothers, his sons, or some one of his relations. Here is Uncle John, he has been ordained a patriarch. Brother Samuel would have taken the office if he had been alive; it would have been his right; the right is in Uncle John, or one of his brothers (a). I know that it would have belonged to Samuel. But as it is, if you leave it to the Twelve, they will wait until they know who is the man. Will you leave it to the Twelve, and they dictate the matter. (A unanimous vote). I know it will be let alone for the present.
'I feel to bring up Brother Rigdon; we are of one mind with him and he with us. Will this congregation uphold him in the place he occupies by the prayer of faith and let him be one with us and we with him. (Unanimous). The Twelve will dictate and see to other matters. There will be a committee for the Temple; and now let men stand to their posts and be faithful.'
- History of the Church, Volume 7, Chapter 19, pages 239:6-242:2
(a) Read D&C 3:17
(10) This paragraph is taken from the official version of these events, as preserved in Lindsay family records.