1844 August 8 Second Special Conference Address


1844 August 8 Second Special Conference Address



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DATE: 08 August 1844
Nauvoo Illinois

SOURCE: Addresses/BY
HC 7:239-242

President Brigham Young's second speech.

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 woman, 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 wheelbarrow full 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 (read sec. iii, par. 17, Doctrine and Covenants. [Now D&C 57:39]) 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.
DATE: 08 August 1844
Nauvoo Illinois

SOURCE: Addresses/BY
T&S 5:638 (Synopsis)

Elder Young again resumed: I do not ask this audience to take my counsel; act for yourselves: if elder Rigdon is your choice manifest it: if the Twelve be the men to counsel you to finish the great work laid out by our departed prophet, say so; and do not break your covenant by murmuring hereafter. When the whole subject was properly explained and understood, and counsellor Rigdon refused to have his name voted for as a spokesman or guardian, the question was put, all in favor of supporting the Twelve in their calling, (every quorum, man and woman,) signify it by the uplifted hand; and the vote was unanimous, no hand being raised in the negative. The next vote was that the Twelve should select and appoint two bishops to act as trustees for the church, according to law. This vote was unanimous also. Another unanimous vote was passed to use every exertion to forward the building of the Temple, and to strengthen the hands of the committee. The revelation in relation to tithing was referred to, and the manifestation of every saint seemed to be, we will do as the Lord hath commanded; and the assembly was dismissed with the blessings of the Lord.