1: What is your name?
W. W. Blair.
2: Mr. Blair, where do you live?
At the present time at Lamoni, Iowa.
3: How long have you lived there?
Since August 1884.
4: What is your business?
I am editor of the Herald, one of the editors of the Herald, ministerially associated with Joseph Smith.
5: Who is Joseph Smith?
He is the president of the re-organized church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
6: How long have you been connected with the church?
The re-organized church?
7: Yes sir?
Formally since the spring of 1857.
8: What do you mean by “formally”, when you say you have been a member of the re-organized church formally since 1857 what do you mean?
I mean that I united with the church then, -that is, I formally became a member of the church at that time.
9: What position did you hold in the church then?
I was ordained an elder at that time.
10: By whom?
Zenas H. Gurley and others.
12: What did you do after 1857 in connection with the church and from that on up, – generally or in a general way of course?
Well, I did not take any very active part in affairs, or in connection with the church except at the time of conferences, but I did some ministerial work in the church. Not a great deal, however, -until the spring of 1859, and at that time I became a member of the quorum of twelve. I think it was in the fall that I received my ordination, however, as to that the record will show when it was, but I became an active member in the ministry and in the quorum of twelve from the month of April, from the first of April or along during the first days of April in 1857, and continued right along in ministerial work throughout the states of Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and over on the eastern edge of Nebraska during hat year. Afterward I passed across going east on a mission through northern Illinois and Indiana and Ohio on to Pennsylvania, Virginia, west Virginia, and so continued on during a number of years engaged in ministerial work throughout the eastern, middle, and western states until 1873. I was during that time engaged in the eastern and middle states, and the western states too and then after that I took a mission through the inter-mountain country, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, Nevada, and California. So I continued until 1873 at the spring conference I was selected as one of the first presidency and have been identified with the work of the church in that capacity ever since that time.
13: Have you attended the general gatherings of the church since 1857?
Yes sir. Pretty generally, but not all of them. I have however, attended most of them but during a part of the time I was in the west and did not attend some of them.
14: What time was that?
From 1857 to 1860, from 1857 to 1860. I think it is safe to say-that I was with the church at its general conferences spring and fall with few exceptions.
15: You say you were there generally speaking?
Yes, sir. there was some few exceptions but I was generally there
16: Were you present at the general conference of the re-organized church of 1860 and 1861?
Yes sir, I was.
17: Were you present at the conference at which Joseph Smith was ordained President of the church?
Yes, sir I was at that conference.
18: Will you state to the reporter what the details of that was?
Of the conference?
19: Yes, sir?
Well, do you mean in respect to his nomination and ordination?
20: Yes, sir, -nomination, ordination, and all?
Mr. Smith came on the fifth, and on the sixth at the organization of the conference Elder Zenus H. Gurley, Senior was chosen as the presiding officer and it was known that Mr. Smith was present and wanted to address the body of the people present. He was invited to do so and made an address, and in that address he stated that for years–some years past–his mind had been enlightened in respect to the work of the church and that it had been signified to him that he should become identified with the church. He stated also that he had been solicited by various factions of the church to unite with them as the presiding officer over their respective organizations, but he had declined doing it, saying he answered one and all that he would never have anything to do with the work of the church, and especially with the work of the Presidency unless he was called of God, — unless he was conscious that he had a call. The very words he used, I think, are found now in the address he had printed–or I should say his address as printed “unless he should receive a call from his Heavenly Father.” I think those were the words he used in expressing himself. At the close of his address a motion was made that he be received into the church to be its president. This motion was seconded and put to the meeting and passed, and then he was ordained to the high priesthood. He was ordained to to the office of high priest by the usual formula of ordination. He was ordained under the hands of William Marks, Samuel Powers, and myself.
21: To what office was he ordained at that time before the office of high priest?
Well, I can only say that the ordination ceremony practiced at that time by us was the ordination ceremony as we understood it to be, and as to the words that were used in the process of conferring the wording of the ordination, I cannot say. I would not undertake to say as to the wording of the ordination, for I do not remember. I could not determine verbally what it was, that is to give the exact language, or what was uttered at his ordination and confirmation, but the usual formula peculiar to the church was followed.
22: Do you know, Mr. Blair, about the ordination being in conformity with the rule laid down in the book of doctrine and covenants?
Well, we made that a rule in our faith and practices, that was a matter adopted away back in the beginning when I first became identified with the church.
23: What was the rule to which you refer?
That whatever was done should be done strictly in conformity with the law and order of the church as contained in the rules and law of the church.
24: When was that determination or rule adopted?
It was away back at the time that I became identified with the church, in fact from the time that we first came together and effected the re-organization. That was my understanding at the time and everything that I saw was done strictly in accordance with the laws and rules of the church.
25: Do you know whether the President of the Conference at the time of the ordination had the book of doctrine and covenants in his hand?
Well, I would not say as to that. Excuse me, I said there was but William Marks, Samuel Powers, and myself, but I was mistaken in that statement, for Zenus H. Gurley was one of the ordaining committee.
26: And you do not recollect about the book of doctrine and covenants?
No sir, I do not. We were familiar with it at that time, for it had been a question with us, and a very serious questions as to the government of the church up to that time, for we understood that the Utah people and others of other factions of the church had gone on at will and had paid but little attention or respect to the formulas of the church, – that is to the law and order of the church, and as a consequance we made a specialty from the time of my first acquaintance with the re-organized church in having everything done in strict conformity with the laws and established rules and formulas of the church.
27: At that time, if I understand you, Mr. Blair, you held the office of an apostle?
28: When was that?
That was in 1860 at the time of the ordination of Joseph Smith.
29: Well now was Joseph Smith ordained an apostle at that time?
Well, we supposed it comprised that.
30: Well do you know that he was ordained an apostle at that time?
Well, as I have stated, we supposed it comprised that, but I do not remember at that time that the words were uttered or not. I would not say that the words indicating that he was ordained an apostle were uttered at that time, but the ceremony that was performed we all understood at that time that was included. That was the understanding and intention that he was ordained strictly in accordance and in conformity with the rules and usages of the church as laid down in the book of doctrine and covenants.
31: Are you acquainted with the doctrines of the original church?
As laid down in the history and the standard works or books of the church, I my say that I am I may say that I am, for I had some occasion to study it pretty thoroughly and pretty critically from 1851 up to 1860.
32: And are you familiar with the doctrines and tenets of the re-organized church?
33: I will get you to state, Mr. Blair, what differences there are, if any, in the doctrine as laid down by the original church, and the doctrines as laid down and practiced by the re-organized church of which you are now a member?
The difference between the doctrine of the original church and the church, – the re-organized church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?
34: Yes, sir?
Well sir, as contained in the standard books of the church we have claimed, and now claim that the re-organized church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the original church, that the doctrines are identical. We claim that they are identical in the re-organized church with the doctrines taught in the original church.
35: I will get you to state, Mr. Blair, the position of the original church on the question of baptism for the dead if it had any such a doctrine?
35: I will object to that question on the ground that there is better testimony available than any opinion the witness may give, and that this testimony is testimony that ought to be produced here. I object to the question on that ground.
In respect to what, sir?
36: I asked you to state the position of the original church upon the question of baptism for the dead? That was the question I asked you.
From reading the history of the church and from the teachings in the book of doctrine and covenants in all the editions published by the old original church at Nauvoo, from these sources I gather that the doctrine was one had in the church, for I find an ordinance in the church organ advocating it, but whether, or as to whether it had ever become a pronounced doctrine, – that is to say, whether it had been accepted formally at any time I cannot say from my readings. The revelation of 1841 contained in the book of doctrine and covenants provides for the baptism of the dead, and that of course is a revelation accepted by them and formed a part of the body of the revelations accepted as a rule of faith and practice from 1841 down. That is found in all the editions published after that date and of course formed a part of the faith and practice of the church from that time on.
37: Is that the same principle that is set forth in the new testament in relation to baptism for the dead?
Yes, sir, I so take it to be the same.
38: And you may cite any passages in the authorized version of the bible, any passages that bear on it, – that is that specially bear on that principle?
I understand the doctrine of baptism for the dead as taught in the book of doctrine and covenants, and in the various articles we find in the church organ, is identical with what is set forth in the fifteenth chapter of first Corinthians in the New Testament and in the general epistle of Peter speaking by Christ “to the spirits of the dead”. Indeed those passages of scripture were quoted in many of the articles in the church organ in the articles published. We find them in the Times and Seasons which was the church organ.
39: Now I will ask you, Mr. Blair, what the position of the re-organized church is with reference to that question?
In what way?
40: With reference to that question as a principle of faith or practice?
We have adopted from the start, as I told you, the book of doctrine and covenants, and the various issues or editions of that book printed and published at Nauvoo, and they as I have before stated, embrace the doctrine of baptism for the dead, – both in the letters by President Smith and in the revelation given in 1841, – likewise in what is called “the vision”. It is provided there, speaking to the spirits in prison, which involves as we understand it, the administration of baptism for the dead.
41: Is that all there is in the way of revelation referring to the subject of baptism for the dead?
There is another revelation in the book of covenants, – I cannot at this time recall the number of it, that contemplates the same thing in connection with the vision.
42: I will ask you, Mr. Blair, if it is not a fact that the re-organized church, either at the last assembly, or at some other and prior assembly or conference placed that question among the mooted questions or doctrine?
Well, so far as teaching it at present is concerned it has been for the reason,
43: For what reason?
It has been ruled out from the present teaching and practice for the reason that there is no authority administering it, or in relation to the administration of it. We hold and we so understand the teaching of it that it can never be administered unless it is by especial and direct commandment and unless provisions are made for its administration by special commandmandment and we do not understand that has been given.
44: I do not understand that?
Well if you will give me time perhaps I may explain it so you will see the force of my answer.
45: Well, I would like you to do so?
Well we believe that the soul of man is consious after death, and possessing the will power peculiar to the mind in this life, and that in that condition the gospel may be preached with the redemption plan in Christ, and they are left at will to accept or reject, and that when they accept that plan of redemption in Christ Jesus, we claim that baptism for the dead is proper, and that other persons by substitution can receive the outward ordinance for the benefit of those who have passed into the spirit state. We claim that this can be done by substitutionary work.
46: That is the way that was?
Yes, sir, that is the way we understand it.
49: Then if I understand you, you mean by your answer, that the re-organized church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints hold that simply as a principle up for the present, – the principle is taught in the New Testament and so far as the reorganized church is concerned it is not taught at the present time, but is simply one of the questions that is held in abeyance for the present for future consideration, and is not taught or practiced in any form?
Yes, sir, we simply regard it,
50: I mean it is not practiced in any form?
No sir, we do not practice it at the present time.
51: Has the re-organized church ever practiced it?
No sir, not to my knowledge.
52: Why not?
Simply because it is impracticable under the present conditions.
53: I hand you now Mr. Blair, the book marked Exhibit two and ask you to state to the reporter what book it is?
The Latter Day Saints Messenger and Advocate, volume one and volume two, both bound in one volume or book
54: Where was it published?
It was printed and published at Kirtland, Ohio in 1834 to 1836, – running through both those years.
55: I will ask you if that was an authorized publication of the original church?
Yes, sir. We understand it that way sir. We understand that it was an authorized publication of the original church.
56: You may point out Mr. Blair, and read from the book marked Exhibit two, any and all quotations therein with reference to the name of the church.
Well I find so far as the mere form of the name is concerned in this record. Exhibit two, the church is variously called, interchangably called I may say, – “The Church of Christ,” “The Church of Latter Day Saints, ” “The Church of the Latter Day Saints, ” “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” and I think perhaps one or two other names are used, so far as the mere verbiage of the form of the forms title is concerned.
44: I do not understand that?
Well if you will give me time perhaps I may explain it so you will see the force of my answer.
45: Well, I would like you to do so?
Well we believe that the soul of man is conscious after death, and possessing the will power peculiar to the mind in this life, and that in that condition the gospel may be preached with the redemption plan in Christ, and they are left at will to accept or reject, and that when they accept that plan of redemption in Christ Jesus, we claim that baptism for the dead is proper, and that other persons by substitution can receive the outward ordinance for the benefit of those who have passed into the spirit state. We claim that this can be done by substitutionary work.
46: That is the way that was?
Yes sir, that is the way we understand it.
49: Then if I understand you, you mean by your answer, that the re-organized church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints hold that simply as a principle up for the present, the principle is taught in the New Testament and so far as the reorganized church is concerned it is not taught at the present time, but is simply one of the questions that is held in abeyance for the present for future consideration, and is not taught or practiced in any form?
Yes sir, we simply regard it.
50: I mean it is not practiced in any form?
No sir, we do not practice it at the present time.
51: Has the re-organized church ever practiced it?
No sir, not to my knowledge.
52: Why not?
Simply because it is impracticable under the present conditions.
53: I hand you now Mr. Blair, the book marked Exhibit two and ask you to state to the reporter what book it is?
The Latter Day Saints Messenger and Advocate, volume one and volume two, both bound in one volume or book.
54: Where was it published?
It was printed and published at Kirtland, Ohio in 1834 to 1836, running through both those years.
55: I will ask you if that was an authorized publication of the original church?
Yes sir. We understand it that way sir. We understand that it was an authorized publication of the original church.
56: You may point out Mr. Blair, and read from the book marked Exhibit two, any and all quotations therein with reference to the name of the church.
Well I find so far as the mere form of the name is concerned in this record, Exhibit two, the church is variously called, interchangeably called I may say, “The Church of Christ”, “The Church of Latter Day Saints”, “The Church of the Latter Day Saints”, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” and I think perhaps one or two other forms are used so far as the mere verbiage of the form for the title is concerned.
No sir, I have not finished. On April 3rd 1835 on page 101, it is denominated “The Church of Latter Day Saints” and the same form of designation occurs again on page one hundred and twenty two “The Church of the Latter Day Saints”, – the definative article “the” occurs in that designation of the name of the church. It is introduced – there in contradistinction, as it were, from “The Church of Latter Day Saints.” On page two hundred and six the form is used interchangably, used here right on one column “The Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints” and then follows in another paragraph “The Church of Latter Day Saints”. On page one hundred and sixty one the form used is “The Church of the Latter Day Saints” and on page two hundred and eighty seven the form used is “The Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints”.
57: What is the date of that?
58: Are there any more?
59: Well what are they?
On page three hundred and thirty-five is a record made of the names of the ministry, and the form here used is “The Church of the Latter Day Saints”. That reference is made in respect to the issuance of licences. On page three hundred and fifty nine (this would also be in 1836) the form used is “The Church of Latter Day Saints”. I believe that is all that I have ben able to find. There may be others in the book but I believe that is all I can find at this time so far as I have examined the book.
60: Mr. Blair I will ask whether or not the pages of the book to which you have been referring ar the pages in a book that has been identified here as exhibit number two this morning.
61: Is it the same book?
62: What is the book?
The Messenger and Advocate”.
63: That is the book marked exhibit two?
64: I will ask you Mr. Blair, if you are acquainted with the doctrine and teachings of the church known as the “Salt Lake Church”
Why, yes, sir.
65: Yes, sir, – are you, – you say you are acquainted with the doctrines and teachings or the faction of the church that is located in Utah and known as the “Salt Lake church” or the “Utah church”?
Yes, sir, I am acquainted with their doctrine and teachings published. Their published teachings I am familiar with.
66: Are you familiar with, or acquainted with the doctrine and teachings of any other factions of the church.
Yes, sir, to some extent. I have examined the claims or pretentions of what are called the “Strangites” the Bickertonites” the Hedrickires” the “Morrisites” the Rigdonites” and possibly some others, but those I have mentioned I have investigated.
67: And the “William Smithites”?
Yes, sir, and possibly some other factions also.
68: I will ask you to state Mr Blair, whether or not
what is known as the Salt Lake mormon church, is in harmony with the doctrines and teachings of the original church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?
Whether or not their-doctrines and teachings is in harmony with the doctrines and teachings of the original church?
69: Yes, sir.
70: They are not in harmony with the doctrines and teachings as taught by the original church?
71: What are the difference, if any?
They teach the doctrine of plural marriage contrary to the doctrine of the original church and the re-organized church, as as contained in the church organs. That is to say, the Times and Seasons, – the Morning and Evening Star and the Messenger and Advocate, and also contrary to the teachings of the Book of Mormon and also contrary to the teachings and commandments of the book of doctrine and covenants.
72: What about the bible?
And also contrary to our construction of the bible, or rather what we understand to be the teachings of the bible.
73: What other differences are there? What difference is there in respect or in relation, -?
In what respect?
74: In regard to the principal points of doctrine?
Well the Utah Mormons through the president of their church, as we find recorded in the Deseret News, and in the Journal of Discourses, taught the doctrine that Adam was the Father, – or rather that Adam was out Father and God, and the only God with whom we have to do, and this teaching we regard as being rankly heretical and contrary to all the teachings of the bible, the book of Mormon, the book of covenants, and the teachings set forth in these church organs in their time. Likewise in respect to church government. The Utah Mormon church in 1844 at the death of Joseph Smith, assumed that the twelve constituted and took the place of the first presidency and assumed to dictate as to the first presidency, in the place of the first presidency, and assumed that there would be no further first presidency for the church, and assumed that all the authority, rights and powers that appertained to the first presidency become vested in them. In the teachings of the book of covenants, the quorum of twelve and the first presidency are distinct, – the quorum of twelve to officiate under the direction of the first presidency, or the immediate counsel of the first presidency and their ministerial labors pertaining to the work of the church abroad amongst the branches, and in the various parts of the world, and that therefor they had no authority to interfere in the affairs at the Stakes, – had no right, – no presidency there, – nor in the councils that were held in the church.
75: All that we care about is the principle of doctrine, we do not care anything about the usages? That is some thing we do not care about?
We regard that action of the Utah Church, as it is commonly called, as an usurpation of authority, which began immediately after the death of Joseph Smith, in June 1844, and we claim that in respect to the bishopric, – their dealings, dominating, if you please to call it such, – the bishopric, – appointing and ordaining bishops, and controlling the financial concerns of the church was one evidence of usurpation, – or rather one of the distinctive features of their usurpation, and still another in respect to marriage, the claim is made by them that marriages not performed by their ministry are not strictly proper marriages, and they have used that influence, as we are well aware, to prevent marriages occurring except under the direction and administration of their ministry,- going indeed so far as to absolutely prohibit it.
76: What is the manner of transacting business in the conference?
Well, judging from what we read and from what i have seen,
77: You may proceed and state what you know about it,- what you have seen yourself?
In my acquaintance with their administration in Utah it is a system of suggestion, and apparently on the part of the leading men of the church, and the people are asked to sustain those suggestions by vote,- the nominations are always, so far as I have been able to discover, presented by the leading men and the people are asked to sustain them by their vote. We regard that practice as a sort of a machine Institution, with all the matters provided for beforehand. That is the way it looked to us out there.
78: You may state any other particular doctrine or doctrines in the Utah church, or that is taught by the Utah Mormons, that were not taught by the original church, and which are not authorized by the books of doctrine of the old church? Councel for the defendants objects to the question asked the witness on the ground and for the reasons that the witness is not competent to answer the question propounded to him, and on the further ground that there is better evidence of the fact sought to be proven than any statement that the witness can make.
From the investigation I have made of their system from an early time,- probably as early as 1845, I am led to believe,
79: I do not want you to state what you believe, or what you think, Mr. Blair, but to state what you know?
well I gather from treir writings as published in their church organ that their ministry,- their leading ministry proposed it,- and it dominated the people in regard to political and civil affairs, contrary to the order and principles set forth in the sacred standard books of the church.
80: I will ask you if you were present at the conference held in Michigan,- or- rather in Wisconsin in 1857?
81: What time was that converence held?
It was either in the spring or in the fall of 1857. If my memory serves me right it was in the fall that that conference was held, and I was there.
82: I notice, Mr. Blair, on the minutes of that conference of 1857 the names of Hedrick and others,- Hedrick and Owens it is, and the statement appears in the minutes that the hand of fellowship was given to Hedrick and Owens?
83: That is correct?
84: Hedrick and Owens were present and the hand of fellowship was given them?
85: I will get you to state who that Hedrick was?
That was Granville Hedrick.
86: Who was the Owens?
I really do not remember what his first name was.
87: You do not recollect what is first name was, you say? That is, what Owens first name was?
No sir, I cannot recollect it distinctly, but it seems to me it was William, but as to that I would not be positive. He was quite an elderly man at that time, and I never met him but twice, I believe.
88: When did you meet Granville Hedrick first?
I met met Granville Hedrick first in Woodford county, and afterwards I met him at Washburne, – yes, that was the name of the place. It has been so long ago since these events transpired that it is a little difficult for me to remember the names of places and of people. Hedrick resided ther at Washburne or near there at that time, and he rode with me in a carriage from Amboy to Blanchardville in Wisconsin in the fall of 1857, – I think that is the correct date, – a distance of about eighty or ninety miles.
89: Did he unite with the conference that time he was there?
He took part in the conference, – both he and Owens took part in it. The right hand of fellowship was extended to them, and Mr. Hedrick according to the best of my recollection now seconded, – moved a resolution which was seconded by Mr. Owens to the effect that the conference send a delegation down to Bloomington, Illinois, and Mackinaw, Illinois, and other points near there, where they had some membership, – or where there was some membership of their organization, – for they had a temporary organization only, as I understand it. The conference was requested to these people to reason and talk with them, and to preach to the people at these places and explain to them our views in regard to church doctrine and church government, and I well remember an expression made by Mr. Hedrick at the time when the matter was suggested “well” said he “you had better look after them among your own acquaintances” and he said “no, we prefer that you send a delegation who are instructed and who are well posted, and who will be able to present thoroughly and fully your views, and your position in regard to the doctrine.”
90: Who said that?
91: What was the occasion of is saying that?
He said that when it was suggested that they had better look after their own people. They were there at the conference and knew our position, and it was suggested that they could look after their own people, and I remember distinctly that was the reply he made.
92: I will get you to examine page thirty seven of the book here-to-fore identified as exhibit N, and say whether or not that is the minutes of the conference to which you refer in your answer to the last question.
93: Who was the clerk of that conference?
I was the clerk of that conference. It was held October 6th 1867 at a place called Zarahemla. The post office was called Blanchardville, – that was the name of the post office.
94: Now I offer from page thirty seven of exhibit N, the following, – “Upon motion brothers Owen and Hedrick were received as representatives of the saints in Woodford County, Illinois and vicinity, and the right hand of fellowship was given them”.
95: Mr. Blair, in your examination this morning you referred to the question of a bishop?
96: Both in the re-organized church and the church at the church at Salt Lake. Now with reference to that question in will ask you, or I will get you to read to the reporter paragraph three of section sixty one of the book of doctrine and covenants, the edition of 1835, marked exhibit E?
And again, it is meet that my servant Joseph Smith, junior, should have a house built in which to live and translate. And again it is meet that my servant Sydney Rigdon should live as seemeth him good, inasmuch as he keepeth my commandments. And again I have called my servant Edward Partridge and given a commandment that he should be appointed by the voice of the church, and ordained a bishop unto the church, to leave his merchandise and spend all his time in the labors of the church: to see to all things as it shall be appointed unto him, in my laws in the days that I shall give them. And this because his heart is pure before me, for he is like unto Nathaniel of old, in whom there is no guile, – These words are given unto you, and they are pure before me: wherefore beware ow you hold them for they are to be answered upon your souls in the day of judjment: even so, – amen.
97: What is the date of that revelation?
98: I will get you to read in connection with that Mr. Blair, paragraph ten, section twenty of exhibit E?
“Let my servant Titus Billings, who has the care thereof, dispose of the land, that he may be prepared in the coming spring, to take his journey up unto the land of Zion, with those that dwell upon the face thereof, excepting those whom I shall reserve unto myself, that shall not go until I shall command them. And let all the moneys which I can be spared, it matted not unto me whether it be little or much sent up unto the land of Zion, unto them whom I appointed to receive.”
99: What is the date of that?
That is August 1831, the August following the other one.
100: Well, that is all. You can cross examine.
101: Your name is W.W. Blair?
102: And I believe you stated you were counsellor to the president of the Re-organized church?
103: And the president of the Re-organized church I believe you stated was Joseph Smith?
104: The Joseph Smith whose deposition was taken here a few days ago?
Yes sir, so I understand. I was not here, but I understand his testimony was taken.
105: Of course you have priority amongst the counsellors?
106: What does that mean, – priority amongst the counselors, what does that mean?
Just when the quorum is composed of three the first counsellor hold priority.
107: What are his duties?
The duties of the first counselor?
108: Yes sir?
To advise with the president of the church in relation to all the affairs pertaining to the church, or rather in respect to all the matters and things pertaining to the presidency.
109: To what does the presidency pertain?
It is to preside over the conference of the church. To preside over the church as a body, – to counsel and direct in connection with his counselors, subject to the quorum of twelve in their administration.
110: What are his powers in the re-organized church?
Aside from methods simply of procedure?
111: Yes sir, what are his powers?
Well, so far as gifts, rights and powers is concerned, it is to be a revelator to the church, – a translator and seer. Those are the rights and powers and pertain
112: These are the duties and functions and powers of the President of the church?
113: To be a revelator, translator and seer to the church.
114: What other, if any, duties or rights pertain to him.
To exercise the gift of prophecy as the presiding prophet of the church. Those are prerogatives of course that pertain to the first presidency, – the first resident of course having priority, – that is in respect to ordaining, bishops. That is one of the provisions made in the law of the church.
115: How is the first Presibency, – what powers do the Conference have?
Well there are a variety or matters that are referred to the conferences by the ministry in regard to such matters as missions, in regard to finances, – the finances of the church, and they hold authority likewise in respect of approving or disapproving those who may be nominated or called or an revelation to specific offices. Conferences hold the right to pass on those qyestions, and conferences also hold the right, when fully organized, of saving whether or not the church was to receive or endorse that purports to be revelation from God.
116: Those are rights that the conference have?
117: How long, – for how long a time, have conferences in the re-organized church exercised that right?
Well from the very first, so far as I know. So far as I am aware of they have always exercised that right and the first conference of which we have any account or record exercised that right. I believe at the first conference that was held that matter came up in effect on a resolution to endorse the bible, the book of Mormon, the book of doctrine and covenants as containing the laws of the church. That was done in 1833, and at other times prior to 1844, and it was carrying out the same general principle, and it was so understood at the time, and has been so understood by the church. We see it exemplified in the case of Mr. Smith, for when he came before the church or the conference acting in its representative capacity and stated that he had received a direct call or revelation from God that he was to act in the capacity of President of the church, the conference passed on that question, – or rather the quorums of the church that were present, that is the ministry, and the entire body or the people acted upon it and approved of it. They endorsed it, and so far as I am conscious of the facts, all the revelations that were ever given to the church for its government, were presented to them and accepted by the voice of the body.
118: How do officers obtain authority in the re-organized church?
Sometimes by nomination and appointment by the body, and then by being set apart under the hands of competent ministry, – those having jurisdiction in the case, and then receiving license by the voice of the body.
119: how does succession come in the office in the event of death or vacancy in an office?
Sometimes it comes by some direct endowment of the Spirit, and sometimes by nomination, – ye, you may say by nomination from some body of the ministry.
120: Then if any one testifies that succession uniformly follows to an office in the re-organized church to the oldest son of the decedent, he does not state the position of the re-organized church correctly does he?
So far as the office of the first president of the church is concerned, – the presiding office, – it is in harmony with the uistory of the precedents we find in thr book of Mormon, and what we find in the New Testament scriptures, as well as in the old testament, and in harmony with the doctrine in the book of doctrine and covenants, that that office will or may descent by lineage.
121: Then if any one testifies that it is the uniform law of the church that it does not descend by lineage to the oldest son he is mistaken, is he not?
122: He is not?
No sir. In order however that that shall be effective, – that that right, – the right of lineage should be effective and made applicable to the individual he must be called directly by revelation from God. He must be called by a direct revelation from God.
123: Does that revelation apply to the first presidency?
124: It refers to the first presidency?
125: Does it refer to the apostles?
Not necessarilly. No sir, not necessarilly.
126: Then if any one testifies that it refers to the twelve apostles he is, to say the least, mistaken?
We understand that it relates directly to the first presidency of the church.
127: Well if any one testified here that it refers to the twelve apostles, he is mistaken? Is that not the fact?
Well I could only give it as my opinion, for the church has taken no action on it that I am aware of.
128: What is that?
There is no action or rule of the church that I am aware of that has been adopted which shows that anything was done on that point.
129: Well if I am not mistaken you do not say that if any one has testified here that that section and rule applies to the action of the church on that question or succession by the lineage or descent he has misrepresented the position of the church on the question? What is your answer to that?
I am not aware that the church has any position on that point. It has never been ruled on to my knowledge.
130: That is the re-organized church has never passed on it?
No sir, not to my knowledge.
131: And does not the same principle apply to the first presidency?
132: Have they, – the church, – ever ruled on that?
Yes sir. They ruled on that. It was a matter or question that was agitated as near as I can remember about 1851. It was a matter that was agitated soon after 1851 and the question was settled in accordance with the precedents that obtained in the book of Mormon and the bible, – especially the book of Mormon the precedents and usages that obtained there and likewise in the book of covenants, the special provisions that are made there for it records in so many words that that priesthood descended from father to son, and points out the instances where it so descended.
133: What priesthood do you refer to?
The melchise dek priesthood.
134: Does not the same authority to inherit the office of the father descend to the son, the eldest son, as applied to the other officers of the church?
How is that?
135: Does not the same authority descend to the other officers?
Well I say that the church has never ruled on that point. That question has never been raised in the conferences of the church that I am aware of.
136: Then I understand you to say, that so far as the first presidency is concerned, that lineality of descent is a law of the church?
Yes sir. I do not say that it is exactly a law of the church, but it is a recognized rule of the church.
137: Well now I will ask you to state more distinctly what the rule is?
It is a rule that in the event of a first President of the church dying, that his eldest son, if he has one, has a lineal right, – what we designate a lineal right to the office of his father although he may not be prepared at the time to enter upon the duties of his office: though were he called to take upon himself the duties of the office he could do so, provided he was of suitable age, and such other conditions as must be complied with are present before he can enter upon the duties of the office.
138: What are those conditions?
Although he is the eldest son of the deceased president of the church, yet those other conditions must prevail, that he must be of suitable age, etc. and first of all he must be specially called to the office by a revelation commanding him to take upon himself the duties of the office, and this revelation must be of such a character as to satisfy the church that the call is from God. That is the view entertained from the first and which is entertained now so far as I am aware. 138 (Second 138)
138: Very well. Now does that apply to any particular son?
139: Which one?
The elder son.
140: In every case?
Yes sir, provided he is competent and the conditions surrounding his call are acceptable, the elder son has what is called the birthright.
141: That is the lineal birthright?
142: Does any other son have it?
No, not so long as the first and eldest son is alive. The conditions affecting him, such as to his competency of mind, etc. attaches first to the eldest son.
143: How would it be in case the first son had all the conditions and qualifications you speak of to succeed to the first presidency of the church, and he dies before his father?
In that case so far as the right itself is concerned it would devolve upon the next son.
144: Is that the law of the church on that question?
That is what we understand to be the law, and in harmony with these precedents.
145: Now you say that is the law and it is established upon precedents?
146: Where are these precedents to be found?
You will find it in the book of covenants.
147: Where in the book of covenants is it to be found?
In section one hundred and four, paragraph eighteen, page two hundred and ninety three of Exhibit J.
148: Well read it?
The order of this priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen see, to whom the promises were made. This order was instituted in the days of Adam, and came down by lineage in the following manner. From Adam to Set who was ordained by Adam at the age of sixty-nine years, and was blessed by him three years previous to his (Adams) death, and received the promise of God by his father, that his posterity should be chosen of the Lord, and that they should be preserved until end of the earth, because he (Seth) was a perfect man, and his likeness was the express likeness of his father, insomuch that he seemed to be like his father in all things, and could be distinguished from him only by his age.” Then follows a long list of succession which I suppose it is not necessary for me to read. The quotation I have given above included paragraphs eighteen and nineteen of section one hundred and four, and is found on page two hundred and ninety three. Following these paragraphs there is more or less in relation to the same subject, all the way down to the twenty eighth paragraph. Now there is another passage there you will find in section one hundred and seven, paragraph eighteen, on page three hundred and seven of the same Exhibit which is as follows, “And now I say unto you, as pertaining to my boarding house which I have commanded you to build, for the boarding of strangers (“That was a joint stock affair”) let it be built unto my name and let my name be named upon it, and let my servant Joseph and his house have place therein from generation to generation for this anointing have I put upon his head, that his blessing shall be put upon the head of his posterity after him: and as I said unto Abraham concerning the kindreds of the earth even so I say unto my servant Joseph, in thee and in they seed shall the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Therefore let my servant Joseph and his seed after him have place in that house from generation to generation, forever and ever, saith the Lord, and let the name of that house be called the Nauvoo house; and let it be a delightful habitation for man, and a resting place for the weary traveler that he may contemplate the glory of Zion, and the glory of this the corner stone thereof that he may receive also the counsel from those whom I have set to be as plants of renown, and as watchmen upon her walls.” That is the paragraph. It says this anointing have I put upon your head”. That his blessing shall also be put upon the head of his posterity after him. That we understand to mean the ministerial blessing and to comprehend that the presidency of the church in prophetic office is confirmed, “this his blessing shall also be put upon the head of his posterity after him”. According to the construction we put upon this, and we believe it to be correct, the head of his posterity is his eldest son.
149: Is there anything in there that authorized a transfer of that right from the eldest to the next son?
In case the eldest son dies the next son in point of lineage would then be the eldest son. That follows as a necessary consequence.
150: Is not that simply a conclusion of yours from the reading?
I do not see it in that light.
151: Well what else is it but a conclusion?
Well I understand the head of a man’s posterity, if he had half a dozen sons, but be John today, and if John dies today, tomorrow it may be Thomas who is the next son in point of succession. In case John was the eldest and he dies, as a natural consequence the next eldest is the head of his posterity.
152: Do you understand that to be the rule laid down in this section you have read?
I understand it to be the law. It is the law of common sense.
153: Now is this not the fact that if the eldest son dies having a son himself, it goes to that son?
Yes sir, but in this case we were speaking of direct succession from father to son.
154: Yes sir, but is it not a fact that if the eldest son dies while the father is holding the office that instead of the lineal right descending to the next eldest brother of the son who died it passes to the eldest son of the sone that died?
After this passes as a matter of course, according to our understanding of it, passes from a father to a son, that the authority develops in that son as a matter of course. If that son has a son, and the conditions all being favorable, according to the law that son inherits from his father, in the same manner as his father inherited from his father before him.
155: Well, suppose the father dies before his functions devolve upon him, and there is a grandson, a son of the eldest son of him that is in office, would it go to his uncle or to him?
It never had gone into him. It never had gone into that line or branch.
156: Then it goes back to the uncle in preference to the son of the first son?
Not to the uncle but to the son.
157: If the father has never succeeded to the office that is rightly his by reason of his being the eldest son, and he has an elder son, and the father dies before the succession, then would the succession go to the father’s brother, or to the first son?
What is it you want?
158: I want to know whether, as you understand the law, the succession goes to the oldest son only when the oldest son dies before the functions devolve upon him or to the eldest son of the dead eldest son?
I understand that when an office passes from father to son, and has become developed in that son, and that individual dies, if he has a son, mark you, if he has a son, and that son inherits from him, and not only inherits from him but would be entitles to the office were the conditions favorable as I have already stated, and he was called by a revelation which the church had accepted as a revelation, the office which his father had filled. Now that would under these circumstances be the line of lineage down through which it would pass.
159: The question I asked you is whether the son of the father who is in the office, that is the eldest son of the father who at the time is performing the functions of the priestly office in the first presidency, if the eldest son of that father should die before he is called to fill the office or before the duties of that office devolve upon him, if he dies while the father is still living, whether the functions of the office descend to the issue of that son, or whether it goes to the next son of the father in office, to the brother next in line of succession to the deceased son?
It would not devolve on that son, as I understand it, until he received it. That is in case the father, the eldest son of the person holding the office, in case he died before his father, and never was ordained into the office would not have any right to confer the office upon his son.
160: Well where would it go?
The law of lineage points to the fact that this priesthood descents from father to son, and the son so long as he is living is an heir to the office which his father held or holds and of course until that son dies it cannot descend to the next of lineage.
161: But suppose he does die?
Suppose the son dies?
162: Yes sir?
What son, – the elder son?
163: Yes sir, that is the question, – suppose that son actually dies, and is an elder son?
If it is developed in the father of that son of course it cannot descend after him.
164: Well what I want to get at is in an ecclesiastical case of descent like this, which would it develop in, – in the son of the eldest son, or in an uncle?
165: Which way would it go? I know in one case it would go to the uncle. Now you have testified that you know the law, history and doctrine of the church, and I want you to tell me what is the law and doctrine on that subject?
The law is as I have told you, – simply that it goes from father to son. Now that is the law plain and square as contained in all the standard books of our church.
166: Are you not trying to evade my questions, – – are you not trying to answer them unfairly?
No sir I answer every question as openly and fully as I know how, and I am trying to conceal nothing. If I had failed to make you understand that is my misfortune for I know I have tried to do so hard enough.
167: You say it descends from father to son?
Yes sir, that is the law laid down in our standard books beyond question.
168: Now then which son?
The eldest son.
169: Why does it descend to the eldest son in preference to any other son?
Because the eldest son holds the birthright.
170: Well now suppose the eldest son dies before the office devolves upon him, and at the time of his death had an older son, does the office that the father, the man that died would have been entitled to, go to his eldest son?
171: Answer the question?
I think I have answered it.
172: Well answer it again, – I don’t recollect of your answering that question, but it seems to me that you have answered every other conceivable question that bears indirectly on that point, and now I insist upon a direct answer?
The law of lineage does not provide for that as I am aware of sir, but it would descend simply from father to son, and if the son, I should say the father, – holds no office, as a matter of course it could not go to his son.
173: Then suppose the father dies, and the elder son dies before the father, and then the father has another son, doe it go to him under the law or rule of the church?
Why, in that event, – the son dying and not having a son, why then as a matter of course it would follow down one of the other lines.
174: Well now if he has a son, what then?
Well if he had a son it would develop in his son, so far as his right is concerned. The principle as I view it is a simple on, – it is simply a passing down from a father to his son, – not to somebody else’s son. It simply passes down from father to son, and we claim this was the precedent established in the book of Mormon, and we can show a number of instances where beyond the possibllity of question that where there was a son it went from father to son, and is so provided for.
175: Well that is what I understood. I have just one more question on this point and it is to ask you to explain a revelation which you have read here on page three hundred and six, I believe it is.
It is paragraph eighteen on page three hundred and seven.
176: Now then, what is the date of that revelation?
177: Are there any other revelations since 1835?
178: So that what you have been quoting from is a revelation delivered to whom?
To Joseph Smith.
179: And it was delivered in the year 1841?
180: No was that revelation ever endorsed by the church?
I was not a member of the church at that time but the book of covenants in which it appears was endorsed as an entirety, and the re-organized church has re-endorsed it.
181: now then, Mr. Blair, I understood you to say in your examination in chief, that you were acquainted with the doctrines of the re-organized church by personal knowledge and historically, and you are acquainted with the law governing both, and you are familiar with it and feel competent to testify with reference to these affairs.
182: I understood that to be your position in your examination in chief?
Yes sir, that is what I stated to be my position as far as my knowledge went.
183: As far as your knowledge went?
Yes sir, to the extent of my knowledge I stated that was my position. 183 (The second one)
183: Well did you not, – have you not been testifying under the theory that you understood the history of the church, – the doctrine and laws of the church?
Yes sir, my knowledge and general understanding.
184: From your knowledge and general understanding?
185: You do as a matter of fact understand the history of the church?
Yes sir, I believe I do.
186: And you have arrived at your knowledge from your readings and the official position you occupy with relation to the church?
187: And you understand the doctrine of the church from the fact that you have carefully considered and studied it from the same situation?
188: And you understand the law of the church prior to the time you became a member of the church from your historical research, and you understand it personally sincs the time you have been a member of the church from your own knowledge?
189: These are the grounds on which hou base your knowledge of these matters?
Yes sir. Of course there is no other way of my arriving at a determination in connection with the original church, only from history and the authorized books of the church and what they teach, but since I have been a member of the church I have personal knowledge regarding what has taken place since then.
190: Will you read now from your book of doctrine and covenants, Exhibit J. at page two hundred and ninety three, paragraph nineteen. Please read that section.
From Adam to Seth who was ordained by Adam at the age of sixty nine years and was blessed by him three years previous to his (Adams) death, and received the promise of God by his father, that his posterity should be chosen of the Lord, and that they should be preserved unto the end of the earth, because he (Seth) was a perfect man, and his likeness was the express likeness of his father, insomuch that he seemed to be like his father in all things, and could not be distinguished from him only by his age.”
191: Now you read in the fifth line of that paragraph “should be the chosen of the Lord”?
192: Is that the language there?
Yes sir, – it seems that his posterity should be chosen of the lord.
193: Is there any “the” in that?
Shall be chosen of the Lord.
194: Shall be T H E chosen of the Lord?
Shall be chosen of T H E Lord.
195: Now is that in the line of lineal descent?
196: It is?
Yes sir. We understand it to be. We understand that Cain and Abel, – that Abel was slain by his brother Cain, and that Cain lost his right to the priesthood by his transgression, and that therefore it went to the next son, and that was Seth, and that the priestly line having been developed in Seth from Adam, it followed down along the line of Seth’s posterity.
197: Then you understand that to promise that Seth’s posterity should have a lineal right to the priesthood?
Yes sir, through that, for Seth was the chosen of the Lord. That is the line of descent that we understand that the succession was to follow because of Cain’s transgression.
198: Was the promise made to any particular ones of his see or to all of them?
I have no knowledge of that.
199: Was Noah a descendant of Seth?
200: He was?
201: In what line?
He was a descendant in the lineal line.
202: Now sir, is it not a fact that Seth’s posterity was cut off in the flood?
203: Yes sir?
No sir. No sir, not that we are aware of. Not to the extent that they were annihilated, – but they might have been more or less cut off, but not to the point of annihilation.
204: Then is it a fact that after the flood there was or were any people living who were not descendents of Seth?
I really do not know sir.
205: Yet you say you know the bible authority on that subject?
I would not say as to that.
206: You understand the bible narrative of that?
I understand that Noah and his sons were saved through the flood, or saved from the flood, but I have no knowledge of any other ones, – that is, no knowledge from biblical sources.
207: Well in the biblical narrative to which you have referred is it not stated that after the flood all the people in the world were descendants of Noah?
Well sir there is a good deal of speculation about that.
208: Well is that not the theory advanced in the bible?
I am talking now about the speculation that is held about the bible and its claims that, – the theory or speculation that all colored people came from the branch of Cain and some were carried over the flood of Noah, and were not reckoned with the seed of Noah in taking into account the people of the world after the flood.
209: That is a mere speculation is it not?
Well some people are inclined to question it,
210: Is there any authority for it in the bible?
Well sir, so far as I am concerned I cannot recognize any.
211: Well then Mr. Blair, there is just one or two more questions on this subject that I desire to ask you, and then I am done with this branch of the matter, and I will take up another branch, and I will proceed no father with this matter as these gentlemen object to my delving in ancient history to this extent, – I will ask you if it is a fact that the priesthood according to the bible were descended from Seth and that line of succession came down through Noah, according to the bible narrative, then is not everybody a lineal descendant of Seth?
212: Are not all entitles to the priesthood?
They are not all first born. You must understand that there is a law of birthright that pertains to the law of lineage, as we stated it at first. We would be if we were all first born, but we are not, and therefore we cannot all belong to the priesthood, for that belongs only as a matter of birthright to the firstborn, unless the first born transgresses in some way to deprive him of his birthright.
213: They are not all first born, and you seem to make that a requisite that they all shall be first born?
So far as inheriting the Presidency is concerned that right descends to the first born.
214: Was that a fact in relation to Joseph Smith?
215: He was snot the first born of his father?
No sir _________ understanding. I understand that he
No sir, that is my understand. I understand that he was not the first born, but you, in asking that question overlook a fact that I have stated repeatedly that the right cannot exist unless the father exercises the priestly function, and Joseph Smith’s father did not, the priesthood was developed in Joseph himself.
216: Was he the first born.
No sir. He was not the first born, but the reason he came into possession of the priestly function, was because it was developed in himself, it was something that was developed within Joseph himself, and therefore it was something that he could not have inherited from his father.
217: Well now, if it was developed in him, how did it get to him?
218: What is your theory in regard to that?
The theory is that he received it by direct commandment, by revelation and then he was accepted. He was accepted and appointed by the church and upheld by the faith and confidence and prayers of the church in the fulfillment of that office.
219: In Exhibit J there turn to page one hundred and twelve, in paragraph two, beginning at the middle of the paragraph, do you recognize this language, “I have sent unto you my servant Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to ordain you unto the first priesthood which you have received that you might be called and ordained even as Aaron, and also Elijah, unto whom I have committed the keys of the power of turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers, that the whole earth may not be smitten with a curse; and also with Joseph and Jacob and Isaac and Abraham, your fathers by whom the promises remain, and also with Michael, or Adam, the father of all, the prince of all, the ancient of days” Do you recognize that language?
What is that?
220: You heard what I read?
Yes sir it is in here.
222: Well what is it? What does it mean?
This first priesthood that is alluded to here was the Aaronic priesthood, the lesser priesthood.
223: Do you also recognize this language in the third paragraph, “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 special witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry; and of the same things which I have revealed unto them, unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of my gospel for the last times.” Do you recognize that?
224: It is the latter part of the same prophecy?
225: Now what is the relation between, what was I
should say, the relation between Joseph Smith the father of the present president of the re-organized church, to Peter, James and John?
226: Do you maintain that he was in the lineage of the eldest sons from James, Peter and John?
227: Well in what lineage was he?
We understand that he was in the lineage of his fathers clear all the way back to the days of his, – to the days of Joseph in Egypt. We claim that as it is set forth in the book of Mormon.
228: Where is that to be found in the book of Mormon?
I couldn’t just give you the page, – yes it is at the sixtieth page of Exhibit F.
229: Here is a revelation in what we have just read given to Oliver Cowdery, – in the second paragraph, was he or was he not the same?
230: I wanted to see if you would say the same with reference to Oliver Cowdery?
I do not know that there was anything said in reference to his lineage, that is as to where his were or who they were, or where they can from. I am not aware now that there is anything said about that any further than he was of the lineage of Ephraim of the son of Joseph.
231: I will ask you another question and that is if you base the lineage you are talking about on the authority in the book of Mormon?
We hold that the principle is set forth in the book of Mormon crearly and definitely, both by prom- ise and precedent.
232: Is that special lineage pointed out?
Yes sir, the subject is.
233: Is that your theory?
Yes sir. It is in those words and you may call it a theory if you desire. I will read it if you wish me to do so.
234: Well, read the words?
“And thus prophesied Joseph (or Egypt) saying: behold that seer will the Lord bless, and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded: for this promise of which I have obtained of the Lord, of the fruit of they loins shall be ful- filled. Behold I am sure of the fulfilling of this promise. And his name shall be called after me and it shall be after the name of his father. And he shall be like unto me: for the thing which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord, shall bring my people unto salvation: yea thus prophesied Joseph. I am sure of this thing, even as I am sure of the promise of Moses, for the Lord hath said unto me, I will preserve they see forever. And the Lord hath said, I will raise up a Moses, and I will give power unto him in a rod, and I will give judg ment unto him in writing. Yet I will not loose his tongue that he shall speak much, for I will not make him mighty in speaking. But I will write unto him my law by the finger of mine own hand, and I will make a spokesman for him. And I, behold I will give unto him that he shall write the writing of the fruit of they loins unto the fruit of they loins and the spokesman of they loins shall declare it. And the words which he shall write shall be the words which are expedient in my wisdom, should go forth unto the fruit of thy loins. And it shall be as if the fruit of they loins had cried unto them from the dust, yea, even repentance unto their brethren, even after many generations have done by them. And it shall come to pass that their cry shall go, even according to the simpleness of their words. Because of their faith their words shall proceed forth out of my mouth unto their brethren who are the fruit of their loins, and the weakness of their words will I make strong in the faith, unto the remembering of the covenant which I made unto they fathers. And now behold my son Joseph, after this manner did my father of old prophesy. Wherefore, because of this covenant thou art blessed, for they seed shall not be destroyed, for they shall hearken unto the words of the book. And there shall raise up on mighty among them, who shall do much good both in word and in deed, being an instrument in the hands of God with exceeding faith, to work mighty wonders and do that thing which is great in the sight of God unto the bringing to pass much restoration unto the house of Israel, and unto the seed of they brethren. And now, blessed art thou Joseph. Behold thou art little, wherefore hearken unto the words of they brother, Nephi, and it shall be done unto thee, ever according to the words which I have spoken. Remember the words of they dying father. Amen. Now I have read that, and we know that the church was always so instructed so far as we can learn from the church organs and the law as laid down in the standard books of the church.
234: Now the question I wanted to develop there was whether that included Oliver Cowdery as well as Joseph Smith?
It speaks of him here as the spokesman,
235: Of Oliver Cowdery as the spokesman?
Yes sir, it was so understood to refer to him.
236: Then was that right claimed in the authority which you have just read, – did it devolve on Joseph Smith alone or was it to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery?
237: Well that is an easy question to answer and I would like for you to do so, I would be glad if you were to answer it?
What is the question?
238: Was it according to your understanding that the language applied to both of them, – Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery?
239: Then why, or how do you dispose of the fact that Oliver Cowdery is coupled with Joseph Smith?
Simply because he was called.
240: Is not the same thing said of one as of the other in the extracts we have read here?
Do you mean in the book of covenants.
241: Yes sir?
It states there that they were called to be apostles, and this in the book of Mormon claims that Joseph was to be called a seer, and Oliver Cowdery was to be his spokesman, and was his spokesman.
242: That is your answer to the question?
243: Now will you read from this same Exhibit J. on page two hundred and thirty two the first and third paragraphs?
244: The first and third?
The first paragraph is as follows, – Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servants, concerning the parable of the wheat and the tares, behold, verily, I say that the field was the world, and the apostles were the sowers of the seed, and after they have falled asleep the great persecuter of the church, the apostate, the whole, even Babylon that maketh all nations to drink of her cup in whose hearts the enemy, even Satan sitteth to reign, and drive the church into the wilderness.” That is the first paragraph and the third is as follows, – “Therefore thus saith the Lord unto you, with whom the priesthood hath continued through the lineage of your fathers, for ye are lawful heirs according to the flesh, and have been hid from the world with Christ in God: – therefore your life and the priesthood hath remained, and must needs remain through you and your lineage until the restoration of all things spoken by the mouths of all the holy prophets since the world began.”
245: Is that all of it?
246: now you spoke or said the words “For ye are lawful heirs”. To whom did that refer? Who did you understand that referred to?
Whom do I understand that referred to? I understood it referred to Joseph Smith and those that were with him at the time that the revelation was given. 247 (This number is missing)
248: Does that include Oliver Cowdery?
I do not know who was present at that time.
249: Well who was present at that time?
I could not say unless I had a history of the church in that respect, I could not otherwise identify them. I say this, but I am not at all certain that the church history does identify them.
250: Don’t you think such an important a matter as the company that a man was in at the time so important a revelation as that was given to be known, – ought to be known to the church that looks to the revelation for authority?
Well it most assuredly would be very convenient and satisfactory if such was the fact, but I am not responsible because it is not.
251: You disclaim responsibility then for your want of knowledge?
252: So as a matter of fact, while you claim to be very well posted on all these questions of law and doctrine you are not so very well posted on that matter?
Nos sir I am not. I do not pretend to be posted on that question. Joseph Smith was the one to whom it was delivered, and who delivered it to the church and I cannot say who was with him at the time the revelation was received. He was the one through whom it came, and by whom it was delivered to the church, and we understood that the principle applied as a matter of course to him as well as the others.
253: To them who were with him?
Yes sir, Now bear in mind that I am speaking of the general priesthood and not of the prophetic office.
254: Now if you will turn to page two hundred and twenty five of the same exhibit, at section six, – ?
Wwat paragraph, please?
255: Page two hundred and twenty five, paragraph six and come down fifteen lines to the words “and also”? Do you see it?
Yes sir, I have it.
256: Well go on and read from the words “and also”?
And also all they who receive this priesthood receiveth me, saith the Lord, for he that receiveth my servants receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth my father, and he that receiveth my father receiveth my father’s kingdom. Therefore all that my father hath shall be given unto him, and this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood. Therefore all those who receive the priesthood receive this oath and covenant of my father, which he cannot break, neither can it be removed, but whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come. And all those who come not unto this priesthood which ye have received, which I now confirm you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens, and even I have given the heavenly hosts and mine angels charge concerning you”.
257: We if it takes so little to satisfy you I will do what I can to accomodate you. Read the first part of the paragraph now down to where you read, – or the whole thing over again if you like?
“Therefore as I said concerning the sons of Moses, for the sons of Moses and also the sons of Aaron shall offer an acceptable offering and sacrifice in the house of the Lord, which house shall be built unto the Lord in this generation upon the consecrated spot as I have appointed, and the sons of Moses and of Aaron shall be filled with the glory of the Lord upon mount Zion, in the Lord’s house, whose sons are ye; and also many whom I have called and sent forth to build up my church, for whoso is faithful unto the obtaining of these two priesthoods of which I have spoken and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies they became the sons of Moses and Aaron, and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom and the elect of God.”
258: Then according to the language of that the doctrine of your church holds that the priesthood descends through Abraham?
259: Yes sir, – from the seed of Abraham?
Yes sir, – that they were the literal heirs to it.
260: Was the promise of the priesthood made to Abraham?
The promises were made to Abraham as we understand it, – to Abraham and to his seed.
261: Now then we have read form a revelation here found on page two hundred and twenty three, entitled “Revelation given 22nd and 23rd of September 1832”. To whom was that revelation given?
We understand that it came through Joseph Smith and was given to the ministry at a conference.
262: You have spoken about the Presidency of the priesthood, and I will ask you by the direction of my prompter here (Mr. Hall) whether the brother of Jared held this priesthood?
Well, I am not aware that there is sufficient written to determine that question. I am not aware of it if there is, but I am rather of the opinion that there is not sufficient written about it by which to determine that question.
263: Was not the brother of Jared a seer, revelator and translator?
264: Would not the right to that office descend to his church?
I do not know but very little about his church. The history in regard to that is doubtless in the book of Mormon.
(continued) The history in the book of Mormon is so abbreviated that even his name is not given there.
265: His name is not given there?
No sir, his name is not mentioned.
266: Then the next question is not King Mosiah a prophet, seer and revelator?
Yes sir he stands revealed in the book of Mormon as possessing the gift of a seer.
267: Did he not have children who held the priesthood?
The book of Mormon declares that they rejected the rights to which they were heirs.
268: It does?
Yes sir, it says so in so many words, – that they rejected what were their rights, but afterwards they became eminent men in the ministry, and therefore received the priesthood at some subsequent time, but the detail are not hiven.
269: Does that right extend to the priesthood or the kingdom?
My understanding is that they rejected the rights that pertained to them, as descending from their father.
270: Which right, – the right to the priesthood or to the kingdom?
Well, both of them.
271: Is it not a fact that the priesthood, – the high priesthood, – the first president of the church, and the place and office of prophet and seer, revelator and translator to the church was not conferred upon Alma the son of ________ who was not any relation to Mosiah?
So far as relationship is concerned, I am not aware that there is enough manifest there to show. How it is. In the book of Mormon it is held there, – it is stated there that the sacred things passed from one generation to another, or from one prophet to to another, and it shows where it passed from, from father to son, father to son, father to son, and so on, and in the case of any break the cause of that break was stated, — that there was no heir or that there was no competent person of the lineage to take the succession.
272: Was not Nephi a revelator, prophet, seer and translator to the church?
Nephi was king. It developed in Jacob and passed down along the line of Jacob.
273: You state then that Nephi was not a prophet, seer, revelator and translator?
I stated –
274: What do you say to that question?
We claim, – the book of Mormon sets forth that he was a prophet, and it also sets forth that there was many prophets at the same time, and there might have been many who held the gift of a seer at the same time, but so far as holding the sacred records that pertained to the church is concerned, or to the presidency, that was another thing, and that is not set forth in the book of Mormon.
275: They did not always come together?
276: Now was not Nephi an elder son than Jacob?
Yes sir, as set forth in the book of Mormon he was. It appears from the book of Mormon that he was.
277: Then if that was the law, – if that was the law of lineage as you have presented it here. How do you account for the fact that het priesthood never developed in Nephi, but in Jacob?
278: Is it not a fact that Nephi was a prophet seer and revelator, and held that position, and was really one of the greatest prophets spoken of in the book of Mormon?
So far as his authority was concerned, he was held to be first as a king and as a civil ruler, and the statement is made there as to why be became such, and that reason was because of the extreme weakness of his elder brother. It is stated in so many words that it was because of their iniquity that that authority pertained to this presidency in civil affairs.
So far as his authority was concerned, he was held to be first as a king and as a civil ruler, and the statement is made there as to why he became such, and that reason was because of the extreme weakness of his elder brother. It is stated in so many words that it was because of their iniquity that that authority pertained to this presidency in civil affairs.
279: Now you have stated that it was the rule that this priesthood always descended from father to son, in the book of Mormon?
280: Is it not a fact that there are instances where it descended from one brother to another?
281: That is a fact?
282: And at the same time there were sons?
Yes sir, there were sons.
283: Yes sir?
I am not aware of it.
284: Did Nephi have any sons?
I am not aware that he had in that line. In the line of the priesthood I am not aware that he had. The kingly authority was handed down from father to son on the same general principle that the priesthood was; and the kingly authority developed in the line of Nephi, and the priestly authority in the line of Jacob, and the priesthood, – that is, the presidency of the presthood developed in the line of Jacob, while the kingly authority developed in the line of Nephi. Those who hold, or rather, held, the sacred things or records of the church, that function belonged always to the presiding high priest or President, and that descended in the line of Jacob, and went from father to son. Now while that was the rule, like all other rules there were exceptions to i, and these exceptions are stated in so many words, such as having no see, for instance, – the person holding that authority, and having no see. There is the instance where it was conferred on King Benjamin, for knowing King Benjamin to be a just man the priestly authority was conferred on him.
285: Now if this priesthood descends from father to son, from whom did Nephi obtain his priesthood?
Well, I am not aware. I do not think the book of Mormon states that. The supposition is that it was from his father.
286: You say that is the supposition, – that he received it from his father?
Yes sir, that is the only reasonable supposition, for it is not a matter of history as to how he did receive it.
287: Is there any historical record of Joseph having received it from his father?
Well now in regard to the record that is there given of that matter I cannot say definitely how that reads. I do not know that there is anything well defined in reference to that. The book of Mormon is very much abridged.
288: You say the book of Mormon is abridged?
Yes sir, it is an abridgement, – that is evident, – it is not the one hundredth part of what was originally the records, – that is to say the one hundredth part of the records only, or about that, is to be found in this abridgement. There is many a thing in there that we wish had been elaborated more fully than it is, but it is not there though, much as we wish it was.
289: You stated did you not that it did not necessarily follow that the gift of a prophet, seer and revelator should be held or exercised by all who held the position, did you not?
290: You did not?
291: Well what did you state about that?
It seems to have been the rule in the book of Mormon as shown by the sacred records of the church, that the Urim and Thummim went from one prophet to another, and tracing the manner in which it was done, it passes down from father to son with occasional exceptions. In one instance we find it going to a brother, and in another instance going out of the lineage, because there was no lineage or rightful heir.
292: The fact that a man held these places, is that evidence that he was a prophet, seer and revelator?
293: Well answer me this question, did Nephi hold theses places?
He held some of these places, because it is recorded that he held them. There is a record to that effect.
294: Did he have the Urim and Thummim?
I think I could settle that better perhaps. I think I could settle that better in one way than in any other way by turning to the record, but I do not care to do so unless it is desired.
295: All we want is to settle the question of the position that Nephi held in the church, and if you can throw any light on the subject from the book of Mormon, that is what we want?
We have the record that Nephi consecrated his brothers Joseph and Jacob to be teachers, but as to the further office, – that of holding the presidency, we have no historical record of it that I am aware of.
296: Well I thought you said the priesthood developed in who was it you said the priesthood developed in?
In Jacob. I said the priesthood developed in Jacob.
297: What priesthood was that?
The presiding priesthood, in other words, the presidency of the priesthood, for it says in there (referring to the book of Mormon) as you doubtless are aware, that the plates and the Urim and Thummim were to be handed down from generation to generation, from one prophet to another and they descended down in the line of Jacob in that day from Jacob to Enos and from Enos to Seth. I think that was the way of it, and I believe I can find that in there.
On Page 131 of Exhibit F., it says in the last two paragraphs, “And it came to pass that I Jacob, began to be old; and the record of this people being kept on the other plates of Nephi, wherefore I conclude this record, declaring that I have written to the best of my knowledge, by saying that the time passed away with us, and also our lives passed away, like as it were unto us a dream, we being a lonesome and a solemn people, wanderers, cast out from Jerusalem, born in tribulation in a wilderness, and hated by our brethren which caused wars and contentions, wherefore we did mourn out our days. This is the part I especially refer to in the ninth paragraph, “And I Jacob, saw that I must soon go down to my grave; wherefore I said unto my son Enos, take these plates. And I told him the things which my brother Nephi had commanded me: and he promised obedience unto the commands. And I make an end of my writings upon these plates, which writing has been small; and to the reader I bid farewell, hoping that many of my brethren may read my words. Brethren adieu.” And then coming to the book of Enos it says on page one hundred and thirty four, no it is on page 131 it says, “Behold it came to pass that I Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man, for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. And blessed be the name of my God for it. And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God before I received a remission of my sins.” And he goes on and states how he hunted beasts in the forests. It appears from this that the priesthood descended to Jaram, for on page 134 we see, “And I Jarom write a few words according to the commandment of my father Enos, that our genealogy be kept. And as these plates are small, and as these things are written for the intent of the benefit of our brethren, the Lamanites, wherefore it must needs be that I write a little, but I shall not write the things of my prophesying, nor of my revelations. For what could I write more than my fathers have written? For have not they revealed the plan of salvation? I say unto you, yea, and this satisfyeth me.” And passing on down page one hundred and thirty five to this paragraph, I read the latter part, “I Jarom do not write more, for the plates are small. But behold my brethren you can go to the other plates of Nephi; for behold on them the record of our wars are engraven. According to the writings of the kings, or those which they caused to be written. And I deliver these plates into the hands of my son Omni, they may be kept according to the commandments of my fathers.” So you see they pass on to Omni and from him to his son Aaron, and from him to his son Chemish and to his son Abinadom, and so on, for that was the order of the usage in those times.
298: Now you have stated that a man who held the plates and the Urim and Thummim, and was commanded to use them was a prophet, seer and revelator?
As a matter of course he was a revelator and a prophet, but a seer is another thing, it is greater than a prophet.
299: What do you mean by that?
I mean this, that a seer is greater than a prophet. In other words a man may be a prophet and not be a seer.
300: Was not Nephi a prophet because of the fact that he held those plates and things?
I understand that he held that which pertained to the kingdom, that he held the kingly office, and that he himself made plates that pertained to the civil office or civil affairs of the people as is mentioned right there in the epistle to which I have referred.
301: From your knowledge of the book of Mormon can you say whether or not Nephi was in possession of the brass plates, and also of the interpreter?
Well I could not say.
302: What is your best judgement as to that?
I could not say. I could not give a conclusive answer to that question without examining the record. He held plates and executed plates, and this passage I have just read related that it referred to the civil, or to the affairs of the civil government, such things as are in contradistinction to the priestly office.
303: Were not these plates which Nephi made the result of that direct commandment from God to him to make those plates?
304: What is your answer?
The presumption is they were.
305: And where they not handed down from generation to generation by his commandment?
So far as they related to kingly affairs they were.
306: Where not the other plates handed down in the same way?
Not necessarily by his commandment, because they passed from Jacob down through his line. In regard to the spiritual concerns of the people, it went down the line of Jacob to Enos, and from Enos to his son, and from that son to his son, and so on passing down through the line of Jacob for a number of generations. Now that is what the record shows.
307: Did not the first commandments in regard to these sacred plates, did not the commandments for the preparation of these plates, and the handling of them come down through Nephi?
I understand that the first commandment came through Lehi himself. The first commandment of all, and it was under the instructions of Lehi received that Nephi went back and got the phates.
308: Then I understand you to say that Lehi gave commandment in regard to the plates that Nephi manufactured?
309: Well that is the question?
Well, I understand that the first plates that were had were these that were procured under the commandment of Lehi, and that afterwards Nephi prepared plates in regard to the kingly office and the civil affairs of the people. That is my understanding of the matter. The plates that Nephi prepared, as I understand it, were in relation to the affairs of civil government, for in those times the priestly office had been developed in Jacob, and passed down the line. That is my understanding of it, – that the spiritual office of the priestly function was developed and passed down the line of Jacob.
310: That is your understanding, is it?
311: Well is that the fact?
That is my understanding of the fact, and I believe it to be the fact.
312: Who made the plates that Jacob made his records on?
Who prepared them?
313: Yes sir?
Well sir, that I am not prepared to say. They might have been called the plates of Jacob for all that I know.
314: Did not Nephi manufacture them for the purpose of recording thereon the sacred things, as well as for recording thereon the kingly matters?
I think not, sir, for the priesthood and the presidency of it were in Jacob’s line, and I do not think he did. I think not sir, for I think it is stated in history that the inscriptions, or what was inscribed on Nephi’s plates related to the temporal and civil affairs’ of the kingly office, and not the spiritual office. I think the plates of Nephi contained matters of history.
315: We understand you to state then, that Nephi never prepared any plates for the sacred things? No sir I say that if he did I am not aware of it.
316: Mr. Blair, where do you go to find the doctrine taught by the church from 1830 to 1834?
In the book of Mormon, the book of covenants, the Evening and Morning Star, and the Messenger and Advocate.
317: What was the name of the church from 1830 to 1834.
The name of the church was “the church of Christ” “The Church of Latter Day Saints”, “The Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints”. There were three or four, or more different forms as I can remember it, of the name by which the church was designated during that period.
318: Was that the case during the period from 1880 to to 1834?
319: That is the period about which I inquire?
Yes sir and that is the period to which my answer refers.
320: Those names you have given were the various names by which the church was known and designated?
Yes sir, that is what we ascertain by reference to the record.
321: I would be glad if you would point from one of these publications the name of the church other than the name of “the church of Christ” during the period from 1830 to 1834?
On page three hundred and seventeen of Exhibit three it is designated as the church of Latter Day Saints.
322: What is the date of that publication?
It is May 1834.
323: What is that in?
It is in the Evening and Morning Star.
324: In what publication of the Evening and Morning Star?
It is in volume two.
325: What is it in, an editorial or a communication?
It is an editorial.
326: You are sure it is an editorial?
Yes sir, I should judge so.
327: That is an editorial that was simply published in that paper at that time?
It is signed “Editor of the Star.?
328: Do you regard all editorials published in that paper as authority in the church?
No sir, not necessarily. I simply refer to that as proof going to indicate what the usage was at that time in reference to the name of the church.
329: And that is all you read or give it for?
Yes sir. It is simply one of the historical facts going to show what the name of the church was, or tending to show or indicate what it was called at the time that was written.
330: The church certainly had a name given to it by its founders, and if that name was changed at some time, it must have been changed by its authorities? Now then, what I call for is the evidence of the fact if there was a change in the name of the church from 1830 to 1834 by anybody who had authority to change it? If there was a change made in the name of the church during that period, can you give it?
Yes sir, that is in 1834?
331: Yes sir, or at any time between 1830 and 1834?
I find the name here I have stated.
332: Now then did that editor have the right to change the name of that church?
No sir. I simply offer that as one of the evidences that the church was known by that name at that time, else it would not have been referred to in that way.
333: Now then can you give some other authority?
334: Well do so?
On page three hundred and fifty two I think, – yes sir, we find the following, – “May 3rd Kirtland, Ohio. 1834 Minutes of the conference of the elders of the church of Christ, etc.”
335: It is the church of Christ there?
Yes sir, but it goes on and recites as follows, – “After prayer the Conference proceeded to discuss the subject of names and appelations, when a motion was made by Sydney Rigdon, and seconded by Newel K. Whitney, that this church be known hereafter by the name of the church of Latter Day Saints. Appropriate remarks were delivered by some of the members, after which the motion was put by the Moderator, and passed by unanimous voice.” “Resolved that this Conference recommend to the conferences and churches abroad, that in making out and transmitting minutes of their proceedings such minutes and proceedings be made out under the above title.” That is what we find here.
336: Do you understand that to be a change in the name of the church?
So far as the mere form of the change is, I do.
337: Then you regard that as a change in the name of the church?
338: Was there any authority for that change?
339: Well, what was it?
The authority of the church.
340: Was that the authority for the original name?
Usage, sir. It was sometimes called the “church of God”, sometimes called the “church of Christ”, and sometimes the “Church of the Saints”. It is called by various appelations, and I take it that that was a motion calculated to fix the title by which it was to be known.
341: Well was that the name in 1834? Did it not have an official name at that time?
When we turn to the book of Mormon we find prophecies there that relate to the church that would be organized in the last days as being the “Church of God”, and the “Church of the Lamb of God”. You will find these appelations in the book of Mormon, and it was denominated such by prophecy.
342: Well what was this church denominated in the prophecy given by Joseph Smith?
It was denominated the “Church of Christ.”
343: Well, did it go by that name till 1834, at the time you have mentioned?
I can’t say. I don’t know but what there was other names used.
344: Do you know of any other names, other than the “Church of Christ” that was used?
I could not say as to that unless I examined the matter fully and thoroughly. As it is set forth in this record we esteemed the matter in regard to the name of the church. It is very difficult to get at the matter intelligently, but we have assumed the name to be the same as it was in the days of the early Christians.
345: Well, Mr. Blair, there seems to have been a change of name made at the conference the minutes of which in that respect you have just read?
Yes sir, it was changed so far as that conference was concerned. You will observe that it is referred to as the “Church of Christ”, which I take it to be the name by which it had been known, and then by resolution it changed to the “church of Latter Day Saints” I do not think from my reading and research that ever before that conference it was always known and designated as the “Church of Christ”, although that was the name given it at the outset.
346: That is the name that was given it, and by which it was known amongst the authorities of the church?
Yes sir, and I think at the same time it was known by other names also.
347: Well, I am not enquiring about what other people called it. What I want to know is the official church called it, – what its official name was at that time, – that is between 1830 and 1834?
I think they called it the church of Christ and some other names too.
348: Well, will you show us some other names other than the “Church of Christ” prior to the date of that conference, the minutes of which in respect to the name of the church you have just read?
Well, if you have time,
349: Well now, that is a simple question and you ought to be able to answer it yes or no, – are you prepared to do so?
Yes sir, I am in this sense.
350: In what sense?
In the sense that the church adopted the bible and the new testament and the book of Mormon as the basis of its faith, and it was under stood then, and is understood now that the church was sometimes called “the Church of God”, the “Church of the First Born”, “the church of Christ”, or the “church of the Saints” and the “Church of the Lamb of God”.
351: Was it ever called the “Church of Latter Day Saints”?
Prior to this time?
352: Yes sir?
Well I am not prepared to answer that.
353: Was not the, was not that the name of the “Church of the Latter Day Saints” or the “Church of Latter Day Saints” given it for the first time by that conference?
It was that was the name they gave for it.
354: And was not that name given the church after Partridge came here to Missouri?
I think so, for I understand that Edward Partridge was here as early as 1832.
355: It was given there at what time?
When was that name adopted?
356: Yes sir.
357: Well, that was after Partridge came here in 1832?
Yes sir, that is a self-evident fact.
358: Well now was that name of the Latter Day Saints changed after that time?
359: When, and what was it changed to?
It was changed to the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints”.
360: Well now will you please turn to the authority for that?
I would if I had it here, but the fact is I haven’t it here.
361: I think I gave, I think you gave it a while ago on that point?
No sir, not on that point.
362: Well, would the Saints Herald published at Lamoni, Iowa, December 18th, 1866 help you out?
I could not say until I examined it.
363: Well you please look at the paragraphs marked here in that publication, or in that issue of the paper? Read it and state whether or not it represents your idea on that question?
The true church is in fact and in essence “the Church of Jesus Christ” and is composed of “saints”, and Latter Day Saints at that. In these essential facts lie the verity and propriety of the corporate name, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints”. To object to this and demand that the corporate name shall consist exactly and only of these words, viz, “the Church of Christ” is to antagonize the prophecies and the usages of the church in both ancient and modern times. For these reasons we object to being confined to the verbal name “the Church of Christ”. Another reason lies in the fact that the church in 1834, in Conference assembled, saw fit to denominate itself officially, “the church of the Latter Day Saints”. Evening and Morning Star, Volume 2, page 352, etc. This was done, it is claimed by some, because there was another church incorporated with the exact title, the Church of Christ, and it was foreseen that confusion would ensue unless the recorded title of the two bodies were different and distinct. In 1838 the church adopted the further title, the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, see Mill. Star, vol, 16, pages 117, 130, 131, etc. And April 26th 1838, Joseph the seer received a revelation saying; Verily thus saith the Lord, … My Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, scattered abroad in all the world, for this shall it be called in the last days” etc. Mill. Star, vol 16, pages 147, 148. “In order that the reader may see the timelines of this revelation, he should remember that these were trying times for the church, for some of her strong ones were turning away to the “beggarly elements” following their own private notions, and seeking to justify themselves by wresting and perverting texts of scriptures to suit their theories, prominent among them the name of the church. “In conclusion on this point, we shall readily and cheerfully adopt as its corporate title “the Church of Christ,” when a command to that effect comes through God’s authorized prophet and Seer to His Church. God’s church is one of order and authority and he is wise who heeds thia fact and profits by it. Private interpretations of scripture, like private notions of church government, are neither consistent nor scriptural. “if he neglect to hear the church let him he unto thee as a heathen man and a publican.” Matt 18 – 17. That part of the quotation I have read in the second paragraph is a matter of history, I may say, taken from the Millenial Star, – the quotation and the authority for it is given.
364: In 1838 the church adopted the further title, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.” That is a matter of hiatory, you say?
Yes sir, it is a matter of history as contained in the Millenial Star. We give our authority for it there, – we just published it for what it was worth, and as one of the evidences showing what the title of the church was.
365: What time was that?
366: Then that is a matter of history in the church?
It is a matter of history as contained in the Millenial Star.
367: Well, is that fact so recorded there, recorded, or known to be a fact from any other source?
I do not know only as we find it there.
368: Then in 1838 the church took the name of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?
It is so recorded in the Millenial Star.
369: Well this is in the Saints Herald, – the copy I have shown you, – dated at Lamoni, Iowa, and published there December 18th 1886?
Yes sir, it is published as an extract from the Millenial Star.
370: Were you one of the editors of the Saints Herald at that time, – at the time it was published?
371: Well then you regard this as good authority, do you not, as you were one of the editors of the publication in which it appears?
I regard it as good authority for what it purports to be. We simply reproduced it as a part of the MIllenial Star bearing on that question, and publiahed it for what it is worth, and what it purports to be, and we give our authority for it, and where it may be found in the original publication.
372: It is a fact that the name of the church was changed by a revelation given to Joseph Smith, or through him in 1838?
It so states in there, – that is all we know adout it, – is simply what is stated there.
373: Does the re-organized church give credence to that?
They have never accepted the Millenial Star as authority.
374: Will you answer my question, Mr. Blair?
I think I have. I know I endeavor to do so.
375: Well I do not think you have sir.
What is your question?
376: I asked you if the re-organized church accepted as authentic the revelation that is there stated to have been given?
Some of them do and some do not. The re-organized church as a body has never passed on that question.
377: Did the old church pass on it?
The term “Jesus Christ” was the name of the church in a distinctive sense, the “Church of Christ” and latterly the word “Jesus” was prefixed to it, and then it was called the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints”.
378: Did the church ever pass on the name?
I cannot find any record other than what I have cited, sir, on that point, but it evidently did, for that was the name of the church as we find it in the historical, or rather the history of the church that is extant at the present time.
379: Was that the name of the church at that time?
380: But such was not the case until 1834?
It was not even then.
381: Well now Mr. Blair that is rather tangled up, and I would like to get to know something about it, but it appears according to the books which you have, or which have been put in evidence or on exhibit here and identified, it seems does it not that there were revelations after 1834?
382: Then you admit that there were revelations after 1834?
Yes sir. I do not think any one will deny that fact.
383: What is done with revelations in the church when they are made?
384: Well what disposition was made of them, if any? Suppose there is or would be a revelation given to Joseph Smith, what disposition would the church make of it, in other words what would the church do with it?
I suppose they were recorded.
385: If there would be a revelation given to Joseph Smith what would be done with it?
It would be put in along with the church records.
386: Would it go into the book of Doctrine and Covenants?
If it was a revelation that the church had acted upon and accepted, it would.
387: Did they have a book of Doctrine and Covenants in 1834?
No sir not at that time.
388: They did not have a book of Doctrine and Covenants at that time?
389: When did they have that?
The first edition of the Book of Covenants was issued in 1835 I believe.
390: Well, what books did they have in 1834?
They had a book that was called the Book of Commandments that was partially printed, it was in process of publication, and when it came back it was found as we find it recorded, that there was some typographical errors in it and it was not accepted, and so a committee was appointed to prepare and present to the church such of the commandments and revelations as it was thought best should be presented to the church as contained its doctrine. That committee performed its work, and in August, if my memory serves me rights, there was a general assembly of the conference of the church called and they examined the work of this committee, and passed up it, endorsing it without dissent. That was in August, I believe, of 1835.
391: Are you sure that is the date?
I could tell if I had the volume here. That work was accepted, and it became the authorized book of Doctrine and Covenants, as containing the doctrine and law of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Now the former book, the book of Commandments, was composed in part of revelations that were sent up here to Independence to be published, and they were places in the hands of John Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery and W.W. Phelps and the work was never published.
392: Why was it not published?
The very best reason in the world sir, for the printing office was demolished by a mob, -the type of work was pied and the work was never completed, and when that uncompleted work was returned to Kirtland, history records the fact that it was generally reputed to be very defective and incorrect typographically and otherwise, and the statement is mabe that the original document by which to revise and correct it was destroyed or lost and so then it was that as nothing could be done with this work, that the committee was appointed to oversee this work and report to the conference, which they did, and their work was acted on officially by the church, -the various quorums, etc, and was endorsed. That is how the book of doctrine and covenants came into existence, as the work of that committee.
393: At what time was the book of doctrine and covenants printed?
In 1835, -the same year that it was accepted by the church.
394: What was the church called at that time?
It states right there that it was called the church of Latter Day Saints.
395: The General Assembly of the Church of Latter Day Saints?
396: Now then when was the next book of doctrine and covenants printed, with the addition s to it?
I really could not tel you sir, but I suppose, however, that it was a reprint of this 1835 edition. I am not positive in regard to that, but the same general work was reprinted at Nauvoo. I am not prepared to say what the next issue was of that book but think it was in 1835 that it was first printed, and that there was a reprinting or re-issue of it made in 1845, but as to that I should not be positive.
397: You think there was one issued that was printed in 1845?
398: Then when was there another edition of it appeared?
In 1846. That is my memory of it now.
399: Well when was there another edition printed?
The re-organized church issued an edition of it, I think it was in 1860. It was in 1860 or 1861 that the re-organized church issued an edition of that work, but I would not say which of these years it was I can’t say as to when that was, but any way the edition I refer to was issued or printed at Cincinnati, Ohio.
400: Well when was there another edition?
I think there were two editions that were printed at Cincinnati.
401: At what time?
That I could not tell you when they were both issued. I couldn’t say in fact that there was more than one issue issued from Cincinnati but I am under the impression there was, although I cannot remember accurately.
401: About when was that?
As I have already stated that was in 1860 or 1861.
403: When was there another edition published
404: When was it published, not where but when?
I am not prepared to say but the history or date of the book will show.
405: Well when was the last edition of the book issued prior to the one we are now speaking of?
I am not prepared to say for I was not connected with the office at the time.
407: Well when was the last edition published?
I think the last plates were prepared in 1880.
408: When was the printing done?
We do the printing right along as it is necessary. We have the plates prepared and we issue them in lots of five hundred or one hundred as it is necessary. We print them in (NOTE: 406 was skipped) whatever form may be necessary at the time, as we have the plates from which to print them, and we can do that whenever we desire to do so.
409: Is it not a fact that in all the editions of that book, the latter edition contains matter that ws not in the former?
What is that?
410: I asked you if it was not a fact that in all of the editions of the book of doctrine and covenants, the edition so issued contains matter that was not in the last prior edition, – in other words the latter edition contains matter that was not in the former edition, – additional matter?
Possibly it may be so. I do not think it is always the case.
411: Is there not always some matter added at the back part of the book in each succeeding edition?
Not always, but there has been some changes made in some of the editions, I know.
412: Is it not a fact that there are some fifteen or twenty revelations in the back part of this book that you are now using, that is not found in any of the other editions of the same book?
I couldn’t say, bit I believe so. There is a revelation that was given in 1861 that
413: A revelation given by whom?
By the president of the church.
414: Who was he?
Joseph Smith, the president of the church. I did not complete my last answer, and with your permission I shall do so now.
415: You certainly have my permission to do so sir?
There was a revelation as I stated given in 1861, one in 1863, and one in 1865, and another in 1873, and occasionally there has been one since. Some of the revelations given have never been printed.
416: Now how do you record these revelations, as laws and rules of action for the church?
Why in the same way that any other revelation is recorded.
417: Well I want to know how that is done, – that is what I want to ascertain?
By the action of the church in adopting and receiving them. When they have been adopted by the church they become a law and rule of action binding upon the church.
418: Have all these that have been adopted by the church or are all these that have been adopted by the church regarded as rules of action by the church?
Yes sir, as soon as they are adopted by the church they become binding upon it.
419: Well now can you tell me where in the laws of the church Joseph Smith, the present president of the re-organized church, ever got authority for the giving of revelations?
Well, we claim in the first place that he was appointed to do that by prophecy, under the hands of his father, and we have the testimony of those who were present, and who are reliable and competent witnesses, who claim to have been present when he was appointed to that office prospectively, and we claim that such testimonies were likewise given to the church years before he came that he would eventually come to the church, and become its presiding officer. We had these testimonies from 1851 along down to 1860 that he would eventually come to the church and be its presiding officer, and fill the place formerly occupied by his father; and he came to the church at the time of the Conference at Amboy in 1860, and claimed that he had been directly called of God to the position of presidency of the church, and the matter was submitted to the people, and such was the manifestation of the faith and blessing of God that it satisfied the elders and others composing the body of that conference that he was called, and he was nominated and accepted by the unanimous consent or vote of the people, and was ordained under the hands of Zenas H. Gurley, Samuel Powers and William Marks and myself to the presidency of the church, to be possessed of and have all the powers and everything that pertained to that office. Now sir that is the history of how Joseph Smith came to the re-organized church, and the call that he had to it.
420: Now then, prior to 1844, – that was the time of the death of Joseph Smith?
Yes sir, – June 27th 1844, I believe was the date.
421: Well what I want to get at is whether or not prior to that date there was any law in the church indicating that this power was in Joseph Smith that you have spoken of?
That it would pass to him?
422: Yes sir?
423: That was a law of the church?
424: Now do you assert that that was the law of the church prior to the death of Joseph Smith in 1844?
Yes sir, I assert that that is the way we understand it. We understand that the eighteenth paragraph of section one hundred and seven of the book of doctrine and covenants is a prophetic promise for it states there that the blessing, alluding to the ministerial blessing, of his father was to be placed on the head of his posterity, and Joseph being the eldest son as a matter of course was the head of that posterity.
425: Did not Joseph Smith, who has been called by Mr. Whitehead and others “the martyr” have other sons beside this son Joseph?
426: Had he not had sons prior to the birth of this son Joseph?
Not that I am aware of.
427: Did he not have other sons after the birth of this son Joseph?
428: What does it take to make up the seed of a man?
It takes his children.
429: It is a man’s children that constitute his seed?
430: And all his children?
431: Well then in that case, – if that is the case, how comes it sir that you presume to put upon the head of one child an office when the law gives it to his children, – when it should descend to his posterity, by what authority do you pretend to confer the office upon the head of one child alone?
It does not say so. It does not say to his posterity. It says definitely and conclusively that it shall be placed upon the head of his posterity, and a man’s posterity may be made up of a score of more, and the head-of that posterity is the eldest son living. There can be no doubt of that.
432: And that you are sure about?
433: And the only reason that he is the head of his sire’s posterity is because he is his eldest son?
Yes sir, – just in the same manner as the head of a class is constituted, – the first one in a class is the head of it.
434: Then you say that the present Joseph Smith of the re-organized church holds his office by reason or authority of a revelation given to his father in 1844, do you?
435: Do you make that statement that it was in 1841?
I make the statement sir that Joseph Smith was entitled to succeed his father by virtue of the general law of lineage in the first place, and then sir by reason of the special promise made in 1832 in the revelation we have just read here, where the promise was made to Joseph that it should remain in his seed – this priesthood should remain in his seed until the restitution of all things sought for by the mouths of the holy prophets since the world began, and then again in paragraph eighteen of section one hundred and seven where it says that the blessing of Joseph should go to the haed of his posterity; and then furthermore we depend somewhat on the testimony of those who were present, – of various people who were present at the time that he individually indicated his son Joseph personally as his successor in the office.
436: That was a revelation?
437: Did that revelation ever become a law of the church?
438: Was it ever adopted by any of the bodies or authorities of the church?
We have adopted it, and the presumption is that it was adopted in the days of Joseph the Seer.
439: Are there any records of it prior to the year 1844?
Prior to 1844?
440: Yes sir?
I am not aware of any.
441: Is this not the way it is, – that a revelation must first be given to the revelator, and then by him given to the church, and be adopted by the church before it can become a law and rule of action to the church?
442: When these conditions are complied with, then, and not until then does it become binding upon the church.
No sir, not until it has been accepted and approved by the body does it become a law binding upon the church.
443: Then you say a revelation was given to Joseph Smith, the Martyr, before his death, relative to the succession?
444: And in pursuance of the revelation the re-organized church accepted the revelation?
445: And that made it binding upon the church? – the re-organized church?
446: Now did the re-organized church adopt that?
Yes sir, it adopted the book of doctrine and covenants and that revelation was a part of it. That revelation was embraced in the book of doctrine and covenants, and the whole book was adopted.
447: Was there ever any action taken upon revelations by the quorums and various bodies of the church prior to 1844 and after 1835?
I am not aware that there was any.
448: Well do you know whether there was or was not?
I say that i am not aware of any. I have no personal knowledge of any for I was not a member of the church at the time, and there is no history that recites the fact as to whether there was or not.
449: Then if there was any action taken by the church on revelations after 1835 and prior to the time of Joseph Smith’s death, how did the revelations so given become binding upon the church?
Simply because it was the law that was laid down whereby they were to receive revelations.
450: Did you not state it to be the fact that they had to be adopted by the church, – that that was the law of the church, – that they had to be accepted or adopted by the church before they became the law of the church, and binding upon the church?
Well,, yes sir, for we find this rule embodied in the revelations that were handed down to the church. That rule was adopted in 1835 I think, and although there is no history that I am aware of that saya anything on the subject, yet I think it is fair to presume, – I think it is a reasonable presumption that they were adopted by the church. I think the presumption is that they were all received and adopted in accordance with the laws of the church in the same manner.
451: Will you please turn to the book of doctrine and
covenants of the edition of 1835, and point out that rule?
The 1835 edition?
452: Yes sir.
I will if I can.
453: The edition of 1835, – the first edition or book of the doctrine and covenants that was issues, and show that rule or law whereby you say it was the rule that a revelation must be admitted to the quorums or body of the church before it could become a law binding upon the church, by meeting with their approval and recognition?
It is in section thirteen on page one and twenty of Exhibit E, – “Hearken O ye elders of my church who have assembled yourselves together in my name, even Jesus Christ, the son of the living God, the Saviour of the world; inasmuch as they believe on my name and keep my commandments; again I say unto you, hearken and hear, and obey the law which I shall give unto you, for verily I say as ye have assembled yourselves together according to the commandment wherewith I commanded you, and are agreed as touching this one thing, and have asked the father in my name, even so shall ye receive. Behold, verily I say unto you, I give unto you this first commandment, that ye shall go forth in my name, every one of you excepting my servant Joseph Smith, Junior and Sydney Rigdon. And I give unto them a commandment that they shall go forth for a little season, and it shall be given by the power of my spirit when they shall return, preaching my gospel wo by two, in my name, lifting up your voices as with the voice of a trump, declaring my word like unto angels of God, and ye shall go forth baptizing with water, saying repent ye, repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” I do not knw that that is exactly in point.
454: Well it does not strike me as being exactly in point, – have you read the whole of it?
I have read all that paragraph, – the two paragraphs.
455: Well I would like to know what you quoted that to prove?
That they were agreed in regard to their being commanded to go together, and agree on what they would accept as the word of God for the government of the church.
456: And so that is what you think that proves?
457: Well I would like to know how to comes that you think it proves that?
It is to be taken in connection with something else. Taken in connection with the revelation that is alluded to right there, which reads like this,
458: Hold on, – what are you reading from?
It is on page one hundred and eighty eight, paragraph one of section sixty one of Exhibit E, – it is pages one hundred and eighty eight and one hundred and eighty nine, and it reads like this, – “Hearken and hear, oh ye my people, saith the Lord, and your God, ye whom I delight to bless with the greatest blessings; ye that hear me, and ye that hear me not will I curse, that have professed my name, with the heaviest of all cursings. Hearken, ye elder of my church whom I have called, behold I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall assemble yourselves together to agree upon my word, and b the prayer of your faith ye shall received my law, that ye may know how to govern my church, and have all things right before me.” Now that is what they would agree to accept, and the next revelation shows that they had assembled together in compliance with that commandment.
459: When was it that they assembled together, as you say in compliance with that commandment?
That would be just a few days afterwards.
460: In what year?
461: Did they have any quorums at that time?
Well whether they were organized in quorums at that time does not appear here and therefore I am unable to say positively whether they were or not.
462: Well if there were no quorums at that time, who would it be presented to?
It would be delivered to the ministry.
463: Now then, in the re-organized church to whom is a revelation presented when it is delivered?
It is first presented to tha first presibency, and from it goes to the twelve, and then to the high counsel, and then passes on to the hihg priests, the seventy, the elders and priests and the teachers and the deacons.
464: That is the method of procedure that is observed?
465: And if it meets with no snags, what then?
Then it is presented to the body.
466: Then it is presented to the body?
Yes sir to the entire body of the church.
467: Was that the case prior to 1844?
It was the case from the beginning as I understand it.
468: How do you know that was the case prior to 1844?
I do not say I know it of my own knowledge, – I say it was the case according to my understanding.
469: You have stated, have you not, that you did not know there was any quorum of twelve at the time that revelation was given?
470: And you do not know that there was any seventy?
471: AT that time was there a seventy?
472: There was?
473: Well was it presented to them?
474: Was this revelation you have been reading presented to them?
475: How do you know that, – I should like you to give me your means of knowledge?
I can give you my knowledge sir, and read it to you too if you really desire me to do so.
476: Well that is what I want, but remember that I am talking about the law prior to 1835?
Well sir that is provided for in this section sixty one which I have already read, where the commandment is that they should come together and agree on the word of God, – the word that should be submitted unto them. In accordance with that commandment it appears that they held a conference, and they all agreed upon what they should accept as the word of God. Now they met together in compliance with that requirement, and the presumption is that they proceeded right on in compliance with the requirements of the spirit of that commandment, and decided what they would receive.
477: That is a presumption of yours, it is not?
Not altogether, for I think it is, – it states here that they did that very thing. There is no other conclusion that can be drawn from what is stated here.
478: Have you any evidence of that?
Nothing but what is in the book of covenants at that time, for at that time they had no church paper printed.
479: This occured in 1831?
480: And the book of covenants was printed in 1835?
481: now can you tell what doctrine was adopted in 1831?
Well it would be the doctrine contained in the new testament scriptures and the book of Mormon. In this statement of the books and doctrine the bible is placed first.
482: Well also would it not be whatever revelations Joseph Smith had given up to that time?
The bible is place first in order, and the book of Mormon comes next, and then they were to remember the church ordinances and covenants to do them. That we find in the revelation of 1831.
483: Now then you say that in the re-organized church, when a revelation is given it has to go through all the quorums and then to the body?
484: And be accepted by all of them before it becomes a law binding upon the church?
Yes sir. 485 (Written as 585)
484: Now was that the case prior to 1834 when a revelation was given?
I am not aware that there is any history that related to it any further than what is contained in here.
486: What is there in there about it?
Here is a commandment that the ministry and church should decide upon what they would accept and be governed by as the word of God.
487: The word of God, the ministry. You do not mean the quorums of the word ministry?
Yes sir, that includes the ministry, for it may be organized in quorums or singly.
488: Well were the quorums organized at that time?
I am not prepared to say how far they were organized.
No sir I am not aware of the extent to which they were organized.
490: Was the first presidency organized at that time?
Thee was a first presidency in the sense of being the first elder in the church from the very start.
491: Who was the first elder of the church?
Joseph Smith was ordained the first elder of the church. He was ordained as being the first elder in the church, and Oliver Cowdery the second, but in the sense of their being a first presidency that did not occur until the latter part of 1831, as far as my memory of the fact serves me now.
492: When did the first quorums of twelve appear?
The first apostles were not chosen until 1835 or ’36, – that is as quorums.
493: As a quorum they did not appear until that time?
494: Now do you say there was a body called the “seventy” in the old church?
495: When was the seventy chosen?
Along about the same time.
496: Have you other quorums in the re-organized church other than the seventy and the quorums of twelve?
Yes sir, we have high priests, elders, priest, teachers and deacons.
497: Did they have all of them in the church between 1830 and 1834?
At that period how many quorums they had I am not prepared to say.
498: Did they have them all in the church from 1830 up to 1834 is the question?
I can read for you the account here.
499: Well I ask you for the facts?
I can give you what there is here on the question,
500: Well state the facts if you know them?
Here for instance is the first presidency of the church composed of Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery and Sydney Rigdon.
501: The fact is stated there?
502: What date is that?
August 17th 1835.
503: What is it a record of?
Of the General Assembly of the church. Then there was the high council of the church at Kirtland presided over by W.W. Phelps and J. Whitmer, and there was another high counsel called the high council of the church in Missouri to look after the affairs of the church here in this part of the world, and bishop J. Whitney presided over it and organized his counselors. He presided over the bishopric and _____________ ell organ ized the bishops for Missouri, and President Leonard organized the council of seventeen (???). The term quorum and council are used interchangeably or synonymously. Erastus Babbit organized the deacons, etc, and Thomas Gates and others organized the entire assembly. Now that was the nature of the organization at the time this was received. I have only given you an epitome or synopsis of what is contained here.
504: Where is that to be found?
On pages two hundred and fifty five, two hundred and fifty six and two hundred and fifty seven of Exhibit E.
505: Now can you state why it was they effected these organizations at that time?
Well they might have been made in part,-some of them prior to that time.
506: You say they might have been made prior to that time?
Yes sir some of them
507: Will you tell me how it could be that an organization that was made prior to that time, could have been made at that time?
I cannot answer that question.
508: Well in the very nature of things that could not be, could it?
I don’t understand what you mean.
509: Will I mean just this, that an organization that was made on a certain day could not have been made on any other day? Is that not a fact Mr Blair?
510: It could?
511: Well then it is a fact that an organization which was effected on a certain day could not be effected on any other day?
Yes sir, but that could not prevent them from being re-organized.
512: Well does it say re-organized?
513: Well was that, or is that not the very organization that was organized, -is that not the very organization so re-organized?
Yes sir, I think it was the beginning of it.
514: Well then it could not exist before that if that was the beginning of it?
Well of course not.
515: Have you these organizations?
In the re-organized church?
516: Yes sir?
517: Now I believe you also stated that the re-organized church has more of these organizations than the old church had from 1830 up?
Yes sir, more than they had from 1830 to 1834.
518: From 1830 to ’34 they did not have them?
They were in process of development, but they did not arrive at completion until 1835.
519: Do you know of any reason why that organization was not completed earlier than that?
There was not enough in the church to fill them up. If they had filled them out and completed the organization at that time it would have taken probably more than the membership of the church at the time to have completed them, and they had to be formed you know our of suitable material. 520 Q Has there ever been a General Assembly formed in the church in fact from 1835 to the present time?
There has been general assemblies,-yes sir. Ther has been Grand Councils, General Assemblies, and General Councils.
521: Has there ever been a General Assembly from 1835 up to the present time?
We regard our general conferences, where there is a conference of the entire ministry,-we regard them as the same thing as a general assembly. Conferences and General Assemblies are synonymous with us,-that is the significance of the terms are the same with us.
526: Will you please state how a conference in the re-organized church is composed?
527: Well please do so.
The general confreence is composed of all the officers of the church meeting together at a designated place. There is a general notification given and all are invited to attend, and as as soon as they get themselves together they proceed to chooses the officers of that body out of the ministry, and they do that uot of courtesy and the general law governing in the case, whereby it is customary to take the Presobency of the church, whether it be one or two or three persons, they are usually chosen, – one of them, – or nominated to preside, – and they may be chosen or rejected. The law regulating that is the law of custom largely. The body can choose whoever it sees fit to preside over the general assembly.
528: Do you claim that the conference of the re-organized church, which you claim to be equivalent to the general assemblies of the former church, – are composed of the officers of the church?
Yes sir, everybody, – all are invited. It is a general announcement.
529: It is composed of the officers of the church?
Yes sir, and the members of the church that may come together to the assembly or conference. It is a general conference of the members of the church. Out of courtesy to the membership they are invited to take part in the proceedings and discuss the topics that may be up for consideration.
530: Then the membership of the church takes part in these conferences which you say are the equivalent of the General Assemblies held in the old church?
Yes sir, that is a courtesy that is extended to the membership.
529: Are they entitle to vote?
Yes sir, – for instance they are entitle to vote upon such questions as the austaining of the officers, and upon questions of general import.
530: How long has it been sincs the lay membership, – if I may use the term in describing the membership of the church, – has been admitted to the Conference in the re-organized church?
I understand that they were admitted from the very first.
531: Then how many of the lay membership do you admit? You say you have a membership of twenty five thousand people in your church?
Yes sir something about like that.
532: Well supposing your entire lay membership was to attend the Conference, how many of them would you admit?
We would admit what were there.
533: But suppose they were all there? What then?
Well in that case we would admit what we had room for. We would admit them all if we had room.
534: Well, I say suppose the whole twenty five thousand should come?
Well in that case, – if such a thing should occur, – and they all could get together, all right, – let them some say we.
535: Well if that is a fact that they did attend, and the lay membership was in attendance to a large extent do their votes count in the same manner as the votes of the officers and ministry?
On some questions, yes sir.
536: There are some restrictions then upon their right to vote?
537: Upon what questions can they vote?
Upon such questions as sustaining the officers.
538: Can they vote upon any other questions?
539: Well what others?
Any other matter that is of general importance to the church that is referred to them by the presiding officer.
540: Well suppose it was not referred to them, – what then?
Well in that case they would not vote on it
541: They could not vote on it unless it was referred to them?
No sir. It would have to be referred to them before they could vote on it.
542: Well, when your officers have an official session, what votes are counted?
In all cases where the doctrine or the government of the church is involved in any way, the right to vote on a matter of that kind is usually limited to the ministry, and espec- ially is this so upon questions of vital importance involving or affecting the government of the church, but, as I stated before, where it is a matter of the sustaining of officers, such a question is usually put to the entire ministry and the membership, – I should say to the entire assembly present, – both ministry and membership.
543: Well supposing that the ministry should all vote one way and the lay membership another way, would the majority carry?
Yes sir, the majority would carry the day, but it would be a very unfortunate thing for such an occurence to happen, – but in case such a thing should happen the majority would carry it of course, for that is the principle that the majority present and entitled to vote always carried the ques- tion being voted upon.
544: Now is it not a fact Mr. Blair, that the law of your church at the present time provides for a del- egate system from the various local churches or branches?
545: And is it not also the fact that it is the way that private or lay member come into your conferen- ces?
Yes sir, some of them do, – especially as del- egates, – and in that case where there is a vote taken on the yeas and nays, – where that is called then their right to vote is limited in respect to church gov- ernment, – they are permitted to vote in that case, but the right to vote is not permitted to lay delegates unless it is especially authorized by the presiding officer at the time.
546: Were there any lay delegates at the church assem- blies prior to 1844?
I think right here in this same book of covenants that such principle was car- ried out there. It was not perhaps carried out to the extent that it is with us.
547: Well, was it carried out at all, and can you give and instance, – an instance where a lay delegate had representation in the church prior to 1844?
I can only answer as I did before that I believe it can be shown by this book of covenants that principle was carried out, for there were delegates sent from this state of Missouri to attend this conference at the time this book of covenants was received and approv- ed
548: In 1845?
No sir, – it was in 1835.
549: Well I meant to say 1835. Did you state that these delegates were elected or sent by the church at Independence?
No sir, I said from Missouri. It was over in Clay County they were sent from there.
550: Were they elected delegates by the individual church?
Evidently they were.
551: Evidently they were, you say?
552: Were they lay members or officers?
553: They were officers and not lay members?
They were officers, but whether there were any delegates that were not officers, but were lay members I could not say until I examine the records. I could not tell that without examining the history.
554: Were there any lay delegates in any of the assemblies prior to 1834?
I could not say sir. I am not prepared to answer that question.
555: Now how can you swear that the doctrine of the reorganized church at the present time, is the same as the doctrine of the old church from 1830 to 1834?
I can say so sir.
556: Well what I want to get at is how can you tell that?
I can tell it by the principles that are in the records. Here is the organization of the high council that is recorded in the book of doctrine and covenants of the church and in the church history. We find these things recorded in both, – not as explicitly perhaps as we might wish, but yet explicitly enough to satisfy any one, according to my mind, of the facts they will and do teach. We have the record of that council, and the record says it was composed not only of officers, but likewise of the membership. The membership was there and was represented in the votes of the organization of that body.
557: Will you state whether these conferences ever assembled, for instance, from 1835 to 1844?
Most assuredly they did.
558: Will you state whether the conferences so assembled as you say from 1835 to 1844 had any secretaries and kept any record of their proceedings.
559: Please state where those records are?
We have them in the Times and Seasons.
560: I mean the original records?
The original records, we do not know what has become of them. We do not know what has been done with them, but if I may state the fact, – we have heard they were burned.
561: Have you not also-heard or learned they were taken to Salt Lake?
Well some of them were I assume. So far as the record of names was concerned, and so far as some of the church history is concerned I so understand the fact to be, but I will add that it was the usual thing in those days to have the record printed right at once, – that is the record of those proceedings that were had or made in these conferences.
562: Who do you understand burned those records?
We don’t know but it is supposed that the Utah Mormons did.
563: That is a mere report or rumor?
564: You do not know it to be a fact?
565: Have you any history of their burning them?
566: Then what you say here is that you don’t know where those records are?
No sir, I don’t know where they are?
567: Now I will ask you this question, if God is and has been giving these revelations through all this period of time, if you hold, – if it is not a doctrine of your church that he will preserve and take care of his revelations?
We do not understand that it was the revelations that were destroyed. We understand that it was the records, and not the revelations that were destroyed.
568: Were not the revelations put on record?
I suppose they were and we have more or less of them now that have never been published.
569: Is it not a fact that there were revelations given that have never been published?
Yes sir and we have some now.
570: Where did you get them?
They were found in the ____________ of Emma Smith.
371: Have you any means of knowing there were not others?
I could not say.
372: You cannot say as to that?
373: If the re-organized church that existed prior to 1834, – I should say if it existed as the successor of the church that existed prior to 1844, how do you know that to be a fact?
Simply because it is the successor to the original church. I know that, – at least that is what we claim.
374: Why have you not the records of the original church then if you are its successor?
Simply sir because they were taken to Salt Lake by the faction that went west under the leadership of Brigham Young.
375: How do you know that to be a fact?
Well sir, I have, – they were stolen,
376: They were stolen?
Yes sir that is my information.
377: How do you know that to be a fact?
I had it from Mrs. Emma Smith the widow of Joseph Smith the Seer, and she stated that property was taken, and private property also.
378: Did you not say it was reported that these records were burned?
379: By whom?
By those parties that got them.
380: How do you know that?
Well they were stolen before they were burned.
381: Answer my question, – how do you know that to be the fact?
Well it is a matter of rumor, I suppose, but I got it from some parties who stood close to the head of affairs, that they were burned.
382: Do you mean that they were burned by the twelve that wee in office at the time of the death of Joseph Smith?
No sir I do not mean any one in particular, because I do not wish to incriminate any one without I have positive knowledge. It is simply a rumor which has come to us in such a way and from such a source that we cannot very well question the fact that the records were taken out and burned.
383: Why did you call the church to which you now belong, “The re-organized church”?
Simply because it was an re-organization of the elements that composed the old original church.
384: That is the reason you called it the re-organized church?
385: Then it had been disorganized prior to that time?
386: What had become of it when it was dis-organized?
I scattered abroad to the different parts of the world.
387: It had no organization then?
No sir, – no complete organization.
388: Well now answer me this question, – what is a church?
It is owing altogether to what you refer.
389: Well answer the question, – what is a church, if you can, and if you cannot, why say so?
Well the term as applied at times signifies a body of worshippers, and sometimes it applies to a complete organized body of worshippers, and sometimes it is a,
390: Is a church without a doctrine?
No sir it cannot very well be.
391: It is a church without a law governing it?
I cannot say, but I understand of course that a body of people would have some law or doctrine distinguishing them. As a matter of course I understand that. Now you asked me for my opinion and I have given it to you.
392: Do I understand you rightly when I saw I understand you to say that between 1844 and 1852, there was no organized church?
No sir, not so far as relates to branches. there were branches of the church, and in that sense the church had an organized existence. there were numbers of branches of the church in different parts of the country, still existent, but the church as a while had ceased to exist from the fact that it was disorganized.
393: Was William Smith’s one of the branches to which you refer?
394: Did you not belong to that branch yourself?
395: It was not a church?
It was not the church.
396: Answer my question, was it a church?
It was without doubt a church, but it was not the church.
397: Did it have all the requirements for a church, that is did it have all the requisites you give for a church? The twelve apostles, the first presidency, the seventy, the councils, and all these things?
It had some of them, and claimed to have some that it did not have possibly.
398: Now you say you belongs to William Smith’s church, did you not?
399: And you say it was a church?
I say it was a branch.
400: Was it a branch?
It had all the elements of a branch.
401: And you belonged to it?
402: To the branch, as you term it, that he led?
403: Do you belong to it still?
404: How did you come to get out of it?
I just simply dropped out of it.
405: Is it not a fact that William Smith helped to drop you out of his church?
406: There was a Hedrickite branch of the church also, did you not testify there was?
407: You did not?
408: And that you swear to?
I do. I never said that. The claim that was made when I first got acquainted with them was that they were a part and portion of the original, primitive church, that is that they were scattered members of the original church, but they did not claim to have any organization as a church beyond simple branches.
409: Did you not go down to some country or other to confer with them at one time?
410: Were they at that time an organized legal church?
They were organized into branches.
411: Were they a part of the true church?
I do not know. That is a matter perhaps on which I am not competent to give an opinion.
412: You know there was a number of their local organ
izations, perhaps as many as fifteen or twenty of then.
Yes sir, possibly there was that many.
413: And you visited them?
Not all of them I do not think.
414: Well were they members of the original organization during its existence?
I think that many of them had been in the primitive church, but after the disruption of the primitive or original church, they had organized under their own system, and that system was an organization distinct from the other that existed in the primitive church. They were comprised, as we understood it, largely of members who had been, or rather I should say who had once been members of the original church.
415: Did you ever attend a conference of the Hedrickite church?
416: More than one?
Two of them I believe.
417: It was the Hedrickite church?
It was what was called the Hedrickite people afterwards. They were not called by that name then, but afterwards they were called the Hedrickite people I believe. They did not make any claim to being a distinct organization, – they simply claimed to hold the ministerial power, and be members of the church at large.
418: When was this conference you held with the Hedrickite people, – or rather with the Hedrickite church.
We did not hold any with them at all.
419: Did you go down to see them?
I can give you all the details of it if you want it. I can tell you just what was done, and how it came to be done if it is necessary, and you desire to hear it.
420: Well now sir that is not what I asked you. If you will answer my questions I will be glad of it?
What is the question?
421: Did you visit them?
422: The Hedrickites, – you visited them?
Yes sir what was called the Hedrickites.
423: Was there a body of them gathered together at the time?
At Bloomington, Illinois.
425: Did you appear before that body?
Yes sir I did. 426 (Question and answer missing for 426)
427: When did you do that?
I think it was in the winter of 1857 or 1858. I would not be positive, but that is my memory now.
428: How did you go there to appear before them?
429: How did you come to appear there?
Mr. Hedrick and Mr. Owen attended our conference in the fall of 1857, and they were accepted and received the right hand of fellowship from our people at the time, and at that time Mr. Hedrick and Mr. Owen requested that some of our ministry be sent down there to reason with those people and explain to them our position so as to explain, or rather so as to effect a union tith them, – a union of the two bodies, and it was on that application that I was selected along with Edmund C. Briggs to go down and see them about it. We went down and I do not remember now whether they reorganized or whether they were organized at all, – but at all events we weht down in accordance with that request to explain our position, and when we got down there and attended the meeting Mr. Hedrick got up and preached, and he commenced a very virulent attack on the reputation of Joseph Smith, and I sat there and listened to it for about the space of thirty minutes I suppose, and then I became so indignant at it that I got up and left the meet ing and went up in the city of Bloomington, and then I came back to the meeting, and when I got back there after the lapse of say about thirty minutes, eh was at it still. I remember it right well and I remember that Mr. Briggs or myself had no part or parcel in it at all, for it was evidently a mistake in our coming down there at all, we did not propose to participate in that meeting and was not invited to do so. For these reasons we did not participate or take nay part in that meeting.
430: Is it not a fact that there was a lack of unanimity between that church and the one you represented?
Well we did not think so at the time we went down there, but we found there was after we got where. Had we know the circumstances before we went there we should not have gone. Now the fact is that when Mr. Hedrick and Mr Owen visited us at Blanchards-ville we supposed there was a general unity between the two churches, or rather between the two bodies, or that the unity that existed between them did not diverge to such an extent s to render all attempts at union abortive, else we should not have ventured down there, but when they came to our conference and invited us down there we were totally unprepared for the virulent and malignant assault that was made on the founder of the church and its seer and prophet.
431: Well the fact is, to cut ti short, that you discovered that there was a lack of unity between the two branches?
432: When did you discover that?
I did as soon as I heard Mr. Hedrick open his batteries, -I Know there was no unity as soon as I heard that.
433: Well is it not a fact that when you admitted them to your conference, you admitted a body of men to your conference that did not believe in your doctrines?
No sir, -they signified that they did.
434: well did they accept your doctrine?
No sir, there was no formal acceptance of the doctrine, but by their action in coming into the conference, and acting as they did, in inviting us to send parties prepared and able to explain our position to them they certainly acted as if they accepted our position, -in fact they so expressed themselves, and desired us to send down parties prepared to explain our position to them so that the rest of their followers or members might also understated it.
435: Well were they received as lay or as official delegates?
As neither. They were received as elders of the church.
436: That was in 1857?
437: And that was at the meeting at what point?
437: Was the church that they represented on the rolls of that conference?
What is that?
439: Was their church enrolled as a church belonging to that conference?
We admitted them as simply belonging to different branches.
440: Was their branch on the rolls of the Conference?
441: They were not enrolled on the rolls of the conference?
No sir not that I am aware of.
442: Had it ever been on the rolls of the conference?
Not that I am aware of.
443: Do you say it had never been, and was not at that time?
I say that I am not aware that it wad ever been, and I am almost, I am quite positive it never was.
444: Then sir, will you explain why it was that you received and admitted as members of the conference members whom you did not know anything about?
We received them upon their own representations and the representations of people who know them.
445: That was the reason they were accepted?
That was the reason they were admitted.
446: Is there any law of your church that authorized the acceptance of anybody who comes along upon their own representation, is there any law of your church, or usage that authorizes such a course of procedure?
447: There is?
448: Under what circumstances?
Where a person is known to have belonged to the original church, and has done nothing to dis-fellowship himself he is admitted. Where a person is known to have belonged to the original church, and not been dismembered, they are admitted upon their original membership.
449: Now will you look at the letter N in one of these lines here in Exhibit “N”, entitled the “Minutes of the Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, held Oct. 6th 1857 at Zara Hemlah in Wisconsin”, and from which you read this morning, with reference to the reception of Owens and Hedrick in that conference?
450: Now will you look at the word Hedrick in these minutes, now has that word not been forged there?
451: Do you say it has not been forged there?
I say it has not.
452: Now sir is that not an interpolation? Is it not interpolated there?
453: Is that word not written in a different ink from the other part of the book?
Yes sir, but I understand that was simply the act of the writing of it in there by the individual who afterwards copied the book or the record, and it was not plain at first and he has just brought it out plainly by writing over it again on the same lines.
454: Please look at it again, and state if it is not the fact that word is written over another word, and in a different ink?
No sir, I think that is the same word. It is possible that the letter “C”, -it looks as if it has been written “Hendricks”,. That is the way it seems to have been written originally. The letter “C” has been inserted there.
455: Has not the whole word been inserted there?
No sir. You can trace the outlines of the word plain enough. There is not about about that.
456: Do you testify positively to the genuinsness of these records as they stand there?
Yes sir, in the main I do. In their main outline I testify that they are correct, -that is, they are substantially correct. I was clerk of that conference, and the minutes that I kept went into the hands of the church recorder and he entered them in this record as they are here
457: You kept these minutes?
Yes sir, – the original minutes of which they are a copy.
458: Where are they?
I do not know.
459: And afterward they were copied in those records?
460: Were you present when they were copied?
461: Do you know whether they are kept correctly or not?
No sir, but I know these to be facts that are stated here. I have a recollection of it independent of what these minutes show.
462: Do you know whose handwriting that is in there, – that which is in blacker ink than the rest is, – do you know whose handwriting that is in?
I do not know.
463: Is it the same writing sir?
No sir, I do not know whether it was written by the same party of not, for it appears to have been traced over the other and that might have been done by some other person.
464: You cannot say as to that?
No sir, but I should judge its appearance that the letter “C” had been left out in spelling the name “Hedrick” at first, and had been added afterwards, but whether that was done by the first person who wrote, or at some date subsequent by some other person I could not say. That is my opinion that the letter “C” had been left out, and the clerk writing with different ink, had followed as nearly as he could and written over again tracing the original outline, and in doing so had inserted the letter “C”.
465: It is stated in these minutes of that meeting in 1857, which you have odentified where, and which have been placed in evidence, that Hedrick and some one else was put upon a committee to report on doctrine – to compile a report on doctrine?
It was done with a view of presenting the doctrines of the re-organized church in some manner that would be authentic, – that is to say, that would be authoritative on the part of the re-organized church, and to send it abroad as the doctrine of the re-organized church.
467: Then in 1857 it follows from what you say, does it not, that the doctrine of the re-organized church had not been settled?
468: That is a fact?
Yes sir, that is a fact, and the object in the appointing this committee was for them to write out a statement of the doctrine and position of the church so that there might be something authoritative to present to the world.
469: What kind of a statement?
A clear statement of the position of the re-organized church.
A clear statement that would be authoeized upon all the essential points of doctrine.
471: Well was there any such a statement at that time in existence?
Did they ever make one?
472: Well no, – was there there any such a statement at that time in existence?
We had already endorsed the bible, the book of Mormon and the book of doctrine and covenants.
473: Well was there a statement prepared?
474: Well what did you make that statement for?
To set forth the doctrine and faith of the church, and do it so it would be authorized.
475: What for?
Why for the convenience of the people into whose hands it would come, – both of the members of the re-organized church and the people outside of the church into whose hands it might come.
476: is it not a fact and was it not a fact at that time that Hedrick and his followers differed from the church you were representing or to which you belonged, and you wanted to see if there could not be a reconciliation effected?
477: And that is the reason that this committee was appointed to prepare ya statement as to the doctrine of the re-organized church?
We knew that they did not understand the doctrine of lineal descent as we did, – that is Mr. Hedrick did not, – and they did not understand the book of doctrine and covenants as pointing directly to the eldest son of Joseph Smith as being the proper person to hold the presidency of the church. We knew they did not understand that, and we considered at the time that that was the essential point of difference between us, and that understanding remained until we went down to Bloomington and heard his onslaught on Joseph Smith.
478: Was there any other difference?
No sir not that I am aware of now.
479: Well you know these differences existed at that time?
Well they were not exactly differences. There was no opposition that I am aware of that existed either in the minds of Mr. Hedrick or Mr. Owens, nothing that was expressed at all events, for they did not advocate any especial view or principle with regard to the organization of the church.
480: That was at the time they came to your conference, the conference of the re-organized church at Blanchardville?
481: But when you went down to Bloomington to see them you found out that there was some difference?
482: You found out that they did entertain some different views?
Yes sir. They held this view, – that is to say Mr. Hedrick did, – He engaged in a diatribe publicly in regard to the reputation of Joseph Smith, and assailed his personal character in most outrageous terms.
483: Do you recognize this pamphlet which I now hand you entitle “True Latter Day Saints Herald”?
484: Did you not have pamphlet at the date there of “Plano, Illinois, November 15th 1864”?
Probably I did.
485: Do you recognize the letter which I now sow you as being a letter written by yourself?
Yes sir I recognize that letter as probably being correct I do not know anything to the contrary in regard to it.
486: Would you please take a little time and examine it carefully?
Yes sir I think I recognize that as far as I have read it.
487: Do you think it was a faithful report?
Yes sir I should presume it was.
488: What was the date of that letter?
1864 I believe.
489: In 1864 you say, -what time in 1864?
In September, – It is September 20th 1864.
490: Look further in the letter and see if you had a conference with any of these Hedrickites prior, – if you had a conference or interview with them prior to the conference at which they appeared in 1857, – that is a conference prior to the time or the conference at which Hedrick appeared in 1857?
491: When was that?
That was in June 1857.
492: Now did you not have a personal conference with them about the question of doctrine prior to that time?
I was down to Mackinaw in June 1857, – it appears from the letter that it was in June 1857, but I could not positively identify the time I was there except from this letter, only I recollect it was in the summer, and this letter says it was in the month of June and I assume the time is correctly stated.
493: Was that prior to this conference at Zara Hemla?
494: Well go on?
What do you wish to know?
495: You had a conference at Mackinaw?
No sir I had no conference. They met there in what was denominated a conference.
496: Who met there in what they denominated a conference?
Old Mr. Judy and Granville Hedrick, and perhaps half a dozen other ones, I do not believe there was beyond a dozen male and female persons met there at that time. They met there at the residence of old Father Judy, and at the time, as I understood it, they did not propose to be governed, – they were at sea and not know what to be governed by, and they proposed that they would not be governed by, or they would not have anything to do with the book of doctrine and covenants, for it seemed to be a new thing comparatively with them. At that time they did not have anything to do with it, and they did not know how to proceed, it seemed,
497: Later than what date?
Well hold on, – they proposed to have nothing to do with any of the revelations for the reason that they did not seem to understand much, if anything, about them, and the book of covenants seemed to be a new thing comparatively at that time. Now that is my memory about it.
498: You say they refused to accept revelations later than a certain date?
499: You did not say that?
500: Well is it not a fact that they refused to accept revelations after a certain date?
I cannot say as to that.
501: In that letter which has been identified here by you, did you not say “In 1855 and 1856 Mr. Page denied the book of doctrine and covenants totally and said as late as June 1857 in a conference with the Hedrickites at Mackinaw, Illinois, which I attended, that if the church endorsed the revelation given on the day the church was organized, April 6th 1830, they must necessarily endorse all the balance. This he argued publicly at the time. I argued and insisted upon taking all of them. The Hedrickites would take but a part of them and John E. Page would have none of them. But elder Page is improving a little it would see, for I now understand he now endorses all the revelations up to February 1834.” Now will you answer that question?
That is correct.
502: You wrote that?
I presume I wrote it sir, for I understand that to be the facts in the case, and I understand that taking the book of doctrine and covenants, – I had better explain that at that time what is now known as the Hedrickites were not known as the Hedrickites, and they did not at that time propose that they would be governed by the book of Covenants nor did they propose that they would be brought under the discipline of the church. They would not accept the book of doctrine and covenants as a rule of faith and practice.
503: Is it not a fact then Mr. Blair, that you know these people afterwards called the Hedrickites and these differences with you at the time you invited them to stay with you at the conference in 1857?
Well I did not invite them. I was no part of the conference. So far as that is concerned I was never identified with them.
504: Well that don’t answea my question? id you not know it?
505: Know that these differences existed?
I knew some of them did and some of them did not. They were some of them believed that they were favorable to the re-organized church, and they came into that body
506: Is it not a fact Mr. Blair that there were some people you found at Independence, Missouri, that occupy now the same position that you did then with reference this question of doctrine?
Well, I can’t tell you as to that sir, for there was no certain position that they accepted at that time, unless it was members of the church at large claiming to believe in the principles of the gospel, but they did not seem to have any definite views with regard to church government. Mr. Hedrick, at that time and afterwards too, related to me the whole matter of his coming into the church,
507: You may go on with your answer?
And his interview with parties at St Louis in regard to church matters, and he seemed to be all at sea at that time in respect to what constituted the doctrine of the church.
508: You had very different views as to what the gospel was at that time?
509: Will you state what the views were you held at that time?
510: The time you were at Zara Hemla?
So far as the views I held are concerned they consisted in faith in Christ Jesus as the Saviour of the world, and of the doctrine of faith, works, remission of sins and baptism for the remission of sins, and as a means of becoming identified with the body of the church, by the laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judjment, and these principles we understood the,
511: Did you understand them to be, – what did you understand them to be?
Well if you will give me an opportunity I will tell you. I along with the church understood them to be inherent or fundamental principles of the gospel.
512: Have you given all the principles of the gospel in what you have stated, as you regarded it at that time?
Yes sir we understand that to be what we denominate the first principles, – the fundamentals, so to speak.
513: What do you mean by the principles of the gospel, what do you mean further?
We understand that what ever pertains to the building up of a church in harmony with these fundamental principles to properly belong to these principles, – Whatever pertains to the upbuilding of the church and the winning of the souls of men to everlasting salvation, and all of this redounds to the upbuilding of the church both in this world and the next. 513 (Noted a second time)
513: That is what you understand by that?
Yes sir it is simply, or rather we understand it is simply being the means by which to render these first principles practicable or applicable and effective.
514: As a member of the re-organized church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints do you claim that you are entitled as a beneficiary to an interest in the temple lot here?
515: Do you understand the question?
Yes sir, do you mean as a member of the church?
516: Yes sir, as a member and officer in the church?
Yes sir we claim that it should inure to the church proper.
517: Now do you make that claim because you believe in these principles of the gospel you have enumerated?
Yes sir, and what follows.
518: Will you answer my questions?
That is what I am trying to do as best I can.
519: Well you have not answered that one yet?
I have tried to do so. If I fail to answer your questions the failure to do so is not because of any intent on my part to evade the answers but is because of the fact that I fail to comprehend them.
520: Well go on and state how that is?
Well if an individual would embrace the gospel in all its essentials, or as we call it, embrace the first principles and accept them, and then was not to live in harmony with the order of the church laid down and agreed to by the body of the church to carry this out and render it effective, we should regard that individual as being unworthy, for he or she by that conduct would be repudiating the church and his profession of faith.
521: Is that your answer?
522: What right, – what better right has the re-organized church then to this property down there in Independence over which this controversy has arisen, then any other body of people that believe substantially the same doctrine?
I understand that if they endorse the doctrine and principles in their entirety as I have already state that they would have an equal interest, but when they endorse a part of it and repudiate the rest of it, they thereby shut themselves out, – bar themselves out from participation in the benefits they might otherwise receive by active participation by such repudiation.
523: Now who is barred out, – the original church who did not endorse all the re-organized church does, or the re-organized church which does not endorse all the re-organized church did?
524: Answer the question?
What is the question?
525: Who is barred out, – the original church which did
not endorse all the re-organized church does, or the re-organized church which does not endorse all the original church did?
We understand the original church in its inception endorsed all that led directly up to these principles, or all that these principles led up to, and which in their development wee afterwards taught to the church, and they were the natural outgrowths of the original fundamental principles.
526: Now then is that not an assumption of yours and of the original church, – I should say of the re-organized church?
Well it is a matter of history from 1830 up to 1834.
527: It is a matter of history, you say?
Yes sir most assuredly it is.
528: Now is it not a fact that you have stated there were revelations given since 1835 that have not been accepted as the law of the church prior to 1834?
529: Well if this doctrine that gives title to this property down there, – who is entitle to the property, the man that holds what the original church did from 1830 to 1834 or the man that takes up everything that has been added since that time?
In order to make myself understood I will introduce the statement made by our Saviour. He says the kingdom of God is like corn. When it first springs from the earth it is a little tender blade, but it comes into leaf and then into the stalk, and finally it is in the ear and in full bearing, in its maturity, and so we understand it was with the church. When it was planted first it was weak when it first sprang into leaf, and it had to go through the various stages of development. In the earlier stages of its existence it was in process of development and did not arrive at perfection until 1835, in fact it was in process of development until 1844, at the time when in the fullness of time the prophet and seer was taken away just as Christ Jesus was taken away when his work was done. All these various stages were necessary parts of its growth and development.
530: Well then was it necessary that the church was disorganized?
Yes sir I suppose so under certain conditions.
531: Now you have likened the process of the development of the church unto the development of a grain of corn, – now what becomes of the corn if it is cut down in its early stage of growth? It you cut the corn down will the stalk grow?
Well it was not cut down.
532: Well I understand you to say it was disorganized and is that not equivalent to being cut down?
533: Well you have shown by your illustration that it was?
It was not cut off.
534: Well if it is cut off don’t you have to have another planting? Don’t you have to put new grains in the ground if you expect to reap crops? If you expect to see it arrive at maturity don’t you have to replant it?
Well yes sir, of course, but in the case of the church to which your comparison goes, we claim that it was not cut off. There was a little bit of a cyclone passed over it and knocked it down, but it did not destroy the root of the matter. There was life enough left in the root to still support a vigorous growth.
535: I understood you to say there was no stalk from 1844 down to 1852?
Well you misunderstood me – for we claim that the church did exist though scattered and disrupted, but it was reunited at that time. It did not take on a specific organization again until that time, but the elements of growth and life were there all the time, and under favorable conditions soon sprang into renewed life.
536: It existed in the body of the people?
Yes sir those that belonged to the church.
537: The church was disorganized?
Yes sir, temporarily.
538: Well if the church was disorganized, how did they belong to it?
They did belong to it but they were in a scattered condition. It would be like taking my watch apart and putting the hands in one place and the main spring in another, and scattering the various parts of the watch in different places,
539: Well would it be a watch if that was done?
Yes sir it would be when it came back again together. Of course it would not be in a condition to keep time, it would however be none the less a watch on that account, and would perform its duty again when the various parts were re-assembled and adjusted.
540: Well I wouldn’t go much on a watch like that when it would be in that shape?
Well, I would, – it would be a good watch when put together again.
541: Now you have used that as an illustration of the condition of the church from 1844 to 1852?
542: Do you think it is a good illustration and an apt one?
543: Did you get the watch together when you re-organized?
544: Didn’t the greater part of the watch escape you?
Yes sir, a good deal of it did, but none of the essentials did, – it run all raght when it was got together again, – but that has nothing to do with this case I think.
545: Did you get the quorums that was in existence at the time that Joseph Smith died?
We got the essential features of it.
546: Did you get the twelve that Joseph Smith had at the time of his death?
I would like to answer these questions in my own way without interruption.
547: Well, I am not interrupting you?
I fear you will and that is the reason I speak as I do now.
548: Well you answer my questions and I will not interrupt you, – I only interrupt you when it is evident that you are not answering them?
We entertained the idea that the distinguishing feature in the re-organization is the fundamental law by which it is established as an organization. We claim that we hold to that fundamental law, and therefore that we had the virtue, so to speak of the church in that fact, and that constituted the vitality that is laid down in our own sacred record, which says “ye are my disciples if ye keep my commandments, and if not, ye are not.” Now we claim that we do this, and by virtue of this obedience to the law and commandments our organization constitutes the church, and others who claim to be the church and disregard these principles and commandments are not and cannot constitute the church, and are unworthy of membership in the true church.
549: Then if the part that went to Salt Lake were the main spring, to apply your illustration, they would be the church?
Yes sir, but you see we hold the main spring did not go there.
550: Well did the caps and cover of the watch go there?
I do not pretend to tell you what portion went there, I believe that none of it got there.
551: Well, did the twelve apostles go to Salt Lake?
Some of them did.
552: Some of them did?
553: How many of them went to Salt Lake?
Of the twelve apostles?
554: Yes sir?
I think it was eight.
555: Well what became of the other four?
One of them went to Texas, and one remained, – William Smith was one and Lyman Wight was another, and John E. Page was another.
556: How many of the twelve old apostles did you get in the re-organized church?
Of the apostles at the time Joseph was killed?
557: Yes sir?
We did not get any. We organized out of new material.
558: Were they not an essential portion of the church just before the death of Joseph Smith?
So long as they obeyed the rules and regulations and paid obedience to the laws of the church they were essential and when they violated these rules, regulations and laws they forfeited their rights.
559: Well did they do that?
They did not, – they forfeited their rights by their action.
560: What church council ever said they did that?
We did. We decided that in the re-organized church.
561: At what time was that done?
That was in 1852.
562: So that after these twelve violated as you thought the essential doctrines of the church, in 1852 you organized a body for the purpose of trying them for their transgression?
No sir not for the purpose of trying them.
563: That was not the purpose of the organization?
564: How did if come, – by what authority was that organization attempted at that time?
It was attempted and effected.
565: Well by what authority?
Organized the church by command, and we tested the twelve by the rules laid down in the books which are recognized standards of authority in the church, – both in the primitive original church and in the re-organized church.
566: Did you summon them to appear before that body so organized?
567: Well did they have any show when you tried them?
They were not there. They could have been there if they wanted to, for we hold our public conferences and everybody was invited to appear.
568: Did you notify the twelve to be there?
569: Did you serve any notice on them at Salt Lake?
570: Did you serve any notice on that fellow in Texas?
571: You did not give any of them a chance to appear and defend themselves?
We hold our public conferences and the time and place of holding them are matters of public knowledge, and every person has a chance and an opportunity to be there if they see fit.
572: In that notice did you state that a lot of the scattered Mormons from the various sects, had gathered together, and were going to try the fellows that had left the church, as they assumed it to be?
The kind of a notice that was given was that the church had been re-organized, and we were transacting all kinds of church business that might properly come up before them.
573: Did you give these fellows that were cut off personal notice of the fact that their action was to be tried by that conference? or gathering?
574: Did you ever tell them who was to do this?
It was the re-organized church, – they could find that out from the notice of the conference.
575: Did you ever inform them that the body that was taking this action was a part of the men who had gone off with these fifteen different sects, who had
come together and had what they called effected a reorganization, and were going to try all the balance that did not come in with them or believe just as they did?
We told them in the notifications that went abroad in 1852 that it was a body of people that adhered to the original doctrines of the church as contained in the book of Mormon, the bible and the book of doctrine and covenants.
576: That is what they were told?
Yes sir, and they were informed in the same way as to where the meeting would be held and when it would be held.
577: What superior authority did they have over those other fellows?
They had it simply by reason of the law.
578: Who has ever held that they who did not go with the re-organized church, did not adhere to the law as well as you did, – as well as they did who allied themselves with the so-called re-organization?
579: The one who went into the re-organization?
Yes sir, we determined it amongst ourselves.
580: So that a body of you from amongst these various sects got together and decided that all these other bodies wee wrong and you were right?
Yes sir, that is decededly the way it was, and we tried them by the law and order of the church.
581: That action was taken upon this principle, – that the world belongs to the saints, therefore, the world is ours?
No sir, we were only taking action so far as the church was concerned.
582: Assuming of course that you were the church?
583: Well who said you were the church?
We did and we brought the doctrine of the church to prove it.
584: That was the way it was, – you said you were the church, and you brought or producad the doctrine of the church to prove it?
585: Did any body else say so?
Yes sir, and a great many are constantly saying so. They are today saying so by their action.
586: By what action?
By joining the church.
587: How many have said so?
Well that is hard to tell exactly, but probably thirty thousand have said so, who are now living.
588: How many are at Salt Lake?
Well perhaps there have been ten thousand of the old stock that have died off.
589: How many are at Salt Lake that do not say so?
Well I do not know how many of the old original sock are there.
590: Well how many of their successors are there?
There is probably one hundred and thirty thousand in Utah that are members of the church there, but there is not a great many of the old stock left there.
591: Is it not a fact that it is your principle that in this particular case the tail has the right to wag the dog?
No sir, we claim that the whole,
592: Well you have answered the question and that will suffice. Now you maintain that the law of the Lord is just as you lay it down, and that the church of which you are a member and officer is the only church authorized to lay that law down and administer it?
We claim sir that the law of he church is contained in the bible, the book of Mormon and the book of doctrine and covenants.
593: And do you not claim that the Hedrickites do not practice it as it is laid down there?
594: Nor the Salt Lake fellows?
595: You claim that they are off also?
596: And the Baptists?
597: And the Campbellites?
598: And the Presbyterians, the Methodists and all these other denominations?
599: And the whole of every sect in the world?
600: And you are the one, – the only one that is right on that question?
601: And you number only thirty thousand, and claim to be the only sect that is favored by divine mercy and grace?
Yes sir so far as being organized into a body is concerned. We claim that we are in advance of the rest of the world, that is all.
602: And you have come here and preferred a claim to this temple lot here in Independence because of that claim?
Yes sir. It is impossible to continue to complete the further taking of the depositions herein on this day, the further taking of the same is continued by the Notary Public taking the same until tomorrow morning at the hour of 9.30 o’clock, the same being Tuesday the 9th day of February 1892 then there to be continued at the place in that behalf first aforesaid. Now on this 9th day of February 1892 at the hour of 9.30 o’clock, A.M. the same being the hour to which the further taking of these depositions was continued on yesterday, come the parties hereto as aforesaid and the further taking of these depositions here was continued pursuant to adjournment, – W.W. Blair, resuming the stand was further cross-examined by Mr. Southern as follows,
603: Does the re-organized church claim all the property that belongs in any way to the church, – the old church, – the original church as it has been termed here from 1830 to 1844, or to the time of those divisions?
604: Answer the question Mr. Blair, if you can?
The church as far as any formal action has been had, made no claim of that kind, but, – did you ask for my opinion about it?
605: No sir I did not ask for your opinion, – I asked for the fact about, – that is what I want the fact if you know it, and if you do not know the fact you need not say anything?
Well that is it.
606: Well will you please answer the question I asked you, which is this, – Had the re-organized church ever claimed, and does it claim the right to discipline members of the old church who have at any time transgressed the laws and rules of action prescribed by the re-organized church?
We claim the right to discipline, and especially to govern those who come into immediate fellowship, whether they were members, makes no difference.
607: Is there a single case in the records of the church to your knowledge in which it undertook to punish for polygamy or any other offence, the people who have since practiced polygamy at other places?
All we had to do with that class of individuals was in the way of repudiating and denouncing as undoctrinal and pernicious the teaching or practice of it in the church, and wherever we have met with the old membership, it has been the duty of the church and the voice of the church to denounce it in the strongest terms possible as being both undoctrinal, unscriptural and most destructive and pernicious in its effects.
608: Did the re-organized church so denounce it in 1852 at its first meeting?
609: What did it do?
It provided, – it adopted formally by resolution and vote, and bible, book of Mormon and the book of doctrine and covenants as containing the law then binding in the church, and a committee was appointed to write and publish a book denunciatory of polygamy, which was done, and that was a pamphlet called the “Word of Consolation to the Saints.” I think that was the title of it, – however it is a matter of record and may be found in the proceedings of that conference.
610: Were any of these people who were guilty of any of these offences, summoned before any of these conferences for trial?
No sir, there were none of our membership. It was well understood that we excluded all the parties that had any affiliation with us, or form any affiliation with us I should say, until they had cleaned themselves.
611: What do you mean by “exclude” when they are already out?
I mean exclude from our organization.
612: Well how could you exclude them when they did not belong to your organization?
Simply when they made application, or if we found persons that had become members of the church that still endorsed polygamy, they were removed for cause.
613: Such members were excluded?
Yes sir, and all who held to the practice of the doctrine of polygamy were not permitted to become members, and if by any chance they did become members they were immediately cut off when the facts were ascertained.
614: Did any parties become members of the re-organized church, who had prior to their membership practiced polygamy and other heresies that your re-organized church condemned?
Yes sir and they were excluded for it too.
615: They were excluded?
616: Turned out of the church, do you mean?
617: Persons then were excluded from the re-organized church if they had become members of the church, and had been guilty of these practices they were excluded after 1852?
618: Was there any such who were cast out of the church for these things?
There were some who advocated and secretly practiced the practice of polygamy, – they advocated and entertained and doctrine, and I should say as we believed, practiced it secretly, and they were excluded.
619: Were they all excluded?
Yes sir, I may say that they were all excluded, but I had reference to some that fell more particularly under my immediate observation.
620: Do you state here that all who practiced these heresies and fell were all excluded?
Yes sir, so far as I know, they were.
621: Do I understand you correctly when I state your position thus, – when I state your testimony to be, that you admitted into the church after the re-organization people who had practiced these tenets which your church forbids, – which the church forbade, that is, admitted people who practiced tenets which the doctrine of your church forbade? I ask you if I understand you correctly on that point?
There might have been so far as I am aware, admitted into the church, before we were conscious of their ever having been mixed up with polygamy, and that fact might not have developed until afterwards.
622: Did you not state a while ago that you did receive people into the church, knowing that they had practiced these tenets that were forbidden in the re-organized church, before they were admitted?
623: You swear you did not know of such a case sir.
I did not. I do not know of such a case sir. Remember I do not say that such a thing might not have occurred, – such might have occurred, – only say I do not know anything about it if it did, still there might have been.
624: I understand you to say though that the re-organized church never undertook to try and discipline to condemn and to exclude men who did practice these tenets who never became associated with the re-organized church?
We condemned it everywhere, publicly and privately, and we barred out from our membership and communion all who adhered to it or countenanced it in any way.
625: Have you a method of trial for offenders in the reorganized church?
626: What is the process followed in bringing them to answer for their violation of the laws of the church.
It is owing to the nature of the offence. If it is a personal offence as between individuals, the offended party is required by the law of the church as laid down in the new testament and in the book of doctrine and covenants to go to the offender and seek for a full understanding of the matters in question, and seek a reconciliation, and if he fails in the first effort, he is to take some faithful person with him, a member of the church with him, and make the second effort, and in case this second effort is also unsuccessful, he delivers the matter in question over to the ministry, the elders of the church for them to proceed according to the law of the church as contained in the new testament and the book of Mormon and the book of covenants. Where it is an infraction of the law or doctrine and order of the church, labors are sometimes had with the individual. That would be altogether or largely owing to the conditions. If the individual is far away action is taken at once to silence him if he is a minister, and we have methods of dealing through our conferences and counsels by which to bring them to time, to us a westernism, – to bring them to trial, and hear the evidence in the case.
627: Have you any methods of notice by which you tonify him that charges are pending against him?
628: Do you try him without notifying him, – try him and condemn him without notifying him that charges are pending against him?
Where he absconds, – where the member is a minister and absconds or puts himself beyond the reach of personal notification, he will be proceeded against as if he were present. That is only done in cases where it is discovered or ascertained that the accused is making an effort to keep himself out of the way of personal notification that is done, but not otherwise.
629: When delegates present themselves to your Conferences what credentials do you require from them?
We require certificates from the body they represent duly officially accredited.
630: Is that an uniform requirement?
631: There is no variation from that rule?
No sir, unless in the case they have lost their credentials then they can be identified by oral testimony or by witnesses of the fact, or by other, what we deem competent testimony, identifying them as the delegates who are entitled to represent the body they are claiming to represent.
632: Do you have any other method identifying delgates?
Well the rules on representation that we have provides, or rather the work I should say that we have on that subject provides that this shall be done in that way. That is all that I am aware of, and if there is any other rule or method of procedure I am not aware of it. I am not aware that there is any other methhob provided than that I have mentioned.
633: I believe you stated in answer to a question asked you yesterday, that your claims for succession in the church was it existed at the time of the death of Joseph Smith at Nauvoo or Carthage, that is the church as it existed at Nauvoo at the time of the death of Joseph Smith, – are based on what you claim to be, – what the re-organized church claims to be, – a similarity of doctrine? Is that not the fact?
634: Now do you have any other claim or claims for the succession aside from this claim of similarity of doctrine?
Well sir, that is owing to the sense in which the term “doctrine” is received. It depends very largely on that. The term doctrine in its broadest sense relates to the matter of teaching, and the word is derived from the Greek “Docco”, which signifies to teach, and taken in that sense we do.
635: To recall your mind particularly to what was said yesterday, – the cardinal doctrine, – you related as I understood you, the cardinal doctrine to which the re-organized church adhered, as the gospel, and stated that those related by you were the doctrines of the church to which I have referred. Now then aside from those I ask you if there is any other claim to succession, and if so please state what it is.
We hold, as I stated yesterday, that the doctrines of faith and repentance, and baptism by immersion under the conditions provided for in the gospel teach ing, and the laying on of hands as set forth in the bible, the book of Mormon and the book of Covenants and the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead of the just and the unjust, the doctrine of eternal judgment, that all the race should be rewarded according to their works by God, and that that constitutes what we denominate the first principles of the gospel. Besides these there are various other matters growing out of the organization of the church and these fundamental doctrines that are really germane to the question of doctrine, but constitute in some sense a part of the doctrine, – in a proper sense too I might say, – portion of the gospel teachings.
636: Now then will you please state aside from these you have mentioned, what are the other grounds upon which the re-organized church claims succession from the church which existed at the death of Joseph Smith.
Similarity in respect to its organizttion, – that is, in respect to the organization of the church, – its officers, its ordinances, its ceremonies, the moral teachings and spiritual graces and gifts and blessings promised under the gospel order. We regard these as all being distinctive and essential parts of the church in its general work, – in its general development I should say.
637: Do you claim anything from the fact that Joseph Smith the president of the re-organized church is a son of the Joseph Smith who was killed at Carthage.
We claim that is one feature growing out of the church work.
638: In what way, – in what respect?
From the fact that it is in harmony with the precedents contained in the bible and book of Mormon, pointing to that order of things, and that the prophecies and promises contained in the bible and book of Mormon and the book of covenants points to him as being the proper person to succeed in thr presidency of the church.
639: Does the re-organized church claim anything in the line of succession from any-revelation of Joseph Smith who was killed at Carthage, concerning Joseph Smith who is the present president of the re-organized church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?
640: Do you claim that?
Do you claim what?
641: Do you claim anything for the succession by reason of the fact, or by reason I should say of any revelation of Joseph Smith who was killed as before stated, – concerning Joseph Smith the present president of the re-organized church? Plaintiff objects to the question asked the witness on the grounds and for the reasons as set forth in the last objectiob.
I do not understand the question.
642: I asked you if you remember anything about a revelation, – ?
Oh, yes, I remember the question now,
643: The question or revelation referred to the matter
of succession, you understand?
We claim that the law of the church contained is the book of Covenants declares the law of lineage as a governing principle in the transmission of office,-that is, the office of the first presidency of the church. The law that we cited yesterday is a law that we condider is established by the precedents contain in the book of Mormon, the bible and the book of Covenants.
644: Now you have answered that question, but the question I asked you is this,-whether you claim anything from revelation?
645: Yes sir, whether you claim anything from Joseph Smith, the original founder of the church who was killed at Carthage, by way of revelation establishing the first presidency in Joseph Smith, the present president of the re-organized church?
646: Well if that is the fact what is it?
Those laws are given by revelation.
467: What laws?
The laws that I speak of governing lineage.
648: Well I will put he question this way,-do you claim anything by way of special revelation from Joseph Smith the elder, conferring or indicating that the younger Joseph Smith, the president of the re-organized church should be his successor in the presidency of the church?
What elders have you reference to?
What elders did you have reference to?
650: Do you claim anything from the elder Smith, or Joseph Smith who was killed, from any revelation given to him with reference to the success of the president of the re-organized church, Joseph Smith? That is the question.
The revelation of 1841,-January 19th in the 18th paragraph, in connection with other paragraphs, provided a residence for the first presidency of the chruch, and in the eighteenth paragraph specially that the head of Joseph’s posterity,-which we claim to be his eldest son,-was to receive the same blessing.
651: How do you know that?
It says so,-it says that his blessing was to be put upon the head of his posterity after him, and that we regard as revelation.
652: Now sir I will ask you this question,-do you claim anything for Joseph Smith, the president of the re-organized church in favor of succession, from any ordination which he, Joseph Smith, received from his father?
Yes sir, and by prophetic appointment. We have it in the private journal of Lyman Wright, that he was so set apart by prophecy and blessing, directing that he would be his future successor.
653: Then the re-organized church makes a claim to succession in all or in part from the circumstances which you have just related?
That is one of the circumstances,
654: That is one of the claims?
Yes sir. Now understand me,-the fact that Joseph the father had indicated by prophecy and prophetic blessing, that his son would obtain the same office that his father held in the church.
656: Is that a revelation?
It is a prophetic appointment.
657: Is that a revelation, that is the question, was it a revelation, and is the revelation by which that appointment was made a part of the book of Doctrine and Covenants?
I do not understand that question.
658: I asked you if that revelation by which that appointment was made, or in pursuance of which that appointment was made, whether or not that was a part of the Doctrine and Covenants?
Yes sir, it was the revelation of 1841.
659: Is that the one in pursuance of which the ordination was made of which you speak?
660: That is the one?
661: Is that a part of the book of Doctrine and Covenants?
The revelation of 1841 is.
662: Is it not a fact that the revelation from which that ordination was made as written out by Joseph Smith was lost?
No sir. I do not know it to be a fact.
663: Well is it not a fact that the original revelation was lost?
Not that I am aware of.
664: When did the ordination to which you have just referred take place?
There was two ordinations, the latter one took place from the testimony of witnesses, members of the church who claimed to know, in 1844. That had been preceded however, but a similar prophetic blessing in, I think it was in 1839, it was when Joseph Smith was incarcerated over here in the Liberty jail.
665: Now was there an ordination of his son, the present president of the reorganized church, in pursuance of the revelation given in the Liberty jail?
666: Now the ordination which I am inquiring about, it that ordination of 1844 which you speak about, it was just preparatory to his death? What was that? You have referred to it and I would like to know what it was?
It was just simply a prophetic blessing as I have already stated. I did not state it was a revelation. I simply stated it was a prophetic blessing.
667: Now then was there a revelation preceding that prophetic blessing, and upon which that prophetic blessing, as you term it, was based?
Well whether it was based on what came in 1841 or 1839 I could not say.
668: Or 1844 you say, 1839 or 1844 you cannot say which it was?
669: Now how was it that the reorganized church came to elect him to the presidency of the church?
The ordination to the presidency of the church at Amboy on April 6th 1860, that was based first upon the law of lineage, and then the prophecy to which I have alluded.
670: What prophecy?
The prophecy in the book of Covenants in regard to the seed of Joseph, or the head of his posterity, and based furthermore upon utterances that were delivered by members in the church in Northern Illinois and in the state of Wisconsin and early as 1851.
671: Utterances that were delivered, what kind of utterances?
Prophecies I should say that were delivered in the northern part of the state of Illinois and in the state of Wisconsin as early as 1851, and prophecies that were delivered from that time along down till March 1860, all pointing to the fact that Joseph would personally come to the church and become its president, and he did come finally.
672: Where these prophesies of which you speak submitted to the quorums for their action?
673: Why no?
Simply because they came in the nature of prophecies, not as revelations of law, they simply came as prophecies, and such matters were not necessary to submit to the church for action.
674: As prophecies were they rules of conduct for the guidance of the church?
No sir, not finally. They were simply indicative of what would came to pass in the future, like all prophecies that was their function.
675: Were those prophecies regarded as precedents or as authoritative in any way?
In some sense they were.
676: In what sense?
In the sense of indicating, as we believed by the divine will, what was to be and what would be.
677: Now is there a law in the reorganized church which recognizes prophecies of that kind as indications of the divine will, from and by virtue of which action is taken on matters pertaining to the church?
It is received in a similar manner to what we believe it was received in the days of Christ and his Apostles, and as it was received as explained in the Book of Mormon.
673: Now that does not answer my question. My question is, does the reorganized church, as at present constituted, recognize such prophecies as rules of conduct, wholly or partially?
We regard prophecies of that kind as simply being an exhibition of the divine favor and divine will in respect to the matters treated of in the prophecy.
679: And as officers of the church are you ever governed by that, or is it the rule to be governed by them?
It is the rule to govern regard to those things as St. Paul instructed in his time, when he says to get together two or three at a time and consider whether the prophecy is genuine or not.
680: Then it is a rule in the reorganized church, that if the judgement of its officers is in favor of these of this class of prophecies, that they thereby become effective in the counsels of the church and in the management of the church?
The law, the accepted law of the church is made the basis in all these matters. Prophecies coming that are in harmony, may or may not be accepted as a rule, or adopted as a rule of action. It is left to the body to decide whether or not that shall be the case, or as to what shall be done with them.
681: And are these prophecies made by parties who are not officers in the re-organized church?
Sometimes they are.
682: And are they made sometimes by officers of the church, other than the first president?
Sometimes they are.
683: Was the organization in 1852 based wholly or partially upon any such prophecies as you have referred to?
Prophecies delivered through different ones led up to the organization in 1852 of the re-organization based upon the law and usage of the church simply, – they were simply pointing forward to that event, or leading up to it.
684: Did not that conference of 1852 recognize the command of that revelation to re-organize?
Yes sir. We acted upon that.
685: What revelation was that?
It was a revelation given through a high priest named Henry H. Deam.
686: How was it acted upon?
The body of the people sat in judgment upon it, and sought for especial guidance, and claimed that they as a body received evidence, – definite evidence as to its truth and authenticity.
687: Did the high priest Deems belong to the re-organization at the time he received this revelation?
He belonged to a branch of the church.
688: What branch did he belong to?
It was the branch I think at Zara Hemla, but it might have been the Yellowstone branch. I am not positive as to which branch it was he belonged to, but I think it was the Zara Hemla branch he was a member.
689: To what Quorums was that revelation submitted?
It was submitted to the whole body, – to the whole conference that was there at the time.
690: That is to say that revelation was submitted to the conference of 1852?
Yes sir, I think it was submitted first to a body that was present there, and then they came together again, and it was re-submitted to the conference. I do not know but that it was submitted twice or thrice, as near as the history goes to it, for they were in session there for several days before they attempted to procure or effect the re-organization in any respect.
691: Now do you refer to a body that was present at the time the revelation was given?
692: What body was that?
It was a body composed of high priests and the seventy, or members of the seventy, – the elders, priests, teachers, deacons and members, as I understood it.
693: Was the organization of which you have just now spoken, – were these people of which you have just now spoken embraced in the organization at the time referred to, – had the organization been effected at that time?
At what time?
694: At the time this revelation was given?
I could not say that they belonged to any organization, excepting it was that branch or organization, and they had withdrawn, – well some of them had been associated with the Strangites, and they had withdrawn entirely, so far as any organization is concerned, and were standing seperate and alone.
695: And then these people who met in 1852, and organized the church, as you claim, met in pursuance of a revelation which they regarded as authoritative by a body of people assembled and constituted as you have just described? Is that the fact?
Yes sir, it came through that source.
696: Where did these people, – these priests and other officers, that were present when this revelation was delivered which was recognized in 1852, and from which this organization proceeded, get their own ordination or priesthood?
What is that?
697: Where did theses people that were met there together, as you have stated, get their ordination or priesthood?
They claimed to have received it in the days of Joseph the prophet and seer, – in the time before his death in 1844.
698: Was the priest of whom you have spoken, who received the revelation, the highest priest in authority on that occasion.
699: Was there any requirement in that revelation with reference as to whom should preside over that conreference as to whom should preside over that conference held in 1852 when it should meet?
I do not remember now.
700: You don’t know whether there was or not?
No sir, and I would not undertake to say unless I examined it, as it is a matter I have not examined recently.
701: Well, who, in fact, did preside over that conference.
Well, I would not undertake to state that either, for these are matters that I have not refreshed my memory upon. I was not present at the time as I did not unite with the church until 1857, and what information I have is derived simply from my reading and from common rumor or report.
702: What made that revelation the authority for the re-organization in 1857?
Because it came to the body of the people, – the little body of the people that were there present on that occasion, and after an examination of it, and seeking for what they denominated the evidence of God’s Spirit of its tryth they became satisfied that it was the will of God, and I believe it is recorded there that it was the unanimous consent of the body to the effect, that it was the will of God, and his Spirit that spoke. That in effect is recorded, I think.
703: Do you recognize this as the accepted language in the revelation given Mr. Deam, – “Behold, the pattern is before you, and it is my will that you respect authority in my church, therefore let the greatest among you preside at your conferences, ” Do you recognize that as pertaining to that revelation?
That was an historical account as given by one of the elders, and how far it copies the record I cannot say, for I have never compared them.
704: Is it not a fact that Elder Briggs presided at that conference?
I cannot say but what he did. I could not say exactly. The record book ought to show that.
705: How many were present if you know at the time that revelation was given?
I cannot say.
706: Do you say you do not know anything about that?
I say I am not prepared to say. In regard to that the record would be my only evidence.
707: Is there any record of the number that were present? Now my confidence does not refer to the time of the conference of 1852, but at the time and place that the revelation was suppose to be given?
Nos sir, I could not form any estimate as to the number that were present. From the understanding that I have always had from reading, and likewise from information contained from parties who were present it was at a meeting that was assembled, which was composed of the different officers and member of the various bodies, it was a body composed of those who had belonged to the original church, then claiming to be members of the church in its disorganized condition, and looking to a future organization.
708: So you are not able to state anything in regard to the number of people who were present at that conference whose judgment approved of that organization or of that revelation, I should say?
I have never thought about the matter, and I don’t know anything about it, but there must have been quite a number present.
709: But, Mr. Blair, is it not an important matter as to whether or not one or a dozen or fifty men were present and concurring in that united judgment?
710: Do you know the names of the persons who were present whose quality you speak of?
I can relate the names of some of them.
711: What is that?
As related in the history, and those with whom I have conversed I gather that there was Zenas H. Gurley, H.H. Deam, Jason W. Briggs. The quality of the persons present in respect to their faith and their purpose, to my mind, is the first requisite of all, and if that is all right the number that is present is not a matter of the first importance.
711: Was not W.B. Ramsey there? R No sir, I think not. I can’t remember of any one of that being in the church at that time.
712: Cyrus Newkirk?
713: He was there?
Yes sir, I think he was one.
714: It was Rasey instead of Ramsey?
Yes sir, I think that name was amongst them. I think probably he was among them. I haven’t examined these records minutely, but I think that name was amongst them.
715: There was also one Herrington?
John Herrington. Perhaps he was present. I think he was a member at the time. That is, he was in fellowship with them.
716: And David Powell?
I should judge he was present. Of course I don’t know, but I should judge he was present.
717: So then, is it one of the doctrines of the re-organized church that the priest who received the revelation that we have been inquiring into, and the people who were present and endorsed it as a revelation were authorized to go ahead and effect the re-organization?
718: Was Samuel Blair present at the time then this revelation was accepted?
I could not say. I would have to appeal to the records to answer that question. The only means I have as to who were present is what has been derived from the record and from conversations has with some of the parties who were present.
719: Now I will repeat my question. (Will the reporter read the last question asked the witness) Question No. 717 is here upon read to the witness, to which counsel for the plaintiff interposes the same objection as was made to the question at the time it was originally asked?
In what respect do you mean?
720: Is it not a doctrine of the re-organized church?
They so understand it and act upon it.
721: Now where is the authority of a revelation endorsed in that way?
The book of doctrine and covenants in connection with the book of Mormon and new testament, teach that God may reveal his will through the humblest instrument in the church, or even out of the church, and if the body accept it as being the divine revelation they may act upon it.
722: Well Mr. Blair, may not the re-organized church, which claims to be represented as plaintiff in this case in hand, be entirely mistaken about an authority,
723: Please wait until I finish my question, – I asked you if it is not a fact that the re-organized church which is the plaintiff in this case, may not be entirely mistaken about the authority of this meeting to begin and effect the re-organization?
We think we were not mistaken.
724: You think you were not mistaken, – do you know you were not mistaken?
I say I think we were not mistaken, but that the proceedings had were in conformity with the teachings of the bible, the book of Mormon and the book of covenants. Now that is the way we view it, but of course in all things human people as a matter of course may be mistaken. The actions of humanity are always liable to err.
725: That is very true. Now then, is it or is it not, the fact that the authority of this revelation as recognized by the re-organized church depends on the judgment of those men who were there present when Deams announced the revelation?
We held that they not only exercised their natural judgment, that they exercised their judgment at the time as best they could under the circumstances guided and instructed by the divine power to arrive at a true conclusion.
726: Their natural what?
Their natural judgment. That is what we believe, but at the same time they were guided or enlightened by the manifestation of the Spirit of God as was promised by Christ to his faithful disciples who would seek earnestly after the truth that guidance should be given them. That is our position, and we believe that as faithful believers much guidance was given them as was promised by Christ and afterwards by St Paul when he says “He that is spiritual judgeth all things, and the things of God are known by the Spirit of God.” We claim under these circumstances they had the evidence, and besides that they had the enlightenment that is given by the Holy Spirit to inform and enlighten their judgment and their minds.
727: How do the officers and men who conduct the affairs of the re-organized church know what you have just stated in your last answer to be the fact?
There are two means or methods by which we judge, first, by what is accepted as the word of God, the next is by enlightenment, – the direct enlightenment of the Holy Spirit upon the mind and soul bearing witness and informing and enlightening the mind. The These are the means, and where the word and the Holy Spirit are in harmony we regard it as being conclusive evidence of the truthfulness of any matter.
728: Then you regard, or the re-organized church regards this revelation, and the judgment as based upon it as one of its fundamental laws?
It was received as such and acted on a such.
729: Was there any such law in the church in 1834?
730: There was no such law in the church in 1834?
There was not?
731: Was there any such a revelation in the church, – given to the church at any time between 1834 and 1844?
There was not.
732: Well not if there was any authority for this action taken in 1852 aside from this revelation, what was the use of this revelation?
It was imply an enlightenment, it was a revelation given to the church indicting that the time had now come for them to act in conformity with the law and order of the church in the re-organization out of the material that was there at hand.
733: Did they make a president in 1852, or at any of the subsequent conferences held prior to 1860?
Only in a sense of representative of the president.
734: Then from 1852 down to 1860 they went without a president such as they have now?
Yes sir, it had simply a president who stood as the representative of the president until the proper prenident of the church, who was to be the prophet, seer and revelator was called.
735: Upon or by what authority did it have a president like that?
Simply by choosing the hihgest authority present to preside.
736: And you used the highest authority present to preside?
We did generally, and I don’t know but what we did always. Those who were greatest in authority presided.
737: Then why did Joseph W. Briggs become the president, the presiding officer of the conference on 1852, if the highest officer present should preside.
I understand that Mr. Deam became defected before the final choice was made.
738: Then you understand it to be the fact, that subsequent to the revelation given through Mr. Deam for the re-organization in 1852, and the time of that re-organization, he became defected, and therefore he was ineligible to preside?
739: And so Mr. Briggs presided?
740: Do you know that to be a fact sir?
That is my understanding of it.
741: What was the difference in these two dates?
I cannot tell you. I could not tell you unless I would appeal to the record. The record will demonstrate the difference.
742: Well, you may look at the record and state it?
(witness examines the record marked Exhibit N. and answers) Did you have reference to the October conference of 1852?
743: Yes sir, – No I think it was the June conference?
It is the October conference, – October 6th 1852. I see in here a resolution offered and carried “Resolved that in the opinion of this conference, the one holding the highest priesthood in the church of God is to preside and represent the rightful of the high priesthood”, and then comes an amendment as follows, “resolved that the highest authority amongst the priesthood represent the legitimate president as presiding authority” and I find here that Jason W. Briggs presided over the Conference. The probabilities are that he was decided upon as the one holding the highest authority.
744: Of the people present there at that time?
Yes sir, that is the resolution, and the presumption is that they acted on that resolution.
745: Do you know whether or not Deems was excluded from the church prior to that time?
I think he was excluded at that time.
746: What kind of an organization was there at that time?
At that time they only had branch organizations. They were just then taking the preparatory steps with a view to reorganizing the church and these were some of the preliminary steps that were being taken.
It is a matter of common report that Mr. Dean became defected and withdrew from the church.
747: These are questions, Mr. Blair, that require your own personal knowledge and if you have not personal knowledge do not answer them.
748: Do you know, or can you give, Is it not a fact that it is known in the councils of the church and to its officers, that at the Conference about which you have just spoken, and concerning which you have read some extracts, there was considerable difference of opinion as to who was entitled to preside, and that Briggs was finally selected, and that was the cause of the defection of Deam?
I understand there was a difference of opinion, but this was the rule of action.
From the time it was adopted, thenceforward, it was the rule of action for the church.
750: Now was that new rule of action taken in pursuance of a revelation?
No sir, not that I am aware of.
751: By what authority was it taken if it was not taken by the authority of revelation? The witness on the ground and for the reasons that it is incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial, and not that best evidence and calls for an opinion of the witness.
The action of the conference.
752: Was it not simply an assumed authority?
They acted so far as I can judge from the record on which they esteemed to be the law and order of the church. That is what they understood it to be and they acted upon it.
753: Was that the rule of action in reference to presiding officers from that time on up to the time when Joseph Smith the present president came to the church?
The rule that we attempted to be guided by, is that the highest person in authority present has the right to preside, but notwithstanding the fact that he has the right to preside, he must first be chosen by the body. That is the way we understand it, that notwithstanding he has that right, he must first be chosen by the body. (Adjourned till 1:30 PM)
754: Has the body the right to reject the highest officer?
755: It has that right?
756: And not let him preside?
757: How is that?
For the reason that the law of the church requires that everything shall be done by common consent.
758: Would the body have the right to reject its first president?
759: As its presiding officer?
760: But as a matter of fact it never exercised that right, is that not the fact?
Well I don’t just at this time recollect of any such an instance, but the right is there nevertheless.
761: Upon what do you base that right?
The requirement in the law that the first president in the church shall be appointed by revelation, and then he shall be chosen by the body, and be sustained and upheld by the faith and confidence and prayers of the church, therefore under that law the usage has been that when the presiding officer takes his place in a conference he does so upon motion and action of the body. Now you asked me for an instance where they had rejected the president or where this principle was brought into action?
762: Yes sir.
It was in the case of Sydney Rigdon who was one of the first presidents of the church, and there was an effort made to eject him from the first Presidency, but it was overcome, and he was still ordained.
763: He was not rejected?
No sir, but it was acting on that principle, for he might have been rejected.
764: Before I pass along over this line, I want to inquire of you what church or branch, or organization, if any, Mr. Briggs belonged to at the time he was made president in 1852?
He had withdrawn from all organizations.
765: Then is it not a fact that they elected a man for their President or presiding officer of that conference that did not belong to any organization of the church?
He belonged at the time that the body that was then attempting to take steps looking to the future reorganization of the church. He was in the movement of the reorganization and may be said to have belonged to it.
766: If he belonged to that body was it not only in the capacity of acting with that body for the purpose of effecting an organization?
It was just a promiscuous assemblage that had gathered together upon notification with a view to reorganization at some future time.
767: What branch did he belong to at any time prior thereto?
Well he was a member of the old church and a minister up to 1844, and it is reported he united with the Strangite faction, and afterwards he united with William Smith.
768: How did he get out of William Smith’s faction?
769: Is it not a fact that he did not withdraw but was expelled?
He withdrew first, and upon that withdrawal action was taken.
770: What was that action?
I do not know now what it was, but I know that I belonged to the same faction then myself.
771: What faction was that?
772: William B. Smith’s
773: Well you ought to know what was the reason of his withdrawal or expulsion?
I could not tell you unless I could see the record and saw just what the proceedings were.
774: You did not have anything to do with his withdrawal?
Yes sir. I did in common with the rest.
775: Did you make a report as a committee on it?
I think I did.
776: What was he charged with?
777: Defection only?
It was what we denominated apostacy or defection.
778: To refresh your memory. I will ask you Mr. Blair, if any of the, if in fact the William Smith church, you acting as one of the elders did not cut Jason W. Briggs off from the church?
After he withdrew we did.
779: Do you recognize the communication which I now call your attention to in a pamphlet entitled “Important disclosures, etc” printed at Springfield, Illinois in 1854, and the letter to which I call your attention particularly is written from Palestine, Stake of Zion, and dated January 6th 1852, and entitled “official proceedings and excommunication of Jason W. Briggs”. Now do you recognize that as a communication written by yourself?
This pamphlet in which that is published was printed after I withdrew from that faction. It was printed in 1854 and I never knew of the publication of it. That is the first time I ever saw that pamphlet.
780: Will you please examine the publication to which I have referred and read it, and see if it is accurately and correctly published?
(witness hereupon reads the communication referred to and answers) Colonel, the communication, there was something of the kind written. There was something of the kind written, there is no question about that, and whether that is the identical one or not I would not undertake to say, for as I told you since it has been published I have had nothing to do with it. I have had nothing to do with it or its publication in this form, but there certainly was something like that written, but whether that is the identical matter that was written is something I cannot tell you.
781: This was written some years ago?
782: How long ago was it written?
Well it is nearly forty years ago since that was written. It will be forty years this present year since that was written. 783 (This question and answer are missing)
784: Well then, using it for the purpose of refreshing your memory. I desire to ask you if you can explain this language which occurs in the pamphlet, “As to your revelation we consider it false as it proves itself to be”, and I will ask you if you can now tell what revelation that has reference to?
I suppoes it has reference to one, – from my best recollection or remembrance, – that was given in 1851, purporting to have been given in November 1851, and it was my opinion at that time that that was the fact, – I can tell you that,
785: Will you please explain what that revelation of 1851 was?
I cannot sir, because it is not in my possession, but some features of it I can remember, and that was with reference to young Joseph’s being eventually called to the presidency of the church.
786: It is a fact that at that time you repudiated that revelation?
787: You repudiated it and did not believe in it?
788: You did not think then as you do now?
789: Have you changed your opinion since that time?
Yes sir, I have. Most decidedly I have.
790: Are you sure that this reference here is not in reference to a revelation regarding the calling together of the people in 1852 in regard to the re-organization?
Well now that revelation of November 1851 was the only one that I know anything about that Jason W. Briggs professed to present to the church.
791: What I inquired about now is this, – is that not the revelation to which this reference I made here or quoted here refers?
Yes sir, that is the one purporting to have been given in 1851.
792: What is that for?
It pointed out the fact that God had not changed concerning the upbuilding of his church, nor in regard to the law to govern it, and stating the further fact that Joseph the son of Joseph the translator, seer and revelator, would eventually be called to the presidency of the church. Those were items in it I remember distinctly.
793: You remember that much about it?
794: Was there anything in it with reference to polygamy?
There were some parts of it that denounced polygamy as my memory serves me now.
795: In what kind of terms was it denunciatory of polygamy?
It denounced it in very strong terms, – that is my recollection now.
796: Now is this the fact, or not the fact, that the purpose, – and if it denounced polygamy as you have stated, why it was not accepted by William Smith’s organization?
It was not necessary to accept it in that respect or because of that feature in it, for at that time William Smith’s denomination or faction was just as bitter against polygamy as was the revelation itself. The faction that William Smith led was just as bitter against poly gamy as the revelation itself and perhaps more so, so it was not necessary to accept it on that account.
797: At that time and prior thereto did you consider William Smith as the heir to the presidency?
798: Did you at that time believe William Smith to be heir to the presidency and not Joseph Smith?
We did not believe him to be the heir to it.
799: Did you know whether or not that opinion was held?
I do not know that that opinion was held. I rather think it was not, but I could not say, for I had at that time only been identified with the church there a short time, and knew but a little with regard to many of its points, at least with respect or in regard to church government, for I was, so to speak, a novitiate at that time.
800: Well then, if in the letter we have just referred to you used this language, were you mistaken or not “William Smith is the heir to the Presidency of the church, and your talk on that subject is useless and we far that ere long you will learn that you are being instrumental in your own degradation”. What do you say as to that?
Well answering your question as to whether I penned that or and answering, – or I should say as to whether or not that was my sentiment at the time that was written in 1852, I will say that I would not undertake to say. Edwin Cadwell, the man who joined with me in writing that, or in writing whatever was written, was an old member and minister and it was under him in the main that it was written, because, as I told you, I was only a recent member in the church, and it is natural that an old member and one occupying the position he did should take the initiative which he did.
801: You and he wrote it together?
Yes sir I presume so.
802: Did you sign what was written at that time?
It is probably I did, but whether it was that document or not I could not say, but whatever was written there at that time it is probable was signed by us.
803: Did you ever afterwards sign a document and certify that the above is a true copy of the original?
I could not say.
804: At that time did you sign your communications “Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ”?
I could not say. At that time Edwin Cadwell and myself were understood to hold that relationship to that organization.
805: How were you appointed apostles?
By William Smith and by the acceptance of the appointment, – by this and the action of the church there confirming the appointment.
806: What church do you refer to?
That faction there.
807: The faction of which William Smith was the leader?
808: Was your apostleship recognized after you joined the organization to which you now belong?
809: What was done about it?
It was repudiated.
810: What was done with it?
What was done with it?
811: Yes sir?
Nothing at all. It was not recognized, it was simply repudiated.
812: Were you again appointed an apostle?
814: In what church?
In the reorganized church I was.
815: Was your appointment in William Smith’s church made by revelation?
I cannot say whether he claimed it or not.
816: Was your appointment as an apostle in the re-organized church by revelation?
It was claimed to be.
817: It was claimed to be?
818: Do you know whether it was or not?
I do so far as my own person was concerned.
819: And you know it was by revelation?
Yes sir, I was satisfied it was.
820: Who received that revelation?
The first prophecy in regard to it came through Edwin C. Briggs, and afterwards it came to myself personally.
821: At about what date?
Well the prophecy in regard to it came in 1856, in November 1856. It was somewhere in the latter days of November, and I had corresponding testimony to it, in regard to it, about the same time.
822: What was that testimony?
823: What was that testimony?
It was the testimony of the Holy Spirit.
824: Will you please state as nearly as you can how you recognized that authority?
What is the question?
825: I asked you to state as best you could, how you recognized that authority?
I do not know that I comprehend you. I do not know that I comprehend your meaning.
826: Well you stated that you had testimony personally to the effect that you should be ordained an apostle about the year 1856, and that there was other and corresponding testimony to the same effect, and now I ask you what were the constituent features of that testimony?
It consisted of testimony that indicated to my intellect and inner consciousness, through the operation of a power outside and independent of myself, which gave me the comprehension and assurance that I was thus called. That is the way it appeared to me, and I do not know that I can indicate it to you any clearer than that.
827: Was that communication addressed to your judgment
It was addressed to my conscious, intellectual being.
828: To your intellect?
829: And your intellect was convinced?
830: And you formed no judgment thereof?
831: Based on the effect that this power had on your intellect and inner consciousness?
832: Now how was that judgment indicated?
I have been trying to tell you.
833: Was it indicated to anybody else afterward?
834: How, -in what manner?
By the same testimony.
835: What I want to get at Mr. Blair, is if the judgment you had in the matter you have stated was afterwards communicated to any body else?
In their presence?
836: Yes, or in any other way?
Yes sir, and they claimed they had the same or similar testimony.
837: Then what was done with it?
The case was presented by the, -to the church I should say, and by vote was adopted, -by motion and vote I was received.
838: You were received as what?
As an apostle and ordained according to the usage of the church.
839: That was done in accordance with the terms of the revelation, as you state?
Yes sir, it was a revelation or prophecy, whichever you wish it.
849: What is the difference between a revelation and a prophecy?
Sometimes we apply the term “revelation” as signifying those laws or commandments that are given as laws to govern the church, and all of them are revelations in one sens of the word, and a prophecy may be delivered through an individual and not take on the character of a law to the church, and that is just the way that came to me in 1856.
841: Now is it not a fact Mr. Blair, that in the church prior to the death of Joseph Smith, – that is prior to 1844, in the original or old church, – that all the revelations and prophecies pertaining to the office of apostles came through the President of the church?
842: Will you please give an instance of its being indicated in any other way?
From the book of Covenants?
843: Yes sir, or from any other boo, – I expect the book of covenants was the only authority on what was the law of the church prior to the death of Joseph Smith.
844: Well then use the book of covenants?
The case I allude to is a matter of history and one of revelation too, in which Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris were selected to select the twelve.
845: They were?
Yes sir, they were appointed to select the original twelve according to the spirit of revelation and wisdom that God scould give them on that occasion, and here is a revelation given to Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, etc. Here it is in the sixth paragraph (referring to Exhibit E. on page 172) it reads, – “Now behold I give unto you Oliver Cowdery and also David Whitmer, that you shall search out the twelve who shall have the desires of which I have spoken; and when you have found them you shall show these things unto them. And you shall fall down and worship the father in my name, and you must preach unto the world, saying, you must repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, for all men must repent and be baptized, and not only men but women, and children who have arrived to the years of accountability”. That is what is said there.
846: You quote that to prove your position?
Yes sir, to sustain it.
847: Now is that not a revelation given to the first president of the church?
It tells in the caption to whom it was given.
848: Were they not of the first Presidency?
849: They were not?
No sir, for there was no first Presidency established then.
850: Did not Joseph Smith occupy and perform the duties of that office?
He was the first elder, but thee was no church organization then.
850: There was no church organized at that time whatever; This was in June 1829 and that was before there was a church organized to pass upon these revelations?
851: That was before there was a church organized to pass upon these revelations?
852: And yet was not the first Presidency, – were not Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery recognized by the Conferences or assemblies that convened as belonging to the first presibency?
No sir, for Oliver Cowdery was never one of the first presidency, Joseph Smith was, and Sidney Rigdon and Joseph G. Williams and others were.
853: Really was not the twelve you speak of appointed in pursuance of that revelation to Joseph Smith you speak of?
Yes sir, in a manner that is the fact.
854: In what manner, if there is any qualification to it
I would like to know what it is?
It was the result of that as a matter of course. This says so, the revelation was given to Oliver Cowdery, Joseph Smith and David Whitmer concerning the twelve.
855: Is that not in fact an instance of a revelation of the same character that you say you received and regarding which you have testified here?
I cannot say.
856: Don’t you know it is?
I cannot say, for I do not know how Mr. Smith received it. I know how I received it, -that is, I can state my own personal experience in regard to it. I can state my own experience in that regard, but when it comes to stating what Mr. Smith’s experience was it is another thing, and I would not like to take upon myself the responsibility of stating how he received it, -whether it was by the Urim and Thummim or by prophecy, or in some other manner. It does not appear on record how he received it and I cannot enlighten you.
857: Well, we will pass that Mr. Blair. Do you recognize or can you give another instance, -if you cannot, just say so?
In respect to what, please?
858: Of a revelation or prophecy of the kind which you say you received in the re-organized church, and upon the basis of which you were made an apostle?
Is that in respect to prophecy?
859: Yes sir, prophecy or revelation which has been acted upon by the church?
Yes sir, it has been very frequent in the history of the re-organized church.
860: I am asking you now with reference to the church that existed prior to the re-organized church, the church, the original church as it existed prior to the death of Joseph Smith in 1844.
I was not with it then.
861: Then how can you testify positively that the doctrines of the re-organized church and the doctrines of the original church are the same.
Simply by comparing what was written in the book of Covenants, the book fo Mormon and the bible and the history as found in the records and ordinances of the church.
862: That is your claim?
863: Well upon examination don’t you fall short of substantiating that?
864: You do not?
Not to your own satisfaction do we not. We may not satisfy you but to our own satisfaction we substantiate every thing we claim.
865: Well now do you recognize this language as ever having been used by yourself at the time, -that is in that letter we have already referred to dated at Palestine, Stake of zion, January 6th 1852?
What is it?
866: Well wait a minute and I will give it to you. Here it is. “Apostasy is denying the ruling and legal president and spokes-man of the church, Mr. William Smith and Joseph Wood, holding all the keys, power and authority of God given any man on earth, and that he rejects them, rejects the Father and the Son whom they represent, and such men deny the faith and are there-fore not to be heard by us.” Do you recognized that as your language written in that letter?
As I stated when first asked regarding that letter, it is of such ancient date, and it was published without my knowledge or consent, I cannot say about that. It has been over or nearly forty years since that letter was written, and I am not going to say that any particular thing is or is not in it. I cannot say what is int it.
867: You do not say it is not the language you used?
No sir, I do not, neither do I say it is in it.
868: Would you state that was not in it?
I would not. I have just answered that.
869: Is it not a fact that at that time you believed that William Smith held the keys?
870: You believed at that time that William Smith held the keys, – is that what you say?
Yes sir, I did.
871: Well did you believe that on testimony or evidence?
872: You did not believt it on testimony?
No sir, for we never claimed to have any testimony in regard to it.
873: Will you, in this connection, please explain what are “the keys” in connection with the faith of the re- organized church?
It signifies the right and authority to do certain things, – the same as if a man had a key and the right to go into a bank. It signifies right, power and au- thority, and that is the way we understand it.
874: Now I understand you to say that you re-construc- ted your religious views after 1852, and prior to your becoming identified with the re-organized c church, and abandoned some of the views which you had previously entertained?
875: What were they?
I do not know that it was an abandonment of any of my religious views, but I changed my opinion in respect to the Presidency of the church.
876: And in respect to the keys?
In respect to all that pertains or pertained to the Presidency. I once entertained the belief that William Smith probably, – and believed it too, – that he was the proper man to stand at the head of the church, and I came into the church under that administration, and believed it in all sincerity and earnestness to be correct, but on further investigation I found that the order of the church was against him, and against that claim, and as a consequence I repudiated it, and withdrew from the church or faction that acknowledged him as its head.
877: Well now if you had been put on the stand at that time, Mr. Blair, would you not have testified that that church held the same doctrines and tenets as the old church and was entitled and did have the succession to the old original church?
878: Would you not have testified that it held the same as the old church at that time?
No sir, I would not.
879: You believed that?
Yes sir, but I would not have testified to it, for I always claimed to know enough not to testify to that which I knew nothing about.
880: So then your claim is that you know more about it now than you did then?
881: That is your claim now?
882: Now might it not be the case that in a few years years from now you would find out that you had learned more than you know now, and you would testify that way?
883: That you would know more a few years from now than you do now about this matter, and would testify that way, – that is, you would change your testimony then to suit your increased sphere of knowledge?
884: Now then at the time you wrote this letter to which reference was made that the church you belonged to was your church?
Certainly, that was what I believed to be the church.
885: Well now is it not a fact that at the time you held these other views of which you have spoken here that polygamy was taught in Joseph Smith’s church?
I do not know sir, – In Joseph Smith’s church?
886: No sir, in William Smith’s church?
No sir it was not, it was utterly repudiated both from the platform and in private. No sir polygamy was never taught in that faction, but on the contrary it was utterly repudiated.
887: Were you acquainted with, – particularly acquainted with the history of the re-organized church?
was I? I am by reading. I suppose you mean from 1851?
888: Yes sir?
Yes sir, by reading and by personal contact I may say I am well acquainted with it.
889: Are you acquainted with the history of that organization by Tullidge?
The history as given by Tullidge?
890: Yes sir?
Yes sir. He claims to give some of the outlines, but his alleged history was never accepted by the re-organization.
891: Is not the charge of polygamy made in that history as against William Smith’s branch?
There is something to that effect in what purports to be Tullidge’s history.
892: Is that history not published by the board of publication of the re-organized church?
893: Did they not by such publication give credence to that charge?
No sir, they never did. There was certain parts of it that they never endorsed.
894: You state that as a fact?
895: The do you say that the board of publication of thr re-organized church publishes things which they know are not true?
They do not publish that as an authorized work of the church. It was published sim- ply fot what it purported to be, – Tullidge’s history, nothing more and nothing less.
896: They put it forth as Tullidge’s work?
897: Were you one of the members of that board?
Of the board of publication?
898: Yes sir?
899: Does the board of publication do its work in that way, – does it proceed in that way, – publish extracts against people of the same faith and order that are not true?
It claimed to be a matter of history and Tullidge embodied it in the work, but it was pub- lished by the board of publication on its own merits simply, and without the approval of the church. The board of publication publishes many things that are not authorized by the church, and they are published simply and solely for what they are, or what they pur- port to be.
900: Did the board of publication not employ Tullage to write that work?
He wrote it years before with the exception of the latter part of it.
901: I refer now to the history of the re-organized church? Did they not employ him to write the history of the re-organization, – that is employ Tullage to write the history of the re-organization?
Now sir. He had a work that was published in Utah, called the “Life of Joseph the Prophet”, and he brought it to Plano, – I do not now remember the year, – and wanted to dispose of it and failed to do so. He finally remod- eled it, and it was accepted simply and published as Tullage’s views and Tullage’s work, and not the his- tory of the re-organization as accepted by the church, for the church never did accept it at all. At that same time we had a man appointed as histori- an for the church and he was collating material to publish the history of the church.
902: Well was not the history of the re-organization a part of that work?
They got in some things that were a part of the history of the re-organization.
903: “They” did?
904: Where did they get it?
From various sources. They copied some from the writings of Zenas H. Gurley
905: Now when did you become a member of the re-organ- ized church?
In the spring of 1857.
906: By or under whom were you baptized?
Zenas H. Gurley, senior, baptized me.
907: At what time?
I do not remember the exact date at this time, but it was in the first days of April. Probably about the eighth I should judge. It was aboud the seventh or eighth; the record will show.
908: of what year?
909: How many people, if you remember, – were members of the re-organized church at the time that you first became connected with it?
I really could not say, but I do nor suppose over fifty or sixty.
910: Not over fifty or sixty, you say?
No sir, not that were identified with it at that time.
911: That was about the number?
Yes sir, I do not know really how many there were, but I think that was about the number. There may have been more.
912: There was not as many as one hundred?
I should not think so.
913: Well, that was in 1857?
Yes sir, in the spring of 1857.
914: How many members did the church contain at–in 1860?
915: If you know, you may state how many members the church had in 1860?
I could only give you an approximation as to the number.
914: Well, give me an approximation.
I should judge three hundred. That is spring, you mean? 915
914: Yes sir.
Yes sir, I should judge about three hundred.
916: Did they have the same rights as the present church with twenty-five or thirty thousand has?
Well, yes sir, the same rights, if I understand you. We were seeking to build upon the principles contained in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Book of Covenants, and upon the presentation of Joseph Smith and his ordination. We considered the church then in a more perfect organization that it had previously been, for before that time there was nothing but a temporary representative president.
917: Then if the reorganized church at the present time has a right to this property in controversy here in Independence, did the church as it existed in 1857 when you had but fifty members have a right to it?
918: Well, that is not an answer to my question, Mr. Blair. My question is, did the church in 1857, when you became a member of it, have the same right to the property here in Independence that the reorganized church has now?
If you want my opinion about it, I can give it.
919: Well, give it.
I will say yes.
920: Did it in 1860 have the same rights?
921: It did?
Yes sir, that is my opinion about it.
922: I will ask you this question: If to your knowledge since you have been a member of the reorganized church–since you became a member of the reorganized church in 1957, and from that time down to the present time, being as you are now in a high position in the church and a member of the board of publication and a high counselor–a first counselor
I should say, any individual from that time down to the present time styling himself a member of that church, and being now a member of the re-organized church, ever contributed one cent towards buying the property in litigation in this case?
There are scores and hundreds of the old members of the church dating back from before the time of its organization in 1830, that have since become identified with the organization, and some of the leading moneyed men did, among whom I may mention Ezra Thayer and I think William Marks was in the church prior to that. We could identify numbers more that I have been personally acquainted with who did.
923: Well I have no objection to your identifying as many as you please, and I think you have identified three?
Yes, sir and there was Authur Milligan amongst them and Catherine Salisbury.
924: is there any more?
Well sir you will have to let me put on my thinking cap, for that is going back a good way in the history of the world, and these name cannot be called up in a moment. There was Josiah Butterfield. Well sir I would not undertake to state definitely who they were unless I could go over the church record, and get the names.
925: Did any of these you have enumerated, – that is any of the parties whose names you have enumerated, pay anything towards the purchase of the property here in litigation?
I don’t know anything about it, but I know they were members of the church.
926: Did any man who is not a member of the re-organized church pay a cent towards the purchase of that property?
I would not undertake to say unless I first examined the record of names.
927: Mr Blair, now, about how many, – remember I do not ask you to state accurstely, – but in the neighborhood or how many of the members of the old church belonged to the re-organized church at the time of Joseph Smith’s ordination?
Young Joseph’s ordination?
928: Yes sir, the ordination of young Joseph?
I could not give you anything very definite as to that, but I know of a good many.
929: Well I would like to know your estimate as to the number, you can say one hundred if you please?
Well possibly one half, – well I should say there was more than one half of the membership of the church at that time were members of the old church.
930: About what proportion of the membership of the re-organized church not were members of the old church?
I could not say. I could not tell-you that, for a great many members of the old church who united with the re-organized church since 1857 have died. They were generally old people, – they would be old people in the very nature of things, and a great many of them have died since then, but notwithstanding that fact there are a good many of the members of the old church who are today members of the re-organized church.
931: Is there as many as a thousand?
I would not venture an opinion in the character of a positive or approximate statement but without investigating the matter I should say that there probably is as man as one thousand, somewhere in the neighborhood of a thousand I should say. Possibly that estimate though is too much. Probably that is too great an estimate, for upon reflection I am inclined to think that is too much, but still it may be even more than that, for I could not pretend to say as to the number.
932: Who at the present time composes the twelve apostles of the re-organized church?
Alexander H. Smith; Joseph F. Lambert; T.W. Smith; J.H. Lake; James Caffall; Heman C. Smith; William H. Kelley; Gomer T. Griffith; E.C. Briggs and Joseph Luff.
933: That composes the twelve at the present time?
934: Is there twelve now?
No sir there is only eleven at the present time.
935: Did the re-organized church ever have twelve?
No sir, not at one time. Not that I am aware of. It might have had before I became identified with it but if it did I am not aware of it.
936: How many did the old church prior to 1844 have in that quorum?
Well there was a number called to be apostles that were not enrolled in the quorum.
937: Did they not keep up the quorum of twelve?
No sir. There was times when there would be vacancies.
938: Well did they not fill these vacancies?
They filled it according to history. When the quorum was first organized they filled it I believe, but there was vacancies occurrung now and then and sometimes the vacancy remained unfilled for some time.
939: They uniformly filled them did they not?
They dilled them from time to time.
940: Was there not a full quorum at the death of Joseph Smith?
I am not positive as to that.
941: Is, or is not, the quorum of twelve an important part of the organization of the re-organized church?
942: Whether it is full or whether it is not filled, it is an important part of the organization of the re-organized church?
When the church is fully organized it is one quorum, one of the most important quorums in the church.
943: Well then, if the re-organized church has never had a full quorum of twelve, and the old church had such a quorum and kept it filled as nearly as it could, then the re-organized church is not like the old church.
We think we have kept it filled like it was in the old church as nearly as possible, – all things being considered.
944: So that is as near like it in that respect as you have been able to get like it, is it?
945: But it is not like it all the same?
Well as far as the possibilities are concerned we think it is like it.
946: Well why can’t you fill up the twelve?
Simply because it has not been indicated.
947: Now how is the twelve indicated?
Sometimes by prophecy.
948: Prophecy or revelation?
Either way, – prophecy or revelation.
949: Either way you say?
Yes sir, – sometimes, – some of them, – Briggs — I really don’t remember now how that was, but I have told you in regard to myself.
950: I know you have but I would like to know something about the rest of them?
And in respect to Edmund C. Briggs I would not be positive just as to how he was called.
951: You do not know how that was?
No sir. The history records that
952: That is all you know about the way they were selected?
No sir, for there were others that were indicated through or by means of a revelation through Joseph the president of the church. There was the revelation of 1873.
953: Now then in reference to this matter of the constitution of the twelve, has the twelve in the reorganized church been appointed in the same way as the twelve were appointed who were in existence in the original church at the time of the death of Joseph Smith in 1844?
954: Will you say they have been appointed in the same manner?
Yes sir, we think it identically the same manner.
955: Well was not the doctrine up to the time of his death that the twelve must be appointed by a revelation through the president?
956: Will you state the names of some of the original twelve who were not appointed in that way?
The first quorum of twelve were selected by Martin Harris, David Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery, according to the spirit of the revelation of God, that is according to the spirit of the revelation that God should give unto them.
957: Was that not done by means of a revelation through Joseph Smith?
It was in pursuance of a commandment delivered or given in 1829, nearly six years before the quorum was called, and before there was any church organized.
958: Now will you please state what the functions of the quorum of twelve are?
It is in relation to the preaching of the word and the disseminating the gospel abroad to all the world, first to the Gentiles and then to the Jews, and labor in the midst of the various congregations abroad in the church, outside of what we denominate the stakes. Their ministry is in respect to all spiritual affairs, the same substantially as it was in the days of Christ and the apostles, giving to them substantially the same powers in proclaiming and preaching the word that was given to the twelve apostles by Christ.
959: That was their duty and function?
Yes sir. That is the way I understand it.
960: Did their functions also include the temporal affairs of the church?
Only to watch over them and see that there is normal administration. They are not the custodians nor the distributors of the temporal affairs of the church, but they simply had a supervisory oversight over the affairs of the church in general.
961: Is it one part of the duties of the twelve in the reorganized church to take steps with reference to tithing?
Simply to see that it is properly talked abroad throughout the church and see that those who have the custody and distribution of them perform their functions in an orderly, proper manner.
962: Was that course taught in the old church?
Yes sir, we understand it was. We understand that the twelve in the church had nothing to do except it was by authority of some special act of the Conference in gathering, holding or distributing funds, and the only power or authority they had was what was delegated to them by the Conferences or General Assemblies.
963: Do they, or do they not have authority to execute the law of tithing?
We hold that the term “execute” as written there, signified they are to perform the teaching, and do that part of the execution of it that is delegated to them, and the bishopric is to do the rest of it, that is the bishopric is to do their part inholding and distributing it.
964: Is that not in accordance with the revelation of 1861?
We never so understood it.
965: You have never so understood, what about the church?
The church has never so understood it.
966: Do you recognize what I now shall show you in Exhibit J. section 114 entitled “revelation given October 7th 1861”. Please read that.
In order to place the church in a position to carry on the promulgation of the gospel, and as a means of fulfilling the law the twelve will take measures in connection with the bishop to execute the law of tithing; and let them before God see to it that the temporal means so obtained is truly used for the purposes of the church and not as a weapon of power in the hands of one man for the oppression of others, or for the purpose of self-aggrandizement by any one, be he whomsoever he may be. As I live, saith the Lord, in the manner ye execute this matter, so shall ye be judged in the day of judgement”.
967: Is that the law of the reorganized church?
968: At the present time?
969: Was that the law of the old church prior to 1844?
We understand the same principles held good there.
970: If it was the law of the old church, and the reorganized church practices and has adopted the laws of the old church, why was this revelation given in 1861?
Simply as a reminder.
971: Does it so state?
It was so understood, and we find abundant prophecies in the whole scriptures in the Bible, and some of them using the very same words.
972: Then it seems to be necessary in the reorganized church to be reminded very often of its duties?
Precisely, you have stated the situation accurately sir. It is just as it was in the days of the apostles, for as Paul says, “let him that stole steal no more”. You see in those days people had to be reminded of their shortcomings, and the people of the present are no exception to the rule that held good in his day.
973: That is a very apt quotation and I will apply it by asking you if there is any authority in Paul or any where else which authorized people, or an attempt on the part of a church to take property that they never paid anything for?
Not that we are aware of but I make that quotation to show that it is evident that there was some thieves amongst them in his day.
974: Well we will pass that but there is one or two more questions with reference to the twelve that I desire to ask you. Has any of the twelve that you have described, or eleven I believe it was, was there at any time any of the twelve in the first twelve of the reorganized church that were members of the twelve that existed in the old original church at the time of the death of Joseph Smith?
No sir, not that I am aware of.
975: Has it ever had a son of any of the original quorum of twelve in its quorum of twelve?
I do not think so, except in the person of Alexander Smith, who was a son of the chief apostle of the church.
976: Where is he now?
He was in Northern Illinois at last accounts.
977: Is he a member of the re-organized church?
Yes sir and a member of the quorum of twelve.
978: Was his father ever a member of the quorum of twelve in the old church?
No sir, not of the quorum that was organized in 1836.
979: Do you know Mr. Blair, what become of the quorum of twelve that existed at the time of the death of Joseph Smith?
Well history records the fact that Lyman Wight went to Texas, carrying quite a large section of the church with him. He remained there quite a while when he died, and that body of people most all of them came back and united with the reorganized church.
980: That is what history – you say, records of Lyman Wight?
981: Well what about some of the others?
Well William Smith was one of that quorum, and he abandoned Brigham Young and his followers at Nauvoo, I think in 1844, but possibly it was not until 1845, carrying off some of the people with him also, – not a great many, but some of them afterwards consorted with him as their leader. Then there was John E. Page who was also another member of the quorum, and I have had it from his own lips, and we get it from the general history of the church also, that he abandoned them likewise at Nauvoo, and united with James J. Strang and remained with that faction for a short time, and the others were reported to have gone to Utah. Of the ones that we to Utah I was not personally acquainted with but one.
982: There was only three that did not go west?
Yes sir that is my information.
983: The other nine went west?
Yes sir, so I am informed.
984: Went west with what is known as the Utah church?
985: Were any of these twelve alive at the time the re-organized church was organized in 1852?
Do you mean Lyman Wight, William B. Smith and John E. Page and the ones that went west with Brigham Young?
986: Yes sir?
Yes sir, part of them were alive, but I do not thing they wee all alive.
987: You do not think they were all alive?
No sir. I think Willard Richards died about 1850, and he was one of that quorum?
988: Well now Mr. Blair, if these members of the original quorum of twelve were alive at the time of the organization of the re-organized church in 1852, why we were they not entitled as members of that quorum to their place in the original church, if that church was a re-organization, or was the same as the old church?
They were not entitled to recognition simply because they abandoned the doctrine and faith of the old church of some of its vital points, – in of the old church on some of its vital points, – in other words they had apostatized.
989: Had William Smith and this man that went to Texas, I forget his name?
990: Yes sir, -had they abandoned the doctrine of the old church also?
991: Had they abandoned the original church’s doctrine also?
Yes sir, they had.
992: What tribunal ever tried them and decided that they had abondoned it?
Abondoned the doctrine, – what tribunal ever tried them and decided that question?
993: Yes sir?
I don’t know that any did.
994: Who decided it?
We did in our public record.
995: Point to the record and show it?
We decided it on the grounds that they had imbibed or practiced doctrines that were foreign to the doctrines of the church.
996: Have you a record of the re-organized church showing a formal decision of that church that this quorum of twelve had departed from its doctrines of the original church, and had thus forfeited their offices?
Only in this sense that we affirmed and re-affirmed from 1852 clear down to the present time that the doctrines of the re-organized church are the doctrines taught in the bible, the book of Mormon and the book of doctrine and covenants.
997: What edition of the book of doctrine and covenants?
The edition that was published in Nauvoo.
998: Then is it not a fact Mr. Blair, that the members of the twelve, – I should say that while the members of the twelve in the original church were alive, the re-organized church appointed another and a new quorum of twelve?
Is that a fact?
999: Yes sir, or any part thereof?
There was some of them alive without doubt at that time.
1000: That is a fact that at the time the re-organized church appointed the quorum of twelve there-were still some of the members of the quorum of twelve that existed in the old church at the time of the death of Joseph Smith, – and they were alive?
That is a fact beyond a doubt or question.
1001: Now is it a fact that the re-organized church while these members of the quorum of twelve in the original church were alive, appointed another quorum of twelve?
1002: That is a fact also?
1003: Then is the re-organized church the same as the old church in that respect?
1004: How, in what respect?
In regard to its adherence to the authority of the books that were the standards of doctrine in the old church in the days of Joseph.
1005: There was an old quorum appointed by the old church, and a new quorum appointed by the re-organized church at that time?
1006: There was two quorums of twelve?
1007: Which belonged to the old church and which to the new?
As far as their persons were concerned the ohes that were members of the old quorum with the exception of the ones I have mentioned were in Utah or the ones that were alive were there, but they had forfeited their right to act in that quorum or as a quorum by reason of their apostacy in adopting new doctrine and practicing it, that was contrary to the teachings of the church at the time of the death of Joseph Smith and prior thereto.
1008: You say they had abandoned the church?
1009: How had they abandoned the church?
They had abandoned it by abandoning its doctrine.
1010: What about the quorum in the re-organized church?
They accepted as their doctrine the doctrine taught and practiced by the re-organized church which was the doctrine of the old original church. That is the original faith and doctrine that was formulated and adopted by the original church and which had been re-affirmed and adopted by the re-organized church upon its re-organization.
1011: Well is it a fact that the re-organized church did appoint a quorum of twelve?
Yes sir, and it is a fact that it seems to me ought to be pretty well established by this time if a repetition of testimony on that point tends to establish it.
1012: Well in that respect was it like the old church?
Yes sir, they had a quorum of twelve as the old church had, or a quorum that corresponds to the quorum of twelve in the old church.
1013: And the new quorum was the quorum entitled to authority in the church?
Yes sir, for the reason as I have already stated that the old quorum had abandoned the fundamental, or I should say some of the vital questions of doctrine in the church, while the new quorum re-affirmed and stood by the doctrine in its purity as taught and practiced in the old church. The old quorum, we hold, forfeited their rights by their action, hence the necessity of organizing a new quorum of members who were steadfast in the faith.
1014: You say the old quorum had abandoned the doctrines of the church?
1015: And therefore were not competent to exercise authority?
1016: What tribunal ever decided that to be the case?
The re-organized church, and every individual in it for himself.
1017: Now there is another constituent element of the re-organized church, and that is the quorum of seventy?
1018: IS, – am I right in using the term “constituent element”?
1019: What are the functions of that element?
It is the traveling ministry sent to the world the same as in the name of Jesus, for he chose first twelve and then seventy after that, and they constituted the active gospel ministry.
1020: Did the church before the death of Joseph Smith have such a quorum?
1021: Where was it that Joseph Smith the present president of the re-organized church was ordained?
At Amboy, Illinois.
1022: Were you present at the time he was ordained?
1023: Was that in 1860 or 1861?
1024: What time in 1861?
1025: Where had been the presidency of the church between 1844 and 1860 at the time of the ordination of Joseph?
It was from 1851 up to that time simply representative. It was de facto presidency, and a representative of the presidency presided in that sense as the representative of the rightful heir, just as in recorded in the record, but the officer holding that position did not exercise the powers and functions and rights of the president excepting in matters that related to the presidency in conferences and assemblies, such as signing licences and the like.
1026: So then the church as re-organized from 1852 up to 1860 was not like the old church with reference to the presidency?
It was like it was prior to the first Presidency having been fully organized in 1832, for there was no presidency organized prior to 1832 in the former church.
1027: Where was the power prior to that time?
The power was in the quorum prior to that time.
1028: Will you state the circumstances of the ordination of Joseph Smith at Amboy at that time?
It was, do you mean just simply the ceremony of ordination?
1029: How was it done?
That is the ordination setting him apart to that office?
1030: Yes sir, the ordination to the office of presiding elder or President of the church, state how that was done?
He delivered first an address which was taken down in long-hand be the editor of the Amboy Times, and consequently is imperfect, but at the close of the address he stated to the people that if the same spirit which prompted his coming there, prompted them in receiving him he would become identified with them, and take his father’s place, and upon this a motion was made by one of the conference, I am not prepared to say by whom, but the record I guess will show, that he be received and ordained to that office and calling. It was then put upon the motion and carried unanimously, and the President of the conference, who was Zenas H. Gurley, senior, selected William Marks, Samuel Powers and myself to act with him in the ordination, and he was therefore ordained according to the formula of the church to the high priest-hood, and to the prophetic office and Presidency of the church and to the powers, authorities and rights that pertain to it.
1031: Now that is the manner of the ordination?
Yes sir, that is substantially the manner in which it was performed but of course I have not given every little detail of action and what was spoken, but that was the way it was done substantially.
1032: What was the order of that ordination?
That is as to who officiated?
1033: No sir, I believe you stated that he was ordained to three functions, now with reference to these functions what was the order of the ordination?
He was ordained first to the high priesthood, he was made an high priest first, and then immediately ordained to the presidency of the priesthood, that is to the presidency of the high priesthood and the presidency of the church, and invested by virtue of that ordination with all the powers, prerogatives and rights that belong to the position.
1043: Was that not all done at the same time, and as a part of the same ceremony?
Yes sir, it was all embraced within the same motion and was done at the same time.
1035: When was he chosen to be a hihg priest?
1036: At that same time?
Yes sir, and on the same occasion. It was all done at once.
There at that time. A member of the church did you say?
1038: At that time was he chosen a member of the church?
1039: Was he baptized at that time?
He was received upon his original baptism.
1040: When was he originally baptized?
He was received upon his original baptism as baptized by his father in 1843 or 1844, I am not sure which year it was but it was one or the other of these years, 1843 or 1844.
1041: Do you know that he was baptized at that time?
No sir, not of my own knowledge, but it was claimed to have been then.
1042: And that was the way he was received in the re-organized church?
1043: He was not baptized?
No sir, for it was not necessary. All members in good standing in the original church are received into the re-organized church on their original baptism if they are of good moral character.
1044: When was that done?
It was done upon the same occasion. Now I say it was upon that same occasion but I will not be positive but what it was the night before. I think, however, that it was upon that same occasion.
1045: After he was ordained an high priest, was he then chosen by a vote to preside over the high priests?
No sir for the reason that all the proceedings were embodied in the one motion which as I said was put and carried unanimously.
1046: Well is it not a fact that there was no motion that he be chosen to preside over the high priests after he was elected and ordained a high priest? Is it not a fact that there was no vote then taken choosing him for the Presidency, as the presiding high priest?
The motion as I now remember it was to the effect that he be received, that his claims be received, and that he be ordained to the high priesthood, and to signify that he be ordained an high priest and to the presidency thereof and to the Presidency of the church.
1047: Can any one be ordained to the Presidency of the high priesthood, unless he is first ordained an high priest?
The usage and law of the church as we interpret and apply it, is that a person may be called and ordained to an office, and then be immediately ordained to another office, and all be embodied in the same motion.
1048: Now that is the way that is done?
1049: Well I would like you to instance a case where it might be done that way?
Well for example take the case of a person called to the quorum of twelve, he may be ordained first to the office of an high priest and then following that at the same time he may be ordained to the office of apostleship.
1050: Can you legally take a vote to make a man president or presiding officer of the high priesthood unless he is an high priest himself?
1051: Answer the question?
What is the question?
1052: Can you legally take a vote to make a man president, or presiding officer of the high priesthood, unless he is an high priest himself?
We understand that a motion covering those points and endorsed by the Conference gives the authority to so act.
1053: Does it give the authority to elect as president of the high priesthood any member of the church in that manner?
1054: It does?
1055: Even though the person so proposed to be elected has not heretofore been elected an high priest?
1056: It does?
1057: And that you swear to?
I so understand it.
1058: Will you please read out of Exhibit J, what I now point out to you at page 294 in paragraph 31, towards the bottom of the page commencing at the words, “then comes the high priesthood, which is the greatest of all,” down to the words, well to the end of the paragraph?
Then comes the high priesthood which is the greatest of all; wherefore it must needs be that one be appointed of the high priesthood, to preside over the high priesthood; and he shall be called President of the high priesthood of the church, or in other words, the presiding high priest, over the high priesthood of the church. From the same comes the administering of ordinances and blessings upon the church, by the laying on of hands.”
1059: Do you recognize that as the law governing in such matters?
1060: You say you recognize that as the law governing such matters in the church?
1061: Well now under that law can a man be elected to be presiding officer of the high priesthood who is not a high priest?
He would be if he was elected.
1062: How is that, – I would like you to explain how you get around that?
We claim that the whole thing can be done by a vote or a motion. If he be a member and a motion is offerred that covers the ground, to the effect that he be ordained to the high priesthood, and at the same time cover the ground that he is to be ordained to the Presidency of the high priesthood, – we claim that it can be done in that manner, for in the motion he would first be elected to be an high priest, and the election of the party to the Presidency would be electing one from the high priesthood, for the first step taken would be his election to that position, which would place him in a position to elevation to the Presidency of the high priesthood.
1063: Do you not make that claim simply because that was the course pursued with Joseph Smith the President of the church?
We claim it to be legitimate and such is the usage of the church.
1064: That was the method of procedure followed in the case of Joseph Smith?
Yes sir, and that is the legitimate course too.
1065: Well has there ever been another occasion in the history of the church in which that course was pursued?
Well sir, I cannot say.
1066: You do not know of another single instance in which such a course was pursued?
Well sir, I cannot say what was done in the case of the primitive church because I was not with it.
1067: Has there ever been an occasion like that in the re-organized church in which that course was pursued.
I could not say.
1068: How is it since you cannot instance another occasion of that kind that you say that has been the custom and usage of the church in matters of that kind? How can you say that the custom or law in that respect in the re-organized church is not different from the custom, usage or law in the primitive church.
Now there is no instance that occurs to my mind now in that connection, – yes there is too, – In the case of David H. Smith, I think, if my memory serves me right that he was not an high priest until he was chosen to be one by Mr. Smith’s counselors, – second counselor I think it was, and I think that the usage in his case, – although I will not be positive of it, was that he was on motion of Joseph chosen to be his counselor and that he was so ordained. That is my recollection that he was on motion of Joseph chosen to be the counselor of the President Joseph Smith, and to the high priesthood, and to be his counselor, and that the motion was carried, and he was so ordained.
1069: Was that before he became an high priest?
Yes sir, I think so. I would not be positive about it, but I think so. The same usage has been followed in respect to the calling and ordaining of bishops who are required to be high priests. There has been some instances of that kind I think.
1070: Now then Mr. Blair, is it a practice in your church to defer or prefer usage in these matters in preference to the law?
In this instance We claim that it is in harmony with the spirit and genius of the law.
1071: Does that make it according to the law? You say your action was in accordance with the spirit and genius of the law? Now does that make it in harmony with the law, – does that make it according to the law.
Well according to our judgment it is.
1072: Upon what do you base that claim?
Well sir we claim that the body of the church has the right to interpret the law. That is what we claim on that matter, – we claim that the church is the highest interpreter of the law, and has the right to interpret it in applying it to these matters.
1073: You say “we claim”, – whom do you mean when you say “we claim” the church is the highest interpreter?
That is in respect to the administration of the law.
1074: Whom do you mean when you say “we do”?
1075: The whole church?
Yes sir, the organized body of the church in conference assembled, is the highest authority and has the only right to interpret the law.
1076: You mean the re-organized church?
1077: In what respect?
In respect or regard to our own affairs we claim that the church is the highest authority, – that the body of the church is the highest tribunal that can possibly be.
1078: Is that the law of the original church?
Yes sir, it was the law and the usage too.
1079: Is that higher than revelation, – is the church higher than revelation?
Revelation to be binding has to be accepted by the church.
1080: Well now do I understand you correctly to say that the church now claims the power to receive or reject revelations?
1081: Let me understand you, – do I understand you correctly when I say I understand you to say that the church now claims the power to reject revelations?
Yes sir you understand me correctly.
1082: The church now claims that power and authority?
Yes sir and always did. It has the power now just as it did in the days of Moses when the law was given at Sinai on the tables, and he had to present the statutes in the hearing of all the people, and when it was done the people said “we accept that for us and for our children”, and when that was done he dipped the hyssop in the blood and sprinkled the people, and it became a binding ordinance between God and the people of Israel. That was the law in the days of Moses, and we hold that is has held good ever since and is a very wholesome thing, – at least we think so or we would not practice it.
1083: Can the people set aside the law of God?
It is not a law of God until it is accepted by the people. They have to accept it before it can become a law of God, – that was the principle that was laid down in the very foundation of the church.
1084: Where is the principle laid down in the foundation of the church?
Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery claimed to be teachers and ministers in the church, but the same commandment said to them that they had to wait till they got the consent of the people before they could lawfully fulfill the functions of these offices. That was at the very foundation of the church that we find that law laid down in the commandment, – they were not to do these things unless they had the consent of the people.
1085: That was the law you say at that time?
Yes sir that is what the law itself says and they had to wait until the 6th day of April before they could take unto themselves these functions. That was a principle that was established at the very foundation of the church, and it has been carried out ever since. Now that is where the common consent of the body comes in, – in other words where the voice of the people comes in.
1086: Are revelations ever accepted as a law of the church without the church having adopted them?
Are they what?
1087: Are there any cases of revelations ever having been accepted by the church, or rather I should say of their ever having become a law to the church without the church having adopted them?
I cannot say as to the primitive or original church as I did not belong to it, but from what I can gather or ascertain I am pretty positive there was not.
1088: Are there any instances of the, – of a revelation becoming a law of the re-organized church, and becoming binding upon the church without the same having been first submitted to the body of the church for its acceptance?
For its adoption?
1089: Yes sir?
I do not know that there is.
1090: Do you know of any instance of that kind?
1091: Do you know of any instance on record in the books in which such was done in the church prior to 1844?
Prior to 1844?
1092: Yes sir?
The book of doctrine and covenants was accepted after that manner, and it went away back to the very foundation of the church, for it was a foundation principle. We find that in February 1831 the ministry were called together on what they would accept as the word of God, and in 1835 there were selections from the revelations compiled into the book of doctrine and covenants, and they passed from quorum to quorum, and after having gone through the quorums and received their unanimous endorsement, it went before the entire body assembled, both ministry and membership for their final acceptance.
1093: As a matter of fact are there any revelations that were or are regarded as authentic, and which are or were rules of action, that were never submitted to these tests?
Well I don’t know of any.
1094: You say you do not know of any?
1095: Look at sections 100 and 102 in Exhibit J, on page two hundred and seventy five?
1096: What revelation is that?
The revelation of February 24th 1834.
1097: Dib that revelation ever pass through the quorums?
I do not know sir.
1098: Or through the whole body?
I do not know sir.
1099: You do not know about that?
No sir, the date of it is 1834, and whether that was received in the book of doctrine and covenants and I am not positive, for I never examined it to see.
1100: You can not say as to whether or not it is in the 1835 edition of the book of Doctrine and Covenants?
No sir, – it was given in 1834 and whether it is in the book of covenants received by the church in 1835 I cannot say.
1101: Look at section one hundred and two also?
That is the Fishing River revelation.
1102: Was that ever received by the quorums?
I don’t know what it was until it was received by the re-organized church. It was endorsed manifestly by the original church fot it was published in the 1845 edition of the book of doctrine and covenants. It was published in 1845 and 1846, and the rule of the church in the very beginning was that all such documents should be received in the manner already indicated.
1103: Was it in the book of doctrine and covenants up to that time you mention?
I believe I said the 1845 edition, – I mean to say the ’35 edition, – is that the time you refer to?
1104: Yes sir?
I haven’t examined it to see. I think the Fishing River revelation is in it, but the other one I will not be certain about. I think the first one is, but the other one I would not be positive about.
1105: You think the Fishing River revelation is in it but the other one you cannot be positive about?
1106: Now is it not a sample of an authentic revelation that was not submitted to the quorums?
Whether it was submitted to the quorums or not I could not now say, for I do not remember of any historical account touching that question. I cannot say whether that was submitted to the quorums or not for that reason.
1107: Yet you make that the law of the re-organized church?
It is in the book of covenants, and therefore it is a law and rule of action in the re-organized church.
1108: Was that ever endorsed by the re-organized church?
It was endorsed by the re-organized church in 1852 in conference assembled, and it has been re-affirmed them and again since.
1109: Well was it in fact endorsed by the general assembly and all the quorums in 1852 in the re-organized church?
1110: In what manner?
It was endorsed by the entire body-that were present. It was a small body of the people it is true, but they were representative of the church, and they endorsed it, and accepted it by their official action.
1111: But it was not accepted by the quoroms formally?
I do not know whether the quoroms were organized at that time as quoroms, but the ministry were present with the people, and the whole body accepted it.
1112: Not turn to page two hundred and ninety seven of exhibit J?
Thomas B. Marsh, – section one hundred and five, – is that the one you refer to?
1113: Yes sir?
Well what about it?
1114: Do you notice the revelation there?
Yes sir, – the revelation of July 3rd 1827.
1115: Was that revelation ever accepted by the re-organized church?
1116: How was it accepted?
It was accepted in the acceptance of the book of doctrine and covenants. It was accepted in the book of doctrine and covenants in which we find it published.
1117: Was it ever accepted in the original church by the quorums?
1118: How do you know it was?
For the reason that the rule is laid down, and we find it in their publications, and it would not be there if it had not been accepted.
1119: Can you state when it was accepted?
I cannot state any time when it was formally accepted.
1120: Well turn to page three hundred and see what you get there in section one hundred and six, and also section one hundred and seven?
The history that we have of that, – the history we have of section one hundred and six is that it was presented to a conference at Far West and endorsed by that conference.
1121: What conference was that?
The General Conference of the body.
1122: That action was substituted in the place of its endorsement by the quorum was it not?
It does not state how it was endorsed, – that is what order it was endorsed in.
1123: You cannot say the manner of procedure in the endorsation of that revelation?
No sir, not farther than that it was accepted by the body at that conference.
1124: Was there one done in the same way, – another one?
In 1841 we find it published in the church organ and I am not prepared to say how it was received, nor when it was received, but we find it in the church organ published in 1841, and we find it afterwards in the book of covenants that was published in Nauvoo in, – well after that anyway at some time.
1125: What book is that in which it was published after that time?
I am not prepared to say what book of covenants it was, but it was one published after that time. I know we find it in the church organ, the Times and Seasons, but as to the formalities that were had in connection with its reception by the church I am not prepared to say, I do not know anything about that and I do not think it is recorded.
1126: That is all you know about that?
1127: Well now I will ask you this question, – does the re-organized church accept doctrines and revelations as laws and rules of action for itself without knowing when – those doctrines and rules of action were accepted, or without knowing whether they were ever accepted by the original church according to the law which you say is and always has been the law of the church in regard to the acceptance of revelation?
The re-organized church accepted the book of doctrine and covenants as it was universally published, on the theory that it had passed the examination that was provided and required for the acceptance of revelations and every thing of that nature before it could become the law of the church and binding on the church. That is the theory that the re-organized church proceeded on, – that it had been accepted in accordance with the law and usage of the church, and re-organized church re-affirmed for themselves that they accepted it as the law that was binding upon the original church, and therefore binding upon the re-organized church. Now that was first done in 1852 by the re-organized church, and has been done time and again thereafter in their general conferences.
1128: Will you refer now to page one hundred and two in Exhibit J, section nineteen, entitled “Revelation to Joseph Smith, Jr., given April 6th 1830”, and read from paragraph two?
“Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you, as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me; for his word ye shall receive as if from mine own mouth in all patience and faith, for by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you and cause the heavens to shake for your good and his names glory. For thus saith the Lord God, him have I inspired to move the cause of Zion in mighty power for good: and his diligence I know and his prayers I have heard; yea his weeping for Zion I have seen, and I will cause that he shall mourn for her no longer, for his days of rejoicing are come unto the remission of his sins, and the manifestations of my blessings upon his works.”
1129: Now what is that?
I understand it is a commandment.
1130: Is it a law of the re-organized church?
When it is endorsed it became a law.
1131: Has it been endorsed?
Yes sir. There is a qualifying clause in there, – “his words and commandments as he shall receive them from the mouth of God.” That is in effect what the revelation says, – that he is to receive them from the mouth of God, and we must be satisfied that he does receive them in that manner and until we do become satisfied that he has received them in that manner we do not accept them, and if there is any doubr we are authoeized to reject them on the principle that everything is done by the voice of common consent in the church, and there must be an agreement on the part of the ministry and the membership as to whether they accept him or reject him, – an agreement either stated or implied.
1132: Well now do you state it here as a fact that such was the case with all the revelations in the church prior to 1844?
Well we so understand it sir, for that was just exactly the provision that was had as early as 1829 and in ’31 it was again re-affirmed.
1133: Do you also unberstand that all the revelations became laws and rules of action, – that all that became such were published in the book of doctrine and covenants prior to 1844?
Well those were published that had been accepted by the church, – do you mean all of them?
1134: Yes sir, all that were rules of action for the church, and laws binding upon it, – were they all published in the book of doctrine and covenants at that time?
All were published that were general laws to the church. There may have been some special commandment or special promise, or something like that that was not published, but those that were received as the general law of the church for its general government and guidance they had to come before the entire body of the church in conference assembled and be accepted before they would become laws binding on the church.
1135: Well that don’t quite answer my question Mr. Blair but while we are on the subject I will ask you if that has been the same with all the laws that have been published since the re-organization?
1136: That has been the rule that has been followed sincs the re-organization?
1137: Did or did not Joseph Smith get a revelation in reference to the war?
Old Joseph Smith?
1138: Yes sir, old Joseph Smith?
He gave one in 1832.
1139: Was that published?
That was published.
1140: Did he give one also with reference to one might and strong who should be his successor?
There is a revelation found in history to that effect.
1141: Is that in the book of doctrine and covenants?
1142: Neither of these are in the book of covenants?
1143: Did he also have revelations concerning the names the church should bear?
History records that he did. That is it comes to us in the form of history as published in the Millenial Star, and it states that that was the first time there ever was a revelation given touching the name of the church.
1144: Is that in the book of Doctrine and Covenants?
1145: Was that not considered a revelation in the old church?
I would not say but what it was.
1146: Does the re-organized church accept that?
It has never been presented.
1147: Has the re-organized church accepted it?
We have not.
1148: —You say the re—organized church has not accepted that?
—No sir. If that history of it we have be taken as true then we might accept it, but as it is we have not.
1149: —Then you are not like the old church in that respect?
—Yes sir, we are.
1150: —No, excuse me but you are not,
1151: —Because they accept it and you do not..
—We don’t know that they did or did not. There is no evidence showing that, the old church accepted it. We would feel very grateful to you if you could show us that the old church had accepted it.
1153: —Well why don’t you accept it?
—We do not accept it for the reason that, we believe and can prove that more or less that is published in the Millenial Star is not correct. We prove it by comparing what was published in the Millenial Star with what was published in the church organ before that.
1153: —Is there not a law or commandment in the church, commanding the church to receive all of Joseph Smith revelations?
1154: —There is not—you say, such a law?
—No sir, the church was to receive only those that the church was satisfied came from the Holy Spirit.
1155: —Are you satisfied that the direction was applied uniformly?
—Manifestly it was, otherwise they would not have placed the revelations before the quorums and the church for the quorums and church to say whether they would accept them or not. That is manifestly so.
1156: —Wouldn’t the church be under condemnation did it refuse to accept the revelations of Joseph Smith?
—No sir, not if they would reject them acting on the best light they had on the subject.
1157: —Will you turn to Exhibit J, page two hundred and twenty six and read paragraph eight?
— “And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbeleef, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received, which vanity and unbelief hath brought the whole church under condemnation. And thus condemnation resteth upon all the children of zion, even all and they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given unto you, not only to say but to do, according to that which I have written that they may bring forth fruit meet for their father’s kingdom, otherwise there remaineth a scourge and a judgment to be poured out upon the children of zion; for, shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land? Verily I say unto you, nay.”
1158: —You might as well also read the next paragraph?
— “Verily, verily I say unto you, who now have my words, which is my voice, blessed are ve, inasmuch as you receive these things; for I will forgive you of your sins with this commandment, that you remain steadfast in your minds in solemnity and the spirit of prayer, in bearing testimony to all the world of those things which are communicated unto you.”
1159: —Do you recognize that?
1160: —As a law of the church?
—Yes sir. We receive it for the reason that they received it as such, —they had accepted it as such just as it is mentioned there in the paragraph.
1161: —In your cross examination Mr. Blair you were asked about the presentation and adoption of revelations by the church?
1161: —Well now I will ask you if it is not a fact that
revelations that may be presented to the proper quo–and by them to the church and still may not appear on the printed book?
How is that?
1163: I asked you if it was not possible that revelations may be presented to the proper quorums and then be presented to the body of the church and be accepted, and still not appear in the printed book?
I do not understand. Oh yes, I see what you mean. It is in some cases a question of propriety. Unless the conference should take some action upon it, and demand that they be published, that is a question that that would depend upon those who had charge of the literary concerns as to whether they would be published or not unless the conference had specially directed their publication.
1164: Is it not true that before any of them are published it requires an order from the conference?
It does in the reorganized church. What the practice in the former church was I cannot say.
1165: Now, on yesterday you were asked on cross-examination about the authority of the organization of the different quorums in the church, the Quorum of Twelve and certain other quorums. You may now point out from the book of Doctrine and Covenants, the one marked “Exhibit E,” the authority for the organization of the Quorum of Twelve, and designate the paragraphs to the reporter so that he may incorporate them in the record?
It is found in section forty-three.
1166: Read the third, fifth, and sixth paragraphs of section forty-three?
Shall I also read the caption?
1167: Yes, sir.
“Revelation to Joseph Smith, Jr., Oliver Cowdery, and David Whitmer, making known the calling of twelve apostles in these last days, and also instructing relative to building up the church of Christ according to the fullness of the gospel. Given in Fayette, New York, June, 1829.” Now you say for me to read paragraph three?
1167: Paragraphs three, five, and six.
Paragraph three is as follows: “And now Oliver Cowdery, I speak unto you, and also unto David Whitmer by way of commandment, for behold I command all men everywhere to repent, and I speak unto you even as unto Paul mine apostle, which he was called. Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God, for behold the Lord your Redeemer suffereth death in the flesh, wherefore he suffered the pain of all men that all men might repent and come unto him. And he had risen again from the dead that he might bring all men unto him on conditions of repentance. And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth. Wherefore you are called to cry repentance unto this people, and if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto the people, and bring save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my father.” That is section three, and now I will read section five–or rather, paragraph five in section forty-three. It is as follows: “And now behold there are others who are called to declare my gospel, both unto Gentile and unto Jew, yea even twelve, and the twelve shall be my disciples, and they shall take upon them my name, and the twelve are they who shall desire to take upon them my name, with full purpose of heart. And if they desire to take upon them my name with full purpose of heart, they are called to go into all the world to preach my gospel unto every creature; and they are they who are ordained of me to baptize in my name, according to that which is written; and you have that which is written before you; wherefore you must perform it according to the words which are written. And now I speak unto the twelve. Behold, my grace is sufficient for you; you must walk uprightly before me and sin not. And behold you are they who are ordained of me to ordain priests and teachers to declare my gospel, according to the power of the Holy Ghost which is in you, according to the calling and gifts of God unto men; and I Jesus Christ, your Lord and your God have spoken it. These words are not of men nor of man but of me; wherefore you shall testify they are of me and not of man; for it is my voice which speaketh them unto you; for they are given by my spirit unto you, and by my power you can read them one to another; and save it were by my power you could not have them; where fore you can testify that you have heard my voice and know my words. Paragraph six is as follows, – “And now behold, I give unto you Oliver Cowdery, and also unto David Whitmer, that you shall search out the twelve who shall have the desirea of which I have spoken; and by their desires and their works ye shall know them; and when you have found them you shall show these things unto them. And you shall fall down and worship the Father in my name; and you must preach unto the world, saying you must repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ; for all men must repent and be baptized; and not only men, but women, and children who have arrived to the years of accountability.” That is all.
1167: Now yesterday you were inquired of as to the law relating to high priests and the seventies, – the high priests and high counsel. You may now read from Exhibit E. section thirteen, paragraphs eight and ten
Paragraph eight is as follows, – “If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me and keep my commandments. And behold thou wilt remember the poor, and consecrate of they properties for their support, that which thou has to impart unto them, with a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken, – and inasmuch as ye impart of your substance to the poor ye will do it unto me, – and they shall be laid before the bishop of my church abd his counselors, two of the leaders or high priests such as he shall or has appointed and set apart for that purpose. Paragraph ten is as follow, – “And if there shall be properties in the hands of the church, or any individual of it, more than is necessary for their support after this first consecration, which is a residue, to be consecrated unto the bishop, it shall be kept to administer to those who have not, from time to time, that every man who has need may be amply supplied, and receive according to his wants. Therefore the residue shall be kept in my storehouse, to administer to the poor and the needy, as shall be appointed by the high counsel of the church, and the bishop and his counsel, and for the purpose of purchasing lands for the public benefit of the church, and buildind houses of worship, and building up the New Jerusalem which is hereafter to be revealed, that my covenant people may be gathered in that day when I shall come to my temple. And this I do for the salvation of my people.” This purports to be a revelation given by Christ.
1168: What is the date of that revelation?
February 6th, 1831. February is the real date, – the 9th day according to the history of the church.
1169: You may now turn to Exhibit J. and read that part of section 99 with reference to the organization of the high counsel, and designate to the reporter what particular part of the section you refer to?
I will read the caption, – “Minutes of the organization of the High Counsel of the church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, Kirtland, February 17th, 1834.”
It is section 99 in book marked J and section five in Exhibit E, I will read the first and the third paragraphs from Exhibit E, as follows, – The first paragraph reads thus, – “This day a general counsel of twenty-four high priests assembled at the house of Joseph Smith, Jr. by revelation, and proceeded to organize the high council of the church of Christ, which was to consist of twelve high priests, and one or three presidents, as the case might require. This high council was appointed by revelation for the purpose of settling important difficulties which might arise in the church, which could not be settled by the church or the bishop’s council to the satisfaction of the parties. Paragraph three is as follows, – “The number composing the council who voted in the name and for the church in appointing the above named counselors, were forty three, as follows; – nice high priests, seventeen elders four priests and thirteen members. The caption in Exhibit E. is the same as the caption to the corresponding section in Exhibit J. which I have heretofore read.
1170: You may now turn to section forty nine, in Exhibit E. on page one hundred and seventy nine, and read the first paragraph?
I will read the caption first, which is as follows, – Revelation to Joseph Smith, Jr., Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer, given July 1830.” The first paragraph reads as follows, – “Behold I say unto you that you shall let your time be devoted to the studying of the scriptures, and to preaching and to confirming the church at Colesville; and to perform your labors on the land, such as is required, until after you shall go to the west to hold the next conference, and then it shall be made known what ye shall do. And all things shall be done by common consent in the church, but much prayer and faith; for all things you shall receive by faith. Amen.”
1171: Now read from the same Exhibit E., section fifty-one, paragraph four?
Revelation given to Oliver Cowdery, September 1830.” That is the caption, and the first paragraph reads thus, – “Behold I say unto thee Oliver, that it shall be given unto thee that thou shalt be heard by the church in all things, whatsoever thou wilt teach them by the Comforter, concerning the revelations and commandments which I have given.”
1172: You were inquired of yesterday on the cross examination regarding the name of the church. I will ask you now to give to the reporter any paragraph of the new testament, or verse showing what the name of the church was, – the specific name of the church was to be, if you can recollect it without the book?
Well the church in the days of Jesus and the apostles as recorded in the new testament was called interchangably, “the church of God”, “the church of Christ”, “the church of the First Born”, “The churches of the saints”. That is what I recollect about it. Now do you want the text?
1173: Do you refer to the passage in the sixteenth chapter of Romans?
I do, – that is one of the passages in the text that I refer to. These names are used throughout the new testament in various connections and in various places. Do you wish the texts?
1174: The one in the sixteenth chapter of Romans is the only one that refers to that. You can give to the reporter the verse of any others?
Hebrews 12-23 “church of the First Born”, Acts 20-28, “church of God”, – 1st Corinthians 1-2, “church of God”, – 1st Cor. 28, “church of God”, – 1st Cor. 11-22, “church of God”, – 1st Cor. 15-9, “church of God”, – Galatians 1-13, “church of God”, – 1st Timothy 3-5, “church of God”, – 1st Thess. 2-14, “church of God”, – Romans 16-16, “churches of Christ”, – 1st Cor, 11-16, “churches of God”, – 1st Cor, 14-33, “the churches of the saints” it is the 33rd and 34th verses, – no the 33rd verse, – that is right, – it reads “for God is not the author of confusion but of peace as in all the churches of the saints.”
1174: I will get you to read Mr. Blair, the fourteenth and the fifteenth verses of the third chapter of Ephesians?
For this cause I bow my knees unto the father of our Lord Jesus Christ of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.” 1175 (Question and answer are missing)
1176: Now read the ninth verse of the first chapter of Revelations?
I, John, who also am your brother and companion in tribulation and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
1177: I will ask you now Mr. Blair, whether or not the words “church” and “kingdom” were used synonomously in the bible?
We so understand it.
1178: You may read now from the 16th chapter of Matthew showing the use of the two terms in that way?
Any special verses?
1179: Well yes, the nineteenth and the twentieth verses?
And I say also unto thee that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, and I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and what-soever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and what-so-ever thou shalt loose upon earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
1180: Mr. Blair, I will get you to read from Exhibit E. paragraphs one and two of section fourteen. It is on pages 125 and 126, and is dated February 1831?
Oh hearken, ye elders of my church, and give ear to the words which I shall speak unto you; for behold verily, verily I say unto you that you have received a commandment for a law unto my church, through him whom I have appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations from my hand. And this ye shall know assuredly, that there is none other appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations until he be taken, if he abide in me. But verily, verily I say unto you that none else shall be appointed unto this gift, except it be through him, for if it be taken from him he shall not have power, except to appoint another in his stead; and this shall be a law unto you, that you receive not the teachings of any that shall come before you as revelations or commandments; and this I give unto you that you may not be deceived, that you may know they are not of me. For verily I say unto you that he that is ordained of me shall come in at the gate and e ordained as I have told you before, to teach those revelations which you have received, and shall receive through him whom I have appointed.”
1181: Now you were asked in your cross examination about the method of representation of the church in conferences?
Yes sir, I was asked that question.
1182: I will ask you to look at this book marked Exhibit four, and state what it is?
It is a book entitled the “manuel of practice and rules of order and debate for deliberative assemblies in the church of Christ of, – the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, compiled by Joseph Smith and Thomas W. Smith, revised by order of conference by M.H. Forscutt, E.L. Kelley and Joseph Luff, Lamoni, Iowa, printed and published by the board of publication of the Church of Christ. 1891.” It was printed and published by the board of publication at Lamoni, Iowa, in 1891.
1183: Is that the rules of practice by and under which the re-organized church of Latter Day Saints is governed?
It is. That is the rule that prevails in all deliberative assemblies of the re-organized church, and under whose provisions it conducts its business.
1184: Does that contain the rules of representation?
1185: Commencing on what page?
The rules of representation, you mean, by delegates?
1186: Yes sir?
It is chapter sixteen on page one hundred and fifty eight.
1187: Please read them to the reporter?
“Chapter sixteen. Rules of representation. Section 175. Ex-officio members of General Conference. The General officers of the church known as the Presidency, the Twelve, the High Council, the Seventy, and the Bishopric (proper), are ex-officio members of General Conference, the entitled to a voice and vote as representatives of the spiritual authorities of the church at large. All High priests the elders are ex-officio members, entitled to voice and vote in General Conference, when present. Section 176, – District Conference Delegates to General Conference, Organized Districts are authorized to appoint at their last preceding the session of General Conference, delegates to said session of General Conference, who shall be entitle to represent said districts; which delegates so appointed shall be declared members of said General Conference, entitled to voice and vote. Then follows now they are chosen, – “The choice and appointment by said districts shall be made by a majority of those present, and voting in regular or called session of district conference, of the holding of which due notice shall have been given as to time and place within the district, together with a statement of any important business or action that is to be presented to, or likely to be had by said General session affecting said district, and to which their approval or disapproval is desired; That instructions to said delegates may be given as to their actions.” I do not know that it is necessary to read all this, for the book is in evidence.
1188: No, it is not necessary unless the gentlemen insist upon it. I will ask you if these are the rules that have been adopted for or by the re-organized church, for the purpose of obtaining the common consent of the people? That is, the common consent of the church?
Yes sir, through its delegates.
1188: I will ask you if these rules are the outgrowth of the development of the church?
1189: They are?
We esteem them as such.
1190: Well what is the fact about that Mr. Blair?
Well, we think, and so we teach, and so we practice, that the church is compared to a house, – there is the foundation, and then there is the first parts of the super-structure, and so it rises until the whole edifice is finally finished and completed. That is the way we look at it, – just as we look at the erection of a house, and we know that the foundation contemplates the erection of the super-structure. Of course I do not mean to be taken literally, but simply as using the illustration in a figurative sense.
1191: Well, we understand that?
Thus it is with the church, – one part of the super-structure contemplates other parts and so the work of construction goes on a pace until finally the completed structure appears in all its perfection, and so it was with the church, the work of organization and adjusting the various parts of the working machinary one to another was the work of time. This is the way we regard the church, and we think the illustration is an apt one, for we find it recorded in holy writ, – the bible, “the house of God.” Now these rules of representation and the like are but the means to the end of carrying out the work and facilitating the up-building of the church in harmony with the foundation principles.
1192: Look at section two of Exhibit E, paragraphs twenty-five and twenty-six, on page eighty two?
Here it is.
1193: What is the date of it?
Well it was, – history records the fact that it was a few days before the organization of the church, and the church was organized April 6th 1830, and the history of the giving of this revelation, – it is without date here, – but the history of it is contained in the Times and Seasons, is that it was given just prior to the organization of the church.
1194: Well read paragraphs twenty-five and twenty-six to the reporter?
1195: Read it as a part of your direct examination Mr. Blair?
Any member of the Church of Christ transgressing, or being overtaken in a fault, shall be dealt with as the scriptures direct. It shall be the duty of the several churches composing the church of Christ, to send one or more of their teachers to attend the several conferences, held by the elders of the church, with a list of the names of the several members uniting themselves with the church since the last conference, or send by the hand of some priest so that a regular list of all the names of the whole church may be kept in a book, by one of the elders, whoever the other elders shall appoint from time to time, – and also, if any have been expelled from the church, so that their names may be blotted out from the general church record of names.”
1196: We offer also all of chapter sixteen commencing at the top of page one hundred and fifty eight, and ending at the middle of page one hundred and sixty-two of Exhibit four, which we desire to be copied in the record as a part of the testimony of this witness beginning at the beginning of chapter sixteen? The following is a copy of chapter sixteen in Exhibit four, omitting number of chapter, – “Rules of Representation. Sec. 175. -Ex-officio members of General Conference. The General officers of the church, known as the Presidency, the Twelve, the High Council, the Seventy, and the Bishopric (proper), are ex-officio members of General Conference, and entitled to a voice and vote as representatives of the spiritual authorities of the church at large. All high priests and elders are ex-officio members, entitled to voice and vote in General Conference, when present. Sex. 176, – District Conference Delegates to General Conference. Organized districts are authorized to appoint at their last quarterly session of district conference, next preceding the session of General Conference, delegates to said session of General Conference, who shall be entitled to respect said districts; which delegates so appointed shall be declared members of said General Conference, entitles to voice and vote. 1. How chosen; Notice of choosing, etc. The choice and
appointment by said districts shall be made by a mojority of those present, and voting in regular or called sessions of district conference, of the holding of which due notice shall have been given as to time and place within the district, together with a statement of any important business or action that is to be presented to, or likely to be had by said General Session, affecting said district, and to which their approval or disapproval is desired, that instructions to said delegates may be given as to their actions. 2. Qualifications to Eligibility. The only qualifications to eligibility, to the office of delegate from district to General Conference shall be membership and good standing in the church. 3. Basis of District Representation. Each district shall be entitled to one delegate for every twenty-five members of said district, and one vote in conference for each delegate to which they may be entitled. 4. Rules and restrictions of Delegate voting. (a) The delegates present at conference from any one district shall be entitled to cast the full vote of the district of which they are delegates, unless otherwise instructed by their district conference. (b) Provided, that in case of a disagreement of views among the membership of said delegation, (the full delegation not being present), they shall be entitled to cast only their individual vote as said delegates. 5. Each delegate limited to twenty votes. No one delegate shall be entitled to cast as representative in the same conference, more than twenty votes. Sec. 177, – Representation of Branches not in Districts. Each regularly organized branch of the church not included in an organized district, shall be entitled to one delegate, who shall have the same privileges as delegates of districts. Rule for choosing of Branch Delegates. Due general notice to the members of the branch of the time and place of meeting for the choosing of said delegate shall be properly given, as in case of districts. Sec. 178, – Certificates of appointment required. Delegates shall be entitles to act as such as herein-before provided upon presenting certificates of appointment, signed by the presidents or clerks of districts or branches appointing them. Sec. 179, – Instructing Delegates; Number of votes to be cast by; Tie votes, etc. – 1. In all cases of grave importance, affecting the polity and faith of the church, districts and branches may instruct delegates to cast a majority and minority vote for and against; – 2. But in no case shall the number of the votes cast by said delegates so instructed, exceed the number to which the district appointing shall be entitles, as hereinbefore rpovided. 3. And in case of a tie in districts or branches, on questions presented to them, certified to said delegates the votes of said districts or branches, shall be cast in equal numbers by the delegates. Sec. 180, – Organization and Membership of Delegate District Conferences. Districts may organize their sessions of conference agreeably to the above rules, by providing for delegate conferences, of which the basis of representation shall be one delegate for each six members in each branch or fraction thereof. Districts may constitute priests, tea- 333 chers and deacons as members of their conferences, as well as the elders, if they choose.”
1197: I will get you to explain, Mr. Blair, the use of quorums in a church, or in the church?
They are organized for the purpose of aelf-instruction, and to facilitate the carrying into effect of the doctrine and laws and usages of the church.
1198: I will ask you Mr. Blair, what body of the people it was in 1830 that were organized by Joseph Smith, Jr. as he was called, which from that time on up to 1834 called themselves by the various names of the “church of Christ”, “the Church of God”, and various other titles or names?
It was the same body.
1199: It was the same body?
Yes sir, according to the history it was the same body of people as we learn from the church organs and from personal contact with the membership.
1200: What membership?
The membership of the body that composed or constituted the church called the church of Latter Day Saints, and the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
1201: Was that the same body of people that afterwards in 1834 called themselves the church of Latter Day Saints?
Yes sir, according to the church organ it was.
1202: Was that the same body of people that afterwards in 1838 and up to 1844, maintained an organization, and called themselves the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints? Called themselves by the title and maintained an organization and their head-quarters at Nauvoo, Illinois?
Such is the history of it as it is contained in the church organs and by common rumor, or the common report of its membership.
1203: is that the same church organization, – the same body of people who had maintained an organization here in Independence Missouri in 1831 – 2 and 3?
1204: The same body of people who were, or had an organization at Far West in Caldwell County, in the state of Missouri?
Yes sir, the same.
Yes sir, after they were at Independence here.
1206: And the same body of people that afterwards went from Far West, Missouri, to Nauvoo, Illinois?
1207: Was it the same body of people of which the re-organized church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the successor?
So we understand it. It was or is composed of members from that body or was at the re-organization largely composed of members from the church as it existed prior to 1844.
1208: Now a new exhibit has been placed in testimony here called Exhibit “four”?
1209: Entitled a Manual of Practice and Rules of Order and Debate for Deliberative assemblies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, complied by Joseph Smith and Thomas W. Smith, revised by order of Conference by M.H. Forscutt, E.L. Kelley and Joseph Luff,” and printed at “Lamoni, Iowa”, – “printed and published by the board of publication of the Church of Christ, 1891.” Is that correct?
Yes sir. I think you have stated the title or caption correctly.
1210: Does this represent the re-organized church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?
1211: Were you privy to the preparation of this Exhibit “four”?
What is that? I do not understand the question.
1212: Were you privy to the preparation of this exhifit marked “four”? That is the question, – were you privy to its preparation?
That is, with reference to knowing that such a work was being prepared?
1213: Yes sir?
1214: Did you know anything about it as its preparation went on?
Well I know something about it.
1215: Can you state why they styled it the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints”, and left off the word “re-organized”?
No sir, I cannot say, unless it was that it was done, – I can’t say.
1216: Can you tell why they called it the “Church of Christ” and say it was published by the board of publication of the “Church of Christ” and leave off the “re-organized” and the words “Latter Day Saints”?
Yes sir, I think I can.
1217: Well why was it put that way?
Because it is in accordance with the usages of the bible and the book of Mormon and the cook of Covenants, for the terms there used are synonomous with the Church of God. They are used synonomously, or interchangably with the “Church of God”, the “Church of Christ”, the “Church of Jesus Christ”, and the “Church of Latter Day Saints.” All of these names are used in the book of Mormon, and the term is an abbreviated form of the church of Christ.
1218: That is your explanation of the reason why it is styled that way in there?
Yes sir, that is the reason, I think.
1219: Can you tell the precise date at which this book was prepared, or anything like the precise date?
The documents composing it, – for it is a compilation, well there was a former issue of it, and the former i issue was accepted by the church in its conferences. I cannot tell you just when it was prepared, – that is the first issue of the book, but at any rate the board of revisions was appointed, and they submitted the matter they had compiled in the revision to the last conference that was held.
1220: At what conference was that?
The General Conference that was helt at Kirtland, Ohio, – at that con- ference those elements were discussed, and upon motion and vote they were adopted.
1221: Do you mean to say that the manuscript from which this book was printed was submitted to the last con- ference at Lamoni, Iowa?
No sir, not there, – it was at Kirtland, Ohio.
1222: Kirtland, Iowa?
No sir, Kirtland, Ohio.
1223: All of it, just as it is published here?
Yes sir, we understand that it was presented there.
1224: Have you the minutes of the conference at Kirtland Ohio, at which that was done?
1225: You have not those minutes?
I have not, – not here with me.
1226: Do you recognize the pamphlet which I now hand you as being a pamphlet containing the report of those minutes?
1227: Will you please turn to the place in that pamphlet at which these proceedings are found detailed as they occurred there?
That is, the revision or amendments.
1228: Yes sir?
You will understand that the book was published prior to this time.
1229: How is that?
I saw you will understand that the book was published prior to this, and what was done there was simply to consider the amendments.
1230: Well turn and see what the conference did in reference to that?
Is this it “Kirtland, Ohio”, – on page sixty three?
1231: Well, I presume it is, – read it and see if that is it?
“The committee on revising the book of rules as appointed by the last Conference, reported as follows: – Kirtland, Ohio, April 11th 1891. Messers President and Brethren: – We, your committee on revision of the book of rules, submit therewith as our report two books out and pasted on slips ready for printer’s hands, or to be made ready by us if accepted by you. To these, and on the margin of them, we gave entered proposed corrections. These are chiefly changes in tense or case over-looked in first compilation, and a few transpositions. We have made no changes except grammatical ones, not feeling authorized to make others, but we suggest the following changes for your consideration. 1st, – That so far as may be possible or practicable, the subject matter of each paragraph be published on the top there of as a sub-heading, so that the especial features of each division of a subject may be more readily apprehended without reading the entire section or chapter. To provide for these we have supplied sub-headings. (P 17) 2nd, – To section 27, paragraph 4, we suggest the addition of a clause, giving to the secretary the right to an assistant secretary, or clerks, (P 29) 3rd, – To section 51, we suggest the addition of a paragraph, or clause that shall prevent the obstruction of business, which in its present form, it is possible to accomplish by continuous demands for the repeating or reading of a proposition before the assembly. (4th is missing) 5th, – We further suggest that as the note, giving the rule in the house of Representatives really gives the rule giving precedence of motions, that the words “to refer” follow “to commit”, and that the note become section 54 of the Book of Rules. 6th, – We have also indicated the places where we think an understanding of the several parts of a section or a paragraph would be promoted, and the right use of them facilitated by division and sub-division into parts that shall contain one distinct proposition, or proper division of a proposition only, wherever practicable. 7th, – We also suggest the addition of some statements in connection with privileged and incidental questions and subsidary motions, that shall make the meaning, object , scope and effect of these questions more clear to those unfamiliar with parliamentary law and usages, and more readily apprehensible to all. These additions your committee has supplied. 8th, – We suggest that a list of Privileged Questions, of Incidental Questions, and of Subsidary motions, be inserted and in the order in which they take precedence of each other. 9th, – There being clearly a difference of views held by the ministry respecting the officers of a branch, some contending for one priest, one teacher and one deacon only as constituting the proper aids to a branch President under the law, – if that President be an elder, and others contending for a plurality of these officers, if they are deemed necessary, your committee ask that conference determine this question. Section 4, 3 and 164 are involved in this decidion. 10th, – Your committee suggest that in connection with this question of the number of branch officers of the Aaronic order, that there be inserted in the Book of Rules a distinct statement that in the absence of the presiding Elder, the priest of the branch shall have the right to preside, whatever other elders are present: so if the branch elder and priest be absent, the branch Teacher shall have the right to preside, whatever elders and priests may be present; so likewise if the branch elder, priest and teacher be absent, the branch Deacon shall have the right to preside. 11th, —We suggest that in the call for the yeas and nays as provided for in section 119, a clause be added that the call shall not be entertained unless, in a General Conference, it be made by five members of the body, nor in a district Conference, unless it be made by three members of that body Conference; nor in either case unless it be made prior to the taking of a negative vote upon a question. 12th, —A portion of your committee believing that the amendment by a former conference of the rule governing the actions of a branch on receiving the decision of an Elder’s Court, whereby the right to reject the findings of the court is conceded to the branch, has wrought injury by causing contentions in branches, suggest that the conference re—consider that resolution. Respectfully submitted by your committee Mark H. Forscutt. E. L. Kelley. Committee. Joseph Luff. The committee recommend that the rules of Representation be published in the Book of Rules in the amended form in which they are published in the Herald, with such other amendments as conference at this session shall provide. The committee as such has no the work assigned them. M. H. Forscutt. Chairman. After reading it was decided to take it up section by section, Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 11 were adopted without amendment. Section 5 was divided into paragraphs. The first and second one were adopted without discussion the third was opposed by Brn. W. H. Kelley, Salyards, H. C. Smith, J. H. Wells and F. M. Sheehy. It was supported by Brn. Pitt, Robinson, Forscutt, Hulmes, Hilliard and Crabb. The measure was lost by a vote of 39 against and 17 for. Sections 1 & 10 were referred to the First Presidency for report at this conference. Section 12 was re—committed. Section 13 was referred subject to report. Brn. J. H. Peters, Joseph Luff and M. H. Forscutt, the committee on auditing Herald accounts, presented their resignation, a and it was accepted. That is all of it.
1232: —Do you find anything there giving this title page which has been read here?
—The title page was on the former, —I think the title page was with the exception of the words, —well the title page was on the former work before it was amended the same as it is here.
1233: —Where is that old work, —the rules of honor (???)?
—We have scores of them at the office.
1234: —Do you say this title page is the same as that?
—Essentially the same.
1235: —It is essentially the same, you say?
—Yes sir, we think it is essentially the same.
1236: —Is it verbally the same?
—I would not say for the reason that I never compared it.
1237: —Well the old book of the Rules of Order and Debate, etc, which you had, when did you say it was prepared?
—Well the preparation of it began I think as early as about ’76, and then after that from time to time there was some amendments added as endorsed by the church at its conferences.
1238: —Was that book in existence prior to 1876?
—I would not say just as to what the date of it was. I cannot say as to the exact date of its first preparation.
1239: Was it in existence prior to 1844?
1240: It was not a book of the church prior to 1844? That is, a book authorized by the church prior to 1844?
No sir, I think not.
1241: Then I believe you say that the book of order, etc and Manual of practice which you present here is a development? I believe you so stated on your re-direct examination, or you direct examination, I forget which?
Yes sir, we regard it in that light, and it is the outgrowth of the necessity for something in that nature in the church in the same manner as the rules of Congress or any other parliamentary body are the natural out growth of the necessity for having something to regulate the proceedings of such a deliberative body.
1242: Does not this book here called the Rules of Honor (???) purport to lay down rules of representation of the various branches in the conference?
So far as delegate representation is concerned it does.
1243: It does?
1244: In what way?
It exhibits to us what we deem the best methods by which the voice of the body can be got before the general assemblies or conferences.
1245: Does not delegate representation owe its existence to the rules that are to be found on this work?
No sir, it does not.
1246: Where does it take its origin, if not there?
We find the principle in section seventeen of the book of Covenants, where it is declared that the – churches shall send delegates, – send priests or teachers, etc. to represent them.
1247: Does that declare that they shall be represented as laid down here?
It contemplates the same principle.
1248: Does it declare that it shall be the same system of representation as is laid down in this book, – Exhibit “four”?
Well that is just a practical application of that principle.
1249: Will you answer my question Mr. Blair?
That is what I am trying to do.
1250: Well that is just what you are not doing?
What is the question?
1251: Were these elaborated rules in existence prior to 1844?
They had their rules for governing the church, – for governing their assemblies.
1252: Did they have these rules, – these identical rules?
The principles embraced in there we understand has been the practice of the church from the very first right down to 1844.
1253: Do you know of any rule or practice in that church prior to 1844 for instance, that had this provision in it, that I find on turning to section one hundred and eighty on page one hundred and sixty two entitled representation, – no, entitled “Organization and membership of Delegate District Conferences”, and which goes on and states that” districts may organize their sessions of conference agreeably to the above rules by providing for delegate conferences, of which the basis of representation shall be one delegate for each six members in each branch or fraction thereof. Districts may constitute priests, teachers and deacons as members of their conference as well as the elders, if they choose.” Now what I ask for, is this rule to be found anywhere in the books governing the church prior to 1844?
The principle is found in them.
1254: I am not asking you anything about the principle, I am asking you if that is to be found in any of the books that were authorities in the church prior to
1844? Now that is the question and nothing else, and I would like you to answer it Mr. Blair if you can, and if you cannot say so?
That was not compiled I think until 1876 in the form it is there, but the principle found in there we understand to permeate the church, the apostolic church, and the church in the book of Mormon right down to 1844, – that is to say in the church right down to 1844.
1255: Were the conferences of the church prior to 1844 composed of members elected as is provided in the paragraph which I have just read?
Conferences were composed of members that were sent up from the various parts of the United States and elsewhere, – sent up by various congregations, as well as those who chanced to live where the conference was being held.
1256: I believe you admit that this book is a development, and that there is more in reference to these matters regarding representation, than there was on the same subject in any of the old books?
Yes sir it may be fuller, and probably is in its details, but it is simply the same principles formulated into specific rules so that the people may learn what they are and become familiarized with them, and therefore when they meet in assemblies or conferences the knowledge may tend to facilitate their work and act more in harmony by reason of the fact that there is a rule to govern them in their deliberations, as to the form and manner of procedure.
1257: That is your explanation of it?
1258: Now here is a chapter on page one hundred and sixty two, and it is chapter seventeen, in this exhibit “the articles of association”,
1259: Well we will see whether it is or not. Now then is this chapter seventeen entitled “articles of association” on page one hundred and sixty two, a part of the book in which it appears?
It is in a manner.
1260: In what manner?
It is within the lids of the books.
1261: And it has the same authority back of it that the other parts o the book have?
It has in its place. It is bound in the same book, for it was decided that they be printed in the same book, and it was endorsed away back, I don’t remember just the date of the articles of incorporation, but it was back in Illinois at an early date, and this provides that they shall be inserted in the same book with the rules of order and debate for the government of assemblies.
1262: This is the authority of the Conference for the incorporation of the church, – this chapter seventeen entitled “articles of association”?
I don’t know that it is.
1263: What is that chapter if it is not that?
It is the chapter setting forth the article of incorporation, but I have not read it.
1264: Was that chapter authorized by the conference?
The articles of incorporation was authorized.
1265: Well is that chapter the articles of incorporation?
I believe so, but I have not read it to see.
1266: Can you tell whether it is or not?
I can tell by reading.
1267: Well read it or examine it and say how that is?
1268: Well how did that conference of 1891 authorize the incorporation of the church?
It had been incorporated before that.
1269: I know that, but did it authorize or direct incorporation?
No sir, but it authorized the insertion of these articles of incorporation in the book of rules.
1270: Well did it, or did it not, endorse these articles of association, and make them a part of the book of rules?
1271: What do you say to that?
I do not think I comprehend the question.
1272: Did it or did it not endorse them?
They have been endorsed time and again, and the conference authorized the putting of them in that book.
1273: Endorsed by whom?
By the entire conference upon due notification.
1274: Was the original church ever incorporated?
I could not say.
1275: Is the reorganized church incorporated now?
1276: Well were they precisely alike in that respect?
I could not say, but it is stated that they were incorporated according to the laws of the land, but as to the history of it I do not know anything much about that.
1277: Is there any law of the church that authorized incorporation under the civil laws of the land, that is, the incorporation of a church under the civil laws of the land?
This section seventeen of the Doctrine and Covenants (exhibit E.) paragraph one, reads as follows, “The rise of the church of Christ in these last days, being one thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the flesh, if being regularly organized and established agreeably to the laws of our country, by the will and commandments of God, in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month which is called April; which commandments were given to Joseph Smith, junior, who was called of God, and ordained an apostle of Jesus Christ to be the first elder of this church; and to Oliver Cowdery, who was also called of God an apostle of Jesus Christ to be the second elder of this church, and ordained under his hand; and this according to the grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ to whom be all glory, both now and forever, Amen.” That is the first paragraph of section seventeen in this Exhibit J., I said “E” a while ago but it is exhibit J, from which I have quoted; and you will observe it says there “organized and established agreeably to the laws of our country” and I take it when the laws of our country require incorporation we are authorized to so incorporate according to this.
1278: Now Mr. Blair, do you undertake to say here that an organization of the church by virtue of the law, and an organization of the church agreeable to the law, are the same thing?
State that question again, please?
1279: I say, do you undertake to say that an organization of a church by virtue of the law, and the organization of a church agreeable to the law, are equivalent expressions, and mean the same thing? Do you undertake to say that Mr. Blair?
Well no, they would not necessarily be, but this paragraph that I have read covers the ground of both because it not only sets forth that it was established and regularly organized and established according to the laws of the country, but that it was done also by the commandment of God.
1280: There is nothing in the organization or constitution of your church is there, in contravention of the laws of the land?
No sir, we claim there is not.
1281: Well, was there prior to this incorporation?
Not that we are aware of.
1282: Was there anything prior to the incorporation of this plaintiff, -that is the plaintiff in this case?
Nothing that I am aware of. That is, not in Illinois or Iowa, or any of these central or eastern states. I do not know what the law is in this state so I cannot say.
1283: Now that you, -that which you have just read, and which has been taken down by the reporter from the book of Covenants, -according to that it is authoritative for the Church of Jesus Christ, -I should say the Re-organized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to incorporate in the state of Iowa, or under its laws?
I can answer that last question by reading this, -“The rise of the church of Christ in these last days being one thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the flesh, it being regularly organized and established agreeably to the laws of our country by the will and commandment of God.” Now that is the only answer I can make, for we believe it just as it stands there.
1284: Now is the civil government necessary to the existence of the re-organized church?
Well that would be owing to circumstances, we do not understand, however, that it is. We understand that there is no conflict between the two. We understand that the civil law provides for the organization of religious bodies or churches and inasmuch as the church is now to be subject to the laws of the land and to its civil rulers, there is a necessity that we should comply with the requirements of the laws of the land in regard to such things.
1285: Does what you have just stated or read require that you should incorporate under the laws of Iowa, or any other state?
Yes sir, I understand that it was so under the law and commandment of God.
1286: You understand it was done by the will and command of God?
1287: Where is that command to be found?
Right there in that paragraph I have read, – paragraph on of section seventeen in exhibit J.
1288: Was that ever accepted?
Yes sir, it was endorsed by the first church, and it han been also endorsed by the re-organized church.
1289: Then do you regard the Re-organized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, of which you are the first counselor to the president, an incorporation under the laws of the state of Iowa?
1290: Well if it is an incorporation under the laws of the state of Iowa, is it not subject to the laws authorizing such incorporations?
What is the question?
1291: If it is an incorporation under and by virtue of the laws of the state of Iowa, – I ask the question again, – don’t these laws control it?
It simply provides that the church shall subject itself in these respects to the laws of the land, and as the laws of Iowa require that all religious orders or denominations shall be incorporated within the jurisdiction of its laws, the church incorporated in obedience to that law as they are directed to do in that paragraph I read, and I take it that the church is required to yield obedience to the laws of the land, whatever part of the world it may be in.
1292: If these laws that you speak of in the state of Iowa, require or authorize incorporation, is not an incorporation made there subject to these laws, and will it not be governed by them?
So far as these laws affect it we are bound by them. We are bound by these laws, I take it, within their jurisdiction, for we are commanded to be subject to the laws of the land, and that is an injunction or commandment that has been from the very first repeated time and again.
1293: Then are not these laws of the state of Iowa, under which the church was incorporated, or has been incorporated, – wouldn’t they become a part and parcel of the laws of the church?
1294: If you adopt them and incorporate under them, don’t that action govern the church?
So far as they relate to the matter of organization under the incorporation they do.
1295: Then have you not transformed the record of your church from the principles that before prevailed, and adopted the principles laid down by the state of Iowa for its government, – that is, for the government of the church?
1296: You have not?
No sir, – no more than in the days of Paul, when he said “be subject to the powers that be”, – no more than when Jesus said “render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things which are God’s”.
1297: When was this commandment received?
Having endorsed this commandment which commanded us to do all things in accordance which the laws of the land, we found it was necessary to comply with it as we had endorsed it, and we found it was necessary to incorporate for the reason that the laws of Iowa required it in regard to incorporation.
1298: Then this incorporation has been made in pursuance of a commandment?
1299: When was this commandment given?
I think it was in 1830.
1300: What time in 1830?
I think it was two weeks or such a matter before the church was organized.
1301: Do you mean to say that in 1830 a command was given that you should incorporate the reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at Lamoni, Iowa, in 1891?
Understand, sir, that the principle was and is laid down here, and it is a principle that the original church accepted, as well as the reorganized church time an again, that the church was organized and should comport itself in obedience to the laws of the land wherever it should be located. We have accepted that as a part of the law for the government of the church by endorsing this commandment, or rather the book of which it forms a part. We have endorsed the book in which we found it, and therefore found ourselves under the necessity of obeying the command as it is there found, and under the principle as it is there laid down.
1302: Do you mean to tell us that you have a commandment telling you that you must organize under the provisions of a certain chapter of the statutes of Iowa, providing for the organization and government of private corporations?
The commandment demanding the organization of the church or the government of the church in reference to its organization does not mention anything about Iowa, Missouri, Illinois or any other state whatever, and there is no reference in the paragraph of the commandment in reference to that matter whatever.
1303: Were there laws under which you have organized the church in existence in 1830 or in 1852?
We understand it was of a general nature.
1304: Were these laws of the state of Iowa under which the reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, has incorporated, in existence at the time that authority from which you quote was accepted by the church?
I do not know of my own knowledge.
1305: Well, historically do you know?
No sir, for I am not conversant with the code of Iowa, and so I cannot say as to when those laws went into effect, or when they were enacted. I cannot say as to that, or as to the date of the enactment of the laws touching the organization of religious bodies. I would suggest, if you desire to ascertain that fact that you put Mr. Kelley on the stand, as he can probably tell you.
1306: Well I have you on the stand and when I get through with you I will consider your suggestion. Now answer me this question, was Iowa a state in 1830 or 1835? Was it a state at all at that time?
I think not. I think it was a territory.
1307: Then it could not have referred to the laws of the state of Iowa at the time that commandment was given to subject yourselves to the laws of the land, or as I believe it is put, to organize and regulate yourselves agreeably to the laws of the land, – it could not have been the laws of the state of Iowa that were referred to?
No sir, it meant as we take it, and I think there cannot be any question about it, – that it was the law of the land the church might find itself in, whether it was the state of Iowa or any other state or country.
1308: Answer the question, – it could not have been the laws of the state of Iowa?
No sir, for I think at that time Iowa was a territory, and what the territorial laws were at that time I could not say, nor do I know what they had any touching the subject.
1309: Well do you undertake to say that it refers to the territorial laws of Iowa when it was a territory or the laws of Iowa enacted after it became a state?
You will persist in misunderstanding me, Colonel, – I do not say that it had special referenca to the laws of Iowa, – I say that it refers as we understand it to the laws of any country at any time and in any place here the church may find it self located, and the principle taught is that of obedience to the laws of the country, it matters not what the country is where the church is planted and where an organization is to be effected for the purpose of carrying on the church work, then the principle or command is applicable there at that place. Now that is our understanding of it.
1310: Do you mean to say that a church cannot organize unless it organizes as a corporation?
As a religious body it can organize for church purposes, – for purely religious purposes, – but in this commandment to the effect that we establish and organize ourselves in compliance with the terms of the laws of the land it is meant as we understand that when there is a law regulating the organization of religious bodies that we shall comply with it, – that is, with the provisions of the civil law. 1310 (Listed as a second 1310 question and answer)
1310: Do you undertake to say that because Iowa had laws authorizing the incorporation of a church, that you were compelled to organize?
We certainly understood that it was our duty to do it.
1311: You were commanded to do it? Is that it?
We were and are commanded to be subject to the powers that be.
1312: And that was as early as 1830?
It was as late as 1830, – and it was before the church was organized. It was in June 1829.
1313: Was there any other incorporation of the re-organized church besides the one in Iowa?
1314: How many?
There has been various incorporations.
1315: Was there ever an incorporation of the church prior to the death of Joseph Smith?
I cannot tell you, – but this declares there was.
1316: Well if it declares there was, don’t it declare a falsehood? If it declares there was an incorporation of the church before the death of Joseph Smith does it not declare a falsehood?
Not that I know of.
1317: Well now will you show any authority anywhere to the effect, or showing that the church was incorporated prior to 1844 under the laws of any state?
Prior to 1844.
1318: Yes sir.
I am not posted in regard to that. But I will see. Now here in Exhibit J, section forty four, paragraphs one and two, it says, “Behold thus saith the Lord unto you my servants, it is expedient in me that the elders of my church should be called together from the east and from the west, and from the north and from the south, by letter or some other way. And it shall come to pass that inasmuch as they are faithful, and exercise faith in me, I will pour out my spirit upon them in the day that they shall assemble themselves together. And it shall come to pass that they shall go forth in the regions round about, and preach repentance unto the people; and many shall be converted, insomuch that ye shall obtain power to organize yourselves according to the laws of man, that your enemies may not have power over you, that you may be preserved in all things, that you may be enabled to keep my laws, that every band may be broken wherewith the enemy seeketh to destroy my people”
1319: Now do you interpret that to mean that they, that you should go and incorporate according to the laws of any state?
Yes sir, where the laws of the state require it.
1320: That is the interpretation you put on that paragraph?
Yes sir, and that is what it is, that they should in all cases act in accordance with the laws of man, which is the law of the land we take it.
1321: This is what I want to know, do you mean that to say they shall incorporate under the laws of the state? There can be no such an interpretation put upon that?
Well that is where we differ, for we think there can be no other interpretation put on it than what I have stated, and that is that the church was to comply with the laws of the land wherever it might be located.
1322: Do you undertake to say that the laws of the state of Iowa require the reorganized church of Latter Day Saints to incorporate?
What is that?
1323: I asked you if you undertook to say that the laws of the state of Iowa required the reorganized church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to incorporate?
I cannot say.
1324: You do not then pretend to assert that that is a requirement of the laws of the state of Iowa?
I do not pretend to say whether it requires it, or whether it permits it simply. I do not say how it is.
1325: If you incorporated under the statute, incorporated your church under the statute, does not that statute become the law of your church?
No sir, it does not necessarily become a law in the church, but it becomes a law governing the church so far as the incorporation is concerned, that is, a law governing the church in the administration of the temporal affairs of the church, but not the spiritual affairs of the church.
1317: Well now will you show any authority anywhere to the effect, – or showing that the church was incorporated prior to 1844 under the laws of any state?
Prior to 1844.
1318: Yes sir.
I am not posted in regard to that. But I will see. Now here in Exhibit J. section forty four, paragraphs one and two, it says, – “Behold thus saith the Lord unto you my servants, it is expedient in me that the elders of my church should be called together from the east and from the west, and from the north and from the south, by letter or some other way. And it shall come to pass that inasmuch as they are faithful, and exercise faith in me, I will pour out my spirit upon them in the day that they shall assemble themselves together. And it shall come to pass that they shall go forth in the regions round about, and preach repentance unto the people; and many shall be converted, insomuch that ye shall obtain power to organize yourselves according to the laws of man, that your enemies may not have power over you, that you may be preserved in all things, that you may be enabled to keep my laws, that every band may be broken wherewith the enemy seeketh to destroy my people.
1319: Now do you interpret that to mean that they, – that you should go and incorporate according to the laws of any state?
Yes sir, where the laws of The state require it.
1320: That is the interpretation you put on that paragraph?
Yes sir, and that is what it is, – that they should in all cases act in accordance with the laws of man, which is the law of the land we take it.
1321: This is what I want to know, – do you mean that to say they shall incorporate under the laws of the state? There can be no such an interpretation put upon that?
Well that is where we differ, for we think there can be no other interpretation put on it than what I have stated, and that is that the church was to comply with the laws of the land wherever it might be located.
1322: Do you undertake to say that the laws of the state of Iowa require the re-organized church of Latter Day Saints to incorporate?
What is that?
1323: I asked you if you undertook to say that the laws of the state if Iowa required the re-organized church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to incorporate?
I cannot say.
1324: You do not then pretend to assert that that is a requirement of the laws of the state of Iowa?
I do not pretend to say whether it requires it, or whether it permits it simply. I do not say how it is.
1325: If you incorporated under the statute, does not that statute become the law of your church?
No sir, it does not necessarily become law in the church, but it becomes a law governing the church so far as the incorporation is concerned, – that is, a law governing the church in the administration of the temporal affairs of the church, but not the spiritual affairs of the church.
1326: Then it is a law governing the church?
So far as the incorporation is concerned it is.
1327: Well has not the church by that incorporation, made the act of incorporation its law?
No sir, not the way I look at it, they have simply accepted it and acted in conformity with the requirements of the laws of the land, and I cannot see that it necessarily follows that by so doing they have made it their law.
1328: Has it not accepted and made the laws of the state by this act of incorporation, its own law?
No sir, not in respect to the church as far as the spiritual concerns of the church is concerned, for it is simply a compliance with the laws of the land touching the question of incorporation so as to place the church in harmony with the laws of the land.
1329: Is it not your understanding that all other denominations have been incorporated in Iowa under the provisions of that same law?
I cannot say.
1330: Do you undertake to say that this law was made for your church to incorporate under?
1331: Then if the reorganized church has made a law of the state of Iowa its rule of action, has it not adopted a rule of action that never prevailed in the church prior to 1844 at the time of the death of Joseph Smith?
I understand that the commandment that I have already read is a general commandment applicable to the church in all places and under all nations and under all circumstances, so far as organization or incorporation under the laws of the nation or place where the church may be located is concerned, and which is provided by these nations.
1332: Are not your answers to my questions uncandid, unfair, evasive, and not responsive to my questions?
I do not esteem them so.
1333: You do not?
1334: Now Mr. Blair, can you tell me what authority the laws of the state of Missouri gives your church over the control of property in the state of Missouri?
I cannot do so sir.
1335: You cannot tell that?
No sir, I cannot for the reason that I do not understand the laws of Missouri. I do not know what the laws of Missouri are, and that is a question to be determined hereafter, – that is what there is in the case I suppose.
1336: Now is it not a face, Mr. Blair, that this very book here, – Exhibit “four” that we have here in evidence and from which both sides have read and quoted at some length, – is it not a fact that this book was prepared with especial reference to this case being brought in which we are now engaged in taking testimony?
I never heard of such a thing.
1337: Do you swear that this book was not prepared with special reference to this very case that we are now engaged in taking testimony in, and with a special reference to be used on this trial?
I never heard of such a thing sir, and I say that I never even thought or dreamed of such a thing at the time it was prepared nor for many years afterwards.
1338: I may have asked you this question before and possibly you have answered it, but if so I do not recollect ever having asked you, but if I have I hope you will pardon my asking it again. I will ask you when this book was completed?
It was completed this year, – that is to say, in ’91, – last year.
1339: About what time in ’91 was it completed?
Well it was probably two or three months ago, – probably four months ago. The material, however, of which it is composed was acted on in the spring of ’91 at the spring conference. It was endorsed then by the Conference and the board of publication had to put it in form, – in other words, to print it.
1340: I will ask you this question Mr. Blair. In your examination by the plaintiffs or complainants here you stated that the body of the church went from Far West to Nauvoo, – did you mean by that that the whole body of the people that were at Nauvoo went there?
I did not state anything of the kind.
1341: Well it was stated here in testimony by some one. I will ask you if that was the fact?
No sir, it was not so stated by me for such are not the facts. There were large bodies of the people scattered around at different places that never came into Missouri, but the body that was here represented the chief officers of the church, and the largest gathered body, for there was about fifteen thousand said to have been in central Missouri.