1: Please state your name to the reporter?
Henry A. Stebbins is my name.
2: Where do you live Mr. Stebbins?
At Lamoni, Iowa.
3: How long have you lived there?
Ten years, no eleven years last November.
4: What is your business Mr. Stebbins?
I am Secretary and Recorder of the church, and also a minister in the church.
5: Of what church are you the Secretary and Recorder?
The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
6: The complainant in this case?
Yes sir. How is that?
7: You are the Secretary and Recorder of the church which is the complainant in this case in which your testimony is being taken?
8: And that is the Reorganized church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?
9: Well how long have you been Secretary and Recorder of the church?
It will be since April 1879 that I have been Recorder of the church, and I have been Secretary since April 1875.
10: Were you present at the conference of the church held at Kirtland Ohio in April 1891?
11: And were you the Secretary of that conference?
12: I will ask you to look at page fifty six of exhibit “five” and state to the reporter whether you recognize that as a part of the record of the conference 1891 held at Kirtland?
This here in relation to the articles of incorporation do you mean. Is that what you refer to?
13: Yes sir.
Yes sir I recognize that.
14: You may read that to the reporter.
It is headed “Reincorporation of the church”, and it reads, “The subject of the reincorporation of the church was taken up, and the following was moved and adopted, “That a committee of three be appointed to prepare articles of incorporation in harmony and in conformity with the present incorporation under the laws of the state of Illinois, the same to be used to further incorporate the society in the state of Iowa, and other states by vote of any large branch or stake in such states as provided by the laws of the same. President Blair appointed as said committee, Brethren Joseph Smith, E.L. Kelley, and Robert Winning. Quite a discussion followed,
15: Well you need not read that, the first paragraph is all that is necessary.
16: Very well, read it all.
“Quite a discussion followed concerning the right of the chair to appoint an absent brother, and one who if present would not be an ex-officio member of the conference. The chair held that he was right. His decision was appealed from, but the body sustained the chair.”
17: I had you read that as he wanted it read, so that there would be no occasion to go over it on cross examination, as Mr. Stebbins is very anxious to get away from here as soon as he possibly can. Now I will ask you Mr. Stebbins if you know from your travels in the different churches or branches of the church, and by correspondence, the number of churches or branches of the reorganized church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints there is?
Wherein location, do I know the number?
18: Yes sir.
Within what limits?
19: Within the United States I mean Mr. Stebbins?
About four hundred who are now existing as organization, besides one hundred and fifty that are more or less in a disorganized state, by reason of removal or departure of officers for other locations, about four hundred are now existing as organized bodies with officers and holding regular sessions or meetings.
20: Do you know about the membership in the United States?
Yes sir approximately I do.
21: Well about what is it?
From twenty two thousand and to twenty five thousand, – from twenty two thousand I would say to twenty five thousand.
22: I will get you to state Mr Stebbins, if you know, how many of the principle officers of the reorganized church, – I mean to say how many of the principle officers of the original church, or organization, the church organization, – founded in 1830, afterwards united with the reorganization?
Do I know about how many of them?
23: Yes sir?
24: Well give the offices that they held in the original church?
My knowledge is derived from personal acquaintance and the records of the church. Now by knowledge that I have received from various sources there was a good many who had belonged to the original church at Nauvoo that united with the reorganization, – there was the President of the stake there at Nauvoo, – I mean to say the President of the high council there at Nauvoo, – one of the quorom of twelve, and at least twenty one of the high priests, eighteen of the quorom of seventy, and at least from two hundred to three hundred, and perhaps more of the elders, – to say nothing of the lesser priesthood as they are called, – priests, teachers, and deacons.
25: Mr Stebbins can you give in round numbers the number of persons that belonged to the original church that afterwards became identified with the reorganized church? Now I am calling for both officers and members, both the people or simple laity and the officers of the original church, who afterwards became associated and identified with the reorganized church?
Well I would consider that it would be within bounds, and upon this I speak in reference to the officers also. Now so far as my acquaintance leads or goes of course I do not profess to have full knowledge except from the records, and the knowledge on the matter that has come to me in connection with my official connection with the church from correspondence, etc. and in that way, and also by individual information, – I think it would be safely within bounds to say from three to five thousand as the number. That is to say from three thousand to five thousand of the members who belonged to the original church, united with the reorganization from 1853 down to the present time at different times during that period. And I will say further that they are still uniting with the reorganized church. Now there may have been more than that, but I do not wish to state with any greater degree than certainty, – of certainty than I have as to the number, neither would I say that there was that many, but that is my judgement from my acquaintance and the records and correspondence I have had.
26: And that would be from three thousand to five thousand in your best opinion?
27: Now I would ask you Mr Stebbins if this exhibit marked Exhibit N, has been in you possession as seretary and recorder of the church since you have held that office?
28: I will get you to look at page thiry seven near the bottom of the page, and state to the reporter in whose hand writing the word “Hedrick” appears to be in the motion reading as follows, “on motion Brother J.W. Briggs was appointed to co-operate with brother Hedrick writing out a pamphlet setting forth the true position of our doctrines”. State in whose hand writing the word “Hedrick” appears to be in as set forth in that motion?
What is the question?
29: The question is in whose hand writinh or in whose hand is the tracing of the word “Hedrick”?
There is evidently two writing there.
30: Well I mean the last one, – the one in black ink?
My own writing this darker ink is, – this is the darker ink in my hand writing.
31: I will ask you if you can turn in that book to the same resolution on another page?
32: What page is it?
Page Thirty nine.
33: I will ask you if the reolution on Page thirty nine is in the same identical language with the resolution I have just read to you from page thirty seven.
34: I will ask you to read the resolution on page thirty nine to the reporter?
“On motion J.W. Briggs was appointed to co-operate with brother Hedricks in writing out a pamphlet, setting forth the true position of and for the church”.
35: Now I will ask you Mr Stebbins what the original name was in that resolution on page thirty seven, before the tracing was done by you?
It was “Hedricks”.
36: It was originally spelled H e d r i c k s ?
37: What is it now?
38: I will ask you now Mr Stebbins how the word “Hedrick” is spelled in the resolution on page thirty nine?
Hedrix. As near as I can make it out that is the way it is spelled on page thirty-nine.
39: I will ask you if you can identify the same name in another part of the record?
On page forty one in the record of the proceedings of the succeeding general conference. It reads “on motion it was resolved that Jason W. Briggs be, and is truly exonerated from acting in connection with Granville Hedricks of Bloomington in writing out matter for publication as directed by fall conference previous.”
41: How is the word “Hedrick” spelled in that record you have just read?
42: Is it spelled “H e d r i c k s?
43: I will ask you Mr Stebbins what officer of the reorganized church has the custody and control of the title papers to real estate, deeds, and other instruments of that character, if you know?
The Bishop of the Church.
44: Turn to the first page on which you find the name “Hedrick” traced?
45: What page is that?
Here it is on page thirty seven.
46: You say you traced it there?
47: At what time did you trace it?
I can’t say.
48: About when did you do it?
Well I don’t know that I have an idea in relation to the time it was done.
49: Has it been done since the record came into your hands?
50: When did the record come into your hands?
It will be eighteen years ago this coming April.
51: It will be eighteen years ago this next April since this record came into your hands?
52: What year was that?
53: When was that record made, – that is when was it written there?
Well that I do not know, but I suppose at the time of the reorganization of the church.
54: In 1852?
In 1853 the church was reorganized.
55: In 1853?
Yes sir, and this is the minutes of 1857.
56: That is in 1857, – that record is for 1857?
Yes sir, and I suppose the record was written then.
57: Now you say this record you suppose was written in 1857, and the records that contain it did not come into your possession until 1874?
58: And that record remained in the condition in which it was originally written from 1857 down to 1874 the time that it first came into your possession?
Yes sir, – from the time it was written whenever that was, down to the time I got it.
59: It remained in that condition without being changed.
60: And you changed it?
61: Why did you change it?
Well I did not change it to any material extent. I did not change it with the exception of striking out hte letter “s”. The writting or ink with which it was written was dim, and although it could be seen I did not think it made any difference in striking out that letter “s” for the reason that that was the way the word or name was spelled, and I did not think there would ever be any question on that point at all, so I struck it out, for it was evidently an error on the part of the secretary who compiled the record in writing it that way.
62: You assumed that there was an error in the original writing and took upon your self the authority to change it?
Yes sir. There was no object in writing over it at that time other than the correction of the error in the spelling, and tracing the name over again in ink that could be readily seen. The original writing can to some extent be seen there yet as for instance the top part of the “K”, as can be portions of all the letters composing the name in the original writing. It was rather dim as I have stated, and there being no question, or prospect of a question being raised about it I wrote it over again, understanding the name was Hedrick instead of Hedricks”.
63: Well I would like you to state if you can about what time you did that?
I believe it was not less that 10 years ago.
64: Did you do that by order of the conference?
65: Did you do it by order of anybody?
66: You just did it upon your own motion?
67: Have you taken care of all the other parts of that record in the same way as you have done that?
I have taken care of it to the best of my ability, – that part and all the rest.
68: Have you made any other changes in that record aside from that change?
I don’t know that I have
69: Well you would know it if you had, wouldn’t you?
I cannot say.
70: The records were in your possession?
Yes sir. I would know by examination if I had.
71: But you do not know from memory whether you did or not?
72: Now you say, I believe, that you struck out an “s” there?
73: In the name?
74: And what did you do that for?
So it would agree with the resolution following exonerating Jason W. Briggs from acting with Granville Hedrick, where the name is “Hedricks.”
75: If you struck out the “s” there it does not agree.
Yes sir, it does not agree, that is true.
76: It does not agree with the resolution then?
No sir, not altogether. It does excepting in that respect.
77: Well, did you change any other word in that record in 1857?
78: Why didn’t you?
Well, I had no other reason that I know of to change it.
79: Now then, on your direct examination you turned over to page thirty-nine and referred to that did you not?
80: And explained that was another record there?
What is that?
81: You explained there was another record of the same thing on page thirty-nine?
I was asked in my direct examination if there was another copy of that record there, and I said there was substantially a copy of it there, and read it.
82: You stated there was another copy there?
83: Did you state that that copy of the record had been erased?
84: Did you state there had been a line drawn through it from top to bottom?
85: You did not state anything about this?
86: Well, is it not a fact that there is a line drawn through it from top to bottom?
87: Now, why did you not state that there was a line drawn through it showing that there was an erasure?
Well, I was not asked the question.
88: Did you state that record was not signed and certified?
89: That is the fact, is it not?
90: Why did you not state that?
Well, I was not asked the question.
91: Well now, if that’s an erased record, why did you read from it at all?
Why did I read from it? Simply because I was asked to do so.
92: Let me look at that for a moment, please.
Here it is. (Witness hands counsel for the defense the record regarding which he is testfying.)
93: Now you have stated, I believe, that on page forty-one is a reference in a resolution numbered third to the same name as it appeared on page thirty-seven, changed as has been stated, have you not?
I read it as I was requested to do so.
94: Have you not stated there was a reference there to the name?
I so understand it.
95: You say you so understand it?
96: Now how do you know it?
Do I say that I know it, or knew it?
97: Well, I ask you if you know it.
I answer that I do not.
98: You do not now say that you do know it?
99: Well, what do you say about it?
I say just this in regard to it: that the record that follows exonerates J. W. Briggs from acting in that capacity to which he was appointed at the previous conference.
100: Does this resolution
It so says.
102: Where does it say that?
103: Does it make any reference to the previous resolution?
It doesn’t have to, for the resolution speaks for itself.
104: Yes sir, I know that. I will ask you not to look at the third resolution of which you have been speaking, and say if there is enough in that to carry out your opinion?
105: Answer the question? Have you given all the answer you want to give to that question?
I don’t see how I can make it any clearer by answering further.
106: You have given all the answer you can to that question then?
107: From whom did you receive that record?
I received it from the hands of the family of the original, – that is I should say I received it from the family, or the church did, of the former recorder of the church, Mr Isaac Sheen, who died just two days before the sitting of the conference of 1874, and it was in the hands of his family with the church records, and before the close of that conference I was appointed church recorder, and not a great while afterwards the records were delivered into my hands.
108: Who composed his family?
The family of Mr Sheen?
109: Yes sir?
Well he had a wife and two daughters and a son.
110: How old was the son at the time?
I don’t know that I can tell you just how old he was at that time, but it was some where near manhood, or about the beginning of manhood.
111: From whose hands in that family did you receive that record?
Directly from their hands do you mean?
112: Yes sir?
I think they were not delivered directly into my hands, but were turned over to the church through a process of law and were received by the officers of the church, – They were received I think by the officers of the law at first and by the officers of the law turned over into the hands of the officers of the church, and by them delivered to me.
113: Then if that be the case Mr Stebbins why did you state a moment ago that you received them directly from the hands of the family of Mr Sheen?
Well I probably stated that without a thought of the fact that there was a process of law in relation to the matter. It did not matter much for I was the succeeding recorder of the church and I suppose I meant with out thing of the fact to state that they passed into the hands, – directly into my hands as the successor of Mr Sheen. I had no intention for a moment of misleading anyone, but meant that I received them as the successor, and without any thought of the process of law that was had there to get possession of the records.
114: Well now after having thought the matter over, will you state from whom you received them?
I received them at the hands as I remember now, – yes, his name was Byron Shouts, – that was the name of the party I received them from.
115: Byron what?
116: And you do not know of your own knowledge from whom
No sir if it comes dowl to a question of my own personal sight I do not, – excepting this, that I saw them in the hands of the family, the same day that they went out after them.
117: What did you see?
These two records, – that is this book and the index to the record, which were then the only records. No I make a mistake there, – there was the beginning of a second record. This is record “A”, and there was the beginning of record “B”, – I remember that now, and I saw them in the hands of the family thee the same day, probably two or three hours before they were taken by the constable, and with himself he took me and them in his buggy to Sandwich Illinois, – five miles from where the family was.
118: Then they were taken by process of law?
119: Do you know why it became necessary to take them by process of law?
Yes sir, – I think I do at least.
120: Well please state what the reason was?
Well for the reason that the church like any other corporation or body has a right to its own records, – its own books of record and property, and after the death of Isaac Sheen, the church through its officers, made request of his family for these records, and a refusal was made to the demand or request to give them up, and when the proper request had been made, and had been met with a refusal to give them up, then the church by its Bishop at that time, cause a paper to be got up, and demand made for them by the proper officer of the law, and then they were delivered to the officer, and so the church came into possession of them again.
121: Well doubless you intended that as an answer to my question, but I do not consider that it is an aswer, though I do not believe that you purposely avoid answering it. What I wanted to inquire about was the grounds upon which they based that refusal?
That would be a matter that would rest within their own minds? I would be their own opinion or judgement, and so I cannot say.
122: Exactly, – that is what I called for?
I am not prepared to answer that question. I am not prepared to answer the question as to what their resons or motives were for the course they pursued.
123: Did you not talk with them about it, – about that?
124: Well that reasons did they give you?
Well I can’t say that they presented any reasons, excepting that they did not want to give them up. I know of no other reason that I now think of.
125: Was there any financial claims involved in the matter?
There was something due Mr Sheen at the time of his death, but the promise or agreement was made that this should all be settled upon information or bill presented for acceptance or payment by the church through its proper officer, the bishop. There was no refusal upon the part of these officers so far as I am informed to pay this bill when it should be presented, and it was properly presented and paid as I am informed at the following conference.
126: What conference as that?
It was by action of the conference, – the general conference that met in September following
127: They took the books however, without paying the people?
Certainly they took the books, but with a promise to pay it at the proper time, and in the proper way, however.
128: Do you know when that erasure on page thirty nine was made, but the line being drawn through it?
129: Was it made at the time the book came into your possession?
Yes sir. It was made before it came into my possession
130: Are there any other such erasures in the book that you know of?
Not that I now to call to memory. I presume that that line has through there, was because it was a repetition of drawing that that had gone on page thirty seven. That was and is my presumption and belief, because the page is morally and in fact a repetition of what is on page thirty seven of the minutes of that same conference mentioned there.
131: Now you spoke a minute or so ago about a corporation or organization having a right to its own records?
132: I will ask you id the claims to that record you speak of were made by the corporation?
It was made by the proper officers of the incorporation.
133: What date was that?
That demand for these records?
134: Yes sir?
On the seventh day of July 1874.
135: Was the Reorganized church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints an incorporation at that date?
136: What did you say was your position in the church at the present time?
I am Secretary and Recorder in the church, as well as a minister.
137: Are you therefore the Secretary and Recorder of a corporation?
138: You are not?
139: What relation do you bear or sustain to the complainant in this case?
I suppose the church is the plaintiff, or complainant in this case, and as a member of the body, – a minister of the body, – Secretary and Recorder of the body, – I stand in that position to the complainant, – that is the position of occupying those relationships to the body, – whatever they may be.
140: You say you suppose that church is the plaintiff?
141: Well do you or do not know that it is the plaintiff.
Such has been stated here.
142: I am asking you for your own knowledge?
Yes sir, I may say I know.
143: That the church is the plaintiff?
144: Is the church to which you belong, and of which you are one of the officers, an incorporation?
The church as I understand it is an incorporation for the purpose of carrying on its temporal affairs. I understand that for the purpose of carrying on its business it is incorporsted under the laws of the land.
145: What was the object of its incorporation?
It was incorporated for the purpose of carrying on its business affairs, holding land, and giving it the right to sue, and be sued and whatever rights, immunities or obligations are conferred under the laws of the state when the information occurs. In that sense it is an incorporation and has the right to transact its business as a corporation.
146: What relation do you sustain to the branch at Lamoni, Iowa?
on the ground that the same is immeterial and not proper cross examination.
Well I am a member of the branch.
147: At Lamoni, – you are a member of the branch there you say?
148: Is that all?
That is all at the present time.
149: What relation did you have, if any, to an incorporation effected by that branch in Lamoni in 1891?
Ask the question again please.
150: What relation if any did you have in connection with the incorporation of that branch at Lamoni, Iowa, of which you say you are not a member, in the year 1891?
The branch is not incorporated.
151: I said “effected by that branch”?
I do not know that I am able to answer that question.
152: Do you know anything about an incorporation purporting to be an incorporation of the church at Lamoni in 1891?
153: Well what do you know about it?
I know that such papers were drawn up and signed by quite a number of the people.
154: What relation did you have to them?
155: To these papers that you speak of that were drawn up by ans signed by quite a large number of the people, and to the incorporation?
Well my name was signed to this one )referring to the list of names attached to the printed copy of the articles of incorporation in evidence as exhibit A) In connection with others my name was signed to this
156: Do you hold any position in the incorporation?
No sir, I do not understand that I do.
157: What is your business in the church?
Why as I have explained I am the recorder of the church fot one thing.
158: What are your duties as recorder?
Keeping a record of all the names of the members in accordance with the laws of the church.
159: What record is that?
The record of membership and officers.
160: You said you were also secretary?
161: What are your duties as church secretary?
As church secretary my duties, or amongst my duties are to issue letters of appointment, licenses, and attending to correspondence, etc.
162: And what is your proper ministerial office, or function?
I am a member of the quorom of high priests.
163: Then you are a high priest?
164: Do you maintain that you are an high priest of a corporation, – of that corporation that was effected there in 1891? Counsel fot the plaintiff objects to the question asked the witness for the reason and on the rounds that it is irrelevant and immeterial, callilg for an opinion of the witness, and not cross examination.
No sir, I do not know of any such a thing.
165: Do you maintain that you are the secretary and recorder of the incorporation effected at the time you have mentioned?
166: You do not?
167: Have you ever attended any meetings of that incorporation?
No sir, I don’t know that I have.
168: Do you know whether it has a President or Secretary?
Unless as I understand, the Bishop is the presiding officer over the financial and business affairs or matters of the church and has such charge.
169: I believe you stated that there belonged to the reorganized church, or had belonged to it from the time of its first inception down to the present time, eighteen of the first quorom, – the original guorom of seventy?
170: How do you ascertain that fact?
I have been personally acquainted with quite a nuber of them, and I have examined the record that is upon the church records, and in the church paper, – the official church organs or papers, – the one known as the “Times and Seasons”, the “Evening and Morning Star” the “Messenger and Advocate”, and the names of the officers mentioned there as holding such and such places in the church, and having been-personally acquainted with a portion of them, and also in the recording of names I have recorded the identical names with the dates of ordination away back in the thirties, – from 1830 down. Now by these various methods of acquaintances and by comparing records, and from keeping the records, I am made aware that such is the case.
171: And such as you have mentioned are the grounds upon which you base your judgement?
Yes sir, and from personal acquaintance as I have stated, with quite a number of them.
172: Did I understand you to say that the quoroms of seventy, or the quorom of seventy?
I don’t know which I used, for there was quoroms of seventy prior to the death of Joseph Smith.
173: Will you state how many quoroms of seventy there was prior to the death of Joseph Smith?
I cannot say as to that.
174: Have you any records that will indicate to you how many quoroms of seventy there were prior to the death of Joseph Smith?
Well I have never made it a point to investigate the matter to asertain, therefor I could not say.
175: Was there more than one?
176: You are satisfied there was more than one?
Yes sir, I am satisfied of that.
177: Do you think there was as many as five?
Well I couldn’t say, but I really think there was.
178: You think there was as many as five?
There was as many as that I think. There was two men in the re-organized church who was presidents of seventies, – Josiah Butterfield, and Zenas H. Gurley, but how many quoroms of seventy there was I could not say.
179: But you do say that all the men you could find in the reorganized church who were members of the quoroms of seventied in the original church were eighteen?
No sir, I do not state that that was all I could find, but that is all that I can state here posistvely that I am personally satisfied were with it. I bemieve that beyond that number there was many more, but I would not wish to state posistvely here how many more there was beyond the number I have mentioned, for I do not care about stating anything except that which I am personally acquainted with and know it to be the fact. From my knowledge of the facts I am satisfied that there was many an officer of the original church who came into the reorganized church, and received not office for the reason that they were aged and infirm, and consequently came into the church, – that is into the reorganized church simply on their original ordination or baptism in the original church, and retained their simple membership as members of the reorganized church.
180: I understood you to say that one of the original apostles, – one of the original twelve became a member of the reorganized church?
181: What was his name?
182: He was one of the original twelve?
That is my understanding, and I do not think it is disputed.
183: There was only one of them came into the reorganized church, and he was that one?
Yes sir. The only one, – to my knowledge, – so far as I am acquainted with the fact that is all.
184: I believe you stated that you estimate that at least five thousand, – ?
184: No sir, – from three thousand to five thousand I should estimate of the members of the original church have been members of the reorganized church at different times from 1852 down to the present time, – or from 1853 up to the present time.
185: Have you an estimate as to the numbers of the reorganized church now?
Of its membership?
186: Yes sir? First state the number of the members of the original church that are now living if you can.
I cannot say sir for fifty years have passed away since the death of Joseph Smith, and a large portion of them have died, – the greater bulk of them have died, and I cannot now give any estimate as to that number.
187: Now about these records, Mr Stebbins I would enquire if you have in your possession as recorder and secretary, of the reorganized church, any other record, then the one you have presented here?
188: What is it?
That is a simple record kept prior to 1874 by Mr Sheen.
189: Now then have you any record of the church older than that?
190: Have you any knowledge of where there are any older records than that?
No sir. I do not think that there is any thing older than that record there (exhibit N).
191: Well you say you “don’t think”, – that is you mean that is the best of your knowledge?
Yes sir, – of course I am speaking of my knowledge. I do not know of any.
192: Now as you have spoken of quoroms I will ask you how many quoroms the reorganized church contains?
Well I don’t know exactly in what sense that question is asked.
193: Quoroms of seventy I mean?
There is not only one quorom of seventy in the reorganized church, and never had been but one.
194: Do you know from the law, as to how many the law of the church provides for?
I think I do. It provides for seven quoroms of seventy, – that is the law does.
195: Then that law has never been complied with by the reorganized church?
I can, – Counsel fot the grounds and for the reasons stated in the objection hereinbefore set forth, and on the further ground that it calls for an opinion of the witness.
The law provides that there may be such a number of quoroms, but the law doe snot make it compulsory that there shall be such a number. There is nothing obligatory or compulsory about the law, – the church may have them all or it may not at its otion.
196: Do you know from the records of the church, or from authentic church history, how many quoroms there were in the church prior to 1844?
Quoroms of seventy do you mean?
197: Yes sir?
Well that is the same question you asked me before, and I cannot answer it.
198: You said there was more than one, – possibly as many as five.
199: Now does not the law provide for a specific number.
Not necessarily, – it provides that there may be a certain number.
200: Oow many?
Seven quoroms of seventy, but that number is not compulsory. The statement of the law is in words to that effect, – that the number of the seventies may be increased to seven quoroms. It gives the privelege of having that many quoroms but does not state that there shall be that many as an law binding or obligatory on the church. It states that there may seven quoroms of seventy each, but does not state that that shall be the case.
201: Well is it as you understand it upon that same subject, – really required positively in the law that there shall be any quoroms of seventy?
We so understand it.
202: From where do you get that understand?
We so understand it both from the book of doctrine and covenants and the history of Jesus Christ and his doing here on earth with the church that there would be a quorom of seventy, as he called other seventies also it says, and sent them forth.
203: In your cross examination Mr Stebbins you were asked if there was any older record than that?
204: Now to what did you refer, – the records of the old church, or the records of the new church, when you said there was not any older record than that?
Well I suppose he meant, or was talking about the reorganized church. I supposed that was what he meant when he asked about any older record.
205: You thought he referred to the reorganized church?
206: And that is what you referred to in your answer?
Yes sir, I thought he refferd to the plaintiff in this case, and its work and records for it is to be supposed, of course, that the old church had its records.
207: Well I want to know now if you have the records of the old church. You have just explained that you did not refer to the records of the old church, and I will ask you now if you have in your possession, or have any knowledge of any like records of the church prior to 1844?
Not a record of the members in the church, but i have one record of the church that was kept in Kirtland, Ohio, early in the thirties.
208: What is the nature or character of that record?
It is a record of the first quorom of elders and its meetings and its members, and that is the only original record I have of the original church.
209: Where is that record?
In my office vault at Lamoni, Iowa.
210: How many years does it cover? If you remember?
I don’t, – that is to say fully, – it does not cover I remember it now from reading it. I cannot say definitely as to that because it has been years since I looked at it, or into it.
211: Have you a record of the conferences that were held prior to 1844,-any of them or all of them?
Nothing except as published in the official papers of the church.
212: You have none of the original records?
I have none of the original minutes, and what became of them I am not prepared to say, but they were published in the church papers as they were written, and what became of the original records I have no means of knowing.
213: Is it not simply an assumption or conclusion of your that those records were published in the church paper?
What is that?
214: I asked you if it was not simply an assumption conclusion of your that these original records were published in the church papers?
Well I could not say it was an assumption of mine, or a conclusion either, for we find them published in the church papers, or what purport to be the records of their proceedings, whit the names of the parties participated as officers, and it is all printed there and signed with their names as the officers of the meetings.
215: Is not this the fact that what you refer to as finding there, is what purports to be the copy of the records?
Yes sir that is what I mean and what I said.